24 inch Bikes Review.webp

Best Bikes for 8 year-old Plus Kids

By Eric Awwy, 09 Mar 2020

Similar to adult bikes, finding an appropriate bike for you pre-teen can prove to be a hard task if you don’t know what to look out for.

To put it simply, the best bikes for 8, 9 and 10 year olds are those that have 24-inch wheels. In some cases, even kids aged 7 years find 24” bikes fit. As long as the geometry and the size of the child rhyme, they are good to go. However, these bikes are large and vary in terms of function as some are specialized for a specific type of riding; so that does not simplify things for many people.

That is why we have rummaged through the best 24-inch bikes in the market today to unearth the best of the best for you.

Here is a list of our favorite 24-inch bikes as well as a buyer’s guide we’ve assembled for you to use in your quest to finding the right bike for you 8 to 10 year old child.

We guarantee that no matter the type of riding they are interested in, you won’t miss a bike for your child from this group.

Have a look.

Comparison table of the best quality 24-inch bikes  

Bike Weight (Pounds) Frame Material Brake Type Gear range and Shift Type Best Feature
Guardian Bikes Original 24-inch bike 23.5 Aluminum

SureStop

technology
7/ Shimano grip shifter Innovative safety technology, lightweight frame
Woom 5 18.1 Aluminum Dual hand, v-pull 8/ SRAM grip Lightweight, child-optimized features
Guardian Bikes Ethos 24-inch bike 25.5 Steel

SureStop

Technology
7/ Grip shifter SureStop technology, easy assembly
Diamondback Cobra 24 inch bike 30 Steel Linear pull brakes 21-speed/ Shimano trigger shifter Smooth on bumpy terrain, powerful brake ensures maximum safety
Raleigh Alysa 24 inch kids bike 22.1 Aluminum v-brakes 7-speed Highly comfortable, lightweight
Mongoose Title Pro 24 inch bike 31.2 Aluminum Dual v-brakes 21-speed/ Shimano grip shifter Wide tires, front suspension,  comfortable riding position
Diamondback Tess 24 inch bike 28.05 Steel Linear pull v-brakes 21-speed Shimano trigger shifter Suspension fork, wide gear range, Easy to change gear
Huffy Hardtail 24” Mountain Bike Summit Ridge 40 Steel Linear pull brakes 21-speed/ micro-shift twist shifter Front suspension fork, slight-rise handlebar
Schwinn Baywood 24” Cruiser bike 31 Steel Coaster Brakes Single speed Stylish vintage look, coaster brake, comfort features
Roadmaster 24” Granite Peak Mountain Bike 27 Steel Linear pull v-brakes 18 speed/ Shimano twist grip Wide knobby tires  and front suspension fork for rugged terrain
Mongoose Boys Mech Mountain Bike 24” 37.4 Aluminum Dual v-brakes 21-speed/ twist shifters Wide knobby tires, powerful braking

1 Guardian Bikes Original 24 inch – PREMIUM PICK

Guardian Original 24 Inch Bike
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The 24-inch kids’ bike by Guardian Bikes in the Original model is by far one of our favorite 24-inch kids’ bikes; for several reasons.

The top-most reason being that it is one of the safest bikes you will ever come across. This is what separates Guardian Bikes from other types/ brands of bikes.

Through an innovative braking system known as SureStop technology, riders can automatically stop the bike by engaging one brake lever which simultaneously stops the rear and front wheel of the bike.

 This braking system has the effect of protecting kids from head-over handlebar accidents which occur when the brake lever abruptly stops the front wheel when the bike is in full motion/speed. Overall, it enables kids to ride more confidently.

Other than that, the bike is really easy to put together. Within fifteen minutes of getting the package, the bike was ready for testing. And that’s because it comes 95% assembled so you don’t have to waste time getting the bike ready nor do you need to be a bike guru to assemble the parts.

