10 Best Kids Bike Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Finding the best bikes for kids can be difficult. With so many kid’s bikes on the market, it’s hard to find the right one for your child’s needs.

Do your kids have brand new bikes on their wish list? Or perhaps your little one is ready for their very first bike and you’re looking for the perfect one to help them learn.  From balance bikes and convertible toddler bikes to bikes for bigger kids, this post will help you find the perfect bike for your kids. 

We’ll look at the new bike designs of today that help kids learn how to ride. We’ll also cover all of the key things you should consider before buying a kid’s bike. Then, we’ll give you a rundown of the very best kid’s bikes on the market in 2020.

Kid’s Bikes Have Changed a Lot

You might not be aware that bikes for little kids have changed a heck of a lot in recent years. The way that youngsters are learning to ride is changing too. Training wheels are slowly becoming a thing of the past, and a new invention called ‘balance bikes’ are leading the way. 

What is a balance bike?

A balance bike is essentially a bike without pedals. Instead of propelling forward using pedal power, kids push themselves forwards using their feet against the ground. 

The idea is to get your child used to the bicycle and learn to balance before progressing to a standard bike. 

How does a balance bike work?

Most kids start by scooting slowly forwards, sitting on the saddle, and walking themselves along. Once they get more confident they can build up speed and break into a run. And once that’s mastered, they can pick their feet up and glide forwards, balancing with no need for training wheels. At this stage, they’re ready for pedaling! 

Best Kids Bikes

The hardest part about learning to ride a bike is balancing, not pedalling. Once they’ve got the balancing side of things down, learning to pedal is actually a pretty simple task for most kids.

Balance Bikes Vs Training Wheels

Old School kid’s bikes work in the opposite way to balance bikes. They use training wheels that remove the need to learn to balance first. With these traditional-style bikes, the child learns to pedal and steer first, and once they’ve mastered that, the training wheels come off. 

The child then has the much more difficult task of balancing, all at the same time as peddling. So it makes sense that balance bikes are being hailed as a much easier way for children to learn to cycle. 

Once a child has mastered a balance bike, by the time they switch to a full pedal bike, they’re speeding off into the distance in no time! Most kids tend to be much more confident on their first ‘real bike’ since they’ve already learned to balance and don’t have the same fear of falling off. 

Advantages of Balance Bikes

They’re more versatile

Balance bikes work on a much broader range of terrain than most bikes with regular training wheels. They can also be used on sloped surfaces, unlike bikes with training wheels which tend to lean to one side or topple over. 

They’re lighter

Balance bikes are usually made from lighter materials like aluminum, plastic, or wood. They also don’t have the same cogs, pedals, and mechanisms as a regular bike, which keeps the weight down. 

On the other hand, regular pedal bikes are often made from heavier materials like steel, making them more difficult to operate, especially for a young kid just learning to cycle. 

Saddle Height

Saddles (or seats) on a balance bike sit quite a bit lower than they do on regular pedal bikes with training wheels. This is so the child can easily put their feet flat on the ground to make walking and running easier. 

This lower saddle gives kids the confidence they need when learning to ride a bike. They know that if they feel off balance, they can easily put their foot out to stop themselves from falling over.

Regular bikes have the saddle much higher so that most kids can only place their tippy-toe on the floor when they’re seated. 

Tires and wheels

Balance bikes usually have rubber or foam tires. Foam tires are great since they aren’t prone to puncturing, but they can wear down pretty quickly. Rubber tires are more durable and provide better grip. 

Sure, most regular pedal bikes for kids have rubber tires too, but the training wheels are almost invariably made of hard plastic. This means they rattle with every bump and groove along your driveway or sidewalk and have no shock-absorbing capabilities. 

Have Balance Bikes Replaced Training Wheels?

The answer is no, not exactly. But most reputable bike manufacturers are producing more balance bikes and fewer pedal bikes for young kids learning how to ride for the first time. It seems that the vast majority of kids prefer, and learn much quicker, on a balance bike. 

So, if you’re in the market for your little one’s first bike, skip the training wheels and go straight for a balance bike. You don’t even necessarily need to buy a replacement pedal bike when your child has learned to balance; some models of balance bikes convert into regular pedal bikes and grow with your child. 

Bikes for Bigger Kids

Best Kids Bikes

Of course, once your child has graduated to a ‘big kid bike’ with pedals, you’ll want to find a suitable option that they’ll love. 

