Kids 24 Inch Bikes: The 10 Best Bikes for 8 to 10 Year Olds

What’s the best 24 inch bike for kids? It depends on what type of riding you’ll be doing… Simple neighborhood adventures, jumping ramps in the front yard, long rides with the family, or tackling local dirt trails – there’s a 24 inch bike made for that!

Over the years we’ve tested almost forty 24 inch bikes with our own kids. We’ll help you understand what features you need for the best riding experience and why investing in a nicer bike really does make a huge difference. From the cheapest bikes to the most expensive, we’ve tested all the major brands out there.

24 inch bikes are typically the best fit for kids ages 8, 9 and 10, but be sure to check out our kids bike sizing guide if you are unsure about the best size bike for your child.

boy riding a woom 24 inch bike

Like adult bikes, kids 24 inch bikes can vary greatly in form and function. To help narrow your search, we have broken down our top picks into three categories.

Best 24 inch Bikes for Kids Ages 8 to 10

Bike Why We Love It MSRP
Budget-Friendly Bikes
Decathlon Rockrider 24 Great budget - Mountain bike styling $229
Decathlon Riverside 100, 24" Great budget - Hybrid street bike $248
Polygon Premier FLASH SALE $100 OFF $299
Neighborhood Bikes: Better for Mainly Paved Riding
Guardian Ethos/Airos SureStop braking system $429
woom 5 Super light weight $549
Priority Start 24 Grease free belt drive, simple shifting $449
Specialized Jett 24 Growth Spurt Proof! $600
Adventurous Riders: Better for Aggressive Riders Who Also Tackle Dirt Trails
REI Co-op REV Mid-fat tires kids love $273
Prevelo Alpha Four Light weight, 9-speed triggers $549
Polygon Premier XC FLASH SALE $150 OFF $299
Trek Precaliber 24 Easy bike shop tune-ups $469
Cleary Meerkat Super durable build $630
True Trail Bikes
See our 24 inch Mountain Bike list to learn more true mountain bikes such as the woom OFF.

For a more detailed comparison of these bikes, jump down to our 24 inch Bike Comparison Chart below.

Boys vs Girls 24 inch Bikes

It’s important to note that a boys 24 inch bike and a girls 24 inch bike are the same thing. All of the bikes on this list are for boys or girls, with the same frames and components. They do offer different color options, which are in an array of typical girl colors and gender neutral colors.

Best 24 Inch Bike Video Summary

Prefer watching over reading? Watch all of our favorite 24 inch bikes in action in the video below!

24 INCH BIKES ON A BUDGET

What We Look for in a Budget-Friendly Bike

There’s a reason you don’t see a Schwinn or Huffy on this list. Kids bikes traditionally sold at Walmart or Amazon are generally heavy, clunky, and a poor riding experience.

In the past few years, a select few budget-friendly brands have produced much needed change in the kids bike market. The Decathlon and Polygon bikes you see below are significantly better than any bike you will find at Walmart. They are lighter-weight, have better quality components, and are designed to make riding easier for kids.

Decathlon Btwin Rockrider ST100

Best on a Budget – Mountain Bike styling

btwin rockrider 24 inch kids bike

If you’re on a tight budget, the Rockrider ST100 is hands down the best bang for your buck 24 inch bike. Unlike similarly-priced bikes sold at big box stores, the Rockrider has top-notch brakes that are ridiculously easy to use, a responsive grip shifter, as well as a clean, classic mountain bike styling that appeals to a wide range of kids. Assembly was also a breeze as you just need to install the front wheel and the pedals!

PROS:

  • Great quality for the price, and better than big-box stores
  • Brakes are VERY easy to engage and worked great right out of the box
  • Grip shifters are easy to use
  • Protective derailleur cage to help prevent expensive repairs
  • Knobby all-terrain tires that provide plenty of traction as well as the look of a “real mountain bike”

CONS:

  • On the heavier side, but lighter than similarly-priced budget bikes

Decathlon Riverside 100, 24″

Best on a Budget – Hybrid Street Bike

boy jumping a Riverside 24 inch hybrid kids bike
  • MSRP: $248
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 27.25″ – 34″
  • WEIGHT: 29 lb.

