What’s the difference between a good and a not-so-great bike for a kid?
It’s simple; one is made to suit a child’s ergonomics while the other is merely a shrunken down version of an adult bike.
Great bike brands usually study children’s wants and needs, consider their proportions and go a step further to monitor the differences between adults and kids riding. They then proceed to make bikes that are more appropriately sized for kids and correctly administer to these needs to create the best kids’ bike brands in the market
Our review entails an assortment of 15 bikes, all evaluated by our test editors and then proven on the roads by our crew of little testers.
From balance bikes to first pedal bikes and even 24” mountain bikes, these bikes are lighter and safer and will get your kid always excited for a ride.
Curious, are we?
Let’s take a look at 15 of our top recommendations for kids’ bikes.
Comparison Chart of the Best Kids Bike Brands
|Brand||Location||Type of Kids' Bikes Produced||Why We Love The Brand|
|1. Woom Bikes||USA||Balance bikes.||Ultra-lightweight aluminum construction, child-sized components.|
|2. Cleary Bikes||USA||Road bikes and mountain bikes.||Tiniest pedal bikes, durable steel frames, sleek, elongated geometry.|
|3. Guardian Bikes||USA||Road bikes.||Prioritized safety through SureStop technology, budget-friendly options in the Ethos line.|
|4. Prevelo Bikes||USA||Mountain bikes.||Lowest minimum seat height, Child-sized mountain bikes, excellent customer service.|
|5. Pello Bikes||USA||Road Bikes, pedal bikes.||Brand-name components, child-optimized geometry.|
|6. Frog Bikes||United Kingdom||Hybrid, road, pedal bikes, and mountain bikes.||Broad variety of exciting colors and designs.|
|7. Spawn Cycles||Canada||Mountain bikes.||High-quality mountain bikes.|
|8. Schwinn Bikes||USA||Road bikes, balance bikes, pedal bikes.||Innovative and highly functional designs.|
|9. Raleigh Bikes||United Kingdom||Road bikes.||High-quality bikes at decent prices.|
|10. Strider Bikes||United States||Balance Bikes.||Low-cost balance bikes|
|11. Early Rider Bikes||United Kingdom||Balance bikes, Road bikes.||Sleek, elegant design, purposeful bikes for the earliest riders.|
|12. Isla Bikes||United Kingdom||Balance bikes, road bikes.||Lightweight aluminum frames, bespoke components, and significantly bigger wheels.|
|13. TREK Bicycles||USA||Balance, Road, and Mountain bikes.||Bikes are built to conquer any and all trails.|
|14. Diamondback Bikes||USA||BMX Bikes.||Relatively cheap hybrid, road and mountain bikes, high suspension.|
|15. Mongoose Bikes||USA||BMX, Mountain bikes.||Best beginner Mountain bikes, affordable prices.|
1. Woom Bikes
Making the debut for our list is Austrian-based Company, Woom Bikes.
Woom specializes in making environmental-friendly bikes for kids as young as eighteen months old to as old as fourteen years; however, they are renowned for their expertise in making balance bikes.
These bikes teach the most essential skills for riding; balance and steering.
Woom bikes started with a search for the perfect bike by two Austrian cyclists; Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld.
The ideal bike for toddlers was thus created and dubbed Woom 1. The Woom 1, one of their most exceptional creations to date is characterized by turning limiters, pneumatic tires that offer excellent grip on all surfaces and color-coded brake levers which make it stand out from other beginner bikes.
You can quickly tell that their bikes aren’t made haphazardly as their frames are constructed with high-quality aluminum while the other components of the kids’ bike are tailored to fit a child’s anatomy.
The aluminum construction of the bikes makes them one of the lightest you will find in the industry. In fact, they weigh 40% less than the conventional bike! This figure is quite baffling, especially if you consider the impact that it has on a child’s ability to ride a bike.
Notably, kids learn how to ride earlier and 30% faster on Woom bikes than they do on the average bike.
Plus the bikes can be handed from child to child as they have adjustable seat and handlebar or traded in for the next model thanks to their Upscale program.
To crown their excellent production is a fantastic customer service that will leave you satisfied with your purchase! We insist that Woom Bikes makes the favorite kids’ bikes. So if you want the best bike for your kid, a Woom of their measurement will work the magic.