When looking for the best kids bikes, it is important to remember that it is an investment. Often, the bike travels through siblings, friends, neighbors, and then is donated for more kids to enjoy. 

If you plan to use the bike for multiple kids that are boys and girls it might be best to consider a gender-neutral bike that has various functions so all your kids can use it. 

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Kid’s Bike

Make sure the bike fits the height of your child

This is the most crucial element of shopping for a kid’s bike is making sure it fits. If you get the height wrong, they can be uncomfortable and reluctant to use it. 

A bike that’s too big can even be dangerous, as the risk of falling off increases when the child’s feet don’t easily touch the ground. 

Most bikes manufacturers measure bikes against a child’s inseam, just like in a pair of pants. Always check the sizing guide and get up to date measurements of your child before you select the model you want. 

Pro Tip: For your kid’s very first pedal bike, many experts recommend going down a size, especially if they’re inseam measurement falls between two bike sizes. The lower seat height can help to build up a child’s confidence and soothe their fears of falling off. 

How heavy is the bike?

The weight of a kid’s bike matters even more than the weight of a full size adult bike (although some cycling pros may disagree!). 

Since kids are smaller than adults, just a few extra pounds on a heavier framed bike can make a big difference. 

In general, the lighter the bike, the easier it is for a child to ride. Look out for aluminum frames, which are super lightweight compared with their steel counterparts. 

What kind of tires does it have?

In general, air-filled rubber tires are the best kind there are for regular kid’s pedal bikes. Chunkier mountain bike style tires with plenty of grip are also preferable for younger cyclists. They give more traction, stability, and balance than a thinner tire would. 

Best Kids Bikes

Is it adaptable?

Are you looking for a bike that will last for a few years, and grow with your child? If so, make sure that the model you choose has an adjustable saddle and handlebar height.

If you’re opting for a balance bike first, you can find some models that adapt to a full pedal bike as your child grows. 

Determine your budget for the bike

Bikes vary pretty widely in price. Some bikes, especially tricycles for smaller kids and balance bikes, are pretty cheap. 

But once your child grows, bikes can get pretty expensive. If you can spend a little time shopping around, there’s a wide range of prices to suit most budgets 

Must-Have Bike Accessories For Kids

When buying a kid’s bike, don’t forget the accessories! These are some of the most popular bike accessories for kids. 

  • Helmet (never let your child ride a bike without one!)
  • Bike lock
  • Water bottle
  • Water Bottle cage
  • Bell
  • Safety light
  • Reflectors
  • Light spokes
  • Launchpad ramp
  • Pegs
  • Grips
  • Soft impact sponge
  • Protective gear
  • Speedometer
  • Streamers

Family Time Outdoors

Don’t forget; bikes aren’t just for kids. Getting a bike for every member of the family means you have an outside activity you can all enjoy together. A family bike ride can be a great way for the family to exercise together.

Best Kids Bikes in 2020

#1 Radio Flyer All-Terrain Balance Bike

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Pedal-free balance bike for beginners
  • 12 inch air tires
  • Sturdy, lightweight steel frame
  • Adjustable seat that grows with your child
  • Soft touch hand grips
  • Ringing bell on handlebars

Things We Love About It!

Balance Bikes are the way to go helping kids learn to balance. Sturdy yet lightweight, the Radio Flyer All-Terrain Balance Bike is a great bike choice for young kids. Plus, the adjustable seat can move up or down to adjust to your child’s height. This is a bike made for sidewalks, playgrounds, parks, and more! 

We love how the air tires hug the surface of the road and give a really comfortable ride. The seat is super comfortable too and adjusts as your little one grows. Kids also love the real ringing bell on the handlebars, which gives them a ‘grown-up’ bike experience. 

Thankfully, the price point is also reasonable for the family budget so you won’t have to break the bank while your child learns to ride a bike.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use balance bike to help your child learn to ride
  • Comfortable, adjustable seat

Cons

  • This model doesn’t feature footrests

Overall Thoughts

The Radio Flyer has everything you need in a good balance bike. The shock-absorbing tires give such a smooth ride, your child will be a balance master in no time. The icing on the cake is the affordable price point. 

