The best 20″ wheel kids bikes

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

20" wheel bikes tend to mark that transition from a single gear starter bike to a "grown up" bike with gears.

This means when you're buying a 20" wheel kids bikes there's more things to think about than previously.

In this article we share with you some top tips to think about before buying your child their next bike, and our recommendations for the very best 20" hybrid (all purpose) kids bikes.

We include options for buying new, buying second hand and renting monthly, so hopefully there's a bike for everyone!

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. 

What makes a good 20" wheel kids bike?

For this article, we’ve focused on good quality, lightweight 20″ wheel hybrids which are a great choice if your child is doing a range of cycling - they'll perform well both riding on tarmac to school and on gravel  and grass the rest of the time.

All the bikes featured have flat handlebars, and a wide range of easy to use gears (i.e. only needing to change gears with one hand) for tackling both flat and hilly terrain.

They’re lightweight (mostly under 10 kg) – so fun for a child to ride – and if looked after properly should be capable of being passed on to a sibling, or sold on to recoup part of the purchase cost.

All gear shifters on the bikes we recommend are suitable for the small hands of a 6 year old, but the general rule (for all bikes, not just kids bikes) is the more expensive the components on the bike, the easier it will be to change gear.

Some bikes use a twist grip on the handlebars to change gear, others use a thumb trigger.  If possible, get your child to try both and see which they find easier to operate. You can always get your local bike shop to swap them over if needed.

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

Bike Club reCycle Scheme banner

What age child is a 20" wheel bike for?

20" wheel bikes vary greatly in their sizing, and some brands even have several frame sizes so there's something for shorter and taller kids ready to move onto their first geared bike.

Some have an inside leg as short as 47cm, although the majority start at about 52cm.

This roughly equates to between the ages of 6 and 7 but some 5 year olds may be ready to move up to this wheel size.

Every 20" wheel kids bike has different geometry (sizing) so we've provided the measurements shared with us by the manufacturer.

Please measure your child carefully and if possible test ride the bike if you're worried it won't fit - don't buy a bike that's too big for them, as they won't enjoy riding it, plus it could be dangerous.

These articles will help you:

The best 20" wheel kids bikes

Here's our selection of the best 20 inch wheel all purpose (hybrid) kids bikes currently available.

BTwin Riverside 900

BTwin Riverside 900 20 inch kids bike

BTwin Riverside 900 20" wheel

Price: £280
Suggest age range:  6-9 years
Height range: 120 - 135 cm
Bike weight: 9.3 kg
Frame and fork: Aluminium
Brakes:  V-brakes
Gears:  8 speed 36T / 11-34t
Tyres: Hybrid tyres with side knobs for riding on both trails and paved roads
Available colours: Grey green
Warranty: Lifetime on frame, stem, handlebars. Other parts: 2 years

New for 2022 from Decathlon is the BTwin Riverside 900 - a lightweight aluminium bike at a great price point.

For ages Decathlon's own  brand BTwin kids bikes have been much heavier steel affairs, so we're really pleased to see that they're upgrading to aluminium for the frame, fork and chainset.  Not only is this lighter (and therefore easier to ride) it's also much less likely to rust.

This bike is so new we've not had a chance to look at it in person yet, but the specification appears to include all the things we'd expect to see at a much higher price, such as easy to use gears, child friendly brakes and shorter cranks for easier pedalling.

Buy New

Islabikes Beinn 20 Small

Islabikes Beinn 20 small kids bike 2021

The Islabikes Beinn 20 Small is Islabikes’ smallest geared bike aimed at ages 5+.

The bike features an aluminium frame and fork, 7speed 11-34T cassette and proportionately sized components.

Advert:  If you've got an outgrown Islabike that you haven't got round to selling on, why not get a quotation today from The Bike Club? They'll even send a courier with a bike box to come and collect it from you. 

If you've got an old Frog Bike that's been outgrown and needs selling get your Used Frog Bike quotation here

AD:   Got an old Squish Bike to sell on?  The Bike Club have made it hassle free - click here for your valuation and to arrange a courier to come and collect your old Squish bike.  

Bike Club reCycle Scheme banner

Cube Acid 200 AllRoad

Cube Acid 200 AllRoad - black 20" wheel kids bike fitted with mudguards, kickstand and lights

The Cube Acid 200 AllRoad is Cube’s standard Acid 200 model to which they’ve added some accessories that are likely to be needed when riding on roads or (if you’re lucky) lovely safe cycle paths. 

