Do you have an aspiring Andrew Talansky or Tejay van Garderen? If so, it might be time to get your child a road-specific bike. Compared to an all-terrain bicycle that many 24″ bikes are designed to be, a road bike will be faster, lighter, and better suited to long-distance riding. The bikes on this list will help your kiddo climb bigger mountains, finish a 50-miler, or even compete in your local kids’ crit. Here are our favorite 24 inch road bikes and tips on how to choose the right bike for your child.
The Best 24 Inch Road Bikes
Pinarello Speedy Complete
The Speedy Complete is one sweet little bike, as you would expect with the Pinarello name. The 6061 T6 aluminum frame and fork keep the weight down–the complete build tips the scales at just under 20 pounds. All the components are brand-name: Formula wheels, Kenda Tires, Shimano drivetrain. It comes in black or white.
The Scott Speedster JR 24 looks fast. That might be because it weighs a mere 19 pounds, and sports an impressive little package of components–Kenda tires, Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain, and Scott alloy handlebars, steam, and seatpost.
Frog is one of our favorite companies for kids bikes–from balance bikes to track bikes, they make top-notch bicycles for children. The Frog 67 boasts drop bars, but also supplementary brakes levers on the top of the bars, which is nice for kids who haven’t quite mastered the drops yet. This bike also works for road riding or cyclocross, and comes with two sets of Kenda tires–one for each discipline.
The Felt FR50 actually has 650c wheels, but we still snuck it on this list. As always, Felt has designed a beautiful and functional bike. This junior road bike has a carbon fork, Shimano Sora drivetrain, and an Alexrims wheelset.
The best thing about the Diamondback Podium 24 is the pricetag. If you’re not sure yet that road biking is going to be your kids “thing,” the Podium 24 offers a nice entry-level package. It has a Shimano Claris 8-speed drivetrain, Kenda tires, and both Promax drop-bar and Tektro flat-bar brake levers.
Price and Where to Buy:
Out of Stock
Islabikes Luath 24
Islabikes is the original kids’ bike company and their years of experience show in the Luath 24. This kids road bike comes with fenders, supplementary top bar brake levers, and a lightweight build (19 pounds with pedals).
In general, most 24″ road bikes are going to fit kids ages 8-10. As with all kids bikes, however, each bike has slightly different geometry and each child has a different height and build. Therefore, make sure you measure your child’s inseam prior to shopping for a bike.
Moving from an upright bike to a more aggressive road bike with drops can be a challenge. My favorite 24″ road bikes offer both regular cantilever brake levers in the drops and supplementary brake levers on the flat bars. Unless you know that your child already has the skill to ride in the drops, I would recommend starting with this set-up.
As with everything in life, there is always a trade-off between price and quality. In general, you should buy your child a bike with the nicest comportment you can afford. If you’re not sure which the different drivetrain packages are, this article offers a good overview.
Rotational weight matters more than weight on any other part of the bike (the frame, for example). When shopping for a bike, compare the weight of the different wheelsets on the bikes. This often matters more than the overall build weight. If your child really takes to cycling, you can always upgrade their wheelset later as well.
24″ Road Bike Comparison Chart
Here is how all the bikes on this list stack up with one another. In particular, make sure to look at the price (probably didn’t need to tell you that, right?), the brake configuration, and the drivetrain. As I mentioned earlier, buy the nicest components you can afford.