One distinctive feature about this bike is that it is the more expensive model from Guardian Bikes. There are thus a number of features that differentiate it from the Ethos line and account for the incremental price range.

This bike boasts of a lighter aluminum frame, 7-speed gear with a Shimano grip shifter, highly-durable wheels with double-wall rims, tires with premium traction and last but not least a kickstand for the bike when it is not in use.

If you’re big on safety, this innovative modification of the average braking system, is a factor that makes this bike highly recommendable.

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Proprietary SureStop technology
  • 7 speed Shimano grip shifters provide the easiest gear shifting for kids
  • Child-specific geometry puts them closer to the ground hence better stability
  • Cool, fun and eye-catching decals
  • A bit expensive (compared to Ethos)
  • Limits Mountain biking as SureStop braking system isn’t appropriate for that type of riding

2 Woom 5 – Most lightweight

Woom 5 24 inch bike
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Woom Bikes is a kid-specific bike brand that has recently gained momentum in the cycling world so it comes as no surprise that the Woom 5 made it to our list.

The features that we love about this bike are infinite!

To start with, the Woom 5 boasts of an exceptionally light aluminum frame; which is also one of the main things that Woom bikes are known for. The 18.8 pounds weight makes it extremely easy for kids to navigate the bike.

This bike is further engineered in such a way that it puts the rider in a more upright riding position. This is a great feature for the average eight to ten year old rider who is yet to have an appetite for a specific type of riding.

More importantly this upright riding posture, combined with a low center of gravity geometry enables good balance when riding. Altogether this make the bike a great companion for cycling to school.

And if the kiddo is one of the off-road riding type then the Kenda small block tires combined with 8-speed gearing system (operated via SRAM X4 twist grip), make the bike fully capable for such adventures.

Want to make a stop? Easy peasy. Two independently operated handbrakes enable the bike to stop easily but our favorite feature about these brake levers is that they are easy to reach and are sized for kids’ small hands.

Like we said, the features that make this bike a must-have are many but the low weight nature, fast-rolling tires, wide gearing range and easy-use-grip shifters just sealed the deal for us!

Sure it’s more on the expensive side, but it definitely is well worth every penny

.

  • Ultra lightweight aluminum frame
  • Adjustable padded saddle grows with your child
  • Low minimum seat height compared to other bikes
  • 8-speed shifters expand the rider’s range
  • Paddle requires some getting used to
  • More expensive compared to other bikes in our review

3 Guardian Ethos 24 inch bike – Best Value

Guardian Ethos 24 inch Bike
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The Ethos line of bikes from Guardian Bikes is the more-budget friendly version of the Original.

That said, the 24-inch Ethos bike is another well-thought out bike that we loved. At a cheaper price you get much of the features in the Original line including kid-specific components, easy assembly, fun decals and of course the infamous SureStop braking system from Guardian Bikes.

One of the main features that differ the two models is that the Ethos bike is constructed with steel rather than aluminum. This in turns results in the Ethos bike having a slightly heavier frame however we will say that the bike is still very much easy for kids to navigate.

Like the Original, the Ethos bike also has a 7-speed gear range operated by an easy-to-use gear shifter although the shifter is noticeably harder to use compared to the Original bike.

It also boasts of an extended wheelbase and geometry that puts the kids closer to the ground resulting in better balance and stability.

If were talking value for money then this is just the bike for you. This bike is super-affordable and is endowed with a great number of features that you would expect to find in a higher-end bike.

And it works great for both beginners and avid riders. For beginners, all you have to do is not install the pedals and the bike works well as a balance bike! Talk about versatility of function!

  • Patented SureStop braking system
  • More affordable price compare to the Original line
  • Low-center of gravity design allows better balance
  • Rides longer due to 7-speed gear range
  • Slightly heavier steel frame

4 Diamondback Cobra 24 Youth 24” wheel mountain bike

Diamondback Cobra Mountain Bike
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The Diamondback Cobra 24 is a cross between a kid’s bike and an adult bike as it has features that you would expect to find in both bikes.

