The best 16" wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds - 2019

In this article, we take a look at the best 16" wheel kids bikes currently available for children aged 4 and 5 years old. If you're looking for the perfect bike for your child this Christmas, then it will depend on their height, inside leg measurement and riding ability, plus your budget and how often and where it will be ridden.

What makes a good 16" wheel kids bike for a 4 and 5 year old?

The bikes in this post are all well specified and lightweight (under 8kg) single gear bikes, with child specific components such as shorter cranks, small reach brakes and small saddles and 16 inch wheels. We've deliberately ignored bikes with gears, as this adds complexity and weight that the majority of children don't need when they are only 4 or 5 years old.

Review of Hoy Bonaly 16 by Cycle Sprog

This means that all the bikes featured will be fun and easy to ride and should last several children (or allow you to sell on at the end, to recoup some of the cost back).  Unless stated they all come with Kenda small block tyres, which are perfect for grass, tarmac and gravel.

If possible, test before you buy, as there can be a big variation in the height and inside leg measurements between a small 4 year old and a tall 5 year old, as well as between different makes of bike.

Please don't be tempted to by a bike that is too big - it can be very off-putting (and dangerous) to a 4 year old to have to ride a bike that is too large for them, and it's unlikely to get the use it deserves.

If your child is ready for a pedal bike but is too small for a 16" wheel bike, then take a look at our article on the smaller 14" wheel pedal bikes.  And if they've not yet learnt to pedal, then check out balance bikes instead.

If your child is towards the older end of the age range (say 5 years old, nearing their 6th birthday) or very tall, then check out our articles on the larger wheel bikes:

You may also find our article 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike useful.

How much should I pay for a bike for my 4 year old?

You can get a decent new bike for under £200, or spend over £250 on a much higher spec bike, depending on how much riding your child is going to do and how much you can afford.

There's also a roaring trade in good quality used 16" wheel kids bikes, as decent models are built to last more than one child, so check out our guide to buying a second-hand kids bike. Where it's easy to find good quality second hand versions of the bikes we've included the links - you may be able to get a real bargain! These are mainly the more expensive brands, which really are built to last.  Some brands are too new to have the bikes appearing for resale just yet.

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. Not all retailers and manufacturers have schemes, and we always recommend bikes on their quality, not on whether we make a commission. Thanks for your support.

Deals of the week on new 16" wheel bikes:

2018 Saracen Mantra 1.6 at Tredz (RRP £270 - now £195 with our voucher code)

Saracen Mantra 1.6 reduced at Tredz in their Boxing Day Sales deals on Kids Bikes

Tredz are currently selling off the last of their 2018 stock of this lightweight 16" wheel bike.  The aluminium frame and forks mean that at 6.24 kg the Saracen Mantra 1.6 will be much lighter than the majority of bikes available for under £200 (which are usually made of much heavier steel).  The Mantra 1.6 comes fitted with child sized brakes (which can be operated with just two fingers) and Kenda small block 8 tyres which are great for all terrain types.  The bike is available in a choice of two colours - pink or turquoise.

Saracen Mantra 1.6 best and cheapest pink girls 16 inch bike for 3 year old girl

With an RRP of £270, the 2018 Saracen Mantra 1.6 is currently reduced to £215, but if you use our link and the exclusive Tredz code at the checkout, it will bring the price down by a further 10% to just £194.39.

SAVE NOW: The Saracen Mantra 1.6 at Tredz 

GOOD NEWS! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code CS10 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 30th November 2019.
Also, purchase a bike costing £120 or more by 23.59 on 27th November 2019 and receive a £30 Gift Voucher (see terms and conditions).

Vitus Sixteen (RRP £200 - currently reduced to £160)

 

Vitus 16 kids bike for 4 year old child

Vitus Bikes have been revamped for 2019, and it appears to have been designed with an attention to detail that usually comes with a much higher price tag.  The bike is usually a penny under £200 (but at the time of writing was discounted to £179). For this you're getting a lightweight 6061 alloy frame combined with steel forks for comfort, plus the all important child specific components.

The Vitus Sixteen comes in at 7.2kg, so it is one of the heavier 16" wheel kids bikes featured, but it's certainly a lot lighter than many kids bikes. It also has a 2 year frame warranty and 12 month parts warranty, so has been designed to last longer than many other cheap kids bikes out there.

