Shopping for a new bike for your child can be confusing. One of the best things you can do is to familiarize yourself with the best kids bike brands.
Here at Rascal Rides, we spend a lot of time reviewing specific bikes or talking about the best bikes for a certain age range, but it is even more helpful to help people get familiar with the best BRANDS for kids bikes. Many of these brands offer great options across the board, from balance bikes to first pedal bikes to 24″ mountain bikes.
In general, we prefer brands that make kids bikes exclusively. Of course, you can buy a nice kids bike from Trek or Cannondale, especially in larger sizes, but they are often an afterthought to these company’s more lucrative adult bikes.
Over the last few years, more and more companies have been entering the market making bikes specifically designed and built for the youngest riders. The brands on this list make lightweight, quality bikes that are safe, enjoyable, and will get your kids stoked on biking.
For each brand, we’ve listed their lineup of bikes by size and type of bike. If you’re not sure what size bike your child needs, or how to pick the best bike for your unique child, we’ve included additional resources down below.
(Note: There are some mountain bikes on this list, but if you are looking for mountain bikes specifically, check out our list of the best kids mountain bike brands instead).
|Brand||Why We Love Them|
|1||Woom||Ultra-lightweight, intelligently designed|
|2||Prevelo||Great customer service, real kid-sized mountain bikes|
|3||Cleary||Beautiful, durable steel frames|
|4||Frog||Huge offering, variety of colors/designs|
|5||Pello||Brand-name components, kid-specific geometry|
|6||Early Rider||Gorgeous brushed aluminum frames|
|7||Spawn||High-quality mountain bikes|
|8 (bonus!)||Guardian||Emphasis on safety, affordable options|
Woom Bikes USA
Woom makes our favorite kids bikes, hands down. If you want the BEST bike for your child, get a Woom.
Why do we recommend them so highly? First off, they are the lightest weight bikes around. A lightweight bike makes an enormous difference in how well your child is going to do.
Secondly, Woom has put a huge amount of thought into the design of their bikes. From the kids-specific geometry of their frames, custom components, and color-coded brake levers–everything has been agonized over and perfected for young riders.
Woom bikes are also in high demand on the used market, and their high-quality allows them to be handed down from child to child. Or if you prefer, Woom offers a Trade-In program when your child is ready to move up to the next size.
Woom Bikes Line Up
|Bike||Size/Bike Type||Price (MSRP)||Review|
|Woom 1||12″ Balance Bike||$199|
|Woom 1 Plus||14″ Balance Bike||$269||Read: Woom 1 Plus Review|
|Woom 2||14″ Pedal Bike||$359||Read: Woom 2 Review|
|Woom 3||16″ Pedal Bike||$389||Read: Woom 3 Review|
|Woom 4||20″ Pedal Bike||$479||Read: Woom 4 Review|
|Woom 4 OFF||20″ Mountain Bike||$669|
|Woom 5||24″ Pedal Bike||$499|
|Woom 5 OFF||24″ Mountain Bike||$679|
|Woom 6||26″ Pedal Bike||$529|
|Woom 6 OFF||26″ Mountain Bike||$699|
We like Cleary Bikes because they aren’t just more cookie-cutter kids bikes. The unique and beautiful steel frames, top-shelf components, and durable design set these bikes apart.
Cleary serves both sides of the age spectrum well, offering one of the tiniest first pedal bikes out there (the Gecko) as well as really nice 24″ and 26″ mountain bikes.
Cleary Bikes Line-Up
|Bike||Size/Bike Type||Price (MSRP)||Review|
|Cleary Gecko||12″ pedal bike||$310||Read: Cleary Gecko Review|
|Cleary Hedgehog||16″ pedal bike||$375||Read: Cleary Hedgehog Review|
|Cleary Owl||20″ pedal bike||$425|
|Cleary Meerkat||24″ pedal bike||$594|
|Cleary Scout 24||24″ mountain bike||$840|
|Cleary Scout 26||26″ mountain bike||$860|
Whatever kind of riding your family does, and however old your child is, Prevelo has a bike for you. Their Alpha line of bikes is ideal for around-town and paved riding, while the Zulu line offers some of the best pint-sized mountain bikes on the market.
We appreciate Prevelo for their child-specific geometry, custom cranks, and top-shelf components. Perhaps even more importantly, Prevelo has superior customer service that you can’t get from a big bike brand.
Like Woom, Prevelo also offers a trade-up program that can help make your initial investment a little less painful.
Prevelo Bikes Line-Up
|Prevelo Alpha Zero||12″ balance bike||$199|
|Prevelo Alpha One||14″ pedal bike||$359|
|Prevelo Zulu One||14″ mountain bike||$459|
|Prevelo Alpha Two||16″ pedal bike||$369||Read: Prevelo Alpha Two Review|
|Prevelo Zulu Two||16″ mountain bike||$469+|
|Prevelo Alpha Three||20″ pedal bike||$499||Read: Prevelo Alpha Three Review|
|Prevelo Zulu Three||20″ mountain bike||$899+||Read: Prevelo Zulu Three Review|
|Prevelo Alpha Four||24″ pedal bike||$499|
|Prevelo Zulu Four||24″ mountain bike||$899|
Frog is a U.K. kids bike company that’s wildly popular at home, but less well known in the North American market. While they are a little harder to get your hands-on (they don’t sell direct-to-consumer), it would be a mistake to overlook this brand.
