Polygon Premier Ultralight kids bikes provide amazing quality and performance for their price. In fact, after testing out over fifty different 20 and 24 inch bikes over the years, we can honestly say Polygon Premiers are the BEST bikes you can buy under $350.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly neighborhood bike or a multi-use bike for paved or basic dirt trails, go for the Polygon Premier. Whether your child is a timid rider or an aggressive rider, go for the Polygon Premier! Yes, they are that good for their price. The value you get with a Polygon is simply unmatched in the current mid-range kids’ bike market.
Polygon Premier Ultralight Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Neighborhood or aggressive riders on paved or mild dirt
SEAT HEIGHT: 20 inch: 21.25″ – 27.25″; 24 inch: 25.5″ – 31.5″
WEIGHT: 20 inch: 20.75 lb.; 24 inch: 23.1 lb. (w/ kickstand, pedals and derailleur cage)
GEARS: 7-speed with Shimano Tourney Grip
BRAKES: Dual Hand Brakes
- Budget-friendly price tag with free shipping
- Modern graphics on a lightweight aluminum frame
- Low minimum seat height
- Easy to assemble and all bikes are quality checked before shipping
- Comes with derailleur cage and kickstand
- 1.75″ wide all-terrain Kenda tires
- Only available in two color options
- Shimano Tourney shifter can be hard to use for some kids
Polygon Kids Bikes Review – Results of our Test Rides
Although new to the US, Polygon Bikes have been around for over 30 years and are quite well known overseas. Polygon Bikes is based out of Indonesia and is one of the few bike manufacturers that actually own their own manufacturing facilities. As a result, they are able to sell factory direct and offer quality bikes at a lower price point.
We received a 20 and a 24 inch Polygon Premier Ultralight from BikesOnline.com (the exclusive distributor of Polygon bikes in the US – they only sell Polygon) and our 8 and 9-year-old testers quickly and eagerly went to work putting them to the test.
What type of rider is the Polygon Premier Ultralight best for?
As a well-rounded bike, the Polygon performs great as a neighborhood bike on mainly paved surfaces, but also performs just as well as a multi-use bike for all-terrain riding. With a semi-upright position that allows kids to sit up for everyday rides around the neighborhood, or aggressively lean into jumps or steep inclines, the Premier is very versatile.
Compared to other mid-range bikes (and even some high-end bikes), the Premier is also pretty lightweight, which is a huge win for all types of riders and riding styles.
There are pros and cons to using the Polygon for each riding style, but considering its price point, it’s a great contender compared to other bikes on the market.
Polygon Premier as a Neighborhood Bike
For around the neighborhood, a lightweight bike with smooth-rolling tires and a semi-upright body position is ideal, but certainly not necessary. Like most kids’ bikes, the Polygon’s tires are multi-use to allow kids to ride on a wide variety of surfaces. Multi-use tires the best of both worlds as they roll smooth enough on paved surfaces, yet still have plenty of traction for use on dirt.
Here’s how the Polygon compares to the 20 inch Priority Start and Guardian Ethos, two of our favorite neighborhood bikes. For the price, the Polygon is close in weight (or lighter than) the others and also offers more gears.
Polygon Premier 20 Inch Comparison
|Polygon Premier||Guardian Ethos||Priority Start|
|Weight||20.75 lb.||22.9 lb.||19.5 lb.|
|Seat Height||21.15″ – 27.25″||22.5″ – 28.5″||22″ – 28.5″|
|Tire Type||All-terrain||Smooth Street||All-terrain|
|Gears||7 speed||6 speed||3 speed|
Polygon Premier as a Trail Bike
A strong, durable frame, knobby tires, powerful brakes, and lower gearing to tackle long climbs are essential for true trail bikes. Considering the Polygon brand mainly focuses on mountain bikes, it comes as no surprise that the Premier has the look and the feel of a true mountain bike.
Due to its basic components, the Premier isn’t quite ready to tackle singletrack, but with its lightweight build and kid-friendly geometry, it’s a great starter bike for basic trails.
