How We Selected These Kids Bikes
Ive been putting kids on bikes for more than 30 years and have purchased dozens of cycles for my child and for my team riders. During that time, Ive gotten a solid working sense of what matters and what doesnt when it comes to a successful bike-and-rider pairing. The selections below reflect some of the lessons Ive learned in the process coupled with research from the Bicycling test team.
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Team GBs incredible achievements at the Tokyo Olympics have once again made the nation go cycling crazy. But if youve been inspired and want to get your child kitted out with a new set of wheels, there are a few things you need to consider before you buy.
When it comes to choosing a childs bike, its definitely not a case of one size fits all. Although many retailers will give an idea of the age range suitable for different models based on wheel size, its always recommended to measure your childs height and inside leg, then check these against each brands sizing guide to get an accurate match. Kids bikes are measured by wheel size, rather than frame size usually anything from 12in to 26in which is then matched to the riders dimensions.
You also want to consider how heavy the bike is, especially when buying for younger children. Patrick Wallace, buyer at Evans Cycles, explains: Its a case of the lighter the better. Its not only helpful for your child when handling and steering their new bike, but also very handy for parents who will inevitably end up carrying it home at some point. Buying a bike thats too heavy and cumbersome is only going to dent your childs riding confidence, and make them reluctant to get pedalling.
Style: Bmx Road Mountain Or Something Else
Childrens bikes have diversified quite a bit since every kid on the block wanted one of those super-cool, candy colored Krate Schwinn Stingrays during the Summer of Love. Todays options generally mirror adult models in design, equipment, and even price. So if you expect to take long or skill-intensive rides with your child, youll want to make sure their bike matches or exceeds yours in capability.
BMX street bikes have long been the default choice for children, and for many situations theyre still the best bet. They are sturdy in daily use, difficult to damage, and tolerant of a wide range in physical size. The downsides: Theyre slow and have a limited range due to their singlespeed drivetrain and inefficient geometry.
For those children who want to actively compete in BMX racing, however, theyll require a BMX racing bike, which is entirely different from a BMX street bikesize-specific and usually quite expensive, at anywhere from $500 to $5,000 or more. If your child is interested in skatepark or freestyle competition, they will need a BMX park bike, which is built for the rigors of landing on concrete.
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Boys And Girls Bike Size Difference:
From a functional aspect, there is no difference between girls and boys bikes other than that of aesthetics.
Both boys and girls can ride the same bike. Its mostly a marketing gimmick where youll get to see girls bikes where the only difference would be in terms of the color palette of the bike and some additional accessories like baskets etc.
Some bikes may sport a lowered top tube on girls bikes which makes it easier for the child to hop on and out of the bike.
What Size Bike A 7 Year Old Boy And Girl Need
A 20 inch bike is well suited for a 7 year old kid who is between 43 and 55 inches tall.
However, the height of the child is a better gauge to size bikes for kids than age.
As kids of the same age can differ very much in terms of height, you should also take that into account to assess the right fit and size.
If your kid is shorter than an average 7 year old, a 16 or 18 inch bike might be a good option to consider.
The inseam height of the child should be at least 5-6 inches taller than the top tube height of the bike. .
This inseam height is not the inseam height of the pants.
Have the child stand against a wall without shoes with a hardback book placed between the thighs.
Measure the distance from the crotch to the floor. This is inseam height.
This height should be a couple of inches taller than the top tube height when the kid is standing over the bike also known as the stand-over height.
This is to ensure that the kid feels confident and comfortable with the bike.
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Best Bike For A 7 To 8 Year Old
Kids ages seven and eight will probably be most comfortable riding on a 20 bike. These bikes with their bigger wheels can go faster and maneuver better over obstacles, so kids will feel the change when riding on them for the first time. These bikes might feel big when your child rides in them but with children growing so quickly at this age it wont be long before it is too small for them.
Basic 20 Inch Mountain Bikes Beginning Riders
While suspension forks, trigger shifters, and hydraulic disc brakes are essential for adult mountain bikes, they certainly arent required for young riders just getting started on basic trails.
Beginning riders simply dont weigh enough for a reasonably-priced suspension fork to work properly. Beginners also dont travel at the same high velocities as adults, and thus dont need the extra stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes.
So for kids just getting started on basic trails, what features do you need to get rolling without breaking the bank?
