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.

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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.

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

The bikes in this post 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 by 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.

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.

COVID-19 UPDATE - September 2020

There was a huge rush on the sale of kids bikes at the start of lockdown and there is now shortage of new kids bikes across the UK.  

If you need a bike urgently (e.g. for a birthday present) then check out this post Help! Where can I buy a kids bike with quick delivery?

We've keep all our links to new bikes in place in this article, so you can check retailers availability of stock, but we've also added in links for you to look for bikes secondhand (in green).   All the bikes we list are quality bikes built to high standards and make great secondhand buys. 

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

Vitus 16 £250


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

VITUS 16 Key Data:

Price: £250
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:  Vitus 16 

BUY SECONDHAND:  The Vitus range of kids bikes is relatively new, so they don’t come up on eBay very often

Black Mountain Bikes (£349/£449)


KAPĒL Black Mountain bikes bike that 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 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 girls 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 NOW:  Black Mountain Bikes are only available direct from their website.  

BUY SECONDHAND: The first set of SKOG’s are just starting to appear on Ebay. 

Click here for your free guide

Frog 44 – 16″ wheel kids bike – RRP £300


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

FROG 44 key data:

Price: £300
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.

BUY NEW:  The Frog 44

SAVE £5 ON FROG BIKES AT TREDZ: Sign up for the Tredz Bikes newsletter (you can do this from the bottom on any bike page) and they'll immediately send you a code to get £5 off your first purchase

BUY SECONDHAND:  The old style FROG 48 is readily available secondhand on eBay and makes a great choice for a slightly taller child. This model came supplied with muduards, so ask if they’re available if not fitted.

Hoy Bonaly 16 (£300)


HOY BONALY 16 key data:

Price: £300
Typical Age range: 4 to 6 years
Minimum Inside Leg: 46cm
Minimum Height: 104 cm
Bike weight: 5.9 kg incl pedals
Brakes:  Tektro alloy mini-V with short reach levers (rim)
Additional features: Mudguard fitting points,  easy carry saddle
Frame and forks: alloy
Tyres: Kenda K193
Available colours: Pink, Blue, Green, Orange
Warranty: Evans Cycles website says "All products ordered from Evans Cycles come with a full warranty which covers manufacturing faults and defects in workmanship."

Sir Chris Hoy is one of the world’s most successful track cyclists, and he’s put his name behind a really quality kids bike range which is available exclusively at Evans Cycles.

The Hoy Bonaly 16 is the smallest pedal bike in a range which is renowned for being hard-wearing – Hoy Bikes are used by British Cycling Go-Ride instructors, who loan them out at races and events up and down the country.

The Hoy Bikes Bonaly range has been totally redesigned, and it is now one of the lightest weight 16″ wheel bikes out there.  It comes with all the child specific components you’d expect.

Our 5 year old tester Jess reviewed the Hoy Bonaly 16 and was very impressed with its performance.

BUY NEW: The HOY BONALY 16 from Evans Cycles

BUY SECONDHAND:  There’s usually a few Hoy Bonaly 16’s available on eBay. The designed changed in 2019 so being sold second hand may be slightly heavier than the new bikes, but it’s still a really great spec bike. 


Cube Cubie 160 (£299)

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: £299
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: The Cube Cubie 160

SAVE £5 ON THIS BIKE AT TREDZ: Sign up for the Tredz Bikes newsletter (you can do this from the bottom on any bike page) and they'll immediately send you a code to get £5 off your first purchase

BUY SECONDHAND: Cube Kid 160 sometimes come up on eBay – check here to see if there’s one available in your area. It’s an earlier incarnation of this bike


B’Twin 900 Alloy 16″ wheel kids bike (£160)

BTwin 16 inch wheel kids bike from Decathlon

B’TWIN 900 ALLOY 16″ key data: 

Price: £160
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
Forks:  Not known
Features:  Mudguard and fully enclosed chain guard
Tyres: Own brand
Available colours: Blue
B’Twin Kids Bike Warranty: Lifetime (frame, stem, handlebars). Availability of spare parts: 2 years

We’ve never listed Decathlon kids bikes on our pages before, because they have, up until very recently, only sold very heavy steel framed 16″ wheel bikes which don’t get 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 better reviews on their website and in various online forums and groups.

It’s worth remembering that most of the other bike manufacturers listed on this page have been making lightweight, well specified kids bikes for years.

Decathlon are very new to this, and some of the reviews on their website reflect their lack of understanding of the finer details of kids bike design.  The wording in their product description also gives away how much of a change this is for them.

