Best Kids Bikes of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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Teaching your child to ride a bike can be one of the most special and memorable times to both parent and child. Your child will need encouragement and time, and you will need a lot of patience.

Having a good bike for them to learn on is essential, and with the availability of bikes these days, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

The best kids bikes will ultimately be the ones that they feel comfortable and safe while they are practicing their balancing and pedaling skills. Luckily for you, we’ve had a look at five kid’s bikes that are available at the moment.

We’ll look at what they offer, the good and the bad, as well as give you some advice on what kind of things you should consider before making your purchase.

Comparison Chart

Royalbaby Space No. 1 Aluminum Kid’s Bike

Critical Cycles Cub No-Pedal Balance Bike for Kids

Royalbaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike, 14 inch Wheels

Ancaixin Orange Baby Balance Bikes

Huffy Disney Frozen 12-inch Bike

Kid’s Bike Reviews

1. Royalbaby BMX Kid’s Bike

First up is the sporty BMX kid’s bike from Royalbaby which offers versatility, and is suitable for boys and girls of all ages.

Product Highlights

This bike comes in five wheel sizes suitable for ages three to nine years old. Many times, you see the 12” and 16” wheels and no options in between, but with this Royalbaby bike, you can choose the right size for your child. The company also provides a handy chart that shows all the minimum seat heights. Also, with adjustable seat and handlebars, the child can ride it comfortably for a while until he or she outgrows it.

This bike has a steel frame and is integrated with pneumatic tires, so they can take a lot of wear. The training wheels have also been designed to dampen noise which is fantastic as your child can hear what is going on around them better which makes it a safer ride. Another great safety feature is that the bike has a fully enclosed chain guard so that children can’t get their fingers caught in the chain.

With six different colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong with finding the perfect one for your child. Hence, whether you are buying for a girl or a boy, you’re sure to find something they will like and be proud to ride. It also comes packed with extra features such as a water bottle carrier, bell, training wheels, and a carrying handle on the seat, making this an excellent value for money.

What's to like about the Royalbaby BMX Kid’s Bike

We love the fact that you can buy the perfect size and color for any of your children’s needs. We also like that it has front brakes and comes with lots of extras such as the bell and water bottle holder.

What's not to like about the Royalbaby BMX Kid’s Bike

This bike is a little on the heavy side, so children can’t pick it up and ride it. We also wish the bike didn’t come with coaster brakes as it already has front brakes and such feature prevents your child from backpedaling.

PROS

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    Unisex
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    Available in multiple colors and sizes
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    Great safety features
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    Comes packed with extras

CONS

  • Quite heavy

2. Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike

Critical riders ride for fun, says the manufacturer, and this balance bike is designed with quality and safety in mind to give your child hours of fun learning to balance on two wheels.

Product Highlights

This is a balance bike that doesn’t come with pedals. Instead, the children learn to ride the bike by pushing themselves since the manufacturer follows the theory that if children first learn to balance a bike, they later learn to pedal. The bike is suitable for children from 20 months to five years old, especially those who don’t have the coordination to pedal yet

It has an adjustable seat and handlebars, which make it an ideal transition bike if you think your child may be too young for a pedal bike. The lack of pedals and safety wheels also gives it a streamlined style, which is safer for younger children. Additionally, the bike has a nice, low step-through frame so that the child can mount and dismount it easily.

This bike is completely maintenance-free as the tires never go flat and it’s super easy to assemble. It also comes in seven colors to choose from, not just pink or blue, and the tire rims have colors that match the frame colors.

What's to like about the Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike

We love the streamlined design this bike has since your child can learn to push themselves along on a bike without the pedals getting in the way. If you have the money, then this is a perfect transition bike. The step-through design is also great for very young children since they can get on and off the bike easily with less danger of tripping on the frame.

What's not to like about the Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike

The only bad thing about this bike is that it doesn’t have brakes, and your child is supposed to use their feet to stop it. Nonetheless, we think it would be handy if they were also able to learn how to use a handbrake during this transitional phase.

PROS

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    High-quality tires
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    Available in multiple frame and rim colors
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    Maintenance free
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    Loaded with safety features

CONS

  • No brakes

3. Royalbaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike

This girl’s bike from Royalbaby has been designed and built with safety in mind and for the girl who likes pink.

Product Highlights

With options of pink and red or pink and blue, this product really is not a good choice for any child who doesn’t adore pink. If they do, then they are in luck in finding a bike that has a lot to offer as it comes with a bell, pink streamers on the handlebars, and a cute basket.

