Best kids’ bikes 2023
Choosing the best kids' bikes is not always an easy task. Here at Cycle Sprog, we've never been big fans of trying to single out just one child's bike because, what's best for a 3-year-old is miles apart from what suits a 13-year-old mountain biker or a 9-year-old cyclocross racer. Plus, your wallet and how often that bike's likely to be used will play a big part in the decision.
What really gets on our nerves are kids’ bike guides that simply round up a bunch of average, even sub-par bikes where the author hasn't actually tested them and they're only picked because they're bestsellers available from an affiliated retailer that’s paying commission.
So we're here to set things straight. We’ve set out a handpicked list of the best kids' bikes that cater to all ages. And the best part?
Over more than a decade we've personally tested all these brands right here at Cycle Sprog, and we've got 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.
If you're not sure what to look for, then head to the bottom of the page for a full guide to how to choose the best kids' bike for your child's needs.
If you’re looking to kit out your littlest rider, we've got a full guide to the best balance bikes to help get them rolling on two wheels. And since safety always comes first, we've also got a roundup of the best kids’ bike helmets. And if you’re looking for something more specific for your older child or teenager, don't miss our guide to the best kids’ road bikes.
Best Kids' Bikes 2023: Quick links
If you're in a rush, here's the links to some of the most popular brands of kids' bikes we've reviewed here at Cycle Sprog.
Most are available secondhand if you're on a budget. As they are all quality children's bikes it's well worth considering these options as a used buy, rather than a cheaper new alternative.
We've categorised the brands into premium (£££), mid-range (££) and cheaper (£).
- woom Bikes - £££ - a really top quality range of bikes - built to outlast all your kids!
- Frog Bikes - £££ - one of the most popular kids bike brands, they have virtually every type, size and colour of kids' bike you could want.
- Black Mountain Bikes - £££ - innovatively designed and engineered bikes that grow with your child.
- Hornit Bikes - £££ - lightweight bikes that are easy to maintain and ride. The larger bikes have simple-to-use gearing.
- Specialized Jett - ££ - lightweight kids' bikes for older kids that come with an online bike fit tool for correct setup.
- Kidvelo - ££- specialist balance bikes that help kids learn to ride (12" - 18" wheel). The larger sizes convert into pedal bikes.
- Cube Bikes - ££ - £££ - extensive range of kids' bikes to suit a variety of budgets and riding styles.
- B'Twin 900 - £ - great value bikes with new and improved models being released at regular intervals.
Where is the best place to buy a quality kids bike this Black Friday weekend?
At Cycle Sprog we recommend Tredz as the best place to look for a Black Friday bargain across virtually all wheels sizes.* They stock a wide range of quality brands, many of which feature in this article.
They've got a very simple Spend and Save offer across the entire website. The code you'll most likely need for a single kids' bike is BFSAVE30 which gives a £30 discount ON TOP OF any other discount, when you spend over £200. Spend more and the codes change - they tell you at checkout which to use.
Tredz offer free home delivery, 365 day returns and interest free finance. Plus they take customer service really seriously which is reflected in their excellent Trust Pilot scores.
*Tredz aren't great for balance bikes or 14" wheel starter bikes so our other articles will provide better options.
Best Kids' Bikes 2023
woom key data:
Wheel size: 12 - 26 inch wheels
Bike Types: Balance, First pedal, Hybrid, Mountain Bikes, E-bikes and City Bikes
Typical age range: 2 - 14 years
Warranty: 10 years - frames, rigid forks, handlebars, stem. 2 years - everything else
If you're looking for a top quality kids bike that going to stand the test of time, look no further than woom Bikes.
We've been reviewing a number of their bikes recently and have been really impressed. woom are showing innovation in ways we've not seen in the kids bike industry for many years.
Some things are simple, such as colour coded brake levers to make it easier for little riders to remember the difference between front and rear brakes.
woom bikes are available in a range of sizes from the woom 1 balance bike through to 26" wheel woom 6. They've even got a range of mountain bikes, called woom OFF, which includes an e-bike model, so there's something for everyone.