However, for the price, this is certainly a huge 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 that Decathlon also sell (from 9.2kg).

This bike comes with a lifetime guarantee on the frame, stem and handlebars and 2 years on other parts, but it’s not been around long enough to determine how it will actually last being handed down to numerous siblings.

Buy new: B’Twin 900 Alloy 16″ wheel kids bike from Decathlon

Buy secondhand:  This bike is brand new for 2020 so won’t be found on eBay yet

Islabikes Cnoc 16 (RRP £320)



New look Islabikes Cnoc kids bike

ISLABIKES CNOC 16 key data:

Price: £320
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 light weight (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.

Buy new: Available direct from Islabikes

Buy secondhand: There are usually plenty of Islabikes Cnoc 16’s on eBay.

Just a note – 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.

Giant ARX 16 (£235)



Giant ARX 16 Purple - best bike for a 4 year old

GIANT ARX 16 Key data:

Price: £235
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 quality kids bike market (they launched their lightweight ARX range in early 2019 – years after the rest of the market!)  There are only three bikes in the ARX range – the ARX 16 being the smallest.

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.

They also have economies of scale that some of the smaller brands don’t have – making this a great value bike without sacrificing quality.

Giant don’t publish their bike weights, but we reviewed the ARX 20 and the bike was well towards the lower end of the weight range.

BUY NEW:  Giant ARX 16

BUY SECONDHAND:  There are very few used bikes at the moment as they’re so new, but it’s worth checking on eBay just in case. 

Note that Giant used to make a range of heavier kids bikes which do also come up for sale secondhand. 


Wiggins Chartres 16 (Was £220 – now £176!)

Wiggins Chartres 16 inch wheel kids bike


Price: £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

Available exclusively from Halfords the original Wiggins bikes have proved a popular choice with parents looking for a good value, lightweight bike with child sized proportions.

Wiggins Bikes updated their range of kids bikes in 2019, with fresh new colours and upgrades to the specification.

The new look bikes come in two colour schemes, red and green, and can be ordered online and either delivered to your home or picked up at your local Halfords store.

BUY NEW:  Wiggins Chartres 16 at Halfords

BUY SECONDHAND:  Wiggins Bikes got a redesign in 2019, and the 16″ wheel bike was renamed from the “Macron”.  These earlier bikes are quite often available secondhand on eBay

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

Frame: Two versions available – aluminium and steel
  £204 (alu)  £175 (steel)
Inside leg:  47cm – 56cm (alu) 45cm – 54cm (steel)
Child height: 110cm – 127cm (alu) 109cm – 125cm (steel)
Bike weight: 8.8kg (alu)  and 9.5 kg (steel)
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 indestructable 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 – with a heavier steel framed and a lighter aluminium framed bike available.   The attraction of these bikes is the city bike style step through frame, a back pedal; rear 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.

BUY NEW:  Puky 16″ wheel bikes


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Squish 16 – RRP £260 


Squish 16

SQUISH 16 Key Data:

Price: £260
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.

The Squish range can be bought online via eBay plus found in independent bike shops around the UK click here to find your nearest dealer. 

BUY NEW:  The Squish 16 is available new on eBay

BUY SECONDHAND:  As Squish bikes become more established, there’s a growing number available for sale on eBay


Woom 3 – 16″ wheel bike (£300)

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended bike

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


WOOM 3 Key data:

Price: £300
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:  The Woom 3 is available exclusively in the UK from The Little Bike Company.  If you’re outside of the UK go to Woom bikes website. 

BUY SECONDHAND:  Woom Bikes haven’t been in the UK very long so there’s not very many available used, but it’s worth checking eBay just in case

Click here to download


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 together with the Wiggins range (see above) are the only kids bikes 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: Carrera kids bikes from Halfords

BUY PRELOVED:  There are usually quite a few 16″ wheel Carrera kids bikes available on eBay.  The bike used to the called the Carrera Star a couple of years ago. 


Pinnacle Koto 16 (£220)

Pinnacle Koto 16 inch wheel bike for child aged 4 or 5 years old


Price: £220
Typical Age range: 4-6 years
Minimum inside leg: 46cm
Minimum height: 104cm
Bike weight: 8.0 kg
Brakes: Tektro Mini V-Brakes (rim brakes)
Components: Adjustable brake levers, Allan key seatpost adjustment
Frame: aluminium alloy
Fork: Steel
Tyres: Kenda Tanwall 16 x 1.75
Available colours: Red, Yellow, Pink, White
Pinnacle Bike Warranty:
Evans Cycles website says "All products ordered from Evans Cycles come with a full warranty which covers manufacturing faults and defects in workmanship."

