The best kids bikes 2022 – our pick of the very best

Is it possible to pick the best kids bike?  I certainly wouldn't like to have to select just one children's bike, as what's the best bike for a 3-year-old is going to be very different to what's the best bike for a 13-year-old mountain biker, or a 9-year-old cyclocross racer! It also depends a lot on your budget and how often the bike is going to be used.

However, I'm totally fed up seeing articles which are entitled "Best Kids Bikes" which select a range of fairly average (or worse, rubbish) bikes that:

a) the author has never tested and
b) are only recommended as they're the best-selling kids' bikes at a retailer the host website is getting commission from.

So, in an attempt to set the record straight, here's my list of the very best kids bikes for all ages of children.

We've reviewed these kids bike brand here on Cycle Sprog and have the photos to prove it!

Some brands we do have affiliate relationships with, but some we don't. It's basically a list of brilliant children's bikes we can vouch for and have been happy for our kids (and yours) to ride.

Cycle Sprog is a reader supported website. When you buy through links on this page we may earn an affiliate commission.  Learn more here 

Before you start 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. 

Best Kids Bikes - 2022

Quick links for you

For those of you who are in a rush, here's a list of the brands of kids bikes that we have reviewed here at Cycle Sprog and recommended as building some of the best kids bikes in the UK.

Most are available second hand or to rent if you're on a budget. As they are all quality children's bikes its well worth considering these options, rather than a cheaper new alternative.

  • Black Mountain Bikes - innovative bikes from the Welsh Black Mountains for ages 2.5 to 8.5 year olds. The bike frame grows with your child, reducing the number of times you need to buy them a bicycle (and the amount you spend)
  • Woom Bikes - a really top quality brand with a continental feel (they're Austrian) - built to out last all your kids!
  • Forme Bikes - Derbyshire based range of quality kids bikes which are also available to lease via The Bike Club (which is a cost effective and hassle free way of always having a quality, correctly sized bike for your child)
  • Frog Bikes - one of the UK's biggest kids bike brands - they have virtually every type, size and colour of kids bike - all brilliantly made
  • Giant ARX Range - lightweight bike range from one of the world's largest bike manufacturers
  • Hornit  Range - A smaller Exeter based brand with some of the lightest starter bikes and balance bikes available - come with a belt drive rather than chain for easy maintenance
  • Specialized Jett - a new range of lightweight kids bikes for older kids which come with an online bike fit tool to ensure you have it set up correctly
  • Vitus - a competitively priced range of kids bikes providing great value for money
  • Islabikes - the original quality kids bikes which are incredibly popular secondhand 
  • Worx Junior Bikes - only for kids who want to cycle very fast!

how to save money when buying your child a bike

The bicycle brands featured in this post produce some of the best kids' bikes, so  most of them (but not all) come with a price tag to match.

But you can still get a really great kids bike at an affordable price:

Buy secondhand - in our listings below we've provided links for ebay options for every brand.

Subscribe to the Bike Club - a hassle free way to ensure your child is always riding the correctly sized bike. They only stock quality kids bike brands, so you know you'll be getting a decent bike without the upfront cost.

The golden rules for buying the best kids bikes

If this is your first time buying a kids bike, remember the three most important questions to ask yourself:

1) Can they pick the bike up? (some cheap steel-framed bikes are too heavy for most children to pick up, or ride up hills, etc).

The Woom2 is lightweight enough to be lifted up by a 4 year old

2) Can they operate the brakes and gears? (all the brands featured in this post have child specific brakes and gears - you can imagine the consequences if they can't operate them on a poorly designed bike)

3)  Is it the right size for them?  It's a false economy to buy your child a bike that's too big, as they'll get scared and not want to ride it.  Here's how to measure your child to make sure they can safely ride it now.

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. 

 

The Best Kids Bikes - 2022

Here is our list of the very best kids bikes.  All the bikes are available in the UK, and many can also be bought for worldwide shipping.

We've used and reviewed every brand listed, so you know you can trust our recommendations.

If you're favourite kids bike brand isn't on the list then do please drop us a note in the comments below to let us know.

Black Mountain Bikes - 3-in-1 bikes that grow with your child

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Black Mountain growing bike

Black Mountain EPOK Series key data:

Price: £350 - £650
Wheel Size: 14" balance bike to 20" wheel mountain bikes - all with the 'growing frames'
Age range: 2.5 years to 8.5 years
Types of bike: Balance, First Pedal, Hybrid and Mountain Bikes
Available colours:  Orange, blue, green, purple
Where to buy:  Directly from Black Mountain Website
Warranty: 3-years on frame and forks; 2-years on non-consumable components. Warranty can be passed onto new user if you sell on (must inform Black Mountain of change of ownership)

Black Mountain is a Welsh based brand taking the kids' bike market by storm with their innovative new "growing" bikes. The smaller bikes start off as balance bikes and can be converted to pedal bikes when your child is ready.