For a more in-depth look at why we recommend their bikes so highly, take a look at our woom bike reviews.
B'Twin 900 kids bike range:
Wheel size: 12 - 26 inch wheels
Bike Types: Balance, Hybrid, Mountain Bike
Typical age range: 2 - 12 + years, plus a wide range of adult bikes for teens
Warranty: Lifetime on frame, stem, handlebars. Other parts: 2 years
B'Twin has a wide range of great value kids' bikes, which are all numbered from 100 up to 900 and beyond. The higher the number, the better the specification, with the B'Twin 900s (and some 500s) being really impressively built bikes.
B'Twin offers two ranges of kids' bikes: the Rockriders and Riversides.
The Rockriders are mountain bikes, designed for off-road, muddy and bumpy fun.
The Riversides are designed for around town riding, although they're great for leisure routes too.
Check out our B'Twin Riverside 900 review to find out what makes B'Twin's bikes so impressive, and how they've managed to produce a decently specced bike at such a good price point.
Cube Key Data
Wheel Size: 12 to 27.5 inch wheels
Age range: 2 - 99 years
Types of kids bike: Balance, First Pedal, Hybrid, Mountain, E-bike - plus full range of adult bikes
Warranty: Frame 6 years; rest of bike 2 years
Cube have an extensive range of kids' bikes at various price points from entry level to high performance for all different disciplines and ages.
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 Cube's top-of-the-range mountain bikes and were really impressed with how much confidence they gave our boys on the trail.
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 is that some of the small-wheeled, single-speed Cubes have rear coaster brakes (where you need to backpedal 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 which brakes are specified when buying the smaller sizes.
Kidvelo bike data:
Wheel sizes: 12, 14 and 18 inch wheels
Typical Age Range: 18 months - 7 years
Bike types: Balance bikes, and balance to pedal conversions
Warranty: Lifetime on frame and fork
Kidvelo are a fairly new brand, having launched in 2022, and are already proving very popular with younger riders.
They specialise in balance bikes for children aged through to about 8 years old.
Their larger bikes have a pedal conversion kit, meaning that you can get your child used to balance biking first, before moving them onto pedals, even if they're a little bit older when they're learning.
Take a look at our Kidvelo Rookie 12 review, their smallest offering, for full details. Our reviewer was really impressed with how lightweight the bike was.
Plus the design of the bike harks back to more traditional designs, with an upright riding position, which appealed to their retro-loving dad!
Hornit Bikes Key Data:
Wheel size: 12 - 16 inch wheels
Bike Types: Balance Bike and Starter Bikes
Typical age range: 18 months to 6 years
Warranty: Lifetime on frame & forks
Hornit have been around making horns, helmets and bike storage for a long time, and they offer a great range of children's bikes.
Hornit offers several different bikes of varying sizes, so there's something for everyone.
Their AIRO balance bike is so lightweight that when we received one for review, we actually thought they'd sent us an empty box at first! You can read all about why we think it's great in our Hornit AIRO balance bike review.
Their HERO range of starter pedal bikes are designed with simplicity as the aim.
All models are fitted with a belt drive rather than a chain to reduce maintenance and the chance of getting oily fingers or clothing. The larger bikes have three very easy to use gears to make riding simpler.
Black Mountain key data:
Wheel Size: 14 inch balance bike to 20 inch 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
Warranty: 3-years frame and forks; 2-years non-consumable components. Warranty transferable
Black Mountain are a Welsh brand taking the premium end of the kids' bike market by storm with their innovative bikes that grow with your child.
They are all about pushing boundaries, not only with their unique kids' bike design, but also with their environmental credentials and customer service.
There are four different sized bikes in the Black Mountain Bikes range, and the frame can be extended as your child grows, to cover the same time period that you'd usually need two pedal bikes for. This reduces waste, hassle and cost.
The two larger bikes also have an adaptor to convert to balance bike mode, making these bikes accessible to older kids who aren't pedalling yet.
If form, style and engineering are important to you then Black Mountain Bikes will bring joy to your child's life.