2. Cleary Bikes
You know you are on the right track when you are purchasing from a company that makes bikes exclusively for kids.
Cleary Bikes prides themselves in their ability to inspire the next generation of riders through their meticulously-built bikes with child-specific components, unique steel frames, and extremely durable design.
Top at the merits that set Cleary bikes apart is their sleek, elongated and lightweight design in spite of their steel construct. The elongated nature makes for a much stable and less wobbly ride for youngsters while a lack of extraneous components achieves the elegant design. Just like that, a well-made bike comes together for little riding enthusiasts.
However, the company doesn’t just create bikes for toddlers. On the contrary, they cater to both sides of the age spectrum. The Cleary Gecko, for instance, is one of the tiniest first pedal bikes that you will find in the market. At the same time, you can find a range of 24” and 26” mountain bikes for older kids.
Having one of the tiniest pedal bikes in the market means that the youngest tots who are ready to pedal are not left out of the fun.
And with an array of top-shelf components, you can trust that by the time your kid is done with their first Cleary bike, they’ll be far more skilled than they would be on an average bike!
3. Guardian Bikes
Guardian bikes are another US-based bike brand that actually delivers!
As the name suggests, Guardian Bikes are not like any other ordinary bike brand as they take on a rather protective role.
In 2013, the company initiated a proprietary braking system known as SureStop. This technology differs from the rest in that through single brake lever; braking power is distributed to both the front and rear wheels.
Why exactly is this good news for young riders and parents? Because this system makes braking simpler than traditional braking systems, more fun, smarter, and safer as it significantly reduces head-over-handlebar accident. This, thus makes their bikes ideal for kids who are in the learning stages of riding characterized by poor hand-eye coordination.
Accident-free technology aside, Guardian Bikes are also known to produce a wide range of bikes including 16” and 24” bikes through two lines; the Original and Ethos.
The Ethos line is a more affordable option to the Premium Original line. The two differ in that the former is constructed with a steel frame while that latter is made of a premium aircraft-grade aluminum frame. This translates to the Original line being two pounds lighter.
The original line further has a premium shifter while the Ethos line has a harder-to-engage standard shifter.
On top of having two pricing options to suit a parent’s pocket, Guardian bikes also have multiple sizing and design options. Through a tool known as Ridesizer, you can easily find the right size for your kid.
Ultimately, what we love about this company sure remains that they make safety a priority, and they bank on it!
4. Prevelo Bikes
While the name Jacob Rheuban may not ring a bell to many of you; Prevelo bikes, the company that he and his family founded has quickly gained momentum in the bike industry.
No matter the age of your child and type of riding your family does, you can be sure to find a Prevelo bike that suits them.
This new kid on the block has made a name for itself by specializing in creating bikes with one of the lowest minimum seat heights you will find out there. The result is that the little riders are conveniently placed at a lower center of gravity, thereby having a more stable ride.
All Prevelo bikes are built to last as they are made of custom formed 6061 aluminum tubing. They are designed to enable little ones to ride sooner, faster, and safer thanks to a ton of smart features including child-specific geometry, custom cranks with ultra-narrow q-factors.
Prevelo bikes offer some of the best pint-sized mountain bikes on the market.
Like Woom, they too have a trade-in program so you can easily upgrade to the next model and like Guardian Bikes, this kids-exclusive bike brand comes in two series; the Alpha and the Zulu.
The Alpha series is ideal for all-purpose riding and more so on paved roads while the Zulu series is more ideal for off-road adventures.
The Zulu line is more suited for dirt roads as it has a higher bottom bracket to provide additional clearance on the road. However, both lines have lightweight frames and narrow q-factors.
Prevelo bikes don’t just have the best kids’ bikes in the industry; they also have the best customer service!
5. Pello Bikes
Pello bikes company is literally the embodiment of the statement; simplicity is key.
Similar to Prevelo, Pello bikes is another newer kids-only bike brand whose formula is simple; beefy tires held onto a sturdy pink or orange frame.
Owner of Pello bikes, Shane Cusick, presses that a kid’s skills and attitude play a fundamental role in their experience of their bikes and we couldn’t agree more!