Pinnacle kids bikes get rave reviews from parents who are amazed at how light they are compared to their child’s previous “princess” or “pirate” bike.

The Pinnacle Koto 16  is obviously heavier than the more expensive models on this page, but it’s still a lot lighter than the steel frames bikes you find marketed to this age group.

They come with a lightweight aluminium frame and child sized, adjustable components which makes them fun and safe to ride.

BUY NEW: Pinnacle Koto 16 from Evans Cycles

BUY USED:  The Pinnacle is one of Evans Cycles best selling kids bike ranges, so there are usually a few available secondhand on eBay.  


Raleigh Performance 16 MTB (£250)

Raleigh Performance 16 2020 Purple kids bikeRALEIGH PERFORMANCE 16 MTB key data:

Price: £250
Typical Age range: 5 years +
Inside leg range: 43cm – 52cm
Bike weight: 6.6 kg
Brakes:  Tektro aluminium V-brakes (rim)
Frame: Aluminium
Forks: 4130 Chromoly Steel
Tyres: Kenda K1047, small block eight, 16 x 1.5
Available colours: blue, purple
Raleigh Kids Bike Warranty: Standard 12 months – register bike via Raleigh’s website

Raleigh is one of the most historic bicycle brands in the world, with a heritage that goes all the way back to 1885.

The start of the new millennium signified a period of decline for Raleigh, with financial woes and changes of ownership coupled to a decline in quality. Thankfully the wilderness years have been consigned to history and this world renowned brand is back on the map with a great range of bikes for all ages.

This lightweight kids bike is one worthy of attention, especially for any young budding mountain bikers.

The Raleigh Performance 16 has a lightweight aluminum frame, child specific components and tyres suitable for tarmac and gravel.

Raleigh are aiming this bike at those budding 5 year old MTB’ers not quite ready to have a bike with suspension and gears.

Buy new:  Raleigh Performance 16″ wheel bike from Tredz

Buy secondhand:  The Raleigh Performance 16 sometimes comes up secondhand on eBay.  However be careful as Raleigh have also made some very heavy steel framed kids bikes, so check what you’re buying before you part with your cash. 

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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 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 chain set 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:  Ridgeback 16″ wheel bikes at Tredz

SAVE £5 ON THIS BIKE AT TREDZ: Sign up for the Tredz Bikes newsletter (you can do this from the bottom on any bike page) and they'll immediately send you a code to get £5 off your first purchase

Buy secondhand:  There are usually a lot of Ridgeback MX bikes for sale secondhand on eBay at very reasonable prices. The “girls” version is sometimes called the Melody. 

Ridgeback Dimension 16 (RRP £270)

Ridgeback Dimension 162 wheel kids bike for 5 year old


Price: £270
Height range: 110 – 120 cm
Bike weight: 6.8 kg
Brakes: PROMAX TX-107C (V-brakes)
Frame and forks: Aluminium
Tyres: Vee Speedster 16 X 2.00
Available colours: Pink, blue
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 £70 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 the Ridgeback Dimension 16 from Tredz  

SAVE £5 ON THIS BIKE AT TREDZ: Sign up for the Tredz Bikes newsletter (you can do this from the bottom on any bike page) and they'll immediately send you a code to get £5 off your first purchase

Buy secondhand:  The Ridgeback Dimension 16 occasionally comes up secondhand on eBay. Be careful not to confuse with the Ridgeback MX 16 or Melody 16 which are a lower specification bike


Wild 16 (£250)Wild Bike 16 Inch Black Friday deal on bikes for a 4 year old

WILD 16 Key Data:

Price: £250 (check the price if you have a Go Outdoors discount card)
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: 12 month warranty. If you have a warranty concern please contact your local Go Outdoors store. Wild Bikes say “They are built to last and we expect your bike to last many years if properly maintained.”

Wild Bikes are the new in-house bike from Go Outdoors. 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.

It’s available in-store but you can also easily order online for home delivery.

BUY NEW: Wild 16 kids bike from Go Outdoors

The Wild Bike range was only released in Winter 2018, so there aren’t many second hand bikes available yet.


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This post was first published on 27th November 2017 and updated in May 2020 to reflect new stock availability and prices

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  1. Nicola says:

    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 says:

      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

  2. Carolann says:


    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!!

  3. Jamie says:

    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 says:

      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

  4. Patty says:

    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 says:

      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

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