Specialized Jett key data:
Wheel size: 16 - 24 inch wheels
Bike type: Hybrid
Typical age range: 4 - 10 years
Warranty: Lifetime warranty on frame and forks
Specialized are one of the world's biggest bike manufacturers, and their Jett range has really impressed us. Their bikes come with a huge amount of adjustability in the size, including two options for pedal placement, so as your child grows, the bike can grow with them.
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 the bike fit perfectly for him.
Read our Specialized Jett 20 review to find out what makes it such a good option.
Frog Bikes Key Data
Wheel size: 10 inch balance bike - 26 inch wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance, First pedal, Hybrid, Mountain, Road and Track
Typical age range: 18 months to 13 years+
Warranty: 2 years - extended to 5 years for frame if you register the bike within 28 days of purchase
Frog Bikes make some of the most popular and best kids bikes around, and they cover virtually every type and size, from three sizes of balance bikes for toddlers through to mountain, road and track bikes for older kids.
We've had our hands on 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.
Be sure to check out our Frog Bikes reviews for some detailed thoughts on why we recommend 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.
Giant ARX key data:
Wheel sizes: 16 - 26 inch wheel bikes
Bike Types: First pedal and Hybrid Bikes
Typical age range: 4 years to 10+ years
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 to be as readily available second hand, but you might get lucky.
Our reviewer really enjoyed riding the 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.
Take a look at our Giant ARX 20 review for full details.
Squish Bikes Key Data
Wheel sizes: 12 inch balance bike - 650B wheel bikes
Bike Types: Balance, First pedal, Hybrid and Mountain Bikes
Typical age range: 2 years to 10+ years
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 speed Squish 18, which our 6-year-old reviewer loved, and she moved confidently onto a bigger bike when the time was right for her. You can read all the details in our Squish 18 review.
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. Be sure to read the full Squish 26 review for more.
Squish are another good choice if you're thinking of leasing your child a bike via The Bike Club.
Forme Bikes Key Data:
Wheel Size: 14 to 26 inch wheels
Age range: 3 - 12 years plus a good range of adult bikes for teenagers
Types of bike: First Pedal and Hybrid Bikes
Sadly Forme Bikes were discontinued in March 2023, when their parent company Moore Large went out of business.
There may be a few bikes remaining to buy new dotted around and about, but the vast majority of the remaining stock was bought up by The Bike Club to add to their huge fleet of subscription bikes.
We've been up close and personal with a couple of Forme's bikes, including the Cubley 18 (single speed) and the Kinder 20 (with gears). We were very impressed with how these bikes handled on- and off-road riding.
We're glad that The Bike Club will be ensuring these bikes continue to be ridden for a long time to come as they're a great choice for kids of all ages.
Hoy Bikes key data:
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
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.
Islabikes key data:
Wheel size: 12 - 27.5 inch wheel kids bikes plus adult bikes
Bike Types: Balance, First pedal, Hybrid, Cyclocross/Road and Mountain Bikes
Typical age range: 2 - 13 years
Warranty: 5 years on frame and forks and a 2 years on parts
Islabikes were the original quality kids bike. They blazed a trail 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 proved what a difference having a lightweight, properly sized bike makes, and all the other brands listed in this article have followed on behind.
Sadly Islabikes announced in October 2023 that they were stopping making and selling bikes, although they will carry on selling spare parts for existing bikes.
Islabikes really were specialists (and obsessives) in kids bike design. Every Islabike reflects those years of expertise and research.
Because Islabikes can get passed down through many children they tend to be great for the environment and it's sometimes possible to recoup a large proportion of your cost when re-selling on if you've maintained the bike well.
If you're buying a second hand kids bike, choosing a used Islabike makes real sense.
Over the years we've built up a healthy number of Islabike reviews, and each bike has proven why they blazed a trail in the world of kids bikes.
Worx Junior Bikes key data:
Wheel size: 24" - 700c
Bike Types: Road / Cyclocross and All Purpose race bikes
Typical age range: U8 - U14 riders
Warranty: Check with supplier.
If you've got a Lizzy Deignan or Tom Pidcock 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.
