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The best starter bikes – 14″ wheel kids bikes
Do you know a 3 or 4 year old desperate to ride their first pedal bike? Are you wondering which bike will be best for them but you’re not sure where to start looking? Fear not, here at Cycle Sprog we’ve done the hard work for you and gathered together the best of this seasons 14″ wheel kids bikes.
A few thoughts before you buy a starter bike
In recent years children are starting to ride pedal bikes (without stabilizers) at a much younger age, mainly due to the success of balance bikes teaching them the coordination and balance needed to progress to a “proper” bike. This means that younger and smaller children are needing pedal bikes and thankfully some manufacturers (listed below) have stepped up to the mark and developed 14″ wheel kids bikes that are well made, lightweight and fun to ride. Many other quality manufacturers jump from a balance bike to a 16″ wheel bike, which is usually too big for a 3 year old or small 4 year old to handle.
If this is your child’s first go on a bike of any type, then consider getting them a balance bike, rather than a pedal bike to start with, as they tend to be cheaper and will give them the skills they need to move on up to a pedal bike when they’re ready. Alternatively, you can buy a 14″ wheel pedal bike from this list and take the pedals off to turn it into a balance bike.
If this is your first foray into buying a pedal bike, then you may be wondering what makes a decent kids bike, so take a look at our article 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike. You’ll then realise that the weight and sizing of components on a first bike is crucial to ensure your child really enjoys riding it.
For that reason at Cycle Sprog we only recommend “proper” bikes, which are designed specifically with 3 and 4 year old riders in mind, rather than “bike shaped objects” which are too heavy for a young child to manoeuvre, are hard to ride and will deteriorate quickly. Thankfully the number of lightweight bikes is expanding all the time, with some cheaper priced options becoming available (as well as more expensive ones).
At the end of the article you’ll find our comparison table, which gives weight, minimum saddle height and price, so you can compare each model.
You might also want to check out our list of discount codes for the various retailers and manufacturers to see if you can get a good deal on your chose bike.
The best 14″ wheel kids bikes for winter 2017/18
The Islabikes Cnoc 14 (£289.99)
Islabikes are the original manufacturers of quality kids bikes, and when you buy an Islabikes you’re getting over a decade of obsession to detail and quality. Over the years they’ve realised that children are requiring a pedal bike earlier and earlier (or are just at a lower height percentile than the majority of kids their age), and have brought out two versions of their 14″ starter bike. The Cnoc 14 Small is, as the name suggests, their smallest pedal bike offering, and has a tiny 6.5″ frame with a weight of just 5.6kg. Of all the bikes on this page, it’s the one suited for the shortest inside leg (just 34cm). Please note that this is a very popular bike and you may have to wait for stock to become available. The Cnoc 14 Large is, as the name suggests, a slightly larger bike, with a standard 8″ frame and weight of 5.7kg.
Islabikes are only available direct from the Islabikes website or their showroom in Ludlow. The bikes really retain their value and there is a very active second-hand market, with many Cnoc 14’s selling on Ebay or the Preowned Islabikes Facebook Group. Please note that Islabikes only brought out the Cnoc 14 Small in the summer of 2016, so most older bikes are just labelled as “Cnoc”, which equates to the new “Cnoc Large”.
Vitus Fourteen (£150)
At the other end of the price spectrum from the Islabikes is the new Vitus Fourteen, which has an RRP of £150. It too is designed with young riders in mind, with adjustable brake levers for smaller hands and kendra tyres designed to cope with grass, gravel and tarmac surfaces. The weight is very respectable, coming in at just 6.4kg, thanks to an alloy frame and wheels, which have been coupled with steel forks. This is a great entry-level bike that is lightweight and designed for smaller riders, without breaking the bank, and comes with a 2 year frame warranty and 12 month parts warranty.
Frog 43 (£240)
One of the biggest rivals to Islabikes dominance of the quality kids bike market is Frog Bikes. Their range of bikes are lightweight, hardwearing and fun, with a great range of colours to choose from. Their smallest pedal bike is the 14″ wheel Frog 43 (Frogs are named after the shortest leg length that the bike suits – in this case 43 cm). It weighs a respectable 6.3kg.
