The best 14″ starter bikes for children aged 3 and 4 years

If you're hoping to buy a kids bike for a 3 to 4 year old child you need to know that there's not that many kids bikes at the moment as so many were bought up last year during Lockdown 1.0 and then brands struggled to restock again before the Christmas rush - with deliveries of bikes selling out almost instantly.  But don't fear!  Stock of kids bikes that didn't make it in time for the festive season (sometimes due to issues at the ports) is now slowly arriving.    We've worked hard to bring you details of all the retailers who do have some stock of 14" wheel kids bikes, which will make a great choice for kids aged 3 to 4 years old. 

Before we start, do please remember that there's a REAL difference between buying a really cheap and heavy kids bike and a quality kids bike that's been discounted.

If you're not sure what makes a great kids bike take a moment to download our FREE kids bike buying checklist, so you know what you're looking for and don't get tempted by a dodgy deal.  Don't forget a lightweight, well made bike will be LOADS more fun to ride than a heavy, poorly made toy bike. If you're tempted to buy a cartoon character or toy bike then  check this out!

Here's our pick of the best places to look for a 14" kids bike:

Cycle Sprog is an family run, reader supported, website. We belong to several affiliate schemes so may receive a small commission from sales made from links on our site. We do our best to be impartial and recommend products on their quality not whether they are in a scheme.

Where to find an in stock 14" wheel kids bike:

If you're in a real hurry, just check these places for a quality kids bikes ready to be delivered. 

Tredz 

Tredz stock a good range of quality kids bikes, and we really like that they are honest and upfront about how long delivery should be before you place your order.

Tredz also have an "In Stock" filter on their website which makes life easier if you need your bike now rather than in a few weeks or months time.   

So many retailers at the moment don't have stock, but you have to click through every bike to find out!  

Tredz sell quality kids bike brands including Forme, Frog, Cube, Squish, Giant, Orbea and Cannondale. 

 Check Availability at Tredz 

 

Chain Reaction Cycles - some bikes in stock

Vitus 16 kids bike - a great value bike for a 4 year old

Chain Reaction Cycles (otherwise known as CRC) sell the great value Vitus Kids Bikes that are perfect for kids aged 3 to 4 years old and stock has been appearing on their website every few days (although they are selling fast!)

They also have an "In stock" button to make life a whole lot easier when you're searching for a bike - a real time saver!  

 Check Availability at Chain Reaction Cycles 

 

The Bike Club

The Bike Club is a brilliant way to get a great quality 14" wheel kids bike for your child, without the upfront cost.  You subscribe to their membership scheme and select your chosen bike, which they send out to you in return for a monthly payment (so you do have to pass their credit checks). 

When your child outgrows the bike you send it back and upgrade to the next size bike. 

We know a lot of people who are using The Bike Club and they all rave about it!  It takes the hassle out of having to buy and sell bikes and means you can pick a  great value bike that fits your child now, rather than worrying they're going to out grow it.

Plus it's much more environmentally friendly - you can pick from new or previously used bikes, and when you return your bike it gets fully serviced by their qualified mechanics before being sent out again.  

If you've got a smaller bike that your child has already grown out of it, they may also be able to buy that off of you to enter into their reCycled fleet - get a valuation here

Forme Cubley 16 kids bike in red - a lightweight kids bike that also comes in pink and blue colours. A great value bike for girls and bikes of ages 4 and 5 years

You also get peace of mind that your child is riding a really great quality bike at a bargain price, rather than a really cheap bike. 

They only stock Cycle Sprog recommended brands such as the brand new Forme Cubley 14 , as well as Squish Bikes and Frog Bikes 

UPDATE: Tuesday 6th April 2021 - The Bike Club currently have a some of the new season Forme Bikes in stock, plus some Squish and Frog Bikes also available.  They've added this link which takes you to bikes ready for dispatch if you need a bike quickly. 

Sponsored Content Start: 

If you have an old kids bike you've been meaning to sell on, then The Bike Club also have a hassle free way to do this, called reCycle.

They will even send a courier with a box to pick it up!  Get a valution of your old bike here.  

Bike Club reCycle Scheme banner

Sponsored Content End

 Rent Now At The Bike Club 

 

The above are recommended places to look for reliable, in stock 14" wheel kids bikes for immediate dispatch. 

Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list, and other bikes are arriving, both on line and in local bike shops.  If you've not managed to find what you are looking for in the above selection, here's our usual article with lots more details about fabulous bikes that in normal times you'd be able to choose from.  

 

The best 14″ starter bikes for children aged 3 and 4 years

If you’re looking for advice on a first bike for your 3 or 4 year old we’re here to help! We’re really glad you found Cycle Sprog – we’re parents who have been writing about and recommending kids bikes for about 9 years now (you can read about us here). 

As this possibly your first time buying a child’s bike do please take a few minutes to do some research and make sure you’re buying a bike that will be fun, easy and safe for them to ride – after all they’re going to be riding it a lot over the coming weeks and months!