The bike comes in four tire sizes, suiting ages three to eight, which is great as no matter how tall your child is, you can size them up and match them with the perfect bike size easily. The bike is well made with a BMX steel frame and wheels, heavy-duty training wheels, and an enclosed chain guard which is great for safety.

The tires are also above average in width which helps increase comfort and balance. It also comes with rear coaster and front caliper brakes with a short grip, which is great so that your child can learn to use them easily.

What's to like about the Royalbaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike

We love the fact that this bike comes with handlebar streamers and a basket. Providing your child likes pink, she will surely be very keen to learn to ride it.

What's not to like about the Royalbaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike

We don’t like the fact that the bike only comes in pink. It would be better to have different color options. It’s also a bit worrying if your child will be embarrassed to ride it as they get a bit older.

PROS

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    Multiple sizes
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    Comes with extras
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    Sturdy design

CONS

  • Limited color selection
  • For girls only

4. Ancaixin Baby Balance Bike

This fourth balance bike on our list is from Ancaixin, a company that has developed a very safe learner bike for small children.

Product Highlights

This bike is extremely safe for small toddlers to use and learn to ride on since the frame is solid and made of carbon steel. The handlebars also only turn 135 degrees to prevent your child from falling off sideways, and the wheels are fully enclosed so that the fingers or toes won’t be trapped.

However, with four wheels to balance on and no pedals, this really is just a beginner bike. Likewise, the height of the seat isn’t adjustable, so it won’t fit your child for a long time.

Nonetheless, the bike will teach your baby, aged six to 24 months, how to balance with maximum safety and comfort with the help of its extra-wide and supportive seat. Also, there would be minimal fuss from you since it doesn’t need any tools for assembly and it can be put together in just a couple of minutes.

The bike also has a CPSC approval from a USA lab. It also comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee so that if it’s not quite what you expected, you can return it easily.

What's to like about the Ancaixin Baby Balance Bike

The thought that has gone into designing this bike to ensure the baby’s safety is excellent, and that is what we truly love about it.

What's not to like about the Ancaixin Baby Balance Bike

We don’t like the fact that this bike isn’t adjustable at all, so it won’t fit your baby for long as they grow fast. There is also nowhere to put their feet as they learn to balance better.

PROS

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    Extremely safe
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    Risk-free purchase
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    Comfortable, supportive seat

CONS

  • Children outgrow it easily

5. Huffy Disney Frozen Girl’s Bike

Huffy had been building bikes for 125 years, and the last bike on our list has been designed with a Disney Frozen theme.

Product Highlights

If your child loves the film Frozen, then this bike has so much to make them smile! From the decorated seat to the snowflake shaped pedals and glittering handlebar streamers, every single piece of the bike shows some inspiration from their favorite movie. It comes with a basket and is available in three colors which are blue with purple, deep sea blue, and sky blue.

It is suitable for children around four to six years old with a height between 37 and 48 inches. It only comes in two tire sizes, which are 12 and 16 inches, so you might not get the perfect fit.

This bike has front and rear handbrakes while also having a coaster brake. The sturdy steel frame is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty so that you can be assured of quality when making this purchase.

What's to like about the Huffy Disney Frozen Girl’s Bike

We love the fact that so much thought has gone into the design of this bike with the detail and decoration seen in every aspect of this bike, including the pedals and tire treads.

What's not to like about the Huffy Disney Frozen Girl’s Bike

The fact that this bike only comes in two tire sizes may make it difficult to find the perfect size for your child. You may also have to wait for them to grow into it, which isn’t ideal since they will be very keen to ride it straight away and it may not be safe for them to do so. Also, they may outgrow the childish design quickly.

PROS

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    Beautiful design
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    Multiple brakes
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    Risk-free purchase

CONS

  • Limited sizes
  • Very targeted to fans of the film Frozen

BUYER'S GUIDE

When choosing a new bike for your child, there are some important things to consider since you want to make sure it is suitable for them. Ultimately, you want them to be and feel safe and comfortable when sitting on it and riding it. Hence, we have given a handy break down below to help you get started.

Geometry

The geometry of a kid’s bike is hugely important and within itself contains a few different things to look out for including the height of the handlebars and the shape of the frame. When children are learning to ride a bike, then it will help them if the handlebars are low or mid-rise so that they can lean into them a bit. Low-rise handlebars will be almost the same height as the seat and mid-rise will be just an inch or two above.

