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The best road racing bikes for kids - 24" wheels
With Geraint Thomas winning the 2018 Tour de France in such impressive style, don't be surprised if your child starts nagging you for a kids size drop handlebar road bike! Most manufacturers don't start making drop handle bar kids road bikes until the 24" wheel size, which are sized for riders aged about 8 years through to about 11 years old, depending on their height and leg length.
Does your child really need a road bike?
Before you go ahead and buy your 8 year old a drop-handlebar road bike, please do ask yourself whether he or she is really ready for one. Whilst they may want to emulate their racing hero, there are a few things to remember about a road bike:
- A kids road bike is much harder to ride than a hybrid or mountain bike
The skinny tyres and drop handlebars and paddle gear levers mean your child must have good bike handling skills in order to cope with a drop handlebar bike. We've seen quite a few children struggle to cope with drop handlebars, so unless your child is going to specialise in road, track or cyclocross cycling we'd recommend a 24" wheel hybrid bike, or even a 24" wheel mountain bike.
- They are more restrictive in where you can go
Will your child want to ride on off road track and trails, as well as on road? Buying a drop handlebar bike makes this much harder, so think carefully whether you're going to be restricting where they can ride. Some of the bikes in this article can be fitted with cyclo-cross tyres for riding on grass and gentle trails, but not all.
- The riding position isn't ideal for carrying heavy rucksacks
It is more than possible to commute on a road bike (plenty of people do it, including myself), but do be aware that it's harder on your child's back to carry a rucksack full of school books when they're are bent over the drop handlebars. Their riding position also means that they're not as upright and visible to other road users, compared to being on a more upright, flat handlebar bike.
At this point, if you're rethinking your decision, then you need to visit these two posts:
- The best 20" wheel hybrid bikes (the majority of bikes in this post have a bigger 24" wheel version)
- The best 24" wheel mountain bikes
If you've considered all these points and are happy that your child is ready to move onto a drop handlebar bike, then this article will help you choose the correct bike.
In the Cycle Sprog guide to the best 24" wheeled road racing bikes for kids we've included road bikes and some 24" cyclocross bikes too, as not all kids will actually be riding on roads. If you're looking for a 20" wheeled road bike for a smaller rider, check out our other post on 20" wheel kids road bikes.
Road racing bikes for kids aged 8 to 12 years - 24" wheels
Frog Road 67 junior bike (£445)
The 9 speed Frog Road 67 is an all aluminium road / cyclo-cross bike with 24" wheels designed for junior riders with a minimum inside leg of 67cm. In practice this means it's a road bike for kids aged between about 8 years and 12 years old, depending on height and leg length.
The bikes are assembled in Frog Bikes' Welsh factory - very fitting with Geraint being Wales's first ever Tour de France winner! The bike comes in a range of colours, but the Team Sky paint job is likely to prove very popular!
Weighing in at 8.8kg, the Frog Road 67 comes with quick release sealed hubs front & rear and is supplied with 2 sets of tyres, namely Kenda road and cyclocross tyres, making it ideal for both on and off road cycling. This was a feature we liked when reviewing this particular bike, as at the age of 8 not many kids are able to ride on the road at all time.
Read the full Cycle Sprog review of the Frog Road 67
The Frog Road 67 is fitted with brakes on the drops, as with adult road bikes, but also with auxiliary brakes on the top of the handlebars, as often found on cyclocross bikes. This can be very useful when learning to ride a kids road bike - you may find your child does not lean over and use the drop handlebars all the time. It can be a struggle to manage the "twitchiness" of a road bike for the first time, and these additional brakes can be very reassuring.
The Frog Kids Road bikes come in 5 colour options: black, red, white and two different Team Sky colours, so plenty of choice. Be warned that the Team Sky bikes are usually slightly more expensive than the regular colours.
The Frog Road 67 has a retail price of £445 and is available from Tredz Bikes, who offer free delivery and interest free finance deals.