BEST 14 WHEEL BIKES FOR 3 AND 4 YEAR OLDS

OUR PICK OF THE BEST BIKES FOR 3 AND 4 YEAR OLDS 

Take a moment to GRAB YOUR FREE KIDS BIKE BUYING CHECKLIST which will help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

A general rule is that a proper lightweight kids bike, made by a proper bike manufacturer, that is the correct size for your child, will get loads of use. A “toy” bike covered in cartoon characters is going to be much heavier and more difficult to ride.  If you want to know more about this, check out our You Tube Video which explains the difference.

 

A few thoughts before you buy a pedal bike for a 3 year old child

Can your child pedal yet? 

If this is your child’s first go on a bike of any type, then consider getting them a balance bike, rather than a pedal bike to start with, as they tend to be cheaper and will give them the skills they need to move on up to a pedal bike when they’re ready.

The golden rule – can you (and your child) lift the bike?

The Woom2 is lightweight enough to be lifted up by a 4 year old If you struggle to lift it up, then think how difficult it will be for you to carry it home when they’ve had enough of pedalling……. (or into the car boot when we’re finally allowed out again to visit places)

Cycle Sprog is an family run, reader supported, website. We belong to several affiliate schemes so may receive a small commission from sales made from links on our site. We do our best to be impartial and recommend products on their quality not whether they are in a scheme.

The best 14″ wheel kids bikes for kids aged 3 – 4 years 

In this article, we’re looking at the best 14″ wheel bikes, so expect bikes that will be fun and easy to ride. If you’re looking for a REALLY cheap bike (under £100) I suggest you go here. Click here to get our handy checklist on buying a kids bike to help you make a speedy decision – we’ll send it directly to your inbox. 

Cubley 14 (£230 or £10.70 per month)

Forme Cubley 14 kids bike - a lightweight first pedal bike for children aged 3 and 4 years Forme Cubley 14 Key Data:

Price new: £230 Lease: £10.70 per month
Inside Leg: 43cm – 48cm
Saddle to floor: 48cm – 52cm
Bike weight:
  6.12 kg
Brakes:  Tektro V Brake
Frame:  Alloy 6061
Tyres:  Kenda Small Block Eight 14″ x 1.5″
Available colours:  Red, Blue and Pink
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame

Forme Bikes are a British company based in Derbyshire, close to the Peak District National Park.  In 2020 they launched a range of well-specified lightweight kids bikes, with the Cubley 14 being the smallest pedal bike in their range. 

The Cubley has all the features that you want when your child is learning to ride so they gain confidence quickly. Weighing in at just 6.12kg the Cubley 14 is light enough for your child to pick it up and manoeuvre themselves, and not too heavy for you to carry if they suddenly decide they’ve had enough halfway through your ride.

The geometry of the Cubley 14 has been designed with the youngest of riders in mind, and it comes with a size specific crankset and pedals for little legs, narrow bars, and a short reach stem.

The 14″ diameter wheelset is alloy and attaches to the frame with nuts.

The headset – the bit that attaches the fork to the frame – is an integrated one so keeps the bearings hidden away internally and hopefully away from the great British weather!

The good news is that Forme is partnering with The Bike Club to make the Cubley 14 available on their popular monthly rental scheme.   If you’ve not heard of the Bike Club, it’s an environmentally and wallet friendly scheme where you pay a monthly fee for a bike and swap it for the next size up as soon as your Sprog outgrows it – if you start now it’ll save you loads of hassle over the coming years!

If you’re wondering where the name Cubley comes from, it’s a tiny parish in Derbyshire, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

BUY CUBLEY NEW  RENT CUBLEY NOW

 

Black Mountain SKÖG (£349)

Cycle Sprog Reviewed and Recommended bike Black Mountain growing bike BLACK MOUNTAIN SKÖG Key data: 
Price: £349
Typical age range:  approx 4.5 – 7 years in pedal mode / 4 years in balance mode
Height range:  102cm to 121cm   (98cm with the Notch saddle fitted)
Minimum saddle height: 485 mm in pedal mode / 475 mm in balance bike mode
Bike weight: 5.7kg
Brakes: Tektro V-brake (rim)
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Go Lo seatpost; drive belt (not chain); balance bike conversion kit
Frame: Adjustable frame – two sizes
Tyres: 16″ Kenda Small Block 8 

Available colours: Neon Green, Sky Blue, Orange, Purple
Black Mountain Bike Warranty:
3-year warranty on the frame, forks and belt-drive system and a 2-year warranty on non-consumable components. Warranty can be passed onto new user if you sell on (must inform Black Mountain about change of ownership)

OK – before you hold your hands up in horror at the price of this bike – just wait!  It’s a new type of children’s bike, that has a unique patented “growing frame”.  This means a Black Mountain SKÖG will grow with your child for several years, plus they can also start out as a balance bike if needed.

In the difficult times, we’re living in, having a bike that you know is going to last for the equivalent of two bike sizes is very useful, as we’ve no idea what is going to happen to the availability of new kids bikes over the coming months.

