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In this article we take a look at the best 16" wheel kids bikes aimed at children aged 4 and 5 years old. Finding the perfect bike for your child will depend on their height, inside leg measurement and riding ability, plus your budget and how often and where it will be ridden.
At the end of the article we've compared the 16" wheel bikes for price, warranty period and weight, as you need to make sure you get the correct bike for your child and your pocket.
The bikes in this post are all well specified and lightweight (under 8kg) single gear bikes, with child specific components such as shorter cranks, small reach brakes and small saddles and 16 inch wheels. We've deliberately ignored bikes with gears, as this adds complexity and weight that the majority of children don't need gears when they are only 4 or 5 years old.
This means all the bikes featured will be fun and easy to ride, and should last several children (and hopefully allow you to sell on at the end, to recoup some of the cost back). Unless stated they all come with Kenda small block tyres, which are perfect for grass, tarmac and gravel.
If possible, test before you buy, as there can be a big variation in the height and inside leg measurements between a small 4 year old and a tall 5 year old, as well as between different makes of bike.
Please don't be tempted to by a bike that is too big - it can be very off putting (and dangerous) to a 4 year old to have to ride a bike that is too large for them, and it's unlikely to get the use it deserves.
If your child is ready for a pedal bike but is too small for a 16" wheel bike, then take a look at our article on the smaller 14" wheel pedal bikes. And if they've not yet learnt to pedal, then check out balance bikes instead.
If your child is towards the taller and older end of the age range (say 5 years old, nearing their 6th birthday), or is very tall, then check out our articles on the larger wheel bikes:
You may also find our article 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike useful.
You can get a decent new bike for as little as £160 or spend over £350, depending on how much riding your child is going to do and how much you can afford. There's a roaring trade in good quality used 16" wheel kids bikes, as decent models are built to last more than one child, so check out our guide to buying a second-hand kids bike.
If you're buying new, then don't forget to check out our list of discount codes too - you might get your perfect bike that little bit cheaper!
Remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to a kids bike, so whilst it may be tempting to pay under £150 for a bike for your 4 year old, it's likely to be really heavy and your child may have problems with steering and braking. All the bikes listed below do cost between £150 and £200, but you'll be getting a lightweight bike with child specific components, that you know your child will be able to steer, brake and lift up with ease.
Vitus Bikes are the in-house brand for the newly merged Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles. This new kids bike range has really taken our eye, as it's been designed with an attention to detail that usually comes with a much higher price tag. For just over £150 you're getting a light weight 6061 alloy frame, combined with steel forks (which add weight but it's a trade-off to keep the price down), and the all important child specific components. The Vitus Sixteen comes in at 7.2kg, so it's the heaviest 16" wheel kids bike we're featuring. However it has a 2 year frame warranty and 12 month parts warranty, so has been designed to last longer than many other cheap kids bikes out there.
Carrera is one of Halford's in-house brands, and together with the Wiggins range (above) are the only kids bikes we'd recommend you buy from them for a 4 or 5 year old. The Carrera Star and Cosmos have a lightweight aluminum frame and child sized components, which mean your child will be able to ride the bike easily, and more importantly safely. The Carrera Star (white - pictured above) and the Cosmos (pale blue) are significantly lighter than the steel framed bikes in the rest of the Halfords range (the stated weight is approx 6 kg), and it's very competitively priced at at £180 (often with additional discount). If you can afford to buy a light weight bike over the heavier, cheaper alternatives you really will see a difference in how easily your child rides and the amount of use they get out of the bike.
The Carrera Star and Cosmos 16" wheel kids bikes have an RRP of £160 and are available at Halfords, where you can get free bike assembly, plus storage if you're not quite ready to take it home.
Sold exclusively at Halfords, the Wiggins kids bike range is both stylish and well specified with components designed for young riders. The 16" wheel bike in the range is called the "Macon" and has the Wiggins signature reverse 'curved' fork and mod target design, making is aesthetically slightly different from the majority of other 16" wheel bikes. The Macon has a lightweight double butted aluminium frame and aluminium forks, which helps it weigh in at a very respectable 6.4 kg.
The Wiggins Macon retails at £190 and is available via "click and collect" at your nearest Halfords Store where they can help you assemble the bike correctly for your child.