Taking a look at comparable budget-friendly mountain-style bikes, the Polygon once again stands out for its lightweight build. Its tires aren’t as wide as other brands, but they are the perfect Goldilocks width that isn’t too wide for paved surfaces, yet not too narrow for all-terrain rides. For those wanting wider tires, the tires on the Polygon can be swapped out to tires as wide as 2.1″.
Here’s how the 24 inch Polygon stacks up to other mid-range 24 inch mountain bikes:
Polygon Premier 24 inch Comparisons
|Polygon Premier||REI REV Plus||Schwinn Ranger|
|Weight||23.1 lb.||28.2 lb.||29 lb.|
|Seat Height||25.5″ – 31.5″||26.75″ – 34″|
|Tire Type||1.75″ all-terrain||2.6″ all-terrain||2.1″ all-terrain|
|Gears||7 speed||7 speed||21 speed|
What size Polygon Kids Bike is best for my child?
The Polygon Premier Ultralight is currently only offered in 20″ and 24″ wheel sizes and is their most affordable kids bike model.
Polygon Premier 20: The Polygon 20 inch has a seat height range of 21.25″ – 27.25″, making it ideal for an experienced rider with at least a 19″ inseam, or a new rider with an inseam of 21″.
Our 7-year-old tester with a 24″ inseam was a great fit on the Polygon 20 inch, but even though the seat height maxes out at 27.25″, he was certainly on the taller end of the bike. As a result, the Polygon 24 inch is likely a better fit for kids with inseams over 24″.
Polygon Premier 24: The Polygon 24 inch has a seat height range of 25.5″ – 31.5″, making it a best fit for kids with at least a 23.5″ inseam. Our 9-year-old with a 25″ inseam felt right at home on the 24″ Polygon with plenty of room left to grow.
Performance and Ride Quality
We put the Polygon to the test around our neighborhood on paved trails and basic dirt paths. On both types of terrain, the Polygon didn’t skip a beat and was an instant hit with our kid bike testers. From shifting to braking, the Premier provided a top-notch performance.
While the gain ratio of the Polygon is pretty narrow in range (neither bikes have a really high or low gear), its 7 gears provided plenty of power to get up mild hills as well as easily power up rolling dirt paths, jumps, or pump tracks with ease.
The Polygon kids bikes’ lightweight frame also makes it easy to pop up jumps or even bunny hop over the cracks in the sidewalk. For around the neighborhood, the Polygon certainly isn’t short on fun.
With 1.75″ Kenda all-terrain wide tire on both the 20″ and 24″, the tires provide enough traction for compact dirt trails without being loud or rough on paved trails. We took the Polygon on basic local trails and our tester happily rode the Polygon up and down any hill or jump he could find without any concerns.
The v-brakes provide plenty of stopping power with minimal effort. In fact, during one of our rides, our 9-year-old tester wasn’t paying attention and almost rode off a short walking bridge and into a water canal. Luckily he caught himself just in time and the brakes stopped the bike quickly to which he declared, “These brakes are powerful!”
With a semi-upright body positioning, the Polygon Premier offers the perfect setup for kids who love cruising around the neighborhood but are also more than happy to tackle front yard ramps or homemade dirt bike jumps.
Not too upright, which is preferred by timid or new riders, yet not too aggressive, which is preferred by really aggressive riders, the Polygon offers a happy in between. It’s a great all-around geometry.
Polygon Premier Kids Bikes Specs and Quality of Build
The Polygon Premier 20 and 24 inch are equipped with the same Shimano Tourney components set. Both the shifter and the derailleur performed great out of the box, but they certainly aren’t high-end components that will last for years to come.
For kids tackling rides with great changes of elevation or moving into true singletrack mountain biking (where quick and responsive shifting is essential), an upgraded drivetrain is pretty necessary. A bike with any SRAM or the Shimano Altus line or higher will be more responsive and durable, but expect a couple of hundred dollars jump in cost.
Derailleur Cage and Hanger
In order to help preserve the life of the derailleur, Polygon has equipped both size bikes with a derailleur cage and a derailleur hanger. Although cages add a little weight, they can be lifesavers in protecting derailleurs from being damaged or bent as a result of a crash or from simply setting the bike down onto the derailleur.