If you’re wondering if the bike actually works, read this review by Penny, who explains how she came to this brand via a much cheaper bike, and the difference it’s made. 

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

Black Mountain bikes are lightweight and robustly built and set to challenge some of the more established names on the list. They’re also a good choice if your child isn’t quite confident on pedals yet, as you can start with the balance bike mode and move them up to pedalling when the time is right, although you don’t have to use this mode if your child has already mastered this skill. Whilst this post is about 14″ wheel bikes, the SKOG is actually a 16″ wheeler, but which, due to the clever frame design, replaces the need for your child to have both a 14″ and 16″ wheel bike. 

We’ve taken a closer look at the Black Mountain SKÖG in this in depth post if you want our detailed thoughts on this bike. They’ve also just released a balance bike saddle upgrade, called the NOTCH, which lowers the saddle by 5cm and brings forward the riding position, meaning your child can get balance biking on the SKOG earlier – 98cm tall or inside leg of 38cm (note – this is only in balance bike, and not pedal mode though!)

Buy SKOG New   Buy SKOG Used  

Squish 14 bike (RRP £250 or £11.10 per month)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Squish 14" wheel kids bike

Squish 14 Key data:

Price: £250 Monthly rental: £11.10 per month
Typical age range: 3 years +;
Minimum Height: 92cm
Inside Leg: 40cm
Bike weight: 5.8kg;
Brakes:  junior specific v-brakes;
Frame: triple butted alloy;
Tyres: Kenda

Available colours: Orange and blue or pink
Warranty: Frame and Forks - 3 years; components - 1 year (excluding wear and tear)

Squish Bikes are a relatively new quality kids bike range that have sprung up to cater to the increasing demand for lightweight kids bikes.

With child proportioned components such as brakes, saddles and crank arms, and weighing in at just 5.8kg, the Squish 14  has firmly established itself as one of the better kids bikes on the market. 

The sizing guide suggests the Squish is suitable for slightly taller kids, with a minimum leg length of 40cm.

We’ve reviewed the slightly larger single speed Squish 18 and were pleased with how it handled, which is why we’re happy to recommend this bike.

The good news is the Squish 14 is available to lease at The Bike Club where you pay a monthly subscription and they replace your bike every time your Sprog outgrows it.  Not only does this remove the hassle for you it’s a much more environmentally friendly way of providing your child with a bike.

Buy New  Rent Now  Buy Used  

Frog 40 (RRP £270 or from £11.65 per month)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike Frog 40 - quality 14" wheel kids starter bike FROG 40 key data:
Price new: £270 Rental: From £11.65 per month
Typical age range: 3-4 years;
Minimum inside leg: 40cm;
Bike weight: 6.46kg;
Brakes: Tektro V-Brakes (rim brakes);
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment;
Frame: aluminium alloy;
Tyres: Kenda Hybrid, 14″ x 1.5″
Available colours: Green, Orange, Pink, Red, Spotty and USA
Frog Bike Warranty: 
2 years - extended to 5 years for frame if you register the bike within 28 days of purchase

One of the most popular bike brands dominating the quality kids bike market is Frog Bikes. Their range of bikes is lightweight, hardwearing and fun, with a great range of colours to choose from.

Their smallest pedal bike is the 14″ wheel Frog 40 (Frogs are named after the shortest leg length that the bike suits – in this case 40 cm). It weighs a respectable 6.3kg, so it’s easy for a child to ride, and has all the child-sized components that give parents peace of mind that their child is riding safely.

Frog Bikes are hardwearing, so you should be able to pass the bike on to younger siblings/friends or get a good resale value when your child has outgrown a 14″ wheel bike.   

This is why they’re really popular with The Bike Club who lease kid bikes – you just sign up for a monthly subscription and each time your child grows you upgrade to the next size bike. No hassles and a much more environmentally friendly way of keeping your Sprog in bikes.

We’ve reviewed the earlier version of this bike, which had a slightly higher standover height and were very impressed with it. You can read our review of the Frog 43 here. This was the previous version of Frog’s 14″ wheel bike – they’ve recently reduced the standover height to 40cm so renamed it the Frog 40 so it’s good for even younger children.

Buy Frog New  Rent Frog Now  Buy Frog Used

Click here for your free guide

Vitus 14 (RRP £230)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand Vitus 14 kids bike in silver = great bike for ages 3 and 4 years old  VITUS FOURTEEN Key data:

Price: £230
Typical age range: 3-5 years;
Height range: 98 – 106cm;
Inside Leg: 36 – 44cm
Bike weight: 6.5 kg; 

Brakes: Tektro V-Brakes (rim brakes);
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment;
Frame: aluminium alloy;
Tyres: Vee Rubber (14 x 2.0) Skinwall

Available colours: Mint, red or silver – plus occasional “Limited Edition” colours
Vitus Warranty: 
5 year frame and forks, 2 year components

A great choice for those looking for a 14″ wheel bike for a 3 year old is the 2020 Vitus Fourteen. It is designed with young riders in mind, with adjustable brake levers for smaller hands and kendra tyres designed to cope with grass, gravel and tarmac surfaces.

