Kids 20 Inch Bikes: 12 Best Bikes for 6 and 7 Year Olds

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 fifty 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 what size bike your child needs? Be sure to check out our kids bike sizes guide.

Our Top 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.

Bike Why We Love It Price
Budget Friendly Bikes
Guardian 20 Single Speed SureStop Braking System, 1 speed $289
Retrospec Koda 2 Plus 20 Fun colors, no coaster brake, 1 speed $179
Polygon Premier Ultralight 7-speed, lightweight quality build $279
Neighborhood Bikes: Better for Mainly Paved Riding
Guardian 20 Geared SureStop Braking System, 6 speeds $319
Specialized Jett 20 Comfy, smooth ride, trigger shifters $350
Priority Start 20 Modern styling, low maintenance belt drive $379
woom 4 Super light weight, great fit over time $599
Adventurous Riders: Paved and Dirt Trails
Polygon Ultralight MTB Lightweight, 1x gearing, suspension fork $279
Prevelo Alpha Three Light weight, trigger shifters $569
True Trail Bikes
To see true mountain bikes like the woom OFF, check out our 20 inch Kids Mountain Bike list
*Not recommended for use with included training wheels

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 BIKES ON A BUDGET

Should I get a single-speed bike or a geared bike?

Single speed bikes are usually much cheaper than bikes with gears, but that’s not the only reason to consider a single speed bike. Some kids simply aren’t 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 be quite finicky and often require pricey repairs. So unless your child needs gears to tackle hills or longer-distance rides, single-speed bikes are not only less expensive, they are much easier to maintain.

Guardian Bikes 20 Single Speed

Innovative SureStop Braking System

7-year-old riding Guardian Ethos 20" Small bike in black and red
  • MSRP: $289
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 21.3″ – 26.8″
  • WEIGHT: 20.7 lb.
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Guardian’s patented SureStop braking system allows kids to brake faster, safer, and with less effort!
  • FULL REVIEWGuardian Bikes 20″

From their low-center-of-gravity designs and lightweight frames to their impressive 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!

The 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.

The Guardian 20″ small is only offered as a single speed, and is slightly smaller than Guardian’s 20″ large bike, which has gears.

Retrospec Koda 2 Plus 20

Dual hand brakes and NO coaster brake for a super low price

Girl riding Retrospec Koda 2 Plus single speed in the street
  • MSRP: $179
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 21.5″ – 27.5″
  • WEIGHT: 23.7 lb.
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Solid quality dual handbrakes, and NO coaster brake!
  • FULL REVIEW: Retrospec Koda 2 Plus

Dual hand brakes and NO coaster brake for under $200? It’s a miracle! The Retrospec Koda 2 Plus 20’s braking system offers brake levers that are easy enough for small hands to pull, and stopping power that’s quite respectable. We were honestly shocked to find such a solid braking system at this price point.

Offered in several bright color combinations, this Koda has a retro flair that’s cool and comfortable to ride. When your kid is on the smaller end of fitting on the bike, make sure to rotate those handlebars down to make them easier for little ones to reach. But even so, they may need a little time to adjust to the wide handlebars.

Note: While the brakes work great once adjusted, we did have to adjust the front brake before it worked properly.

REI Co-Op REV 20 Single Speed

Lightweight bike with 1 year free, basic maintenance

Child racing her REI REV 20 kids bike
  • MSRP: $279
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 21.9″ – 27″
  • WEIGHT: 22 lb.
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Lightweight bike offering great quality for the price
  • FULL REVIEW: REI Co-Op REV

*IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: We do NOT recommend using this bike with the included training wheels. Several customers have recently left reviews on REI’s website indicating that the training wheels can loosen and come off while a child is riding. While this was not our experience, we trust that it has been theirs.

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.