Wiggins Rouen 540c Junior Road Bike (£310 - currently at £248)
Bradley Wiggins made cycling history when he was the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012. His Wiggins kids bike range, was launched at Halfords in July 2016. The road bikes are all named Rouen after one of his stage wins, with the 540c being the smallest road bike in the range.
The Wiggins Rouen 540c is one of the cheapest 24" kids road bikes available, whilst still retaining a light weight (8.7kg) and quality components.Read Cycle Sprog's detailed look at the Wiggins Rouen road bike range
The Wiggins Rouen 540c has some design features such as the reverse curve front forks and Wiggins distinctive 'mod' target logo, which we think will appeal to young road cyclists looking to emulate their hero.
The Wiggins Rouen retails at £300 and is available exclusively from Halfords.Halfords - Wiggins Rouen 540c
HOY Cammo 24 Inch Kids Road Bike (£400)
The Hoy Cammo 24 is a scaled down kids sized version of the adult Hoy road bike, designed by Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy (who is an old track cycling mate of Geraint Thomas!) His bikes are sold exclusively at Evans Cycles.
UPDATE: Hoy Bikes have announced in summer 2018 that this bike has been discontinued, so if you want one you need to move fast as only a few remain in stock. With a weight of just 8.5kg, the Hoy Cammo 24 is designed specifically with children in mind, with micro-drop bars, short-reach shift/brake levers and shorter cranks than most children’s bikes are commonly specified with. This has allowed HOY to design a low frame and bottom bracket to make it manageable for junior riders and to create a very stable riding experience.
The Hoy Cammo retails for £400 and is sold exclusively at Evans Cycles.Evans Cycles - Hoy Cammo 24
There's no denying it, but the moment that Worx bikes came onto the scene back in 2013 there were more than a few feathers ruffled by the fresh designs and top drawer specifications that they wheeled out. If you're into your cyclocross then you'll be fully aware of this British brand, with a range that incorporates bikes for adults, youths and younger children that not don't just stop at the cyclocross door, but with models suitable for road and track too. Worx pull no punches with their 'Engineered for racing' mantra. They're in the market of creating purposeful tools that are designed and built with the intention of giving the rider the best equipment for the job. That's winning races - end of.
Worx JA24 (£595)
The JA24 is the Worx road and cyclocross model aimed at riders of around 7 years of age up to around 10 to cater for riders competing in the U8-U10 category. It's built around a 6061 aluminium triple butted frame that is both light, coming in at 8.5kg, and strong with a low standover height (tiptoe of 60cm) to cater for differing sizes of child.
As expected, everything is designed with the child in mind, from the narrow q-factor cranks of appropriate length, to the profile of the handlebars that have been shaped specifically to give comfort and ideal body position on the bike.
Worx have specified Microshift components for the 9 speed drivetrain, matched to an Worx branded single ring 36T (34T can be specified) crank. Now many a good thing has been said about the Microshift system, especially the shifters that are sized for small hands and have a short throw for changing gear that is easy for a child to do (something that is not always true!). Out back, there is an 11-32T cassette that matched with the fitted 36T chainring provides a broad range of gears for most scenarios. As mentioned, a 34T chainring can be specified when purchasing the JA24.
There's a smattering of Worx branded kit such as the stem, bars and saddle and these look to be well designed and manufactured pieces of kit. The wheelset is also in-house which is a good thing indeed as Worx have a very good reputation for the quality of their wheelsets.
Being designed for cyclocross, there's generous clearance all round to accommodate cyclo-cross tyres and the inevitable clingy mud. Braking is provided by Tektro Oryx cantilevers, with supplementary top mounted levers on the bars.
In summary, the Worx JA24 is a serious bicycle that has had countless hours spent on it's design to produce a robust machine with a great specification for the budding U8-U10 rider. It also helps that it's a delight to look at too.
The Worx JA24 has a retail price of £595 and can be purchased direct from the Worx website, by phone or by booking an appointment to pop in and see them.
