12 Best Bikes for Kids in 2018

It’s a big deal when a child gets their very first bicycle. It can also be a big headache for parents, and we’re not just talking about the Band-Aids and bruises. When it comes to finding the best bikes for kids, you will have to consider things you wouldn’t on adult bikes, and training wheels are just one of those factors.

Safety is going to be a major concern for any parent when their child rolls across the pavement for the first time. While they make plenty of kids bike helmets and pads, the frame and quality of the bike itself play a large part in their safety as well. Before we dig into our buying tips, let’s take a quick look at the bikes.

Top 12 Bikes for Kids Ultimate Table

DesignNameTire SizeGenderRating (1-5)
  1. Paw Patrol 12″ Bicycle 12” Universal 4.6
  2. Huffy Bicycle Company 23556 Girls Good Vibrations Bike 20” Girls 4.4
  3. RoyalBaby CubeTube Kid’s bikes, unisex children’s bikes 12-18” Universal 4.3
  4. Titan Girl’s Flower Princess BMX Bike 16” Girls 4.2
  5. Schwinn Boy’s Scorch Bicycle 16” Boys 4.2
6. Kent Rock Candy Girls Bike20” Girls 4.1
7. Dynacraft 8109-34ZTJ Boys Throttle Magna Bike 20” Boys 4.1
8. X-Games FS20 Freestyle Bicycle 20” Universal 4.1
  9. RoyalBaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike with Training Wheels and Basket 12-16” Girls 4.0
  10. Hot Wheels Boy’s 16-Inch Bike 16” Boys 4.0
  11. Dynacraft Magna Major Damage Boy’s Bike 16” Girls 3.9
  12. Kent Pro 20 Boy’s Freestyle Bike 20” Boys 3.8

How Old Is the Child?

The term “kids” is pretty broad and can encompass anyone from 3 years old to 18 as we all know that teenagers are still kids. Children just getting started with bicycles will want something specialized. That means no gears as the less they have to deal with, the better. Training wheels are standard on some bikes built for younger kids, but you can pick up a set to fit any bicycle you purchase.

More experienced riders will want something with more features. If you are shopping for a teenager, think about where they plan to ride as a mountain bike with multiple gears could be in the cards if they prefer trails to the streets. There is a style of bike to suit your child’s needs. You just need to consider their skill level, where they’ll use the bicycle and how long before they may require an upgrade.

Bike Size

The bicycle size will be the toughest part for most consumers as you are buying a bike sight unseen and your child can’t sit on it first. That means we have to rely on measurements from the manufacturer when it comes to the frame although most don’t list a “seat over height” measurement. They use tire size as a reference, which we’ve broken down below.

  • 12 to 14” – This is the size you’ll want to consider if your child is just breaking out of the toddler range. Training wheels are a standard option at this tier, which we feel is suited for kids between 3 and 5 years of age.
  • 16” – This will likely be the size of your child’s first real bike, sans the training wheels. The 16” wheels are a better fit for taller children as well with an overall age range of 4 to 6 years old.
  • 20” – Bike tires can go well beyond 20” although this is the size most associated bikes for children not quite in their teenage years. If your child is over 4 feet tall, you will want to look at 18” or 20” bicycles from our list.

Additional Options

The type of choices available to parents depend on the age range but are something to consider as we are dealing with kids, and kids like bells & whistles. The aforementioned training wheels are an obvious choice for younger riders as are carrier baskets, horns, and streamers. Older children may not be thrilled with any of those options, but there are plenty of things for them as well.

When buying for older children, consider bikes with better grips and brakes. Their top speed is going to go up once the training wheels come off, which means you need solid brakes that are easy to use. Number plates are a popular choice regardless of gender or age, especially if their favorite character is emblazoned across the front.

Top 5 Best Bikes for Kids Reviews

1. Paw Patrol Kids Bicycle

If your child loves cartoons, there’s a strong chance they are a fan of Nickelodeon, just like their parents used to be. Nick has produced some of the best kids’ bikes based on their shows including newer ones like the Paw Patrol. This Paw Patrol bike is perfect for kids that are into that particular toon and reliable enough to set parents minds at ease.

This bike’s built for children between 3 and 5 years old depending on their height. Their skill level will not be an issue as the Paw Patrol bike comes with training wheels, which match the overall theme of the bicycle. The frame, chain guard, and training wheels are all decked out with flair from the show including the set which has a cool bone pattern and the logo. Obviously, there are not felines present on this bike, but plenty of puppies and paw prints.