For those planning on sticking mainly to the pavement, Decathlon’s Riverside 100 Hybrid bike pairs smooth-rolling tires with a mountain bike style frame to create the ideal city bike for young riders on a budget. The Riverside comes standard with 6-gears with a grip shifter as well as a kickstand.

The Riverside 100 is currently only available through Walmart. Also, the listing on Walmart states that the bike comes with battery-powered lights and a bell. We believe this is a typo as the bike we received did not.

For more great city options, Decathlon also sells their “Original” model directly on their site for $229. It is a bit heavier than the Riverside and has more of a traditional frame. A pink and navy version with fenders and a basket is also available for $249.

PROS:

  • Smooth street tires for a smooth ride on paved surfaces
  • Great quality and performance for the price
  • Easy to use brakes that work great right out of the box
  • Thick padded saddle
  • Grip shifters are easy to engage
  • Gender-neutral styling

CONS:

  • Only comes in white
  • On the heavier side, but lighter than similarly-priced budget bikes

Polygon Premier Ultralight Urban

Great quality and performance with a budget-friendly price tag

9 year old boy riding a 24 inch bike

New to the US, but not to the biking world, Polygon Bikes offers top-notch bikes with quality components at an affordable price.  Their new Premier Ultralight 24 inch bike is no exception and comes fully spec’ed with a Shimano drivetrain, Kenda tires, and Promax brake levers. 

Paired with a lightweight aluminum frame with confidence-building geometry, the Premier is a great bike for young riders ready to tackle everything from cruises around the neighborhood to longer rides on compact dirt trails.

PROS:

  • Low minimum seat height
  • Budget-friendly price tag with free shipping
  • Modern graphics on a lightweight aluminum frame
  • Easy to assemble and all bikes are quality checked before shipping
  • Comes with derailleur cage and kickstand
  • 1.75″ wide all-terrain Kenda tires

CONS:

  • Only available in two color options
  • Shimano Tourney shifter can be hard to use for some kids
  • Lower max gear ratios for those riding on long flat trails

24 INCH BIKES FOR NEIGHBORHOOD RIDERS

What We Look for in a Neighborhood Bike

Whether riding down to a friend’s house or heading out on a long ride with the family, neighborhood bikes are designed for kids who mainly stick to paved surfaces.  With smoother or narrower tires and slightly more upright body positioning than multi-use bikes, these neighborhood bikes are fun and natural to ride.

With a focus more on simplicity for the average kid rider, these 24 inch bikes feature easy to use grip shifters, less gearing options, and v-brakes. They also boast exceptional quality that will allow you to pass these bikes down to several kids, or resell them for a good price.

Guardian Ethos/Airos

Innovative braking system, easy-to-use grip shifters

9 year old girl riding a girls 24 inch bike
  • MSRP: $429/$529
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 25″ – 33″
  • WEIGHT: 23 lbs.(Airos), 25.5 lb. (Ethos)
  • READ MORE: Guardian 24 inch Review

You wouldn’t think that brakes on a kid’s bike would be a big deal, but Guardian Bikes prove otherwise. Their proprietary SureStop braking system helps kids of all riding abilities feel more confident and less anxious, whether they’re riding to their friend’s house or across town.

With just one brake lever that sequentially engages the rear brake followed by the front brake, timid kids feel more secure, and aggressive kids have the added stopping power they need.

PROS:

  • Patented SureStop braking system for faster and more controlled braking
  • Grip shifters provide smooth shifting (7-speed)
  • Low center-of-gravity design for better balance and maneuverability
  • Fun, kid-approved designs
  • Free shipping!

CONS:

  • Slightly heavier, and components aren’t as high-end as some of the other bikes on this list

woom 5

Super lightweight, confidence-building bike

  • MSRP: $529
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 26.4″ – 32.3″
  • WEIGHT: 18.1 lbs.
  • READ MORE: woom 5 Review

The woom 5’s combination of a super lightweight frame, a more upright body position, and a wide gearing range make this bike the most natural and easy ride of any 24 inch bike we’ve tested. Its uniquely designed handlebar allows for height adjustments to make the woom 5 a better fit for a longer period of time.

