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. Finding the perfect bike for your child will depend on their height, inside leg measurement and riding ability, plus your budget and how often and where it will be ridden.
In our table we've compared the 16" wheel bikes for price, warranty period and weight for many of these bikes, as you need to make sure you get the correct bike for your child and your pocket. We then take a more detailed look at each bike to see what you get for your money.
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.
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.
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 SPROG10 at checkout.
Deals of the week on new 16" wheel 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. When the 2019 hits the shops later this year it will be red.
With an RRP of £270, the 2018 Saracen Mantra 1.6 is currently reduced to £216, but if you use our link and the exclusive Tredz code of SPROG10 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 - use code SPROG10 at checkout for 10% off stated price
Use our exclusive link and code to get 10% off this reduced bike
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.
The RRP for the Ridgeback MX 16 is £190 but Tredz currently have it reduced by 26% to £140. If you buy through our link you can add our exclusive discount code SPROG10 at checkout and get AN ADDITIONAL 10% off, bringing the bike down to just £126.
Save now: Ridgeback 16" wheel bikes at Tredz - don't forget to use the SPROG10 discount code!
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.
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 stablisers 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
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand
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 £265 and is available plus a wide range of local dealers.
BUY NEW: The Frog 48 from Tredz - enter code SPROG10 at checkout to get 10% off (bringing the cost down to £238.50)
BUY SECONDHAND: Frog Bikes have been around long enough for there to be a lot sold on Ebay
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended 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
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
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand
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
Islabikes Cnoc 16 (RRP £290)
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand
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. The Cnoc 16 has everything you want from a first bike in terms of child sized components, longevity and light weight (6.1kg with pedals). It also has stunning looks and the brand reputation to back it up. Mudguards, off-road tyres and a kickstand are available as additional options either at 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 £289.99 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.
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. For a penny under £200 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.
BUY NOW: Vitus 16 for £199 from Chain Reaction Cycles - with free home delivery
Ridgeback Dimension 16 (RRP £250)
Plus get 10% off at Tredz with our exclusive discount code = £25 off!
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. Don't forget to use either the SPROG10 code for an extra 10% off
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
Plus get another 10% off with our exclusive discount code at Tredz
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.
Available in red or blue, the Raleigh Performance 16 is available Tredz DON'T FORGET TO USE EITHER THE SPROG10 CODE FOR AN ADDITIONAL 10% discount
Buy now: Raleigh Performance 16" wheel bike at Tredz
Sold exclusively through Halfords, the Wiggins kids bike range is both stylish and well specified with components designed for young riders. The 16" wheel bike in the range is called the "Macon" and has the Wiggins signature reverse 'curved' fork and mod target design, making is aesthetically slightly different from the majority of other 16" wheel bikes. The Macon has a lightweight double-butted aluminium frame and forks, which helps it weigh in at a very respectable 6.4 kg.
Buy new: The Wiggins Macon retails at £240 and is available via "click and collect" at your nearest Halfords Store where they can help you assemble the bike correctly for your child.
Buy Second hand: The Wiggins kids bike range is just reaching the point where second hand bikes are becoming available on Ebay.
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 NOW: 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 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.
The Woom 3 is available exclusively from The Little Bike Company and retails at £300. The bikes haven't been in the UK long enough to be available second hand yet.
Cuda CP16 (RRP £240)
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand
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
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 - plus add the code SPROG10 at the checkout to get 10% off the stated price
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 mean 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 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 £205 and are available at Halfords, where you can get free bike assembly, plus storage if you're not quite ready to take it home.
Other articles you may find useful:
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this post about 16" wheel kids bikes contain affiliate links, which mean 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 July 2019 to reflect new stock availability and prices
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