The best kids' bikes 2020 - as chosen by Mumsnetters
Tears and tantrums, giggles and grazed knees: teaching them to ride a bike is no walk (or cycle) in the park, but it all becomes worth it the moment you see them flying with ease, stabiliser-free, down the street. From their first balance bike to bigger, more grown-up models, you'll have them confident on two wheels in no time with this list of the best bikes for kids, chosen by Mumsnet users
The best balance bikes
Cruzee 12 Balance Bike, £130
Balance bikes are the best. They flip the learning game on its head by encouraging youngsters to learn on two wheels first – that means no tricycles or stabilisers. This ultra-light balance bike from Cruzee is unique in that even one-year-olds can hop on and the earlier they learn, the quicker they'll become confident. Made from rust-free material, built for optimal levels of comfort and with a lifetime warranty at your side, your family can benefit from the wonder that is Cruzee for years to come.
Suitable for children aged 1 – 5
“The Cruzee is amazing – so light and has an additional seat post for when the children grow.”
“Amazingly lightweight. My kid went for miles and miles on his.”Buy now from Amazon
Tadpole Mini by Frog Bikes, £144.99
Another option Mumsnet users love is the Tadpole Mini by Frog Bikes. It’s great for teaching your child how to balance properly so it's less of a leap once they eventually progress to thinner wheels. While other age ranges and styles are available, the Tadpole Mini is designed for ages one and two, is sturdy, comes with a safety steering lock, and has a five-year warranty. Pick from red, green or pink.
Suitable for children aged 1 – 2
“We’ve had a Frog Tadpole Mini and now a Frog Tadpole, both have been great. We’re almost
ready for the next size up with pedals.”
“Frog have a couple of different sized balance bikes now – for a child of about 18 months, the Tadpole Mini is so cute..”Buy now from Rutland Cycling
Banana Bike GT, £47.99
Much more affordable, but by no means lacking in quality, is this Banana Bike. It’s all about fun, simplicity and adventuring. Watch your child explore the great outdoors in this banana-shaped wonder, designed for two-year-olds and small children venturing out into unknown territory (fully supervised, of course). The height of the seat is adjustable – perfect for growth spurts – while the frame is robust and lightweight, making it easy to carry as well as capable of handling a decent battering. The tyres are puncture-proof and should never need pumping up (good news for whoever wields the bike pumps in your household).
Suitable for children aged 2+
“I vote Banana bikes. They’ve been really good for my daughter and now I’m passing it on to my
son. Good customer service too.”
“We’ve had the Banana balance bike and have been very impressed. Lightweight, solid wheels so they don’t puncture and are easy to use with adjustable seat and handles. Very reasonably priced.”Buy now from Amazon
B’Twin RunRide Balance Bike by Decathlon, £34.99 (was £44.99)
Get them even closer to getting a big kid’s bike with this RunRide by Decathlon. It really comes into its own when your kids are that bit older (three or four) as this 10-inch balance bike teaches them not only how to balance, but also how to manage their speed on two wheels. Equipped with Stop Easy brakes for small hands and an agile feel, this Decathlon bike will be their new best friend.
“Definitely get the Decathlon RunRide – they do a range of them, but we had this one with the brake.”
“Decathlon is a good recommendation if you can get to one. Excellent value for money and well made, there is no need to pay more when they are used for such a short period of time.”Buy now from Decathlon
Puky 4079 XL Balance Bike, from £105.59
This little number comes with a special learner bike saddle, designed for comfort and posture support. It’s safe, sturdy, sporty and functional. Both the seat and handlebars are adjustable, so it’ll make for a solid investment. They’ll be out-riding you in no time! Not suitable for children under three.
“Puky balance bikes are fantastic.”
“The best make has to be a Puky. Well worth the money and they sell on for almost as much!”Buy now from Amazon
FirstBIKE Cross Bike, £99.99
Stress-free and award-winning, this German-designed FirstBIKE is flexible, absorbs shock and is built to protect your child's spine. As you’d expect for the price, it’s made from durable materials and has a gentle braking system for those quick-react moments. The horse-saddle shape is designed to help prevent them falling off, while the Steering Limiter offers a smoother riding experience.
“We bought our son a balance bike for his second birthday. He didn't start using it till he was nearer three but then there was no stopping him. Ours is by FirstBIKE and is fantastic (not cheap) but great quality and brilliant safety features. This, combined with using some pedal cars/tractors etc and they'll be away for before you know it!”Buy now from Amazon
The best pedal bikes
Cnoc by Islabikes, £319.99
Recommended by parents everywhere, Cnoc by Islabikes are firm favourites among Mumsnet users. Suitable for three- to six-year-olds, known to be a dream to pedal, and specifically designed to inspire confidence when learning to ride, Cnocs are excellent starter bikes for children. They even have lightweight alloy frames so they will last long enough for you to pass them on. Plus, they’re bold, polished and bright – guaranteed to get your kids pumped to start those lessons.
Suitable for children aged 3 – 6
“I like Islabikes. Well worth it, beautifully made and exceptionally light, which means they can cycle a lot further. Plus, the brakes (and gears) are very easy to use.”
“I'd recommend the Cnoc 16-DS. My six-year-old has done many rides of four to 12 miles on it. He can ride a Beinn 20, but the Cnoc is lighter (1.1 kg makes a difference at this age) and is just the right size (and will be for another year or so). The Cnoc has a foot brake which is ideal for kids, I just wish the Cnoc or something similar came in a 20”-wheel version, really.”Buy now from Amazon
Raleigh Molli 12 Pink Bike, £130
No ‘best bikes for kids’ round-up would be complete without a pink princess option (complete with wicker basket). If your child is stuck in a pink phase with no end in sight, they will be over the moon to receive this Raleigh model. Aside from being pinker than pink, it’s everything you would want in a first bike. It comes with traditional stabilisers, mudguards and brakes and is designed to hold interest, grab attention and keep your little one safe. What’s not to love?
“Ours had a Raleigh which was great: sturdy, well made and appealing to look at.”Buy now from Evans Cycles
Ridgeback MX16 Bike, £199.99
If your child is prone to putting their toys to the test, you’ll need something that can live up to a bit of energetic play. This Ridgeback MX16 is just the ticket. Built to be lightweight, with a rugged frame and sturdy stance (for better upright balance), this bike is a classic for teaching small riders how to off-road with stability.
“Our son had a Ridgeback Scoot and we recently changed it for the Ridgeback MX16. Our main reason for paying the extra was its weight and the fact the Scoot lasted so well and still looked pristine.”
“My son has had the Ridgeback MX16 and I think it's been great. Very light – and they also
keep their value when it comes to selling.”