#2 Mobo Triton Pedal Go Kart Trike

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Easy to ride 3-wheeler bike
  • Dual joystick steering
  • Reclining seat
  • Adjusts to fit children from 3’8” to 5’2”
  • Weight capacity of 200lbs
  • Suitable for children aged 7-12 years
  • No maintenance, chainless design

Things We Love About It!

If you are interested in a kids’ recumbent bike then the Mobo Triton Pedal Go Kart Trike is a bike you’ll want to consider. With a recumbent bike, there is no balance required as the bike is a three-wheeler that sits close to the ground. 

It steers with simple hand movements using joysticks, making this bike easy to ride. The seat is super comfortable and ergonomically designed, and the pedaling motion offers great light exercise for your kids. 

This bike also keeps things simple with its chainless design, so it doesn’t require much maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. 

The manufacturer recommends this bike for children aged 7-12 years, but anyone from 3’8” to 5’2” and less than 200lbs can get great enjoyment out of this model. The durable steel frame is easily adjustable so it can grow with your child, giving you maximum value for money. 

Pros

  • No balancing required
  • Adjustable frame grows with your child
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Higher price point

Overall Thoughts

The Mobo Triton costs a little more than some of the other bikes on our list, but we think it’s value for money. The adjustable frame grows with your child so it’ll last them for years. It would also make a great hand me down once your child eventually outgrows it.

#3 Swagtron K6 Toddler Scooter

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • 4 in 1 design- Balance tricycle, balance bike, three-wheel scooter, and kick scooter
  • Adjusts as your child grows
  • Suitable for children aged 2-5
  • Lightweight frame
  • Comes in 2 colors

Things We Love About It!

Ready for some cool outdoor fun? The Swagtron K6 Toddler Scooter offers four different ride-on experiences for young kids. Kids can use this bike as a balance tricycle, balance bike, three-wheel scooter, and kick scooter. 

These features make this bike one of the best kid’s bikes out there. It helps develop balance and coordination through different stages of your child’s growing years.

If the thought of making adjustments to this bike makes you break out into a cold sweat, don’t worry. It’s super simple to switch riding modes with just a few turns of a screwdriver. 

The Swagtron K6 also has a durable frame that will stand up to all kinds of wear and tear. The sturdy design is impact-resistant, scratch-resistant, and weather-resistant, so it can be kept outside if necessary. 

Pros

  • 4 in 1- balance tricycle, balance bike, three-wheel scooter, and kick scooter. 
  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable design

Cons

  • The height of the handlebars cannot be adjusted

Overall Thoughts

The Swagtron K6 probably offers the most bang for your buck of any of the bikes on our list. With this model, your child has the option of 4 different toys all rolled into one. And, as they grow in their confidence and ability, this bike grows with them. 

#4 INFANS Lightweight Balance Bike

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Pedal-free balance bike for beginners
  • Inflation free EVA tires
  • Suitable for children aged 2-5
  • Lightweight frame
  • 360 degree rotatable handlebar

Things We Love About It!

This is another great balance bike that will help your kids to grow in confidence quickly. The manufacturer recommends this bike for children aged between 2 and 5 years old. Once they get the hang of the INFANS balance bike, they’ll be learning to ride a big kids bike in no time. 

This model features a 360-degree rotating handlebar, so it’s easy to maneuver and turn around sharp corners. The Inflation free EVA tires also make this super simple to ride, and allow the bike to be used on a wide variety of terrains. 

The frame on the INFANS is lightweight, so it’s easy to carry, but also tough and durable. The metal is coated with a powder coat that protects it against scratches and other wear and tear. 

We particularly love the style of this balance bike. The black and green color scheme means it’s perfect for both boys and girls. This could easily be handed down to siblings, other family members, or friends. It works perfectly for every little one learning to ride a bike. 

Pros

  • Easy to use balance bike to help your child learn to ride
  • 360 degree rotating handlebars
  • Gender-neutral design
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Some parents say the frame is too small for bigger kids. Be sure to check the dimensions against your child before you order.

Overall Thoughts

The INFANS balance bike is a great option for little kids learning to ride a bike for the first time. The gender-neutral design means it can be handed down once your child grows out of it. And at less than $40, this bike offers serious value for money.

# 5 Schwinn Elm Smart Start Girls Bike 

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Designed for girls ages 3-7
  • Lightweight frame
  • Rear coaster brake and front caliper brake
  • Tool-free adjustable saddle and seat post
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Comes ready assembled

Things We Love About It!