SAVE NOW:  Vitus 16 for £160 from Wiggle - with free home delivery

The best bikes for 4 and 5 year olds (16" wheels) 

In this article I've selected the best pedal bikes for 4 and 5 year olds. They're all well made, lightweight and with child sized components.  Where we've reviewed the bikes I've provided links so you can find out more. I do hope you find the perfect bike for your child.

FROG 48 - 16" wheel kids bike (RRP £280) - or £252 for Cycle Sprog readers

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brandFrog 48 kids bike - the perfect Christmas gift

Frog Bikes are great - they're designed specifically for young riders, they're lightweight (the 16" wheel Frog 48 is just 6.75 kg), fun to ride, and come in a large choice of colours. With a range of kids bikes that stretches from small balance bikes through to large 26" wheel mountain and hybrid bikes, we're seeing brand loyalty from families as their children grow through the Frog range, which is a sign of a quality bike.  This is backed up by a free 5 year warranty on frame and forks if you register the bike (2 years if you don't), and this quality means that they sell extremely well second-hand on eBay.   We've reviewed a wide range of Frog Bikes over the years and they've always been well designed and specified.

The Frog 48 comes with two sets of tyres - hybrid for most surfaces (Kenda 16" x 1.5") and off-road for those hitting the trails (Kenda K1153 16"*1.75). It also comes with front and rear plastic mudguards (not shown), which are great if your child likes riding through every puddle they see!  The Frog 48 retails at £280 and is available plus a wide range of local dealers.

BUY NEW:  The Frog 48 from Tredz 

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off Frog Bikes at Tredz with our exclusive code. Just click on our affiliate link before 23.59 on 30th November 2019 and enter the code CS10 at checkout.
Also, purchase a bike costing £120 or more before 23.59 on 27th November 2019 and receive a £30 gift voucher (see terms and conditions).

BUY SECONDHAND:  Frog Bikes have been around long enough for there to be a lot sold on eBay

Hoy Bonaly 16 2020 (RRP £260)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

2018 Hoy Bonaly 16" wheel kids bike - GET A 5% BLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNT ON THIS BIKE

Sir Chris Hoy is famous for being the author of the Flying Fergus range of kids books (if you haven't got your 5 year old hooked on these yet you need to check them out!) and the Hoy range of kids bikes. Apparently he also used to race bikes and picked up a few medals in his time too...

The Hoy Bonaly 16 is the smallest pedal bike in a range which is renowned for being hard-wearing - Hoy Bikes are used by British Cycling Go-Ride instructors, who loan them out at races and events up and down the country.

The Hoy Bikes Bonaly range has been totally redesigned, and it is now one of the lightest weight 16" wheel bikes out there (5.95 kg with pedals).  It comes with all the child specific components you'd expect, and a fresh new look for 2019. Our 5 year old tester Jess reviewed the Hoy Bonaly 16 and was very impressed with its performance.

BUY NEW: CLICK HERE TO BUY THE NEW HOY BONALY

CURRENT OFFER FROM EVANS: Get a free kids bike helmet with every kids Hoy or Pinnacle Bike.
Simply add both items to your basket and the discount will auto apply. Valid whilst stocks last.

BUY SECONDHAND:  Because the Hoy Bonaly range got a complete makeover in 2018, the majority of second hand bargains are the older models which were heavier, but still a great bike

Black Mountain Skøg (£339)

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

Black Mountain bikes are a new brand, with an exciting new concept in kids bikes. Their bikes have a "growing frame" which means that when your child outgrows the original frame size you can adjust the frame and the gearing to make it last much longer.  Even more clever is the fact that the Skøg starts out in balance bike mode, so your child can progress from learning to balance through to pedalling all without you needing to buy a new bike. The Skøg is designed to replace a large balance bike, 14" and 16" wheel bike, so when you factor all this in it's not quite so expensive as it originally seems.

It's a great choice if your child is currently using stabilisers and you want to get them pedaling in time for summer, as they can get used to balancing and picking up speed plus using braking, before you add the pedals.

Buy now: The Skøg from Black Mountain Bikes

Islabikes Cnoc 16 (RRP £320)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

 

New look Islabikes Cnoc kids bike

Islabikes are the original quality kids bike manufacturers. When you buy an Islabikes product you're buying over a decade of obsessive attention to detail from a company who are synonymous with creating bikes designed for children.

Islabikes upgraded their entire range in October 2019, with a fresh new look and changes to the specification.

