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Kids bikes

By cryline - Posted on 29 September 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

My 3.5 year old is off the training wheels and riding off road (quite well too I'll proudly add). His current Thomas the Tank Engine bike from Target weighs about as much as a tank engine and I want to get him something a little better. Actually a lot better - hopefully without breaking the bank. He's on a 12" at the moment which is a good size but a small frame 16" would be ok and last him a couple years. What are other little kids riding? After something with a front brake, preferably not a rear coaster, light frame, offroad tyres etc.

After some ideas but let me know if you got something you're looking at selling (I'm in Perth).



My 3.5 year old has a 12" and 16" specialized hotrock (both bought second hand and we bought the 16" because we saw a nice one in the classifieds).

Both have a rear coaster brake and I wouldn't call the tyres 'offroad' but he rides dirt and mtb trails fine with them. The 16" is still a bit big for him and is a bit unstable but he can ride it.

They're not particularly light but I reckon they are about as good as you can get without spending lots of money. We did a fair bit of research and these and the byk range seemed to be the most highly recommended.

My eldest has one and it is confidence inspiring for him - comfortable and balanced. He flys over fire roads, farm trails etc with ease, though as Gareth says the tyres aren't quite offroad. Also, +1 for lots of people recommending Byk's, though they always seemed a bit excy to me.

We've been through the 12", 16" and now 20". Both my son and daughter are on them. We live around the corner from Northside Cycles and they really look after us, never charged for a service.
Not much lighter than a target/kmart bike, but you get a better quality build, and the after sales service.
Looked at the byk, but i was a little hesitant to go with a specialised (no pun intended) kids brand that is fairly new on the scene.

When it's time get serious then check out these guys:

2 girls 5 & 2 1/2 on the 12" and 16". My oldest has always been small for her age and took to the 16" at about 4 1/2 with no problem at all. It's got a front v brake and rear coaster brake... but that's fun for doing big skids as a kid!

That lilshredder costs more than my bike!

BYK make some of the best kids bikes around they are light and the build quality is amazing. Orbea also make some great kids bikes.

I got a reply from Avantiplus regarding the Scott Voltage JR 16" - comes in at 9.7kgs. Not much different to what he's riding already.

personally - I think the biggest advantage of riding a 'proper' bike over a kmart bike is not so much the weight - the Specialized ones are also reasonably heavy. I think the geometry makes a bigger difference - bike is more stable and easier for the kiddies to handle. Basically - better ergonomics.

the scott looks good - pretty similar design the the hotrock.

Try Apollo, they seem to bang on about light weight and then don't list a weight......

Shot Apollo an email - Neo 12" is 6.9kg ($259.99RRP) and the Neo 16" weighs 8.25kg ($299.99RRP)

Have inquired about the Orbea too. Quite like the look of those.

Carine and Cottesloe Cycles do Orbea over there.

I have found the cheaper kmart/target bikes have too long crank arms for the kids tiny legs.
Cheers, Daisy

Make sure that the brake levers are adjustable so that the kids can reach them

i got a nice Avanti 24 inch for my older boys a while back but strangely they had 170mm cranks. Even when they get to 12yo a 170 crank arm is too long. This guy can cut down alloy cranks and does nice work. Got some cut down to 150 and they work really nice.

You should be able to find short cranks, I had 155mm on my old DH bike, Funn something something.

My son owned a Trek till this time last year it was a 24" with 2 spots on the crank arm to adjust pedal height , easiest way is go to all the dealers and look at the bikes yourself and see what suits your kid just remember the kids do grow taller eventually.

i found appolo the best, at first i was hesitant too, but now it has been the first name that came to my mind.

He had a sit on a redline pitboss the other day. Perfect size, perfect weight but $599 was a little too hard to sell to the Boss.

I think you're on the right track with the BMX - light and simple, my son got a great start going off-road from about 4 1/2 years old. But you don't need to go 16" wheels.
I got him a BMX 'mini', short frame with narrow 20" wheels - like BMX race.
I set him up with short cranks and the right gearing and it was a real good ride. People question the narrow wheels and tyres off-road but it's all relative and I think it actually worked better for his light weight and smaller size, we never had a problem with flats.
As he grew I just changed the cranks and gearing to suit.

I actually still have the bike and all that setup but it's not being used so I was thinking of selling it, not sure if it would be too big for your son at the younger age. would depend on his size. Anyway, the bike is a DK Mini, if you're interested send me a PM.

My young bloke is now the proud owner of a second hand Redline Pitboss. Joining the local BMX gear for sale page on facebook paid off. Half the price of what I was going to spend with a few scratches thrown in free but I expect that with a kids bike. Everything works as it should and its light as a feather. And he loves that its got a raceplate on it so thats the main thing.

Cheers everyone for your help

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