This is a great all-rounder pedal bike that little girls will love. 

To begin with, it looks amazing. The pink and turquoise frame and pretty floral detailing is really eyecatching. As well as being lovely to look at, this bike is practical, easy to ride, and durable. 

The seat and handlebars adjust to your child and so this bike grows with them. The solid frame is designed to minimize any wobbling, so your little one will feel confident cruising around. 

The frame and the seat are specially designed to fit a child’s proportions. While many kids’ bikes are simply shrunken versions of adult bikes, the Schwinn Elm SmartStart is different. The grip diameters on the handlebars are designed to fit smaller hands, and the pedal position is closer together to cater to children’s narrower hips.

This bike comes with easy to remove training wheels and is designed for girls aged 3-7. It comes already assembled, so parents can breathe a sigh of relief and leave the screwdriver in the toolbox. 

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Adjusts as your child grows
  • Comes ready assembled and easy to adjust

Cons

  • This model is quite heavy compared to others on our list

Overall Thoughts

The Schwinn Elm SmartStart is a bike that all little girls will adore. It’s super stylish, really comfortable, and grows along with her. It’s also easy to adjust and requires no assembly, so it’s a great hassle-free option.

#6 Bammax Baby Balance Bike

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Suitable for children from 9 to 24 months
  • Soft, comfortable, supportive seat
  • 135-degree limit steering to keep baby safe
  • Non-slip EVA handles
  • Easy to assemble modular design

Things We Love About It!

It’s never too early to learn to ride a bike! This baby balance bike by Bammax is designed for children as young as 9 months old. They sit on the safe, comfortable, and supportive seat and gently scoot around with ease. This model is designed to give very young children their first experience of riding a bike so that when the time comes to get a big kid bike, they are ahead of the game. 

This is also a great way to help your little one to develop their leg strength and build muscles. It’s also perfect for babies who are learning to walk and developing their balance skills. The safety and support of the balance bike underneath them gives them that extra bit of confidence to explore. 

The handlebars are fitted with a 135-degree steering limitation. This prevents the bike from falling to the side when turning and keeps your little one safe.

The Bammax is super easy to assemble. The modular design means it can be put together in less than 3 minutes, without the use of any tools. 

Pros

  • Suitable for very young children
  • Helps to develop leg strength and boosts confidence in walking
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Too small for bigger toddlers

Overall Thoughts

The Bammax balance bike is a great way to help your child learn to balance and give them a head start with their development. Its simple design means it’s also really easy to assemble so once the box arrives, your little one will be scooting around in no time at all. 

#7 GOMO Balance Bike 

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Pedal-free balance bike for beginners
  • Turn limiter for extra control and safety
  • Suitable for kids from 18 months to 5 years; Grows with your child
  • Comfortable, padded seat
  • Available in 5 color choices

Things We Love About It!

The Gomo balance bike has tons of cool features packed in. For starters, it looks cool. The stylish frame comes in 5 different color choices so there’s something to suit every kid’s style. 

It’s also lightweight and easy to carry, but strong and tough enough to withstand a beating. 

This model is serious about safety. It comes with a built-in steering limiter to prevent the bike from tipping over around turns. There are also spacious footrests where your child can tuck their feet safely away as they learn to balance without stepping on the ground. And the shock-absorbing design and comfortable padded seat all help to absorb impact. It also avoids jarring your little one as they traverse bumpy terrain. 

This bike features 12-inch heavy-duty foam wheels. Unlike air-inflated tires, these will never puncture, so they can be used on gravel and all kinds of uneven surfaces. 

The coolest feature on the GOMO has to be its ability to grow with your child. This model works for kids as young as 18 months and will last them until they’re 5 years old. A simple adjustment to the seat is all it takes to keep up with your growing kid. 

Pros

  • Grows with your child: Works for children aged 18 months to 5 years old
  • Lots of safety features
  • Lightweight yet durable

Cons

  • The front handlebars occasionally misalign and will need to be tightened by an adult

Overall Thoughts

This is a great bike if you want to get your kid started early with learning to ride. The GOMO will grow with your child throughout their early years. It’s also a super-safe option and comes in 5 different colors to delight any child.