Its slightly knobbier tires also make the woom ideal for riding on various surfaces. Because it’s so versatile in use, it’s especially great for young riders who have a love for bike riding, but haven’t seriously committed to road or aggressive trail riding. The woom 5 is a solid, does-it-all bike for your budding bike enthusiast.

PROS:

  • Lightweight with a low minimum seat height
  • Wide range of gears (8-speed) for tackling various terrains and elevations
  • Low center-of-gravity geometry for better balance and maneuverability
  • Easy-to-use grip shifters and other high-end components
  • Gorgeous, and with a nice variety of colors available

CONS:

Priority Start 24

Simplified and very-low maintenance gearing system

9 year old girl riding a girls 24 inch bike

Intelligently designed with just three simple gears and a grease-free belt drive, the Priority Start 24 makes kids’ biking adventures simpler and easier (and more maintenance-free for parents!).

The Start boasts beautiful lines and an impressive paint job along with multi-terrain tires that accommodate everyone from timid to aggressive riders. The Priority Start is truly the full package for your neighborhood rider.

PROS:

  • 3-speed internally geared hub keeps shifting simple and is very low maintenance
  • Grease-free, rust-free, essentially maintenance-free belt drive
  • Multi-terrain tires for a wide variety of uses
  • Soft and cushioned saddle
  • Dual v-pull hand brakes
  • Soft, cushioning grips
  • Gorgeous paint job – comes in 3 color options

CONS:

  • 3 gears is limiting for riders who may advance to more aggressive riding

Specialized Jett 24

Growth Spurt Proof! Fits kids longer than other bikes.

Girl riding Specialized Jett kids bike through cones

An exceptional bike all-around, the Specialized Jett is a quality bike with top-notch components that is not only build to last, but is also built to fit much longer than other 24″ bikes!

After years of study and research, the Jett was uniquely designed to provide about 3″ of additional room for growth as compared to other bikes. After testing the 24″ Jett out on 8 different kids, we found it to properly fit on heights ranging from 51″ to 62″ (many 24″ bikes max out around 59″).

In addition to being a great fit, the Jett is a blast to ride. All of our testers loved the fun, smooth, and nimble ride of the Jett and preferred it over many other bikes in our test fleet. Both our timid and aggressive riders loved the Jett’s 2.0″ wide tires that help to cushion the ride, as well as the quick and responsive trigger shifters.

Lastly, while the Jett is available online, you can also order it through your local bike shop and then pick it up already assembled!

PROS:

  • Built-in adjustability to allow kids to properly fit and ride the Jett for longer than most bikes
  • Lightweight, aluminum construction
  • Easy-to-use trigger shifters (on geared 20″ and 24″)
  • Smooth-rolling tires that provide plenty of cushion and traction
  • Quality build that will hold up through several kids
  • Support and assembly from your local Specialized dealer if needed (bikes also shipped direct to you if you prefer!)
  • Cushioned child-size saddle with numbered seat post for a precise fit
  • Narrow q-factor for efficient pedaling
  • Ergonomic handlebar grips

CONS:

  • Higher cost
  • Fit Tool suggestions aren’t as dialed as we would like

24 INCH BIKES FOR ADVENTUROUS RIDERS

What We Look for in a Multi-Use Bike for Aggressive Riders on Paved and Dirt Trails

For adventurous kids who need a bike suitable for occasionally (or frequently!) hitting dirt trails, these multi-use bikes are the perfect choice.

These kids bikes feature either wider and knobby tires for better traction on various surfaces, or a more aggressive positioning on the bike.  This positioning on the bike allows kids to more easily shift their weight around while speeding up a jump or going through a tight turn – whether on pavement or dirt.

These 24 inch bikes also feature one or more of the following features: rapid fire trigger shifters for faster gear changes, disc brakes for top-notch stopping power, or a basic coil suspension fork to make neighborhood tricks like bunny hops a bit easier.