This bike has one of the sturdiest construction thanks to a robust Hi-tensile steel frame and tough 24-inch wheels. Weighing 30 pounds, it is one of the heaviest bikes in our listing but that is expected of a mountain bike.

Apart from that, the bike also boasts of a sturdy HL Zoom 40mm travel fork that enables it to effortlessly ride over rocky terrains. The shock absorption by the bike’s suspension system is truly exceptional making all terrains smooth and in turn reducing the level of fatigue your little rider experiences.

What we loved the most about this mountain bike is the number of speeds it has. The 21 gears are such a great opportunity for kids to experiment with gears when exploring tricky terrains. 

Dirt trails are especially a breeze as the 21 gears allow the riders to ride further and to easily conquer the trails. This is more so because shifting trough the gears is incredibly easy and smooth for kids.

For stopping power, the bike is equipped with linear pull brakes that engage with adjustable levers. The great thing about these brakes is that not only do they keep the little rider in control but also because they are adjustable, the rider can alter their placement for easy reach.

  • Extremely sturdy steel frame
  • 21 speed gear range for different terrains
  • 40mm travel fork
  • Suspension system enables bike to ride smoothly on bumpy terrain
  • Powerful linear pull brakes brake effectively
  • Frame is heavy for some riders
  • No kickstand

5 Huffy Kids Hardtail 24” Mountain bike Summit Ridge - Best Budget Bike

Huffy Hardtail Girls Bike
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Huffy Bicycles has ruled over the bike industry for decades from way back in 1892 so it’s pretty much an oldie but a Goldie in the bike industry.

The first thing we noticed about the Huffy Summit Ridge it is well-equipped with 24 x 1.95 tires that move over the dirtiest trails with such ease. This is because the distinctive wide and knobby tires provide maximum traction and stability for the adventurous.

A hi-ten steel frame, front suspension, 21-speeds and Alloy linear pull brakes are all ingredients for an adrenaline-pumping bike performance.

The front suspension handles all bumps and rips leaving your child with a smoother experience while the linear pull brakes of the bike allow consistent control and great stopping power. 

The 21 speeds are delivered with an indexed Shimano rear derailleur that combines with a micro-twist shifter for consistent performance and acceleration either uphill or downhill.

Not to mention a premium padded saddle and equally comfortable grips that are correctly sized for kids hands and add to overall comfort of the bike.

The seat’s height can easily be adjusted through alloy quick release clamps meaning that your child can freely form a bond with the bike as will remain with them as they grow.

Lastly, this lightweight bike is equipped with kid-friendly components from the responsive pedals, slight-rise handlebars that enable an upright riding position and a kickstand for the bike when not in use.

This is just the bike for daring outdoor adventures!

  • Wide knobby tires, premium padded saddle
  • 21 speeds conquer all trails
  • Suspension fork handles bumps and dips smoothly
  • Effective and highly responsive linear pull brakes
  • Affordably priced
  • Some riders found the seat uncomfortable
  • Instruction manual isn’t too clear

6 Raleigh Bikes Alysa Girls Bike – Most comfortable

Raleigh Alysa Girls 24 inch Bikes
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Common to all Raleigh Bikes is a terrific design and the Raleigh Alysa is no exception. This pick from Raleigh is the perfect way for your young girl to roam the streets in style.

Assembly takes about half an hour or more depending on your level of skill on bike assembly but on a more positive note, the bike comes with all the necessary tools for assembly.

The bike also has a kid-friendly frame with low stand-over that makes mounting and dismounting the bike extremely easy. Its lightweight aluminum frame material makes it not only easy to maneuver the bike but also to lift it onto a bike rack for storage.

In addition, long commutes are a breeze thanks to the seven gears that the bike has. Riders can easily switch between the gears using the Shimano Reva shifter that it comes with.

Moreover, the 24 x 1.75 inch wide tires roll smoothly while the alloy v-brakes aid with speed control and better stopping.

