While kids 20 inch bikes are generally the best fit for most kids who are 6 or 7 years old, they can vary greatly in size, price, and features. From gears, to brakes, to frame size, kids’ bikes can start getting a lot more complicated when your child is ready for a 20 inch bike.
To help you wade through all the options, we’ve tested over twenty different 20 inch bikes, ranging from $50 to $900, to help you find the best bike for your child’s riding style and your budget. Not sure your child needs a 20 inch bike? Be sure to check out our kids bike sizes guide.
Our Top Kids 20 Inch Bikes Rundown
While 20 inch bikes generally fit most kids who are 6 or 7 years old, which bike is best for your child? Use our handy lists below to check out our top picks for your child’s riding style, then scroll down for more detailed info on each bike.
Single Speed Bikes
- Raleigh MXR / Jazzi – $190 – Lightweight and great durability for its price
- REI Co-Op REV – $249 – Aggressive geometry for adventurous riders
- Guardian Ethos – $309 – Innovative SureStop braking system
- Pello Reddi – $419 – Confidence inspiring design, high gain ratios for higher speeds
- Cleary Owl – $430 – Rugged rig for aggressive neighborhood riders
Neighborhood Geared Bikes
- Polygon Premier Ultralight – $299 – Great performance for paved or light trails
- Guardian Ethos/Airos – $359/$459 – Innovative SureStop braking system
- Priority Start – $369 – Simplified 3-speed shifting, maintenance-free belt drive
Multi-Use – Paved and Mild Trails Geared Bikes
- REI Co-Op REV Plus – $379 – Mid-fat tires for a rugged look kids love
- woom 4 – $499 – Ultimate lightweight, efficient bike for young riders
- Pello Rover – $529 – One trick pony for paved roads and all-terrain singletrack
- Prevelo Alpha Three – $529 – Confidence builder for developing trail riders
All 20 Inch Bikes Comparison
Best 20 Inch Bikes Video Demonstration
Want to see these bikes in action? Check out our video roundup of our favorite 20 inch bikes. You’ll see each bike in action as well as learn why we like them.
BEST 20 INCH SINGLE SPEED BIKES
Should I get a single-speed bike or a geared bike?
Some kids simply aren’t quite coordinated enough to tackle gears when they are tall enough to ride a 20 inch bike. Geared bikes can add a lot of complexity to a child’s overall biking experience. Knowing when to shift and when not to shift is a skill that even many adults are still trying to master.
Shifters and derailleurs that come along with geared bikes can also be quite finicky and require often pricey repairs. So unless you child needs gears to tackle hills or longer-distance rides, single-speed bikes are not only less expensive, they are much easier to maintain.
Lightweight and great durability for its price
- MSRP: $190
- SEAT HEIGHT: 23.5 – 29.5″
- WEIGHT: 22.8 lb.
- GAIN RATIO: 4
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Decent build for a pretty great price
- FULL REVIEW: Raleigh MXR 20 / Raleigh Jazzi 20
Impressively built to withstand multiple kids, yet still lightweight and affordable, Raleigh’s MXR and Jazzi bikes are exceptional bikes for neighborhood riders on a budget. With an upright position many young riders prefer, as well as a rear-hand brake for extra stopping power, the MXR (Raleighs “boys” line) and the Jazzi (Raleigh’s “girls” line) were both well-loved by our testers.
Compared to other bikes in their price point, the Raleigh’s are also several pounds lighter, which makes them much easier for kids to balance and maneuver. Both models, however, do come with a coaster brake, but for kids who have already mastered pedaling on their 16″ bikes, the coaster brake shouldn’t be a problem.
REI Co-Op REV Single Speed
Aggressive geometry for adventurous riders
- MSRP: $249
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 28″
- WEIGHT: 21 lb.
- GAIN RATIO:
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Lightweight bike offering great quality for the price
- FULL REVIEW: REI Co-Op REV
The REI Co-Op REV single-speed is a great choice for neighborhood riders in the mid-range price point. Significantly lighter than other bikes in its price range and without the complexity of gears, the REV single speed offers a lightweight aluminum frame backed by REI’s bullet-proof warranty. With narrower street tires with minimal tread, the REV is not suitable for non-paved trails.