The updated 2022 model features a riser handlebar that can be rotated towards or away from the rider to more accurately fit smaller and taller kids. As a result, it’s a much better fit than the previous model of this bike. Be aware that like most kids bikes in the $200 price range, the REV does have a coaster brake, but it also has a good-quality rear Tektro handbrake that works quite well.

REI offers 1 year free basic maintenance for any bike purchased at its stores or online.

Polygon Premier Ultralight 20

Great performance for paved or light trails7 speed

6 year old riding the Polygon Premiere 20 inch kids bike
  • MSRP: $249
  • 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 newer 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 have less than $300 to spend and are looking for a geared 20″ bike, you won’t get a better bike than the Polygon.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD 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 suspension 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. Do they need gears? Many kids this age won’t even use gears if they have them, so unless you will be tackling hills frequently, a geared bike is a bonus, but certainly isn’t necessary.

Guardian Bikes 20 Inch 6-Speed

Innovative SureStop braking system

6 year old girl riding Guardian 20 inch bike with gears
  • MSRP: $319
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 28.5″ (both models)
  • WEIGHT: 22.9 lb.
  • GEARS: 6-speed
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Proprietary braking systems help kids brake with more control
  • FULL REVIEWGuardian Bikes 20

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.

These 20″ bikes offer incredible quality and riding experience for a price that really can’t be beat, and are offered in several kid-friendly colors and designs. The 20″ Large is only offered with 6-speeds, and is slightly larger than the single-speed 20″ Small.

Priority Start 20″

Simplified 3-speed shifting, modern styling, maintenance-free belt drive

young boy riding a blue priority bicycles 20 inch kids bike
  • MSRP: $379
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 22″ – 28.5″
  • WEIGHT: 19.5 lb.
  • GEARS: 3-speed
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: 3 gears for an easy intro to shifting, low-maintenance belt drive
  • FULL REVIEWPriority 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. It’s also a much simpler introduction to shifting on a child’s first geared bike!

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.

Specialized Jett

Super comfy ride, trigger shifters

6 year old riding 20 inch Specialized Jett bike
  • MSRP: $350
  • WEIGHT: 17.6 lb.
  • GAIN RATIO: 2.0 – 6.3
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Comfortable saddle, wider tires provide a smooth ride, kid-friendly trigger shifters
  • FULL REVIEWSpecialized Jett (24″ Review)

The Jett is a vast improvement on Specialized’s original neighborhood bike series for kids – the Hotrock. Exceptionally built to offer a comfortable riding experience, mostly everything about the Jett is an upgrade from earlier days.

The Jett’s smooth rolling tires have extra width to provide extra cushion, and the padded saddle has been a surprise hit with our kid testers.

The gearing system was designed with a nice range for climbing hills or gaining speed on flat ground, and features easy-to-use trigger shifters that make changing gears a breeze. To top it all off, the Jett’s responsive handbrakes stop on a dime, and there is NO coaster brake!

While the Jett is marketed as a bike that offers extended growth for kids, we didn’t find that to be true with the Jett 20. It offers about the same amount of growth as our other favorites bikes on this page. (The 24″ Jett is a bit different and does offer extended growth.)

woom 4

Ultimate lightweight, efficient bike for young riders

Child standing over woom 4 20" kids bike on a bridge
  • MSRP: $599
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 22.1″ – 28″
  • WEIGHT: 17.9 lb.
  • GEARS: 8 speed
  • 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 too straight up) that helps kids feel stable and confident as they ride. The woom 4’s unique handlebar design allows the handlebars to be raised or lowered for a better fit as kids grow.

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 climbing rolling hills.  Comes in several fun color options.

BEST 20 INCH BIKE FOR ADVENTUROUS RIDERS

What We Look for in a Multi-Use Bike

Multi-use bikes are ideal for adventurous and aggressive kids. They 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 confident, 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.