#8 Hiland 20” BMX Freestyle Bike for Boys 

Best Kids Bike

Features

  • 25X9T gearing making it easy to ride
  • 360-degree rotor that allows the handlebars to do a full turn
  • Double U brakes
  • Works for kids between 4’4” and 5’4”
  • Comes 85% pre-assembled

Things We Love About It!

The Hiland 20” BMX Freestyle says it’s for boys, but we know plenty of girls who would love this too. The bike comes in orange, black or white, so there’s something to suit even the pickiest of kids. 

This is definitely more of a ‘big kid bike’ compared with many of the others on our list. To ride this bike, your child should be at least 4 feet and 4 inches tall. But it will last them until they reach 5 feet 4 inches, so you’ll get your money’s worth from this model. 

This bike has a 360-degree rotor that allows the handlebars to be turned completely around. This is great for more adventurous kids who enjoy doing tricks and navigating sharp corners. 

The 25X9T gearing system also ensures that it’s easy to ride and versatile enough for all kinds of inclines and terrains. 

The frame is made from a lightweight, yet solid and robust steel. It’s easy to carry and push, but durable enough that it will last for years. 

Best Kids Bike

Pros

  • Comes in 3 gender-neutral colors
  • 360 degree rotating handlebars
  • Lightweight, robust steel frame

Cons

  • Takes some assembly and requires Allen wrenches

Overall Thoughts

This super cool bike will be a hit with bigger kids and teenagers. The 360 degree handlebars are perfect for taking down to the skate park and showing off their skills while staying safe. And it’s versatile enough to suit boys and girls from 4’4” to 5’4”.

#9 Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bicycle for Kids

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • 12 inch wheels to fit kids from 2-4 years
  • Authentic Paw Patrol graphics
  • Tool free adjustable seat
  • Removable training wheels
  • Rear coaster brake

Things We Love About It!

The Nickelodeon Paw Patrol bike is a great pedal bike for younger children. The height of this bike is perfect for kids aged 2-4 years, or any children between 28 and 38 inches tall.

Most kids will absolutely adore the Paw Patrol theme of this bike. The frame, seat, handlebars, and chain guard all feature authentic paw patrol characters and graphics. 

This bike is designed specifically for little kids who are learning to ride for the first time. Rather than squeezable brakes on the handlebars, this model features coaster brakes. Your child simply pedals backward to stop the bike. This is great for younger kids who might struggle with handlebar brakes. 

The bike comes with removable training wheels, so as your kid’s confidence grows they can go it alone. And as they grow bigger, the seat easily adjusts to their new height without needing any tools. 

Pros

  • Perfect for Paw Patrol fans
  • Coaster brakes for added safety
  • Adjustable seat height

Cons

  • Self-assembly requiring some basic tools

Overall Thoughts

This is an absolute must-buy if your child is crazy about Paw Patrol. They’ll love learning to ride this cute bike in style. The seat is super easy to adjust and grows with your child, so it should last them a couple of years if you buy it when they’re still small. 

#10 Segway Ninebot Kids Bike 

Best Kids Bike
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Features

  • Suitable for kids aged 5-10 years old
  • Front-wheel suspension
  • Streamlined design for increased aerodynamics
  • Rear-wheel coaster brakes and hand brakes to the front
  • Fully enclosed chain
  • Ergonomic, adjustable saddle grows with your child

Things We Love About It!

The Segway Ninebot is a sturdy, rugged option for kids who love to ride their bikes. Kids as young as 5, or anyone taller than 3 feet 9 inches, will love this model. It’s super easy to operate and the ergonomic seat design means it’s also one of the most comfortable bikes on our list. 

It also scores highly on safety. The back wheel has a coaster brake, so your child simply backpedals to stop. The front handlebars also feature hand brakes too, which they can use as they learn and gain confidence. 

The chain is fully enclosed which means it’s much less likely to come off or break. It also protects your child’s legs from any scratches. 

The suspension on the front wheel is very effective at absorbing shock. This, combined with the durable, chunky tires, means this bike works well on all kinds of rough terrain. 

Pros

  • Comfortable seat
  • Shock-absorbing suspension
  • Lots of safety features

Cons

  • More expensive than many other bikes on the market

Overall Thoughts

If your child loves cycling and needs a durable bike, this is a great option. This is a high-quality bike that works on all kinds of rough terrain and is designed to last. 

There you have it! The 10 best bikes for kids in 2020! What features do you look for in kid’s bikes? Share in the comments below!

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