The weight is very respectable, coming in at  6.4kg, thanks to an alloy frame and wheels, which have been coupled with steel forks.  

This is a great entry-level bike that is lightweight and designed for smaller riders, without breaking the bank.

We’ve reviewed the larger Vitus 26″ wheel kids mountain bike (the Vitus Nucleus 26) and were very impressed with the quality of the bike.

Buy Vitus 14 New

Islabikes Cnoc 14 (£320)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand Cnoc-14-Small-Orange ISLABIKES CNOC 14 SMALL

Key data: Price: £320
Typical age range: 3 years +;
Minimum Height: 92cm
Inside Leg: 34 – 42cm
Bike weight: 5.2kg;
Brakes:  Aluminium mini V-brake (rim);
Frame: aluminium;
Tyres:
Islabikes Mixte, 14″ x 1.3  folding with puncture protection and reflective sidewall
Available colours: Orange, pink or teal
Warranty: 5 year on frame and forks and a 2 year on parts

ISLABIKES CNOC 14 LARGE Key data:

As above, except;
Minimum Height: 98cm
Inside Leg: 38 – 48cm
Bike weight: 5.3kg   

Islabikes are the original manufacturers of quality kids bikes, and when you buy an Islabikes you’re getting over a decade of obsession to detail and quality. 

Over the years they’ve realised that children are requiring a pedal bike earlier and earlier (or are just at a lower height percentile than the majority of kids their age), and have two versions of their 14″ starter bike.  

The Cnoc 14 Small is, as the name suggests, their smallest pedal bike offering, and has a tiny 6.5″ frame with a weight of just 5.2kg. Of all the bikes on this page, it’s the one suited for the shortest inside leg (just 34cm).  Please note that this is a very popular bike and you may have to wait for stock to become available.

The Cnoc 14 Large is, as you can probably guess, a slightly larger bike, with a standard 8″ frame and weight of 5.3kg.

Whilst we’ve not reviewed the Cnoc 14, our own Sprogs rode a Cnoc 16 for several years and we’ve reviewed a number of other Islabikes over the years and never hesitate to recommend them.

Islabikes are only available direct from the Islabikes website or their showroom in Ludlow.  The bikes really retain their value and there is a very active second-hand market, with many Cnoc 14’s selling on eBay or the Preowned Islabikes Facebook Group.

Buy Cnoc New  Rent Cnoc  Now  Buy Cnoc Used Click here for your free guide  

Raleigh Pop 14 (£175)

Raleigh Pop 14 kids bike with stabilisers Raleigh Pop 14 Key Data:

Price: £185
Typical Age range: 4 years +;
Height range: 96-110cm
Standover height: 40.5cm / 35.3cm (the white version has a lower standover frame)
Bike weight: 8.9 kg;

Brakes: V-brakes
Components: Stabilisers;
Frame: Aluminium 6061;
Tyres: 14 x 1.50, with puncture protection
Available colour: Red, White
Raleigh Bike Warranty: Register bike on Raleigh website to activate their warranty

Cycle Sprog thoughts on the Raleigh Pop 14

The Raleigh Pop 14 is one of the cheapest but also one of the heaviest bikes on this page.  The additional weight of the Pop 14 is due to the majority of the components being steel, rather than lighter weight aluminium.  However, because the frame is aluminium this bike will be a lot lighter than some of the steel framed bikes available at a cheaper price.

Plus, the Raleigh Pop 14 is made by a bike company rather than a toy company, so appropriate thought has gone into the sizing and safety of the components. 

There are two different versions of the frame – the white version (below) has more of a step through city bike look to it, and a lower standover height, which might suit some children better.

We’d recommend ditching the stabilisers – if they need them why not consider a balance bike instead? Much more fun!

BUY NOW:  Raleigh Pop  

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Ridgeback Dimension 14 (£240)

Ridgeback Dimension 14 Kids Starter Bike RIDGEBACK DIMENSION 14 Key data: 

Price: £240
Typical Age range: 3 to 4 years;
Height range: 100 to 110cm
Bike weight: not stated;
Brakes:  Promax V-brake (rim);
Frame: alloy;
Tyres: Vee Tyre Speedsteer (14 x 2.00)
Available colours: Turquoise, Lime Green
Warranty: 1 year

The Dimension range is Ridgeback’s premium kids bike offering, and comes in two striking colour schemes. 

The Dimension 14 has all the features you’d expect from a bike at this price point – a lightweight aluminium frame, child sized components plus v-brakes front and rear.

It’s designed for children between 100cm and 105cm tall and is a great, hardwearing choice that should last several kids.

Buy new: The Ridgeback Dimension 14 

Buy secondhand:  Check eBay for the Ridgeback Dimension 14. Be aware that they have cheaper (and heavier) models of kids bikes so check the spec before you buy. 

