The best 20″ wheel bikes for kids aged 6 to 8

When your child reaches about 6 years of age, they may well be ready to move onto a 20″ wheel bike with gears.  There are many different styles of 20″ kids bikes, with each designed for a different purpose. For example you have cyclocross and mountain bikes, road and BMX bikes. However, unless your child is focusing on one type of cycling, what they really need is a bike that can be used for a variety of roles, such as riding on grass, down gravel tracks and of course the commute to school. And that’s where the hybrid kids bike comes in, and why we think they make the best 20″ wheel bikes.

A hybrid can do a little bit of everything and makes for a great all-round bike. We’re focusing on the best 20″ wheel hybrid bikes in this article, which are aimed at kids aged 6 to 8 years (approximately).

What makes a good 20″ wheel kids bike?

For this article, we’ve focused on good quality, lightweight 20″ wheel hybrids. We’ve also categorised the bikes by price – £350 and over, £250 and under plus all those in-between.

All the bikes featured have flat handlebars, a good range of gearing for tackling both flat and hilly terrain, plus tyres that are suitable for on and off road duties. They’re lightweight (under 10 kg) – so fun to ride – and if looked after properly should be capable of being passed on to a sibling, or sold on to recoup part of the purchase cost.

Some bikes use a twist grip on the handlebars to change gear, others use a thumb trigger.  All gear shifters on the bikes we recommend are suitable for small hands, but the general rule (for all bikes, not just kids bikes) is the more expensive the components on the bike, the easier it will be to change gear.  If possible, get your child to try both and see which they find easier to operate. You can always get your local bike shop to swap them over if needed.

At the end of the article is a comparison table so you can check the size, price, gearing and weight of each bike.

In this list you won’t find any bikes with suspension, nor with drop handlebars. Check out our other articles if you’re looking for something more specialist.

When you’ve identified the perfect bike, don’t forget to check out our list of discount codes and kids bike sales, as you might be able to get the bike that little bit cheaper.

Best 20″ wheel bikes –  over £350

If you’re looking to spend over £350 on a 20″ wheel bike, then you should expect to get a very well specified, lightweight bike for your money.

Early Rider Urban Belter 20 (RRP £524.99)

The most expensive bike by far on this list, the Early Rider Urban Belter 20 is the only one without a traditional bike chain.

Early Rider Belter Urban 20

The use of a belt drive train keeps things clean and maintenance free, allowing you to concentrate on getting out and having fun. The Early Rider range is incredibly lightweight, and the Urban Belter 20 is no exception, coming in at 7.4 kg. The gearing is kept very simple, with just 3 speeds, which can help minimize confusion – up, flat or down!

As you’d hope, it’s carrying quality components from the likes of SRAM and Ritchey, and the brushed aluminium frame and belt drive will make your child stand out from all the others.

For the price point it’s disappointing that Early Rider can’t offer more than a 1 year Warranty on the frame. However, they do give you a stunning bike, which will be at home on most tamer surfaces.

The Belter is very expensive, so it’s worth shopping around to see who has it on special offer.

Stockists include Tredz, Plush Hill Cycles, Evans Cycles, Leisure Lakes Bikes and Tweeks.

Islabikes Beinn (RRP £390)

The Islabikes Beinn seems to have been around for ever, with numerous early examples still looking fresh and zooming along paths and tracks near you! You know what you’re getting with an Islabikes product – designed with geometry proportioned to fit a child; a lightweight build with no excess; and an excellent resale price when you come to move it on (or a 5 year guarantee if you’re keeping it for more than one child). That’s why this is one of the most expensive, and popular, bikes on the list. It really is a “go anywhere, do anything” kind of bike.  We put a larger sized Beinn to the test, which you can read about here.

Beinn 20 Large in pink

The Beinn 20 also comes in two sizeslarge or small. So from about 5 years up, whatever your size there’s a Beinn 20 that will fit. The component specification is high, with a 7 speed SRAM system that uses a SRAM 3.0 twist grip shifter, a 32 tooth chainring at the front that mated to a 12-32T cassette at the rear. So with the wide ratio cassette there are plenty of gears to choose from on this one.

