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 more than twenty 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 Bike for Kids Age 8 to 10

Why We Love ItMSRP
Neighborhood and Paved Riding Bikes
Decathlon Rockrider 24Great budget - mountain style$199
Decathlon Original 24Great budget - Street style$249
Guardian Ethos/AirosSureStop braking system$379/$479
Priority Start 24Simplified shifting$399
Multi-Use: Paved Emphasis
Polygon Premier Great quality for the price$349
Trek Precaliber 24Fun, light weight coil fork$389
ByK E-540x3i MTRInternally geared hub$429
woom 5Super light weight$529
Multi-Use: Trail Emphasis
Decathlon Rockrider ST900Suspension fork, trigger shifters$349
REI Co-op REV PlusMid-fat tires kids love$439
Prevelo Alpha FourLight weight, nimble ride$539
Cleary MeerkatSuper durable build$625
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 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 street tires and slightly more upright positioning than multi-use bikes, these neighborhood bikes are fun and natural to ride.

With focus more on simplicity rather than technical brawn, these bikes feature easy to use grip shifters, less gearing options, and v-brakes.

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 Btwin Original

Best on a Budget – City Bike Styling

girl riding the Decathlon btwin Original best 24 inch bike

For those planning on sticking mainly to the pavement, Decathlon’s Btwin Original Series offers a smooth ride, paired with quality brakes and a fun, classic look. Built with a quality frame with a lifetime warranty as well a smooth-shifting 6-speed grip shifter, the Btwin Original offers the pricing found in big-box stores with the quality of a bike shop bike!

The Original is also available without fenders and a basket for a lower-price point of $199.

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
  • Grip shifters are easy to engage

CONS:

  • Limited color selection
  • On the heavier side, but lighter than similarly priced budget bikes

Guardian Ethos/Airos

Innovative braking system, easy-to-use grip shifters

9 year old girl riding a girls 24 inch bike
  • MSRP: $379/$479
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 25″ – 33″
  • WEIGHT: 23 lbs.(Airos), 25.5 lb. (Ethos)
  • READ MORE: Guardian 24 inch Review

**SPECIAL OFFER – Buy 2 Guardian Bikes (any size), get $50 off!**

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

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

24 INCH BIKES FOR MULTI-USE: Paved Emphasis

What We Look for in a Multi-Use Bike: Paved

For kids riding mainly on paved trails, but who need a bike suitable for occasionally hitting dirt trails, these multi-use bikes are the perfect choice. These 24 inch bikes feature versatile tires that are knobby enough to grip dirt and rocks but also feature a flat centerline to allow for smooth rides along paved surfaces.

Compared to multi-use trail emphasis bikes, these bikes are slightly more upright, have v-brakes instead of disc brakes, and most have grip shifters vs. trigger shifters. If your child is a more aggressive rider, the bikes in the Trail emphasis may be a better option, even if they plan on riding mainly on paved surfaces.

Polygon Premier Ultralight

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

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: $359/$389 (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 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)

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 without 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

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 more upright position, a wider gearing range, and slightly wider tires makes it ideal for beginning to intermediate riders 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:

  • For some riders, the saddle can take some getting used to

MULTI-USE 24 INCH BIKES: Trail Emphasis

What We Look for in a Multi-Use Bike: Trail Emphasis

Compared to paved emphasis bikes, these trail emphasis bikes feature a slightly more aggressive, leaned in, body position.  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.

These bikes also feature one or more of the following features: wider and/or knobby tires for better traction on dirt, rapid fire trigger shifters for faster last minute gear changes, or disc brakes for top-notch stopping power.

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 young 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-geared 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

REI Co-Op REV Plus

Great quality and build for the price

8 year old riding the REI Rev plus 42 inch bike

REI offers solid-quality kids’ bikes at a very decent price. With lower handlebars, extra-wide tires and mechanical disc brakes, the REI Co-Op REV Plus is a well-designed trail bike that also happens to look super cool. The cheaper price, however, does come with drawbacks. The REV Plus is pretty heavy, so we wouldn’t recommend it for petite or really timid riders.