The Paw Patrol Kids Bicycle is an excellent choice for younger kids. It’s a bright, colorful bike that will be safe on the streets and measures 7.5” x 14.5” x 28.5” with a weight of around 19 pounds. It’s only available in one colorway and size, so consider how quickly your child may outgrow this one.

2. Huffy Bicycle Company Good Vibrations Bike

Most of the bikes on our list come with training wheels and a similar kid-friendly design. Well, not this one. The Huffy Good Vibrations bike is built for girls and styled after the classic cruisers of old. It’s a good-looking bike that will draw stares on the street and a fine choice for summertime fun.

The Good Vibrations bike has 36-spoke rims and 20” tires that are around 2” wide. Durable is the first word to come to mind considering it has a steel frame. It will be able to take a beating although it will not be as light as some would like at 32 pounds. It’s a larger framed bike with the old-school coaster brakes which makes it perfect for getting around the neighborhood. We also like the fact this one has fenders over both tires so that mud won’t be a major issue during a drizzle or downpour. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the top and down tubes, which are sloped to give it a step-through feel.

While this bike is only available in one size with 20” tires, it’s one of the better looking girl’s bikes on our list with a summery vibe. The color scheme ties everything together nicely from the sidewalls to the seat, and we all know Huffy makes a quality product, so this one should last a while as it’s one of the best bikes for kids. You can pick this one up as-is or opt for an expert assembly.

3. RoyalBaby CubeTube Kids Bicycle

Do you have a serious child in your household that doesn’t care for vibrant colors or cartoon mascots? Style starts at an early age these days, and the RoyalBaby CubeTube is a stylish cruiser almost anyone can enjoy. It’s available in multiple sizes, but you’ll be pleased to know the design stays the same throughout.

This little beauty forgoes the flair found on some of the best bikes for kids. Instead, it has a clean, modern design utilizing only 3-4 colors, which makes the bike pop. The pattern varies a bit from bike to bike but includes either “Buttons” or “Honey” in several different colors. The bike itself has a single sloped tube with traditional handlebars and a bell. All models come with front handbrakes which may not be ideal for some parents or children, but they also come with coaster brakes and optional training wheels as well.

The RoyalBaby CubeTube is a sturdy bike that’s gender neutral when it comes to the frame and is available in several different colors. You can pick this one up with 12”, 14”, 16” or 18” tires although some color options may not be available in certain sizes.

4. Titan Girl’s Flower Princess BMX Bike

If you felt our last pick was a little plain, this bike from Titan more than makes up for it. It’s dubbed the Flower Princess BMX Bike and is one of the “wilder” options when it comes to flair. It’s also a bike that can live up to its BMX namesake when those training wheels come off, and they decide to hit the dirt.

The words Titan and Princess are a bit of an odd pairing, but they do fit this bike perfectly. The thick, sturdy frame and tough tires give of that Titan vibe while everything else absolutely screams Princess. The frame is covered in a multicolored pattern featuring flowers, butterflies, and a princess. The purple tires contrast against white rims, and you’ll even get a little flower power on the chainring. If that’s not enough flair for your child, there are streamers on the handlebars and a basket on the front.

We saved the best for last with the Titan Flower Princess as it has a unique accessory that little girls will love. There is a baby doll seat on the back of the bike so they can take their favorite doll along for the ride, and while it doesn’t have a seatbelt, she will still enjoy a comfy ride. This bike is available with 16” tires and will only require some light assembly to make it roadworthy.

5. Schwinn Boy’s Scorch Bicycle

So far we’ve looked at cruisers and bikes built for little ones and little princesses. Now we’re going to take a look at something for all the little boys out there with the Scorch from Schwinn. It’s a great way to get them ready for a bigger, and a wise choice for the street or trail.

This bicycle may not have a lot of pop when it comes to additional features, but it’s rugged where it counts – the frame. The Schwinn Scorch has a slightly slanted top tube and an angled bottom tube which makes it suitable for off-road use. Well that, and those knobby 16” tires and the coaster brakes which are amazing at kicking up dirt. Given the nature of the frame, there is only one pad for the top although they will still get a cool number plate with the tire size and logo which matches the chain guard.

This bicycle will please even the pickiest of boys as it looks cool, and is made to go almost anywhere their feet can pedal. It’s a great choice for their 1st real bike and even comes with training wheels if they are just getting rolling for the first time. On that note, while they are optional, we didn’t feel like the training wheels were quite as sturdy as the rest of the bike, something to consider.