The cage is a rounded metal bar that surrounds the more exterior portion of the derailleur to prevent the derailleur from being damaged upon impact. The vast majority of kids’ bikes are compatible with derailleur cages, but they do not come standard on most bikes.
Polygon derailleur cage (red arrows) and derailleur hanger (yellow arrow)
A derailleur hanger is a small metal component that attaches the derailleur to the frame of the bike. If the derailleur were to take a hard hit (especially if a derailleur hanger was not present), the force of the blow on the derailleur could cause the frame of the bike to bend. Once bent, it is very difficult to correct the frame and the bike will likely never shift properly again.
If a derailleur hanger is present, however, it bends instead of the frame. Derailleur hangers are very easy and inexpensive to replace, so expensive and long-term damage to the bike is prevented can be prevented by having them. All high-end geared bikes come with derailleur hangers.
Shimano Tourney Shifter
The Shimano Tourney grip shifter on the Premier can be problematic for young riders, especially those new to shifting on 20 inch bikes. Due to the large protrusion on the rotating portion of the Tourney shifter, it can be difficult for kids with small hands to engage the twist grip to change gears.
Due to their smaller hands and shorter fingers, this is more on an issue with kids on 20 inch bikes than 24 inch bikes. Neither of our testers, however, had any major complaints about shifting.
The shifter’s bump can also make it more difficult to brake for small hands. It may force the child to position their hand further away from the grip shifter – towards the end of the handlebars. While this makes it easier for the rider to grip the handlebars, it positions their hand farther away from the brake lever, making it more challenging to reach the brake lever.
To be fair, the Shimano Tourney shifter is very common at this price point, making this an issue with ALL bikes in the Premier’s price range.
The Polygon Premiers come with quality v-brakes that have plenty of stopping power straight out of the box – without any adjustments. While one would expect a new bike to have perfectly tuned brakes and shifters straight out of the box, this is rarely with case (even with high-end brands).
Considering bikes get bounced around during shipment, bikes essentially always need some work after assembly. Some need a lot more work than others, but much to our surprise, the Polygon’s didn’t need any! To be safe, a full tune-up of a newly assembled bike is always recommended.
The Polygon Premier’s brake levers are Promax brand while the calipers are labeled “Power”. High-end bikes do offer better quality braking via Tektro branded brakes or mechanical or hydraulic brakes, but they lead to a large overall increase in the price of the bike. For the average rider, however, the brakes on the Polygon offer plenty of stopping power with minimal effort.
The Polygon Premier 20 inch and 24 inch bikes are lighter or on par with most quality kids’ bikes. Lightweight bikes are key to providing an easy, intuitive riding experience for kids. Heavy bikes are typically much harder for kids to manuaever and kids tire out more quickly.
While many higher-end bikes have better quality components than the Premiers, only a few of them are actually lighter. Considering the Premiers’ stated weight includes the kickstand and the derailleur cage (which the other brands don’t have), the Polygons are likely about a pound lighter than our measured weights of the Priority and Guardian listed below.
|Bike||Polygon Premier||Priority Start||Guardian Ethos|
|20 inch||20.75 lb.||19.5 lb.||22.9 lb.|
|24 inch||23.1 lb.||23.3 lb.||25.5 lb.|
Selling only factory-direct to consumers, Polygon takes the time to prepare and package their bikes to make assembly quick and easy. Like all brands, the handlebars, front wheel, and pedals need to be installed upon arrival, but where Polygon’s packaging differs is that they don’t use zip ties!
Essentially all bikes are packaged with zip ties to prevent the front wheel and handlebars from moving around during shipment, but Polygon uses Velcro strips instead. Not only are these strips super easy to get off, they are also totally reusable. Sure it’s a small thing, but we are not ashamed to admit that it felt like winning the lottery when we saw the Velcro strips instead of the dreaded zip ties :).
Polygon Premier Ultralight Kids Bikes Bottom Line
The Polygon Premier Ultralight is hands down the best kids bike you can buy for under $350. Regardless of whether your child is a timid or aggressive rider, or if they are riding around the block or around the campsite, you can’t go wrong with the 20″ or 24″ Polygon Premier.