PROS:

  • Quality bike for a very decent price
  • Sturdy frame and plus sized tires great for exploring the neighborhood or basic trails
  • Local REI pick up and return guarantees

CONS:

  • Heavy
  • Basic disc brakes have limited stopping power – not meant for advanced mountain biking

Prevelo Alpha Four

Best for Aggressive Riders & Basic Trail Riders

8 year old riding the prevelo alpha four 24 inch bike

With a Shimano ALTUS 8-speed drivetrain, trigger shifters, and an aggressive body position, the Prevelo Alpha Four is the best of the lot for really aggressive riders and those just getting started on single-track. With 24 x 1.5″ Kenda Small Block Eight tires, the Alpha offers great traction for basic trail riding as well for adventurous riders who eagerly scout out every dirt jump in the neighborhood. For true mountain biking, Prevelo’s Zulu Four has an air fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and 10 speeds.

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 challenging for some kids

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, make 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

OUT OF STOCK BIKES TO KEEP ON YOUR RADAR

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

Frog 62

Highly adjustable fit and comes with 2 sets of tires

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.  Designed to be easily adaptable for all types of riders, the Frog 62 comes with two sets of tires.  A smoother tire with street tread comes standard on the 62, while an extra set of knobby tires come in the box for optional use.

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:

  • Comes with two sets of tires for any riding situation – hybrid and knobby, all-terrain
  • 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

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

Taking it one step further, the Reyes comes equipped with 24 x 1.95″ Kenda KRAD tires that provide a ton of bite for adventurers on packed 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 $140 add on a Spinner Grind Air fork at purchase (geometry is suspension corrected).  At $740 total, it’s a super affordable and legit trail bike option.

PROS:

  • High-end components including Cane Creek headset, Kenda Krad tires, and Tektro disc brakes with kid-sized hand levers
  • 9 speed Sram trigger shifter with super low gear to tackle gnarly hills
  • 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:

  • Higher price tag

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

Comparison Chart: 24 inch Bikes for Kids

BrandMSRPWt. (lb.)Seat HeightBrakesGears
Neighborhood and Paved Trails
Guardian Ethos$37925.525 - 33"SureStop7, Grip
REI REV City$39926.1v-brake7, Grip
Priority Start 24$39923.327 - 34.5"v-brake3 in Hub
Guardian Airos$4792325 - 33"SureStop7, Grip
Btwin Rockrider 24$19930.2 lb.26″ – 33.5″Dual Hand6, Grip
Dimension 24$49920.9v-brake7, Trigger
Specialized Jett 24$58022.326.5″ – 35.5″v-brake8, Trigger
Multi-Use: Paved Emphasis
Polygon Premier$34923.125.5 - 31.5"v-brake7, Grip
Trek Precaliber$37926.526 - 30.5"v-brake8, Grip
woom 5$52920.326.4 - 32.4"v-brake8, Grip
Frog 62$61020.326 - 32.5"v-brake8, Trigger
Multi-Use: Trail Emphasis
Vitus 24$379 + ship21.826 - 32"v-brake8, Trigger
REI REV Plus

$439

28.2Mech disc7, Grip
Prevelo Alpha Four$53921.225.8 - 31.2"v-brake8, Trigger
Pello Reyes$61921.925.3 - 31"Mech disc9, Trigger
Cleary Meerkat$62528.825 - 31.2"Hyd Disc5 in Hub
True Trail Bikes
Vitus 24 Plus$479 + ship25.526 - 31.5"Hyd Disc7, Trigger
Cleary Scout$8402725 - 33"Hyd Disc10, Trigger
woom OFF

$849

18.928.2 - 33.3"Hyd Disc9, Trigger
Prevelo Zulu Four$93925.7Hyd Disc10, Trigger
woom OFF AIR$99922.3Hyd Disc9, 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!


Best Kids Bikes: The Authoritative Buying Guide: Everything you need to know to choose the perfect bike for your child

The Best Kids Recreational Mountain Bikes: Bikes that provide the look of a mountain bike, without the high-end performance and price

10 Best Girls Bikes: Looking for a high-performance bike in pink, purple, or cute designs? Check out our list!

22 Fun Kids Bike Accessories: Fun add-ons for boys and girls bikes of all sizes.

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