How much do I need to spend on a bike for my child?
What better Christmas present is there for a child than a brand new bike? But with the cost of living crisis biting, it’s not surprising that many parents and grandparents are looking around for the best value bike they can find.
Here at Cycle Sprog we often get asked the question “How much do I need to spend kids bike?” and in this article we’re going to try and answer that question.
How much should you spend on a kids bike?
Sadly there’s no one easy answer, as a bike for a 2 year old is likely going to cost you a lot less than a bike for a teenager, and everyone's budgets are different.
We've got some top tips to help you out when buying your child a bike this Christmas.
You get what you pay for when it comes to a kid’s bike
It’s a sad fact of life that there are a lot of cheaply made products out there, that are destined for landfill rather than a long life.
Kids bikes are no exception, so beware of buying a really cheap kids bike, that has been designed as a toy, rather than as a bike to be ridden for years.
Here at Cycle Sprog HQ we hear sad tales every year of really cheap toy kids bikes that are broken before the new year arrives.
That’s why we really recommend buying a secondhand kids bike over a really cheap new one.
Further reading: Why you shouldn’t buy a really cheap kids bike
Ready to buy? The cheapest kids bikes - Our recommendations on the best value kids bikes around
Think how much you spend on electronic devices for your child vs a new bike
We all know our children should probably be spending more time away from their screens, getting fresh air and exercise (or is that just me?!).
But are you actually willing to part with your cash to allow your child to do that?
So many people are happy to spend hundreds of pounds on the most up to date games consoles and tablets for their families, but baulk at spending on a kids bike.
They then complain that they can’t get their child off their screen and outside!
Further reading: The best kids bikes 2022 - our pick of the very best
The economics of a kids bike
The more you spend on a kids bike, the better the quality, meaning it will last longer and have a higher resale value at the end.
This means a much lower cost of ownership per year.
If you've got more than one child who will use the bike the cheaper it is to own that bike per year.
e.g. pay £400 for a premium bike that lasts two children for 2 years each, and which you sell for £200 at the end of that time. Your total cost is £50 per year (£400-£200 = £200 divided by 4 years = £50 per year).
A £300 bike that you sell for £150 at the end of the same period will be £37.50 per year.
You can double these figures if you've only got one child, and reduce them if you have more than two.
Which ever way you look at it, a kids bike that is built to last several kids is a really good investment.
BUT - not everyone has that sort of money to spend on a top of the range kids bike!
Thankfully there are a growing number of really good value kids bikes, that are designed to be ridden safely and last multiple children.
Don’t buy a bike that’s too big for your child
A common mistake we find is parents buying their child a bike that’s too big, thinking they’ll get more use out of it.
This can be a real false economy, as it can put your child off ever riding it.
Think what would happen if you bought them shoes that were several sizes too big. Would they enjoy going for a walk?
A bike that’s too big is hard to control, will make your child feel very nervous, and can even be dangerous if they can’t reach the floor or the brakes.
Further reading: How to measure your child for a new bike
Secondhand kids bikes can be much cheaper than a new bike
A decent kids bike will outlast its rider, so there’s always plenty of secondhand options available.
In all of our age-banded guides to buying a kids bike we always give options where the bike is commonly available second hand.
If it’s been well looked after your child will never know it’s not brand new (and to be honest, they’re hardly likely to care either!).
Further reading: Buying a secondhand kids bike
Spread the cost over the year
If you’d prefer to spread the costs of a new kid's bike over the year, then there are two options.
Many retailers offer interest-free finance – for example Decathlon and Hornit both offer Klarna which allows you to pay in three instalments, whilst Tredz offer 0% APR Finance With No Deposit Required over longer time periods.
Another way to spread the cost is to join the Bike Club, which provides you with a quality kids bike for a monthly subscription fee. When your child grows you just send the bike back and upgrade to the next size.
Further reading: How does the Bike Club work?
How much will a kids bike cost this Christmas?
OK, I know you want exact figures!
This does really depend on what size bike you’re buying, but as a rule of thumb the minimum price we’d recommend spending on a NEW kids bike would be:
Balance bike: £40 and over for a 10" balance bike
First pedal bike: (no gears) From £150 for a 14” wheel bike
Hybrid bikes: (with gears) From £270 for a 20” wheel bike
Mountain bike: From £350 for a 20” wheel mountain bike (we recommend a better quality hybrid bike than a really cheap/heavy mountain bike)
Most kids bikes that cost more than these guidelines are likely to be good quality, safe and fun to ride.
Obviously if your child is moving to a bigger sized bike in these categories, the prices will go up slightly.
And if the bike is reduced then you may well get a new bargain below this price!
Anything below these prices and you need to be vigilant that you're spending your money on something that will be fit for purpose and last until the summer months arrive.
What are the best value brands of new kids bikes this Christmas?
If you’re looking for a decent kids bike that isn’t going to break the bank, but which will still be going strong this time next year, then these are some of the brands which are worth looking at:
B’Twin – Decathlon’s in-house range. If you can afford the lightweight aluminium framed ones go for them as you’ll notice the difference.
Carrera Bikes – Halfords in-house range – be aware some have complicated gearing.
Pinnacle Bikes – Evans Cycles in-house range- great bikes but be mindful the customer service isn’t what it used to be.
Further reading: Cheapest Kids Bikes
What are the best brands of secondhand kids bikes?
If you’d like to get a really well-made kids bike second hand, then we recommend the following brands. They’re very popular brands, so it’s usually possible to find a secondhand bargain.
Islabikes – the best option for a secondhand kids bike, but can still be pricey.
Frog Bikes – so many sizes and colours to choose from – some of the most popular kids bikes in the UK for a good reason.
Hoy Bikes – Evans Cycles premium kids bike range – a very reliable choice second hand.
Pinnacle Kids bikes – Evans Cycles value kids bike range – always loads available second hand at really good prices.
Wiggins Bikes – sadly discontinued, but thankfully lots available second hand.
Further Reading: Secondhand Frog bikes
Need more help on buying a kids bike?
We know that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming trying to find that perfect bike for your child - especially when stocks are low or timescales are tight.
Please don't get too stressed! We've got lots of articles to help you through the process to ensure you find the best bike for your child, plus our FREE kids buying guide will help you record everything you need.
- How to easily measure your child for a new bike
- How much should I spend on a bike for my child?
- The cheapest kids bikes 2023 - our pick of the best value bikes
- The best kids bikes 2023 - our pick of the very best quality kids bikes
- Introducing Bike Club subscription kids bikes, a better way to get your child riding?
- Buying a second hand kids bike
Keep up to date with the latest Cycle Sprog articles
Sign up to receive our newsletter straight to your inbox.
Other articles you might be interested in:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Buying a kids mountain bike; things you need to know
- Buying a second hand kids bike
- The best balance bikes as recommended by parents
- How to sell a kids bike on Ebay
- Best bike helmets for kids
- How to measure your child's head for a bike helmet