Raleigh Jazzi 16 Review
The Raleigh Jazzi 16 is a well-made budget bike with fun, girly designs for your little neighborhood rider. Compatible with training wheels, it works great for balance bike graduates as well as those just getting started on a bike. Check out our review!
RATING: Recommended BEST FOR: Everyday neighborhood riders on a budget SEAT HEIGHT: 19" – 23" WEIGHT: 18.5 lb.
Coaster Brake Only
Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and great quality for the price
- Frame design keeps rider lower to the ground for easier balancing
- Plenty of room between the rider and handlebars for comfort and growth
- Adorable girly details
- Coaster brake (back pedal brake), but normal for this price point
Raleigh Jazzi 16 Review – Results of Our Test Rides
While Raleigh is not a kid-specific bike brand, every time we test a Raleigh bike we’re surprised and impressed with the quality and design you get for the price. While they don’t offer high-end components or super lightweight frames, they do offer great bikes at a great price. The Jazzi 16 is an adorable and affordable bike that is hands down better than anything you’ll find at Walmart.
The Raleigh Jazzi 16 rides fast and smooth for fun rides through the neighborhood. Lightweight for its price (with an aluminum frame!) and designed with plenty of room in the cockpit for riders to maneuver the bike, the Jazzi will be an easier transition from training wheels or a balance bike than heavier, poorly-designed bikes at the big-box stores.
The Jazzi also comes with training wheels, although we did not have a tester try the bike with them installed.
Raleigh Jazzi 16 in Action
Frame Design and Handlebars
The frame and handlebars of the Jazzi 16 are designed to keep the rider in a comfortable, upright position. Most kids, especially beginning riders, find this to feel the most natural and helps put them at ease. Depending on the size and preference of the rider, the handlebars can be lowered about two inches.
An upright body position is very typical for 16″ bikes, whereas the Raleigh Lily 16″, which is on the right below, requires the rider to lean forward significantly. If your child is aggressive or ambitious, a leaned forward stance helps them maneuver the bike more adeptly into turns, up and down hills, or on dirt trails. But for your average neighborhood rider, the Jazzi’s less aggressive position is preferred.
Raleigh Jazzi 16″ vs. Raleigh Lily 16
You can see below how this translates into the riding experience in a side-by-side comparison of the Raleigh Jazzi 16 and the Raleigh Lily 16. You can see how our 5-year-old rider looks like she’s happily cruising the neighborhood on the Jazzi, while she looks ready for adventure or a serious race on the Lily. Not that she couldn’t go fast on the Jazzi – she definitely could! It’s more a question of what will your child be doing most of the time. The Jazzi and the Lily are both fantastic, affordable 16″ bikes, but they are best for different types of riders.
The Jazzi 16 has a seat height range of 19″ – 23″ and comes with training wheels. How this bike fits your rider is dependent on whether or not you use the training wheels.
Without Training Wheels: For kids advancing from a balance bike or a 12″ bike with training wheels, the bike seat should be set at or near a child’s inseam so their feet can rest flat on the ground to help them regain balance and safely stop. A rider of this type would need a 19″ inseam to ride the Jazzi 16 without training wheels.
For taller riders with inseams greater than 21″, the Raleigh Jazzi 16 will still fit, but the larger Raleigh Jazzi 20 is also worth considering as it will provide more room for growth.
With Training Wheels: Because training wheels prevent a child from losing balance and tipping over, a child doesn’t need to use their feet to regain balance or stop. As a result, the seat height can be raised so that they are standing comfortably on their tip toes. This position is actually better from a pedaling efficiency standpoint than feet flat on the ground.
In this case you would set the seat height at 1″ to 2″ above a child’s inseam. So for the Jazzi 16, kids with inseams of 17″ or 18″ can ride the Jazzi with training wheels.
5-Year-Old Rider in Size 5 Pants
The Jazzi 16 has a coaster brake (back pedal brake) and no hand brake. While we’re not fans of coaster brakes, that’s standard for a 16″ bike at this price point. Sometimes you do see a handbrake on a budget 16″, but the handbrakes are usually low quality and offer little real stopping power.
Coaster brakes can make the transition to a pedal bike frustrating for two reasons. First, kids usually pedal backwards to regain their balance while they are learning to master balancing and pedaling at the same time. Not possible with a coaster brake. Instead of regaining balance when pedaling backward, they come to a sudden stop which can lead to a fall. Second, it’s much harder for a child to reposition their pedals into “start” position (with the pedal at the highest point) without being able to pedal the bike backwards and up towards the top.
But like we said, at this price point, you’re going to get a coaster brake. If you’re interested in slightly more expensive options that don’t have a coaster brake, both the Raleigh Lily 16 and the Guardian Ethos 16 are good options.
While the tread of the wheels on the Jazzi 16 isn’t exactly mountain-trail ready, the mild tread combined with the wider tire does make it suitable for paved trails or packed dirt.
Seat and Handlebar Height Adjustments
Both the seat and the handlebars can be adjusted up and down to dial in the most comfortable fit for your rider as they grow. Unfortunately the seat does not have a quick release clamp and its height requires a tool to adjust.
The saddle on the Jazzi 16 is soft, cushioned, quality, and cute! We do wish, however, that it were a little better proportioned for 5 and 6-year-olds. The Jazzi 16’s saddle is the same saddle that is used for the 20″, and is better suited for the size of those older riders.
All the Cute Details
Besides being a quality bike that’s easy to ride, the Jazzi 16 is also adorable! From the ice cream cone and sprinkles chain guard to the sprinkles seat, white pedals, yellow rims, and turquoise grips, little girls loooooove this bike! 🙂
A quick note on assembly. Our Jazzi did not come with the seat post pre-greased and the seat got stuck in its lowest position. It took us hours to get it out. Please grease the seat post before inserting it into the bike!
Adorable, affordable, and great quality and design for the price, the Raleigh Jazzi 16 is the best girls’ bike you’re going to find for under $200.
For more quality 16″ options for girls, check out our 5 Best 16″ Girls’ Bikes list.