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The 10 Best: Children’s Bikes

Thinking of buying your child a new bike this summer? We’ve found you the very best bicycles for young riders to build up their confidence

Islabike Beinn 20

Islabikes are exceptionally lightweight and built specifically with kids in mind (rather than being just a smaller version of adult bikes). The Beinn, which has wheel sizes ranging from 20” to 26”, handles parks and road phenomenally well; it also has a custom fit saddle, extra-wide knobbly tyres and light-action brakes for small hands. Like all Islabikes, this one can be tailored to individual needs, for example with mountain bike tyres for more adventurous types. From 5-10 years.

From £389.99

www.islabikes.co.uk/product/bikes/beinn/

Hoy Napier Balance Bike

Balance bikes are mini versions of children’s bikes with no cranks or pedals. Kids push the bike along with their feet, then learn to push and glide, making the transition to a regular bike surprisingly seamless and usually with no need for stabilisers.  This one, which is named after the school yard where Sir Chris Hoy learned to ride, looks great and is made from lightweight aluminium, with multi-surface-friendly Kenda tyres. Available in blue, red, green or yellow, it has fantastically easy handling to help build confidence in young riders. From 2-4 years.

 

£110

www.evanscycles.com/hoy-napier-balance-bike-EV204723

Ridgeback Dimension 24

This is a versatile hybrid bike with great features, including the lightweight triple-butted alloy frame, which makes it ideal for children who like to ride a lot. It has Shimano smooth gears, pedals that make it easy to push off and quick action brakes with quick release afterwards. Available in black or purple – as well as in 14”, 20”and 26” sizes – it is a bit more affordable than Islabikes and the BMX styling should make it the envy of the neighbourhood. From 9-13 years.

From £329.99

www.ridgebackkids.co.uk/girls/dimension-24-purple

Specialized Riprock 20

The burly Riprock is part of Specialized’s latest generation of kids’ mountain bikes and provides lots of fun for those looking to ride both paved roads and explore off road trails. The Riprock family spans 12”, 16”, 20” or 24” wheel sizes to cover a breadth of ages. This 20” version boasts large volume 2.8 inch tyres for exceptional traction, control and greater ride quality over all surfaces. The geometry features a low stand over height giving new riders confidence in fit, while retaining a great range to accommodate growth. From 6-9 years.

£350.00

www.specialized.com/gb/en/new-arrivals/bikes/kids-bikes/kids-mountain-bikes/c/kidsmountain

Weeride Alloy Pro Pilot Tag-Along

The lightweight but robust frame, easy-reach brakes and simple-to-adjust seat post all combine to make this the best possible starter bike. Aimed at pre-school age riders, it’s only got one gear to keep things uncomplicated and, as with all Frog bikes, you get two sets of tyres – hybrid and off-road. The number 43 refers to the minimum inside leg measurement, so if your child is a bit bigger or has already turned four, you might want to consider the Frog 48. Pedals can be removed if you want to use it as a balance bike for a taller child. From 3-5 years.£199.99

www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-accessories/child-bike-seats-trailers/weeride-alloy-pro-pilot-tag-along

Frog 43

The lightweight but robust frame, easy-reach brakes and simple-to-adjust seat post all combine to make this the best possible starter bike. Aimed at 3-5 year-olds, it’s only got one gear to keep things uncomplicated and, as with all Frog bikes, you get two sets of tyres – hybrid and off-road. The number 43 refers to the minimum inside leg measurement, so if your child is a bit bigger or has already turned four, you might want to consider the Frog 48. Pedals can be removed if you want to use it as a balance bike for a taller child.

£240

www.frogbikes.com/lightweight-kids-bikes/first-pedal-bikes/frog43.aspx

Pinnacle Koto

Pinnacle is Evans Cycles’ in-house brand, with frames designed by James Olsen – a former designer at Genesis bikes, who also works on the HOY range. This bike is similar to Evans’ Pinnacle Koa, but is for slightly bigger kids, and we think it stands out for all-round use and maximising fun, as well as keeping things really simple to help build confidence. It’s sturdy, but light enough to make easy manoeuvres and feels well engineered and built – also making it a good hand-me-down. From 6 years.

£200

www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-koto-16-inch-kids-bike-EV275988

Apollo Gridlock Kids’ Mountain Bike 24

If you’re after a budget option for an older child, then you’re onto a winner with this eye-catching bike that tackles hills with ease thanks to the Shimano 18 speed gearing. The SRAM twist shifters make changing gear a doddle, while other features of note include the impressive front suspension and V brakes with alloy brake levers for instant stopping power. It feels sturdy too, although isn’t the lightest, and it definitely doesn't look out of place beside the more expensive equivalent bikes on the market. From 11 years.£124

www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/junior-bikes/apollo-gridlok-kids-mountain-bike-24-wheel

Hoy Bonaly 16

This is one of Evans’ best-selling bikes and one of the lightest ever kids’ bikes. Like the Hoy Napier (above), it’s named after an old stomping ground for Sir Chris Hoy, the Bonaly area of the Pentland Hills was where he first rode a mountain bike. An already outstanding design, enhanced features for 2018 include new frame tubing dimensions, fewer spokes and it’s even more lightweight. We like the new extra comfy padding for the saddle (which, by the way, goes nice and low), while the narrow cranks and extra-small brake levers make it a breeze for young riders to transition to from a 14” bike. From 4 years.£260

www.evanscycles.com/hoy-bonaly-16-inch-wheel-2018-kids-bike-EV306431

Islabike Creig 24

‘How much?’ we hear you shriek. This is one for seriously keen cyclists. The Creig 24 is an exceptionally lightweight, well-proportioned and speedy performance bike that’s as good as it gets for young racers and those who love climbs and jumps on tricky trails. With years of research and one of the best brands in bikes behind it, this proper hardtail mountain bike has SRAM RD-GX shifting, hydraulic disc brakes, 80mm air-sprung front suspension and wide tyres. From 8 years.From £1,499

www.islabikes.co.uk/product/bikes/creig-pro-series/

Chalk & Chat 2018

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