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The best place to buy a kids bike – Christmas 2020
If you’re buying a bike for a child this Christmas, then you’re probably wondering where the best place is to buy one from. A bike is such an incredible Christmas present to give, and you certainly want to make sure you buy the best bike possible, at the best possible price. Buy wisely and you’ll be giving a present that brings so much joy all year round. Get it wrong, and there could be tears by Boxing Day! (Read this post about what happens if you buy a really cheap kids bike)
The best places to buy a kid’s bike this Christmas
In this post we will take a look at the pros and cons of each place to buy a kids bike – from an online store to your local bike shop, so you can decide which option is best for you and your wallet.
At this point, I must make it clear that some of the links in this post are “affiliate” links, which means if you click on them and make a purchase then Cycle Sprog may get a small commission. It doesn’t affect what you pay but does allow us to keep on writing helpful posts about cycling with children (our own Sprogs need feeding!) Thanks for your support.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.
Option 1: Bike shops with online ordering
Everyone is so busy this time of year, so being able to buy Christmas presents online can help take the stress away. Buying online from a reputable bike shop is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a decent bike, delivered straight to your door.
Online bike shops that sell good quality kids bikes include:
Here at Cycle Sprog we have an exclusive deal with Tredz Bikes, who also offer free home delivery
|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
Evans Cycles – stockists of Hoy Bike and Pinnacle Bikes
Leisure Lakes Bikes – stockists of Whyte, Trek, Frog, and Cannondale
Little Bike Company – Woom Bikes
If you’re buying a bike online, here are a few things to think about:
Pros of buying a kids bike through an online bike shop
- Quick and hassle free ordering at a time and place to suit you
- Online bike shops often have a large amount of stock allowing you a choice of brands, sizing, and colours
- The store will do the pre-sale checks on the bike, ensuring it is safe prior to dispatch (note you will probably have to do some minor adjustments when it arrives)
- You’re dealing with a “proper” bike store – they sell nothing but bikes, so they will be able to answer any questions you have – look out for their “pop up chat” facilities, or drop them an email if you have any questions
- Reputable online bike shops will have a returns policy, so if the bike isn’t right for your child you can return it after Christmas (for example, Tredz has a 365 day returns policy for unridden bikes – there is a £35 return fee to pay for collection)
Cons of buying online from a bike shop
- You will have to do some element of assembling the bike – this may involve straightening the handlebars, or adding pedals – if you’re not comfortable doing this, take the bike to your local bike shop and pay them to do it
- You’ll have to be in to take delivery of the bike
- You can’t try before you buy
- You may have to pay to return the bike if it’s not correct
Option 2: Your local bike shop
The other end of the scale to the large online bike shops is your local bike shop (if you’re lucky enough to still have one). Every local bike shop is different, with different specialisms so try and choose one with a good range of kids bikes on display. Brands popular in local bike shops include Frog Bikes, Squish, Cuda, Giant, and Cube.
Pros of buying a kids bike at your local bike shop
- You get to try before you buy and see exactly what you’re buying
- They can fully assemble the bike for you ready for your child to ride
- If you have any after sales issues they’re close by and you can resolve in person
- You’re supporting your local bike shop – use them or lose them!
- If they don’t have the correct size in stock they can usually order direct from the manufacturer in a matter of days
- Excellent for last minute panic buys on Christmas Eve (we don’t recommend you leave it this late!)
Cons of buying from your local bike shop
- You will be limited to the brand(s) that the shop stocks – most independent bike shops stock just one or two brands
- Some people feel intimidated going into a bike shop – you shouldn’t and, hopefully, the staff have been trained in how to sell kids bikes. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask questions, to ensure that you’re getting the right bike for you
- Local bike shops aren’t always able to offer the same discounts that the online shops can
IT IS A DIFFICULT TIME FOR INDEPENDENT BIKE SHOPS – PLEASE DON’T GO AND USE UP THEIR TIME TESTING LOTS OF BIKES AND THEN GO AND BUY £5 CHEAPER ONLINE.
Option 3: Direct from the bike brand
Some kids bike brands are only available to buy online direct from the manufacturer.
Islabikes – the original quality bike manufacturers
Black Mountain Bikes – innovative new “growing bikes” (pictured above) that mean you don’t need to buy a new bike as frequently.