Scott Speedster Junior 24 (£759)
Scott have been producing great mountain bikes and road bikes since 1986. Known for their work on carbon fibre frame technology, they have a great selection of kids bikes suitable for riders aged from two years up to teens.
Scott's children's 24" wheeled road bike offering is the Scott Speedster Junior 24 2018 road bike. With a quality aluminium frame, the 2018 model is kitted out with a combination of Shimano Claris and Sora components. There are 16 gears to choose from and all this comes in with a very respectable weight of just 8.7kg.
The Scott Speedster Junior 24 is available for purchase via Tweeks Cycles.Tweeks Cycles - Scott Speedster 24
Islabikes Luath 24 kids road bike (£650)
Islabikes have taken the cycling world by storm over the past decade, creating top quality bicycles designed specifically for children and selling them with apparent ease to an ever expanding audience. The Islabikes Luath 24 oozes quality and does not disappoint. The bike is built around an aluminium frame and chromoly steel forks, and with the weight of the bike coming in at a shade over 9kg, the Islabikes Luath 24 is definitely a lightweight offering.
Gearing on the Islabikes Luath 24 is controlled by Shimano STI levers, with a nice touch being the secondary brake levers mounted on the top of the bars. It's funny, but most adult road racing bikes from the late seventies to the nineties had these fitted before fashions changed. In essence they provide a little safety net, as wherever your child's hands are on the bars there is a brake lever close by!
Our 9 year old reviewer was very impressed with the Islabikes Luath 24, and it remains his road bike of choice. The Islabikes Luath can also be fitted with grippy tyres making it an ideal bike for cyclo-cross and triathlon.Read the full Cycle Sprog review of the Islabikes Luath 24
Eyelets are fitted for both mudguard and rack, so you can pop a pannier on and no more carrying the school bag/lunch box/gym kit on your back if using to ride to school. This also makes the Luath 24 an ideal road touring bike.
Therefore the Islabikes Luath is a good choice for an all round junior bike if your youngster is into a bit of road, cyclocross, triathlon and touring.
The Islabikes Luath is available exclusively from IslabikesIslabikes Luath 24
Dawes 24 Inch Academy CX 2017 Kids Bike
Update. It appears that the Dawes Academy CX is no longer part of the range. If you're really lucky, you may find one at one of the clearance retailers online.
Dawes have been making bikes since 1926, but their latest range of kids bikes is definitely looking to the future rather than the past. The Dawes Academy range is aimed at the increasing number of junior club riders. The Dawes Academy range is a particular favourite amongst junior triathletes, as Dawes and the Triathlon Trust have worked together to give more children the opportunity to try out the sport.
If your child is looking to do more off road riding or cyclo-cross racing then the Dawes Academy CX24 may be a better bet than a road bike.
With Tektro CR710 Low Profile Cantilever Brakes plus secondary brakes on the tops, plus 18 gears provided courtesy of Shimano Sora, this is a great little bike, that weighs in at 9.84kg
The Dawes Academy CX 24" 2017 Kids Bike retails for £649 and is available from Evans Cycles.Evans Cycles - Dawes Academy CX24
Road racing bikes for kids - the summary
As you can see from our selection, there are an increasing number of good quality drop handlebar road racing bikes for kids available with a 24" wheel. You can choose from an all out racing bike to a cyclo-cross bike, depending on what type of cycling your child will be doing.
We hope you found our article on 24" road racing bikes for kids useful - if you did please share it with your friends.
Other articles you may find interesting:
- The best road racing bikes for kids with 20 inch wheels
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- The best kids 24 inch wheel mountain bikes
- The best kids summer cycling gloves
- The best kids cyclocross bikes
Want to know more about cycling with your kids?
If you'd like more advice on cycling with your kids, inspiration for family friendly cycle routes, or reviews of the best kids bikes and children's cycling accessories don't forget to sign up for the Cycle Sprog newsletter.
This article on road racing bikes for kids was first published on Cycle Sprog in November 2013, and is regularly updated to reflect changing makes and models of 24" kids drop handlebar bikes.
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