Discovering the Btwin 16 inch kids bike is like winning the jackpot for families on a budget. While most “cheap” kids bikes really are just cheap, the Btwin 16 is affordable but also well-designed, solid quality, and relatively lightweight. If you don’t want to spend more than $150 on a bike, this little pony is hands-down your best bet.
For kids who get pumped to ride by cute characters, Btwin offers that too! Btwin 16 inch bikes come in boy, girl, and gender neutral colors, with cartoon graphics on the chain guard, and color-coordinated grips, fenders, pedals, and brake levers. Is the Btwin 16 the answer you’ve been looking for? Read our review to find out!
Btwin 16 Inch Bike Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Kids in size 4T/5T pants on pavement – neighborhood to the skate park
SEAT HEIGHT: 19.5″ – 23.75″
WEIGHT: 20.6 lb. (model with kickstand and fenders)
BRAKES: Rear coaster, front hand brake
TRAINING WHEELS: Optional upgrade
- Lightweight for a budget bike
- Better, more kid-friendly geometry than other budget bikes
- Easy to engage front hand brake
- Fun colors and characters
- Kickstand comes standard and doesn’t interfere with pedals
- Cushioned saddle
- Coaster brake makes learning to ride more difficult
Results of our Test Rides on the Btwin 16
Before we dive in to how much we love this little bike, you may be wondering what Btwin Bikes is. Btwin is the house brand of bikes for Decathlon Sports. Decathlon is a well-established sporting goods store in Europe, Indian, and Asia and just recently opened in America as well. Everything they sell is house-brand, and they have made a name for themselves by creating really solid quality products for low prices.
So what about these Btwin bikes?? It’s always interesting to hand our 3-year-old a new bike and see her reaction. Of course she was immediately ecstatic about the “pink doctor”, and her excitement continued as she hopped on and pedaled into the skate park to do her “tricks”.
The skate park is her regular testing grounds, with features that require her to maneuver sharp turns, practice speed control down steep ramps, and put the pedal to the metal to power up those same steep ramps. On the Btwin 16, she conquered all of her regular tricks, even on a day she wasn’t feeling well!
I was honestly a bit surprised she was able to power up her normal ramps. While the Btwin 16 is lightweight for its price point, it’s over 5 pounds heavier than her normal bike. But despite that weight difference, the Btwin is designed well enough to allow her to get enough leverage on the pedals and lean in for ultimate power mode! Its overall frame design is vastly superior to most cheaper bikes.
Sizing – Who is a Best Fit for the Btwin 16?
With a seat height range of 19.5″ to 23.75″, the Btwin 16 is a much better fit for 4 and 5 year old than kids bike you’d find at a Walmart store. As a comparison, a Huffy 16 inch bike we bought at Walmart has seat height range of almost 21″ – 22.75″, which is not only taller, but offers less room for growth.
Seat height is important because it determines whether or not your child can safely touch the ground with their toes. While the Btwin 16 and Huffy 16 are supposedly designed for the same age child, the Huffy is really too tall.
When a child is first learning to ride a bike, they should be able to touch the ground with their feet flat on the ground. This allows them to stabilize themselves instead of falling over, and also helps them to learn to get the bike started on their own.
As a result, the Btwin 16 is a best buy and fit for beginning riders with inseams ranging from about 19″ – 21″. If you’re planning on using training wheels (not included), you can get away with a slightly shorter inseam and just tip toes touching the ground as the training wheels help stabilize the bike somewhat.
If your child is already an experienced rider, you can set the saddle about 1.5″ to 2″ above their inseam so that they can touch the ground with their tip toes. This allows for more efficient pedaling.
For experienced riders, the Btwin 16 inch bike is a best fit and buy for kids with inseams starting at about 17.5″. Our Baby Bike Tester here is 3 years old and has a 17.75″ inseam. The saddle is set to its lowest point.
For further details on how to find a bike that is the perfect fit for your child, check out our Kids Bike Sizes Guide.
Weight – Lightweight for a budget bike
A bike’s weight plays a HUGE role in how easy it is to ride – especially for beginner riders. That’s one reason why kid-specific bike brands like woom and Prevelo cost so much more – their bikes weigh so much less.
For reference, the Btwin 16 in this review weighs 20.6 pounds. Baby Bike Tester’s regular bike, the Prevelo Alpha Two, weighs only 14.9 pounds.
However, for the price, Btwin does very well in the weight department. Their 16 inch bike without a kickstand or fenders weighs 19.8 pounds, while RoyalBaby’s smaller 14 inch bike weighs about 2 pounds more!
If you can afford a more expensive bike, your child will certainly benefit from a lighter bike. But if your budget can’t stretch that far, Btwin is at least not as heavy as other affordable options.
Uniquely Awesome Handbrake
While the braking system on a child’s bike should be it’s most important feature, many cheap kids bikes just throw on the cheapest brakes they can get away with. Just because a bike has a hand brake doesn’t mean that handbrake is actually useful. They are often hard to engage and offer very little stopping power.
The handbrake on the Btwin 16 blows other budget brands out of the water. Their proprietary design is easy to engage and offers great stopping power. The hand brake is only on the front wheel.
Parents will appreciate the hand brake because it works great out of the box – not adjustments were needed on our part. Additionally, there’s an easy-to-use knob on the side (yellow circle below) that allows you to quickly adjust the strength of the brake’s stopping power.
Like all small inexpensive kids bikes, the rear brake is a coaster brake, or back-pedal brake. This set-up is not ideal because coaster brakes don’t allow a child to back pedal to regain their balance or set their pedals in start position.
However, you will not find a 16 inch kids bike without a coaster brake for under $250. The cheapest 16 inch bike without a coaster brake is the Guardian Ethos 16. It’s an incredible little bike that you definitely should consider.
Wheels and Tires – Light Tread Best for Paved Rides
The basic tread tires on the Btwin 16 rolled smoothly on the pavement. Because the tread doesn’t offer much traction, they’re better for sidewalks rather than dirt.
Saddle and Seat Post
While basic, our testers had no complaints with the Btwin’s cushioned saddle. As a parent, I certainly wish the seat post had a quick release for easy height adjustments, but many bikes (even expensive ones!) have the same allen key adjustment system. It’s also a big upgrade from the Btwin 14’s seat post that requires a standard wrench to adjust.
The Btwin 16 500 models come with a kickstand installed. Simple detail, but WOW, a kickstand makes the biggest difference in the state of our garage floor! We always appreciate a kickstand to help keep our garages just a bit more organized.
This particular kickstand is one of the best we’ve seen. It’s solid and stable, and keeps that bike upright with ease. But the coolest part is that it’s set a bit farther back on the bike’s frame so that it doesn’t get caught in the pedals.
The box the Btwin came in was a bit larger than we normally get. But when I opened the box and pulled the bike out, I immediately realized why. It was basically entirely assembled! We just had to add the pedals and align the handlebars. It was soooooo easy.
Bottom Line on the Btwin 16
For families on a budget, the Btwin 16 should be at the top of your list. Easy to ride and appropriately sized for young riders, the Btwin excels where other cheaper bikes fall short. For its price, this little ride is an exceptional bike that can’t be beat.