- Durable, lightweight frame
- Easy-to-use gears
How much do I need to spend on a bike? Spend as much as your budget will allow, but be careful not to over buy. If your young rider is truly a beginner and you only plan to ride basic trails, any of these bikes in this beginners section should suit them just fine.
While the higher-priced bikes on this list do offer better components and an overall better riding experience than lower-priced bikes, you dont need to spend $800 on a bike to start enjoying the trails.
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Schwinn Elm Girls Bike Fun Girls Bike
Some little girls might have learned how to ride a bike on the smaller 12 inch Schwinn Elm, and if so they might love heading out for a nice ride to the park on the bigger 20-inch wheel Schwinn Elm Bike. Designed for seven to eight year old girls standing 48 60 inches tall but suitable for all young riders, this bike has Schwinns SmartStart Technology to make stopping and going easier for little kids. SmartStart Technology from Schwinn helps kids get comfortable riding bikes with cranks and pedals positioned forward and closer together. This bike brakes using a coaster brake in the rear and a front caliper brake.
Girls will enjoy the cute front basket on the Schwinn Elm Bicycle and they will also like choosing from the three colors teal, pink, and purple. The seat on this bike adjusts easily so kids can even do it on their own, and the seat-tube is angled down for making it easier to get on and off the bike. Parents will like that the seat positions children upright in a strong riding position and effectively supports young riders as they learn. This bike also has a kickstand included.
- Plastic Front Basket Is Fragile
Best Kids’ Bike: Specialist Bikes
Black Mountain is doing something a little different. Launched in 2018, it offers bikes that grow as easily and quickly as children’s legs do.
The range is kicked off with the Pinto, which claims to fill the role of a balance bike, a 12″ and 14″ bike, the Skog replaces 14″ and 16″ bikes for children aged 5 to 8.
The range has since expanded to include the 18″ Kapel and 20″ Hutto added to fill gaps in the size range, with the latter available with disc brakes and front end suspension. The fit is dialled in via a growing triangle frame and gears can be replaced as little legs get stronger.
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Or Join The Bike Club
Have you ever felt like buying a rapidly growing child a bike is a risky move? Of course you have, that’s why most of us grew up riding over- or under-sized bikes passed down from older siblings, cousins, friends and the like.
The Bike Club is essentially a bike rental service through which you can get your child the bike that is right for them, pay monthly and when they grow out of it trade it in for a bigger one.
For example, this Forme Cubley 14, a super-light 6kg aluminium bike recommended for three- and four-year-olds and built to withstand the British weather, costs only £10.49 per month.
There are loads of bikes on offer for all ages so why choose one of the above when you could have all of them?
Btwin Rockrider 20 Review
The Btwin Rockrider 20 inch kids bike packs a ton of punch into its sub-$200 price tag. All of our testers raved about its smooth ride, while we were incredibly impressed by its unmatched quality and performance for the price. So its no surprise that the Decathalon Btwin Rockrider was enthusiastically received by our testers and their parents.
What else makes this little 20 bike so awesome? The Rockriders durable frame has a lifetime warranty and its dual handbrakes are impressively responsive for this price point. To top it off, it doesnt have a coaster brake!
Can I please ride the white bike? Specs aside, we cant emphasize enough just how much our testers loved the Rockrider! Read our review to learn why the Rockrider is hands down our favorite 20 inch budget bike.
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Gearing Geared Or Single
A 20 inch bike is the first time you have an option to purchase a bike with gears. For some kids at age 6 or 7, gears might still be too much to handle! For less coordinated or timid kids, its just one more thing to worry about. Many great 20 inch single-speed bikes are available that might be worth considering.
But for many kids, gears are a welcomed addition to their bike! Some kids quickly and easily take to gears, while others take time. Learning when and how to shift can be confusing and challenging.
Often times age makes a difference in how a child responds to gears. 6-year-olds generally love playing with gears , but by 7 years old, their coordination has increased and they begin to use the gears more intentionally.
When choosing a single-speed, be sure to take note of the gain ratio of the bike.
Low gain ratio : Easier to pedal from the start, but reaches a lower maximum speed. Best for ambitious riders who want to power up hills or obstacles. Not ideal for use on long, flat rides.
High gain ratio : Harder to pedal from the start, but can reach a higher maximum speed. Ideal for longer rides as the bike gains more distance with every pedal stroke.