The 20″ wheel Beinn’s are some of the lightest weight bikes on this list, as the small comes in at 8 kg with pedals, and the large at 8.1 kg with pedals. You can add metal mudguards, pannier racks and bottle cages at an additional cost.

The paintwork on Isla’s products is always lush, and the Beinn 20 is no exception with a choice of red, green, pink (my favourite colour) and teal to choose from.

The Islabikes Beinn 20 comes in at £389.99 and it can only be purchased direct from Islabikes. There is also a thriving second-hand market in Islabikes, so check out Ebay too.


 Woom 4 (RRP £350)

The Austrian kids bike brand Woom has only recently arrived in the UK, with a range of very lightweight bikes. The Woom 4 is their 20″ wheel offering, and at 7.9 kg it’s one of the lightest bikes on the market.

Woom 4 20" kids bike

This light weight comes courtesy of an aluminium frame and forks. The Woom 4 is an 8 speed bike, with the gears operated by SRAM twist grips.

The Woom 4 is a good choice for urban cycling, as it comes with a kickstand for ease of parking up when you’ve got where you want to go. However, as it’s fitted with Kenda Small block tyres, you can also venture onto gravel and grass without any worries.

We’ve currently got a smaller Woom out on test – you can see our first impressions of the bike here.

The Woom 4 is available exclusively from The Little Bike Company for £350.

Cannondale Quick 20 (RRP £350)

Cannondale revealed their new kids bike range at the Cycle Show 2017, so the Quick 20 is fresh on the block. Their website labels them up as girls and boys models due to the paint schemes, but to be honest is there any need for this, as the geometry is the same?  Anyway, there’s an aqua blue Quick 20 which is the ‘girls’ and an orange for the ‘boys’.  Some retailers have chosen to ignore the “girls” and “boys” labels, which is an encouraging move.

Both look great so take your pick – this is the “girls” bike:

Cannondale Quick 20 in aqua - one of the best 20" wheel bikes for children wanting a lightweight, well specified kids bike

Components are attached to an alloy frame and fork with lovely smooth welds. Riding on wheels shod with the popular Kenda Small Block tyres means great traction on a variety of surfaces.  A 7 speed Shimano twist grip changes gears between the 30 tooth Prowheel chainring and the Sunrace 11-28t cassette at the rear.

Surprisingly for a bike of this price, Cannondale do not provide a weight for the Quick 20. With it’s lightweight frame and alloy finishing kit it shouldn’t be a bloater and should come in under 10kg.

The Cannondale Quick 20 has a retail price of £349.99 and is available for purchase at Tredz and Leisure Lakes Bikes.

Best 20″ wheel kids bikes – £251 – £349

Within this mid-price category there is a really good choice of lightweight, well specified 20″ wheel hybrid bikes. £310 could almost have been a category of it’s own, as this seems to have been the price point selected by a number of manufacturers for their 2018 models. Some of the bikes at the higher end of this price bracket match or even exceed their more expensive rivals in terms of specification.

Dawes Academy 20 (RRP £329)

Dawes Academy sponsor the Triathon Trust who bring fun and free opportunities to children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to partake. So the Dawes Academy 20 is the bike many kids have their very first taste of cycling on. The fact that these bikes can be carted round the country and ridden by so many children speaks for itself in terms of robustness and quality.

Dawes Academy 20 is a quality lightweight 20" wheel kids bike

Cuda CP20 (RRP £310)

The Cuda Performance range has been re-branded this season with a new paint job and some improvements in specification. We reviewed an earlier version of this bike two years ago when it was first launched, and were impressed with the build quality.

The 7 speeds are controlled by a thumb shifter, with 32T at the front coupled up with 12-32t at the back, which should suffice most requirements. It’s light enough to allow young children to move it around easily, coming in at 9 kg with pedals.