You can read our review of the Frog 43 here.
Frog bikes are available from some of the bigger on-line retailers such as Tredz and Rutland Cycling, plus a huge network of local bike shops. The Frog 43 has a new price of £240, and excellent quality models can also be found on Ebay.
Woom 2 (£260)
Woom Bikes are an Austrian company who make lightweight, great quality kids bikes. They’ve only recently become available in the UK, and offer parents looking to spend that little bit more on their child’s first pedal bike an alternative from the Islabikes and the Frogs. We’ve seen the Woom2 up close and personal, and are very impressed with the quality. You can see our video review of the Woom2 here. It’s the lightest bike in this list, coming in at jut 5.2kg.
The Woom 2 is available from The Little Bike Company, priced £260
Dawes 14 Inch Academy (£239)
The Dawes Academy range often gets overlooked, as Islabikes and Frog tend to get all the attention at the higher end of the price bracket. But the Dawes Academy range is well specified and lightweight (this 14″ wheel starter bike is just 5.82kg) so worth keeping an eye on, as sometimes they can be found significantly reduced. The Dawes 14 inch Academy is available from Evans Cycles for an RRP of £239, but at the time of writing was reduced to £215.
Squish 14 (£209.99)
Squish Bikes are another brand new kids bike range that have sprung up to cater for the demand for lightweight kids bikes. With child proportioned components such as brakes, saddles and crank arms, and weighing in at just 5.8kg, the Squish 14 is certainly trying to give the bigger names a run for their money. The sizing guide suggests the Squish is suitable for slightly taller kids, with a minimum leg length of 40cm.
Ridgeback 14″ bikes (£159)
Ridgeback are the only 14″ wheel kids bikes we’re featuring which come as a “Girls” and a “Boys” bike. The “boys” bike is called the MX14 and comes in either green or red, whilst the “girls” bike is called “Honey” and is, as you’d expect, pink. The bikes are sturdy and reasonably specified, with off-road tyres and an aluminium frame that comes with a lifetime warranty. The Ridgebacks are heavier than the others included on this page, coming in at 7kg, but that is reflected in them being at the cheaper end of the price spectrum.
The Ridgeback Honey and MX14 can be bought from Tredz for £159.99
Cuda CP 14 (£230)
The Cuda Performance range is another alternative to look out for – it’s sold mainly through smaller independent bike shops so you get a chance to size the bike against your child before you buy – always useful. We’ve reviewed the CP20R (the bigger sibling in the range) and were impressed. The Cuda CP14 weighs in at a very respectable 6.4kg, and has an RRP of £230. Cuda have recently relaunched this range, and made some modifications, including a new smaller saddle to improve the riding position.
Summary of the best 14″ wheel kids bikes
Here’s a quick overview (sorted by price – high to low) of the 14″ wheel kids bikes discussed above. All weights, dimensions and prices are from the manufacturers publicly available information. If we’ve missed off your favourite 14″ wheel pedal bike, do please let us know, either in the comments section, or via Facebook.
|Bike||Minimum Inside Leg||Maximum Inside Leg||Weight||Price||Frame size|
|Islabikes Cnoc 14 Small||34cm||42cm||5.6kg||£289.99||6.5″|
|Islabikes Cnoc 14 Large||38cm||48cm||5.7kg||£289.99||8″|
|Dawes 14 Inch Academy||–||–||5.82kg||£239.00||–|
|Ridgeback Honey and MX14||–||–||7.0kg||£159.99||–|
Other articles you may find useful:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Discount codes for kids bikes
- Buying a second hand kids bike
- The best 16″ wheel starter bikes for ages 4 to 6 years
- Review of the Frog 43 First Pedal kids bike
- Bobbin bikes – stylish city bikes for kids
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article on 14″ wheel kids bikes contain affiliate links, which means we may get paid a small commission if you purchase something after clicking on them. This isn’t the case for all the bikes featured, and doesn’t affect whether we recommend a bike or not.
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