He goes on further to ensure that the geometry of their bikes’ frame is geared towards making the ride easier for kids.
Being longer and having a generally lower bottom bracket and seat positioning, allows young riders to easily get on and off the bike and experience a more stable ride as compared to riding with store bikes.
Pello bikes are also notorious for having brand name components including Kenda tires and a Cane Creek headset.
With Kenda tires that perform exceptionally well on dirt roads and a lengthy wheelbase that makes for a less twitchy ride, nothing could be better for aggressive riders than this brand.
But the one thing that makes Pello bikes stand out is that in spite of having such competent components, they are quite affordable.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the bike’s components, they have a hand-checked pre-ship checklist.
Ultimately, the right structure for kids and an affordable price tag have made this a trusted brand for kids.
6. Frog Bikes
Frog Bikes is a U.K-based kids’ bike company.
Although they are not as popular as they are at home, it would be a crime to overlook this brand as they offer the best of the best bikes for young riders.
Frog bikes have some of the best first pedal bikes you will find. Their bikes are well-designed with lightweight aluminum construction, a factor that makes it very easy for kids to handle.
This brand prides itself in having one of the largest lines of any kid’s bike brands. Kids between two and twelve years can have their pick from the 10-inch balance bikes to the 26-inch hybrid, road and mountain bikes that are available at the company’s website.
What this means is that no matter your kid’s preference, you are sure to get what they like.
Here’s more good news; even with all these appealing features and light, perhaps the greatest selling point for Pello bikes is that they also come in a wide range of exciting colors!
7. Spawn Cycles
If you are a mountain bike lover, then you need to do yourself a favor and get your little one a bike from Spawn Cycles.
Spawn Cycles is a family-owned and Canadian- based Bike Company had its first release in 2012 after a year-long search for a lightweight bike and high-quality bike.
As the founder’s kids grew, so did their skills and interest in riding; and that is what prompted and inspired the succeeding models.
If your child is between three and ten years old and they have a love for mountain biking, then they will appreciate the fact that these bikes are engineered to succeed in the different aspects of mountain biking including cross-country, dirt jumping, and downhill riding.
What makes them different is that these bikes are cut-cross for kids and engineered with a stout frame, sloping down tube and aggressive tires which make them ideal for mountain riding.
Furthermore, their light nature makes them easier to pedal uphill.
They also have excellent service, so at the end of the day, it’s an equal and satisfying trade for mountain bike parents and the company.
8. Schwinn Bikes
If you haven’t heard of Schwinn bikes, then you must be living under a rock!
Schwinn bikes take the cake for being one of the longest-serving bike companies in the industry.
The journey of inspiring confidence and freedom for riders began in Chicago, Illinois in 1895 by German-born mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn. Key at the aims of the brand was to produce bikes built to be a workhorse, yet they were still available at a budget-friendly price.
The first Schwinn bikes were characterized by high rise handlebars, banana seats, and sturdy frames. Through dedication to quality and innovation, the company was able to perfect their craft and ended up releasing over 100 models throughout the years.
You can easily monitor these improvements from the Schwinn Cycle-truck released in 1939 and popularly used for deliveries thanks to their front carriers to the Schwinn American model released in 1955 that was middleweight and wholly made by features assembled in America to a more lightweight model of the Schwinn fastback released in 1966.
From the word go, these bikes were innovative. The fact that they dominated the bike industry for decades speaks of how well-crafted and highly functional their bikes are!
If you and your child enjoy the vintage feel offered by Schwinn bikes, then you can find second-hand versions of the oldies. They are built just as strong, perform just as efficiently and will definitely give you an edge over other cyclists.
Although Schwinn bikes are no longer American-made, they remain one of the most iconic bike brands in America.
9. Raleigh Bikes
Raleigh Bikes is another bike brand that has found a home in most biking households for decades.
The Raleigh Bicycle Company is a British bicycle manufacturer based in Nottingham, England and founded in 1885 by Richard Woodhead and Paul Angois.
Together with Schwinn, it is one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world that greatly enjoyed the monopoly in the bikes market.
