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

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In this article, we take a look at the best 16″ wheel kids bikes designed for children aged 4 and 5 years old.

Usually children this age are either just starting to pedal, or gaining confidence having learnt to ride on a smaller bike.

If you’re looking for the perfect bike for your child, then it will depend on their height, inside leg measurement and riding ability, plus your budget and how often and where it will be ridden.

We list a range of different colour, price and styles of 16" wheel bikes, and include options for long term leasing and buying second hand, so there's hopefully something 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 a 16" wheel bike for?

It goes without saying that all children are different, but on average a 16" bike is aimed at children aged between about  4 and 5 years of age.

16" wheel bikes tend to be sized for children with a minimum height of about 105 cm, with a variety of minimum inside leg measurements from about 40cm upwards.

Measure your child carefully – there’s a big variation in the height and inside leg measurements between a small 4 year old and a tall 5 year old, as well as between different makes of bike.

Please don’t be tempted to buy a bike that is too big – it can be very off-putting (and dangerous) to a 4 year old to have to ride a bike that is too large for them, and it’s unlikely to get the use it deserves.

These articles will help you:

What makes a good 16″ wheel kids bike for a 4 and 5 year old?

The kids bikes recommended in this article are all well specified and lightweight (under 8kg) single gear bikes, with child specific components such as shorter cranks, small reach brakes and small saddles and 16 inch wheels.

The majority of bikes for this age group don’t have gears, as this adds complexity and weight that most children don’t need when they are only 4 years old.

This means that all the bikes featured will be fun and easy to ride and should last several children (and still allow you to sell on at the end, to recoup some of the cost back).

16" wheel not the right size? 

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

The best 14" starter bikes 

The best 18" wheel kids bikes

Big balance bikes for taller children

or use our Kids Bike Finder to quickly find the perfect bike

 

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The best 16" wheel kids bikes

Here's our selection of the best 16" wheel kids bikes currently available.

There are some major supply issues with kids bike at the moment, so we apologise in advance if they're not all available.

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

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Cuda Trace 16

Cuda Trace 16 kids bike in red with orange writing 

Price: £185
Saddle height:  465mm - 580mm
Bike weight: 6.81 kg
Frame and forks: Alloy
Brakes: Alloy V-Brake with Alloy Tektro Junior Short Reach Lever With Adjustable Reach
Available colours:  Red, Blue, Purple
Warranty:  12 months

The Cuda Trace 16 is part of a new range of good value kids bikes.  Cuda used to have two ranges - a high specification, high price "Performance" range, and a budget range.

They've taken the best bits of both (i.e good quality and low price) and merged to make the new Trace range.

Buy New

 

B'Twin 900 Alloy 16" wheel kids bike

 

 

BTwin 16 inch wheel kids bike from Decathlon

B'TWIN 900 ALLOY 16" key data: 

Price: £180
Height range: 105–120cm
Saddle height range: 47.8 to 60.6cm
Bike weight: 7.3 kg
Brakes: Own brand v-brakes - Stop Easy system
Frame: Aluminium
Features:  Mudguard and fully enclosed chain guard
Available colours: Blue or Red
B'Twin Kids Bike Warranty: Lifetime (frame, stem, handlebars). Availability of spare parts: 2 years

We've never listed the BTwin 16" wheel kids bikes on our pages before, because they have, up until very recently, been heavy steel framed bikes which don't get particularly great reviews from parents who have used them for a decent length of time.

However, they have just recently launched a lighter weight aluminum framed 16" wheel bike, which is getting much better reviews on their website and in various online forums and groups.

This is certainly a step up from Decathlons previous offerings, and you'll definitely notice the weight difference between this aluminium framed bike (7.3 kg) and the cheaper steel frame bikes (from 9.2kg).

The bike is fitted with mudguards, a kickstand and a chainguard, which are all great additions, especially if you're riding regularly to school or around town.

