Kids bikes that will grow with your child
Kids grow quickly, so when you’re buying your child a bike you want to know that it’s going to last them as long as possible.
Over the past few years we’ve seen innovation in the kids bike world, with a number of brands using clever design and engineering to ensure that their bikes will last as long as possible.
Whether it’s converting from balance to pedal bikes, extending the frame or cranks or swapping out wheels there’s various options of "growing kids bikes" now available to make your child’s bike last longer.
Buying a child’s bicycle with plenty of growing room
Before we start, a quick reminder that if you’re buying a properly sized, well-designed bike for your child it should always have plenty of room for growth.
If you measure your child carefully and buy a bike that they are at the lower end of the size limit for, they should be able to grow at least 10cm before you need to replace it.
If you need more help read How to measure your child for a kids bike.
The growth of “growing kids bikes”
In this article we’re going to be looking at kids bike brands that have looked at a kids bike and thought “surely we can make that last longer”.
They’ve added design features that go above and beyond the norm to ensure maximum life span.
Not only does this make for an interesting discussion when other parents ask what your child is riding, but it also reduces the hassle and most importantly saves you money in the long term.
The best growing bikes
This is a new an innovative area in kids bike design. These are some of the most reputable bikes that are on the market and that we have reviewed.
The bikes "grow" in different ways; some convert from balance bike to first pedal bikes, some have a frame that extends and some have wheels you can swap to the next wheel size up.
What they all have in common is that the bike grows with your kid and will last longer than a 'normal' bike would.
Watch out for cheap imitation bikes that might look like the ones on this page but are not the real deal and may not be safe.
The Kidvelo Rookie is great for children who haven’t yet learnt how to ride a bike, as they start off as a balance bike.
This means your child can gain their confidence on two wheels, learn to steer and use the brakes.
Then, when they are ready to learn to pedal, you simply add on the cranks, chain and pedals and hey presto! You have a pedal bike.
This means that your child will be used to the shape and steering of that bike, and only have to concentrate on learning to pedal when they’re ready to make the transition.
There’s also a smaller 12” wheel balance bike, but this does not convert into a pedal bike.
We've reviewed the smaller, Kidvelo Rookie 12" balance bike and were really impressed.
Kidvelo Bikes are available in the UK and Australia.
Based in the US or Canada? The Strider 14X is an alternative to the Rookie 14.
Black Mountain Bikes
Black Mountain Bikes have two key features that make them some of the most interesting designs in the kids bike market.
As with the Kidvelo bikes they can start in balance bike mode and convert to pedal bikes at a later date.
For larger models, this balance bike mode is an additional extra but comes as standard on the two smaller models.
The unique thing with the Black Mountain bikes is that they also have an innovative “growing frame” which means that the bike can quite literally grow with your child.
Start in “Small” mode and then when they’ve had a growth spurt, extend the frame to “Large” mode.
The Black Mountain’s come in four different sizes, and all have interesting names related to mountains around the world.
Black Mountain recommend that you start a wheel size larger than you would with other models due to the geometry of the bike.
This does mean that the bikes are slightly heavier than other comparably priced and sized bikes, which is worth factoring in if you’d describe your child as “delicate”.
We’d recommend these bikes for “physically robust” kids if that makes sense. You know your child best!
You can read our reviews of the Black Mountain bikes.
Black Mountain Bikes offer worldwide delivery.
Shotgun Dirt Hero Balance Bike
The Shotgun Dirt Hero balance bike is designed for little ones who want to ride fast and furious on trails and pump tracks.
It's designed to fit 12" and 14" wheelsets so the fun doesn't need to stop or slow down just because your child has either grown or moved onto a pedal bike.
We think this is a great idea, because some children take a backward step in terms of confidence and speed whilst they're mastering a "proper" bike.
The Dirt Hero means they can keep on shredding at speed for longer.
Specialized Jett kids bike range
Whilst Kidvelo, Strider and Black Mountain are small brands dedicated purely to designing kids bikes, Specialized are at the other end of the spectrum.
One of the world’s biggest bike manufacturers, they’ve used the technology usually applied to adult bike fits and applied it to their junior Jett range.
Each bike comes with access to a “Fitting App” for your phone where you add in your child’s height and limb measurements.
The app will then tell you exactly how to set up the bike for your child, which is easily done thanks to a series of markers at the relevant points on the bike.
The Jett bikes are adjustable with longer seatposts and adjustable handlebars.
There are even two pedal settings, meaning extra longevity as your child’s legs grow.
Specialized have a huge network of bike shops worldwide.
Mondraker Factor 24
If you’re looking to splash your hard-earned cash on a top-end mountain bike for your child, you want to know it’s going to get plenty of use.
Mondraker make serious mountain bikes, and their kids offering is no exception. The Factor 24 is a full suspension kids mountain bike, with 100mm of suspension travel front and rear.
The clever bit is that as your child grows and gains confidence on the trails, you can replace the 24” wheels with 26” ones.
Note that the larger wheels are not included in the price!
Mondraker have dealers around the world, including the UK, US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
Before you go….
Whilst we’re all looking to save money and get the most use out of the things we buy, it’s important not to buy a bike that is too big for your child, in the hope that they’ll grow into it.
This can result in a very scary riding experience and put your child off ever riding the bike.
For more advice on how to tell if a bike is the right size, check out our article Is my kids’ bike the right size for them?
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