You’re the kind of parent that recognizes the importance of buying a good-quality bicycle that won’t end up broken down a month from now, but you’re also the kind of parent that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a bike that will soon be outgrown.
Sound like you? Check out the Batch kids bicycle.
It comes in three sizes (12″, 16″ and 20″) to fit kids between (approximately) 3 years and 8 years old, and makes a great “budget” bike for kids just learning to ride.
Review In A Nutshell
- Available from your local bike shop
- Durable build
- Child-appropriate geometry
- Quick-release seatpost collar
- Coaster brake and no hand brakes
- Bulky chain guard
- No quick-release skewers on the wheels
- 12 inch bike is heavy for young children
- 12 inch: $189.99
- 16 inch: $199.99
- 20 inch: $209.99
Where to Buy
A Simple, Quality Kids Bike Available From Your Local Bike Shop
So many of the parents we hear from aren’t avid cyclists. They don’t want to spend a ton of money to get a top of the line kids bike, like a Woom. They just want a bike for their child that works well, is durable, and that their child will have fun riding. And that won’t break the bank.
That’s the Batch Kids Bicycle.
The bike is made of quality components that won’t fall apart like a big box store bike. It has child specific geometry, unlike most of the bikes that you’ll find on Amazon.
It’s a good bike that your child will have fun riding.
The final cherry on the sundae is that it’s available at local bike shops. This is a big deal, because most of the kids bike brands that we love and recommend are direct to consumer. But buying online means that you need to be able to assemble a bike yourself. And maintain it.
If you aren’t super mechanically savvy, buying your child’s bike from a local bike shop makes a ton of sense. It means you’ll have somebody to fix your child’s tire when it goes flat. To make sure everything is installed correctly.
And of course, buying from a local bike shop is good for your local economy as well.
Let’s be clear: the Batch Kids Bicycle is NOT our FAVORITE kids bike. But it just may be our favorite AFFORDABLE kids bike.
If budget is no object, this is not the bike for you. But if you’re like 99% of the population, and buying an expensive bike for your child isn’t your #1 priority, then you will be very happy with the Batch Bicycle.
At $210 (for the 20″ version), it’s similarly priced to many bikes you might find at a big box shop or on Amazon, but it’s of much higher quality. It’s lighter than most of those bikes, has better geometry for young kids, and has durable components that won’t instantly fall apart.
Child Appropriate Geometry…Though Still Not As Well Designed As The Higher-End Bikes
Something we don’t see a lot in “budget” kids bikes are child-appropriate geometry. They usually have a comically short wheelbase, a wide q-factor, long crank arms, and a high center of gravity.
The Batch kids bike does a good job of providing a bike that’s actually enjoyable for kids to ride. The cranks arms are appropriately sized for efficient pedaling, and the wheelbase is long which provides extra stability.
That said, compared to a high-end kids bike (like the Woom 4), the bottom bracket is still a bit high and the q-factor (the distance between pedals) is still a bit wide. Compared to most kids bikes, however the Batch does a good job.
Perhaps the most important thing to note in terms of geometry are the wide and upright handlebars. This provides confidence and control for younger kids and those just learning to pedal.
For older kids and more aggressive riders, the upright handlebars might be a bit much., though even then, they’re fun for doing “tricks.”
Coaster Brake and No Hand Brakes Are The Biggest Drawback
I’m a pretty big fan of the Batch kids bike….well, at least until the issue of braking comes up. The Batch kids bike has a coaster brake and no hand brakes.
We aren’t big fans of coaster brakes in general. (They make it harder to learn to pedal and, in our opinion, can actually be dangerous. For more on this topic, read our article on coaster brakes).
Still, you can mod a bike with a coaster to have a freehub as long as there are hand brakes. Unfortunately, the Batch kids bike doesn’t have hand brakes either.
We strongly encourage parents to choose a kids bike (even a first pedal bike) with hand brakes. Even if you are using the coaster, learning to use hand brakes is good practice. Kids develop the skill of braking much easier if learned at a young age. And if you think young kids can’t safely operate a handbrake, think again. We routinely see kids (ours included) who learn to safely operate a hand brake as young as 2.5 years old.
All that said, there aren’t many bikes at this price point that offer dual hand brakes that are easy to use and easy to pull, so if you are limited by budget, the Batch bike is still a respectable option.
Single Gear Is Well Suited For Flat Roads
The Batch kids bicycle comes with a single gear. This is typical for smaller sized bikes, and provides the simplicity required for young kids.
Some folks shopping for a 20 inch bike, however, might be turned off by the idea of a single gear. We like the single speed option for younger kids, those who have yet to master riding, and parents who want a low-maintenance bike. Still, families that ride in areas with a lot of hills or who have kids who have already mastered pedaling, may be ready to look for a bike with gears. If that’s you, then look elsewhere.
For everybody else, the single gear is simple and it works. The gearing is best suited for flat roads. When climbing hills, my son (who is used to a bike with gears) complained a bit about the gearing, but on flat road he was able to cruise quickly without spinning out.