Bobbin Bikes – beautiful bikes for around town riding
Pros of buying direct from the manufacturer
- It’s the only way to get a new bike from the brand
- They’re experts in kids bikes and selling online so you should get excellent service
Cons of buying direct from the manufacturer
- You can’t try the bike before you buy
- These brands rarely have any Black Friday or Christmas discounts – they know they sell as premium product and keep their prices steady all year round
Option 4: eBay or other second hand sites
If you’re looking for a great bike at a low price this Christmas, buying second hand may be the best option. There are now so many decent quality kids bikes around from names such as Islabikes, Frog, and Hoy that there’s usually plenty of options available second hand, as children are growing out of the bike long before it comes to the end of its natural life.
Pros of buying second hand
- You can often get a decent expensive bike for the price of a cheaper, lower specification model
- You’re helping the environment
Cons of buying second hand
- You need to make sure you’re not buying a dud – check out our guide on buying a second hand kids bike before you start looking
- You may not find the bike you want in time for Christmas
Option 5: Halfords
Halfords are one of the most popular places in the UK to buy a kids bike, but do be careful that you’re picking a decent, lightweight bike that you’re child is going to enjoy riding for several years to come. They have some decent brands, such as Wiggins and Carrerra but also sell some very heavy, cheap bikes that your child will not enjoy riding anywhere near as much. You’re much better off buying a quality second hand bike a the same price.
Pros of buying from Halfords
- Halfords sell some very reasonably priced, aluminum framed kids bikes such as Wiggins and Carrerra ranges.
- You can buy online or in store, and have home or instore delivery
Cons of buying from Halfords
- They sell some very heavy kids bikes so don’t get tempted by the cartoon characters or handlebar tassels if you want a quality bike your child is going to love riding for years to come whatever the weather, whatever the terrain
Option 6: Discounting warehouses
Traditionally the large discounting warehouses only sold very heavy kids bikes, and we’d never recommend buying a bike from them. However, Go Outdoors have recently started stocking their own brand called “Wild Bikes” which are good quality, lightweight kids bikes, so we’re happy to change our minds on this.
Pros of buying from a discounting warehouse
- Price – due to the quantities shifted, the prices are very keen
Cons of buying from a discounting warehouse
- Staff don’t all have the same depth of knowledge about bikes as in a bike shop so you need to know what you’re looking for
- Variety of bikes varies – check out Wild Bikes at Go Outdoors if you’re looking for a reasonably priced, lightweight bike with child sized components. These bikes are included in their “Big Event” discounting
Option 7: Catalogue stores
We don’t recommend you buy a bike from a catalogue store. Not on Black Friday, and not any time of the year. If you want to know why, select a kids bike on their website and sort the reviews from the lowest to the highest. Read the reviews and you’ll understand why. Alternatively, read our blog which has done this for you.
Pros of buying a bike from a catalogue store
- You’ll get a cheap item (usually under £100)
Cons of buying a bike from a catalogue store
- There’s a chance it won’t make it to Boxing Day – some of the “bikes” on sale via catalogue stores are incredibly poorly made and we often hear tales of children disappointed when their bike breaks during the first ride
- You need to have peace of mind that the brakes will work properly on any bike you buy. Many very cheap “bikes” have issues with brakes snapping, and won’t have brake levers designed for children’s hands
Option 8: Toy Shop
In general, we don’t recommend you buy a kids bike from a toy shop. A bike isn’t a toy, it’s a bike. Usually, bikes from toy shops are cheap, heavy and gimmicky. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so if your local toy shop stocks a well made, reputable brand, then go ahead and support them.
We hope we’ve helped you make up your mind on the best place to buy a kids bike this Christmas. Now all you need to do is choose which bike will suit them best, and make sure you get your order in before they all sell out! Do drop us a comment below and let us know where you ended up spending your money, and what you thought of the experience.
Here’s a few other post that may help you make that decision:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Where to buy the Cheapest Frog Bike
- The cheapest kids bikes
- Choosing the best balance bike for your child
- What’s the best bike for my child?
- The best kids bikes – Winter 2019
Disclosure: Cycle Sprog uses Affiliate links, which means we may get a small commission if you buy through the links on this page. This helps us to keep the website going – thanks for your support.
Here's our selection of the best kids bikes for kids of all agesRead More