Home
All you need to know to find the best bike for your child — from toddlers to teenagers and for all budgets

There's probably never been more choice and quality in kids' bikes, from balance bikes for toddlers to scaled-down mountain bikes, BMXs and racing bikes for the budding Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins.

Children love to ride and a bike is one of those presents they will remember forever. It's an opportunity to get off the sofa and get outside having some fun; if you give them the right bike it can be the gateway to a lifetime of healthy exercise, exercise and adventure. Youngsters can start riding at any age from about three upwards, and can start on balance bikes even earlier.

So what do you need to know before you buy a bike for your child?

Bike size

Kids' bikes are sized by wheel size rather than frame size, because the size of the wheels determines the proportions of the rest of the bike. The smallest kids' bikes have 12-inch wheels and are usually suitable for kids between three and five years old.

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 02

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 02

Fit

As with any bike, it's important it fits comfortably so that junior can easily stand across the frame, reach the pedals from the saddle and grab the handlebar without too much of a stretch.

In my far-off bike shop days I often encountered parents who wanted a bike for their child that was too big, so they could grow into it. If the rider to be was a boy I'd gently lift the front wheel to simulate a dismount on a slope and ask if they ever wanted to be grandparents.

Sloping frames and high resale values for good kids' bikes make this less of an issue than it was, but it's worth bearing in mind that a child's bike still needs to fit like an adult's, with an inch or two of top tube clearance, and more for mountain bikes.

Weight

It's even more important that kids' bikes aren't too heavy than it is for adults. A heavy kids' bike is relatively even more work for the rider than a heavy adult bike.

Kids' bikes used to be universally boat anchors, and very cheap ones still are. But there's been another revolution in the last few years, led by companies like Islabikes that have taken advantage of inexpensive manufacturing to produce bikes that were every bit as light as their grown-up equivalents.

Islabikes has been followed into the market by other kids' bike specialists and mass-manufacturers like Trek and Specialized have also raised their game with sensibly priced, light machines for young riders.

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 01

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 01

Balance bikes

In the last decade or so, balance bikes - steerable toy bikes with no pedals - have revolutionised the way kids learn to ride. By allowing a child to learn to balance and steer a bike without the complication of pedalling, balance bikes make a child's first experiences with bikes simple and fun.

Balance bikes are available at a wide range of prices, from about £50 to £130. The most basic models don't have brakes but these days most have a rear wheel brake so junior's trainers don't get worn out stopping.

 

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 03

Kids on bikes (©Dave Atkinson) 03

Small-wheeled bikes

Bikes with 12, 14 and 16-inch wheels keep things simple with single gears and no complications. The big thing is to get a bike that fits, so your child can easily reach the ground, the handlebar's and the brakes. They are just starting out on their cycling experience and while they won't mind the odd fall when they are having fun, they will start to mind if it's more than the odd fall because they are too small to properly control the bike you've bought them. While it's quite hard to put children off cycling it's not impossible.

20-inch wheeled bikes

ridgeback-rx20-2014-kids-bike

ridgeback-rx20-2014-kids-bike

This is where you get into gears and sometimes suspension. Bikes for seven to nine year olds will take kids further afield, away from the garden and into parks and perhaps even to school.

You'll usually find six or seven gears to make climbing hills easier, with a twist-grip shifter for simplicity.

We're not convinced that a suspension fork is worth having at the typical £200-300 you'll pay for a good 20-inch kids' bike. Cheap suspension forks don't work very well, add extra weight and soak up budget the manufacturer could better spend on higher-quality parts to lighten the rest of the bike. Ironically the rigid version of some kids' mountain bikes will be lighter, nicer to ride and cheaper than the one with a suspension fork.

But kids, especially boys, seem to love those bouncy forks. If junior absolutely must have a suspension fork on his bike it's probably worth trying to make sure that the rest of the bike is as light as your budget will allow. Ideally you want to find one with a fork that can be locked out so they don't feel seasick when riding on pavements or tarmac.

Bigger wheels

Islabikes Beinn 26 small - cropped.jpg

Islabikes Beinn 26 small - cropped.jpg

The same comments apply to 24-inch and even 26-inch wheeled mountain bikes for kids as for 20-inch bikes.

You also find double and even triple chainsets on these bikes, but there's a school of thought that this is extra weight, complication and cost that the child can live without for another year or two. They may have other ideas, but if you need to argue your corner you can point to all those 1x9, 10, and 11 set-ups currently flavour of the month in mountain biking circles.

