Best 26″ hybrid bikes for kids 2024

Whether your child is riding to school every day, heading out on leisure rides at the weekend, or a mixture of the two, investing in one of the best 26” hybrid bikes for kids is a surefire way to prolong their enjoyment of cycling.

Cycling is something that many of us enjoyed as children, but sadly few continue to pedal into adulthood. Among the many reasons for this, riding heavy bikes that aren’t fit for purpose is a common factor. That’s why it’s important to pick one of the best 26” kids’ bikes, that’s built to last and fun to ride.

At Cycle Sprog we only recommend products we’d happily buy for our own children, so in our roundup below, you’ll find a list of options that we’ve either had hands-on experience with and loved, or that come with a great reputation and are recommended by our readers.

If you’re in a hurry, we’ve included three quick picks to cover a range of budgets. For those of you with more time to read and explore all the options, we’ve ordered our list by price in ascending order, so there should be something to suit all budgets.

We’ve also included some buying advice at the bottom of this article, answering the questions most people ask. You can use the jump links below to skip straight there if you need to.

Once you’ve chosen your child’s new bike, be sure to kit them out with one of the best bike helmets for teenagers. And don’t forget, since they’ve now grown into a bigger bike, they may need a bigger size helmet too. Make sure you get the right size by following our guide to how to measure your child’s head for a bike helmet.

Best 26" kids' bikes: two children riding side by side towards the camera on mountain bikes on a gravel path

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Does your child need a 26" bike?

Before you go ahead and make a purchase though, if you haven’t already, we recommend you double check that 26” is the correct size bike for your child. It’s difficult to say exactly what age they should be when they need to progress to a 26” wheel bike, because all children grow at different rates. So if you’re unsure if you’re in the right place, take a look at our guide to how to choose the right size bike for your child’s age, and follow the guidance in how to easily measure your child for a new bike.

Quick picks: for parents in a hurry

If you’re pushed for time, these are our top picks for the best 26” hybrid bikes for kids that suit a range of budgets.

  • Best budget option: B’Twin Riverside 900 - £329.99 - Well-built, our reviewer loved it, good value for money.
  • Best mid-range option: Boardman Junior 26 - £420.00 - Exceptional build, best gear range for hill climbing.
  • Best premium option: Frog City 67 - £590.00 - Fully equipped with rack and mudguards, perfect for school.
  • Best second hand option: Islabikes Beinn 26 - £varies - Some serious bargains to be found on ebay.

Best 26” hybrid bikes

Here’s our roundup of what we think are the best 26” hybrid bikes for children and teenagers. Ranging from £300-£600, you can expect to see a variety of different quality components on offer, though all the options included here are of a quality that we’d be happy to put our own children on.

Islabikes Beinn 26

Best second hand option

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids: An Islabike Beinn 26 on a blank background

  • Price: from £300 (second hand)
  • Weight: 8.8kg
  • Inside leg: 62–74cm
  • Gears: SRAM, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Islabikes Mini V-brakes
  • Tyres: Islabikes Mixte, 26" x 1.5

Buy if: You have time to wait for a serious secondhand bargain

Islabikes were known for producing some of the best purpose-built kids' bikes in the UK. While unfortunately they've now stopped production and it's no longer possible to get them brand new, if you've got time to keep an eye on ebay and Facebook Marketplace, you can save a lot of money on what is an incredibly good bike. The Beinn 26 is their hybrid offering for this age group, and it's super lightweight at just 8.8kg.

For a more detailed look at the bike, check out our Islabikes Beinn 26 review.

B’Twin Riverside 900

Best budget hybrid

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The B’Twin Riverside 900 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £329.99
  • Weight: 10.5kg
  • Height: 135–150cm
  • Gears: Unbranded, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Unbranded, V-brakes
  • Tyres: Unbranded, 20 x 1.75”

Buy if: They’re just starting out and you want good value for money

B’Twin tends to offer quality budget bike models, and the Riverside 900 26” is no exception. 

Weighing 10.5kg, it’s not the lightest in this list but it’s not ridiculously heavy like some very cheap bike-shaped toys you’ll find on the market. It comes with 8-speed gearing with an 11-34 cassette that offers a decent range of gears. V-brakes are reliable and easily maintained at home, while the chunky 26 x 1.75” hybrid tyres with mixed tread means they’ll stand up well to slippery surfaces as well.

Check out our B’Twin Riverside 900 rider review for a full breakdown of why we love this bike.

