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 over 8 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!
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?
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)
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The best 14″ wheel kids bikes for kids aged 3 – 4 years
We've keep all our links to new bikes in place in this article, so you can check retailers availability of stock, but we've also added in links for you to look for bikes secondhand (in green). All the bikes we list are quality bikes built to high standards and make great secondhand buys.
Price: £190 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: 1 year
A great choice for those looking for a 14″ wheel bike for a 3 year old is the new 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, and comes with a 2 year frame warranty and 12 month parts warranty.
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: 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)
Cycle Sprog opinion of the Black Mountain Pinto:
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.
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.
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
Cycle Sprog opinion of the Scott Contessa / Roxter 14
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.
Price: £290 TypicalAge range: 3 to 5 years; MinimumHeight: 98cm Bike weight: 5.7kg; Brakes: Tektro alloy mini-V with short reach levers (rim); Frame: alloy; Tyres: Kenda K193 Available colours: Pink, Blue, Green Warranty: Evans Cycles website says "All products ordered from Evans Cycles come with a full warranty which covers manufacturing faults and defects in workmanship."
We’re really pleased that Hoy Bikes have launched this new 14″ wheel bikefor 2020. Previously their range only started at 16″ wheels and we knew that younger riders were missing out!
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!
Price: £270 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 on frame and components – extended to 5 years on the 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. 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.
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;
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 brought out 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 the name suggests, 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 Islabikesover the years and never hesitate to recommend them.
Buy Secondhand:There’s always loads of Cnoc 14’s available on eBay. Please note that Islabikes brought out the Cnoc 14 Small in the summer of 2016, so some older bikes are just labelled as “Cnoc”, which equates to the new “Cnoc Large”.
Price: £250 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: 3 years on frame and forks and a 1 year on components (excluding tyres, tubes, and cables)
Squish Bikes are a relatively new 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 14is certainly trying to give the bigger names a run for their money. The sizing guide suggests the Squish is suitable for slightly taller kids, with a minimum leg length of 40cm.
Woom Bikes are an Austrian company who make lightweight, great quality kids bikes. They’ve only recently become available in the UK, and 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.
Price: £175 Typical age range: 3 years + Minimum inside leg: 40cm; Height Range:90 – 100cm; Bike weight: 5.8kg; Brakes: Tektro V-brakes; Frame: Lightweight aluminium frames; Available colours: Pink, Blue; Warranty: All Wild bikes have a standard 12 month warranty
Wild Bikes are the in-house kids’ bike brand from Go Outdoors. They’re quite a new brand (launched end of October 2018) but have been very popular with Cycle Sprog readers looking for a lightweight bike that doesn’t cost as much as some of the more established names.
You can read more of our thoughts on this new range of bikes here andhere, but in a nutshell, you’re getting a decently specified bike for a very good price. The warranty is only for 12 months whereas some of the other bikes on this page come with 5 years, but these other bikes are also significantly more expensive!
Price: £240 TypicalAge 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: All Ridgeback bikes have a limited warranty and components are covered for one year from date of purchase – all to the original purchaser. Any part or frame failure that you would like to have inspected, as a warranty case should be first dealt with by the participating bike store where you originally purchased the bike from.
The Dimension range is Ridgeback’s premium kids bike offering, and comes in two striking colour schemes – the turquoise pictured, and also lime green. The Dimension 14has 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.
Price: £170 TypicalAge 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: All Ridgeback bikes have a limited warranty and components are covered for one year from date of purchase – all to the original purchaser. Any part or frame failure that you would like to have inspected, as a warranty case should be first dealt with by the participating bike store where you originally purchased the bike from.
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 – 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.
Price: £195 Typical age range: 3-5 years; Minimum inside leg:40cm; Minimum height: 98cm Bike weight: 6.7kg; Brakes: Tektro V-Brakes (rim brakes); Components:Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment; Frame: aluminium alloy; Tyres: Kenda Tanwall 14 x 1.75 Available colours: Purple, Light Green, Pink, Orange Pinnacle Bike Warranty: Evans Cycles website says “All products ordered from Evans Cycles come with a full warranty which covers manufacturing faults and defects in workmanship.”
Pinnacle is Evans Cycles in house brand, and the Pinnacle Koa 14is a good choice at the cheaper end of the price spectrum. The lightweight aluminium frame with aluminium rims keeping things light.
Quality bearings in the hubs, cranks and headset make for a smooth ride, and if the reviews on the Evans website can be believed, these are a popular choice for a first pedal bike.
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 Comosyou get a bike with aluminium frame, kenda tyres, child sized alloy v-brakes, plus a chain guard to protect clothes and fingers. This is at the price of £152, plus their nationwide network of stores to collect from if you want the bike assembled for you. Alternative you can have it delivered directly to your home for self assembly.
Price: £185 TypicalAge 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 14is 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!
Price: £230 Inside Leg: 40 – 46cm Bike weight: 6.12 kg; Brakes: Tektro V Brake Frame: Alloy 6061; Tyres: Kenda Small Block 8 Available colours: Pink, Red or Blue Warranty: Lifetime warranty on frame – register bike online to activate
Cycle Sprog opinion of the Forme Cubley 14
The Forme Cubley 14 is a brand new bike, launched only about a month or so before lockdown started so we haven’t had a chance to see it in action just yet, but the specification certainly sounds excellent value for money. Forme are renowned for their adult and larger junior bikes, so we’re excited to see they’ve now turned their expertise to small starter bikes.
They’re using all the correct terminology we’d expect to hear from a quality kids bike manufacturer, with the pedals, crank and handlebars all sized to a small rider and a one piece headset to reduce the risk of rusting or loosening bolts plus a respectably low weight.
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Cuda CP 14 (WAS £230 – now discontinued)
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand
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 CP14weighs in at a very respectable 6.4kg and had an RRP of £230 in 2019.
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.
So, what are your options if your budget is less than £100 for a bike for your 3 or 4 year old? 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. Here’s a couple of links to get you started: