Best girls bikes - as recommended by girls who ride bikes

Is there such a thing as a best girls bike?  And should we even be asking the question as a bike is a bike, and surely it should be good for either a boy or a girl? The problem, however, is that if you're looking to buy a bike for a girl and don't know what you're looking for, someone is going to try and sell you a "girls" bike with a name like "Princess", "Cupcake", "Sweetie" or "Flower".

I don't know about you, but when I ride my bike I'm certainly not a cupcake, and the girls featured in this article aren't either!!

All the pictures of the girls riding their bikes in this post are of the real offspring of Cycle Sprog followers, such as Arizona (aged 4) above (photo credit David Goldman).

Experience tells us that parents who make a move from a "princess" or a "cupcake" bike to one that's designed with the rider in mind tend to be awestruck by the difference in their daughter's cycling ability, the amount they want to ride their bike, their confidence and just their new found enjoyment of cycling. If I had a pound coin for every person who's said to me "I just didn't realise before" then I'd be very well off indeed!

So if your daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc. has yet to experience the joy that cycling can bring then this article is for you.

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.

So, what makes a good girls bike?

  • It's got to be light enough that she can pick it up and manoeuvre it easily.
    If you struggle to lift her bike up, then how is she going to cope with steering it and picking it up off the ground?
  • It's got to have brakes that work easily.  Are they sized appropriately for her hands and can she stop really quickly in an emergency?
  • It's got to be easy to ride - do the pedals and wheels turn freely? If it has gears, can she operate them and do they change smoothly without any fuss?

These three things should never be compromised - if your daughter/granddaughter/niece/etc.  can't control the bike or brake properly, then the results don't bear thinking about.

Other things you may want to think about are:

  • Longevity of the bike - cheaper steel bikes will rust, making it difficult to pass on down to younger siblings if it's in a bit of a state
  • Speed - a lighter bike will go faster!  Do you really want her to be the one at the back of the pack, pedalling away furiously on her princess bike?
  • Gender Stereotypes - pink, flowery and looking lovely is for girls, going fast and getting muddy is for boys.  Really??? Check out the girls in this post if you have any doubts. Some wear pink, some wear blue. Some wear lycra, some wear skirts. Some race, some enjoy riding at a more leisurely pace. Some ride on tarmac, some ride through mud. What they all have in common is they love riding their bikes, whatever they're wearing and wherever they're going.

Riding an Islabike Cnoc in pink dress

  • Price - as manufacturers and retailers realise that parents are demanding well designed and easy to ride bikes for their kids then the choice is increasing, and there are cheaper well designed bikes available. However, don't forget the idiom 'you get what you pay for' as bikes at the cheapest end of the spectrum are that price for a reason. You're better off buying a quality second hand bike than a poor quality new one.  End of season sales are a good time to snap up a bargain too, as you can often pick up an old model really cheaply.
  • Resale value - there's a thriving second hand kids bike market, and if you look after the bike then you should be able to recoup a good portion of the original cost (to spend on the next size up!)

Things that aren't needed on a girls bike

In our humble opinion, the following things aren't needed on a kids bike. You don't tend to find them on bikes marketed at boys and you won't find them on the bikes the Cycle Sprogs featured on this page are riding.

  • Tassels
  • Seats for dolls fitted as standard  (if she really wants one on her bike you can buy one here)

What's the best colour for a girls bike?

On this, it's a total matter of preference - there are fabulous bikes out there in every colour, from pink to blue, from purple to green. Some with patterns, and some plain.  You may want to think of the colour preferences of younger siblings, or whether you're restricting your market when you come to sell on.

What type of bike is best for a girl?

This depends on what type of riding she's going to be doing.  For everyday riding, we always recommend a flat handlebar hybrid bike with a multi-purpose tyre (such as the Kenda small block 8) that will allow her to ride on tarmac, gravel and grass.  However, once she's decided what type of cycling she wants to do you can start looking at road bikes, cyclo-cross bikes, BMX, track and mountain bikes, with these bikes coming online for those aged around 7 upwards.

Of course, the golden rule is a girl can never have enough bikes!!!  

The best girls bikes - a few recommended brands

So, now we know what to look for (and what to avoid), what brands make good bikes for girls?  Here's a selection of bikes that Cycle Sprogs are enjoying riding. It's by no means exhaustive but should give you a good indication of the types of bike that girls of all ages are having great fun riding out there.  It's in alphabetical order - let us know if we've missed your favourite out and we'll include it.  As every bike brand has a range of sizes and prices we've categorised them from £ through to ££££ as to where each brand sits on the price spectrum.

Frog Bikes (£££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Frog Bikes do a huge range of kids bikes from different sized balance bikes for very young children, through to large framed bikes for teenagers, all in a fabulous range of colours. They're available on-line and via a network of local bike shops.

Frog Bikes cover virtually all types of cycling, with starter bikes with a single gear, hybrid bikes, road/cyclocross bikes,  mountain bikes and track bikes in their range. We've reviewed lots of different Frog Bikes over the years and are always happy to recommend them.