Its leaned forward body position is also better for confident vs timid riders. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the geometry of the REV is almost too leaned forward for many young riders, but its quality of build does make up for its less than ideal geometry. Be aware that like many $200 bikes, the REV does have a coaster brake, but it also has a good-quality rear Tektro handbrake that actually works.
Guardian Ethos 20 Small
Innovative SureStop Braking System
- MSRP: 20 inch Small Ethos – $309, 20 inch Small Airos – $409
- SEAT HEIGHT: 20″ Small (both models): 20.8″ – 26.8″
- WEIGHT: Ethos: 20.7 lb.; Airos: 18.7 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Guardian’s patented SureStop braking system allows kids to brake faster, safer, and with less effort!
- FULL REVIEW: Guardian 20″
From their low-center-of-gravity designs and lightweight frames to their amazing SureStop braking system, Guardian’s Bikes offer a unique and fun riding experience. Guardian’s patented braking system not only makes braking safer it also makes it more fun!
SureStop braking system works by preventing the child from accidentally activating just the front brake (which can cause the front tire to stop too quickly and buck the child off the bike). Think of SureStop as anti-lock brakes for bikes!
As an added bonus, Guardian Bikes are great quality, ridiculously easy to assemble and offer fun and colorful designs that kids love.
Confidence inspiring design, high gain ratios for higher speeds
- MSRP: $409
- SEAT HEIGHT: 21.25″ – 26″
- WEIGHT: 17 lb.
- GAIN RATIO: 4.5
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Comfortable, upright positioning, high gain ratios for higher speeds
- FULL REVIEW: Pello Reddi
Pello Bikes are the dream-child of a dad simply looking for a great bike at a great price. He succeeded! The Pello Reddi is the perfect bike for everyday neighborhood riders looking for a fun, steady ride with a comfortable upright position.
With the highest gain ratio of the single-speed bikes, it takes slightly more effort than the others to get started but can reach faster speeds and travel farther with each pedal stroke. This makes it a fantastic choice for longer rides with the family.
Rugged rig for aggressive neighborhood riders
- MSRP: $430
- SEAT HEIGHT: 21″ – 26.4″
- WEIGHT: 19.1 lb.
- GAIN RATIO: 3.37
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Aggressive geometry for adventurous riders
- FULL REVIEW: Cleary Owl
Designed with a more leaned-forward body position and a low gain ratio, the Cleary Owl is an amazing, fun-to-ride bike for those ambitious kids ready to tackle any jump or curb the neighborhood can throw at them, and who don’t want the extra hassle of shifting gears. Well-equipped for basic trail riding as well, the Cleary allows kids to easily shift their weight around, but its single speed does limit its use to basic trails.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD GEARED 20 INCH BIKE
What We Look for in a Neighborhood Bike
Bikes for kids who mainly ride around the neighborhood should be lightweight, easy-to-ride, and provide a comfortable riding position for the rider. The average child rider doesn’t need a lot of gears or shocks or other extra add-ons that require maintenance and greatly increase the overall weight of the bike.
Keep it simple here – what your child needs is a dependable, durable, and fun bike to help them explore the neighborhood.
Polygon Premier Ultralight 20
Great performance for paved or light trails
- MSRP: $299
- SEAT HEIGHT: 21.25″ – 27.25″
- WEIGHT: 20.75 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Great build for a pretty great price, Kenda multi-terrain tires, Shimano 7-Speed grip shifter, lightweight
- FULL REVIEW: Polygon Premier Ultralight Kids Bikes
Polygon Kids bikes are new to the US, and the Polygon Premiere will certainly impress you from the moment you take it out of the box. From its brightly colored graphics to its kid-friendly geometry and solid-quality components, the Polygon Premiere is everything a great kid’s bike should be, at a price tag parents will love.
While the Polygon isn’t quite as light as other bikes on our list and doesn’t have as high-end components, what you get for the price is impressive. If you only have $300 to spend and are looking for a geared 20″ bike, you won’t get a better bike than the Polygon.