With all sizes of their bikes the frame can be extended as your child grows, to cover the same time period that you'd usually need two pedal bikes for. They may be a bit pricier at the start, but you're getting either 2 or 3 bikes in one, saving you money, time and hassle over a longer time frame.

Black Mountain Bikes are some of the best kids bikes in the UK - they grow with your child so they can enjoy them for longer, as you can see WP in this photo with her dad on a family bike ride

At the current time, this also provides peace of mind. There's been such shortages of kids bikes over the past few months so having a bike that will grow with your child is very useful.

There are four different sized bikes in the range, from the smallest PINTO (14" wheels) through to the 20" wheel HÜTTO which has gears and the option to add disc brakes and suspension.

You can read how our reviewer got on swapping from a much cheaper and heavier bike with stabilisers to one of these lightweight bikes. 

As Black Mountain are such a new brand, and their bikes are designed for last your child a long time you won't find very many available secondhand at the moment.

Buy New

 

 

Forme Bikes - brand new lightweight bikes

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Forme Kinder MX20 red kids bike - a kids bike with gears for a 6 year girl or boy

Forme Bikes Key Data:

Price:  £9.50 - £12.90 per months
Wheel Size: 14" to 26" wheels
Age range:  3 - 12 years
Types of bike: First Pedal and Hybrid Bikes
Available colours:  Red, Pink and Blue
Where to buy:  Currently only available to lease from The Bike Club. Coming to bike shops later in the year
Warranty: Lifetime on Frame

Forme Bikes are an established adult bike manufacturer who have recently launched a quality kids bike range. They are a Derbyshire-based brand, and their bikes are all linked to local routes.

The smaller Cubleys are named after an ancient Derbyshire village which appears in the Doomsday Book, and the larger Kinders are named after the iconic Kinder Scout in the Peak District.

 

Forme Kids Bikes - are they any good

Not only were we impressed with these bikes, so were The Bike Club, and if they're happy to have them in their fleet they must be a robust and well designed bike!

If you've not heard on them, The Bike Club rent out quality kids bikes on a monthly membership basis.  When your child has outgrown the bike you send it back and upgrade to the next size.

They service the bike and hand it onto the next rider.

They therefore need their bikes to be really robust and able to be ridden by many different kids over a number of years.

Buy Local  Hire  Buy New

Woom Bikes - incredible quality Austrian bikes

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

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Woom 5 is a 24" kids bike

Woom Bikes key data:

Price: £195 - £540
Wheel size: 12" balance bike - 26" wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance,  First pedal, Hybrid and Mountain Bikes
Typical
 age range
: 2 - 14 years
Colours available:  Blue, Green, Purple, Red, Yellow, (and Black for Mountain Bikes)
Warranty: 2 years

If you're looking for a kids bike for urban or gentle off road riding that's a little bit different, then Woom Bikes are a great choice. They're an Austrian brand who are well established on the continent, but are still fairly new to the UK (but gaining in popularity all the time).

They are available in a range of sizes from balance bike (Woom 1) through to 26" wheel (Woom 6) plus they've recently brought out a range of Mountain Bikes, called WOOM OFF..

We've reviewed a couple of the smaller single-speed Woom Bikes and were really impressed with the quality.  Even after being ridden to school every day for months they looked like new!

Buy New  Buy Used

 

 

Frog Bikes - kids bikes in every size, shape and colour

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand!

Frog Bikes Key Data 

Price: £170 - £670
Wheel size: 10" balance bike - 26" wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance,  First pedal, Hybrid, Mountain, Road and Track
Typical
 age range
: 18 months to 13 years +
Colours available:  Red, green, orange, blue, pink, white, black, spotty, Union Jack, USA Stars and Stripes, yellow (Tour de France limited edition), Team Sky (now discontinued - only available secondhand).
Where to buy: Local Frog Retailers, Online Retailers, Secondhand on Ebay and lease from The Bike Club.
Warranty2 years - extended to 5 years for frame if you register the bike within 28 days of purchase

Frog 44 Kids Bike

Frog Bikes make some of the most popular and best kids bikes around. They cover virtually every type and size of kids bike, from three sizes of balance bikes for toddlers through to mountain, road and track bikes for older kids.

Frog Bikes are sized by the inside leg measurement, so for example the Frog 44 pictured above is designed for a child with a minimum inside leg of 44cm (roughly the 4-5 year age group).

