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The Best Bikes for Kids: 7 Kids Bike Brands that Deliver (2019)

The Best Bikes for Kids

We spend a lot of time reviewing specific bikes, or talking about the best bikes for a certain age range, but perhaps it is actually easier 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 their 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 junior bikes.  You’ll note that kids bikes are measured by wheel size, not frame size like an adult bike.  If you’re not sure what size bike your child needs, or how to pick the best bike for your unique child, check out our post on how to choose the best bike for your kid.

With no further adieu, the best kids bike brands…..

Woom Bikes USA

Woom 3 Kids Bike

Woom is our favorite kids bike brand.  They make fantastic bikes for young kids–lightweight builds, child-specific geometry, and excellent quality.  From their balance bike, the Woom 1, to their 24″ Woom 5, they don’t have a bike that we don’t like.  They also offer an Upcycle Program so you can trade-up as your child grows.

Bike Line-Up:

  • Woom 1 – 12″ balance bike, $199
  • Woom 1 Plus – 14″ balance bikes, $269 (Read our Woom 1 Plus review).
  • Woom 2 – 14″ first pedal bike, $339 (Read our Woom 2 review).
  • Woom 3 – 16″ pedal bike, $369 (Read our Woom 3 review).
  • Woom 4 – 20″ pedal bike, $449 (Read our Woom 4 review).
  • Woom 5 – 24″ pedal bike, $479
  • Woom 6 – 26″ pedal bike, $499

Where to Buy:  Shop for Woom Bikes online at us.woombikes.com

Cleary Bikes

Cleary Gecko

We like Cleary Bikes because they aren’t just more cookie-cutter kids bikes.  The unique and beautiful steel frames, top-shelf components, and affordable price tags, set these bikes apart.  They also serve both sides of the spectrum well, offering one of the tiniest first pedal bikes out there as well as really nice 24″ and 26″ mountain bikes.  

Bike Line-Up:

  • Cleary Gecko – 12″ pedal bike, $310  (Read our Gecko review).
  • Cleary Hedgehog – 16″ pedal bike, $375 (Read our Hedgehog review).
  • Cleary Owl – 20″ pedal bike, $425
  • Cleary Meerkat – 24″ pedal bike, $594
  • Cleary Scout – 24″ front-suspension mountain bike, $840
  • Cleary Scout – 26″ front suspension mountain bike, $860

Where to Buy:  Shop for Cleary Bikes online at Cleary.com or CompetitiveCyclist.com

Prevelo Bikes

Prevelo Alpha One

You may not have heard of Prevelo yet.  This new kid on the block deserves attention, however.  My son has grown through many of these bikes, and they remain some of our favorites.  Recently, Prevelo launches a revamped Zulu line, offering some of the best-quality tiny mountain bikes on the market.  Not a mountain biking family?  No worries.  The Alpha balance and pedal bikes are perfect for any type of riding.  

Bike 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 our Alpha Two review).
  • Prevelo Zulu Two – 16″ mountain bike, from $469
  • Prevelo Alpha Three – 20″ pedal bike, $499 (Read our Alpha Three review).
  • Prevelo Zulu Three – 20″ mountain bike with front suspension fork, from $899.  (Read our Prevelo Zulu Three review).  
  • Prevelo Alpha Four – 24″ pedal bike, $499
  • Prevelo Zulu Four – 24″ mountain bike with front suspension, from $899

Where to Buy: Shop for Prevelo Bikes online at Prevelobikes.com

Frog Bikes

Frog 43 14" Kids Pedal Bike

Frog is a U.K. kids bike company that has just recently migrated to the United States and Canada.  They offer bikes all across the spectrum, including a hard-to-find 20″ road bike as well as some of our favorite first pedal bikes.  They come in a variety of pretty colors which is always a selling point as well.

