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

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

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.

With the effects of everything that’s been going on with Covid-19, Brexit, shipping container shortages etc there’s a shortage of some brands of bikes, however stock does come back in so it’s worth keeping an eye on a bike you like.

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. 

In a hurry?  Here’s our pick of the best 16″ wheel bikes

Hassle free and low cost:  Rent a 16″ wheel bike from The Bike Club for a low monthly fee and exchange for a larger size when they outgrow it.

They only stock Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bikes, so you know you’re getting a quality bike, without the upfront cost.  

Newest bike on the block:  Launched in late August 2021 the Hornit HERO 16 has a maintenance free belt drive rather than a chain, and is one of the lightest 16″ kids bikes around

Big name bike:  The Giant ARX 16 is a good choice if you want something different from the more popular quality kids bike ranges. Better known for their adult bikes, Giant are now making waves with their ARX range of kids bikes

Under £300 pick:  The Vitus 16 is a great spec bike that still comes in under £300 when others have put their prices up. 


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.

Review of Hoy Bonaly 16 by Cycle Sprog

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).

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.

Additional advice:

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Is your child the wrong size for these bikes?

If you start reading this article and find the 16″ wheel bikes on this page are the wrong size for your child, then check out these instead:

If you need a bit more help on how to measure your child and what to look for in each bike, then just sign up for our kids bike buying checklist, which will take you through step by step.

The best bikes for 4 and 5 year olds (16″ wheels) 

Here’s our pick of the best children’s bikes with 16 inch wheels.  We do hope you find one in stock to buy or lease.  Happy cycling! 

Frog 44 – 16″ wheel kids bike – RRP £350



Frog 44 16" wheel bike for 4 and 5 year olds

FROG 44 key data:

Price: £350
Monthly rental: from £13.99 per month
Typical Age range: 4-5 years
Minimum inside leg: 44 cm
Bike weight: 6.39 kg
Brakes: Tektro V-Brakes (rim brakes)
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment
Frame and forks: aluminium alloy
Tyres: Kenda K1047, 16″ x 1.5″, Hybrid
Available colours: Electric Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red and Spotty
Frog Bike Warranty:
2 years - extended to 5 years for frame if you register the bike within 28 days of purchase

Frog Bikes have just replaced their best selling Frog 48 sixteen inch wheel bike with the Frog 44 – which is the first upgrade they’ve got planned for their range.   They’ve introduced a lower standover for the frame, meaning children can start riding it with legs 4 cm shorter than before.

The entire bike is 200g lighter, due to smaller tube diameters and thinner tube walls, making it even easier to manoeuvre, and they’ve introduced changes to allow you to increase the handlebar height, giving even more room for growth.

Frog Bikes are one of the most popular kids bike brands, with a range of bikes that stretches from small balance bikes through to large 26″ wheel mountain and hybrid bikes. We’re seeing brand loyalty from families as their children grow through the Frog range, which is a sign of a quality bike.

This is backed up by a free 5 year warranty on frame and forks if you register the bike (2 years if you don’t), and this quality means that they sell extremely well second-hand on eBay.

We’ve reviewed a wide range of Frog Bikes over the years and they’ve always been well designed and specified.

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

Buy New  Rent Now  Buy Used


Giant ARX 16 (£329)


Giant ARX 16 is a great starter bike for a 4 year child. It comes in a range of colours. You can read our impressions of the ARX kids bike range on the Cycle Sprog website


GIANT ARX 16 Key data:

Price: £329
Height range: 105 – 120 cm
Standover height: 38.5 cm
Bike weight: not stated
Brakes:  Giant own brand alloy v-brakes
Frame and forks: Aluminium
Tyres: Innova IA-2084, 16X1.5″
Available colours: Purple, yellow, green, blue, orange, red
Warranty: Frame - lifetime, Forks - 10 years, All other components - 1 year

Giant are one of the world’s biggest bike manufacturers, so it’s surprising that they are quite late to the party (they launched their lightweight ARX range in early 2019 – years after the rest of the market!)   

