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The best road racing bikes for kids (with 20" wheels)
With road cycling becoming increasingly popular, more and more kids are asking for a road bike so that they too can emulate their favourite cyclist. In this article we look at the best road racing bikes for kids with 20" wheels currently available in the UK. These bikes are aimed at kids aged about 6 to 8 years old, so if you've got a budding Chris Froome or Lizzie Deignan in the family you can help encourage their love of cycling.
One thing to note is that there are very few 20" wheel drop handlebar road bikes available. This is because children at this age don't tend to ride on the roads and can struggle with braking and changing gear whilst using the drop handlebars. They require a high level of rider competency in terms of balance and usage of the controls, so we wouldn't recommend one if your child does not have these skills. If you're child isn't a very competent cyclist, we recommend you go to our other article on the best 20" wheel hybrid bikes (or if they're into riding off road trails, then look at the best 20" wheel mountain bikes)
What age can my child ride a road bike from?
Kids road bikes have different geometry to other styles of children's bike. Kids mountain bikes or BMX tend to have short seat tubes and this equates to steeply sloping top tubes, giving plenty of clearance. However, with a kids road bike the seat tube is longer and the top tube (crossbar) higher, so your child will need to meet the recommended inside leg dimension to have clearance over the 'crossbar'.
It may seem obvious, but unless your child is able to cope with riding on roads with the associated traffic then a road bike, with its skinny tyres, mightn't be the best choice. Some of the best road racing bikes for kids come with cyclocross tyres and this allows for on and off-road cycling.
Always check the manufacturers height guide and please don't buy your child a road bike for them to "grow into". Also remember that riding a kids bike with drop handle bars for the first time can cause some wobbles and nerves, so always start gently on quiet roads.
The best road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels for 6 and 7 year olds
Road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels - Frog Road 58
Frog bikes have taken the quality kids bike market by storm in the past couple of years and the Frog Road 58 is their smallest drop handle bar offering, designed for riders with a minimum inside leg of 58cm (approximately 6 to 7 years old).
The Frog Road 58 comes with 9 gears, narrow and short-drop child-specific handlebars, with Microshift short-reach brake levers. When we reviewed the Frog Road 58, one thing our 7 year old tester really liked is that it comes with auxiliary brake levers on the handlebar tops. These are very useful if your child is not confident enough to lean forward onto the drop handlebars.Read the full Cycle Sprog Frog Road 58 kids bike review here
There are a good choice of colours on the Frog Road 58 kids bike: black, red, white and two popular Team Sky colours. The Frog Road 58 with 20" wheel kids road bike weighs in at only 8.2 kg, making it easy for young riders to manoeuvre.
The Frog Road 58 is our recommended bike if you're looking for a 20" wheel kids road bikes, with drop handlebars.Click to buy the Frog Road 58
Road racing bikes for kids with 20" wheels - Cuda Performance CP20R
The Performance Range from Cuda are new for 2016 and have a lightweight road / cyclocross offering in the CP20R. As you'll see from the picture this is a road bike but not a drop handlebar bike, so you need to be certain what it is that your child is wanting. Is it the ability to ride comfortably and quickly on road tyres (for which the CP20R is great), or is it to have a bike with drop handlebars as they've seen Froome et al riding?
Our 7 year old tester loved riding the CP20R - it's easy to lift, performs well on different terrain (when the cross tyres are fitted - as they are in the picture above) and it looks great.Read the full Cycle Sprog Cuda Performance CP20R kids road / cross bike review here
The Cuda CP20R comes in just one colour scheme, and comes supplied with two sets of Kendra tyres for road and cyclo-cross usage. It weighs in at 8.4kg with pedals and has 7 gears.
We recommend the Cuda CP20R if you're looking for speed and ease of carrying, but not bothered about drop handlebars.Click to buy the Cuda CP20R
Road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels - Dawes Sprint 20
One of the few drop handlebar bikes available in 20" wheels, the Dawes Sprint 20" is quite difficult to get hold of and is no longer listed on the Dawes website. It's worth checking your local bike stockist to see if they have any stock remaining, as this is a good little bike for budding road cyclists and triathletes.
Built around an 11" aluminium frame, the Dawes Sprint is fitted with junior specific components, including Shimano handlebar mounted gear shifters and brake levers and weighs in at 9kg.
It's worth keeping an eye on Amazon and ebay on the off-chance of picking one up at a decent price.
Road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels - Culprit Junior 1 racing bike
The design of the Culprit Junior 1 has one thing in mind - racing! It's a top level kids road racing bike with 20" wheels and designed for young and aspiring cyclists.
With a Shimano 105 ten speed drivetrain, and complying with British Cycling Youth Category gear restrictions, this one is aimed at the serious competitor in the house and is priced accordingly.
The stated weight of the Junior 1 is 7.76 kg without pedals.
The Culprit One is now available in the UK, with an RRP of £1,100 from KidsRacing.co.uk
Mini Moda 20" kids road bike
The Moda Mini was one of the first lightweight (9.05 kg) kids road racing bikes with 20" wheels available in the UK, but sadly it's now almost impossible to get hold of new.A classy machine with a lightweight 16cm alloy frame, and kitted out with 8 speed junior STI gearlevers, the Mini Moda is still seen at kids cycling events up and down the country, a testament to its longevity and good build quality. It's definitely one to look out for second-hand on ebay, or in the sale section at your local bike shop (if you're really lucky!)
Summary of the best road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels
As you can see, the selection of kids road racing bikes with 20" wheels isn't what you'd call extensive. Kids bike manufacturers don't seem that committed to producing a drop handlebar bike for the 6-8 years age range. This is disappointing for a child who has set their heart on drop handlebars, but thankfully there are plenty of flat handlebar hybrid bikes available to plug the gap. Once they're cycling, I bet they'll probably forget they ever wanted drop handlebars anyway!
If you've found this article on road racing bikes with 20 inch wheels useful then it would be great if you could share it with your friends. Thanks!
Other articles you may find useful:
- Discount codes for kids bikes
- 20″ wheel hybrid bikes for kids aged 6 to 8
- The best kids 20″ wheel mountain bikes
- The best road racing bikes for kids – 24″ wheels
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Buying a second hand kids bike
- The best bikes for a 6 year old girl
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