REI Co-Op REV

Great quality and build for the price

9 year old boy riding REI Co Op Cycles REV 24 Plus recreational mountain bike

REI offers solid-quality kids’ bikes at a very decent price. Built on a durable frame equipped with mechanical disc brakes and 2.6″ wide cushioning tires, the REI Co-Op Cycles REV 24 Plus is a great entry-level trail bike that also excels around the neighborhood.

This bike is also an affordable option for families who want a good “base bike” for upgrading to make it more trail-worthy.

PROS:

  • Quality bike for a very decent price
  • Sturdy frame and 2.6″ wide tires great for exploring the neighborhood or basic trails
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes offer solid stopping power
  • Local REI pick up and return guarantees

CONS:

  • Heavy
  • Hard grips
  • Handlebars may be too wide for some riders (you can cut them down though)

Prevelo Alpha Four

Best for Aggressive Riders & Basic Trail Riders

young boy riding the prevelo alpha four 24 inch bike

Lightweight, quick, and ridiculously nimble, the Prevelo Alpha Four is the ultimate ride for young riders regularly riding on paved and non-paved surfaces. From pounding out the mileage on long rides with the family or hitting up the local DIY dirt jumps, the Alpha delivers an exceptional, confidence-building ride.

Specced with trigger shifters as well as 9 gears with a wide gain ratio range, the Prevelo is easy to shift on the fly and even easier to power up hills or lay down the speed on long straightaways. When it comes time to slow down, the Alpha’s Tektro v-brakes offer quick and responsive stopping power.

PROS:

  • Lightweight, low step-through frame
  • Low center-of-gravity for better balance
  • Narrow Q-factor for maximum leverage on pedals
  • 24 x 1.5 Kenda Small Black Eight knobby tires
  • Top quality components

CONS:

  • Trigger shifters can be challenging for some kids

Polygon Premier MTB

Lightweight build with a knobby tires and a coil suspension fork

Polygon Premier Ultralight XC 24 inch mountain bike
  • MSRP: $449
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 25.5″ – 32″
  • WEIGHT: 25.7 lb. (w/ kickstand, pedals and derailleur cage)
  • READ MORE: Polygon Premier Kids Bike

Whether your child simply loves the look of a suspension fork or if they are all about hitting small jumps and blasting over curbs, the Polygon Premier MTB is right up their alley. Coming equipped with a 2.1″ wide all-terrain tires and a 50mm coil suspension fork, the MTB provides just enough grit for adventurous riders, but without breaking the bank.

Compared to other multi-use, trail-friendly bikes on this list, the Polygon MTB’s lower price point does result in a narrower range of gears, but for typical neighborhood and basic dirt rides, the gear range of the Polygon is plenty.

PROS:

  • Low minimum seat height
  • Budget-friendly price tag with free shipping
  • Modern graphics on a lightweight aluminum frame
  • Easy to assemble and all bikes are quality checked before shipping
  • Comes with derailleur cage and kickstand
  • 2.1″ wide all-terrain Kenda tires

CONS:

  • Only available in two color options
  • Shimano Tourney shifter can be hard to use for some kids
  • Lower max gear ratios for those riding on long flat trails

Trek Precaliber 24

Mountain bike look and feel with optional casual-use suspension

9 year old boy riding a red trek precaliber 24 inch bike
  • MSRP: $409/$439 (with suspension)
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 26″ – 30.5″
  • WEIGHT: 25.5 lb., 26.5 lb. (with suspension)
  • READ MORE: Trek Precaliber 24

Featuring the look and feel of a real mountain bike, but without the costly components of a true mountain bike, the Trek Precaliber 24 is a win-win for parents and kids. With 2.25″ wide tires and an optional front suspension fork, the Precaliber is the perfect ride for the adventurous neighborhood rider who is eager to tackle both paved and dirt trails.

With its lower-end components and “casual-use only” fork, the Precaliber is not designed for hitting true single track trails, but it excels at neighborhood dirt trails as well as jumping curbs and small jumps.