However, if there’s something that was emphasized in the production of this bike; it’s rider’s comfort. Kids are kept comfortable even during longer rides thanks to the soft rubber grips and Raleigh Jr. seat.

The seat height can be adjusted for a more tailored and comfortable fit as the rider grows. However there were complaints that the non-adjustability of the handlebars.

Overall, this bike’s performance is top-notch and is one of the best companions on those rides to school or mere trips on the bike paths.

  • Lightweight aluminum frame with low stand-over height
  • 7 gears ease commutes, twister shifter simplifies changing gears
  • Wide tires roll smoothly
  • Alloy v-brakes stop effectively
  • Extremely comfortable saddle and grips
  • Assembly takes time depending on skill level
  • Handlebar height is not adjustable

7 Mongoose Title Pro 24” BMX Race Bike – Best BMX-inspired

Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race Bike
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Founded in 1974, Mongoose is another bike brand that is familiar with bike enthusiasts and its Title Series is a line of BMX race bikes meant to push the rider’s limits. 

The Mongoose Title Pro 24” is a pretty solid entry level BMX bike. Its geometry is perfect and frame is sturdy enough to get your kiddo into BMX riding and sustain them as they progress.

The bike, weighing 31.2 pounds; features Tectonic T1 aluminum frame and large Arisub XLR8 tires; perfect for running over all surfaces. The tires hang over aluminum, double-wall rims and are just the perfect tool for daring and adventurous riders; especially if they like to experiment with stunts.

Another selling point for us was that the bike has an integrated headset and internal cable routing which result in a safer riding experience. Rather than inconveniently hanging outside, the cables run internally within the bike’s frame thus making the bike ideal for racing as well as performing tricks without putting oneself at risk.

For stopping power and precise speed control, the bike is equipped with high-quality alloy v-brake.

As if that isn’t enough, the bike comes in a great range of great colors for kids to choose from and at an amazingly affordable price too!

Whether they are beginners or returning riders, they will be sure to enjoy this bike!

  • Internal cable routing enhances safety while riding
  • Alloy v-brakes are reliable for keeping riders safe
  • High-quality alloy v-brakes
  • Affordably priced
  • Quite heavy compared to other bikes in our review

9 Roadmaster 24”wheels Granite Peak Girls mountain bike- Best Mountain Bike

Roadmaster 24 inch Girls Bike
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Roadmaster has ruled over the recreational bike industry for decades so our expectations were high.

That said, we can confidently report that the 24” Granite Peak Mountain Bike by Roadmaster is one of the best bikes for pre-teen girls.

Whether they want to cruise the neighborhood streets or venture onto rugged paths, this all-round mountain bike will take them through both paths with ease.

The bike sports a steel frame as well as a front fork suspension that assures the rider control over bumps while front and rear linear pull brakes enable quick stopping.

This all-terrain bike rides well over smooth and especially rugged surfaces thanks to the wide tires that feature knobby treading all-through for maximum grip in uneven trails.

The tires are based on alloy rims that offer great stability in addition to the bike’s overall durability.

With 18-speed twist shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur, the Granite Peak has great shifting performance enabling the rider to take on longer rides with utmost power. 

And the bike is also equipped with a water bottle so the little rider remains hydrated as they embark on those long adventurous rides.

  • Front suspension fork offers a smoother ride
  • 18-speed twist shifters
  • Tool-free adjustable seat post
  • A bit too heavy for daily commutes
  • Instruction manual was ambiguous

10 Schwinn Baywood Girl’s Cruiser 24” Bike- Best Cruiser Bike

Schwinn Baywood Cruiser Bike 24 inch Girls
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Schwinn always gets it right with their bikes and the Schwinn Baywood is no exception.

The bike sports a striking teal color, color-popped rims and a groovy chain guard; an ideal look for pre-teen girls but the features of this bike are even more suitable for this demographic.

