The world of kids’ bikes has been turned upside down in the past decade. Training wheels are out, balance bikes are in. There’s a slew of small bikes with suspension forks and disc brakes for little rippers. And even basic bikes have evolved to make riding easier to learn, more fun, and safer.
To take advantage of these advances, there are a couple key features to look for when picking up a new kids’ bike. Getting the size and fit right is important too; it will make sure your little one gets the most out of their new ride. Here’s what to look for, and 15 of our top recommendations, reviewed and evaluated by our test editors and proven on the road and trail by our crew of test groms.
It is hard to decide what to like best about the Cleary Hedgehog–the beautifully painted steel frame, the top-notch componentry, or the way the little bike performs out on the trail. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Your child can have it all: form and function.
The Hedgehog is Cleary’s 16″ bike, sized for kids ages 4 to 6. The geometry and design make it look and perform like a real (albeit tiny) mountain bike. That said, it performs just as well on rides around town and on the kindergarten commute as it does on singletrack.