However, Giant have been able to see what works in a quality kids bike and then bring their experience and expertise in building adult bikes and focus it on making a really decent kids offering.

The ARX 16 is the smallest bike in the range, and as Giant have economies of scale that some of the smaller brands don’t have this means they’ve produced a great value bike without sacrificing quality.

Giant don’t publish their bike weights, but we reviewed the larger ARX 20 and the bike was well towards the lower end of the weight range of bikes in that wheel size, and the ARX16 is a similarly lightweight and well specified bike.

Buy New  Buy Used


Hornit HERO 16 (£369)

Hornit Hero 16 - a kids bike with a belt drive train rather than a chainHornit HERO 16 key data:

Price: £369
Typical Age range: 3.5 – 6 years
Inside leg range:  40.5 – 50.5 cm
Rider height:  105 – 120 cm
Bike weight: 5.7 kg
Frame and forks: Magnesium alloy
Tyres: Kenda 16″ x 1.5”
Available colours:  Red, orange, pink, blue
Frog Bike Warranty:

Lifetime on frame and forks

If you want your child to be seen on the very latest kids bike, which is sure to get everyone asking questions, then take a look at the brand new range of kids bikes from Hornit (who have been in the business of making cycle helemts and other accessories for years)

They launched the Hornit HERO 16 at the end of August 2021.

Not only is it one of the lightest kids bikes in this wheel size, tipping the scales at just 5.7kg, it also has a belt drive rather than the more traditional bike chain.

This is designed to reduce the amount of bike maintenance needed (no more rusty chains to deal with), and also helps stop dirty fingers and clothing.

We’ve reviewed the Hornit AIRO balance bike and were very impressed with how light it was and how well it handled. 

We really like the fact that they’re offering a lifetime warranty on the frame and forks (for the first owner) which is significantly more than most other brands.

Buy Now


Forme Cubley 16 (£260 or from £11 per month)


Forme Cubley 16 kids bike in red - a lightweight kids bike that also comes in pink and blue colours. A great value bike for girls and bikes of ages 4 and 5 years


Forme Cubley 16 Key Data: 

Price new: £260
Leasefrom £9.60 a month
Inside Leg:  49cm to 52cm   
Saddle to floor: 53cm to 57cm
Bike weight: 
Brakes: Tektro V Brake
Frame:  Alloy 6061
Tyres:  Kenda Small Block Eight 16″ x 1.5″
Available colours:  Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange and Pink
Warranty:  Lifetime on Frame

If you’re looking for a lightweight, well specified 16″ wheel bike from a British owned company then it’s well worth considering Forme bikes.

Whilst up until now they’ve been better known for their extensive range of adult bikes, they released a range of quality kids bikes in time for Christmas 2020.

The Cubley 16 has all the features we’re used to seeing from the more established kids bike brands and we predict it won’t be long before they’re the name on everyone’s lips!

Forme are also partnering with The Bike Club, who offer a kids bike rental service. You just pay a monthly rental fee for the Cubley 16 and when your child outgrows the bike you send it back and get the next size up – taking all the hassle and stress out the process, and helping the environment at the same time.

We’re impressed with the low weight of the Forme Cubley 16 – it tips the scales at just 6.64kg.  It’s so important to have a bike that your child can pick up and manoeuvre without struggling if they’re going to enjoy riding it (plus it’s much easier for you when you’re carrying it around).

Forme are based in Derbyshire, where they get proper weather. So they’ve fitted the Cubley 16 with all-terrain tyres plus it has an integrated headset where the bearings are hidden to protect from the rain and give you peace of mind that your Sprog can enjoy year round riding whatever the weather.

Other features on this bike include a size specific crank set for little legs, narrow bars, short reach stem and smaller pedals.