Buy Now

 

Puky 16" wheel bikes

 

Puky 16 inch kids pedal bike for 4 and 5 year old with city style step through frame, coaster brake and rear rack for carrying luggage

Price:  From £190
Inside leg:  47cm - 56cm (alu) 45cm - 54cm
Child height: 110cm - 127cm (alu) 109cm - 125cm 
Bike weight: 8.8kg (alu)  and 9.5 kg
Brakes:  Front: Alloy Cantilever; Rear: Backpedal hub brake
Frame: Steel
Colours:  Various
Puky Bike Warranty:

 5-year on frames, forks and handlebars if registered online with Puky within 4 weeks of purchase

Puky are a very reputable German company, who are best known in the UK for their indestructible balance bikes.  They also make a range of kids bikes which have been harder to come by in this country.

Over the past year or so they've become available in the UK.  The attraction of these bikes is the city bike style step through frame, a back pedal rear coaster brake and a rear rack, for those looking for a more continental style of riding.

You must be aware however that these bikes are significantly heavier than most of the other bikes featured - think European kids cycling sedately to kinder garden on flat well maintained cycle paths, which is what these bikes are designed for, not for rugged off road adventures.

However, this isn't your normal type of cheap steel framed bike, which is likely to rust very quickly. Puky coat the entire bike is a special protective powder coating, which means it'll survive whatever weather you throw at it!

Buy New   Buy Used

Wild 16

Wild Bike 16 Inch Black Friday deal on bikes for a 4 year oldRRP: £205
Height range: 100 - 110 cm
Minimum inside leg: 47 cm
Bike weight: 6.3 kg
Frame and forks: Alloy
Brakes:  Tektro alloy with Tektro full alloy short reach levers
Available colours:  Orange, teal
Warranty:  1 year

Wild Bikes are a good value bike. They come with an attractive two-tone paint scheme, and all the child sized components we'd expect to see on a bike at a higher price point.

Whilst we haven't reviewed this bike range, we've seen them in use and have had positive comments from quite a few Cycle Sprog readers.  The range has been designed with younger riders in mind and taken learnings from the leaders in the market.

The Wild 16 is definitely worth considering if you're looking for a lightweight bike at a decent price, and aren't bothered about the kudos of a bigger name.

Buy New

Cube Cubie 160

Cube Cubie 160 2021 Model

The Cube Cubie 160 is styled on Cube’s adult mountain bike range, so looks a lot more grown up than some other little bikes.

It’s worth noting that this bike has a rear coaster brake, which means your child has to back pedal to stop. These brakes tend to be more popular in the US and continental Europe than the UK, but can be useful for children who aren’t yet able to operate more traditional brake levers.

The Cube Cubie 160 comes with a rear mudguard to keep off most of the dirt and a chain guard to keep things clean.

Squish 16

The Squish 16 is a lightweight starter bike specified with child-sized components and fitted with good quality Kenda tyres for confident riding on different surfaces.

We’ve not reviewed this particular bike, but we have tested out the slightly larger Squish 18.  Our reviewer particularly liked the lightweight of the frame, and the ease of steering and braking.

The Squish 16 is available to lease from the Bike Club for a low monthly subscription - when your child grows out of it just send it back and upgrade to a larger bike. 

NEW YEAR OFFER!  1 MONTH FREE plus FREE DELIVERY on all bikes and scooters at the Bike Club! 

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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Early Rider Belter 16

Early Rider Belter Kids Bike

Early Rider Belter key data:

Price: £359
Typical Age range: 4-5 years
Height range: 102-120 cm
Bike weight: 5.9 kg
Brakes: Tektro BX1V
Frame and forks: Hand Brushed AL6061, Forged Drop Outs
Tyres: Vee Speedster 16x2.0 27TPI WB
Available colours: Brushed Alloy
Early Rider Warranty:
1 year

If your child likes shiny things, then it's worth considering the Early Rider Belter.

As with the Hornit HERO range Early Riders have a low maintenance belt drive (no more greasy fingers!).