Cuda CP20 lightweight 20" wheel kids bike

The Cuda CP20 is stocked by a wide range of local bike stockists, making it easy for you to try before you buy.

Frog 52 and 55 (RRP £300 and £310)

Frog have taken the lightweight kids bike scene by storm, and the 20″ wheel Frog 55 has been one of the mainstays of its range. We were sent one to review 5 years ago and it’s been ridden by 4 different kids and is still going strong.

Frog 55 kids bike is one of the best 20" wheel hybrid bikes around

Frog now do two frame sizes in their 20″ wheel bikes – the Frog 52 and the Frog 55. The inside leg measurement is what guides you to which size your child will need. Both bikes have an all aluminium frame and fork, with an 8 speed Shimano Alivio thumb shifter controlling the changes on the 32T front chainring and 11-32T rear cassette. Tektro supply the v-braking system.

The Frog 52 and 55 come in a wide range of attractive colours which also includes a fabulous spotty paint job as an option. The Frog website lists the Frog 55 as weighing in at 8.8kg.

One benefit of Frog Bikes is that they come with two sets of tyres, suited for on and off road riding, and plastic mudguards proving this really is a versatile little bike. The 5 year warranty means you’re getting a bike that will definitely last several kids and should reach a good resale value at the end of it’s life.

The Frog 55 has a retail price of £310  and the smaller Frog 52 has a retail price of £300.

Both can be purchased from Tredz and Rutland Cycles plus a large number of local bike shops.

Hoy Bonaly 20 (RRP  £310)

Sir Chris Hoy – one seriously fine cyclist with an attention to detail that helped propel him to the top of the cycling world. And it’s that attention to detail that he has brought to the table for his range of Hoy bikes.

Hoy Bonali 20 in white and red

The Bonaly 20 is a lithe looking bike, and this rings true as Evans Cycles website (exclusive retailer for Hoy Bikes) states a weight of just 8 kg (although it’s pictured without pedals).

With grippy little Kenda small block tyres, the Bonaly will be equally at home on road or trail. Picking up the pace comes courtesy of a 6 speed Shimano Tourney thumb shifter, with a 32T single chainring at the front and a 14-28T freewheel at the rear. As you would expect with Sir Chris, the details concerning child specific bars, grips, saddle etc have been covered.  They’re robust bikes – British Cycling use them for their Go-Ride events, which speaks volumes!

The Bonaly comes in three striking colours (red, white and blue) and has a retail price of £310. The Hoy Bonaly 20 is available for purchase exclusively from Evans Cycles.

Ridgeback Dimension 20 (RRP £310)

Ridgeback have refreshed their brand image for 2018, with a more contemporary look to their bikes.

Ridgeback Dimension 2018

The Dimension 20 has an aluminum frame and steel forks and has a stated weight of 8.9 kg. Gearing is controlled by a Shimano Rapid Fire 7 speed thumb shifter. Ridgeback are another company confident in their bikes, as they offer a lifetime guarantee on the frames.

The Dimension 20 comes in two colours, the purple (above) and blue.  The bike has an RRP of £309 and is available from Evans Cycles and Tredz.

Cube Kid 200 (RRP £299)

If there’s one thing that can be said about Cube’s kids bike range, it’s that they don’t hold back when it comes to making them fun and vibrant. The Cube 200 comes in a great range of colours so there should be something to appeal to all little rippers out there.

Cube Kid 200 in black

The Kid 200 is built around a lightweight aluminium frame and forgiving steel forks that should help soak up any bumps. Little legs will enjoy spinning the short cranks which have a single 36 tooth chainring hitched up to a cassette at the rear which has a 34 tooth lowest gear which should be ok for the majority of riding scenarios. Cube are obviously confident in the built quality of their bikes, as they offer a 6 year guarantee on the frame.