PROS:

  • Available with or without suspension
  • Suspension is functional for around town but is not ridiculously heavy (adds about 1.5 lb.)
  • Four different color options
  • Assembly and tune-ups available at local bike shop

CONS:

  • Low-end components (Shimano Tourney, non-branded brakes)

Cleary Meerkat 24

Ultimate Durability with Top-notch Performance

9 year old boy riding the cleary meerkat 24 inch bike

With a 5-speed internally geared hub, hydraulic disc brakes, and a durable steel frame, the Meerkat is a uniquely rugged bike that has a lot to offer kids riding on various terrains. The Meerkat is derailleur-free, which allows for more time for riding and a lot less time doing maintenance.

With top-notch Tektro hydraulic disc brakes that are usually reserved for true mountain bikes, the Meerkat offers plenty of stopping power for added confidence and safety. To smooth the ride, the Meerkat is the only bike on this list to feature a steel frame that helps to absorb vibrations and chatter from the trail. The heavier frame, however, makes it less suitable for really timid riders.

PROS:

  • Provides a smooth ride that our testers loved
  • Internally geared hub – no finicky derailleur
  • Steel vibration-absorbing frame
  • Responsive Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Highly adaptable frame – can convert to a regular derailleur and is suspension corrected to maintain geometry if suspension fork is added

CONS:

  • Heavier than similarly-priced bikes
  • Fewer gears less ideal for true trail riding

MORE BIKES TO KEEP ON YOUR RADAR

Due to the massive supply chain issues due to COVID, some of these bikes currently aren’t available, but we still love them!

Decathlon Rockrider ST900

Great entry level priced bike with quality components!

Decathlon Rockrider ST900 24 inch kids bike

An excellent beginning mountain bike with a family-friendly price tag, the Rockrider is an excellent value for the young, ambitious rider. Whether your grom is flying off curbs, small dirt jumps, or tackling basic single track, the ST900’s Suntour XCT fork offers plenty of cushioning.

Got a speed demon? With 8-gears paired with Shimano Altus trigger shifters, the Rockrider has plenty of gears with reliable shifting. What about stopping power? No question here as mechanical disc brakes offer plenty of responsive stopping power with easy to reach brake levers.

PROS:

  • Shimano Altus trigger shifters, 8-speeds
  • SUNTOUR XCT suspension fork with 80 mm of travel
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Lifetime warranty on frame

CONS:

  • Not as lightweight as we would like

Frog 62

Highly adjustable fit

9 year old riding a red frog 62 24 inch bike
  • MSRP: $610
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 26″ – 32.5″
  • WEIGHT: 20.3 lbs.
  • READ MORE: Frog 62 Review

Hailing from bike enthusiast parents in the UK, Frog Bikes is another kid-focused bike brand that designs their bikes top-to-bottom for kids. 

The components on the Frog are top notch – like Tektro v-brakes and Shimano trigger shifters.  To top it off, the Frog is one of the few 24 inch bikes that is compatible with a rear rack for bike commuting. It also comes in 7 different colors and patterns!

PROS:

  • Versatile for everyday riding, mild all-terrain, and longer distances
  • Highly adjustable headset, stem length, and saddle height for a precision fit
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Tektro short-reach levers are responsive and easy to activate
  • Tons of color options

CONS:

  • Trigger shifters can be difficult for some kids to master

Pello Reyes

Mechanical disc brakes, can upgrade to suspension fork

9 year old riding a Pello reyes 24 inch bike on a bike path
  • MSRP: $639 **PRE-ORDER NOW**
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 25.25″ – 31″
  • WEIGHT: 21.9 lbs., 24 lbs. with air fork
  • FULL REVIEW: Pello Reyes Review

From paved bike trails to smooth-rolling single-track, the Reyes is the ultimate multi-trick pony for the adventurous 8 to 10-year olds.  Built with a lightweight and nimble frame, Tektro mechanical-disc brakes, a responsive Cane Creek headset, and topped with 9-speeds controlled by a Shimano trigger shifter, the Reyes is a phenomenally versatile bike. 