Guardian Ethos/Airos 20 Inch Geared
Innovative SureStop braking system
- MSRP: Ethos – $359; Airos – $459
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 28.5″ (both models)
- WEIGHT: Ethos: 22.9 lb.; Airos: 22.9 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Proprietary braking systems help kids brake with more control
- FULL REVIEW: Guardian Airos
Shark-Tank-funded Guardian Bikes come with a proprietary braking system called SureStop that prevents unsafe braking. When braking with just the front hand brake while at high speeds, bikes can tilt forward and buck a child off the bike and over the handlebars.
SureStop on Guardian bikes prevents this by having only one brake lever engage the front and rear brakes. Not only it is the safest system on the market, but it’s also much easier to use than most traditional dual-hand brakes.
Available in a premium Airos line (previously called “Original”) and a budget-friendly Ethos line, the Guardian Airos is built with a lightweight aluminum frame and higher-end components, including an upgraded grip shifter that works great with small hands.
Priority Start 20″
Simplified 3-speed shifting, maintenance-free belt drive
- MSRP: $369
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22″ – 28.5″
- WEIGHT: 19.5 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: 3 gears for an easy intro to shifting
- FULL REVIEW: Priority Start 20″
Staying true to their innovative beginnings, the Priority Start 20″ offers the simplicity and easy maintenance of a single-speed but with the gearing options of a traditional geared bike. With just three-gears housed in an innovative, internally-geared hub, the Priority Start 20 has gears, but without the traditional bulky and finicky derailleur.
Combined with a lightweight frame and grease-free belt drive, the Start 20 is the perfect “Goldilocks” bike for the average everyday rider – not too basic, not too complex, but just right.
BEST 20 INCH BIKE FOR MULTI-USE
What We Look for in a Multi-Use Bike
Multi-use bikes are versatile enough to ride around the neighborhood, take on longer paved rides, and tackle compact dirt trails and basic single-track trails. Most kids on 20 inch bikes are just beginning to explore what adventures they can really have on a bike, so having a bike equipped to handle various conditions is ideal for most young riders.
Gears are preferred for a multi-use bike, as are lightweight frames and high-quality, dual-hand brakes. Single speed bikes may be appropriate for children who would find shifting more confusing than helpful.
REI Co-Op REV Plus
Mid-fat tires for a rugged look kids love
- MSRP: $379
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22″ – 28.5″
- WEIGHT: 24.9 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Disc brakes, plus size tires, good-quality components for great price
- FULL REVIEW: REI Co-Op REV Plus
With plus size tires, mechanical disc brakes, and a design that oozes the cool-factor, REI’s Co-Op REV Plus line offers great performance for a reasonable price point. Whether your child simply wants the coolest bike to ride around the neighborhood, or if you’re looking for a budget-friendly entry level mountain bike for basic trails, the REV Plus is a great choice.
While its heavier weight and lower-end components keep it from being a true mountain bike, it’s easily our favorite mid-range bike for younger riders looking for a cool “mountain bike” that can actually ride in the mountains!
Ultimate lightweight, efficient bike for young riders
- MSRP: $499
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22.1″ – 28″
- WEIGHT: 17.9 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURE: Wide gain ratio range, very lightweight, comfortable rider position
- FULL REVIEW: woom 4
With mid-range 1.4″ tires, grip shifters, and weighing in under 18 lb., the woom 4 is well-suited for anything from longer rides on paved bike trails to cruising dirt roads. Easy to ride and easy to handle, the woom 4 places kids in a comfortable rider position (not too leaned forward or straight up) that helps kids feel stable and confident as they ride.
As the lightest 20 inch bike we’ve ever tested, our timid testers have all raved about the woom 4. For those riders ready for more action, the woom features a wide gain ratio (gearing) range of 2.3 to 5.9 making it suitable for flying down flat paved trails or climb rolling hills. Comes in five fun colors for particular kids.
One trick pony for paved roads and all-terrain singletrack
- MSRP: $529
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 27.5″
- WEIGHT: 20.3 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Mechanical disc brakes, wide tires with flat knobs suitable for both trail and pavement
- FULL REVIEW: Pello Rover
The Pello Rover is the ideal riding machine for young riders ready to tackle gears and trails (paved and dirt) for the first time. Featuring wide high-end K-RAD Kenda tires, the Pello has the extra grip to tackle rough terrain, while still featuing flatter knobs to allows for smooth rolling on paved surfaces.