There are 7 gears in total, and these are operated via a Shimano Revo Shift twistgrip on the handlebars. The Cube Impac tyres fitted have a deep tread pattern, so while not the quickest on road will certainly provide high levels of grip when venturing onto trails and paths.

The Cube website indicates a weight of 9.8kg for the Kid 200, so it’s one of the heavier bikes on this list, due mainly to the steel forks. This is no bad thing on muddy trails, when you want the bike to dig in and provide stability.

The Cube Kid 200 retails for £299 and can be purchased from Tredz cycles.

Saracen Mantra (RRP £299)

A name synonymous with the UK mountain biking scene, Saracen have a broad range of bicycles on offer including some excellent kids bikes. The Mantra kids range is their premium product and includes sizes from 16″ up to 24″ with full on mountain bikes available at both the twenty and twenty-four inch wheel options. However, we’re looking at hybrids and Saracen have not disappointed.

Saracen Mantra 2 - one of the best 20" wheel hybrid bikes around this year

The Saracen Mantra 2.0R is a stripped back speedster. With a custom butted alloy frame matched to a set of alloy forks, the Mantra 2.0R looks every inch the speedy racing snake. Also, the Mantra has a really low step over frame so easy to get on and off and lots of confidence inspiring clearance over the top tube.

Once again, Kenda small block tyres have been specified to give a useful balance suitable for both on and off road riding. Saracen have specified a Shimano Altus thumbshifter to operate the 8 speed system via a 32 tooth chainset and 12-34T cassette.

Unfortunately Saracen don’t specify a weight, but with the specification this will be a reasonably lightweight bike, which is why we’ve included it here.

Available in a rich blue main colour with orange decals, the Saracen Mantra 2.0R is currently available via Tredz for £299.

Orbea MX 20 Speed and Park (RRP £289 / £299)

Orbea have a strong lineup for 2018 on the kids bike front, with a variety of options covering the 20, 24 and 26 inch wheel sizes. Orbea’s approach is to use a common frame and specify it with different components depending on what type of riding your child might be looking to do.

Orbea MX20 Park in green - one of the best 20" wheel kids bikes for tackling year round riding to school, plus weekend riding

For example, there is a Speed and a Park model, with the differences in specification being that the Park (pictured) is fitted with mudguards and lights – ideal if you’re using it for the school run.

These bikes come with  7 speed Shimano gearing has 14-34t at rear and 36t at the front, which should be more than adequate for the majority of school runs (you’ll know if you live somewhere steeper!)

As you climb the MX ladder, there are the Team and the top Team Disc models that have an improved specification, with the Disc model coming equipped with 9 speed Shimano Altus gearing. This gives a 34t single chainring, a trick shadow rear derailleur and an 11-36t cassette to give a wide range of gears to cover most eventualities. The Team Disc is also fitted with Shimano Acera M396 disc brakes rather than the v-brake option.

The Orbea MX20 range is available through Tredz cycles.

Squish 20 (RRP £270)

Squish Bikes is a new lightweight brand from Tandem Group Cycles, who also own Dawes Cycles . The range is designed to be cheaper than the Academy range (see above), whilst retaining child sized components and a light weight frame.

Squish 20 cheap kids bike - a good quality kids 20" wheel bike, at a decent price.

The Squish 20″ is fitted out with 7 speed Shimano drive train components, incorporating Altus rapid fire thumb shifters, an 11-28T cassette and a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur. These have been selected to offer reliable performance, low maintenance and easy access to spares and servicing if required.

The triple butted alloy frame, custom Squish saddle, double-wall alloy rims and alloy micro-adjust seatpost help keep weight to a minimum, whilst providing an enjoyable riding experience.  It appears they may have achieved what they set out to do, with a good looking bike that comes in three colour schemes, weights just 8.36 kg with pedals and costs only £269.99.

The Squish 20 is available from Tredz and a number of local bike shops.