A low step-through frame allows easy mounting, wide padded seat ensures maximum comfort even on long rides and a front fork allows a comfortable upright riding position that’s easy on the kid’s back.

The Schwinn Baywood is surely the epitome of simplicity. Compared to other bikes we reviewed, it spots a single speed drivetrain for simple riding as well as easy maintenance.

One other distinct feature of this bike is that instead of a handbrake, it features a rear coaster brake. The coaster brake works well for instinctive stopping and in turn preventing head-over-handlebar accidents.

It is however not without its disadvantages as some people complain that coaster brakes inconveniently stop at all times when the riders reverses the pedal wheel out of habit(unconsciously) rather than an intention to stop the bike.

The coaster brake was however not an issue for us so it’s simply a matter of preference here.  

A distinctive rear rack convenient for carrying their belongings to school adorns the bike in addition to stylish full-wrap vintage fenders that not only keep the rider clean and dry but add to the bike’s stylish look.

Needless to say, your child will be the coolest kid on the block but more importantly, the biking memories made on this bike will be worth the purchase.

  • Full-wrap vintage fenders and stylish rims add to the bike’s look
  • Padded cruiser seat is extremely comfortable
  • Rear rack for storage of supplies
  • Rear coaster brakes makes stopping easy and intuitive
  • Bike’s weight is a bit heavy
  • Single speed drive train inconvenient for kids who love experimenting
  • Some riders complained that the coaster brake leads to stopping at inconvenient times

11 Mongoose Boys’ Mech Mountain Bike with 24” wheels- Best Boys’ bike

Mongoose Mech Boys 24 inch Mountainbike
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If you’ve got a little one who enjoys riding off the road then you might want to consider getting the Mongoose Mech 24” mountain bike for them.

This mountain bike sports a striking bright green color which has two great advantages. Firstly, the child’s safety is enhanced as they are incredibly conspicuous to other road users. Secondly, the bright green mountain bike will have your kid as the coolest one on the block.

Performance-wise the bike is more than capable. It is incredibly sturdy with an aluminum frame and 24 x 2.1 wide tires that enable it to conquer any terrain it is set upon.

With 21-speed twist shifters and a front suspension fork, rolling over those bumpy trails will feel no different that riding on smooth paved roads.

Other than evening out bumps, the bike is further crafted with dual v-brakes for quick and powerful stopping power.  The Mongoose Mech can only be described as a beast meant to rule the mountains.

  • Strong and durable aluminum MTB frame
  • Wide knobby tires roll smoothly over rough terrain
  • Dual v-brakes deliver great stopping power
  • 21-speeds with Shimano rear derailleur for easy shifting
  • Requires professional assembly
  • Handlebars positioned a bit far out for smaller bodies (aero position not advisable for kids)

Honorary Mentions (Also Good 24 Inch Kids' Bikes)

1 Avigo Air Flex 24” Dual Suspension Bike Youth

Avigo Air Flex Dual Suspension Bike
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Kent Bikes Avigo Air Flex Dual Suspension 24” BMX is a bike that is definitely worth the buy.

No matter the kind of terrain, the tough 24 inch tires embedded on alloy rims with a machined sidewall will get you through. The sturdy steel frame will hold its own against wear and tear so you need not worry about replacing it any time soon after purchase.

What we love the most about this bike is that it features dual suspension that does a tremendous job at cushioning the impact of bumps and jolts.

To aid with moving over rough terrain are 21 speeds operated by a twist shifter and stop easily and quickly with the alloy linear pull brakes

Thorough a quick release feature, its seat post can be adjusted to fit 9 and 12 year olds even as they grow.

The only downside to this bike is its 44 pounds weight which can prove a bit cumbersome for some kids to handle. Otherwise it’s an exceptional bike with an even more exceptional look that is finished off with mountain-style grips and an awesome bright yellow color.