The new look Cnoc 16 has everything you want from a first bike in terms of child sized components, longevity and light weight (5.6kg). As well as great looks it has the brand reputation to back it up.

Mudguards, off-road tyres and a kickstand are available as additional options either at the time of purchase or later.   We've reviewed a number of Islabikes over the years and have never failed to be impressed at the quality and attention to detail of these bikes.

You'll notice that unlike many of its competitors the Cnoc 16 has a chain guard, to protect clothes and fingers from the greasy chain - we all know how inquisitive a 4 year old can be!

This all comes at a price, although you should recoup a large part of the £320 tag when you sell it on - Islabikes sell like hot cakes on eBay and other forums.

Buy new: Available direct from Islabikes

Buy secondhand: There are usually plenty of Islabikes Cnoc 16's on eBay. There have been slight modifications to the spec and design over the years, but they've always been great bikes. The most recent version that was superceded in October 2019 weighed in at 6.1kg with pedals. 

Wiggins Chartres 16 (RRP £275 currently £220)

Wiggins Chartres 16 inch wheel kids bike

Wiggins Bikes have just updated their range of kids bikes, with fresh new colours and upgrades to the specification. Available exclusively from Halfords the original Wiggins bikes have proved a popular choice with parents looking for a good value, lightweight bike with child sized proportions.  The new look bikes come in two colour schemes, red and green and can be ordered online and either delivered to your home or picked up at your local Halfords store.

BUY NEW:  Wiggins Chartres 16 at Halfords

BUY SECONDHAND:  The original Wiggins 16" wheel bike was called the Macon 16 and can often be found for a great price on Ebay and other secondhand sites. 

Wild 16 (£190)Wild Bike 16 Inch Black Friday deal on bikes for a 4 year old

Wild Bikes are the new in-house bike from Go Outdoors. They come with an attractive two-tone paint scheme, and all the child sized components we'd expect to see on a bike at a higher price point.  It's available in-store but you can also easily order online for home delivery.

BUY NEW: Wild 16 kids bike from Go Outdoors

The Wild Bike range was only released in Winter 2018, so there aren't any second hand bikes available yet.

Woom 3 - 16" wheel bike (RRP £300)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

WOOM 3 16" kids bike from Austria is now available in the UK

 

Woom are an Austrian kids bike company and their products have recently become available in the UK. Think of them as the central European equivalent of Islabikes in terms of attention to detail, and you're not far off the mark.  With the manufacturer claiming the Woom 3 weighs in at just 5.5kg, it's the lightest 16" wheel bike we've found. This is due to almost every part on the Woom 3 being made from lightweight aluminium. The bike comes fitted with a kickstand - ideal for neat storage and preventing the bike getting thrown on the ground.

Our 4 year old reviewer loved riding the Woom 3 - you can read her dad's thoughts here.

BUY NEW:  The Woom 3 is available exclusively in the UK from The Little Bike Company and retails at £300. If you're outside of the UK go to woombikes website. 

BUY SECONDHAND:  Woom Bikes haven't been in the UK very long so it's very rare to find the long enough to be available second hand yet.

Squish 16 (RRP £240)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Squish 16

Squish are a reasonably new brand and make a good (and slightly cheaper) alternative to some of the more established names.  As you'd expect, the Squish 16 is a lightweight bicycle specified with child sized components and fitted with good quality Kenda tyres. It comes in two different colour schemes - red/yellow and purple/blue.

We have reviewed the slightly larger Squish 18 and found it to be a good bike, especially if you're looking to buy something a bit different from what everyone else is riding.

The Squish range can be bought online via eBay plus found in independent bike shops around the UK - click here to find your nearest dealer. Squish Bikes are still too new for there to be many coming up second hand.

==> Buy new:  The Squish 16 on Ebay 

Cuda CP16 (RRP £240)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

The Cuda CP16 is one of the best 16" wheel kids bikes available for 2017/18

The Cuda Performance range is a good alternative to the Frog and Islabikes range for those who like the modern single colour design on their kids bike. We've reviewed a couple of their bikes in the past and been pleased with the quality. The Cuda CP16 is good-looking (three colours are available) with 'child-specific' components. Weight wise they're at the heavier end of the bikes featured (7kg with pedals), but this is still a lot lighter than the majority of 16" wheel kids bikes available.

The Cuda CP16 is sold in a wide range of local independent bike shops, meaning you can try before you buy.

