The best kids bikes - January 2020 - our pick of the very best

Is it possible to pick the best kids bike?  I certainly wouldn't like to have to select just one children's bike, as what's the best bike for a 4 year old is going to be very different to what's best for a 13 year old mountain biker, or a 9 year old cyclocross racer! It also depends a lot on your budget and how often the bike is going to be used. However, I'm totally fed up seeing articles which are entitled "Best Kids Bikes" which select a range of fairly average (or worse, rubbish) bikes that a) the author has never tested and b) are only recommended as they're the best selling kids bikes at a retailer the host website is getting commission from.

So, in an attempt to set the record straight, here's my list of the very best kids bikes for all ages of child. We've reviewed the majority of them here on Cycle Sprog - and others come recommended by friends and followers. Some we do have affiliate relationships with, but many we don't. It's basically a list of brilliant children's bikes - it's been a hard choice, and I'm sure they'll be some commotion about all the bikes I've left out.  Because not everyone can afford, or needs, a brand new bike for their child, we've included where to look second-hand in green, and other ideas for different bikes in the same wheel size in blue throughout.

Here at Cycle Sprog we need to make enough money to feed and clothe our growing Sprogs! One way we do this is by using affiliate schemes where possible. This means we may receive a small commission from sales made when our readers click a link and buy a bike. Thanks for your support.

Best Kids Bikes in the UK - 2020

For those of you who are in a rush, here's a list of the brands (in alphabetical order) that we have reviewed and recommended as building some of the best kids bikes in the UK.  Most are available second hand if you're on a budget and as they are all quality children's bikes well worth considering, rather than a cheaper new alternative. Later in the post, we look at which bikes we particularly recommend for which age group and for different types of cycling, and include some other bikes that our readers highly recommend too.

  • Black Mountain Bikes - innovative bikes for ages 2.5 to 6 year olds that grow with your child, reducing the number of times you need to buy them a bicycle (and amount you spend)
  • Cube Kids Bikes* - so many choices, aimed at different price points with reliable German engineering, including top of the range mountain bikes for older kids
  • Cuda Performance - a popular range for triathletes and racers, available at local bike stores
  • Frog Bikes* - virtually every type, size and colour of kids bike - all brilliantly made
  • Hoy Bikes - after their 2018 revamp these are some of the best and lightest children's bikes around
  • Islabikes - the original kids bikes - and quite possibly still the best!
  • Squish Bikes* - a cheaper alternative to some of the bigger names, often available in independent local bike shops
  • Strider - they only make balance bikes - in all sizes from toddlers through to adults
  • Toddle Bikes - for tiny Cycle Sprogs too small for a balance bike!
  • Woom Bikes - an interesting continental alternative to the bigger names, particularly good for commuting
  • Worx Junior Bikes - only for kids who want to cycle very fast!

* If you're buying the brand of bikes marked with an * at Tredz, you can use our exclusive affiliate links.

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off all kids and junior bikes at Tredz plus free home delivery with our exclusive code.
Just use our affiliate link and enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 31st January 2020.

On a limited budget?

The bicycle brands featured in this post produce some of the best kids bikes but we understand that not every family can afford, or wants, to spend so much.  If this is the case, then check out our other post on the cheapest kids bikes - they're all really great, safe bikes that your Sprog will love riding, just at a lower price than the ones in this article.  If you're tempted to buy a REALLY cheap bike (say under £85 new) from a superstore or catalogue, then check out our post on why we don't recommend buying a really cheap kids bikes.

The 2 rules for buying the best kids bikes

If this is your first time buying a kids bike, remember the two questions to ask yourself:

1) Can they pick the bike up? (some cheap steel framed bikes are too heavy for most children to pick up, or ride up hills etc)

The Woom2 is lightweight enough to be lifted up by a 4 year old

2) Can they operate the bikes and gears? (all the brands featured in this post have child specific brakes and gears - you can imagine the consequences if they can't operate them on a poorly designed bike)

For other things to consider, go to our post 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike

The best kids bikes for 2020 (age order)

Apart from the balance bikes, all the brands featured do kids bikes in lots of different sizes, and we'd be happy to recommend their entire ranges, whatever size bike your child needs.  Don't forget we've got LOADS of other articles to help you find the best bike for your child, whatever their age. I've listed the links in blue after each section to help you find the perfect bike if the one we've featured isn't quite right for your budget or the type of cycling they're doing.