2 Tommaso Kid’s Ghost 24” Youth Cruiser Mountain bike

Tommaso Kids Ghost Cruiser Mountain Bike
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The Tommaso Kid’s Ghost 24” Youth Cruiser Mountain is a bike from another bike brand that has survived the test of time.

Kids will appreciate how the low-profile frame enables better balance of the bike. And their comfort on rugged/uneven trails is guaranteed as the bike’s fork offers great shock absorption that evens out all terrains.  

As for us, we were thoroughly pleased with the handling of the 24” x 1.95” tires. The performance of the wider and knobby tires on all terrains, be they gravel, paved or dirt, was quite remarkable.

The ability to tackle any roads is further enabled through a great range of gears. A total of 21 speeds activated by easy-to-use Shimano Tourney grip shifters are just what kids need to navigate the roads.

Lastly, the bike’s use of disc brakes as an alternative to v-pull brakes is suitable for the more aggressive type of riders. The enhanced speed control and ability to conquer any terrain inspire riding confidence in kids.

3 Raleigh Bikes Lily 24” Kids Mountain Bike

Raleigh Lily 24 inch Girls Youth Bike
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The Raleigh bikes Lily 24” is another one ready to accompany your kids as they explore the neighborhood roads and dirt trails.

The bike features a lightweight (22 pounds) aluminum fork and frame with a low stand-over height for easy mounting and dismounting.

It furthers spots an 8-speed drivetrain with a twist shifter that makes finding the right gear conveniently easy for the child. Even more pleasing is that it is a great way to teach kids how to change gears.

Further, the bike knobby 24 x 1.95” wide tire grip dirt trails with ease while the powerful alloy v-brakes of the bike enable the kid to control the bike with ease. With such grippy tires, there is no chance of the bike skidding off and with such powerful brakes, stopping power is at an all-time high for the rider.

What sold it for us is the comfort the riders experienced while on this bike. Raleigh Junior mountain saddle and soft PVS grips that are not only super-comfortable but also fit a child’s ergonomics.

Overall, the stability, low weight, high comfort level and power of the bike are what make this bike a great recommendation.

4 Pacific Girl’s Tide Mountain bike

Pacific Tide Girls 24 inch  Bike
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If there’s ever a great transitional bike, it has to be Pacific’s Tide 24” bike.

This is great bike for girls who are looking for a bigger bike that will take them both and off the road.

It features a steel frame is tough, well-made and durable although it has the effect of increasing the weight of the bike.

Large tires offer stability off the ride while a suspension fork increases control and smoothens bumps. Additionally, an 18-speed gearing system controlled by a grip shifter offers quick and easy shifting.

Thanks to these features, this bike can be ridden in a wide variety of terrain; both hilly and flat.

So perfect is this bike that our only complaint is that its saddle lies more on the narrow side hence it might be uncomfortable for some riders.

5 Prevelo Alpha Four 24inch Kids bike

Prevelo Alpha Four 24 inch Bike
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If your kid is big on rough experimenting with bikes by venturing into the wild then this might just be the bike that they need.

Built with the same quality as an adult bike for young aggressive riders, this bike weighing a mere 21.2 pounds is perfect for anything from road cycling to cross-country travels.

The bike is lightweight owing to an aluminum frame build however that is the least of impressive features that this bike has.

24 x 1.5 inch Kenda Small Block Eight tires offer great traction much needed by the adventurous little riders bound to explore dirt jumps while powerful Tektro v-brakes enable them to stop with confidence. 

They can also experiment with the 8 gears that the bike comes with. The great thing about these gears is that they are simple enough for beginners to test the waters of gear changing with while still allowing them to adjust the efficiency of their pedal stroke by a manageable range.

The safety and convenient features are also abound.

To protect the kid from tangles as they rage on, the bike features internally routed lines as well as a double chain guard ring. Not to mention that the bike’s quick release feature for its wheels enables fast and convenient storage of the bike

An 8-speed drivetrain, wider tires, sealed cartridge bearings, adjustable seat, and easy-to-use trigger shifters and make this machine the ideal partner for daring little riders. 