We've reviewed a wide range of Frog Bikes over the years, including their first pedal bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and road bikes, and always been really impressed with them.

Given how popular and robust Frog Bikes are there's usually a lot available secondhand, and they're also available to lease via The Bike Club. 

Hire  Buy New  Buy Used

Hornit bikes

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand! 

Hornit Airo Balance Bike - a lightweigh balance bike for ages 1.5 years to 5 years

Hornit Bikes Key Data:

Price: £129 - £369
Wheel size: 12" - 16"
Bike Types: Balance Bike and Starter Bikes
Typical
 age range
: 18 months to 6 years
Colours available:  Red, yellow, white, blue, pink & turquoise
Where to buy: Online only
WarrantyLifetime on frame & forks

Hornit have been around making horns, helmets and bike storage for a long time, but they've just branched out into children's bikes.

 

The Hornit kids pedal bikes, such as this blue Hornit HERO 14, are a good choice for low maintenance families as they come with a belt drive rather than chain

They've got an incredibly lightweight balance bike called the AIRO, which we actually thought they'd forgotten to send to us as the box was so light!  (Read our review of the Hornit AIRO balance bike here).

In August 2021 they followed this up with the HERO range of starter pedal bikes.

They have very lightweight 14" and 16" models which are fitted with a belt drive rather than a chain to reduce maintenance and the chance of oily fingers or clothing.

Read our first impressions review of the Hornit HERO 14 to find out what we thought for this innovative new range.

Buy Now
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Specialized Jett Range - comes with an online bike fit tool

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Specialized Jett 16 kids bike

Specialized are one of the world's biggest bike manufacturers, but until 2021 they were lagging behind a lot of the smaller brands when it came to their kids bikes. Thankfully they've rectified this with the release of the Jett range.

Our reviewer really appreciated the upright riding style of this urban-orientated bike, and his dad had fun using the innovative online bike fit app to ensure that all the adjustments to seat, stem, pedals etc were correct.

Giant ARX Bikes - from one of the world's biggest bike brands

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Giant ARX 24 kids bike 2021

Giant ARX key data:

Price range: £295 - £379
Wheel sizes:
16" - 26" wheel bikes
Bike Types:
First pedal and Hybrid Bikes
Typical
 age range
4 years to 10 + years
Colours available:
Purple, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Orange 
Where to buy:   
Local Giant Shops and Online Retailers
Warranty
: Frame - lifetime, Forks - 10 years, All other components - 1 year

Giant are the world's biggest bike manufacturer and the ARX is their premium kids bike range.

As you'd expect, the range has many of the same features as the majority of the quality kids bikes we've already featured. However, in a sign of how confident they are with the quality of their bikes, Giant offers a lifetime warranty on their frames, plus 10 years on forks. Your child will have grown out of the bike long before then!

The ARX range is still quite new so they don't tend up become available secondhand.

Giant ARX review kids bike

Our reviewer really enjoyed riding the Giant ARX 20 she was sent to test and Dad was impressed too!  It's a great looking bike, with grown-up styling at a good price.

Buy Now

Cube Bikes - German engineering in kids bikes

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Cube Stereo 140 Youth is one of the best 27.5" kids MTB's around

Cube Kids Bikes Key Data

Price:   £150 - £1,900
Wheel Size: 12" to 27.5" wheels
Age range:  2 - 13+ years
Types of bike: Balance, First Pedal, Hybrid, Mountain, E-bike
Available colours:  Various depending on model
Where to buy:  Local Cube Bike stockists, Online retailers and secondhand from Ebay
Warranty: Frame 6 years; rest of bike 2 years

Cube are a German brand with a large range of kids bikes. From 20" wheel bikes and larger there various options to choose from depending on the type of cycling your child is doing.

So you can get step-through city bikes with racks for panniers, all round hybrids, entry level mountain bikes, serious full suspension MTBs and kids size e-bikes.

We've been lucky enough to have tested out some of their top-of-the-range mountain bikes and were really impressed with how much confidence they gave our boys on the trail

Cube Stereo 140 and Cube 240 SL kids MTB's in action

If you're looking for a "proper" MTB for a keen mountain biker who is on the cusp between a kids bike and an adult bike and have the cash to spend, then Cube junior mountain bikes are an excellent choice.

One thing to note about some of the small-wheeled, single-speed Cubes is that they come with rear coaster brakes (where you need to back pedal to stop).

These are very common on the continent and the USA, but don't tend to be found on bikes in the UK, so check to make sure you know what brakes are fitted on these smaller sizes.

Buy New  Buy Used

 

Hoy Bikes - designed by an Olympian!