We've been sent a couple of the new Forme Bikes to review - here's our first impressions review of the Forme Cubley.

And if you’re interested, the name Cubley refers to the two Derbyshire villages of Little and Great Cubley that are a short distance apart and collectively known as Cubley.

Buy New  Rent Now  Buy local


Vitus 16 £275


Vitus 16 kids bike - a great value bike for a 4 year old

VITUS 16 Key Data:

Price: £275
Height range: 104 – 122 cm
Inside leg range: 40 – 54cm
Bike weight: 6.8 kg
Frame and forks: Aluminium
Brakes: Tektro V Brake
Vee Rubber 16 x 2.0″ Skinwall
Available colours: Purple, Silver, Anthracite
Warranty: 5 year frame and forks, 2 year components

Vitus Bikes have been revamped for 2021, and continue to have been designed with an attention to detail that usually comes with a much higher price tag. 

You’re getting a lightweight 6061 alloy frame and forks plus the all important child specific components.

The new 2021 Vitus 16 is slightly lighter than previous models as they’ve replaced the old steel forks with alloy, and now comes in at 6.8kg which is reasonable weight and certainly a lot lighter than those cheap steel framed kids bikes available.

It also has a 2 year frame warranty and 12 month parts warranty, so has been designed to last.   We’ve not reviewed this specific bike, but you can read our thoughts of the bigger Vitus 20+ here. 

Buy New     Buy Used


Squish 16 – RRP £300



Squish 16

SQUISH 16 Key Data:

Price: £300
Rental: from £11.49 per month
Minimum height: 104cm
Minimum Inside Leg: 47cm
Bike weight: 6.3kg
Frame and forks: Alloy
Tyres: Kenda
Brakes:  Tektro V-brake – adjustable
Colours:  Red, Purple
Warranty: Frame and Forks – 3 years; components – 1 year (excluding wear and tear)

Squish is a reasonably new brand and makes a good (and slightly cheaper) alternative to some of the more established names.

As you’d expect, the Squish 16 is a lightweight bicycle specified with child-sized components and fitted with good quality Kenda tyres.

We have reviewed the slightly larger Squish 18 and found it to be a good bike, especially if you’re looking to buy something a bit different from what everyone else is riding.

Buy New  Rent Now  Buy Used

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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Cube Cubie 160 (from £369)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

Cube Cubie 160 kids bike - a bike for a 4 year old with a rear coaster brake

CUBE CUBIE 160 Key Data:

Price: from £369
Standover height:  44.6cm
Bike weight: 7.4kg
Frame: Alloy
Forks: Steel
Tyres: Cube own brand
Brakes:  Front: Alloy Cantilever; Rear: Coaster Brake
Colours:  Black/Green or Rose/Coral
Cube Bike Warranty: Frame 6 years; rest of bike 2 years

If your Cycle Sprog is going to be doing a lot of off-road riding, for example at trail centres, then the Cube 160 16″ wheel bike will make them look the part. It’s styled on Cube’s adult mountain biking range but has child sized components suited for a 4 or 5 year old.

IMPORTANT: With this bike, it’s worth noting that there is a rear coaster brake, which means your child must back pedal to stop, as well as using the more common front rim brake.

Some kids (and parents) love this, others don’t – they tend to be more popular in the US and Europe than the UK, but are useful if your child is not yet able to use the brake levers to stop.

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

It’s not the lightest bike in this list, coming in at 7.5 kg, but the rear coaster brake will add weight to the aluminium frame and components.

We’ve reviewed a number of high end Cube kids bikes and have been impressed with their durability and quality, although haven’t tested this specific bike.