Forme Hartington 14

Hartington 14 - a small 14" wheel city bike in the Dutch style with wicker basket FORME HARTINGTON 14 Key data: 

Price: £ 185
Typical Age range: 2 to 4 years;
Inside leg: 36 to 46cm
Saddle to floor:  51 to 58cm
Brakes: Alloy Caliper (V-brakes)
Frame: 6061 alloy;
Forks:  Steel
Tyres:
Kenda 14 x 1.75″
Bike Weight: 9.48 kg
Available colours: Violet, pink, sky blue
Warranty: 1 year

If you’re looking for a city style kids bike then the Forme Hartington 14 is worth considering.  It has a low frame and easy-reach brakes, none slip pedals and a brown wicker basket.  The bike is quite a lot heavier than most of the other bikes listed, so is more suited to a more sedate style of cycling.

Buy online:  Forme Hartington 14

Buy local:  Find your local Forme Stockist

Scott Contessa / Roxter 14 (£249)

Scott Contessa 14" wheel kids bike for children aged 3 and 4 years  Scott Contessa / Roxter 14 Key data:

Price: £249
Typical age range: 3-5 years;
Height range: 90-110cm
Bike weight: 7.4 kg;
Brakes: Front v-brake, Rear coaster brake
Components: Stabilisers;
Frame: alloy 6061;
Tyres: Kenda K841 contact / 14 x 2.125
Available colour: Pink (Contessa) Black (Roxter)
Scott Bike Warranty: Frame – 5 years  Forks – 2 years – must register bike online within 10 days of purchase

The main thing to realise about this bike is that the rear brake is a coaster brake. This means that your child needs to pedal backwards to stop their bike.  This will happen without them having to use the brake lever for the front brake.

Some young children struggle with brake levers and prefer the backpedalling motion, and can learn to use the single brake lever in their own time.  However, do remember that they will need to learn to use two brake levers when they move onto the next sized bike.

Whilst this bike comes with stabilisers we’d recommend a balance bike instead if they’re not ready to pedal just yet.

BUY NEW: SCOTT 14″ WHEEL KIDS BIKES 

Woom 2 with 14″ wheels (£315)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike WOOM 2 kids bike - the lightest of the 14" wheel kids bikes available in the UK, suitable for children aged 3 years, 4 years and 5 year olds. Woom Bikes are an Austrian company who make lightweight, great quality kids bikes. They offer parents looking to spend that little bit more on their child’s first pedal bike an alternative from the Islabikes and the Frogs.

We’ve seen the Woom2 up close and personal, and are very impressed with the quality.

You can read our review of the Woom 2 here, or see our video review of the Woom2 here. It’s the lightest bike in this list, coming in at just 5.2kg.

Buy New:  The Woom 2 is available from The Little Bike Company, in the UK and from the Woom Bikes website if you’re elsewhere in the world.

Buy secondhand:  The Woom 2 isn’t as widely available in the UK as some of the other quality kids bikes so secondhand numbers are much lower, but it’s worth keeping an eye out just in case  

Commencal Ramones 14 Kids MTB 

Commencal Ramone 14 inch kids mountain bike for 3 and 4 year old Price: £279
Height range: 95-110 cm
Standover height:
40.8cm
Bike weight: 7.6kg
Brakes: Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with kids specific Tektro levers and Jagwire cables, 160mm disc rotors
Frame:  6061 alloy frame with Chromoly forks
Tyres: Vee Crown Gem 14×2.25″
Available colours: Chome, Blue
Commencal Warranty:
5 years

Well, if you’ve got a little shredder who is desperate to look like the older riders out on the trail, then we’re guessing that the new  Commencal Ramone 14 is going to tick all the boxes for you! It’s very rare to get disc brakes on such a small wheeled bike, because most kids aren’t able to control their speed and braking sufficiently to justify them.

But if your Sprog has been nailing it on their balance bike and is now tearing down trails and showing their skill at the bike park then they’ll be really pleased to get their little fingers round these brake levers!

BUY NEW:  Commencal Ramone 14  

Ridgeback MX14 and Honey 14″ bikes (£170)

  Black Friday deal - Ridgeback MX14 2020 kids bike for 3 year old Ridgeback MX4 and Honey 14 key data:

Price: £170
Typical Age range: 3 to 5 years;
Height range: 100 to 110cm
Bike weight: approx 7.6kg;
Brakes:  Promax V-brake (rim);
Frame: alloy;
Tyres: VRB-024 (14 x 1.75)
Available colours: Yellow, blue and pink
Warranty: 1 year

Ridgeback’s value bikes are slightly heavier and cheaper than the other bikes on this page. 

These bikes sometimes come marketed by retailers as a “Girls” and a “Boys” bike. We’re not quite sure why they need to do this, as a bike, is a bike, is a bike! 

The “boys” bike is called the “MX14” and comes in either yellow or blue, whilst the “girls” bike is called “Honey” and is, as you’d probably expect, pink. The bikes are quite sturdy and reasonably specified, with off-road tyres and an aluminium frame.  

Don’t worry – despite the photo they do come with pedals!!