Here's 7 year old Mia riding her Frog 55 at the Three Sisters Race track. She's had it since she was 6 and loves it so much she's about to move up to the next size.

Frog Bikes are a great choice of bikes for girls who want to enjoy their cyclingBUY NEW: Buy Frog Bikes 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: There's always loads of Frog Bikes available secondhand - they are such a popular brand and the Cycle Sprogs riding them grow out of them long before the bike has worn out. You can usually find some real bargains on eBayAlso, check out the Pre-Owned Frog Bikes Community on Facebook where parents buy and sell the bikes their children have outgrown. 

Islabikes (££££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

The original quality kids bike, Islabikes rewrote the rules and it's thanks to them that there are now so many great kids bikes around these days.  They are a firm favourite amongst Cycle Sprogs of all ages due to the quality of the build and the range, which includes balance bikes, hybrid, mountain and road/cross bikes. We've reviewed most of the different Islabikes and have nothing but huge amounts of praise for them.  They have also just had a complete refresh of their range, with lighter weight bikes, improvements to the specification and a fresh new branding.

Here's Ruth (who you can read more about on the Family ByCycle blog) demonstrating that you're never too young to go bike packing on an Islabike.

Ruth going bikepacking on an Islabikes Cnoc

And here's Lorraine's 8 year old daughter racing on her Islabikes Luath road/cross bike.

Islabikes Luath in road race

Buy new: Islabikes are available from the Islabikes website for home delivery or collection from their Ludlow showroom.

Buy secondhand: There are always lots of Islabikes of all sizes available second hand - mainly because they outlast their owners. Check this eBay link to find a bargain in your area.   There is also a really good Facebook group called Pre-Owned Islabikes for Sale.

Hoy Bikes (£££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Sir Chris Hoy's range of kids bikes have had a revamp for 2018 and are now some of the lightest kids bikes on the market.  Their flat handlebar Bonaly bike ranges in wheel size from 16" through to 26" and certainly gets the thumbs up from Rachel's five and a half year old daughter.  They also do a drop handlebar gravel/road/cross bike for older kids.  We're reviewed several Hoy Bikes and have been really impressed.

Hoy Bonaly 20 lightweight girls bike

BUY NEW: Hoy Bikes are available from Evans Cycles, for home delivery or collection in store (where they will assemble the bike for you).

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:  There's a growing number of secondhand Hoy Bikes available as they increase in popularity.  There was a brand refresh at the end of 2018 when the bikes became lighter weight, so be aware some of the older models will be slightly heavier, but they are still an excellent choice bike. Check what's available on eBay. 

Squish Bikes (££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Squish are relative newcomers to the kid's bike scene, only launching in 2017.  They're lightweight and reasonably priced and have that elusive bike - a lightweight 18" wheel - the Squish 18.  Here it is demonstrated by 6 year old Katherine. We reviewed this particular Squish 18 bike and were very pleased with the bike, which is a great specification for the price. Katherine on Squish Bike hand in air

BUY NEW ONLINE: Squish Bikes are available from Tredz, who offer finance arrangements and free home delivery. 

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off all kids and junior bikes at Tredz with our exclusive code.
Just use our affiliate link and 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 LOCAL: Squish bikes are sold via a network of independent local bike shops. To find your nearest stockist click here.

BUY SECONDHAND:  Squish bikes are a relatively new brand, so there's not very many available second hand yet, as their original owners (or their younger siblings) are still riding them, but it's worth checking eBay just in case, as they will start appearing at some stageThere is also a new Facebook Group for secondhand Squish Bikes which will get momentum over the coming years. 

Pinnacle Bikes (££)

Pinnacle are one of Evans Cycles in-house brands and offer a much more lightweight option than many of the other bikes on offer at the same price point.  They're easy to ride and will handle muddy off road riding, as Luna demonstrates:

Pinnacle girls bike

BUY NEW:  Pinnacle Bikes are available from Evans Cycles, for home delivery or collection in store (where they will assemble the bike for you)

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: There's usually a few secondhand Pinnacle bikes available on eBay.  They're not as desirable secondhand as some of the other bikes on this page, so it's worth checking local facebook groups or free ads too to see if you can find a real bargain. 

Saracen Bikes (£££)

Saracen have a rich history as a mountain biking brand, so it's not surprising that their kid's range takes inspiration from that. Here's Ruby mastering her riding skills on her Saracen, which was handed on down from her brother.  It's always a good sign when a bike lasts several children.

Buy new:  Saracen bikes are available from Tredz, who offer 0% finance and free home delivery. 

Cycle Sprog readers get 10% off all kids and junior bikes at Tredz with our exclusive code.
Just use our affiliate link and 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:  Saracen kids bikes aren't as widely known as names such as Islabikes and Frog Bikes, so there's not so many available second hand. What this does mean is that if you find one, you might be lucky and get it for a bargain price!  Check eBay to see if you can find anything suitable. 