Taking it one step further, the Reyes comes equipped with 24 x 1.95″ Kenda Small Block 8 tires that offer plenty of bite for dirt trails, but are low profile enough to provide a smooth ride on pavement.

Have a true grom on your hands?  Convert the Reyes into the ultimate trail bike by going tubeless (rims are tubeless compatible) and for $249 add on an RST F1RST air fork at purchase (geometry is suspension corrected).  At $888 total, it’s a super affordable and legit trail bike option.

PROS:

  • High-end components including Cane Creek headset, Kenda tires, and Tektro disc brakes with kid-sized hand levers
  • 9 speed Shimano trigger shifter
  • Versatile in use – lightweight also makes it suitable for long distance rides
  • With optional upgrades including suspension fork and dropper post, you can easily convert the Reyes to a full-blown mountain bike

CONS:

  • Lowest gear could be lower for extended climbing

Vitus Kids 24

Best Quality and Value Combo

9 year old boy jumping up a curb on his Vitus 24 inch bike
  • MSRP: $379 + shipping from UK
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 26″ – 32″
  • WEIGHT: 21.8 lbs.
  • READ MORE: Vitus Kids 24 Review

Lightweight and spec’d with high-quality components, the Vitus Kids Bikes are an impressive combo of quality and value. With Kenda Small Block 8 tires, these bikes move effortlessly from paved neighborhoods to basic dirt trails. The trigger shifters make the Vitus especially suited to more aggressive kids who seek after aggressive terrain and local adventures.

PROS:

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Solid quality components at a fair price
  • Padded saddle was loved by our test riders
  • Semi-upright body positioning is comfortable for new and aggressive riders
  • Trigger shifters are a plus for aggressive riders

CONS:

  • Trigger shifters can be challenging to learn for beginning riders
  • Shipping from the UK can range from about $50 – $150
  • Limited gear range: highest gear is lower than other brands

Raleigh Rowdy

Best on a Budget

8 year old boy riding a green boys 24 inch bike

As your child gets older, there are fewer bikes to choose from, and they get considerably more expensive. So what do you do if the high-end bikes are beyond your budget? Fortunately, you’re not completely out of luck! Raleigh offers well-designed, solid-quality kids’ bikes at a very decent price. With lower handlebars, the Rowdy is a more leaned-forward bike best suited for confident, adventurous, and aggressive riders.

PROS:

  • Quality bike for a very decent price
  • Sturdy frame and tires great for exploring off the paved trails
  • Lightweight compared to other budget 24 inch bikes

CONS:

  • Low/flat handlebars limit the “best use” to aggressive riders and limits the comfortable seat height range

ByK E-540x3i MTR

Mountain bike styling paired with an internally geared hub

child riding a ByK 350x3i kids bike
  • MSRP: $429
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 26″ – 30.1″
  • WEIGHT: 23.9 lb.
  • READ MORE: ByK MTR Review

Offering the look of a “mountain bike” yet with the ease-of-use of a city bike, the ByK E-540 is the perfect hybrid. Featuring a 3-speed internally geared hub, the ByK allows for quick and easy shifting, but without a finicky derailleur to worry about. With the gearing components located inside the hub of the rear wheel, they aren’t susceptible to being damaged like the gearing components on bike with traditional cassettes and derailleurs.

With thinner road/gravel tires, the ByK isn’t quite as trail-ready as other bikes on our list, but performed just fine on the compact dirt trails we put it to work on.