How To Tell What Size Bike To Buy For Your 7
It can be a little confusing trying to find bikes that work and a bike that fits a 7-year-old kid. You dont want them to be uncomfortable, so the best way to decide what size bike to get is to measure their inseam and base it off of that.
If you dont know how to find your childs inseam all you have to do is take a pair of jeans that fits them well and measure the entire length of the seam that is on the inside of the pant from the area that the pant legs come together to the end of the pants. This will give you the inseam for your kid.
There are some great charts out there that are very helpful in identifying what size of bike to buy for your 7-year-old-kid. One of the best ones comes from the International Bicycle Fund:
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Brakes Do You Need Disc Brakes
All mountain bikes need to have high-performing, reliable brakes with plenty of stopping power. If your rider is sticking to basic trails , high-end v-pull brakes are just fine. As your child progresses to intermediate trails , the extra stopping power of disc brakes is worth considering.
Hydraulic disc brakes are the cream of the crop as they allow kids to modulate their braking and also prevent hand fatigue. Mechanical disc brakes offer more stopping power than v-pull rim brakes, but dont have the modulating power of hydraulic disc brakes.
Mechanical disc brakes can also be upgraded to hydraulic disc brakes pretty easily, but in most cases, it isnt possible to upgrade a bike with v-pull brakes to disc brakes.
Do Kids’ Bikes Need Suspension Forks And Lots Of Gears
Some children want a bike that looks just like an adult version – and if they’re aspiring to look like an adult mountain biker, things can get tricky. It’s common to see children’s bikes with suspension forks, but most manufacturers of the best kids’ bikes don’t provide this until children are at least eight years old.
This is because a young child’s upper body mass is low and they’re rarely able to get the most from even finely tuned, responsive forks – and suspension will always add to the overall weight of the bike.
When it comes to gears – these should be introduced gradually. Most of the best kid’s bike brands opt for single chainrings, with a wide spread at the rear cassette. For learners, this makes the whole process easier – and for older children, even those on racing road bikes, the single chainring helps to keep the weight down.
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My Child Is Between Age Ranges Should I Go For The Bigger Bike Or The Smaller One
When using the size chart, you may find that your child is between bike sizes. It means that both bikes should fit your child with some minor adjustments to the saddle height.
So, should you choose the smaller wheel size or the larger one? Here’s a simple guide:
- Choose the bigger wheel size if you want the bike to last longer. You can adjust the saddle height as your child grows.
- hoose a smaller wheel size for a bike that’s easier to handle. Perfect for less experienced riders who want to build confidence.
Best Electric Bikes For Kids In 2022
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The best electric bike for kids comes with a powerful motor and sturdy frame, allowing your child to explore the outdoors with their friends. Some electric bikes also have remote control, allowing parents to monitor their children all the time. Ebikes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, but you dont need to worry because we have compiled and reviewed some of the best options on the market today.
And if youre still confused, we have provided a guide on how to choose the best childrens electric bike that fits your childs riding level and style. But before we talk about the best electric bikes for kids in 2022, lets first discuss why you should consider investing in this vehicle.
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Factors To Consider When Buying An Electric Bike For Kids:
Dont buy the first ebike you see. Remember, not all ebikes are the same. So to help you make an informed decision, consider the following factors when buying an electric bike for kids.
Most electric bikes for kids have a maximum speed of 25km/h or 15mph. When the motor reaches this speed level, it switches off. Some ebikes also have a switch that allows you to control the speed.
The right size depends on your childs height and age. Two-year-old kids can ride 12 and 14 bikes, but only until they are four or five years old. A 16 bike is suitable for kids aged five to 12. Remember that your child should easily reach the pedals, brakes, and other parts of the bike.
Many ebikes can accommodate up to 300 lbs. If your child is heavier than the bike, he wont handle the vehicle properly. The bike will lose some speed as well. Ideally, the riders weight shouldnt be less than 40% of the bikes weight.
- Battery Replacement
Ebikes with disposable batteries are cheaper than non-removable ones because you can change the battery if it gets damaged. But if you have a bike with a non-removable battery, you can seek assistance from the companys customer support service anytime.
Keep in mind that electric bike kids are already more expensive than traditional bikes. So if youre going to get an ebike with extra features, expect to pay a higher amount for it as well.