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Hoy Bonaly 20" bike new for 2018 for ages 6 years, 7 years and 8 year old girls and boys

Hoy Bikes - key data:

Price range: £110 - £550
Wheel sizes:
12" balance bike - 26" wheel bikes
Bike Types:
Balance, First pedal, Hybrid, Cyclocross and Mountain Bikes
Typical
 age range:
2 years to 10 plus
Colours available:
Red, pink, blue, black and yellow;
Warranty: Evans Cycles website says "All products ordered from Evans Cycles come with a full warranty which covers manufacturing faults and defects in workmanship."

The Hoy range of children's bikes has been recently relaunched, and they're now some of the lightest weight kids bikes available in the UK.

The range is all named after places in Scotland that Sir Chris Hoy rode whilst a child or early in his racing career.

The Napier is their balance bike, the Bonaly is their "Go Anywhere" bike, which is equally at home on road or on the trails (with the larger sizes have disc brake options),  and the Meadowmill is the cyclocross/road bike option with drop handlebars.

Hoy Bonaly 16 and Hoy Bonaly 20 kids bikes in action

We've tested out the 16" single-speed Bonaly 16 and the larger 20" wheel Bonaly 20, which is the smallest of their geared bike offerings.

Our two reviewers loved these lightweight bikes and were zooming around in no time!

Buy New Hire

BUY SECONDHAND: Hoy Bikes were totally revamped in 2018 so most of the bikes available on eBay will be the older model. This was a very good bike, and was used by British Cycling for their Go-Ride coaching - the sign of a hardwearing and reliable bike!

 

Squish Bikes - an alternative to the established names

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Squish Bikes Key Data 

Price range: £140 - £530
Wheel sizes: 12" balance bike - 650B wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance,  First pedal, Hybrid and Mountain Bikes
Typical
 age range
:  2 years to 10+ years
Colours available:  Each size bike has two different colours available
Warranty: Frame and Forks - 3 years; components - 1 year (excluding wear and tear)

Squish Bikes are a good alternative to some of the more established kids bike brands. They're made by Birmingham based Tandem Group Cycles, who own a variety of different bike brands.  Since launch, they've been steadily expanding their range to include bigger wheel sizes and mountain bikes.

We've reviewed the single gear Squish 18 which our 6-year-old reviewer loved, and she moved confidently onto a bigger bike when the time was right for her.  We've also reviewed the larger 26" wheel mountain bike which performed very well at our local trail centre and is a good value bike for those wanting to ride on more muddy / bumpy terrain.

Squish are another good choice if you're thinking of leasing your child a bike via the Bike Club.

Buy New  Hire  Buy Used  Buy Local

 

Squish 18 kids bike 2021 is one of the best 18" wheel kids bikes for children aged 5 years and over

Vitus Bikes - great value and good to look at

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Vitus Kids Bike Key data:

Price: £45 - £530
Wheel size: 12" balance bike - 26" wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance,  First pedal, Hybrid and Mountain Bikes
Typical
 age range
2 - 12 + years
Colours available:  Silver, Red, Purple/Pink
Available from: Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle (new) and Ebay (secondhand)
Warranty: 5 year frame and forks, 2 year components

We've been really impressed with the Vitus Kids Bike range as a low-cost competitor to some of the more established brands on this page. We've met the designer of these bikes several times and he's really obsessed with getting the design and geometry absolutely correct as well as making a really good-looking bike.

Vitus do a full range standard hybrid kids bikes which are great all round choices which will handle most types of cycling.  We've reviewed several of their off-road bikes, including the wide tyred Vitus 20 plus.

Buy New  Buy Used

 

Vitus 26 2021
Vitus 20+ review - Grizedale Forest 2

Our Sprogs have been lucky enough to ride some really expensive, top of the range junior mountain bikes, but we can confirm you don't need to spend huge amounts to get a quality kids MTB.

 

Vitus Nucleus 26 on bridleway

Our 10 year old Sprog spent an entire summer riding the Vitus Nucleus 26 around the trail centres of Wales and absolutely loved it.

 

Islabikes - the original quality kids bikes

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Islabike Beinn 27

Islabikes key data:

Price:  £200 - £1,000
Wheel size: 12" - 27.5" wheel kids bikes plus adult bikes
Bike Types: Balance,  First pedal, Hybrid, Cyclocross/Road and Mountain Bikes 
Typical
 age range
:  2 - 13 years
Colours available:  Teal, Orange, Pink (and Charcoal for larger bikes)
Warranty: 5 years on frame and forks and a 2 years on parts

Islabikes are the original quality kids bike. They blazed a trail over a decade ago when everyone thought their founder Isla Rowntree was crazy for thinking parents would be willing to spend big bucks on a bike for their child.  They've proved what a difference having a lightweight, properly sized bike makes, and all the other brands listed in this article have come in their wake.