The Ridgebacks are one of the heaviest bikes featured on this page, coming in at approximately 7.6kg with pedals – this is because they have steel forks, whilst the others have a lighter weight fork.   But they are much lighter, better specified and will bring much more fun and enjoyment than a cheap “bike shaped object” that you may be tempted to buy that will very likely rust and fall apart. 

BUY NOW: Click here to buy the Ridgeback Honey and MX14 

SAVE £5 ON THIS BIKE AT TREDZ: Sign up for the Tredz Bikes newsletter (you can do this from the bottom on any bike page) and they'll immediately send you a code to get £5 off your first purchase

BUY SECONDHAND:  There’s usually a good number of 14″ wheel Ridgeback bikes available secondhand and you can often get a real bargain buy.   

Click here to download

Carrera Cosmos 14 (£160)

Carrera Cosmos 14"

CARERRA COSMOS 14  Key data: 
Price: £160
Typical age range: 4 to 6 years;
Height range: 105 to 117cm
Bike weight: not stated;
Brakes:  V-brake (rim);
Frame: Aluminium
Tyres: Kenda (14 x 1.5)
Available colours: White/green or black/orange
Warranty: Frame and Forks – lifetime guarantee – all other parts 1 year.

Carrera are sold exclusively in Halfords.  The range has recently been extended to cover the smaller end of the kids bike range.

This is good news, as previously Halfords were renowned for stocking incredibly heavy, steel framed kids bikes. We’re not making this up – they confess this themselves on their website! “Coming in at nearly half the weight of the Police Patrol, the Cosmos is much easier to ride and is perfect for those graduating from a balance bike.”

With the Carrera Comos you get a bike with aluminium frame, kenda tyres, child sized alloy v-brakes, plus a chain guard to protect clothes and fingers. 

BUY NEW: The Carrera Cosmos 

BUY SECONDHAND: There are usually quite a few Carrera 14″ wheel bikes on Ebay  

Click here to download

Black Mountain Pinto (£349) – NOW OUT OF STOCK UNTIL Mid-2021 – see above for the larger SKOG option 

Cycle Sprog Reviewed and Recommended bike Black Mountain growing bike BLACK MOUNTAIN PINTO Key data: 

Price: £349
Typical age range: 2.5 to 5 years;
Height range: 90cm to 109cm
Bike weight: 5.7kg;
Brakes: Tektro V-brake (rim);
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Go Lo seatpost; drive belt (not chain); balance bike conversion kit;
Frame: Adjustable frame – two sizes; 
Tyres: Kenda Small Block 8 

Available colours: Neon Green, Sky Blue, Orange, Purple
Black Mountain Bike Warranty:

OK – before you hold your hands up in horror at the price of this bike – just wait!  It’s a new type of children’s bike, that has a unique patented “growing frame”.  This means a Black Mountain bike will grow with your child for several years, plus they can also start out as a balance bike if needed. In the difficult times, we’re living in, having a bike that you know is going to last for the equivalent of two bike sizes is very useful, as we’ve no idea what is going to happen to the availability of new kids bikes over the coming months. If you’re wondering if the bike actually works, read this review by Penny, who explains how she came to this brand via a much cheaper bike, and the difference it’s made.  Black Mountain Skog - one of the best 16" wheel kids bikes available, which transforms from a balance bike Black Mountain bikes are lightweight and robustly built and set to challenge some of the more established names on the list. They’re also a good choice if your child isn’t quite confident on pedals yet, as you can start with the balance bike mode and move them up to pedalling when the time is right, although you don’t have to use this mode if your child has already mastered this skill. We’ve taken a closer look at the Black Mountain Pinto in this in depth post. We were very impressed with what we saw, and expect these bikes to become increasingly popular as word gets out.

BUY NOW: The Pinto from Black Mountain is only available from their website
BUY SECONDHAND:  The first few Pintos are just starting to appear secondhand

Cuda CP 14 (WAS £230 – now discontinued buy still available to lease)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand Cuda CP14 Starter bike - 14" wheel kids pedal bike The Cuda Performance range is another alternative to look out for if you’re looking for a second hand bike. The range has now been discontinued, which is a real pity. 

We reviewed the CP20R (the bigger sibling in the range) and were impressed.

The Cuda CP14 weighs in at a very respectable 6.4kg and had an RRP of £230 in 2019.

RENT FROM THE BIKE CLUB:  There are a small number of the bikes available to rent as a ReBike from The Bike Club. 

BUY SECONDHAND:  These bikes are quite hard to come by as they never sold in huge quantities. If you do find one then you’ll probably be getting a really good deal. Make sure you are searching for the Cuda Performance 14 or the Cuda CP14 as there are some other, much heavier and cheaper Cuda kids bikes available. 

Cheapest bikes for a 3 year old for under £100

OK – you’ve read the article, so you’re not going to be surprised when we say that we don’t recommend a really heavy, cheap steel hunk of a bike that your child is going to find hard to manoeuvre, which won’t last long and may even, in extreme cases, be unsafe for them to ride, especially if they can’t work the brakes.