With superior stopping power from mechanical disc brakes, grip shifters to more easily master gears, and a lightweight quality build, the Rover stands ready to take on whatever your young ripper can throw at it.
Prevelo Alpha Three
Confidence builder for developing trail riders
- MSRP: $529
- SEAT HEIGHT: 20.7″ – 25.5″
- WEIGHT: 18.9 lb.
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Lightweight and nimble, trigger shifters for aggressive riders
- FULL REVIEW: Prevelo Alpha Three
For those young groms craving a lightweight, nimble bike that can easily take them from grand neighborhood adventures to basic trails, the Prevelo Alpha 3 is the ultimate ride.
While the tires and brakes on the Pello Rover make it better for frequent or intermediate trail riders, the 1.5 lb. lighter weight Prevelo is better for everyday aggressive riders who seek out any obstacles, such as jumps or ramps, as well as occasional trail riding.
Featuring trigger shifters, versus Pello’s grip shifters, the Prevelo offers faster and quicker shifting for those powering up hills or neighborhood jumps.
HONORABLE MENTION 20 INCH BIKES
Best 18 Inch Bike Option
- MSRP: $159
- SEAT HEIGHT: 24.5″ – 29″ (20″ wheel size)
- WEIGHT: 27.8 lb.
- GAIN RATIO:
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Decent build for a pretty great price
- FULL REVIEW: Schwinn Koen Boys Bike
If your budget is sending you in the direction of Walmart or Amazon, the Schwinn Koen and Elm are the best bikes you’re going to get under $200. While their components are very basic and they are significantly heavier than other bikes on this list, they have better frame designs and overall geometry than most bikes you’ll find at a big-box store.
We tested the 20″ Koen and found it to be on the larger end for 20 inch bikes. The 18 inch Koen is sized more like the other 20 inch bikes we recommend. Depending on your child’s inseam, you may want to check out the slightly smaller 18 inch bike instead of the 20.
Top-notch components for its price
- MSRP: $339
- SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 27.75″
- WEIGHT: 20.9 lb.
- GAIN RATIO: 2.22 – 4.45 (7sp)
- STANDOUT FEATURES: Easy-to-use gears, great components at a low price, lightweight
- FULL REVIEW: Vitus 20 Kids Bike
For those who live near hills or simply want or need the flexibility of a geared bike when riding, the Vitus is a great basic geared bike.
While this is the only bike on our list we haven’t had a chance to test yet, it comes highly recommended. And at such a great price, we wanted to offer it as an option until we can get our hands on one ourselves! It’s incredibly rare to find a bike with such quality components at such a low price point. And lightweight to boot!
How to Choose the Best 20 inch Bike for your 6 or 7-Year-Old
Here’s a quick summary of what to look for when selecting the best bike for your 6 or 7-year-old. For more detailed information on the topics below, check out our article Best Kids Bikes: The Authoritative Buying Guide.
Size – Pay attention to seat height!
A 20 inch bike is generally the best fit to buy for 6 and 7-year-olds. If your child is already 8 or is a very tall 7-year-old, also consider 24-inch bikes as they would offer more room for growth. If a child starts on a 20 inch bike when they are 6 or 7, they can likely continue to ride it while they are 8 years old.
In addition to wheel size, pay close attention to the minimum and maximum seat height as they can vary widely. The two bikes shown above both have 20 inch wheels but fit different size kids. The Priority Start on the left has a 22″ minimum seat height while the Raleigh Rowdy on the right has a minimum seat height of 25.25″! Make sure that you choose a bike that not only fits well now, but allows for plenty of room for growth.
Don’t know how tall your child’s bike seat should be? If your child is a confident rider, it’s best to set the bike’s seat about 2 – 3″ above the child’s inseam. This will allow them to touch the ground with their tiptoes and achieve maximum efficiency while pedaling. If your child is very timid, you can set the seat lower to allow them to more easily touch the ground with their feet.
Weight – Lighter is better
Ideally, your child’s bike will be less than 30% of their body weight. In most cases, the lighter the bike, the easier the bike is to ride. This is especially true with petite children.