Polygon Ultralight MTB

Lightweight, 1x drivetrain, suspension fork

child riding the Polygon ultralight MTB
  • MSRP: $299
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 22″ – 27.5″
  • WEIGHT: 22.7 lb.
  • GEARS: 7-speed
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: 2.1″ wide knobby Kenda tires, 40mm Suntour suspension fork, cushioned saddle
  • FULL REVIEW: Polygon Ultralight

With the look of a true mountain bike, but without the expense, the Polygon Ultralight is the perfect bike for young riders with the desire to hit the dirt trails (or who just want to look like they’re going to 😜). Coming standard with a 40mm suspension fork, 7 speeds, wide and knobby tires, and powerful brakes, this Polygon certainly isn’t just for show and is plenty capable of conquering basic dirt trails.

Another standout feature of the Polygon is its light weight. Although 22.7 lb. isn’t as light as other bikes on this list (but still lighter than the REI), it is very light considering its lower price point as well as its suspension fork. Since young riders are lightweight themselves, it’s important to provide them a bike that is nimble enough to work with them, versus working against them due to heavy weight.

Compared to the Prevelo, the Polygon isn’t as fine-tuned. While Prevelo only has one more gear than the Polygon, it has a much wider gear range better suited for climbing hills or picking up speed on straightaways. The Prevelo also has a higher-end drivetrain with kid-specific Microshift components.

Prevelo Alpha Three

Confidence builder for developing trail riders

Child riding Prevelo Alpha Three 20 inch bike on a dirt trail
  • MSRP: $569
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 21″ – 26″
  • WEIGHT: 18.4 lb.
  • GEARS: 8-speed
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Lightweight and nimble, trigger shifters for aggressive riders
  • FULL REVIEWPrevelo 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 Three is the ultimate ride.

Built to help develop the budding cyclist, the Prevelo comes equipped with kid-friendly Microshift trigger shifters, a narrow drivetrain to optimize pedal efficiency, a wide 8-speed gear range, as well as short-reach Tektro hand brakes.

When it’s time to hit the trails, the Alpha Three’s knobby Kenda Small Block 8 tires provide plenty of grip and traction. For those young shredders ready to take on more challenging terrain, the Alpha Three is able to run up to 2.1″ wide tires.

HONORABLE MENTION 20 INCH BIKES

We’ve tested dozens of 20″ bikes over the years, so not all of them can make our top favorites list. Here are a few more that you may want to consider.

Cleary Owl

Rugged rig for aggressive neighborhood riders

6 year old doing tricks in skate bowl on the Cleary Owl 20 inch kids bike
  • MSRP: $430
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 20.5″ – 26.1″
  • WEIGHT: 20.3 lb.
  • GEARS: Single speed and 3-speed options
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Semi-aggressive geometry for adventurous riders
  • FULL REVIEWCleary Owl

Designed with a more leaned-forward body position and a low gain ratio, the Cleary Owl is a durable, 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.  

The Owl’s low gearing is especially ideal for kids who will regularly be tackling hills or ramps. But because the gearing is so low, we don’t recommend the Owl if lots of long, paved rides are in the future.

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. The Owl’s steel frame helps to absorb some of the vibrations from the trail while also adding to the long-term durability of this rugged little pony.

We found the 3-speed Owl to be very difficult for little hands to engage the trigger shifters. As a result, we much prefer the single speed option.

Pello Rover

7 year old riding the pello rover 20 inch kids bike on gravel
  • MSRP: $559
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 27.5″
  • WEIGHT: 20.3 lb.
  • GEARS: 8-speed
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Mechanical disc brakes, wide tires with flat knobs suitable for both trail and pavement
  • FULL REVIEWPello 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 wider, high-end Kenda Small Block 8 tires (20 x 1.95), the Pello has the extra grip to tackle rough terrain, while still allowing for smooth rolling on paved surfaces.

With superior stopping power from mechanical disc brakes, Rapidfire trigger shifters, and a lightweight build, the Rover stands ready to take on whatever your young ripper can throw at it.

