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One of the greatest joys of being a parent is helping your child learn to ride a bike.
But before you get to the fun part, you’ve got to choose the best bike for them to ride. It can be quite a daunting decision because there are so many to choose from. If it’s their first bike, you want one that will be an excellent introduction to cycling.
If their cycling experience is a little further along the road, you want a bike that is comfortable, safe, and not too taxing on your bank balance.
There are many brands to choose from, and there’s not enough room on this page to cover them all. But we can share our top picks for 2021.
1. Lena Toddlebikes
Age range: 18 months to 3 years Material: Plastic Dimensions: 20.5cm x 47.5cm x 35cm
For all those toddlers out there who are desperate to ride a bike, this is the one for them to start with. Made from durable plastic, it’s cheap, lightweight, and lots of fun.
It’s perfect to help them master the art of balancing and comes in a range of colours.
Pros Almost indestructible Lightweight Easy to ride
Cons Bright colour range doesn’t suit everyone’s taste
2. Frog 40
Age range: 3-4 Wheel size: 14” Number of gears: single speed Weight: 6.4kg
This is the perfect starter pedal bike for your little ones aged 3-4. The price is rather high for a starter bike, but they do retain their value quite well when it’s time to sell it on.
Pros Soft handlebar grips for comfort Comes complete with a bell, reflectors, and mudguards for cleanliness and safety Comes in a range of colours
Cons Little on the pricey side
3. Black Mountain Pinto
Age range: 3-4 Wheel size: 14” Number of gears: single speed Weight: 5.7kg
If your little ones are ready to take the next step up in the world of cycling, this bike fits the bill. Again, the price tag is high, but it will provide hours of fun for several years.
Pros Lightweight at just 5.7kg Stabilisers included It can grow with your child
Cons Only available in one colour Only one gear
4. Pedal Pals
Age range: 5+ Wheel size: 16” Number of gears: single speed Weight: 9kg
If your budget is limited, a Pedal Pals bike is one of the best and a great replacement for your kid’s balance bike.
Low price at under £100 Seat height and handlebars can be adapted Highly durable
Cons Not worth considering until your child is 5 years old Single-speed
5. Squish 18
Age range: 4+ Wheel size: 18” Number of gears: single speed Weight: 6.96kg
This bike is a good choice for those who are ready to move on from their starter bike.
It comes in at a lower price than the competition and is designed specifically for kids who aren’t quite ready to jump onto a geared 20” wheel bike.
Pros Well designed Child-specific chain set that makes it easy to ride Warranty of three years on the frame and forks
Cons No quick-release seat post clamp, so a tool is needed to raise the seat up and down No mudguards, which can make off-road riding a little messy
6. Hoy Bonaly 20
Age range: 5-8 Wheel size: 20” Number of gears: 6 Weight: 8kg
As a transition bike, this one comes in at the top of our list. It provides a little bit more of a challenge when your kid is ready to ditch the stabilisers for good.
It has a mountain bike feel about it but isn’t over-complicated.
Support and control for small riders thanks to the rigid forks and short cranks Semi-treated tyes make off-road cycling a little easier Associated with Olympic legend Chris Hoy for added street cred
Cons Stabilisers not included Little bit on the pricey side
7. Giant ARX 24
Age range: 7-10 Wheel size: 24” Number of gears: 8 Weight: 8.6kg
Giant is one of the world’s best-known bike manufacturers, and this one is their premium offering for kids.
Pros Lifetime warranty on the frame 10-year warranty on the forks and 1-year warranty on all other components Light-weight and easy to ride
Cons Not as light as some of the competition Can only change gear when the bike is being pedalled
8. Islabikes Beinn Multi-Purpose Bikes
Age range: 5-10 Wheel size: 20-26” Number of gears: 7 Weight: 7.9kg
From the moment it comes out of the box, this bike oozes charm and character. It’s bright, well-made, and a dream to ride.
Pros Quick-release alloy hub wheels Gear set up makes any terrain easy to ride Chainguard on both sides makes it a practical and stylish ride
Cons Gear change a little tricky for beginners Shiftting down the gears requires a certain amount of strength
9. Ridgeback MX14
Age range: 2-13 Wheel size: 20-24” Number of gears: wide range depending on the model Weight: 7-12.5kg
This is the starter bike in the MX range and has all the features you’d expect. It’s a durable choice that should last several kids.
Pros: Lightweight aluminium frame Child-sized components V-brakes front and rear
Cons A little heavy for small riders On the small side, which means your kids will grow out of it quickly
10. Frog 58 Road Bikes
Age range: 6-8 Wheel size: 20” Number of gears: 9 Weight: 8.2kg
This road bike from Frog comes complete with a set of cyclocross tyres and is perfect if your junior rider wants to participate in road racing.
Larger models have a double chainring, while the smaller ones have just a single chainring. The smallest size is a 58, but the range goes up to 70.
Pros Great intro model to the world of drop handlebar riding Easy-shift Microshift gear levers Lightweight and easy to ride
Cons Big is on the large side and might not be suitable for the specified age range New riding position can take a little getting used to