I know that over £100 may seem like a lot to spend on a kids bike for a 3 year old, especially if you don’t know whether they’re going to enjoy cycling. But please remember, if you by a lump of heavy steel for under £100 you’re probably going to find that it’s not enjoyed anywhere as much as the great, lightweight children’s bikes featured above, as they’ve all got child sized components, good brakes, decent tyres and should allow your child to develop a love of cycling that will last a lifetime.

PLEASE READ OUR ARTICLE ON WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BUY A REALLY CHEAP KIDS BIKE IF YOU’RE TEMPTED TO GO AHEAD AND BUY ONE OF THESE BIKES

So, what are your options if your budget is less than £100 for a bike for your 3 or 4 year old? 

RENTAL and SECOND HAND of course! There is a roaring trade in second hand Islabikes and Frog Bikes, precisely because they are built to last.  You may have to hunt around a bit, but it’s possible to get a decent bike for under £100. Or you can lease for less than £20 per month, and swap the bike when your child outgrows it.   

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Comments

Beth

Hi Karen. Thanks for all the info on your website. We bought our son a super 10″ Chilla Fish BMXie for his 2nd birthday which he loves, we then – dare I say – bought a toy bike for his 3rd birthday which he has used a few times and got the hang of without stabilisers but it stays in the shed most days as it is too heavy for me to carry and my son (4&1/2) still prefers the Chilla Fish. Unfortunately he is almost too big for it now so really need to invest in something else. I’d get a larger, pedal version of that if they had one but they don’t so I keep coming back to the Strider 14″ with pedal option as it ticks my size, weight and budget boxes. I feel like I need some reassurance though as I’m concerned they no longer have a UK retailer and the model seems quite old, (your comments above refer to it in 2018). What do you think?! Thank you.

Claire Hardy

Hi,
Thank you for these recommendations. I wondered if you could advise. My LO is 3 and hasn’t managed to master the balance bike yet. She is tall so needs a 14″ wheel. Would it be wise to buy a lightweight pedal bike and remove the pedals, if so which bike would you recommend for that?
Thank you
Claire

Penny Millar

Hi Claire
Thanks for your comment. This isn’t something we have tried, so we probably aren’t best to comment, however, if you head to the Family Cycling UK page on Facebook and ask the question there, we’re sure you will find parents with first hand experience of trying this will be able to give some advice. Hope this helps and good luck. Penny

Sharon Lewis-Jones

My son currently has halfords balance bike/trike that has been a disaster. He just can’t ride it. He won’t sit to balance he just walks with it between his legs (regardless of seat hight) so we tried the trike mode and the pedals are impossible for him to turn due to the short crank size.
We are looking to try a real bike and are on a fairly tight budget. The advice here will definitely help me make the choice. I would love to have home choose but he would probably pick something with paw patrol on it ?.
I can always get stickers afterwards.
Thanks.

Karen

Hi Sharon, Thanks for taking the time to get in touch, and I’m so glad you’re looking for a decent second hand bike – it will be a much better use of your cash. If he demands Paw Patrol then stickers are a great idea, but I’m betting he totally forgets about that once he’s riding!! Hope he enjoys what ever you end up with. Karen

Victoria

I have spent the last week reading and researching all the bikes in this article, it has been amazing in helping me look for a bike for my 3 year old. The only problem is that he is very small and won’t fit the majority of the bikes listed here. He’s 95cm with a 36cm inside leg and I wondered if you knew of any other starter bikes that I could have a look at? He’s brilliant on his balance bike so I’m sure he’s ready to have a go on a pedal bike but his height (and the fact most bikes seem to be out of stock right now!) mean that we’re really restricted. Have looked at secondhand isla bikes but they all seem to be in pink and he refuses to have a pink bike…

Thanks for providing such amazing information and making looking for a bike so much easier.

Penny Millar

Hi Victoria
Have you had a look at the Black Mountain Pinto? It has a recommended height range of 90-109cm, but the brilliant thing about their Epok range is that they are ‘growing bikes’, starting off as balance bikes that you add pedals to when they are ready. You can also increase the frame size as your son gets taller, which cuts down on the need to replace the bike sooner (making it more cost effective!). The Squish 14 and Wild 14 would also suit from a size perspective. Unfortunately, lots of the bikes in his height range are sold out at the moment, but suppliers are replenishing stock often, so it’s worth revisiting the pages regularly and seeing if you and pre-order. Good luck, it sounds like you have a budding little cyclist there! Penny

Victoria

Thanks, I hadn’t really looked at black Mountain pinto in that much detail due to the price, but looking again it does look like a good option for him, his wee brother is very small as well so it’s worth getting a bike that suits smaller children so he can use it when he’s older as well. Will look at the others you recommend as well, hopefully find something for him before the summer is over. As my boys are half Dutch I’m hoping cycling is in their blood!

Thanks so much for your help.

Fran

Great article, thanks! What’s your verdict on Bobbin bikes?