As our 12 year old reviewer found in our Worx JA700 review, these bikes are not only well made but super confidence-inspiring as well. He rode it in both road and cyclocross mode, and suffice to say we couldn't keep up with him in either!
Vitus Kids Bike Key data:
Wheel size: 12" - 26"
Bike Types: Balance, First pedal, Hybrid, Mountain Bike, Road and Cyclocross
Typical age range: 2 - 12 + years, plus a wide range of adult bikes for teens
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 the more established (and expensive) kids bike 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 really great value range of bikes (first pedal and hybrid) which are great all-round choices which will handle most types of cycling your child could want to do. However, if you want something a bit more specialist they're now expanding out into mountain, road and cyclocross bikes too at a very competitive price. We've reviewed several of their off-road bikes, including the wide tyred Vitus 20 plus and our reviewers really loved riding them.
How to choose the best kids' bike
If you're not sure where to start or what to look for, then we've got you covered. Here are all the things you need to consider when choosing the right bike for your child.
What are the key things to look for in a kids' bike?
If this is your first time buying a kids' bike, remember the three most important questions to ask yourself:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How much should I spend on a kids' bike?
What you spend comes down entirely to your budget, however you'll have noticed that kids' bikes vary greatly in price. We've written a whole post about why you shouldn’t buy a REALLY cheap new kids bike so we won't go into that here, but if you're concerned about budget, here are a couple of tips for saving money on a kids' bike.
- Buy second hand - in our listings above 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.
How do I know if my child needs a bigger bike?
Children grow so quickly, and not only do they get taller, but their body dimensions change as well. That's why it's so important to adjust their bikes to accommodate these changes, and upsize to a bigger bike when the time comes.
An ill-fitting bike is a safety hazard. If they're riding a bike that's too small for them, they'll a) have less control over the bike, leading to more accidents, and b) feel uncomfortable, which can lead to a loss of interest in cycling altogether.
By ensuring they have a properly sized bike for their needs, you can ensure their cycling experience remains comfortable and fun, so they'll want to continue pedalling into adulthood.
The key signs to look for if your child has outgrown their bike are:
- Their knees are too bent when they pedal
- When they stand over the bike, there's more than 2 inches of clearance between their groin and the top tube
- They're struggling to manoeuvre a bike they used to ride with confidence
For a full guide, check out our dedicated article: Is my kid's bike the right size for them?
Does my child need stabilisers?
Many of us, when we learned to ride a bike, started with stabilisers before progressing to a very trying, sometimes painful, often tearful attempt at pedalling a bike we had no balance on. Thankfully times have moved on.
The problem with stabilisers as that they effectively turn a bike into a tricycle, which teaches children to steer by turning the handlebars only. In fact, to be able to ride a bike, they need to learn to lean while steering, and make micro-adjustments to their balance, and you just can't do this with stabilisers.
Balance bikes are increasing in popularity for this very reason, because they teach kids from day one how to control and steer the bike using their whole body, and makes it much easier for them to progress to pedalling with confidence.
So we'd say no, don't bother with stabilisers. If you want more information on this, check out our article: Does my child need stabilisers?
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.
Need more help finding the best kids bike?
We hope this article has helped you find the best kids bikes. If you need more advice and inspiration, these articles will be of help:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Why you shouldn’t buy a really cheap kids bike
- Where to buy the cheapest Frog Bikes
- Cheaper alternatives to Islabikes
- Cheapest Kids Bikes
To find the best bike for your child, then these age-specific guides will help:
- Best balance bikes
- Is my kids bike the right size for them?
- The best 12" wheel pedal bikes for ages 2 and over
- The best starter bikes – 14″ wheel kids bikes
- The best 16″ wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds
- The best 20″ wheel kids bikes for 6 year olds
- The best kids 20″ wheel mountain bikes
- The best road racing bikes for kids (with 20″ wheels)
- The best kids 24″ wheel mountain bikes
- The best road racing bikes for kids – 24″ wheels
- The best kids 26″ wheel mountain bikes
- Cheap but quality 26″ and 27.5″ kids mtb’s for around £400
- Best kids road bikes
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