Reasonable Weight (For Larger Sizes)
The 20 inch bike we tested weighed 19 pounds. This isn’t the lightest bike around, but it’s decent. And it’s still lighter than a bike like the Trek Precaliber 20* which weighs 22 pounds (and costs a bit more).
Unfortunately, the 12 inch version weighs in at only a couple pounds less (18 lbs with training wheels). I’d argue this is way to heavy for a 3 year old to learn on. The Trek Precaliber 12*, for comparison sake, weighs 15 pounds, and the Woom 2 weighs a mere 11 pounds.
If you’re looking at the 20 inch bike, and you have a reasonably athletic kid and aren’t planning on making them climb any big hills, the weight won’t be a problem. If you’re looking at the 12 inch version, I’d seriously consider spending a bit more money to get a lighter bike that will be easier for your child to handle and more fun to learn to ride on.
Comes In Multiple Sizes And Colors
The Batch Kids Bicycle comes in three sizes: 12 inch, 16 inch, and 20 inch. In all sizes, the bike is essentially the same, just with bigger wheels and frame as you move up in size.
The bikes comes in three colors: orange (pictured here), black, and blue. All look good. The bikes have a nice high-quality paint job. We haven’t noticed any serious scratching or scuffing after a month of use.
Nice Wide Tires Provide Good Traction
The tires on the Batch kids bike are fairly wide and high-volume for a bike that isn’t a mountain bike. The 20 inch bike, for example, has 2.125″ tires.
This means that the tires can be ridden at a slightly lower tire pressure than a skinnier tire, and will provide better traction and more stability. It also allows it to be comfortably ridden off curbs, over cracks in the sidewalk, etc.
The tire tread is pretty slick (no knobbys) so the bike is definitely better suited to pavement than to dirt or gravel, although it should make it across mild mixed terrain just fine.
Bulky Chainguard Isn’t Our Favorite
I’m not crazy about the big bulky chainguard on the Batch. Will it keep your child’s pant leg from getting sucked into the chain? Yes. But it’s overkill. For comparison’s sake, here’s a pic of the chainguard on the Islabikes Cnoc.
The chainguard on the Batch (left) is significantly bulkier than the chainguard on the Islabikes Cnoc (right).
Quick-Release Seatpost Collar Makes For Easy Seat Height Adjustments
We were excited to see that the Batch kids bike comes standard with a quick-release seatpost collar…something that’s overlooked on many kids bikes. A quick-release collar means that you can quickly and easily raise and lower the seat height without any tools.
This is key on kids bikes since kids have growth spurts seemingly overnight and they are often used by different-height siblings or neighbor kids.
….But No Quick Release Skewers On The Wheels
Though the bike comes with a quick-release seatpost collar, it does not come with quick-release skewers on the wheels. This means that you need a tool to remove the wheels when your child has a flat-tire.
Having bolt-on wheels is pretty standard with smaller size bikes (16 inch and less), but on a 20 inch bike we like to see quick-releases. They make it so much easier to do road-side repairs. Or, to remove the front wheel for a roof-top bike rack, for instance.
My other minor complaint is that the bolt-ends are neither rounded, nor covered, nor recessed–which means your child could potentially get scratched.
The wheel bolt on the Batch (left) compared to a recessed bolt on the Woom (right).
Comes With Training Wheels
While we’re not big fans of training wheels (learn more about why), there are instances where they make sense and it can be hard to add training wheels as an after market accessory. For that reason, if you are specifically looking for a bike with training wheels, the Batch may be a good choice.
For parents who don’t want their child learning with training wheels, just tell the bike shop you don’t want them. Or, you can remove them easily by yourself later on.
Other Things Worth Mentioning About The Batch Kids Bicycle
- The pedals are appropriately sized and are grippy. They will keep little feet firmly planted on the pedals (as long as your child is wearing decent shoes).
- The grips have bumpers on the ends to help keep your child’s hands from slipping off.
- The bicycle’s frame is good quality 6061 alloy. The fork, however, is made of alloy and hi-tensile steel, a cheaper material. While hi-ten isn’t as durable as chromoly steel, for example, since kids don’t weigh very much you probably won’t run into an issue.
- The headset is a high-quality threadless headset with sealed bearings.
- The saddle is appropriately sized, padded, but not too bulky.
- The bottom-bracket is cup-and-cone style and there is a one-piece crank. This is typical for a bike at this pricepoint, though you should be aware that these components aren’t the same quality that you would find on higher-end kids bikes.
Bottom Line: Great Bike For Parents Who Are Looking For Simplicity and Affordability
If you want a bike for your child that won’t cost a fortune, will be fun to ride, and simple to maintain, then the Batch Kids Bike may very well be the bike for you. It’s durable, won’t fall apart like a big box store bike, and has child-appropriate geometry.
The only parents we would caution against the bike are those with very young or petite kids (the bike will just be too heavy) or those who take biking seriously and ride long distances (opt for a bike with hand brakes, top-shelf components, etc). Everybody else will be a big fan of the Batch bike.