Road or mountain?

Small-wheel kids' bikes have flat bars and mountain bike styling, but once you get into 24-inch wheeled bikes you have the option of drop bars.

At this point you're definitely into try-before-you-buy territory. Some kids simply don't get on with drop bars, and more importantly with their brake/gear levers, so don't try and surprise your youngster with a road bike if you're not certain they'll cope.

Cyclo-cross style extra brake levers are a definite bonus on any drop-bar bike for a kid and in our experience children will thank you for them. One other note on brakes for all kids' bikes: always check that the brake levers are proportionate to the size of the child's hand that's going to be using them, and ideally that they are reach-adjustable too.

And don’t forget BMX

BMX action (CC BY-SA 2.0 Klaus Friese|Flickr).jpg

BMX action (CC BY-SA 2.0 Klaus Friese|Flickr).jpg

BMX action (CC BY-SA 2.0 Klaus Friese|Flickr)

There’s a good shout for saying that the BMX is the ideal kids’ bike, it’s relatively light, simple and robust. That robustness means BMXs have great hand me down and/or re-sale value. More importantly from a kid’s point of view they’re fun to ride and are pretty much go-anywhere machines.

Add in the fact that there are all sorts of types of BMX riding you can do and that many towns and cities have a BMX track or some ramps for learning tricks and stunts on, or simply just ragging around with your mates and what’s not to like. As a sport BMX has been something of a breeding ground for champions both on the road and track in recent years, and of course in BMX too.

One of the other great things about BMX bikes for kids is that they’re a small wheeled bike anyway and the original BMXers were kids, so kids' BMXs really are proper scaled down versions of the adult ones. ‘Proper’ BMX bikes come with wheels as small as 12in, small enough for many four year olds. As with any other bike for a child it’s really important that you buy one that fits the child you’re buying it for. A full size BMX may have a 20in wheel, as do many children’s bikes, but that doesn’t make it a child’s bike.

Again, like other bikes with a BMX you get what you pay for. Because of its simplicity a cheaper BMX probably offers better value than a cheap mountain bike in terms of the quality of the frame and components.

As with mountain bikes it pays to keep it simple when buying a BMX for a child. Stunt pegs and the like may look cool/rad/sick but like cheap suspension forks on kids mountain bikes they just add weight and cost at the expense of performance.

…or BMX-style bikes

Raleigh Performance 16 2015.jpg

Raleigh Performance 16 2015.jpg

Some of the best kids bikes borrow a lot from BMX bikes and single speed dirt jump mountain bikes without quite being either. The Islabike Cnoc and Beinn models are good examples, so is the Raleigh Performance 16 (pictured). Simple, tough, one-geared bikes for children from five to nine years old that are generally even more versatile than a BMX often lighter too and which kids really seem to enjoy riding.

16 great kids' bikes

Puky LRM — £52.95 | Puky LR1 — £63.95-£74.49

Puky LR1.jpg

Puky LR1.jpg

German outfit Puky's range of balance bikes starts from as little as £53 with their LRM balance bike and they offer a whole range including models with pneumatic tyres, kickstands and brakes. All of them are light and extremely durable - they really are built to last with a tough powder coat finish, but that functionality isn't at the expense of fun. The kids we know who've had them have really enjoyed using them and we'd go so far as to say they're a bit of a classic. Certainly if you want to give your child a fun start to a life of cycling £60 spent on the LRM is likely to be prove a very sound investment. Puky's website has a very useful guide to help you choose the right balance bike for your sprog. Like most other kids' bikes it really comes down to size.

Ridgeback Scoot — £90

Ridgeback Scoot Orange.jpg

Ridgeback Scoot Orange.jpg

Another great little balance bike. We love the simple lines of this balance bike from the Ridgeback range. The frame is 6061 aluminium which keeps the weight down and there's a proper sealed-bearing headset, unlike the bushings you find in very cheap balance bikes.

There's a V-brake at the back to slow things down and the cable is even routed internally. Who doesn't appreciate clean lines on their bike?

Find a Ridgeback dealer

Islabikes Cnoc 14 — £289.99

Islabikes Cnoc.jpg

Islabikes Cnoc.jpg

With this 5.79kg aluminium-framed first bike, Islabikes throws out the wheel sizing rules we were talking about above and offers a bike with 14-inch wheels for the youngest riders.