Islabikes Beinn 27 kids bike review - using the bike for mountain biking with 9 year old in Cumbria

And our boys have loved riding their Islabike Creig mountain bikes over the years - they've been on many adventures and coped with everything they were asked to ride over. Plus the Islabikes Luath got so much use as a road bike - it really ate up the hills around where we live on the edge of The Lake District, and also got tried out on the local track too as well as going a bit of off-road cyclocross type racing too in our local GoRide races.

Review of the Islabikes Creig Mountain Bikes for kids

Islabikes are specialists (and obsessives) in kids bike design, so if you buy an Islabike you're paying for all those years of expertise.  Yes, they're more expensive than virtually all the other bikes on this page, but there is a good reason for that.

We've been lucky enough to test their range as our Sprogs have grown, and each bike has proved why Islabikes continue to lead the way in kids bike design. Recently we've reviewed their larger wheeled Beinn 27, which look our reviewer onto larger wheels earlier than he would have been able to with other brands.

Buy New  Hire

Buying secondhand: Because Islabikes are so well made they continue to get passed down through many children. It's sometimes possible to recoup your a large proportion of your cost when reselling on if you've maintained a bike well, so be prepared to have to spend too when buying secondhand.

 

Islabikes Beinn 27 Review - kids bike being used for winter mountain biking

Worx Bikes - for kids who want to go really fast!

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Worx cx bike

Worx Junior Bikes key data:

Price:  £595 - £845
Wheel size:  24" - 700c
Bike Types: Road / Cyclocross and All Purpose race bikes
Typical
 age range
U8 - U14 riders
Colours: Black/Blue
Available:  Only from Worx direct - call them to discuss your requirements
Warranty: Check with supplier

Worx JA700 in U14's Cyclocross race

If you've got a Lizzy Deignan or Tao Geoghegan Hart in the family, then they're going to want a serious bike to pick up some speed.

There's not a huge selection of kids race bikes around, but the Worx Bikes are some of the fastest there are.

They range in size from 24" to 700c wheels and there is a drop handlebar road/cross-specific option plus a flat handlebar all-terrain option for those wanting to try their hand at a mix of cyclocross and cross country racing.

Note - these bikes aren't for nervous riders - we should know as our 12 year old reviewed the Worx JA700. 

He's ridden it in both road and cyclocross mode - suffice to say I couldn't keep up with him in either! 

 

 

We'd love to hear what bike you ended up buying your Cycle Sprog. Do leave a comment below, or come over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to share your pictures.

Premium kids bike to sell?

Sponsored content:  Don't let that bike sit unused in your shed or cupboard. Reclaim the space, get some cash and give your bike a new lease of life with another loving family.

Simply enter your bike details on the Bike Club's website.  If you're happy with the quote they'll come and collect it. They’ll even bring a box to put it in!

Get your valuation here

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Comments

bob

hi none of these are very affordable for a person who wants to buy themselves an affordable bike

Penny Millar

Hi Bob
Thank you for your comment. You’re correct, in this post we’ve included children’s bikes that we consider to be some of the best. We also have this post, Cheapest Kids Bikes, brilliant bikes, but more choices for those on a budget. We hope this helps. Penny

Fergus O’Loughlin

Vitus in the brand list? … now that you have the Nucleus 26 in the recommended bikes list.

We’ve just bought a Vitus Nippy balance bike for the School (the first of many I think) as we’re going to start ‘Balanceability’ in the Nursery, and for £45 it’s a lovely bit of kit.

[Disclosure – as you know I work for WiggleCRC, and Ben is a friend of mine, but I’ve been running the Ditcham Park School MTB Club longer than I’ve been with WiggleCRC. I’m now looking forward to seeing the Nukeproof Cub-Scouts]

Emily Calle

Thanks for this page! I’ve been researching good bikes for my son, and you’ve done a great job of sharing this information for someone who isn’t an expert, but wants to make a good choice. Thanks!

Karen

Glad you found it helpful Emily. Hope you find the perfect bike for your son. Karen

Simon

Hi,

You spoke highly of Bobbins bikes in 2017 but they have not made your list, just wondering why.

Thanks
Simon

Karen
Raaf

You do not rate early rider bikes?

Karen

Unfortunately we have not been able to do a long term test on these bikes. One thing worth noting is that they come with a 1 year warranty on parts, whereas other kids bikes in a similar price bracket come with up to 5 years on frame and fork and 3 years on parts. Regards Karen

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