What is more astounding is that more than a century later, the brand has maintained its competitiveness in the market. This is because, from the word go, the quality was at the forefront of their production. The first bikes from Raleigh were designed with classic lines, a durable aluminum frame and other parts such as the rims, handlebars, and rakes made of steel.
The bikes come at reasonable prices yet can still impressively compete with more expensive options in the market.
The brand stocks a wide range of bikes and prides itself in producing one of the first ten-speed bikes.
Today, the emphasis on quality is still apparent. You can quickly tell from the Raleigh atom; a 14-inch kids’ bike that is characterized by a light aluminum frame, low seat positioning and high handlebars that encourage an upright riding position for kids. The bike is finished off by a very comfortable saddle, miniature handlebars, short cranks and rear mudguard that conveniently keeps mud off.
What’s not to love about Raleigh?
Their bikes are made with precision; thus, they have remained a trusted brand for great commuters and dare we say, the single most known bicycle brand in the world of cycling.
10. Strider Bikes
While training wheels are not ill-intentioned; rather than reinforcing, they discourage kids from riding as they fail at teaching them an essential riding skill; how to balance.
And that is how balance bikes emerged.
Strider Bikes was not the first company to make balance bikes, but their simple, affordable and widely available bikes popularized the design that many now refer to the category as strider bikes.
Yes, that simply-designed, no-pedal bike that you’ve seen kids glide on isn’t known initially as a ‘strider bikes’!
That speaks volumes of how greatly designed, and highly functional Strider Bikes are. Which is precisely what Ryan McFarland’s intentions were when he made the first Strider bike back in 2007 for his then two-year-old son.
A strong passion for bikes and motorcycles that he couldn’t wish to share with his toddler fueled his urge to create a bike that wasn’t as large nor as heavy or as complicated as most of the store bikes his son had been on.
Ryan, whose garage substituted for a workshop, sought out to tweak the traditional bike and proceeded to create the first Strider bike successfully.
From its kid-friendly make to its high-quality lightweight steel frame, long wheelbase, inflatable tires, low center of gravity seat and well-positioned footrest very few balance bike come close to the performance of the Strider!
Strider has continued to inspire kids to ride by producing the most popular low-cost balance bike for toddlers.
11. Early Rider Bikes
Early Rider Bikes has its roots in a garden shed in Thames, England back in 2005. As the name suggests, this bike brand deals with the earliest riders exclusively.
They make kids bikes for all ages. From balance bikes for eighteen-month-old to three years old; and a range of 14 inches to 24-inch pedal bikes for older kids.
Their balance bikes are nothing short of purposeful. Characterized by wide tires for riding on dirt, rubber steerer dampers that limit revolving of the front wheel, faux leather saddles, and brushed aluminum frames; the bikes are exclusively child-oriented.
As for the larger bunch of the two-wheelers, the Early Rider Hellion X stands on the highest end of the spectrum. It is a 24-inch mountain bike that is well endowed with knobby tires joined by suspension forks to endorse their performance.
Conveniently, they have size charts that are based on a child’s age, inseam measurements, and wheel size to help find the best fit for each kid.
What sets Early Rider bikes apart from the competition is their sleek and elegant design. But the good thing about them is that not only do they look good, they also ride just as smoothly!
Their only drawback is that they are quite pricey. But this too is an excellent example of quality investment as you get value for money spent.
Early Rider bikes are a great consideration especially if you want nothing short of stellar for your kids!
12. Isla Bikes
Producer of some of the raddest kids’ bikes is Islabikes whose headquarters are in Bromfield, United Kingdom.
Islabikes was founded by and named after Isla Rowntree in 2005 with the aim of keeping adventurous families in motion.
It has always been fundamental to the brand that their bikes are not just merely shrunken-down versions of adult bikes. Instead, the company is intentional about creating bikes that fit child ergonomics.
What makes Islabikes different is they are constructed with lightweight aluminum frames, bespoke components, and significantly bigger wheels.
The aluminum construct of their bikes makes them stronger and much easier to navigate while the bigger wheels make for a smoother, more comfortable and stable ride. They further deliver more forward motion with each pedal stroke making their riders have the edge over their peers.
The company further prides itself in producing proportionally sized and intuitive balance brakes with optimized q-factors.