Cheapest 20″ wheel kids bikes – £250 and under

Not so long ago, if you wanted to spend less than £250 on a kids bike you’d end up with a steel bike that was incredibly heavy, hard to manoeuvre, poorly specified and which might not survive being passed down to another child due to rusting or failure of components.  Thankfully this is starting to change, and there are now several good quality, lightweight cheap kids 20″ wheel bikes available. Obviously you won’t be getting a 5 year guarantee, or the same level of components as some of the more expensive bikes, but what you will get is a lightweight bike with child sized components, which should provide hours of fun without hopefully breaking the bank.

Wiggins Chartres 20 (RRP £250)

The Wiggins range have proved to be really popular with Cycle Sprog readers – we’ve had quite a few parents get in touch and tell us how impressed they’ve been with the bikes, given how cheap they are.  They’re lightweight, well specified and with a price tag to keep your bank manager happy.

Wiggins Chartres 20 cheap kids bike - one of the best 20" wheel kids bikes around at a lower price pointThe 20″ wheel bike in the range is no exception. The Chartres 20 is named after one of the stages of Wiggins’ victorious Tour de France, and the bike also delivers a winning combination of low weight (an impressive 8.8 kg), good looking design (with Wiggins’ signature reverse forks) and child sized components such as saddle, brakes levers and thumb shifter for the 7 gears.

The Wiggins Chartres 20 is available exclusively at Halfords for £250

Pinnacle Ash 20 (RRP £240)

The Pinnacle Ash 20 gets glowing reviews on the Evans Cycles website – 4.8/5, with 100% of the 22 reviewers recommending it at the time of checking.

Pinnacle Ash 202 wheel cheap kids bike

The Ash appears to have everything people want with most comments mentioning how easy the Tekro Mini V brakes and 6 speed Shimano Tourney TX30 thumb shifter are to use. Comments also note how lightweight it is compared to most other bikes at that price point (stated weight is a respectable 9.1 kg).  The Kenda K-Rad Tanwall tyres allow the Ash to be ridden most places your average 6 year old wants to go. At £240 that’s not bad!

The Pinnacle Ash 20 is available exclusively from Evans Cycles for an RRP of £240.

Vitus Twenty (RRP £190)

As the name suggests, the Vitus Twenty is sporting a fine pair of 20″ wheels to whisk you along at pace to your destination. Having seen one at the 2017 Cycle Show, resplendent in it’s bright orange paintwork, I was rather taken by it. Plus, getting to talk to Ben who designed it was useful as he was able to explain the team’s thought processes during the stages of design and testing.

Vitus Twenty cheapest kids bike with 20" wheels

With a long, slack geometry the Vitus Twenty should be a stable bike for kids getting used to riding further and assist in developing their skills and confidence.

The Vitus has an alloy frame paired up with cromoly steel forks. On this bike the gearing involves the use of a Shimano Altus thumb shifter.

The Vitus Twenty comes with 7 gears and uses a nice Shimano Altus derailleur at the back to keep things changing smoothly, with a single 32T chainring and a cassette with 12-32T ratios. Braking is courtesy of a v-brake system from Tektro. Colour schemes for the Vitus Twenty include bright orange, purple and yellow.

The weight of the Vitus Twenty is given as  being 9.8kg, so again one of the heavier bikes on our list, but under our limit of 10 kg.  Having picked one up, it certainly didn’t feel heavy. The Vitus range comes with a 2 year frame warranty, and 12 month parts warranty. Best of all is the price. It comes in at £190, which sounds like an awful lot of bike for the money, and it’s the cheapest 20″ wheel bike we could find that we’re happy to recommend to you.

The Vitus Twenty can be purchased from Wiggle or through Chain Reaction Cycles.

Note. For some reason CRC have the Vitus Twenty more expensive than Wiggle, so perhaps exploring via Wiggle might be the prudent choice.

Comparison of quality 20″ wheel kids bikes

The table below shows you some of the key features of the recommended bikes. We’ve taken information from the manufacturers website where given. The weight is as stated, but where we know it includes pedals we’ve put a (WP). We hope this will help you pick the correct bike for your child and budget.