Boardman Junior 26

Best for hilly areas

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The Boardman Junior 26 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £420.00
  • Weight: 11kg
  • Inside leg: 66–78cm
  • Gears: Microshift, 9-speed
  • Brakes: Clarks mechanical disc, 160mm rotor
  • Tyres: Vee Rubber Speedster 26 x 1.5"

Buy if: They're going to be climbing lots of hills

For less than £100 more than the B’Twin, this bike comes with all-branded components, a wider range of gears, and mechanical disc brakes for better braking in wet weather. It’s a little heavier than the Riverside at 11kg, but offers exceptional value for money.
The drivetrain comprises 9-speed Microshift gearing with an 11-42 cassette, meaning they’ll have a good easy climbing gear if there are hills to contend with, while the slick Vee Rubber Speedster tyres offer less rolling resistance and more efficiency on-road. Plus at 1.5” in width, they’ll smooth out the bumps and keep the rider comfortable.

Squish 26

Best for younger riders

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The Squish 26 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £424.00 (less when buying used)
  • Weight: 9.3kg
  • Height: 145–165cm
  • Gears: Shimano Tourney 8-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro Mini V-Brakes
  • Tyres: Cadence Lightweight Multi-Terrain, 26 x 1.5”

Buy if: They still like bright colours and fun graphics

Not every child wants to ride a 'grown up bike', and if you're buying for someone who still wants something brightly coloured and covered in fun graphics, then Squish is the brand for you. Plus you can get a serious bargain if you look for it second hand - you can save at least £100 usually. The Squish 26 is frequently available through ebay and Facebook Marketplace, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for one. It comes with two frame size options — 13” and 15” — so you can choose based on your child’s height and inner leg length.

It features Shimano Tourney 8-speed gearing with an 11-32 cassette, which should be sufficient for most regions, though it might struggle up the steeper inclines.

Giant ARX 26

Best for lots of colour options

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The Giant ARX 26 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £445.00
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Height: 145–165cm
  • Gears: Shimano Altus 8-speed
  • Brakes: Unbranded, V-brake
  • Tyres: Innova 26 x 1.5”

Buy if: Your youngster is particular about their bike’s appearance

We all know that some children are adamant about having a bike that’s their favourite colour. The Giant ARX 26 is not only a great quality hybrid, but it also comes in four colourways: red, blue, purple and black.

The frame is made from Giant’s ALLUX-Grade aluminium, which is lightweight and durable, reflected in the bike’s overall weight of 9.5kg. It’s equipped with Shimano Altus 8-speed gearing with an 11-34 cassette, for decent gradient coverage. Unbranded V-brakes save on the overall cost but still offer reliable braking, and slick 1.5” tyres will provide smooth and comfortable rolling.

Pinnacle Kauri 26

Best for multi-purpose use

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The Pinnacle Kauri 26 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £479.99
  • Weight: 11.6kg
  • Height: 143 - 155cm
  • Gears: Shimano Altus, 9-speed
  • Brakes: Clarks Clout Hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors
  • Tyres: Deli 26 x 1.95”

Buy if: You need a do-it-all bike for school runs and weekend trails

If your child never goes anywhere without their bike and loves getting muddy at the weekends, the Pinnacle Kauri 26 rides like a hybrid on-road but also comes with great off-road capabilities. Thanks to its hydraulic disc brakes, 9-speed Shimano Altus gearing with an 11-34 cassette, and knobbly 1.95” Deli tyres, it can double up as a rigid mountain bike for weekend trail rides while still handling the school runs during the week. Expect superior braking performance in all weather conditions and enough gears to handle most undulating terrain. 

Frog 67

Best for riding to school

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids: A Frog 67 on a blank background

  • Price: £490.00
  • Weight: 9.4kg
  • Inseam: 63-76cm
  • Gears: Microshift, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro V-brakes
  • Tyres: Kenda K1047, 26x1.5, Hybrid

Buy if: They need something practical for all weathers

Frog bikes are hugely popular for a reason: they're well-built and thought through, and very practical. While not pictured, the Frog 67 actually comes equipped with full length mudguards, making it great for year-round use. With a rack added onto the back (not included but compatible), it would make an excellent bike for riding to school. If your child also has a skirt to contend with as part of their school uniform, there's also a step-through version listed below, which has the rack and a kickstand included.

Woom Original 6

Best for taller children

Best 26" hybrid bikes for kids - The Woom 6 bike on a blank background

  • Price: £579.00
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Height: 140–165cm
  • Gears: SRAM X4, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Woom V-brakes
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Little Joe, 26 x 2.00″

Buy if: You need a great quality bike with a higher standover

Woom bikes, while on the pricier side, offer excellent quality that lasts. The Woom Original 6 is lightweight, durable, and equipped with SRAM X4 8-speed gearing with an 11-34 cassette. Paired with a 29T chainring, there’s a nice easy gear for climbing hills. Woom’s own branded V-brakes provide the stopping power, while slightly knobbly 2” wide tyres make it suitable for light off-road riding as well.

