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.

How much is recommended to spend on my kids bike

Before you start take a moment to grab your FREE kids bike buying checklist to help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

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

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

Watch: Difference between a toy and a proper bike

Ready to buy? The cheapest kids bikes - Our recommendations on the best value kids bikes around

How much should i spend on my childs bike

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

Buy Used

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?

buying a kids bike - how much should i spend?

Before you start take a moment to grab your FREE kids bike buying checklist to help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

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.

Cuda Trace – aluminium framed bikes at a good price – available online and at local bike shops.

Pinnacle Bikes – Evans Cycles in-house range- great bikes but be mindful the customer service isn’t what it used to be.

Vitus Bikes – great specification bikes sold at Chain Reaction Cycles – currently massively reduced so a really good time to buy.

Wild Bikes – Go Outdoors in-house range – great value if you can find one in stock.

Further reading: Cheapest Kids Bikes

Best value brands - vitus bikes Chain Reaction Cycles
best brands for secondhand bikes - wiggins 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

Buy Used

Before you start take a moment to grab your FREE kids bike buying checklist to help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

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.


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