It's not bad to look at too - and comes laden with high specification components designed for smaller riders.

Buy New

 

Forme Hartington 16

Forme Hartington 16 - a small city bike for a 4 or 5 year old with a step through frame

If you’re looking for a Dutch city style kids bike with a basket on the front then the Forme Hartington 16 is a good option.

It has a low frame and easy-reach brakes, non- slip pedals and a brown wicker basket.

Weighing in at over 10kg, the Forme Hartington 16 is quite a lot heavier than many other kids bikes, so is going to be suited to a more sedate style of cycling.

Islabikes Cnoc 16

Islabikes Cnoc 16 kids bike 2021

Cnoc 16 has everything you want from a first bike in terms of child sized components, longevity and lightweight (5.6kg). As well as great looks it has the brand reputation to back it up.

Mudguards, off-road tyres and a kickstand are available as additional options either at the time of purchase or later.

We’ve reviewed a number of Islabikes over the years and have never failed to be impressed at the quality and attention to detail of these bikes.

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Other 16" wheel bikes

These are other 16" wheel bikes which you may wish to check out if you can't find what you're looking for in our recommendations.

Unfortunately these were unavailable due to supply and distribution issues when we last updated this article in November 2021.

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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Comments

Patty

Hi I have a very short 5 year old. Already very confident on an Islabike Cnoc 14s. Would like to get her on a 16” bike – which one has the lowest seat height? Her older sister had the Carrera cosmos but that is still too big for her. Would the Islabike Cnoc 16 be lower? Or it looks like the new Vitus might be even better? Can you confirm? Thanks

Karen

Hi Patty, Thanks for getting in touch. The Vitus website states that the recommended inside leg for the 16″ is 40 – 54cm which is 2cm less than the Islabikes Cnoc 16. However, we haven’t personally verified that measurement. You also need to remember it can be more than just the leg – you need to also consider your daughter’s reach.
We haven’t been able to do a comparison between these three specific bikes – it might be worth asking on the Family Cycling UK facebook group to see if anyone has experience of these bikes and can help you with measurements of their children. The alternative is to try and find someone locally who has the Islabikes which you could try out. Kind regards Karen

Jamie

Hi just wanted to say this guide has been an amazing help in my search for the right bikes for my little ones. Especialy the tips on 2nd hand buying and how models have changed. Thank you

Penny Millar

Hi Jamie
Thank you for your comment. We’re very pleased to hear that you’ve found the post so helpful and have sourced bikes for your cycle sprogs! We wish you many happy days out on your bikes. Penny

Carolann

Hello,

Thanks for this great blog, so useful!! We went bike shopping for my almost 3 and a half year old daughter today. Tried the Frog 43 and her feet were easily flat on the floor, which I guess is good for balance biking (which she already does well) and for learning to pedal, but we, and the lady in the shop (a reputable independent bike shop) felt the bike wouldn’t last her very long at all. They didn’t have the Frog 48 and we already had the Wild from Go Outdoors in mind so we bought that in the 16’’ size. Only problem is her tip toes only just touch the floor!

Am wondering if we have now bought too big?? The sizing in Go Outdoors suggested that size for 1m upwards but she is 98/99cm… Do we stick with what we have but leave trying to pedal until she is a bit taller?? Would be annoying to spend so much when we know it won’t last, but then I don’t want to make it harder for her either. Confused!!

Nicola

Hello,
Thanks for this brilliant list, really useful. We’re hoping to get our son his first pedal bike for Christmas and have been looking at the Early Rider Belter 16. It’s a very lightweight bike and seems to babe a good spec, so just wondered if there’s a reason why it’s not included here?

Karen

Hi Nicola,
Thanks for getting in touch. We try to include only bikes that are currently available and the Belter 16 hasn’t been in stock in the UK for quite some time so I’d taken it off the list. Their website now says that bikes will be arriving end of October, so once I know it’s available for purchase I can add it back in.
Hope your son enjoys his first pedal bike – exciting times! Karen

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