Frequently Asked Questions on 24 inch Bikes

As kids get older, so do the different types of bikes that are available for them.

You need to have them decide which type of riding they are interested in. The more they narrow down their interest the clearer the best type of bike for them.

From this you can decide whether to opt for a road bike, a BMX bike or a mountain bike. However, if they are still unsure then an all-terrain bike would be the best option.

For this age range, we highly recommend a 24-inch kids’ bike. This is because the bike’s components are more suitable for the child’s ergonomics at this age. So you are very likely to find a bike that fits them correctly, will grow with them and they can control on their own.

Don’t be tempted to buy a big bike for them as it is not only unsafe and uncomfortable to ride but it might end up making them lose their interest in the sport altogether. 

Be sure to use a child’s inseam as a proper guide for this.

Training wheels have been proven to be a great tool at teaching kids how to properly steer a bike. However they are not great at teaching them how to balance the bike (which is the most important part of riding).

That means that once the child starts riding a pedal bike they are usually forced to learn how to balance from scratch.

A more appropriate tool for learning is a balance bike.

Balance bikes teach kids how to steer a bike and balance it at the same time. As for pedaling, that comes instinctively so once the kid graduates from a balance bike to a pedal bike, they have no problems balancing the bike. 

Some 24-inch bikes such as Guardian bikes have the option to not install the pedals during the assembly process and in turn use the bike as a balance bike so beginner riders can master the art of balancing.

How to choose the best 24 inch bike for your 8 -10 year old

As aforementioned, finding the right bike tends to be overwhelming for a parent especially if they don’t know where to starts.

As such, in this section we have outlined six major factors that you need to look before finding the right bike for your 8 – 10 year old. Take a look

Bike Size

The size of a bike is by far one of the most important considerations when shopping for a bike. This goes across all ages and sizes.

The bike size is determined by its wheels diameter. That way, a bike with a wheel diameter of 20 inches will be referred to as a 20-inch bike.

Typically, 24-inch bikes are the best fit for kids between 8 and 11 years with a height ranges between 49 inches and 60 inches. This is because the bike size best fits their body size in a way that encourages comfortable riding.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to end up with a bike that’s a size too small a sit may end up frustrating the rider or worse yet lead to body aches that might eventually force the kid to despise riding altogether.

A bike size too big would not only be heavy but it might also be intimidating for the little rider. It places the rider at an uncomfortable position way higher above the ground that does nothing to encourage riding.

Other than the wheel diameter, there are other indicators of the right bike size.

The inseam measurement when put against the bike’s seat height will guide you into finding the right size. You want to always leave 2-3 inches of clearance between the child’s crotch/inseam and the seat height when set at its lowest.

This clearance allows the child to touch the ground with their toes when seated rather than having both their feet placed on the ground. It is important to as it allows knee room for bending and extension appropriately as the child pedals.

Be sure to also check the seat’s height adjustability especially if you intend for your child to stay with the bike for a while.

Chances are that if they start at 8 they will continue riding the same bike till they are around 11 or 12 years old especially if the seat height range is wide.

Overall, the right size fits the child but also allows room for growth.

Frame Geometry

The design of a bike usually suits the type of riding it is intended for (especially for riders who are not at the beginner level).

A road bike meant for neighborhood rides won’t have the same design as a mountain bike or BMX bike meant for a more aggressive type of riding.

For those reasons, we highly advise that you look into whatever type of riding your child is interested in or have a conversation with them to find out

If they are not into a specific type of riding then you can easily find general-purpose and all-terrain bikes for them.

As far as frame geometry goes, the placement of the handlebars and the position it puts the riders in is a good indicator of the type of riding the bike is designed for. If the handlebars sits below the rider’s hips and thereby encourages a leaning riding position, then the bike is meant for aggressive riding

On the other hand, for more leisurely neighborhood rides, the handlebars usually sit above the rider’s hips and encourage a more upright riding position.