Cube Kid 160 (RRP £249)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand - get 10% off at Tredz

Cube Kid 160 16w 2018 Kids Bike

If your Cycle Sprog is going to be doing a lot of off-road riding, for example at trail centres, then the Cube 160 16" wheel bike will make them look the part. It's styled on Cube's adult mountain biking range, but has child sized components suited for a 4 or 5 year old. With this bike it's worth noting that there is a rear coaster brake, which means your child can back pedal to stop, as well as using the more common front rim brake.  Some kids (and parents) love this, others don't - they tend to be more popular in the US and Europe than the UK.  It comes with a rear mudguard to keep off most of the dirt and a chain guard to keep things clean.

It's not the lightest bike in this list, coming in at 8 kg, but the rear coaster brake will add weight to the aluminium frame and components.  We've reviewed a number of high end Cube kids bikes and have been impressed with their durability and quality, although haven't tested this specific bike.

The Cube Kid 160 comes in a bright range of different colours, including the Team Cube white and a striking pink and berry combination.

==> CLICK HERE TO BUY THE CUBE KID 160 

GOOD NEWS! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code CS10 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 30th November 2019.
Also, purchase a bike costing £120 or more by 23.59 on 27th November 2019 and receive a £30 Gift Voucher (see terms and conditions).

Ridgeback Dimension 16 (RRP £250)

Ridgeback Dimension 162 wheel kids bike for 5 year old

The Dimension is the premium model in Ridgeback's kids bike range. Their 16" wheel bikes weigh in at 6.8 kg, making them nice and lightweight for a 5 year old to handle.

The Ridgeback Dimension 16 is available in silver or pink with an RRP of £249.99

Buy new: Buy 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 CS10 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 30th November 2019.
Also, purchase a bike costing £120 or more by 23.59 on 27th November 2019 and receive a £30 Gift Voucher (see terms and conditions).

Buy secondhand:  Ridgeback Dimensions sometimes come up on eBay. Don't get confused with the MX and Melody 16, which are heavier and less well specified

Raleigh Performance 16 MTB (RRP £250)

Raleigh Performance 16 2020 Purple kids bike

Raleigh is one of the most historic bicycle brands in the world, with a heritage that goes all the way back to 1885. The start of the new millennium signified a period of decline for Raleigh, with financial woes and changes of ownership coupled to a decline in quality. Thankfully the wilderness years have been consigned to history and this world renowned brand is back on the map with a great range of bikes for all ages. This lightweight kids bike (6.31 kg) is one worthy of attention, especially for any young budding mountain bikers.

The Raleigh Performance 16 has a lightweight aluminum frame, child specific components and tyres suitable for tarmac and gravel. Raleigh are aiming this bike at those budding 5 year old MTB'ers not quite ready to have a bike with suspension and gears.

Buy new:  Raleigh Performance 16" wheel bike at Rutland Cycling

Carrera Cosmos (RRP £205) - currently £164

Carrera Cosmos 16 - bike for a 6 year old girl

Carrera is one of Halford's in-house brands, and together with the Wiggins range (see above) are probably the only kids bikes we'd recommend you buy from them for a 4 or 5 year old. The Carrera Cosmos has an aluminum frame and child sized components, which means your child will be able to ride the bike easily, and more importantly safely. The Carrera children's bikes are significantly lighter than the steel framed bikes in the rest of the Halfords range (the stated weight is approx 6 kg), and it's very competitively priced at £205 (often with additional discount).  If you can afford to buy a lightweight bike over a heavier, cheaper alternative then you should really see a difference in how easily your child rides it and also in the amount of use they get out of the bike.

The Carrera  Cosmos 16" wheel kids bikes have an RRP of £215.and are available at Halfords, where you can get free bike assembly, plus storage if you're not quite ready to take it home.

Ridgeback MX16 kids bikes - RRP £190 

Use our exclusive link and code to get 10% off this reduced bike

Ridgeback MX 16 kids bike Black Friday deal

The Ridgeback MX range is Ridgeback's budget range of bikes, so do be aware that you're getting a heavier bike than the other bikes featured on this page (8.8kg). However, we've included this as the MX's are a good choice if your child isn't going to go too far, and you don't want to spend too much money on a bike for them.  You'll definitely notice a weight difference compared to all the other kids bikes on this page, but with child sized components, they'll be safe and have fun on this bike. The frame is aluminium, so it's going to be a lot lighter than the really heavy steel framed cheap bikes that you may be tempted to buy for under £100.