The frame shape is also essential to consider for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the frame needs to be long enough, from wheel to wheel, so that the child has room to lean forward. You should also consider how easy it is for your child to get on and off the bike and lastly, they should always have a couple of inches clearance between the top of their inseam and the frame.

Brakes

The quality and performance of brakes can vary widely and obviously, you don’t want your child riding anywhere without knowing how to stop. The most common brakes found on kid’s bikes are called coaster brakes.

Coaster brakes operate by backpedaling, and they are cheaper and maintenance-free. They are not ideal though since when a child is learning to ride a bike, the ability to pedal backward helps them maintain balance. Hence, having coaster brakes set them off to a jerky beginning.

It’s also better to have a handbrake. You have to remember that your child is just getting used with pedaling and using the brakes, so having to pedal backward to stop may not be as easy for them as it sounds to you.

Seat Height

Seat height is significant for your child’s safety and confidence. With their first bike, they should be able to sit on it with both feet touching the floor properly since when they are learning, they need to be able to use their feet as brakes. Despite most companies using a standard tire size for each age bracket, some bikes with the same tire size can differ by a number of inches when it comes to their minimum seat height, so always check this.

Tires

Your children will enjoy cycling on all sorts of surfaces whether they be smooth roads, grass fields, or stone-filled surfaces, so a good set of all-terrain tires is what you should ideally be looking for. The tire size is also how most bikes are sized in the USA, but also make sure you are considering the standover height.

Weight

Realistically, your child needs to be able to lift up their own bike (off the floor) and turn it around when needed, so the lighter the bike, the easier it will be for them. Unfortunately, some lighter bikes are lacking the right size frame for your child. Thus, while it’s important to consider the weight of the bike, you shouldn’t compromise the other factors.

Gearing

Most children’s bikes will operate on a single gear and if you are looking at one of these bikes, then make sure you check out the gain ratio. A bike with a higher gain ratio will essentially have a higher gear, so it will be harder for your child to start pedaling and each pedal will take them further. Gain ratios only vary in small amounts (from around three to 4.5) with the lower ratios being suitable for timid or very young learners while higher ratios are more suitable for more confident and stronger children.

Kids’ Bikes FAQs

How to Measure a Kids Bike?

The most important thing to do is measure your kid. Their height and their inseam length are vital in ensuring that you buy the right sized bike. Then, make sure that the tire size is suitable for their height and also check that the minimum seat height matches their inseam length so that they can have both feet on the floor when learning.

How to Teach Kids to Ride a Bike?

Apparently, all you need is a child who is eager to learn, a little bit of patience, and around 30 minutes of your time. Using a balance bike to start with (or take the pedals off one at home), take them to a grassy and gentle hill and get them to start practicing their balance as they roll down the hill. Then, ask them to have their legs straight out to either side so that they can catch themselves if needed.

After which, teach them how to turn and build their confidence at different speeds. Put the pedals back and let them start practicing. Make sure though that they can turn adequately and use their brakes so that they can ride safely and that’s it! They’ll be riding their first bike!

How to Ride a Bike for Kids?

If your child is younger, then let them first get a feel for a balance bike so that they can practice skills such as balancing and turning. When the pedals get introduced later down the line, they will be more confident riders by then and learn to pedal easily.

What Age Do Kids Learn to Ride a Bike?

Firstly, when learning to ride a bike, children should be able to fully put their feet on the floor (not just the tip of their toes). You can use tire measurements as a guide but also check the minimum seat height and measure it up to your child’s inseam.

FINAL VERDICT

Balance bikes for kids are designed to help kids transition to a pedal bike and buying one is great especially if they have older siblings whom they want to join during bike rides. It turns out that there are quite a lot of things to consider when trying to find the best kids bikes. The size, the brakes, the safety, and the different features will all offer a slightly different user experience, but ultimately, it’s vital that your child feel safe and comfortable when riding so that they enjoy practicing to ride.

Our favorite balance bike is the Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike by Retrospec because the design focuses on safety. When it comes to great value for money, the Cub Balance Bike is a good option. The Ancaixin Balance Bike is better for babies and toddlers, but they will outgrow it really fast, whereas the Cub Balance Bike has adjustable seat and handlebar height, so it will grow with your child, and you can wait until they have the confidence to move on to a pedal bike.

On the other hand, if you’re searching for a bike with pedals, the one from Royalbaby would be perfect. It comes in different colors and sizes, so you’ll find it easy to find the best kids bike for your little one. We also love the sporty design and water bottle carrier since they will be ideal for family cycling days wherein they need to stay hydrated.

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