Lena Toddlebikes (RRP £22) 

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended

Toddlebike2 a bike for 3 year old's

If you've got a toddler who is desperate to start riding a bike, but isn't quite ready for a balance bike, then the Lena Toddlebike (also know as the Lena First Scooter for some reason!) is your answer. It's cheap, it's lightweight, and it's loads of fun - plus it will prepare them for the move to a balance bike when they're ready.  You can read our review of the Toddlebike here.

BUY NEW - Click here to buy a  Lena Toddlebike from Amazon

BUY SECONDHAND ==>  These bikes are almost indestructable, and usually used for a short time so they are often passed on to friends and family. Due to their low cost not many make it onto Ebay, but some do so try searching for the names Toddlebike and Lena Balance Bike as they've been sold under different names over the years. 

NOT QUITE WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? GO TO OUR POST ON "THE BEST BIKE FOR A 1 YEAR OLD" FOR MORE GREAT CHOICES TO HELP GET YOUR CYCLE SPROGLET ON TWO WHEELS

Strider Balance Bikes (from £110)

Strider 12 classic - one of the best balance bikes

If you're buying a bike for a 2 year old, then chances are they're not going to be able to pedal a "proper" bike yet. Please resist the temptation to get them a bike with stabilisers - go for a balance bike instead and watch them zoom away (plus they'll find the transition to pedals so much easier when it happens).
Strider make some of the best and most robust balance bikes around - they're used for racing (yes, balance bike racing is a proper sport) and come highly recommended by many parents

BUY NEW - Click here to buy Strider Balance Bikes from Amazon 

BUY SECONDHAND ==> There's a really good market for second hand Strider Bikes on eBay, because they've been around for so long, and are so hard wearing. 

NOT THE RIGHT BALANCE BALANCE BIKE FOR YOUR CHILD? CHECK OUT OUR POST ON "THE BEST BALANCE BIKES" FOR MORE GREAT CHOICES AT VARIOUS PRICES

Black Mountain Bikes - 3-in-1 bikes that grow with your child (£349)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Black Mountain Skog - one of the best 16" wheel kids bikes available, which transforms from a balance bike

Black Mountain is a new brand taking the kids bike market by storm with their innovative new "growing" bikes. The bikes start off as balance bikes and can be converted to pedal bikes when your child is ready. The frame can then be extended as they grow, to cover the same time period that you'd usually need two pedal bikes for. They may be a bit pricier at the start, but you're getting 2 or 3 bikes in one, saving you money, time and hassle over a longer time frame.  You can read how our reviewer got on swapping from a much cheaper and heavier bike with stablisers to one of these lightweight balance bikes. 

BUY NEW - Black Mountain kids bikes are only available direct from their website

Buy secondhand:  As Black Mountain are such a new brand, and their bikes are designed for last your child a long time you won't find any available second hand at the moment

THE BLACK MOUNTAINS NOT QUITE DOING IT FOR YOU?  FOR MORE INSPIRATION ON FIRST PEDAL BIKES VISIT OUR POST "THE BEST 14" WHEEL STARTER BIKES FOR AGES 3 AND 4 YEARS" TO FIND THE PERFECT BIKE FOR YOUR BUDDING CYCLIST.

Frog 48 - 16" wheel starter bike (RRP £280)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Frog 48 kids bike - the perfect Christmas gift

Frog Bikes are another brand who make some of the most popular and best kids bikes around. They too cover virtually every type and size of kids bike, from balance bikes for toddlers through to mountain, road and track bikes for older kids.  Frog Bikes are sized by the inside leg measurement, so the Frog 48 is designed for a child with a minimum inside leg of 48cm (roughly the 4-5 year age group). They also do the smaller Frog 40 for younger/shorter children.   We've reviewed a lot of Frog Bikes and always been impressed with them.