Islabikes' attention to detail is legendary and it's on show here with short-reach brake levers, small-diameter handlebars, and lightweight wheels. It all adds up to a luxury package for youngsters and if your sprog's not yet ready to fly solo it'll take stabilisers.

Giant Liv Enchant 20 Lite — £248.99

2017_liv_enchant_20_lite.jpg

2017_liv_enchant_20_lite.jpg

This Giant mini-mountain bike is a typical kids' 20-incher. Part of Giant's Liv women's range, it has an aluminium frame in Giant's own ALUXX alloy, wide-range seven-speed gears and V-brakes.

There is also a boys' version, the Giant XtC Jr. 20.

Find a Giant dealer.

Charge Cooker 24 — £349.99

Charge-Cooker-24-2017-Kids-Bike-Youths-Bikes-Over-9-Blue-R53247M20OS.jpg

Charge-Cooker-24-2017-Kids-Bike-Youths-Bikes-Over-9-Blue-R53247M20OS.jpg

British brand Charge makes very well-regarded mountain bikes, town bikes and road bikes with a distinctly UK slant. Its recently added some very tasty looking junior mountain bikes. The Cooker 24 has 24-inch wheels, as the name suggests, on an aluminium frame to keep the weight down. There's a single chainring and seven-speed sprockets for uncomplicated shifting, and disc brakes for speed control.

Find a Charge dealer

Islabikes Beinn 24 — £439.99

Islabike Beinn 24 riding 1

Islabike Beinn 24 riding 1

We make no apologies for including another Islabike; Isla Rowntree really did rewrite the book on kid's bikes, and the Beinn 24 is a terrific flat-bar kids' bike.

It's surprisingly light and well-proportioned, well-made, well-designed and perfect for kids from seven to nine years old.

Perhaps the best thing about Islabikes is their almost cult-like following means they hod their value incredibly well. It's not unusual to see secondhand Islabikes for sale at only 10% less than new price.

Read our review of the Islabikes Beinn 24.

Worx JA24 road bike — £495.00

Worx JA24 - riding 2

Worx JA24 - riding 2

Its sheer versatility makes the Worx JA24 one of the best kids' bikes we've ever tested. Not only does it look great, but you can choose road or knobbly tyres depending in whether your young 'un wants to ride tarmac or dirt.

Weight's kept down with an aluminium fork, and there are plenty of carefully-chosen details to fit young riders, including a particularly well-shaped handlebar.

Read our review of the Worx JA24.

Worx JA26 — £495

Worx JA-26 - riding 1

Worx JA-26 - riding 1

The larger-wheeled Worx is also a blinder, with all the properties and features that make the 24-inch bike so good. Kids grow quickly, but moving up from the 24-inch to 26-inch Worx will be a seamless transition, and there's a 700C bike too for the next step up.

Read our review of the Worx JA26.

Scott Speedster JR 24 — £599

Scott Speedster JR 24 - riding 5 (1)

Scott Speedster JR 24 - riding 5 (1)

If your aspiring Wiggo or Vos just wants to go fast on the road, Scott's Speedster JR is perfect for your junior, er, speedster.

The Speedster JR 24 is as serious about the business of going fast as Scott's top end carbon fibre Foil models, and Scott's designers have obsessed over the details.

Proportional frame tube sizes ensure the bike looks like a scaled adult race machine, not a puppy with dog's paws. It also goes a long way to helping keep weight low. They've even removed the chainstay bridge.

The price is a lot of money for a kids' bike, but it the spec measures up with highlights like very light wheels, Shimano Sora gears and sidepull brakes and if you shop around you can get it for less than the list price.

Read our review of the Scott Speedster JR 24.
Find a Scott dealer.

Specialized Hot Rock 24 XC — £350

specialized hotrock 24 xc 2016.jpg

specialized hotrock 24 xc 2016.jpg

What we were saying above about not needing lots of gears and suspension on a kids' bike? Here's the exception. The Hot Rock 24 is a proper hardtail mountain bike, scaled down.

It has a triple chainset, so the gears go down to wall-climbing low ratios, and an air-sprung SR fork. The aluminium frame keeps everything light, but Specialized says it's as tough as an adult cross-country bike's frame.

Find a Specialized dealer.