BikeRRPWeightInside LegSaddle HeightChild HeightNumber of gearsGears operated byRear CassetteChainringWarranty
Early Rider Urban Belter 20 £5257.4kg50 cm115 cm3Twistn/an/a1 year
Islabikes Beinn 20 Small£3908 kg (WP)47 - 57 cm -112 - 127 cm7Twist12-32t32tFrame and forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Islabikes Beinn 20 Large£3908.1 kg (WP)52 - 62 cm -120 - 135 cm7Twist12-32t32tFrame and forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Woom 4£3507.9 kg52 - 70 cm--8Twist11-32t32tFrame and Forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Cannondale Quick 20£350NOT STATED - - -7Twist11-28t30tMinimum legal requirement
Dawes Academy 20£3308 kg - - -7Twist12-28t32tFrame and forks: 3 years
Components: 1 year
Frog 55£310 with two sets of tyres8.8 kg55 cm min - -8Thumb11-32t32t2 year frame, forks and parts
Additional 3 years on frame and forks if you register bike
Hoy Bonaly 20£3108 kg - - -6Thumb14-28t32tNot stated
Cuda CP20£3109 kg (WP)56 - 70 cm7Thumb12-32t32t1 year
Ridegback Dimension 20£3108.9 kg - -120 - 140 cm7Thumb12-28t36tLifetime frame
Saracen Mantra 2.0R£300NOT STATED - -119 - 130 cm8Thumb12-34t32tNot stated
Orbea MX Park 20£299NOT STATED - -115 - 135 cm7Thumb14-34t36t2 year frame, forks and paint
Cube Kid 200£2999.8 kg - - -7Twist?-34t36tFrame 6 years, Components 2 years
Squish 20£2708.36 kg (wp)53.5 cm--7Thumb11-28t32tFrame and forks: 3 year
Components: 1 year
Wiggins Chartres 20"£2508.8 kg - -117 - 136 cm7Thumb14-28t32tNot Stated
Pinnacle Ash 20£2409.1 kg - -120 - 135 cm6Thumb14-28t32tNot stated
Vitus Twenty£1909.4 kg - -120-130 cm7Thumb12-32t 32t2 year frame
1 year parts

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list of excellent 20″ wheel hybrid bikes for kids as there are so many to choose from. However, if you feel that we’ve omitted a bike that you think thoroughly deserves to be included then please leave us a comment below. Thanks!

Other articles you may find useful:

Affiliate Disclosure: Many, but not all, of the links within this article on 20″ wheel hybrid bikes contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase from this links, Cycle Sprog may get a small commission.

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2 Comments

  1. Tim Holman says:

    Hello. I registered ages ago and was pleased to hear from you. We bought our three year old grandson a Cnoc16 from Islabikes early last year and he was cycling within seconds having started on a crap balance bike we’d got secondhand. He’s now ready, more than ready for gears and a bike for longer distances, although he has done up to 10k without difficulty on the Islabike, which has been a great buy despite the expense but because of the totally child oriented design and components. So it was great to get your reviews on the 20″ hybrids. We are biased in favour of Islabikes understandably. Have heard that thumb shifters for wee, not so strong fingers can be a problem, which itself points us towards Islabikes because of the twistgrip shift, so any further comment on that would be a help if you are able.
    Thanks for the website: it’ll be on my list of favourites.
    Tim

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tim, Thanks for getting in touch – so glad your grandson is enjoying his Cnoc 16. As with anything, the quality of the components makes a huge difference in how easy the bike is to ride. Islabikes use top-end components, so their gears are very easy to use for most children. A bike with a cheaper twist grip will likely be harder to move. Some children prefer thumb shifters – it can be personal preference or what they first learn with. Again a well specified one should be easy to use, although if they have weak to double jointed thumbs then it’s best to stick to a twist grip. Hope he enjoys the move up to the next wheel size. Kind regards Karen

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