Many 20 inch bikes also come with gears, which can increase the weight of the bike, although it is minimal. Shocks on a 20 inch bike, however, can add A LOT of unnecessary weight to a bike. Shocks on a 20 inch bike should be avoided unless the child is riding really aggressive single-track trails.
Frame Design – Upright vs. leaned in
The frame design on 20 inch bikes can vary greatly as these bikes are often designed for a specific type of rider. A bike built for neighborhood use will place its rider in a more comfortable upright position. A bike built for more aggressive riding will place the rider in a much more aggressive leaned forward position.
As a result, there isn’t one best bike for kids who are 6 or 7-years-old. There are bikes that are best for different types of riders and different types of terrains.
Brakes – Handbrakes are best
Generally, 6-year-olds are coordinated enough to properly use a handbrake. Handbrakes are much more efficient and have much more stopping power than coaster brakes. As a result, we give strong preference to bikes with dual hand brakes and NO coaster brake. Coaster brakes aren’t necessary and prevent kids from pedaling backward to help them regain their balance.
Gearing – Geared or single-speed?
A 20 inch bike is the first time you have an option to purchase a bike with gears. For some kids at age 6 or 7 gears might still be too much to handle! For less coordinated or timid kids, it’s just one more thing to worry about. Many great 20 inch single-speed bikes are available that might be worth considering.
For many kids, gears are a welcomed addition to their bike! Some kids quickly and easily take to gears, while others take time. Learning when and how to shift can be confusing and challenging.
Often times age makes a difference in how a child responds to gears. 6-year-olds generally love playing with gears (i.e. shifting whenever they feel like it), but by 7 years old, their coordination has increased and they begin to use the gears more intentionally.
When choosing a single-speed, be sure to take note of the gain ratio of the bike.
Low gain ratio (2 to 3.5): Easier to pedal from the start, but reaches a lower maximum speed. Best for ambitious riders who want to power up hills or obstacles. Not ideal for use on long, flat rides.
High gain ratio (3.5 to 5): Harder to pedal from the start, but can reach a higher maximum speed. Ideal for longer rides as the bike gains more distance with every pedal stroke.
Price – What does a more expensive bike get me?
Good bikes are not cheap, and as bikes get larger, they get more expensive. Every bike on this list is significantly better than a bike you’ll find at Walmart, but they also costs a lot more. Why? Building lightweight quality bikes isn’t cheap. There’s a reason why some adult bikes can cost more than cars!
The more expensive bikes on this list are more lightweight, have higher end components, and frame designs that make them easier to ride. Adding gears also contributes significantly to the price. High-end bikes can also be considered as investments as they typically have a very high resale value.
After having tested 30 different 20 inch bikes, we can confidently say that in almost all cases, high-end bikes are easier for kids to ride than bikes found at big-box stores.
Girls 20 Inch Bikes vs. Boys 20 Inch Bikes
In the past, most kids bikes were either “boys bikes” or “girls bikes”. They had very different frame designs, in addition to unique colors and accents aimed to make a bike feminine or masculine.
In today’s evolved kids bike world, there’s rarely such a thing as a girls 20 inch bike or boys 20 inch bike. With frames and components that are identical for the genders, the only difference is color or design pattern. In fact, with the exception of the Raleigh MXR and Jazzi, none of our favorite 20 inch bikes are marketed specifically towards girls or boys.
Instead, these brands simply offer a wide range of colors to appeal to all kids, regardless of gender. For parents looking for a more traditionally styled “girls bike”, we would recommend looking at Guardian’s pink and teal options as well as Raleigh’s Jazzi line. For a further breakdown of girls bikes, check out our 10 Best Girls Bikes article.
You also have the option of adding cute and girly bike accessories to any bike to make it more feminine. Get inspired on our 22 Fun Kids Bike Accessories page.
What About 18 Inch Bikes?
Most kid bike brands don’t make 18 inch bikes. Due to the proximity in sizes of their 16″ and 20″ bike, there is no need for an 18″. As a result, we don’t have a best 18 inch bike list, but it is important to know where these bikes fall in size as compared to 16″ and 20″ bikes.
