The best 18″ wheel kids bikes for a 5 year old

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18" wheel kids bikes are becoming more and more popular, as they plug the gap between a small starter bike and a larger geared bike.

Some children aren't quite the right size, ability or age to move up to a bigger geared bike, and a 18" wheel bike can be a great solution (plus they usually cost a bit less than a geared bike too!)

A word of warning though -  it's a wheel size that has traditionally been dominated by very cheap "toy" bikes (and click here to read why we don't recommend these).

Thankfully now there's a number of good quality 18" wheel bikes that are available to buy or lease long term.

In this article we'll take a look at the best 18" wheel kids bikes - they're all great bikes that should bring years of fun for your child.

We include options on where to buy new and also how to lease long term or buy second hand (where available) so there's hopefully something suitable for every budget.

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 age child is an 18" wheel bike for?

Obviously all children are different, but on average an 18" wheel bike is suitable for children aged between about 5 and 6 years of age. In general 18" wheel bikes tend to be suitable for children with a minimum inside leg of approx 50cm and a minimum height of about 110cm.

Every 18" bike has different geometry (sizing) so we've provided the measurements provided by the manufacturer, to allow you to choose the one that fits your child. Please measure your child carefully and if possible test ride the bike if you're worried it won't fit.

These articles will help you:

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Do 18" wheel bikes have gears?

Some children can cope with gears on an 18″ wheel bike, others will not need them.  As this is a cross-over size, some brands have gears, and others don't.

Gears add weight, complexity and price, and on many brands don't make an appearance until 20" wheels.

Some Cycle Sprogs are ready for them earlier, and they can also be useful if you live in a very hilly area (even if you need to change them yourself at the bottom of the hill!)

18" wheel not the right size? 

Check out these other articles to find a smaller or bigger bike:

The best 20" wheel bikes for 6 and 7 year olds

The best 16" wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds

Big balance bikes for taller children


The best 18" wheel kids bikes

Here's our selection of the best 18" wheel kids bikes currently available.

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.  

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Wild 18

Wild Bikes 18

The Wild 18 has an upright riding position for a low centre of gravity, and narrower cranks which bring their legs closer together in line with their smaller hips, which combined with the low weight of the bike gives an enjoyable and easy riding experience.

The bike comes in a funky two-toned orange/yellow colour and is aimed at 5-year-olds. 

Raleigh Pop 18

Raleigh Pop 18 Kids Bike

If you’re looking for an 18″ wheel bike with gears then one option is the Raleigh Pop 18. It’s available in blue and green and is aimed at ages 5 to 7 years old. 

It’s worth pointing out that the Pop is about 2 kg heavier than a lot of the other 18″ bikes, so you need to consider whether your child is a strong and confident cyclist able to cope with this additional weight.

The Black Mountain HÜTTO is actually a 20" wheel bike, but we've included in this article because it's actually designed to replace a 18" wheel and a 20" wheel bike, due to it's growing frame design, so may suit a taller child better than the 18" wheel KAPĒL.

The HUTTO comes in three different versions - the standard version is adequate for most types of riding, but if you're planning on getting out on the trails there's two mountain bike versions available. The HÜTTO Trail has front suspension and the HÜTTO Disc has the added benefit of disc brakes.

If your child is not pedalling you can buy a separate balance bike convertor kit for the HÜTTO.

Puky LS-Pro 18 Alu

Puky LS-Pro 18 Alu in blue and silver

The new Puky LS Pro 18 is a really lightweight 18″ wheel bike that comes from a brand that is renowned on the continent for building really reliable kids bikes and balance bikes.

They’ve got the weight so low by having not only an aluminium frame but fork, crank and seat post too. The Puky LS Pro also features a chain protection which is designed to protect little fingers.

The bike has a special coating applied to the paint to make sure it doesn’t chip, so you can expect this bike to still look great when you come to sell it on when your own child has outgrown it.

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

Click here for more help

Other 18" wheel bikes

These are other 18" bikes which you may wish to check out if you can't find what you're looking for in our recommendations:


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