Buy New    Buy Used


Woom 3 – 16″ wheel bike (£350)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

WOOM 3 16" kids bike from Austria is now available in the UK


WOOM 3 Key data:

Price: £350
Typical Age range: 5 to 7 years
Inside leg range: 47 – 54 cm
Bike weight: 5.6 kg
Brakes:  Tektro V-brake (rim)
Features:  High handlebar position for upright riding; colour coded rear brake lever; mudguards and kickstand available as extras
Frame and forks: Aluminium
Tyres: Kenda Small Block 16 x 1.5″
Available colours: blue, purple, red, yellow, green
Warranty: 2 years

Woom are an Austrian kids bike company and their products have recently become available in the UK. Think of them as the central European equivalent of Islabikes in terms of attention to detail, and you’re not far off the mark.

The Woom 3 weighs in at just 5.6 kg making it one of the lightest 16″ wheel bike we’ve reviewed.   This is due to almost every part on the Woom 3 being made from lightweight aluminium.

The bike can be upgraded to have a kickstand – ideal for neat storage and preventing the bike from getting thrown on the ground.

A nice touch is that the rear brake block and the rear brake lever both have green on them, so you can call out to your child to pull on the green brake – simple but effective!

Our 4 year old reviewer loved riding the Woom 3 – you can read her dad’s thoughts here.

Buy New     Buy Used


Click here for your free guide


Islabikes Cnoc 16 (RRP £400)



New look Islabikes Cnoc kids bike


ISLABIKES CNOC 16 key data:

Price: £400
Rental: from £11.70 per month
Typical Age range: 4 years +
Minimum Height: 104 cm
Inside Leg: 42 – 52cm
Bike weight: 5.6kg
Brakes:  Aluminium mini V-brake (rim)
Frame and forks: aluminium
Tyres: Islabikes Mixte, 16″ x 1.35  folding with puncture protection and reflective sidewall
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment, mudguards can be fitted, slim handlebar grips, ergonomic saddle
Available colours: Orange, pink or teal
Warranty: 5 year on frame and forks and a 2 year on parts

At the top end of the price spectrum of kids bikes, Islabikes are the original quality kids bike manufacturers. When you buy an Islabikes product you’re buying over a decade of obsessive attention to detail from a company who are synonymous with creating bikes designed for children.

Islabikes upgraded their entire range in October 2019, with a new look and further improvements to the specification.

The new look 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.

You’ll notice that unlike many of its competitors the Cnoc 16 has a chain guard, to protect clothes and fingers from the greasy chain – we all know how inquisitive a 4 year old can be!

They’re so well made they’ll last however many siblings/cousins/friends need to ride it. This all comes at a price, although you should recoup a large part of the £320 tag when you sell it on – Islabikes sell like hot cakes on eBay and other forums.  There have been slight modifications to the spec and design over the years, but they’ve always been great bikes. The most recent version that was superseded in October 2019 weighed in at 6.1kg with pedals.

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. 

Buy New  Rent Now  Buy Used



Black Mountain Bikes (£349/£449) – out of stock until late 2021


The Black Mountain KAPEL and HUTTO are a bike with an extendable frame so the bike grows with your child


Price: £449
Typical Age range: 5 to 7.5 years
Height range: 110cm to 128cm
Bike weight: 8.1kg (this bike has gears and bigger wheels which makes it heavier)
Brakes: Tektro V-brake (rim)
Frame: Adjustable “growing” lightweight frame with two size settings
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Go Lo seatpost; drive belt (not chain); balance bike conversion kit available as optional extra
Tyres: Schwalbe Black Jack fitted to 18″ wheels (see below for details of why these wheels are bigger) Gears:  Yes – 7 gears (Sunrace 7 speed, 11-28 x 32T)
Available colours: Neon Green, Azure Blue, Orange, Purple
Black Mountain Bike Warranty:
3-years on frame and forks; 2-years on non-consumable components. Warranty can be passed onto new user if you sell on (must inform Black Mountain of change of ownership)


As above, except the following changes:

Price: £349
Typical Age range: 4.5 – 7 years
Height range: 102cm to 121cm
Bike weight: 6.1kg
Components: drive belt (not chain); balance bike conversion kit included
Tyres: Kenda Small Block 8 on 16″ wheels
Gears: No
Available colours: Sky blue rather than Azure blue
Black Mountain Bike Warranty: Warranty also covers the belt-drive system

OK – the headline costs of these bikes may be a bit startling, but the thing to know about Black Mountain bikes is that you’re actually getting two (and sometimes three) bikes in one. They’re a new company based in South Wales and are proving really popular with our readers.