So you get dynamo-powered lights, snap-on mudguards and a kickstand, which make this a more versatile choice of bike for children who are going to be riding their bikes to school during the week and want to explore further at the weekends or holidays.

Click here to subscribe

Cannondale Quick 20

Cannondale Quick 20 kids bike 2021 - a good choice 20" wheel bike for cycling to school

The Quick 20 is Cannondale’s all-rounder offering aimed at kids’ aged 7-12 years old.

The Quick features a lightweight SmartForm C2 alloy frame and fork, a Shimano Tourney 7sp drivetrain and the ever-popular Kenda Small Block 8 tyres.

This setup will be best suited to urban and light off-road use making it great for everyday usage whether it be riding to school or in the park. 

Early Rider Seeker

Early Rider 20" Kids BikesEarly Rider Seeker 20w

Price: £675
Suggest age range:  5 -6 years
Height range: 118 - 135 cm
Bike weight: 8.7 kg
Frame and forks: Hand Brushed AL6061, Forged Sliding Drop Out
Brakes: Promax DSK926 Hydraulic Disc, 160 Rotors
Tyres: Vee Crown Gem 20x2.25", 27TPI WB
Available colours: Brushed Alloy
Early Rider Warranty: 1 year

The Early Rider Seeker is worth considering if your Cycle Sprog is planning to hit the trails as the wide ranging cassette means climbing hills should be easier.

You can tell that the specification of this bike has been obsessed over. From the choice of lightweight rigid fork over heavier suspension to the tensioning of the chain there's been attention to the details on this bike that mean it's firmly aimed at those wanting to ride further and faster.

You'd better buy in some bike cleaner to keep that hand brushed aluminium frame looking as good as new!

Buy New

Other 20" wheel bikes

These are some links to other 20" wheel bikes which you may wish to check out - there's so many great 20" wheel kids bikes around we can't fit them all in this article

How to start cycling with your kids

Fuel prices have reached record levels, and they're unlikely to drop any time soon.  Swapping to cycling for shorter local journeys is often quoted as being a quick way to save money.

But how do you do this if you've got a family????

Don't panic - Cycle Sprog is here to help!

Here's a selection of articles to get you started - and don't forget to sign up for our FREE guide to cycling to school 

Comments

Hoyt

Hi there, thank you for this very comprehensive list. Very apropos as we’re choosing a new bike for Santa to bring our 6 year old this Christmas. Basically we’re deciding between an Islabikes Beinn and a 2019 EarlyBikes Trail 20. Right now we’re preferring the IslaBikes Beinn 20 because it’s so light and its geometry is tailored for our little one (lower q-factor, smaller diameter grips, easier to squeeze brake handles, etc).

I’m just looking for some perspective on the EarlyBikes Trail 20. Do you know how they compare on geometry?

Come to think of it, any reason you haven’t reviewed earlybikes here? I mean, they are a premier UK children’s brand, right? Our girl has been on their belter 16 for a couple of years and I can’t say enough great about that bike.

Ruta

I have purchased Saracen Mantra R2.0 for my daughter – could’t find any wheight before. But – it is about 8.00 kg without pedals and up to 8,5 kg with them. The stem is very long – I asked to cut down some 5-6cm at the lokal bike store so I can take the seat down as much as possible for my 115cm daughter (otherwise at the lowest position you still have some 8 cm out from the frame till the seat). it is good for longer children but as my daughter felt scary at the beginning with BIG bike, it feel beter with a lower position in the beginning. We moved from Earlyrider Belter to this and it is great bike as well.

Karen

Thanks for that feedback Ruta – I’ll add in the weights to the article. Good tip about the sizing – wondering if a bike shop could also supply a shorter post, so there’s still the benefit of the longer one at the child gets longer. Hope she had great fun riding it. Karen

James

I found your site really useful when researching bikes for my seven-year-old. No mean feat finding the right bike – he’s small for his age, but really wanted to get out on the trails.

We eventually settled on the Orbea MX20 Team. This combined all the features he and we (his parents) wanted. For us, these were:
1. Trigger shifters, rather than twist grip or tourney – because our son found them more intuitive and they enable him to maintain his grip while shifting;
2. V brakes rather than discs – because they’re lighter and easier to maintain, and less of a draw for small fingers;
3. A decent range of gears covering most kinds of riding; and
4. Tyres that are big enough to provide a bit of give when riding trails but are equally good on tarmac.
It is a great bike, my son loves riding it and I’m definitely happy with it!