If you're willing to pay more for a bike for your child, you'll reap the benefits in terms of quality of workmanship, durability of the bike and weight of the bike. These bikes should all do several children and allow you to sell on the bike at the end of this time, to minimise your overall costs.
Frog Bikes are great - they're designed specifically for young riders, they're lightweight (the 16" wheel Frog 48 is just 6.75 kg), fun to ride, and come in a large choice of colours. With a range of kids bikes that stretches from small balance bikes through to large 26" wheel mountain and hybrid bikes, we're seeing brand loyalty from families as their children grow through the Frog range, which is a sign of a quality bike. This is backed up by a free 5 year warranty on frame and forks if you register the bike (2 years if you don't), and this quality means that they sell extremely well second-hand on Ebay.
The Frog 48 comes with two sets of tyres - hybrid for most surfaces (Kenda 16" x 1.5") and off-road for those hitting the trails (Kenda K1153 16"*1.75). It also comes with front and rear plastic mudguards (not shown), which are great if your child likes riding through every puddle they see!
Islabikes are the original quality kids bike manufacturers. When you buy an Islabike you're buying over a decade of obsessive attention to detail from a company who are synonymous with creating bikes designed for children. The Cnoc 16 has everything you want from a first bike in terms of child sized components, longevity and light weight (6.1 kg with pedals). It also has stunning looks and the brand reputation to back it up. Mudguards, off-road tyres and a kick stand are available as additional options either at time of purchase or later.
You'll notice that unlike many of its competitors the Cnoc 16 has a chain guard, to protect clothes and fingers from the greasy chain - we all know how inquisitive a 4 year old can be!
This all comes at a price, although you should recoup a large part of the £289.99 tag when you sell it on - Islabikes sell like hot cakes on Ebay and other forums. New they are only available direct from Islabikes.
Sir Chris Hoy is famous for being the author of the Flying Fergus range of kids books (if you haven't got your 5 year old hooked on these yet you need to check them out!) and the Hoy range of kids bikes. Apparently he also used to race bikes and picked up a few medals in his time too....
The Hoy Bonaly 16 is the smallest pedal bike in a range which is renowned for being hard-wearing - Hoy Bikes are used by British Cycling Go-Ride instructors, who loan them out at races and events up and down the country.
The Hoy Bikes Bonaly range has been totally redesigned for 2018, and it is now one of the lightest weight 16" wheel bikes out there (5.95 kg with pedals). It comes with all the child specific components you'd expect, and a fresh new look for 2018.
For those who like their cycling heritage, at the time of writing it was still possible to get the "old" version of the Bonaly 16 (pictured below) which is the same colour dark orange as Sir Chris's very first track bike. You'll probably also be interested that Bonaly is the area at the foothills of the Pentlands where Sir Chris cycled off-road for the first time.
Hoy Bikes are available exclusively at Evans Cycles, and the Bonaly 16 retails at £260.
Woom are an Austrian kids bike company and their products have recently become available in the UK. Think of them as the central European equivalent of Islabikes in terms of attention to detail, and you're not far off the mark. With the manufacturer claiming the Woom 3 weights just 5.5kg, it's the lightest 16" wheel bike we've found. This is due to almost every part on the Woom 3 being made from lightweight aluminium. We're not sure whether the weight includes the kickstand, which comes fitted to the bike - ideal for neat storage and preventing the bike getting thrown on the ground.
The Woom 3 is available exclusively from The Little Bike Company and retails at £290.
For those on a budget of between £200 and £250 there is a growing range of bikes available, which give a choice in terms of styling, colour and frame size. All these bikes are great options, although you're a step down in terms of quality and reputation from the more expensive bikes above, which worth considering if you're hoping for a decent resale value.
The Cuda Performance range is a good alternative to the Frog and Islabikes range for those who like the modern single colour design on their kids bike. They're good-looking (three colours are available) with 'child-specific' components. Weight wise they're at the heavier end of the bikes featured (7kg with pedals), but this is still a lot lighter than the majority of 16" wheel kids bikes available.
The Cuda CP16 is sold in a wide range of local independent bike shops, meaning you can try before you buy.