Victoria Pendleton Bikes (£)

One of Britain's most successful cyclists (9 world titles plus Olympic, European and Commonwealth gold medals in the velodrome) has her own range of bikes at Halfords and they've certainly inspired Claire's daughter with her cycling.

Victoria Pendleton girls bike

BUY NEW: The Victoria Pendleton range is available at Halfords, who will deliver to your home or you can collect from your local store, where they will assemble the bike for you.

BUY SECONDHAND:  This range of bikes isn't made to the same level of quality as some of the other brands on this page, so they won't last as long if not looked after. When buying secondhand do check the bike has been well maintained. Click here to find these bikes on eBay - there's often a very cheap deal to be had! 

Vitus Bikes (££)

Vitus Bikes are an in-house brand of Wiggle / Chain Reaction Cycles and are a well specified, lightweight range of bikes at a competitive price.  Here's four and a half year old Holly enjoying a ride out on her Vitus 14, which she found a really easy transition from her balance bike.

Vitus 14 kids bike in action

Buy new: Vitus Bikes are available from Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles. They come delivered with a pedal tool, touch up paint and a multitool. 

Buy secondhand:  There's not very many secondhand Vitus Kids Bikes available at the moment, as the range is still relatively new, but it's worth checking this link on eBay just in case something is available. 

Woom Bikes (££££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

A relative newcomer to the UK market, Austrian Woom bikes are built with a high attention to detail, are incredibly lightweight and come kitted out with top quality components. They're a good choice for everyday cycling in all weather conditions as 5 year old Jess demonstrates. She's reviewed a couple of Woom Bikes for us and was really impressed with their performance.

Buy New: Woom Bikes are available in the UK from The Little Bike Company, who offer free home delivery.  Outside of the UK, they're available direct from the Woom website.  

Buy Secondhand:  Woom Bikes are still relatively new in the UK, so it's rare to find many available secondhand. Their popularity is increasing, however, so do check eBay in case there's a bargain to be had. 

Bobbin Bikes (££)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Bobbin Bikes are a great bike for girls who are going to be doing most of their riding on roads and cycle paths. Bobbin Bikes have an upright riding position influenced by the Dutch style city bikes, which is good for posture, visibility and comfort.  They're not the lightest bikes featured, but that doesn't matter if you're not climbing hills or racing fast. Their range of kids bikes co-ordinate with their adult range too! Here's Ellen and her mum demonstrating how much fun they are to ride. They reviewed both the adult and child Bobbin bikes for us and were impressed with their performance as a city bike. Bobbin Gingersnap and Brownie Bikes - some of the girls bikes availableBuy new:  Bobbin Bikes are available from Amazon

Buy secondhand:  There's not as many secondhand Bobbin Bikes as some of the other makes listed on this page, but it's worth checking out Ebay just in case! 

Early Rider Bikes (££££)

If your daughter is into design, then she'll be blown away by the Early Rider bikes. The sleek lines of the aluminium frame coupled with innovate rubber drive trains rather than oily chains make these a great choice for girls who like to be different from the rest of the class. As you can see, 4 year old Arizona is definitely a fan - here she is enjoying the run and ride race series at Cannock chase (photo taken by Peter Wilkes Photography, who also arranges the racing).

Cycle racing for girls - Arizona racing her Early Rider Bike

Buy new: Early Rider Bikes are available directly from Early Rider. 

Buy secondhand:  There's usually a few Early Rider bikes being sold second hand so you might be able to find one to fit your daughter on Ebay. 

A massive thank you to all the followers of Cycle Sprog's Facebook Page who have shared their fabulous photos of their daughters and granddaughters enjoying their cycling.  We still need photos of girls enjoying their cycling on other brands, so do please get in touch if we've missed out your favourite.

Other articles you may find useful:

Affiliate Disclosure:  In order to fund this website, we use affiliate marketing. This means that some of the links on this page will pay us a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. It's not all links though as we recommend bikes because they're good, not because we make money (in fact we'd make far more plugging cupcake and princess bikes!) Thanks for your support by purchasing through the links on the page.

This post was first published in September 2018 and was updated October 2019 to reflect current stockists. 

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2 Comments

  1. Ed Bentall says:

    Hi there. No mention of wild bikes that I could see. Sold by Decathlon I can highly recommend. My daughter (6 3/4!) got an 18" one in September. Its super light, tektro v brake with suitably sized levers. It was £200 and quite honestly, its transformed her riding confidence and ability. Decathlon also do a free 6 week check after purchase to adjust things like brakes, wheel alignment etc. My daughter LOVES it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ed - thanks for getting in touch. Yes, agree that the Wild Bikes, sold through Go Outdoors, are a great range of bikes. Here's the link to these bikes for any of our readers who are interested. We feature these bikes in our other guides, but this one was specifically written using photos and recommendations from readers. We don't have any photos of girls riding this bike, so if your daughter would like to feature do please get in touch as we'd love to include these bike in this post. Kind regards Karen

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