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The best kids bikes - Winter 2018
So, now autumn is here, our thoughts are starting to turn to Christmas!! Is there anything better to find under the tree than a brand new bike??? However, a new kids bike isn't just for Christmas: it will give year long fun, excitement and freedom - especially if you choose carefully, and get a bike that's designed specifically for the size of your child. In this post we take a look at a few of the best kids bikes for winter 2018.
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, what ever size bike your child needs. Don't forget we've got LOADS of other articles to help you find the best kids bikes - we've listed the links after each section to help you find the perfect bike if the one we've featured isn't quite right.
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 kids to pick up, or ride up hills etc)
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 Winter 2018 (age order)
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 Toddlebike 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.
For more great bikes for toddlers, go to our post The best kids bikes for a 1 year old
Strider Balance Bikes (from £60)
If you're buying a Christmas present for a 2 or 3 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
Not quite what you're looking for? Check out our post on The Best Balance Bikes
Islabike Cnoc 14 (Small and Large) - £290
If you're looking for a bike for a young child aged about 3 or 4 years who is just starting to pedal, the Islabikes Cnoc is a great choice, as it comes in a small and a large frame size with 14" wheels and a choice of colours. However, Islabikes don't just do 14" wheels - they're widely considered to make the best kids bikes - their range includes hybrid, road and mountain bikes. So just be warned they're likely to get hooked!
==> Islabikes Cnoc 14 from Islabikes for £290
==> Islabikes Cnoc 14 on Ebay - secondhand Islabikes are a great deal as they're so well made they will outlast several children
For more inspiration on first pedal bikes, visit our post on The best 14" starter bikes for ages 3 and 4 years
Frog 48 - 16" wheel single speed bike (£250)
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 aimed at roughly the 4-5 year age group, depending on how tall your child is. They also do the smaller Frog 43 for younger/shorter kids.
===> Click here to buy the Frog 48 Kids Bike for £250 from Tredz (free delivery)
There's lots of other great bikes worth considering in our post The best 16" wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds
Cubie 180 - 18" single speed MTB (£299)
Cube Bikes have just released this great new 18" wheel mountain bike, which is perfect for little rippers who want to get out on the trails, but aren't quite big enough to handle 20" wheels and gears. The Cubie 180 is a scaled down, single speed MTB and costs £299 from Tredz who offer free home delivery.
====> Buy the Cubie 180 from Tredz - £299 - with free delivery
There's not many decently specified 18" wheel 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 (£310)
The Hoy range of children's bikes has been relaunched this year, 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.
===> Hoy Bonaly 20 from Evans Cycles - free home delivery or in-store pick up
If the Hoy isn't for you, then we've selected the best bikes for 6 and 7 year old kids (20" wheels)
Whyte 203 - 20" wheel mountain bike (£499)
The Whyte 203 is so hot off the press that it's not even available yet!! This is one cool 20" wheel mountain bike, for little rippers who can't wait to get out on the trails. Due in shops in late November, we predict this is going to be a sell out before Christmas! You can pre-order now from Leisure Lakes Bikes using the link below.
==> Click here to pre-order the Whyte 203 for £499 from Leisure Lakes Bikes
If you need a bike quicker than the Whtye 203 is available, check out this post for more 20" wheel mountain bikes
Wiggins Rouen 540c Road Bike (£300)
If all the success of British road cyclists this year has got your Cycle Sprog desperate for a drop handlebar road bike for Christmas, then the Wiggins range of bikes provide a good starting point. They're well specified, but a lot cheaper than some of the more serious bikes around, so will allow your child to work out whether road cycling is for them. They come in three wheel sizes, with the Rouen 540c being the smallest (from about 8 years plus). Note that the Wiggins Rouen bikes only fit road tyres, so if you want to be able to fit wider off road tyres you need a cyclocross bike instead.
==> The Wiggins Rouen range is available at Halfords from £300 with free delivery
If you want a drop handlebar bike that can be ridden off road, check our post on the best cyclocross bikes
Woom 5 - 24" wheel kids city bike (£400)
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 available in a range of sizes from balance bike through to 24" wheel (Woom 5)
There's lots more 24" wheel hybrid bikes to choose from - all those in this post also do 24" wheel options
Cube 240 SL - 24" wheel kids mountain bike (£799)
OK, we're a bit biased about this bike, as our youngest Sprog has been test riding the Cube 240 SL all year, 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.
If the Cube 240 SL isn't quite the one, then check out our post on the best 24" wheel kids mountain bikes
Mondraker Factor 24 - 24"/26" wheel MTB (£1,999)
Yes, you can pay near on £2,000 for a kids bike! However, this isn't any ordinary kids 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.
Check out our post on the best kids 26" wheel mountain bikes for more choices
Frog 78 - 26" wheel hybrid for taller kids (£370)
If you've got a very tall child, who is quickly outgrowing most kids bikes, but isn't yet of the build to move onto a proper adult bike, then the Frog 78 may be the best bike for them. Designed for an inner leg measurement of 78cm, it's a great bike for both on and off road, and priced much lower than an equivalent quality adults bike. It has slightly more mature branding than the smaller Frog Bikes, to appeal to the pre-teen and teenage market.
==> Buy the Frog 78 from Tredz for £370 with free home delivery
For other 26" wheel hybrid bikes, check out this post: Best kids bikes with 26" wheels - last stop before an adult bike!
Whyte 405 - 26" wheel mountain bike (£950)
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 Christmas present is all about!
Cube Stereo 140 Youth - 27.5" wheel kids mountain bike (£1,699)
If you're looking for a Christmas present for a keen mountain biker who is on the cusp between a kids bike and an adult bike, then the Cube Stereo 140 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, for lots of fun on the trails.
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)
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 - check out our post below if you're looking for something more sedate for beginners!
If the Worx is too feisty for your Cycle Sprog, then check out these other great junior drop handlebar road/cyclocross bikes
We hope this article, or the related posts, has helped you find the best kids bikes this Christmas. If you need more advice and inspiration, these articles will be of help:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- 9 things to consider when buying a balance bike for your child
- Buying a kids mountain bike - things you need to know
- Best girls bikes - as recommended by girls who ride bikes
- Black Friday deals on the best kids bikes - our pick of the bargains
We'd love to hear what bike you ended up buying your Cycle Sprog for Christmas. 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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