Canyon Grand Canyon Al 24 — £699

2017 Canyon Grand Canyon Al 24.jpg

2017 Canyon Grand Canyon Al 24.jpg

Canyon has a range of three MTB-styled kid's bikes, of which this is the top model. With a good quality suspension fork, lightweight frame,  wide-range gearing and hydraulic dis brakes, it's a proper modern hardtail mountain bike, scaled down for kids between 120cm and 153cm tall. 

Frog Road 70 — £465

Frog bikes 26 inch childrens bike - riding 1

Frog bikes 26 inch childrens bike - riding 1

A drop-bar bike with 26in wheels, but unlike the Raleigh, Frog goes with chunkier tyres out of the box so that the Road 70 can handle trails and dirt roads as well as tarmac.

If it were an adult bike we'd be using lots of current hot cycling buzz words 'cross', 'adventure' or 'gravel'. In fact, it's some and none of those. It's just a kids' bike, built for kids to take on the sort of freewheeling, where-the-wind-blows sorts of rides they like to do.

Read our review of the Frog Road 70.
Find a Frog Bikes dealer.

Trek Kids' Dual Sport — £430

trek-dual-sports-2017-kids-bike-grey-EV286622-7000-1.jpg

trek-dual-sports-2017-kids-bike-grey-EV286622-7000-1.jpg

Trek knows that adventurous kids will ride everywhere no matter what a bike's supposed to be for — remember dirt tracking on racers when you were a kid? The Kids' Dual Sport is a go-anywhere rigid 26-incher for roads and trails, though the dread word 'hybrid' is carefully avoided.

You get an aluminium frame and fork, triple chainset and disc brakes - the latter still a rarity on kids' bikes but a welcome confidence-booster for weaker junior digits.

Find a Trek dealer.

Islabikes Luath 700 Small — £599.99

Islabikes Luath 700c - riding 1.jpg

Islabikes Luath 700c - riding 1.jpg

The Islabikes Luath 700 Small is among the smallest and therefore easiest to access full-sized 700C-wheel road bikes.  

Testers felt the ride was sporty and responsive: "not like I expect a cross bike to feel like" as one put it. The Luath changes direction easily, responding to a light touch, without feeling fly-away or skittish – just what young riders need in a fast road bike.

Descending seems to be a particular penchant of the Luath, gobbling up sweeping turns with an appetite only beaten by that of the growing rider. We put this down to good geometry, a relatively compact cockpit, a fork that gives the front end a planted feel, and grippy Kenda tyres.

Read our review of the Islabikes Luath 700 Small.

Luath 24 Pro Series — £1,599.99

Luath 24 Pro Series.jpg

Luath 24 Pro Series.jpg

And then there's the Islabikes Pro Series, almost certainly the highest-spec production kids' bikes ever made. Every detail has been minutely examined and when Islabikes hasn't been able to find off-the-peg parts for the job, they've designed their own. Weight has been kept to a minimum, with components like a titanium bottom bracket axle and an all-carbon fibre fork. 

The range starts with the Cnoc 16 Pro Series for £799.99 and goes up to the Luath Pro Series with 24-inch, 26-inch or 700C wheels. They're not cheap, but the only other way to get a kid's bike anywhere near this good would be to have it custom built.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

19 comments

Avatar
the little onion [160 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

We have progressed from a Puky balance bike to the smallest frog bike (frog 43 - which was brilliant) to a Wiggins Macon (16 inch wheel) . I rate the wiggins bikes as of a similar quality to Frog and Isla bikes, and it cost just under £200 from Halfords, although I did have to strip half the bike down and rebuild it as the cables were routed in a dodgy configuration. 

 

Buying good bikes for kids has been worth it - my 5 year old is so much more skilled and confident in riding a bike, and he enjoys it far more, than his friends with their clunky Argos heavyweight BSOs.

Avatar
thesaladdays [120 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
the little onion wrote:

We have progressed from a Puky balance bike to the smallest frog bike (frog 43 - which was brilliant) to a Wiggins Macon (16 inch wheel) . I rate the wiggins bikes as of a similar quality to Frog and Isla bikes, and it cost just under £200 from Halfords, although I did have to strip half the bike down and rebuild it as the cables were routed in a dodgy configuration.

 

What did you think of the Puky? The boy is getting just about big enough for the smallest model and of course his cycling-mad old man can't wait to get him riding.