If your Cycle Sprog is going to be doing a lot of off road riding, for example at trail centres, then the Cube 160 16" wheel bike will make them look the part. It's styled on Cube's adult mountain biking range, but has child sized components suited for a 4 or 5 year old. With this bike it's worth noting that there is a rear coaster brake, which means your child can back pedal to stop, as well as using the more common front rim brake. Some kids (and parents) love this, others don't. It comes with a rear mudguard to keep off most of the dirt and a chain guard to keep things clean.
It's not the lightest bike in this list, coming in at 8 kg, but the rear coaster brake will add weight to the aluminium frame and components.
The Cube Kid 160 comes in a bright range of different colours, including the Team Cube white and a striking pink and berry combination. It has an RRP of £249 and is available at Tredz.
Squish are a reasonably new brand, from the same manufacturers of the Dawes Academy range. Like all the other brands in this article that are lightweight, specified with child sized components and have good quality Kenda tyres. The Squish range can be found in independent bike shops around the UK -click here to find your nearest dealer.
The Dimension is the premium model in Ridgeback's kids bike range. Their 16" wheel bikes weigh in at 6.8 kg, making them nice and lightweight for a 5 year old to handle.
Raleigh are a one of the oldest bicycle names in the world, with a heritage that goes all the way back to 1885. After a number of years of financial woes and changes of ownership linked with a decline in quality of bike, the brand is back with a lightweight kids bike (6.31 kg) that is worthy of attention, especially for any young budding mountain bikers.
The Raleigh Performance 16 has a lightweight aluminum frame, child specific components and tyres suitable for tarmac and gravel. Raleigh are aiming this bike at those budding 5 year old MTBers not quite ready to have a bike with suspension and gears.
Below is the information that is publicly available about the bikes we've listed above. Please note that weights are as stated on websites, some may include pedal weight, others may not. Where the website states with pedals we've put (wp) after the weight.
It's sorted in price order, cheapest first, but you can re-sort on weight or inside leg to find the best bike for your child and your bank balance. You can also use it as a reference if you're looking at other 16" wheel kids bikes - how do they compare to the price and weight of the ones listed? (Remember if the weight isn't listed for a bike and it's got a steel frame, it's likely to be HEAVY, and a struggle for a 4 or 5 year old to ride!)
|Bike||Weight||Price||Frame Size||Minimum Inside Leg (max where stated)||Saddle Height||Height Guide||Warranty|
|Carrera Cosmos and Star 16"||6.0 kg||£160||-||-||-||112 - 127cm||1 year|
|Vitus Sixteen||7.2 kg||£185||-||-||-||104-122cm||Frame 2 year
Parts 1 year
|Wiggins Macon||6.4 kg||£190||9"||-||-||112-127cm||1 year|
|Squish 16||6.3 kg||£220||9"||47cm||Alloy Frame & Fork: 3 years
Components: 1 year
|Cuda CP16||7 kg (wp)||£240||-||-||49 - 58cm||-||1 year|
|Frog 48||6.75 kg||£250 (includes two sets of tyres)||9.5"||48cm||-||-|| 2 years - frames, forks, parts, paintwork.
5 years on frames and forks if registered on Frog Website
|Ridgeback Dimension 16||6.8 kg||£250||110 - 120cm||Lifetime on frame|
|Cube Kid 160||8.0 kg||£250||-||-||-||-||Not stated|
|Raleigh Performance 16||6.31 kg||£250||9"||43-52 cm||-||-||Not stated|
|Hoy Bonaly 16||5.95 kg (WP) - 2018 model |
6.3 kg - old model
|Islabikes Cnoc 16||6.1 kg (wp)||£290||9"||42 - 52cm||104-120cm||Frame and forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
|Woom 3||5.6 kg||£290||-||46 - 54 cm||-||-||Frame and Forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Other articles you may find useful:
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this post about 16" wheel kids bikes contain affiliate links, which mean that Cycle Sprog may get a small commission if you click on them. This doesn't affect what you pay, and doesn't apply to all links - we include bikes because we think they're good, not because they belong to an affiliate scheme.
This post was first published on 27th November 2017, and updated in June 2018 to reflect new stock availability and prices
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