Save now:  Ridgeback 16" wheel bikes at Tredz

GOOD NEWS! This bike is eligible for a 10% discount at Tredz.
Just click the affiliate link above and then enter the code CS10 at checkout. Code valid until 23.59 on 30th November 2019.
Also, purchase a bike costing £120 or more by 23.59 on 27th November 2019 and receive a £30 Gift Voucher (see terms and conditions).

Summary of the best 16 inch wheel kids bikes

Below is the information that is publicly available about the best bikes we're featuring in our post. Please note that weights are as stated on websites, some may include pedal weight, others may not. Where the website states with pedals we've put (wp) after the weight.
You can re-sort on price, weight or inside leg to find the best bike for your child and your bank balance.  You can also use it as a reference if you're looking at other 16" wheel kids bikes - how do they compare to the price and weight of the ones listed?
Note:  A * next to the price means you can get an additional 10% off at Tredz if you use our exclusive links and add the code at checkout. 

BikeWeightPrice (RRP)Inside LegSaddle HeightHeight GuideWarranty
Black Mountain Skøg6.19 kg (wp)£339486mm - 615mm (pedal mode)105 - 120cm3 years (transferable)
Woom 35.6 kg£30046 - 54 cm--Frame and Forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Islabikes Cnoc 166.1 kg (wp)£32042 - 52cm 104-120cmFrame and forks: 5 year
Components: 2 year
Saracen Mantra 1.66.24 kg£270*1 year
Frog 486.75 kg£280*
48cmPrice includes 2 sets of tyres-2 years but
5 yrs frame/forks if registered on Frog Website
Hoy Bonaly 165.95 kg (WP)£26046cm -104 cm minNot stated
Cube Kid 1608.0 kg£250*---Not stated
Ridgeback Dimension 166.8 kg£250*110 - 120cmLifetime on frame
Raleigh Performance 166.31 kg£250*43-52 cm--Not stated
Cuda CP167 kg (wp)£240-49 - 58cm-1 year
Squish 166.3 kg£24047cmAlloy Frame & Fork: 3 years
Components: 1 year
Wiggins Macon6.4 kg£240 - - 112-127cm1 year
Vitus Sixteen7.2 kg£200 - -104-122cmFrame 2 year
Parts 1 year
Wild 166.8 kg£190Price with Go Outdoors Discount CardSizing guide1 year
Ridgeback MX16 and Melody8.8 kg£190*110 - 120 cmLifetime Frame
Carrera Cosmos 16"tbc£205-Exact weight not stated112 - 127cm1 year

Other articles you may find useful:

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this post about 16" wheel kids bikes contain affiliate links, which means that Cycle Sprog may get a small commission if you click on them. This doesn't affect what you pay, and doesn't apply to all links - we include bikes because we think they're good, not because they belong to an affiliate scheme.

This post was first published on 27th November 2017, and updated in November 2019 to reflect new stock availability and prices

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3 Comments

  1. Nicola says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for this brilliant list, really useful. We're hoping to get our son his first pedal bike for Christmas and have been looking at the Early Rider Belter 16. It's a very lightweight bike and seems to babe a good spec, so just wondered if there's a reason why it's not included here?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicola,
      Thanks for getting in touch. We try to include only bikes that are currently available and the Belter 16 hasn't been in stock in the UK for quite some time so I'd taken it off the list. Their website now says that bikes will be arriving end of October, so once I know it's available for purchase I can add it back in.
      Hope your son enjoys his first pedal bike - exciting times! Karen

  2. Carolann says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for this great blog, so useful!! We went bike shopping for my almost 3 and a half year old daughter today. Tried the Frog 43 and her feet were easily flat on the floor, which I guess is good for balance biking (which she already does well) and for learning to pedal, but we, and the lady in the shop (a reputable independent bike shop) felt the bike wouldn’t last her very long at all. They didn’t have the Frog 48 and we already had the Wild from Go Outdoors in mind so we bought that in the 16’’ size. Only problem is her tip toes only just touch the floor!

    Am wondering if we have now bought too big?? The sizing in Go Outdoors suggested that size for 1m upwards but she is 98/99cm... Do we stick with what we have but leave trying to pedal until she is a bit taller?? Would be annoying to spend so much when we know it won’t last, but then I don’t want to make it harder for her either. Confused!!

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