Penny Millar

Hi Fran
Thank you, we’re glad you’ve found the article helpful! We’ve actually reviewed the Bobbin Bike and it features in a number of our posts. I’ve linked some here so you can have a read. One thing to note, the Bobbin Bikes are heavier than most of the other kids bikes, so something worth considering when deciding if they are right for your little cyclist. We hope this helps! Penny

Chris

Good article, thanks. I read this before I bought for my 3yr old son, but didn’t choose one of the bikes reviewed here.

What we went with, and what I think has been overlooked here, is the Raleigh Performance 14″. It comes in at a relative 6.2kg and has a spec to rival the above. The bike has cool BMX stylings and should be able to pick up for under £200, which I think is top value. My 3 yr old (approx 95cm tall) is flying on his and I’m very happy with the choice.

Cheers.

Penny Millar

Hi Chris
Thanks for your comment. We pleased that both you and your son are happy with the Raleigh Performance 14″, it sounds like you have made an excellent choice for him! Whilst we didn’t include it in this post, we have looked at the Raleigh Performance 16″ in the post ‘The best 16″ wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds’, perhaps one worth considering when he’s ready to move up a size? Sound like you have quite the budding biker there! Penny

Carly Penfold

Great article and very helpful, thanks.

I would also suggest looking at the Early Rider Belter 14 which has just been released.

We got the Belter 16 for our 4 year old and can highly recommend it. Very lightweight and a belt drive, so no chain.

SO pleased they have a smaller frame out now we can get for our soon to be 3 year old.

Aaron

Little one could not ride it so I gave up on the Ridgeback, which honestly I think anyone looking at this article should also do. The Halfords bike is MUCH better and similarly priced.

I got a woom2 for my little one, it’s amazingly light (quoted weight of 5.2kg is with pedals!)

For the bike buffs, has great design touches like sealed cartridge wheel bearings. Q factor is 140mm, perfect for tiny people.

Buy cheap, buy twice! That includes the Ridgeback. Won’t make that mistake again.

Gen

Thank you for the sound advice in this article. A huge help in deciding which first peddle bike to get for my little 4 year old. Very much appreciated!

Karen

Thanks Gen for letting us know that – glad to have been of help! Hope your 4 year enjoys their bike. Karen

Aaron

Hi,

I was *this* close to buying a Bumper Sparkle 14 until I saw this article, which snapped me out of a potentially very heavy tassle and basket trap.

Santa is bringing my 1m tall 3 year old a Ridgeback Honey to replace her giant pre, and I’m excited for her!

We went for that as it should be light enough, we like pink and so does she even if that’s old-fashioned now, and it was from a retailer happy to ship to us abroad.

Thanks to you and your site 🙂

Karen

Hi Aaron – glad to be of assistance! Hope your daughter has a fabulous time riding the Ridgeback – she’s a lucky girl. Karen

Aaron

It arrived today and I must say I’m disappointed. The quill headset is tight and has a detent at straight ahead, bottom bracket similar issue. Worst though, it the rims. They are poorly joined so that the rim brake will catch on every revolution of each wheel.

Mine weighs 7.6kg with pedals without stabilisers (which are supplied although not mentioned on the retailer or maker websites).

Better buy something a little more expensive if you’re looking at the Ridgeback.

Karen

Aaron – that is very disappointing to hear. It certainly sounds as if you should contact the retailer as it should have had a pre-dispatch check and you should expect the wheels to turn freely. Weight wise the Ridgeback, as stated, is one of the heavier aluminium framed bikes, and I’ve updated the post to say 7.6kg with pedals (some manufacturers will give a weight without pedals, which is annoying). As you say, the more expensive bikes will, undoubtedly, be better quality. Thanks so much for taking the time to feedback,and I hope you resolve the issue. Karen

Kazzi

No mention of the strider 14x?

Karen

Hi – I hadn’t realised they were now finally in stock in the UK! That’s great news – I’ll have to update the website when I get a moment. Karen

Dean

Hi Karen! Any news on the Strider 14x? We were close to pulling the trigger on the strider until we found this great article! Would love to see how the Strider 14x holds up against these options!

Karen

Hi Dean – We’re hoping to get a Strider 14x to test soon. However, the process does take quite a long time as we need the bike to be put through its paces, so at the moment I can’t really comment on them. Strider do have a very good reputation for their balance bikes, so it will be interesting to see if the transition to pedals works as well. Karen

Rowan

Hi Karen,
Have you had a chance to test the Strider yet? We have loved our balance bike and would be tempted by a similar pedal bike. Any word on comparisons would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks,

Karen

Hi Rowan, We’ve not had a chance to test the 14x yet – we had a reviewer lined up, but they got too big before we could arrange it unfortunately. Hopefully we’ll get something sorted later in the year. Karen

Laura

Dear Cycle sprog

Thank you so much for the advice and information without this we would have made a major mistake in our first bike purchase for our son. We are proud new owners of a Cnoc 14 for our son. This advice saved us a lot of money and led us to a much better bike!

Thank you!

Karen

Hi Laura – so glad to have been of help. I do hope your son enjoys his Cnoc 14 – a great lightweight bike – good choice! Karen

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