In case it helps others to choose, I was worried about buying a bike without knowing its eight, so I emailed Orbea prior to making a decision. The response was:

MX20 XC: 10.3kg
MX20 Team: 8.97kg
MX20 Team Disc: 9.55kg
MX20 Park: 9.95kg
MX20 Speed: 9.96kg

Karen

Thanks so much for the feedback James – those weights are really useful to have – it’s strange they don’t make them publicly available. Glad you’re pleased with the bike – here’s to you both having lots of fun times out on the trails together. Karen

Chris

I always use your website as my first place of research when buying a bike for my children. I have just used it for the fourth time to purchase my son a Orbea MX20 Team disc as he has outgrown his Frog 48.
Thanks for the great site ??

Karen

So glad you find the website useful Chris – really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch. Hope your son enjoys his new bike! Karen

Will

Hi,
Our daughter moved from her Cnoc 16 to the Isla Beinn 20 and has loved it for the past few months, especially with mud season now in full swing. Whilst spending hours looking for a replacement to the Cnoc we fell in love with the Cannondale Quick 20 (her sister has the ‘Boys’ 24 in Acid green). The Quick 20 is weighing in at 8.2kg with pedals so is up in the light category and we would have gone for it but were questioning the resale value in 12 months, hence the Isla instead.

Karen

Hi Will – thanks for getting in touch. The Cannondale is a great bike too, isn’t it – we’re finding that there are so many makes and models to choose from now – all with great specifications! At the moment the Islabikes do tend to hold their value well, as they’ve got the brand name plus the excellent quality of the build is proven over years and year. Hope your daughter has loads of fun on the Beinn 20. Karen

Stephen

Hi, after looking at most these bikes pretty much over the last 3 months, i thought it also worth mentioning the Raleigh Performance 20 which comes (or did) in 10 or 11 inch frame and light c.8kg. good geometry and my 6yo son really liked how it felt. Decent components and riser bars which can be usefully asjusted dor fit/growth. Price is also competitive with the range in the article and some deala to be had though not many dealers stocking.

Karen

Thanks for the recommendation Stephen – much appreciated. Karen

Edward Bryan

We’ve just bought our second chartres (the 24 inch) and it’s brilliant. He loved the 20 inch version and cycled miles on it. Halfords will give you a discount for buying another wiggins which was good to discover!

Karen

That’s good to know Ed – thanks for the update. Hope he enjoys the 24″ version as much as the 20″. Will definitely be faster! Karen

Carl

We brought a Wiggins 20 inch Chartres. We are very happy. It’s a good bike. As in VERY good. My little one has done 50m + in the last month.
Its tough, well built and light. Great gear ratios let my little one get a 1m long 5-7.5% hill with no drama. He uses it for his cycle club and off road also. Its a great jack of all trades take it to the park, ride it 15miles, take on a bit of down hill bike.

Karen

Hi Carl – sounds like your Cycle Sprog is getting great use out of the Chartres. Good to hear it’s got the gears to get him up the hills – there’s nothing more dispiriting than having to get off and push! Thanks for the update – and hope he continues to enjoy his cycling – he’s certainly getting the miles in! Karen

Tim Holman

Hello. I registered ages ago and was pleased to hear from you. We bought our three year old grandson a Cnoc16 from Islabikes early last year and he was cycling within seconds having started on a crap balance bike we’d got secondhand. He’s now ready, more than ready for gears and a bike for longer distances, although he has done up to 10k without difficulty on the Islabike, which has been a great buy despite the expense but because of the totally child oriented design and components. So it was great to get your reviews on the 20″ hybrids. We are biased in favour of Islabikes understandably. Have heard that thumb shifters for wee, not so strong fingers can be a problem, which itself points us towards Islabikes because of the twistgrip shift, so any further comment on that would be a help if you are able.
Thanks for the website: it’ll be on my list of favourites.
Tim

Karen

Hi Tim, Thanks for getting in touch – so glad your grandson is enjoying his Cnoc 16. As with anything, the quality of the components makes a huge difference in how easy the bike is to ride. Islabikes use top-end components, so their gears are very easy to use for most children. A bike with a cheaper twist grip will likely be harder to move. Some children prefer thumb shifters – it can be personal preference or what they first learn with. Again a well specified one should be easy to use, although if they have weak to double jointed thumbs then it’s best to stick to a twist grip. Hope he enjoys the move up to the next wheel size. Kind regards Karen

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.