Bike Line Up:

  • Tadpole Mini – 10″ balance bike, $210
  • Tadpole – 12″ balance bike, $215
  • Tadpole Plus – 14″ balance bike, $250
  • Frog 43 – 14″ pedal bike, $360
  • Frog 48 – 16″ pedal bike, $395  (Read our Frog 48 review)
  • Frog 52 – 20″ pedal bike, $510
  • Frog 55 – 20″ pedal bike, $520
  • Frog Road 58 – 20″ road bike, $570
  • Frog 62 – 24″ pedal bike, $550
  • Frog MTB 62 – 24″ mountain bike (Learn more about the MTB 62).
  • Frog Road 67 – 24″ road bike, $700
  • Frog Track 67 – 24″ track bike, $470
  • Frog 69 – 26″ pedal bike, $590
  • Frog MTB 69 – 26″ mountain bike (Learn more about the MTB 69).
  • Frog Road 70 – 26″ road bike, $720
  • Frog Track 70 – 26″ track bike, $490
  • Frog MTB 72 – 26″ mountain bike (Learn more about the MTB 72).
  • Frog 73 – 26″ pedal bike, $600
  • Frog 78- 26″ pedal bike, 620

Where to Buy: Shop for Frog Bikes online at ReadySetPedal.com

Pello Bikes

pello romper 14 inch kids bike

Pello has a simple formula for their kids bikes–orange (or pink) frame, beefy tires–and it works.  These bikes perform particularly well on dirt–whether that is singletrack or the bike skills park.  Compared to other bikes of similar quality, they also happen to be relatively affordable making Pello bikes one of our top recommendations. 

Bike Line-Up:

  • Pello Ripple – 12″ balance bike, $198
  • Pello Romper – 14″ pedal bike, $219 (Read our Pello Romper review)
  • Pello Revo – 16″ pedal bike, $349
  • Pello Reddi – 20″ pedal bike, $399 (Read our Pello Reddi review)
  • Pello Rover – 20″ 7-speed pedal bike (optional suspension fork, from $499 (Read our Pello Rover review)
  • Pello Reyes – 24″ mountain bike (optional suspension fork),  from $599

Where to Buy: Shop for Pello Bikes online at PelloBikes.com 

Early Rider

Early Rider Belter 20 trail

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. You only problem might be finding one as they seem to have spotty distribution in the U.S.

Bike Line-Up:

  • Early Rider Lite 12″ – 12″ balance bike
  • Bonsai 12″ – 12″ balance bike
  • Classic 12/14″ – 12″/14″ balance bike
  • Alley Runner 12″ – 12″ balance bike
  • Road Runner 14″ – 14″ balance bike
  • Trail Runner 14″ – 14″ balance bike
  • Trail Runner XL – 14″ balance bike
  • Belter 16″ Urban – 16″ pedal bike
  • Belter 16″ Trail – 16″ mountain bike
  • Belter 16″ Trail Works – 16″ mountain bike
  • Belter 20″ Urban – 20″ hybrid bike
  • Belter 20″ Flat Bar Rod – 20″ road bike
  • Belter 20″ Trail – 20″ mountain bike
  • Belter 20″ Trail Hardtail – 20″ mountain bike with front suspension
  • Belter 24″ Trail Hardtail – 24″ mountain bike with front suspension

Where to Buy: Shop for Early Rider online at REI.com

Spawn Cycles

Spawn Banshee

Most mountain bike parents have heard of Spawn bikes.  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.

Bike Line-Up:

  • Spawn Tengu – 12″ balance bike, $195
  • Spawn Yoji 14 – 14″ pedal bike, $370
  • Spawn Yogi – 16″ pedal bike, $380
  • Spawn Raiju – 20″ pedal bike, $600
  • Spawn Yama Jama – 20″ mountain bike with front-suspension, $1,050
  • Spawn Kotori – 20″ mountain bike with front-suspension, $1,050
  • Spawn Kotori – 24″ mountain bike with front-suspension, $1,150
  • Spawn Yama Jama – 24″ mountain bike with front suspension, $1,150 (Read our Spawn Yama Jama review).
  • Spawn Rokkusuta – 20″ mountain bike with full suspension, $1,950 (Read our Spawn Rokkusuta review).
  • Spawn Rokkusuta – 24″ mountain bike with full suspension, $2,195
  • Spawn Yama Jama 26″ – 26″ mountain bike with front suspension, $1,250

Where to Buy: Shop for Spawn Bikes online at SpawnCycles.com

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.

Islabikes

Islabikes Rothan balance bike

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.

Bike Line-Up:

  • 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

Stampede Bikes

Stampede Charger 16 Balance Bike

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.

Bike Line-Up:

  • 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)

Or, Get Our Favorite Bikes By Size

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.

Kids Bike Shopping Cheat Sheet

Get Your FREE Printable Bike Buying Cheat Sheet

Don’t waste your time or money by choosing the wrong bike!!!