Their bikes have a really clever “growing frame” which means that when your child outgrows the original frame size you can adjust the frame and the gearing to make it last much longer – meaning you get at least two bikes for your money.

The KAPĒL comes with bigger wheels than the other bikes on this page, but the bike is designed to suit a typical 5 year old, so it doesn’t feel as if your child is riding a bike that is too big for them.

Another clever feature about these bikes is the fact that they can start out in balance bike mode if needed, so your child can progress from learning to balance through to pedalling all without you needing to buy a new bike. This is also handy is a younger sibling turns out not be ready for pedals at the same time as the older one.  If your child does need this option you’re getting three bikes in one.

This makes the Black Mountain a great choice if your child is currently using stabilisers and you want to get them pedalling, as they can get used to balancing and picking up speed plus using braking before you add the pedals.

If you’re wondering if it actually works, read this review about how getting a Black Mountain Bike changed one young girl’s attitude to getting on a bike. 

Black Mountain Kapel Mode 1 Small

A “growing” bike is a particularly good idea with the disruption Coronavirus is causing – kids bikes are selling really fast and it’s going to take while before new stock arrives, so having a bike that will grow with your child provides peace of mind.

The larger KAPĒL (£449) has 18″ wheels and replaces the need for a 16″ and 18″ wheel bike and is suitable for children 110cm to 128cm tall.

It’s possible to buy an additional balance bike kit for the KAPĒL if your child (or a younger sibling) needs it.

This larger bike also comes with gears, which they can use if they’re capable. The gearing, plus the bigger wheels are what adds additional weight to this bike compared to the other bikes at this price point.

The smaller SKØG (£349), is designed to replace a large balance bike, 14″ and 16″ wheel bike and is suitable for kids 102cm to 121cm tall, and you don’t need to pay extra for the balance bike option.

Buy New  Buy Used

Forme Hartington 16 (£200)

Hartington 16 kids Dutch style city bike with wicker basket for ages 4 to 6 years


Price: £ 200
Typical Age range: 4 to 6 years;
Inside leg: 40 to 54cm
Saddle to floor:  55 to 63cm
Brakes: Alloy Caliper (V-brakes)
Frame: 6061 alloy;
Forks:  Steel
Kenda 16 x 1.75″
Bike Weight: 10.27kg
Available colours: Violet, pink, sky blue
Warranty: Lifetime on 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.

The Forme Hartington 16 is quite a lot heavier than most of the other bikes listed, so is suited to a more sedate style of cycling.

Buy New  Buy Local

Ridgeback Dimension 16 (RRP £370)


Ridgeback Kids Bike Dimensions


Price: £370
Height range: 110 – 120 cm
Bike weight: 6.8 kg
Brakes: PROMAX TX-107C (V-brakes)
Frame and forks: 6061 heat treated aluminium
Tyres: Vee Speedster 16 X 2.00
Available colours: Lilac, Lime
Ridgeback Kids Bike Warranty: All bikes have a limited warranty and components are covered for one year from date of purchase – all to the original purchaser

The Dimension 16 is the premium model in Ridgeback’s kids bike range, and it’s interesting to see what and additional £90 gets you over their budget range.

If you compare the pictures of the two bike you can immediately see the difference in the spoke count and the geometry of the bike.  The components such as the brakes and chainset are better quality and your child will notice this, especially if they are riding longer distances more frequently.   As Ridgeback say in the marketing blurb – the Dimension 16 is “ideal for small riders who like to ride more often”.

