To ensure your mini me stays safe on the road, we talked to cycling experts to learn how to select the best kids’ bike for their height, inseam and overall comfort. Here’s everything you need to know.
Go for quality
According to former professional road racing cyclist Freddie Rodriguez, a father and the founder of Fast Freddie Foundation, the main feature to look for in the best children’s bikes is quality, which includes great brakes. “You want something the kids can ride and enjoy without worrying about it falling apart,” he says.
Lisa Weyer, Executive Director of All Kids Bike, agrees, advising parents to select well-built bikes from reputable brands to ensure longevity and reliable performance. The good news is, the best kids’ bikes retain their value should you decide to resell them, and they’ll also hold up nicely to be passed down to siblings. Moreover, many brands are now offering rebates or upcycling programs for when your kiddo is ready to size up.
Make sure you buy the right size
The wrong-size bike can make balancing and pedaling harder and increase the risk of falls. To pick the perfect size and ensure a smooth ride, measure your child’s height and inseam, and then compare it to each brand’s size chart to see which model and wheel diameter is recommended. Not sure how to measure their inseam?
“Simply use a measuring tape and measure from their crotch to the floor while they are standing up,” advises Weyer. “Your child’s feet should comfortably reach the ground while seated.”
Consider the terrain
“If you live on flat roads, a single-gear bike is great, but if there are any hills you will need gears to help make the ride doable,” tells Rodriguez. “If you plan to take the kids off-road, a mountain bike could be a good option that can also be used on normal roads.”
The best kids bikes 2023
Retrospec Koda Plus Kids Bike
The Retrospec Koda Plus gets rave reviews from bike experts who praise it for its extra cool factor, affordable price point and the fact that it’s thoughtfully designed to fit kids’ bodies, making it easier for them to ride, which is really what matters.
Best for casual neighborhood rides on flat streets, this premium single-speed kids’ bike comes with a reach adjustable v-brake (just like on an adult bike but made to fit smaller hands), as well as an adjustable handlebar and seat that can grow with them, starting as low as 21.5 inches.
Wide, cushioning tires give kiddos a good, reliable grip on any terrain, and optimized pedaling allows for better balance and easier starts, resulting in less frustration as young riders hit the road without help. The Koda Plus is our overall best bike for children thanks to being available in five super stylish and modern colors to suit every taste at a reasonable price. Heck, some even include the most adorable bike basket for free!
- Designed to fit kids’ bodies for a more comfortable ride
- Chic, modern design in a variety of cool colors
- Cute bike basket included with select colorways
- Highly adjustable, from the handbrakes and handlebars to the seat height
- Optimized pedaling for easier starts
- Wide, cushioning tires to take on any terrain
- Superb value and features for the price point
- Single speed so may not be the right fit if you live somewhere mountainous or with large hills