Our FREE kids bike buying guide addresses:

  • What brands are best
  • Where to shop
  • How much to budget
  • Where to find deals
  • How to measure your child for a bike

10 thoughts on “The Best Bikes for Kids: 7 Kids Bike Brands that Deliver (2019)”

  1. Hey, Check out SPOKES Bike Lounge’s Family Bike Collective. It is the only bike shop in the world with Woom Bikes, Cleary Bikes, Islabikes, Frog Bikes all comparatively in the same shop. They have a membership program were you can Upcycle to the next size bike of any of the brands. If you want a used bike it is $75 to Up-cycle and if you prefer new bikes you get 50% trade in on the current bike credit toward your next bike. Whats cool is you can trade between brands and get a full-service contract and 15-20% off labor for your other family purchases. The Family Bike collective is looking for other community bike shops dedicated to lightweight size appropriate bikes for kids. They also do demos where they teach kids to ride on all the bikes each month.

  2. WOW! $300-$1000 for a bike “won’t break the bank”…. rich people is crazy!
    Nope, I rather go “big box” for a $40 bike. If it breaks, I still can buy 3 more bikes without “breaking the bank”.

  3. I remember when my I started playing soccer at 5yrs old, Dad bought me plastic football boots because they were cheap, as I would outgrow them quickly. They were so uncomfortable and they gave me blisters. I have never forgotten this simple act.

  4. I’m a single mom and by no way – rich people – like John Prez stated. But buying a bike designed specifically for kids made the difference in my son being able to bike with me. I originally purchased a $40 box store bike and in our first outing my son pedaled two streets and walked two streets-then we came home because it was a horrid experience. After checking it out, he was trying to pedal a bike that was the same weight he was. I researched and found Isla Bikes and bought our first Beinn. He hopped on and rode 4 miles his first outing, with only water breaks. That made the difference in us actually being able to cycle together. After two Beinn bikes we were ready to purchase the 3rd when they closed US distribution. I am heartbroken. We will purchase a Woom next month, and I am confident that investment will be as successful an experience as our Isla bikes. So if biking as a family is important to you, invest in a bike made specifically for kids. The investment in a bike designed specifically for a child is well worth it!

    • Hi Dawn,
      Thank you for sharing your story! Couldn’t agree with you more. It is a HUGE bummer that Islabikes has quite US distribution, but I’m confident you’ll really like Wooom too. 🙂
      Cheers,
      KB

  5. I’m a single mom and in no way-rich people-like John Prez states. But I bought a $40 box store bike for my son and on our first outing he pedaled two streets and walked two streets. We came home, it was a terrible experience and he felt so defeated. I checked and the bike weighed what he did making it impossible for him to pedal comfortably. After researching I found Isla Bikes and purchased our first Beinn. It made all the difference in our being able to cycle together. Our first outing he hopped on and off we went for a 4 mile ride, only stopping for water breaks. After two sizes of Beinns I was ready to purchase another size for him and found out they stopped US distribution and I’d missed the closing sale. I was heartbroken! So researched again and we’ll purchase a Woom next month. Bikes designed specifically for children with lightweight components are an investment. But it is an excellent investment and makes all the difference in kids being able to truly cycle. So if you are looking to cycle with your kid(s) – invest. It is worth it.

  6. Interesting to see dedicated kids bike manufacturers don’t build 18″ bikes. Guess 5-6 yr olds don’t ride, or ride bikes too small/big for them.

  7. I totally agree that getting a good quality bike is a great investment. Kids loves bikes, but they love them more if the bikes loves them back. I bought a Woom 4 for my 5 year old (he was tall) and after the initial apprehension coming from the strider, he just loved it. In our third outing we went to the bike path, and he did 16 miles! I had to get serious to turn back.
    In a month he was using the gears, and now he is able to go steep uphills without dismounting. And he flies around other kids with regular bikes that are double the weight.
    Also, in a good bike components are reliable and easy to adjust and fix, another advantage for the parents.
    For those concerned with the big chunk of money, i would point to the reselling value. I am sure you can get half the price back…

  8. All my kids started on Strider, then rode Cleary and Frog. We just got Frog43 for my 3y.o. and it has been used daily. For 20″ and 24″ it is ok to go to adult bike manufactures.

    $40 bike won’t brake, as kid won’t want to ride it, and it just going to clutter your garage.

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