Most 18 inch bikes are quite large and are sized like a 20 inch bike. The ByK and Joey are an exception as they are sized more like a 16-inch-bike BUT all other brands, like RoyalBaby, Schwinn and Joystar are all sized like a 20 inch bike.
All in all, the vast majority of 18 inch bikes are heavy, mass-marketed bikes that are poorly designed. If you are shopping for an 18 inch kids bike, we highly recommend shopping for a 20 inch bike instead.
The Raleigh MXR are Jazzi 20 inch bikes are similar in size and cost to Schwinn and RoyalBaby 18 inch bikes, but are several pounds lighter.
18 inch Bike Comparison Chart
|Bike Model||MSRP||Tire Size||Seat Height||Weight|
|ByK E350||$269||18"||18" - 23.3"||18 lb.|
|Joey 3.5||$199||18"||18" - 23"||18 lb.|
|Guardian Ethos 20" Small||$279||20"||20.8″ – 26.8″||20.7 lb.|
|RoyalBaby Freestyle||$175||18"||22.8" - 28"||28 lb.|
|Schwinn Koen||$179||18"||~22" - 27"||~26 lb.|
|Raleigh MXR 20||$190||20"||23.5" – 29.5″||22.8 lb.|
|Raleigh Jazzi 20||$190||20"||23″ – 29.5″||21.8 lb.|
Comparison Chart: 20 Inch Bikes for Kids
|Bike||MSRP||Weight||Min Seat Height||Max Seat Height||Brakes||Gears|
Single Speed Bikes
|Raleigh Jazzi 20|
|21.8 lb.||23″||29.5″||Coaster, rear hand||Single|
|Raleigh MXR 20|
|21.8 lb.||23.5″||29.5″||Coaster, rear hand||Single|
|Schwinn Koen||$199||27.8 lb.||24.5"||20"||Coaster, Dual Hand||Single|
|REI Co-Op REV||$209||21 lb.||22.5"||28"||Coaster, right hand||Single|
|17 lb.||21.25″||26″||Dual hand||Single|
|$425||19.1 lb.||21″||26.4″||Dual hand||Single|
|17.1 lb.||20"||Dual hand||Single|
Neighborhood Geared Bikes
|Polygon Premier Ultralight||$299||20.75 lb.||21.25"||27.25"||Dual Hand||7/Shimano Grip|
|Vitus 20||$339||19.7 lb.||22.5″||27.75″||Dual Hand||7/Shimano Trigger|
|20.8 lb.||23.2″||28.7″||Coaster, Dual hand||3/Internally geared|
|22.9 lb.||22.5″||28.5"||SureStop||6/Shimano Grip|
|19.5 lb.||22"||28.5"||Dual hand||3/Grip, internal hub|
|Cannondale Quick||$435||20.2 lb.||Dual Hand||7/Shimano Tourney|
|Guardian Airos 20" - Large||$459||21.2 lb.||22.5"||28.5"||SureStop||6/Shimano Grip|
|Ridgeback Dimension||$499||20.9 lb.||Dual Hand||7/Shimano Rapid Fire|
Multi-Use: Paved and Mild Dirt Trails Geared Bikes
|21 lb.||25.25″||29.9″||Dual hand||6/Shimano Grip|
|21 lb.||25.25″||29.9″||Dual hand||6/Shimano Grip|
|REI Co-Op REV Plus||$339||24.9 lb.||22"||28.25"||Mech disc||6/Shimano grip|
|17.9 lb.||22.1″||28"||Dual hand||8/SRAM Grip|
|19.4 lb.||22"||Dual hand||8/Shimano Trigger|
|19.3 lb.||20"||Dual hand||8/Shimano Trigger|
|20.3 lb.||22.5″||27.5"||Dual hand||7/SRAM grip|
|18.9 lb.||20.7″||25.5″||Dual hand||8/ Shimano Trigger|
Why trust us? The kids riding bikes in the pictures below are our kids (as well as some neighborhood kids). We put bikes to the test – we don’t just rate them based on what others have said about them. Plus, with 9 years of bike testing under our belt, we’ve personally met and consulted with many top brands in the industry including woom, Strider, Prevelo and Cleary.