A number of our readers have reported that their Dimension has been passed down between siblings and is still going strong.

Buy New   Buy Used


Puky 16″ wheel bikes (from £175)

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

Puky 16″ Key Data:

Frame: Steel
  From £175
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
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


Carrera Cosmos 16 (£170)

Carrera Cosmos 16 - bike for a 6 year old girl

CARERRA COSMOS 16  Key data:

Price: £170
Typical Age range: 5 to 7 years
Height range: 112 to 127 cm
Bike weight: 6.8kg (approx)
Brakes:  Tektro V-brake (rim)
Frame and forks: Aluminium
Tyres: Kenda
Available colours: blue, purple
Warranty: Frame and Forks – lifetime guarantee – all other parts 1 year.

Carrera is one of Halford’s in-house brands and are one of the only kids bikes brand we’d recommend you buy from that particular shop for a 4 or 5 year old.

The Carrera children’s bikes are significantly lighter than the steel framed bikes in the rest of the Halfords range.

The Carrera Cosmos has an aluminum frame and child sized components, which means your child will be able to ride the bike easily, and more importantly safely.

If you can afford to buy a lightweight bike over a heavier, cheaper alternative then you should really see a difference in how easily your child rides it and also in the amount of use they get out of the bike.

Buy New    Buy Used


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Ridgeback MX16 / Melody – RRP £200

Ridgeback MX 16 kids bike Black Friday deal


Price: £200
Height range: 110 – 120 cm
Bike weight: 8.8 kg
Brakes: Own brand aluminium v-brakes
Frame: Aluminium
Forks: Steel
Tyres: Vee VRB 268 16 x 1.75″
Available colours: Green, red, yellow, purple
Ridgeback Kids Bike Warranty: All bikes have a limited warranty and components are covered for one year from the date of purchase – all to the original purchaser

The Ridgeback MX and Melody are Ridgeback’s budget range of 16″ wheel bikes, so do be aware that you’re getting a heavier bike than the other bikes featured on this page.

However, we’ve included these bikes as they are worth considering if your child isn’t going to be cycling too far, and you don’t want to splash out on one of the lighter bikes featured.

You’ll definitely notice a weight and quality difference compared to all the other kids bikes on this page (for example it has a very basic steel chainset and the wheels have a much higher number of spokes – which makes them heavier).

However, the frame is aluminium, so it’s going to be a lot lighter than a heavy steel framed cheap bike, plus Ridgeback are an established bike brand in the business of making bikes, and not toys. This means these bikes are a much better choice than a catalogue “toy bike” with cartoon characters on it.

Buy New Buy Used

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Early Rider Belter 16 – RRP £359

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 16×2.0 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 – Early Rider Belter


These bikes have all been discontinued in recent years, but it’s really worth keeping an eye on eBay or other secondhand forums.

Wiggins Chartres / Macron 16

Wiggins Chartres 16 inch wheel kids bike


Price new in 2020: £220
Typical Age range: 5-7 years
Minimum height: 112-127 cm
Bike weight: 6.4 kg
Brakes: V-Brakes (rim brakes)
Frame and forks: aluminium
Tyres: Kenda 16 x 1.5″
Available colours: Red, Green
Wiggins Bike Warranty:
Frame and Forks – lifetime guarantee – all other parts 1 year

Wiggins kids bike range has been a very popular choice with Cycle Sprog readers, as it offered a well specified, lightweight bike for a very reasonable price. 

Sadly Wiggins Kids Bikes were discontinued early in 2021, but they are still really popular on secondhand websites such as eBay.  

The 16″ wheel bike was renamed from the “Macron” to the “Chartres” in 2019, when it also got a complete makeover.  This does mean you’ll often find them referred to by the old name if buying secondhand. 

Buy Used


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This post was first published on 27th November 2017 and updated in August 2021 to reflect new stock availability and prices



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


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


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



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!!


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?


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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