BUY NEW - Click here to buy the Frog 48 Kids Bike from Tredz (free delivery)

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off Frog Bikes at Tredz with our exclusive code, plus Tredz offer free home delivery. Just click on our affiliate link before 23.59 on 31st January 2020 and enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout.

BUY SECONDHAND:  There are always so many used Frog Bikes to choose from on eBay, due to how well they are made and how many are sold. Some very savvy parents are able to buy secondhand, have their child use it and then sell on the same price (or even more!) 

THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER GREAT BIKES FOR KEEN YOUNG RIDERS IN OUR ARTICLE "THE BEST 16" WHEEL BIKES FOR 4 AND 5 YEAR OLDS" 

Squish 18 - the in between size bike (RRP £270)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

The Squish 18 is a great bike for a 6 year old girl

The Squish 18 is a great choice for Cycle Sprogs who are too small for a geared 20" wheel bike but have outgrown their starter bike.  Our 6 year old reviewer loved riding her Squish 18 - and moved confidently onto a bigger bike when the time was right for her.  Squish Bikes are a relatively new brand that offer a cheaper alternative to the Frog Bikes and Islabikes.

BUY NEW - Squish 18 from Tredz

Good news!! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 31st January 2020. Tredz also offer free home delivery.

BUY SECONDHAND: Squish Bikes have been around just about long enough for them to start coming up on E-bay in small quantities. Expect to see more over the coming years as they become a more established brand.

THERE ARE NOT MANY DECENTLY SPECIFIED 18" WHEEL KIDS BIKES AROUND, BUT YOU CAN FIND THE ONES WE RECOMMEND IN THIS POST: "THE BEST 18" WHEEL KIDS BIKES" 

Hoy Bonaly 20 - first 20" wheel geared bike (£325)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Hoy Bonaly 20" bike new for 2018 for ages 6 years, 7 years and 8 year old girls and boys

The Hoy range of children's bikes has been recently relaunched, and they're now some of the lightest weight kids bikes available in the UK. The Bonaly is their "Go Anywhere" bike, equally at home on road or on the trails.  The 20" wheel Bonaly is the smallest of their bikes with gears - they also do smaller single speed bikes, plus a drop handlebar bike for those wanting to do road or cyclo-cross riding.  You can read how our 7 year old reviewer got on riding the Hoy Bonaly 20 here.

BUY NEW - The Hoy Bonaly 20 is only available from Evans Cycles 

Evans Cycles are currently having a Winter Sale on kids cycle clothing and gloves - limited stock available!

BUY SECONDHAND: Hoy Bikes were totally revamped in 2018 so most of the bikes available on eBay will be the older model. This was a very good bike, and was used by British Cycling for their Go-Ride coaching - the sign of a hardwearing and reliable bike! 

IF THE HOY BONALY ISN'T FOR YOUR CYCLE SPROG, THEN CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION OF THE "BEST BIKES FOR 6 AND 7 YEAR OLD KIDS - 20" WHEELS"

Giant ARX 24

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Giant ARX kids bike - new lightweight kids bikeGiant are the world's biggest bike manufacturer and the ARX is their premium kids bike range.

As you'd expect, the Giant ARX 24 has many of the same features as the majority of the quality kids bikes we've already featured.  However, in a sign of how confident they are with the quality of their bikes, Giant offers a lifetime warranty on their frames, plus 10 years on forks. Your child will have grown out of the bike long before then!

Our reviewer really enjoyed riding the Giant ARX she was sent to test and Dad was impressed too!  It's a great looking bike, with grown-up styling at a good price.

BUY NOW: Giant ARX 24 at Tredz

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off Giant Bikes at Tredz with our exclusive code. Just click on our affiliate link before 23.59 on 31st January 2020 and enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout. Tredz also offer free home delivery.

THERE'S LOTS MORE 24" WHEEL HYBRID KIDS BIKES TO CHOOSE FROM - WE'VE COLLATED A WIDE RANGE IN THIS CUNNING TITLED ARTICLE "THE BEST 24" WHEEL ALL PURPOSE KIDS BIKES"! 

