Best Two-Wheel Bikes for Kids

Best Two-Wheel Bikes for Kids

January 5, 2018

Best Two-Wheel Bikes for Kids

Best Two-Wheel Bikes for Kids
Photo by @parez
Start here to get the best first pedal bike for your kid.Best Two-Wheel Bikes for Kids

Nothing prompts a, “Where did my baby go (sniff, sniff)?” like watching your child ride their very own two-wheeler. It’s a major milestone! And the right bike can make all the difference in creating a stress-free learning experience.

Where Do I Start?

Many toddlers begin on balance bikes—small two-wheelers without pedals. Little ones build balance by first walking while sitting over the saddle, then scooting, running, and gliding with their feet raised in the air. This is an intuitive process that kids master on their own.

Biking experts recommend going from balance bike to pedal bike (and skipping training wheels!) for a smoother transition. Many pedal bikes no longer come with training wheels, so be sure to take a close look at the specs before buying a bike if you want the option to add them.

The Wheel Deal

Proper fit is the key to an enjoyable, fun ride. When choosing a first bike, measure your child’s height and inseam, and take into account age and clothing size. In general, these ages are best suited for the following tire sizes.

Biking Age Chart

(This chart was inspired by this helpful chart on sizing from Two Wheeling Tots.)

Despite these ranges, you may have a tall three-year-old or a petite four-year-old. So, it’s best to measure before buying.

Tip: Kids often stop a bike with their feet when they’re learning, so feet need to easily reach the ground.

Keep in mind: Just because bikes have the same tire diameter, doesn’t mean they will fit your child exactly the same way. For maximum comfort and maneuverability, you’ll want to assess the style of the frame, handlebar placement, seat height, overall weight of the bike, length of the wheelbase (longer = more stability), and of course… your budget. While some high-end bikes can cost a small fortune, on the flip side, you don’t want to waste money on a poorly made bike your child won’t want to ride.

Ready to Go?

We surveyed Babylist parents about the pedal bikes they love most. These are the top products they shared, plus our own research and insight.

The Natural

Why We Love It

This is an excellent 14” learning bike for the littlest riders, especially if your tot is a pro on the balance bike. The geometry (frame shape) is thoughtfully designed to keep kiddos centered and upright as they ride, where they’re naturally inclined to position their bodies. The wheelbase is long, providing more stability. There is also a removable steering limiter which restricts handlebar movement, gently corrects oversteering, and helps prevent falls. Parents are pleasantly surprised by how quickly their kids zip off on this bike, never using training wheels. If you have a timid rider, this bike is the way to go (literally).

The WOOM 2 comes with hand brakes as well as a coaster brake (using the pedal to come to a stop). However, you can purchase their freewheel kit (they’ll send you a new rear tire with a freewheeling hub), which deactivates the coaster brake and allows your child to pedal backward. Another unique perk: you can trade in outgrown WOOM bikes through their Upcycle program. Purchasing a one-time membership fee ($59) allows you to send a WOOM back for a 40% refund or credit towards your next WOOM bike.

Keep in Mind

If your kiddo is too big for the WOOM 2, go for the WOOM 3. The next size up in their lineup, this model has larger 16” wheels, and is designed for four- to six-year olds.

What Babylist Parents Say

“High quality components, kid-size geometry, light weight” -Suzanne

Additional Specs

Tire Size: 14”

Age Range: 3 - 4.5 years

Weight: 12.61 lbs

Superior Starter

Why We Love It

Islabikes are expensive, but a splurge parents would make again and again. (They’ll last across multiple kids, so it’s worth the investment.) The aluminum frame is lightweight and durable, which makes the Cnoc easier to ride, especially for newbies. The high-quality components are specifically designed to be just the right size for young riders—the brake levers in particular are a perfect fit for little hands. Other notable features: a long wheelbase for better balance and the ability to add tool-free training wheels. This unrivaled attention to detail gives kids a fantastic introduction to cycling.

Keep in Mind

There are three Islabike Cnoc bikes for kids in the 3-4 age range. Choosing the right bike comes down to your child’s age, height, and inseam. The Cnoc 14” is available in two sizes (small and large) and are for 3+, while the Cnoc 16” is one size, for kids aged 4+. We love their helpful sizing guide for tips on getting the perfect measurement and the perfect bike.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Fit for a child, lightweight, multi-speed/easy gear shifter.” -Audrey

Additional Specs

Tire Size: 14”

Age Range: 3+ years

Weight: 13 lbs, 5 oz

Mini-Mountain Bike

Why We Love It

The Romper is an extremely well-built bike for beginners ready for adventure. The Kenda tires are cushy and knobby (and larger than most first pedal bike tires), which allows for excellent grip on rugged terrain. Each component has been developed to be proportional to the rider, including their very own crankset design, which ensures proper leg extension.

Keep in Mind

It only comes in one color. So make sure your child is cool with orange before ordering.

Additional Specs

Tire Size: 14”

Age Range: 3+ years

Weight: 15.0 lbs


Jessica Solloway is a writer and digital content strategist. From start-ups to global brands, she helps companies tell their stories online. She regularly contributes to websites including weeSpring, The Muse, Mommy Nearest, and Motherly, among others. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two little girls.

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