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Budget Pick

Schwinn Koen Boys Bike Review

The Schwinn Koen boys bike series is a great entry level bike for boys of all ages.  Offering fun and bold designs in 5 different sizes, you’re sure to find a bike that is a great fit for your child.

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Schwinn Koen Bike Series

SmartStart Series

MSRP: $125+

BEST FOR: Everyday riders who want a durable neighborhood bike without breaking the budget

SIZES: 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″ and 20″ (Age 4 to 10)

SEAT HEIGHT: 24.5″ – 29″ (20″ inch)

WEIGHT: 27.8 lb. (20″ inch)

BRAKES: Coaster, Dual Hand

TRAINING WHEELS: Not Included

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What We Love About the Schwinn Koen Line

  • Decent build with a budget-friendly price
  • Bold designs kids with fun number plates kids love
  • Available in may different sizes – 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″ and 20″
  • Bikes place a child in a comfortable upright position

What You Should Know Before You Buy

  • The Koen is a great bike for the price.  They certainly aren’t the best bikes out there, but you won’t find a better bike for the price.
  • All sizes come with coaster brakes.  Some have handbrakes, but they are not reliable.
  • They come in a wide arrange of sizes. If your child in between sizes (see chart below), be sure to size down.
  • The “girls” version of the Koen is called the Elm and is available in the same range of sizes.

Schwinn Koen 20-inch Bike Review

The Schwinn Koen is a fun bike for neighborhood riding – perfectly suited for riding up and down curbs, over to a friends house, or on a family bike ride to the park.  Compared to more expensive bikes, the Koen takes a bit of work to get going, but once moving, our tester tackled curbs and small jumps with a smile.

8 year old boy riding Schwinn Koen 20 inch kids bike in the street

All in all, the Koen excels in what it was designed to be – an affordable, kid-friendly bike for around the neighborhood.  It isn’t the lightest or the most nimble 20″ bike, but it’s pretty cheap, fun to ride, and will certainly last through one or two kids.

 

Schwinn Koen Sizes 

One of our favorite features of the Koen line is that is comes in A LOT of different sizes!  The Koen line is one of the few kids bikes lines that come in the standard 12″, 16″ and 20″ sizes as well as the less common 14″ and 18″ sizes.  As a result, you are sure to find a Koen that will fit your child.  All sizes, except the 20″, come with training wheels.

Schwinn Koen Recommended Rider's Height by Tire Size

12-inch14-inch16-inch18-inch20-inch
28-38"36-40"38-48"42-52"48-60"

8 year old boy riding up ramp on Schwinn Koen 20 inch boys bike

Based on our experience with testing the Koens we recommend sizing down if your child fits into two size ranges. Compared to other kids bikes, the Schwinn Koen bikes are certainly taller.  The Koen’s tall handlebars certainly play a role, but the frame itself is quite tall with a minimum seat height that is significantly taller than other 20″ bikes. Be sure to measure your child’s inseam before you purchase the Koen!

For example, our tester in size 7/8 pants has a 24.5″ inseam and can ride some 24″ bikes without a problem, but on the Koen 20″, he is actually on the smaller end for the bike.

As you can see in the image below, on the Schwinn Koen, our tester’s arms are placed quite high with the seat height just above its minimum.  In fact, the handlebars would likely to too tall for a child shorter than him.  On the REI REV 20″ bike on the right, his arms are quite low and the seat height is almost maxed out.

Schwinn Koen Handlebars are Very HighHandlebars on Schwinn Koen 20 are very high compared to other 20 inch bikes.

According to Schwinn’s recommended height of 48″ to 60″ for the Koen 20-inch, our 52″ tall (with shoes on) 8-year-old tester also fits in the size range of the Koen 18″ which has the recommended height of 42″ to 52″.

So what do you do if your child can technically fit in two sizes? Based on our experience with the Koen 20″, if your child is more on the timid side and is on the edge of a size range, sizing down would be the best option, especially due to the high handlebar placement.

Brakes

The 20″ Schwinn Koen comes with dual-hand brakes as well a coaster brakes.  The dual-hand brakes are theoretically a welcome addition to a budget bike, but due to the poor quality of the hand brakes, expect your child to rely almost 100% on the coaster brake to stop the bike.

The main issue of the brakes lies in the single-point-of-pivot style of caliper brakes. They are very hard to properly align and even if you do get them properly aligned, they quickly become out of alignment.

Additionally, because the wheels have painted sidewalls on the rims, the hand brakes will not work very well when the rim gets wet because the brake pad will slide along the rim.  As a result, make sure your child knows how to use both the hand brakes and the coaster brake before use.

Caliper brakes on Schwinn Koen boys bike

Comparisons

Compared to the similarly priced and very popular Royalbaby Freestyle, the Koen easily holds its own because it’s lighter and offers much more room for growth.  For those who are willing to pay a little more for a bike, the Raleigh MXR 20 is even lighter than the Koen and has a reliable and easily adjustable rear hand brake.

FeatureSchwinn KoenRoyalbaby FreestyleRaleigh Jazzi
raleigh mxr 20
Schwinn Koen 20"Royalbaby Freestyle 20"Raleigh MXR 20"
MSRP$169$159$190
Weight27.8 lb.32 lb.22.8 lb.
Seat Height24.5 - 29"24 - 24.5"23.5 - 29.5"
BrakesCoaster, Dual HandCoaster, Dual HandCoaster, Rear Hand

Schwinn Koen Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a durable bike that won’t break the bank but is still fun to ride, the Schwinn Koen is your best bet.  While the Koen doesn’t come close to the high-end specialty bikes on the market, they are a fraction of the cost and were never meant to compete with them.  Durable to last through several kids and tough enough to withstand every curb in the neighborhood, the Koen is a great choice for neighborhood riders.

For other great budget-friendly options for boys and girls, check out our page: Best Cheap Kids Bikes.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review.  The product reviewed was provided by Schwinn. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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