Woom 6 - 26" wheel kids city bike (£410)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Woom 5 is a 24" kids bike

If you're looking for a kids bike for urban or gentle off road riding that's a little bit different, then Woom Bikes are a great choice. They're an Austrian brand who are well established on the continent, but fairly new to the UK. They are available in a range of sizes from balance bike through to 26" wheel (Woom 6).  We've reviewed a couple of the smaller single speed Woom Bikes and were really impressed with the quality.

BUY NEW - Click here to buy Woom Bikes from The Little Bike Company who are the only stockists in the UK

BUY NEW - If you're based outside of the UK visit the Woom Bikes website to find your nearest dealer or buy direct

BUY SECONDHAND: As Woom Bikes are still relatively new in the UK there's not that many available secondhand yet, but they do sometimes come up so it's worth a quick check on Ebay, just in case. 

For other 26" wheel hybrid bikes, check out this post: Best kids bikes with 26" wheels - last stop before an adult bike!

Islabikes Beinn 27 (£500)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Islabike Beinn 27

Islabikes are always at the forefront of kids bike design and where they go, others will doubtless follow.  Bigger wheels make for a faster and most stable ride, but you need to make sure that if your Sprog is moving up to a 27.5" wheel that the frame size and components are child sized so they are able to control the bike safely. Our reviewer loved the Beinn 27 - putting it through its paces in some rather remote terrain proving this is a bike for both on and off road adventures.

Buy now: The Islabike Beinn 27 is only available direct from Islabikes

 

Cube Reaction 240 TM - 24" wheel mountain bike (£849)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Cube Reaction 240 TM - one of the best kids mountain bikes for 2019

 

OK, we're a bit biased about this bike, as our youngest Sprog spent all last year reviewing the previous iteration of this bike (you can read our review of the Cube 240 SL here), but it's a brilliant bike that's transformed his mountain biking.  It's not cheap, so is for those ready to take their mountain biking to the next level.

This is now a discontinued model but well worth seeking out!

BUY SECONDHAND ==> This bike used to be called the Cube 240 SL, so if you're hunting down an Ebay bargain you need to be searching for that

IF THIS BIKE IS A BIT TOO EXTREME FOR YOUR CYCLE SPROG'S MOUNTAIN BIKING NEEDS, THEN CHECK OUT OUR POST ON THE "BEST 24" WHEEL KIDS MOUNTAIN BIKES" FOR A WIDE RANGE OF BIKES AT A VARIETY OF PRICES. 

Scatto JC28 700c kids race bike (from £750)

Scatto JC28 700c kids cyclo-cross bike

It used to be that if you were a little racer you had to wait until you were a big racer to get on a 700c bike. However, the Scatto JC28 has changed all of that. With three frame sizes children are racing (and winning) on a 700c wheel bike from the age of 7 years.  The Scatto JC28 can be specified for road, cyclocross, triathlon or XC MTB.

The Scatto JC28 is available from Kids Racing 

If the Scatto JC28 is a tad too big or expensive, then check out our post on 20" wheel kids drop handlebar bikes

Cuda Impact (£800)

Cycle Sprog Reviewed and Recommended Bike

Cuda Impact dual full suspension kids mtb

It's unusual to find a decently specified dual suspension kids mountain bike for under £1,000 so we were very impressed with the 24" wheel Cuda Impact both in terms of performance and price. Our young tester loved having "grown up" suspension, and was certainly given the confidence to try out features on the trail he hadn't ridden before.

Buy new: Cuda Bikes are available from a network of local bike shops

If you're looking for a full-suspension child's mountain bike and the Cuda Impact doesn't fit the bill, then take a look at our post on the best kids full suspension mountain bikes.

Mondraker Factor 24 - 24"/26" wheel MTB (£2,099)

Mondraker Factor 24 - is this the best kids mountain bike for Christmas 2018?

Yes, you can pay over £2,000 for a kids bike!  (although Cycle Sprog readers can get £200 off, which brings it down to just £1,890) However, as the price probably shows, this isn't any ordinary chidren's mountain bike - it's a serious machine - a scaled down version of their full suspension adult bike - capable of being raced at the highest level.   It also has the advantage of fitting both 24" and 26" wheels, so you're effectively getting two bikes for the price of one (plus the cost of the set of wheels).