Pello Reddi

Confidence inspiring design, high gain ratio for higher speeds

  • MSRP: $449
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 21.25″ – 26″
  • WEIGHT: 17 lb.
  • GAIN RATIO: 4.11 (single speed)
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Comfortable, upright positioning, high gain ratio for higher speeds
  • FULL REVIEWPello 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 steady ride with a comfortable upright position, and the simplicity of just a single gear.

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.

Decathlon Btwin Rockrider ST100 and Original 100

Best budget bikes for neighborhood riderssingle speed

decathlon btwin rockrider 20 inch bike for kids
  • MSRP: $279 (Rockrider ST100 – specs below for Rockrider)
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 23.25″ – 30.25″
  • WEIGHT: 24.3 lb.
  • SINGLE SPEED GAIN RATIO: 3.6
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Quality build for the price, exceptional brakes for a budget bike
  • FULL REVIEW: Btwin Rockrider ST100 20 inch, Btwin Original

Decathlon’s Btwin Rockrider ST100 and Original 100 bikes offer a high quality of build and overall performance with a budget-friendly price tag. From their smooth handling and responsive handbrakes (that rarely need adjusting!), to their lifetime warranty on the frames, Decathlon’s bikes are more like mid-range bikes masquerading as budget bikes.

The Rockrider bike models have a traditional mountain bike style frame and come complete with knobby air tires and dual-hand brakes with no coaster brake. The base ST100 model (shown above) is single-speed, while the higher-end ST500 and ST900 models are geared.

Raleigh Jazzi

Lightweight and great durability for its price

Raleigh Jazzi 20 in action
  • MSRP: $210
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 23″ – 29.5″
  • WEIGHT: 21.8 lb.
  • GAIN RATIO: 4
  • STANDOUT FEATURES: Decent build for a pretty great price
  • FULL REVIEW: Raleigh Jazzi 20

Impressively built to withstand multiple kids, yet still lightweight and affordable, Raleigh’s Jazzi 20 is an exceptional bike 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 Jazzi was well-loved by our testers.

Compared to other bikes at their price point, the Jazzi is several pounds lighter, which makes it much easier for kids to balance and maneuver. The Jazzi does 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.

Schwinn Koen/Elm

Best 18 Inch Bike Option

boy riding on a red schwinn koen 20 inch smartstart bike
  • MSRP: $199
  • 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 one of the decent 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.

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.

If you’re interested in bikes specifically for dirt trails and singletrack, our 9 Best 20 Inch Mountain Bikes article will be more helpful to you.

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.

7 year old riding the rei rev co-op plus 20 inch kids bike on a trail

In addition to wheel size, pay close attention to the minimum and maximum seat height as they can vary widely between brands. All of the bikes shown above have 20 inch wheels, but fit different size kids.

For example, the Prevelo Alpha Three has a 21″ minimum seat height while the Raleigh Rowdy 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.  Vanity suspension forks on a 20 inch bike, however, can add A LOT of unnecessary weight to a bike.  Suspension 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 more leaned forward position.

Aggressive vs. Neighborhood Bike

Side by side comparison of Prevelo Alpha Three and woom 4, comparing body position of rider. Prevelo is more leaned forward, while Woom is more upright

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.  Good quality 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.

child hand pulling a brake on the raleigh rowdy kids bike

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.

But 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 (or racing friends!) as the bike gains more distance with every pedal stroke.

7 year old boy riding an orange pello rover kids 20 inch bike

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 cost a lot more. Why? Building lightweight, quality bikes isn’t easy. 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 should be considered as investments as they typically have a very high resale value.

After having tested over 50 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, our favorite 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, purple, and teal models. 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″ bikes, 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 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 exceptions as they are sized more like a 16-inch-bike. BUT the 18 inch bikes from 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.

Why trust us? The kids riding bikes in the pictures in this article 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 13 years of bike testing under our belt, we’ve personally met and consulted with many top brands in the industry including woom, Guardian, Strider, Prevelo, and Retrospec.

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