They are also on the higher end of the price scale, but these bikes give you value for what you are paying for.
Known initially for children’s bikes, Islabikes have since ventured into making bikes for over 65s, but like expected they are similar in quality.
Although they no longer distribute to the U.S, the fact that they are still at the tip of most cyclists’ tongues means that they did something, if not everything, right.
13. Trek Bicycles
Similar to Schwinn, Trek bicycles is another widely known bike-maker. Not only is Trek Bikes a pioneer bike brand, but it is also the largest U.S bicycle company.
Founded down in Wisconsin in 1976, this company has proceeded to produce an exceptionally massive range of bikes from kids’ models to professional road and mountain styles.
The First models were first engineered and manufactured in the U.S, and although that is no longer the case, the impact that the small-town company has created is immeasurable.
The thing about these bikes is that they are built to last and to fit their riders for a confident ride.
Their bikes are also built to conquer any trail, and they do so effortlessly. The fit of these bikes couldn’t be more precise thanks to the narrow q-factors and child-sized saddle that greatly fit narrower kids’ hips.
Trek bikes have an understanding of the fact that ill-fitting bikes can be a safety hazard for kids. That is why their bikes are correctly proportioned to fit their riders.
They are the only major manufacturer still producing two-wheelers in the U.S which speaks volumes to their impact in the bike industry.
14. Diamondback bikes
Based in Kent, Washington is Diamondback bikes, a bike brand that was pioneered in 1977.
The company started as a BMX bike manufacturer; however, nowadays, they are known to produce almost all bike types.
Unlike most pioneers in the bike industry, Diamondback has been consistent with their production do-it-all mid-price bikes.
Diamondback is popularized for building some of the most durable, high-quality, and relatively cheap enough hybrid, road and mountain bikes. The company emphasizes availing their bikes at an affordable price tag.
One of the innovations pioneered by Diamondback is the Knuckle Box suspension, which is found on its Sortie, Mission and Scapegoat full suspension mountain bikes. Many cyclists appreciate this invention as it greatly and positively impacts the smoothness of rides off-road.
If you talk about BMX bikes today and fail to mention Diamondback, then you are doing it wrong as premium quality road, and mountain bikes from this brand are still in production to date.
15. Mongoose bikes
Last but definitely not least is an oldie but a Goldie in the bike industry known as Mongoose bikes.
Founded in 1974, Mongoose bikes are known to specialize in mid-range mountain bikes and BMX.
Like other bike brands mentioned above, Mongoose bikes categorizes its lines into a more budget-friendly line found in department stores and a more premium standard line.
The only drawback to this bike brand is that the performance of their cheaper line is wanting.
Many users report that the components do not hold up to tear well. However, this can translate to the mountain bikes being great for entry-level riders as they will not expose them to too much tear on the trails.
With many years in the bike industry, this brand has grown to be trusted for their expertise in BMX bikes. The premium line offers the best off-road experience.
This is simply because they have great suspension, are made of a highly durable steel frame, highly efficient brakes that stop easily and alloy grips which ensure that the grip you get on the road is excellent.
Thanks to the Mongoose Impasse dual full suspension bicycle, riders experience a smooth, comfortable and non-bumpy ride on just about any terrain while on these bikes.
Mongoose is not only known for availing beginner mountain bikes at a budget-friendly price but also for a simple and straightforward assembly of their bikes.
Mountain biking parents will be pleased to hear that off-roading is especially a breeze for beginners with Mongoose bikes.
Shopping for a new bike for your child does not have to be confusing. Knowing which brands to pursue is by far the best way to begin your search for the ideal bike for our kid.
Once you have knowledge of the best kids’ bike brands, you can get something exclusively made with kids in mind. Our KiddingZone team has reviewed and will continue to review specific bikes from different brands.
Moreover, we categorize the bikes as best by age range just for you to make a great purchase.
While choosing a bike can be as easy as picking, knowing what to look for when shopping for a kids' bike counts. It can save you the post-purchase depression or frustrations. We are the bike experts, in our website you can easily come across the kids’ bike sizing guide, to ensure you get the best size for your kid. Bikes must be the best fit for your kids to love them onset.
Take a pick and enjoy riding!