I'm slightly concerned about the lack of brakes but on the other hand I'm not sure that at such a young age it would make much difference.

Avatar
the little onion [160 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
thesaladdays wrote:
the little onion wrote:

We have progressed from a Puky balance bike to the smallest frog bike (frog 43 - which was brilliant) to a Wiggins Macon (16 inch wheel) . I rate the wiggins bikes as of a similar quality to Frog and Isla bikes, and it cost just under £200 from Halfords, although I did have to strip half the bike down and rebuild it as the cables were routed in a dodgy configuration.

 

What did you think of the Puky? The boy is getting just about big enough for the smallest model and of course his cycling-mad old man can't wait to get him riding.

I'm slightly concerned about the lack of brakes but on the other hand I'm not sure that at such a young age it would make much difference.

 

It worked fine - for a two year old, it doesn't matter that it doesn't have brakes. As they get older, faster, and cockier, you do wear through the soles of shoes at a faster rate. The only drawback is that as they transition to their first "proper" bike, they have to learn to use brakes and pedals at the same time.

Avatar
stomec [26 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

And yet no mention of the LittleBig bike you gave 4.5 stars to last year?

http://road.cc/content/review/207728-littlebig-3-1-bike

Great concept going from balance to pedals over several years. 

Avatar
thesaladdays [120 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
the little onion wrote:

It worked fine - for a two year old, it doesn't matter that it doesn't have brakes. As they get older, faster, and cockier, you do wear through the soles of shoes at a faster rate. The only drawback is that as they transition to their first "proper" bike, they have to learn to use brakes and pedals at the same time.

 

Cool, thanks for the input.  Shall be ordering one in that case.

Avatar
StoopidUserName [308 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It's a shame that decathlon can do a pretty highly rated adults road bike for around £300 but have no childrens option  2 £500 for a kids road bike that might last less than a year is a lot of dosh...and not all kids get excited in a 2nd hand bike for a present

Avatar
s2h [13 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
thesaladdays wrote:

I'm slightly concerned about the lack of brakes but on the other hand I'm not sure that at such a young age it would make much difference.

 

at that age they can't actually use the brakes... dont worry about it!

Avatar
Stu Kerton [81 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I've just bought the Vitus Twenty http://www.wiggle.co.uk/vitus-twenty-kids-bike/ from Wiggle for my son's 5th birthday.

It really challenges the Islabike Bienn 20 on price for a similar weight and geometry, a great all round package especially as it does away with Gripshift, a system that most kids don't have the strength to use

Vitus Twenty

Avatar
steviemarco [236 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

No Cube bikes? My daughter loves her Pink Cube Kid 200, it's just the job, good value as well.

Avatar
multimodal [54 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

It's a shame that decathlon can do a pretty highly rated adults road bike for around £300 but have no childrens option  2 £500 for a kids road bike that might last less than a year is a lot of dosh...and not all kids get excited in a 2nd hand bike for a present

I bought my son a bike from Decathlon when he was 4. It was about £80. Bit heavy but had child-friendly brakes. He cycled it 8 miles around London during the freecycle the same year (we did stop at every festival zone), so I don't think the weight is a huge issue.

Sometimes you can over think these things. If you make it fun, they'll enjoy it and ride more regardless of the bike you get them.

Avatar
Morat [264 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Clearly there's a big price difference between the Vitus and the Islabikes Beinn but the weight difference is also pretty clear. 8.1 kg (Beinn 20 large) vs 9.4Kg (Vitus). Both figures are manufacturer's claims.

I think you'd pay quite a lot to shed that amount of weight from an adult bike. Some people live in hilly areas and some live on the flat. Near me, moving my son to a Beinn has given him freedom to climb proper hills. Seeing a five/six year old attack a proper gradient and beat it while still smiling is priceless (albeit a scary foretaste of the inevitable!)

Avatar
BarryBianchi [178 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
multimodal wrote:

Sometimes you can over think these things. If you make it fun, they'll enjoy it and ride more regardless of the bike you get them.