PROS:

  • Internally geared hub for essentially maintenance free shifting
  • Adjustable height-handlebar
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • 3 gears may be too limiting for some riders
  • Tires not ideal for dirt, but are suitable for gravel

Comparison Chart: 24 inch Bikes for Kids

Brand MSRP Wt. (lb.) Seat Height Brakes Gears
Neighborhood and Paved Trails
Guardian Ethos $429 25.5 25 - 33" SureStop 7, Grip
REI REV City $399 26.1 v-brake 7, Grip
Priority Start 24 $449 23.3 27 - 34.5" v-brake 3 in Hub
Guardian Airos $529 23 25 - 33" SureStop 7, Grip
Btwin Rockrider 24 $169 30.2 26″ – 33.5″ Dual Hand 6, Grip
Dimension 24 $450 20.9 v-brake 7, Trigger
Specialized Jett 24 $600 22.3 26.5″ – 35.5″ v-brake 8, Trigger
woom NOW 5 $799 26.5 26.4″ – 34″ Hyd Disc 8, Grip
Multi-Use: Paved Emphasis
Polygon Premier $399 23.1 25.5 - 31.5" v-brake 7, Grip
Trek Precaliber $409 26.5 26 - 30.5" v-brake 8, Grip
woom 5 $549 20.3 26.4 - 32.4" v-brake 8, Grip
Frog 62 $610 20.3 26 - 32.5" v-brake 8, Trigger
Multi-Use: Trail Emphasis
Vitus 24 $379 + ship 21.8 26 - 32" v-brake 8, Trigger
REI REV 24 Plus $439 28.2 Mech disc 7, Grip
Prevelo Alpha Four $539 21.2 25.8 - 31.2" v-brake 8, Trigger
Pello Reyes $639 21.9 25.3 - 31" Mech disc 9, Trigger
Cleary Meerkat $625 28.8 25 - 31.2" Hyd Disc 5 in Hub
True Trail Bikes
Vitus 24 Plus $479 + ship 25.5 26 - 31.5" Hyd Disc 7, Trigger
Cleary Scout $1,060 27 25 - 33" Hyd Disc 10, Trigger
woom OFF $849 18.9 28.2 - 33.3" Hyd Disc 9, Trigger
Prevelo Zulu Four $989 25.7 Hyd Disc 10, Trigger
woom OFF AIR $999 22.3 Hyd Disc 9, Trigger

How to Choose the Best 24 inch Bike for your 8 to 10-Year-Old

Here’s a quick summary of what to look for when selecting the best bike for your 8 to 10-year-old. For more detailed information on the topics below, check out our buying guide at the bottom of the article about the best kids bike brands on the market.

Sizing for 24 Inch Bikes

24 inch kids’ bikes are generally the best fit for 8, 9, and 10-year-olds or any child between 49″ and 59″ tall. If your child is already 11 or is a very tall 10-year-old, also consider 26″ bikes as they would offer more room for growth (although very few kids’ bikes come in 26″ tires). If a child starts on a 24 inch bike when they are 8 to 10, they can likely continue to ride it while they are 11 or even 12 years old.

Kids on 24 inch bikes are generally confident enough riders to set their seat about 2 – 3″ above the child’s inseam. At this height, a child can touch the ground with their tiptoes, which produces the best knee bend angle for pedaling with maximum efficiency.

As with all kids’ bikes, within a given wheel size category, the minimum and maximum seat heights of 24 inch bikes can vary.  The average minimum seat height of a 24 inch bike is around 25″ while the maximum average is about 31″.

side by side of the pello reyes and the woom 5 both 24 inch bikes

The height adjustability of 24 inch bike range from 5″ – 8″, which allows kids to ride 24 inch bikes much longer than other sizes. For example, the average 8-year-old should have plenty of room to grow with the bike until he turns 10 or even 11.

To ensure as much longevity as possible, be sure to compare your child’s inseam to the bike’s minimum seat height before your purchase.  The Pello Reyes on the left has a minimum seat height of a little over 25″ while the woom 5 on the right has a 26.4″ minimum seat height. Make sure that you choose a bike that not only fits well now, but allows for plenty of room for growth.

Weight – light is better, but more expensive

Ideally, your child’s bike will be less than 40% of their body weight. This ratio is more important when a child is younger and just learning to ride, but is still applicable for your 8 and 9-year-olds!   In most cases, the lighter the bike, the easier the bike is to ride.  The more aggressive and longer your child rides, the more important weight becomes as well.  If trail riding or any type of riding with varied elevation is in your child’s future, aim for a bike that is less than 30% of their weight.