Cruiser bikes lie in the second category while Mountain bikes lie in the first.

Weight

When it comes to weight, the rule of the thumb is that the bike’s weight should not exceed 40% of the child’s weight. This is important in order for the child to easily navigate the bike.

The frame material is a huge a contributor to a bike’s weight such that you will find that an aluminum frame is usually lighter than a steel frame.

Another factor to consider is the type of riding that the child is interested in. For aggressive riding or any type of riding that involves elevation, we highly recommend sticking to a bike weight that weighs less than 30% of the child’s weight.

Other additional features such as suspension usually also add to the bike’s weight. As such, you always what to consider whether such additional features are a must or if the child can do without them as in the end this might shed off some weight off a bike.

Overall, the lighter the bike the easier it is to ride.

Gears

Gears help with switching between different speeds. They are especially helpful in off-road riding as they help you adjust the speed and tackle different types of terrain.

You always want a child-friendly version while you mostly will not find gears in smaller bikes; they are quite common for 24-inch bikes

Gears come in a wide variety of configurations so you can have anything from a single-speed to 7/8 gears or even 21/24 gears. The wider the gearing range, the more versatile a bike is.

They come in two different versions; grip shifters and trigger shifters.

Grip shifters work by twisting the handle in order to get into the correct gear. They are more preferable for kids especially in the beginning stages as they are easier to operate

As for trigger shifters, they operate by pulling or pushing the levers using one’s fingers. Grip shifters are preferred over them as they are more intuitive for children but they work well for aggressive riders.

 Types of Brakes

Like with gears, the best types of brakes are those that are child-friendly.

At the most basic level, you will find coaster brakes which are pedal-operated rather than hand-operated. The reasoning behind this is that this type of brake is more instinctive as children who are still at the beginner stages of riding are yet to develop hand-eye coordination needed to operate a handbrake.  As they get older, they can use handbrakes however you can still find some 24-inch bikes such as the Schhwinn Baywood that have coaster brakes.

You are most likely to encounter dual handbrakes on kids’ 24-inch bikes. Both brakes are controlled from the handlebars 

The two main types of handbrakes that exist for bikes are; v-pull and disc brakes.

V-pull brakes work by pressing the brake lever and thereby applying pressure to the wheel causing it to stop.

With this type of brake you need to ensure that the brake lever is both easy to reach and compress. If it sits too far off the rider’s hands and requires a lot of effort to compress then it will most probably not be ideal for your little one.

Disc brakes are preferred by aggressive riders and can either be mechanical or hydraulics. They are however more expensive and require a lot of maintenance but have more stopping power hence the preference for aggressive riding.

Other than these, some manufacturers have created their own versions of a child-friendly brake system. One such example is the SureStop technology from Guardian Bikes. This unique brake system entails engaging one brake lever which then simultaneously stops the rear wheel and the front wheel and in turn prevents head-over-handlebar accidents.

Price

Lastly, be sure to check for the price of the bike and consider whether you are getting your money’s worth.

An expensive bike with high quality components will pay you off in the long run as compared to a cheaper bike that you will have to replace every so often.

At the same time, you can find a cost-effective bike that just has the necessary features but spares you some features that would require more money from your wallet.

To find what best suits your child, weigh its price against its features and their quality.

Parting Shot

Finding the right bike for your pre-teen doesn’t have to be a hard task.

With a few guidelines, the right bike will find you effortlessly. Just check for the wheel diameter, measure the child’s inseam against the minimum seat height and inquire about the type of riding that your child is interested in.

Next, you need to ensure that the bike’s geometry and components are child-friendly before breaking money out of your bank account.

The typical right bike for an 8 to 11 year old is one that has a 24-inch wheel, leaves about 3 inches of clearance between the rider’s inseam and the seat height, is fitted with the proper brakes and whose gears suit the rider’s needs.

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