Frog has the largest line of any of the kid’s bike brands so you are sure to find what your child needs. Their offering includes a hard-to-find 20″ road bike as well as some of our favorite first pedal bikes. Even their balance bike, the Tadpole, comes in three different sizes.
In addition to being well designed and lightweight, the Frog bikes come in a variety of fun, bright colors and designs. No matter what your child’s favorite color is, you’ll probably find a Frog to suit their fancy.
Frog Bikes Line-Up
|Frog Tadpole Mini||10″ balance bike||$210|
|Frog Tadpole||12″ balance bike||$215|
|Frog Tadpole Plus||14″ balance bike||$260|
|Frog 40||14″ pedal bike||$360|
|Frog 48||16″ pedal bike||$395||Read: Frog 48 Review|
|Frog 52/ Frog 55||20″ pedal bike||$510/$520|
|Frog 58||20″ road bike||$670|
|Frog 62||24″ pedal bike||$550|
|Frog MTB 62||24″ mountain bike||$880|
|Frog Road 67||24″ road bike||$700|
|Frog 69 / 73 / 78||26″ pedal bike||$590 / $600 / $620|
|Frog MTB 69 / Frog MTB 72||26″ mountain bike||$890 / $900|
|Frog Road 70||26″ road bike||$720|
Pello has a simple formula for their kids’ bikes: orange (or pink) frame plus beefy tires. And it works.
These bikes perform particularly well on dirt–whether that is singletrack or the bike skills park–but can do double duty as a school-commuter as well.
If you’re looking for brand-name components, Pello offers them. Kenda tires and a Cane Creek headset are just a few of the parts you can expect to find across sizes. They also tend to be a bit more affordable than other bikes with similar components.
Pello Bike Line-Up
|Bike||Size / Type||Price (MSRP)||Reviews|
|Pello Ripple||12″ balance bike||$198|
|Pello Romper||14″ pedal bike||$219||Read: Pello Romper Review|
|Pello Revo||16″ pedal bike||$349|
|Pello Reddi||20″ pedal bike||$399||Read: Pello Reddi Review|
|Pello Rover||20″ pedal bike / 20″ mtb||$499+||Read: Pello Rover Review|
|Pello Reyes||24″ pedal bike / 24″ mtb||$599+|
The Early Rider bikes are grown-up bikes sized down for kids. Their brushed aluminum frames and faux leather saddles look just like something you would buy for yourself.
Fortunately, they ride as well as they look. If you want a top of the line bike, consider Early Rider. The only downside is the price–they are the spendiest kids bikes around.
Early Rider Bike Line-Up
|Bike||Size/ Type||Price (MSRP)|
|Early Rider Lite||12″ balance bike||$129|
|Early Rider Classic||12/14″ balance bike||$149|
|Early Rider Bonzai||12″ balance bike||$189|
|Early Rider Alley Runner||12″ balance bike||$189|
|Early Rider Trail 14||14″ balance bike||$199|
|Early Rider Belter 16||16″ pedal bike||$439+|
|Early Rider Works 16||16″ mountain bike||$589|
|Early Rider Urban 20||20″ pedal bike||$599+|
|Early Rider Trail 20||20″ mountain bike||$799+|
|Early Rider Works 20||20″ mountain bike||$1,799|
|Early Rider Trail 24||24″ mountain bike||$1,099|
|Early Rider Works 24||24″ mountain bike||$1,399|
Most mountain bike parents have heard of Spawn Cycles. For little rippers between 3 and 10, Spawn is one of the best companies out there.
They offer mountain bikes that are oriented to both cross-country and downhill riding. If you head to Whistler bike park, you are likely to see lots of Spawns on the trails.
In the smaller sizes, the Spawn bikes are also good for simple neighborhood and around-town riding.
Spawn Cycles Line-Up
|Spawn Tengu||12″ balance bike||$195|
|Spawn Yoji 14||14″ pedal bike||$385|
|Spawn Yogi 16||16″ pedal bike||$395|
|Spawn Raiju||20″ pedal bike||$635|
|Spawn Yama Jama 20||20″ mountain bike||$1,095|
|Spawn Kotori 20||20″ mountain bike||$1,125|
|Spawn Rokkusuta 20||20″ mountain bike||$1,950||Read: Spawn Rokkusuta Review|
|Spawn Yama Jama 24||24″ mountain bike||$1,295||Read: Spawn Yama Jama Review|
|Spawn Kotori 24||24″ mountain bike||$1,175|
|Spawn Rokkusuta 24||24″ mountain bike||$2,195|
|Spawn Rokk 24||24″ mountain bike||$2,350|
|Spawn Yama Jama 26||26″ mountain bike||$1,395|
|Spawn Kotori 26||26″ mountain bike||$1,075|
|Spawn Rokk 26||26″ mountain bike||$2,450|
Guardian Bikes are unique in that they feature the proprietary SureStop braking system. In a nutshell, this means that a single brake lever applies appropriate force to both the front and rear v-brakes, helping to prevent over-the-bars accidents.