  Exactly that.  Until they are a fair age (10+?), despite your best efforts and intentions, the bike they want to ride is either anyone, or the one in the colour they like most.  After that, it's just the one they like to colour of most. All that lasts 10 mins at best if they get bored.  Now mine will ride anything so long as we are going to the Excelent Hot Chocolate Cafe and they can see I have my wallet with me.  Which is a good thing, because it solves the problem.  Actually now, my not especially tall 14 year old is riding my 56cm CX with the saddle right down, because it's a "cool" bike (matt black Weigh with a black carbon Mud fork, and, crucially bartop levers.  He's put day-glo bartape on that matches his helmet and that's totally sealed the deal).  Obviously it's not really what we would call a custom fit, but he's more than happy to ride it with a couple of short breaks over verying road terrain for a couple of hours and knocks out around a 14mph average, and is taking it to France for a fortnight's riding later this summer.  Moral: if it works, it works.

Avatar
dottigirl [690 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Any thoughts on this for a short adult woman please?

https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/road-bikes/mekk-volante-26-2016-26-...

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [497 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:

Any thoughts on this for a short adult woman please?

https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/road-bikes/mekk-volante-26-2016-26-...

It's not bad, but with the lower quality frame/hi ten steel forks/lower quality components it's going to be a boat anchor. However you can also get topcashback on Rutland cycling so another 3% back.

Don't know if a 49cm is small enough but Go-outdoors do some women specific racing bikes that are cheap as chips, for £350 with carbon fork and a proper chainset/Schwalbe Lugano tyres and includes toe clips and straps  http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-loxley-ladies-road-bike-p343881

you get 7% cashback through topcashback for go-outdoors, obviously you need a card or know someone that has one to reap the cheaper prices.

This has just come up on ebay, dunno if you're near london but looks a bargain

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lemond-etape-bike-45cm-/201987974374?hash=item...

And this http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/13-intrinsic-lambda-wom... available in a 45cm

review from this site http://road.cc/content/review/169643-13-bikes-intrinsic-lambda

BTWIn also do their junior race bike too

 

 

Avatar
dottigirl [690 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

Any thoughts on this for a short adult woman please?

https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/road-bikes/mekk-volante-26-2016-26-...

It's not bad, but with the lower quality frame/hi ten steel forks/lower quality components it's going to be a boat anchor. However you can also get topcashback on Rutland cycling so another 3% back.

<snip>

Thanks, that's really helpful.

Confession: I have three road bikes already (2 x Racelight T2, 1 x Cannondale CAAD8 - which I'm selling - all in 48cm).

I'm actually after a cx bike - something I can do a bit of off-roading on. I've been looking for a while but not seen anything within my budget (tiny!) yet. A lot of cx bikes don't seem to be available in smaller sizes, so I've been considering the Islabike Luath and other kids' bikes!

I have a spare 105 groupset I could chuck on a frameset, but I haven't even seen one of those to tempt me. Plus, the gearing would be wrong for cx.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [497 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I don't know if you feel discs are a must but it limits your choice for cheap and correct size, there are some small NOS alloy and steel frames on ebay for not a bundle of cash or you could pick up a used higher end MTB or hybrid frame and use Mini vs with the STIs.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brand-New-Carerra-Gryphon-Frame-Size-Small-17-...

I use that set up on my current audax cum tourer cum winter racer which I built up from a high end  Specialized Globe frame from 2007/8 (though bought the whole bike and sold on the bits i didn't need) with TRP9s/6700/Miche etc. Braking is immense and I can fit 55mm wide tyres in there if I chose to. Obviously cost me a few quid but I went triple route so I can carry heavy loads/get up the really steep stuff, 24x28 is 10% lower gearing than 34/36 without the big jumps between the ratios at the bottom end which helps to maintain momentum when pushing hard.

I know a lot of people don't like triples but they serve a purpose and for casual CX/off road duties i think they are a better option than a double with a ridiculously wide cassette.

luck finding something.

 

Avatar
robertchappel [5 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I have just bought the Frog Bikes - Frog 48 https://www.onyourbike.com/product/8126-Frog-Bikes-Frog-48.php from On Your Bike for my little champ.

This orange vibrant color attracts me and my child.

Avatar
DaveE128 [887 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

It annoys me in overviews of kids bikes where they say things like "aluminium frame keeps things light". That's nonsense. I have an aluminium Ridgeback kids bike that someone passed on to me. It's pretty much a boat anchor and far heavier than a much larger Islabike. Please post actual weights in reviews like this!

Avatar
TwisTed [7 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

https://www.evanscycles.com/hoy-bonaly-20-inch-kids-bike-EV203131

a brilliant bit of kit for a kid to discover the joy that is cycling.