In regards to weight, be cautious about purchasing a 24 inch bike with a shock as they can add a lot of unnecessary weight to a bike.  In most cases, the weight a shock adds to the bike quickly negates the benefits of having a shock. 

Best Frame Design – depends on riding style

The frames of all kids 24 inch bikes are designed for a specific type of riding.  Whether they are designed for the average neighborhood rider (most are), for long distances (road bike), or for single-track trail riding, be sure to know HOW you plan on using the bike before you purchase one.  Don’t expect your child’s neighborhood bike to perform well on single-track bike trails, or a mountain bike with front suspension to be a good fit for a 30-mile+ ride on paved surfaces.

Our “Best Of” list is mainly comprised of bikes we would classify as neighborhood bikes or light trail use, for which the vast majority of kids use a bike.  The geometry of these bikes, however, also vary greatly. Some place kids in a more upright position, which is better suited for more timid riders, while others place riders in a more aggressive, leaned forward position, which is better for more adventurous riders.

difference in bike geometry between 24 inch bikes

Brake Types are more varied on 24 inch bikes

Dual-hand brakes are the standard braking system on most 24 inch bikes.  A few will have coaster brakes, but for the most part, differences will be between what type of hand brake a bike has.  Braking systems include V-pull brakes, disc brakes (mechanical and hydraulic), and Guardian Bikes’ unique SureStop braking system.

V-Pull Brakes

Standard V-pull brakes work just fine for the mass majority of 8 to 11-year-olds, but the quality and performance of V-brakes varies from bike to bike.  High-quality, high-performing brakes are easy for kids to activate and don’t require them to exert a lot of pressure on the lever.

The brakes on higher-end bikes such as woom, Priority, Pello and Cleary are far superior to any handbrake found on a bike at a big box store.  These brands also feature short-reach levers that place the brake lever closer to their hand, only requiring kids to barely extend their fingers to activate the brake.

V-Pull vs. Disc Brake

v pull brake next to disc brakes

Guardian’s SureStop Brakes

Guardian’s unique patented braking system allows kids to activate both the rear and front brake with ONE brake lever.  Upon activating the single brake lever, the rear brake is activated, which is turn activates the front wheel’s brake.  As a result, it’s impossible for kids to “endo”, or be bucked off the bike by braking with only the front brake because the SureStop system prevents the front brake from being activated until after the rear brake has.

Gears – Common and more necessary on 24 inch bikes

Gears are not only fun to use, they’re essential to tackle long flat roads, hilly neighborhoods, dirt trails, and single track. By the time a child is 8 or 9-years-old, they’re probably tackling these terrains that make it beneficial to shift gears. They’re also at an age when they should be able to manage the complexity of shifting without too much trouble. And as they grow with the bike at 10 and 11-years-old, those gears will eventually become second nature.

side by side images of Pello Reyes and Prevelo Alpha Four 24 inch bike

24 inch bikes are typically available with 7 or 8 gears that are shifted with one shifter.  Unlike most adult bikes that have two shifters, one for each derailleur, kids’ bikes typically have fewer gears and just one derailleur.  Having to only worry about one shifter is much easier for kids as they can simply shift up or down without having to worry about which hand and which shifter to use.

Most 24 inch bikes are available with grip shifters, which kids activate by twisting the grip with the palm of their hand, or trigger shifters, which are activated by pulling or pushing on levers with their fingers.  In general, grip shifters are preferred by more timid or beginning riders as they are often easier and more intuitive to use.  Aggressive riders typically prefer trigger shifters.

Trigger vs Grip Shifter

trigger shifters versus grip shifters on a 24 inch bikes

Price

Parents sometimes get a little sticker shock when they start shopping for a 24 inch bike. A larger bike is just going to cost more in general, and as kids get older, components often get more advanced to keep up with a child’s more advanced riding.

Every bike on this list is pretty incredible and significantly better than a bike you’ll find at Walmart. But of course, they cost more! If your child truly loves riding, try to stick to the bikes on this list. If they are beyond your budget, try to find one used! But in the end, any bike is better than no bike at all, so do whatever it takes to keep your kid riding!


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