This makes the bikes ideal for kids just learning to ride, those with poor eye-hand coordination, and any child who simply struggles with riding and/or braking. OR for moms who place a high emphasis on safety.
The only families we don’t recommend the Guardian bikes for are ones who enjoy mountain biking or riding at the pump track, as these activities require use of the front and rear brake independently of one another. Also, if your kiddo has already mastered hand brakes, we would keep them on a bike with dual handbrakes.
Finally, we should mention that Guardian makes their bikes in two versions: Orignal and Ethos. The Ethos line is more affordable, and a good option for families on a budget.
Guardian Bikes Line-Up
|Guardian Orginal 16||16″ pedal bike||$379||Read: Guardian Original 16 Review|
|Guardian Ethos 16||16″ pedal bike||$279||Read: Guardian Ethos 16 Review|
|Guardian Original 20 Small||20″ pedal bike||$409|
|Guardian Ethos 20 Small||20″ pedal bike||$309|
|Guardian Original 20 Large||20″ pedal bike||$459||Read: Guardian Original 20 Review|
|Guardian Ethos 20 Large||20″ pedal bike||$359|
|Guardian Original 24||24″ pedal bike||$479||Read: Guardian Original 24 Review|
|Guardian Ethos 24||24″ pedal bike||$379|
The Brands That Were
In 2018, we lost two awesome kids bike brands. Stampede discontinued production altogether, and Islabikes quit distributing bikes in the U.S. market. I’ve left info on these brands below in case you are fortunate to find one used or happen to be in the European market.
Note: As of Fall 2018, Islabikes is no longer distributing their bikes in the U.S. We’re leaving this brand on here though because it’s still possible to find one used, or to import one from Europe.
Islabikes is the original kids bike company. They revolutionized what is considered a good kids bike–lightweight, sized correctly for small bodies, dual handbrakes and no coaster. They are pricey, but live up to the high pricetag.
- Islabikes Rothan – 12″ balance bike, $200
- Islabikes Cnoc 14 Small – 14″ pedal bike, $420 (Read our Islabikes Cnoc review)
- Islabikes Cnoc 14 Large – 14″ pedal bike, $420
- Islabikes Cnoc 16 – 16″ pedal bike, $420
- Islabikes Cnoc 20 – 20″ pedal bike, $469
- Islabikes Beinn 20 small – 20″ hybrid bike, $550 (Read our Islabikes Beinn 20 review)
- Islabike Beinn 20 large – 20″ hybrid bike, $550
- Islabikes Beinn 24 – 24″ hybrid bike, $650
- Islabikes Beinn 26 small – 26″ hybrid bike, $650
- Islabikes Beiin 26 large – 26″ hybrid bike, $650
- Islabikes Creig 24- 24″ mountain bike with front suspension, $1,249
- Islabikes Creig 26 – 26″ mountain bike with front suspension, $1,249
- Islabikes Luath 24 – 24″ road bike, $800
- Islabikes Luath 26 – 26″ road bike, $800
- Islabikes Luath 700 – 700cc road bike, $800
NOTE: As of summer 2018, Stampede has ceased production. We hope they’ll return, but in the meantime, this is no longer an option (unless you can find one used).
Stampede is our go-to recommendation for cost-conscious parents. They have managed to make quality bikes for a fraction of the cost of a lot of the other bikes on this list. Their bikes don’t have brand name components, but they do hold up well and ride nicely. Their balance bike was my sons favorite as a toddler.
- Stampede Charger 12 – 12″ balance bike, $139 (Read our review here)
- Stampede Charger 16 – 16″ balance bike, $149
- Stampede Charger 16 XL – 16″ balance bike, $199
- Stampede Sprinter 14 – 14″ pedal bike, $239 (Read our review of the Sprinter 14)
- Stampede Sprinter 16 – 16″ pedal bike, $249 (Read our review of the Sprinter 16)
Get Our Favorite Bikes By Size / Type
If you prefer to shop by size rather than by brand, check out the following articles. We’ve picked out our favorite bicycles in each size and age range.
- Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers (12 months to 3 years)
- Best Balance Bikes for Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)
- Best 12″ and 14″ Bikes (3 to 5 years)
- Best 16″ Bikes (4 to 6 years)
- Best 16″ Mountain Bikes (4 to 6 years)
- Best 16″ BMX Bikes (5 to 7 years)
- Best 20″ Bikes (5 to 7 years)
- Best 20″ Mountain Bikes (5 to 7 years)
- Best 24″ Bikes (7 to 10 years)
- Best 24″ Mountain Bikes (7 to 10 years)
- Best 24″ Road Bikes
More Resources To Help You Pick The Best Bike
The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.
Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.
If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!