==> Click here to buy the 2020 Mondraker Factor 24 from Tredz for £2,099

Good news!! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 31st January 2020. Tredz also offer free home delivery.

Check out our post on the best kids 26" wheel mountain bikes for more choices

Whyte 405 - 26" wheel mountain bike (£950)

Whyte 405 26" wheel mountain bike

We asked our 10 year old Cycle Sprog if he could have any bike which would it be, and he said the Whyte 405.  It's a surprise in some way, as it's not got full suspension or 27.5" wheels which I thought he'd be desperate for.  But, in another way, it's not a surprise, as the 405's lower specification twin, the Whyte 403 (£599) is their best selling bike.  These junior mountain bikes obviously have the "Wow" factor for that particular demographic!  Whilst the 403 is becoming a regular sight at trail centres, the 405 is less common due to the more hefty price tag.  Both bikes are highly desirable to a 10 year old mountain biker - and that's part of what getting that perfect bike is all about!

Buy Now - the Whtye 405 from Leisure Lakes Bikes 

Check out this post for more information on 26" wheel kids mountain bikes

We've collated a whole load more 27.5" wheel kids MTB's for you to look at in this article.  

Worx Road / Cyclocross Bikes (from £595)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Worx JA24

If you've got a Lizzy Deignan or Geraint Thomas in the family, then they're going to want a serious bike to pick up some speed.  There's not a huge selection of kids road bikes around, but the Worx Bikes are some of the fastest there are.  They range in size from 24" to 700c wheels. Note - these bikes aren't for nervous riders - we should know as our 12 year old has been reviewing the Worx JA700.  Check out our post below if you're looking for something more sedate riders!

==> Click here to see the full range of Worx Junior road bikes

If the Worx is too feisty for your Cycle Sprog, then check out these other great junior drop handlebar road/cyclocross bikes 

Cube Stereo Youth - 27.5" wheel kids mountain bike (£1,359)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

Cube Stereo 140 Youth is one of the best 27.5" kids MTB's around

If you're looking for a "proper" MTB for a keen mountain biker who is on the cusp between a kids bike and an adult bike, then the Cube Stereo Youth is a good choice. It's got the all important 27.5" wheels that rippers these days are desperate to get onto, full suspension, and comes in three different frame sizes (13", 16" and 18") to cater for different body sizes. It's a lot of bike, destined to be lots of fun on the trails - our 12 year old has been putting it to the test, you can read his review of the Cube Stereo 140 Youth here.

Click here to buy  - the Cube Stereo Youth from Tredz

Good news!! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code JTG8XVW6 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 31st January 2020. Tredz also offer free home delivery.

We hope this article, or the related posts, has helped you find the best kids bikes.  If you need more advice and inspiration, these articles will be of help:

We'd love to hear what bike you ended up buying your Cycle Sprog. Do leave a comment below, or come over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to share your pictures.

Affiliate Disclosure:  Obviously we love helping people find the best kids bikes rather than terrible heavy, badly made bike shaped objects. However, we do need to feed our own children, so use affiliate schemes to generate an income from the website. This means that some of the links on this page will pay us a commission if you make a purchase. Not all do though, and we only ever recommend bikes we'd be happy for our own Sprogs to ride, rather than those that would make us the most money (this post would look very different if we did that!)  Thanks for purchasing through these links - it means we can hopefully keep on writing next year

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6 Comments

  1. Raaf says:

    You do not rate early rider bikes?

    • Karen says:

      Unfortunately we have not been able to do a long term test on these bikes. One thing worth noting is that they come with a 1 year warranty on parts, whereas other kids bikes in a similar price bracket come with up to 5 years on frame and fork and 3 years on parts. Regards Karen

  2. Simon says:

    Hi,

    You spoke highly of Bobbins bikes in 2017 but they have not made your list, just wondering why.

    Thanks
    Simon

  3. Emily Calle says:

    Thanks for this page! I’ve been researching good bikes for my son, and you’ve done a great job of sharing this information for someone who isn’t an expert, but wants to make a good choice. Thanks!

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