With its larger standover height, it would suit taller children well, catering for an inner leg length of 73-86cm. If your child is too tall for other 26” bikes, this could be a winner.

Frog City 67

Best step-through option

A black Frog City 67 city bike on a plain background

  • Price: £590.00
  • Weight: 9.6kg
  • Inseam: 67-76cm
  • Gears: Shimano Altus, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro V-brakes
  • Tyres: Kenda K154, 26"x1.5", City

Buy if: They need a bike that's skirt-friendly or easy to mount

If your child is riding their bike to school every day then you'll want something practical that's kitted out with all the accessories they need, straight off the shelf. The Frog City 67 comes already equipped with mudguards, a rear rack and a kickstand, so all they have to do is strap their bag to it and go. What's more, the step-through frame design is perfect for girls wearing skirts to school, and for any child with mobility issues that makes mounting and dismounting more challenging.

How to choose from the best 26” hybrid bikes for kids

If you still want a bit of buying advice before you make a decision, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.

What age is a 26 inch bike suitable for?

There isn’t a quick and simple answer to this question, because children grow at different rates. What we can say is that usually a 26” kids’ bike is aimed at children over the age of 9, and generally tends to be aimed at the 10-14 age group. 

Having said that, the best way to work out the right size bike for your child is to measure their height and inner leg length. Check out our handy guide about how to easily measure your child for a new bike, to get rid of the guesswork.

Once you've got the measurements you need, put them into our Kids' Bike Search and see what results you get!


Are hybrid bikes good for kids?

Hybrid bikes are good for anyone, as long as they’re the right thing for the type of riding they want to do. Hybrids generally are designed to do it all, as implied by the name, they feature a mixture of road bike and mountain bike qualities.

Hybrid bikes will usually have flat handlebars that put the rider in a more upright position, and slightly thicker tyres (though not as thick as MTB tyres), to smooth out bumps in the road surface. The knobbly tread also offers traction on slippery surfaces, which can be great in wet weather, riding on muddy trails, or in autumn when the ground is covered in soggy leaves.

Unlike a mountain bike, a hybrid is designed to ride more efficiently, which informs the construction of the frame and means it doesn’t have suspension. They’ll usually be fairly lightweight but robust. They can come with a mixture of options when it comes to brakes and gearing. V-brakes are the most affordable option, which are reliable and easier to maintain at home, while disc brakes are the most powerful in all weather conditions. Hybrids usually have a decent range of gears as well, as they’re designed to be ridden just about anywhere.

Most of all, hybrid bikes make for the perfect transportation option because they're very practical and they're usually compatible with accessories like kickstands, rear racks for carrying pannier bags, and mudguards.

How much money should I spend on a 26" hybrid bike for kids?

Obviously budget is an important factor when it comes to choosing a new bike for your child, but it shouldn’t be the deciding one. There are lots of options on the market and we’d say the best ones range between £300 and £600, for a brand new bike.

There are of course cheaper options out there, but once you get into under £200 territory, you’re more likely looking at bike-shaped toys made with cheap materials that won’t last very long. If you want your child to enjoy cycling long-term, then try to stay above £300.

For more on this, we've written extensively about why you shouldn't buy a REALLY cheap new kids bike.

Another great option for saving money is to buy second hand. There are some great bikes being sold through ebay and Facebook Marketplace simply because their owners have outgrown them, and they’ll be available at a fraction of the retail price. So if there’s a bike in this list that you like the look of but it’s out of your price range, check the second hand market, rather than buying a cheaper new bike - you’ll get more for your money.

Another option is to lease a bike through The Bike Club. Our list here covers a range of price tags so hopefully you’ll find something that suits.

Does my daughter/granddaughter need a girls specific bike?

Generally there’s not a huge amount of difference between boys’ and girls’ bikes, in terms of how they’re built. Once you get into adult bike territory, that can change, but 26” hybrid bikes generally tend to be unisex. The only real difference you might see from some manufacturers is in the colour, and some brands still like to produce blue and pink options, while others opt for different colours altogether.

The only consideration that we do think is worth mentioning is if you’re buying a bike for a girl who cycles in skirts and dresses regularly. In which case you might want to check out our guide to the best kids’ city bikes, which have low step-through frames and often feature a chain guard to keep clothing clean.

Still not sure which bike to go for? Try out our Kids' Bike Search below to see the best options on the market.


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