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Before you teach your child to take life by the handlebars, you'll need to find a bike that's just right for their age, size, and comfort level.
We've spent hours searching for the best places to buy bikes online, evaluating inventory, quality, and shipping and return policies. Our top picks include major retailers like Amazon and Target and small businesses like Maisonette and Public Bikes.
Here are the best places to buy kids' bikes.
Unsurprisingly, the e-commerce giant has an astonishing range of kids’ bikes on offer, with a quick search eliciting thousands of results. Not only does Amazon offer thousands and thousands of options for kids of all ages and all sizes, but also many can be delivered right to your door within two days with Amazon Prime. Narrow down your results by age, wheel size, weight, number of gears, and more. There are well-known brands such as Razor, Schwinn, and Yamaha, as well as smaller indie brands. Most will require assembly upon arrival, but kids’ bikes are fairly easy to put together and your local bike shop will usually help you out. Prices start around $50 and go up to over $1,000 for a high-quality folding bike.
Amazon also sells thousands of must-have accessories, such as helmets, bells, and baskets, so you can get the whole package at once. Whether you are hunting for a gift to celebrate the end of the school year or it’s just time to upgrade, Amazon is an affordable place to shop for bikes of all sizes.
Walmart is a great choice for budget-conscious shoppers who still want a good-quality bike. Walmart’s online shop offers hundreds of bikes for kids, many of which can be bought and picked up directly from your local store. To make shopping even easier, you can filter options by age, height, and brand. Walmart also boasts some of the most popular bike brands, such as Schwinn and Mongoose, plus Walmart-exclusive bikes like the Moto Yamaha Bike. Most of the bikes fall under the $100 range, so it’s a great choice if you want to save money on a bike your child may grow out of soon.
Not only does Walmart offer a wide selection of well-priced bikes for kids of all ages, but they also feature helmets, bike pads, and other accessories at low prices. If your choice is available in-store, you can even check it out in person before you buy.
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Another retailer that has a ton of options is Dick’s Sporting Goods, which offers a more curated selection of Dick’s exclusive picks for kids. With roughly 40 bikes to choose from, Dick’s is a great choice for anyone who wants a well-made bike that will last for years. Most of their options are better suited for older kids, but they do have a few tricycles and bikes with training wheels. You can sort options by gender, size, brand, and bike type. Dick’s also offers a best price guarantee, so you can rest assured that if you find the same bike elsewhere for less, Dick’s will match it.
Dick’s offers free one-hour pickup on bikes sold in-store, so you can purchase and pick up on the same day. Most of their bikes fall between $150 and $250, but it’s well worth it for a durable bike that's safe for your child.
Target offers more than 100 different bikes for kids and a user-friendly interface to help you narrow down exactly what you’re looking for. From early riders to 15-year-olds looking for a new set of wheels, Target offers a wide range of affordable bikes for kids of all ages. Use their online buying guide to help steer you in the right direction and sort through options according to age, bike type, price, and more. Most bikes ring in under $100 and some can even be picked up directly in-store. Target also features highlights and ratings separated by quality, value, and comfort to help you make the best purchase decision possible.
Target’s lenient 90-day return policy is another big perk, especially if you’re unsure which bike is right for your child. They also offer a wide variety of accessories to go along with the new bike.
Once the weather finally warms up, a new bike is a great way to help your child celebrate spring and get outside after months of staying in. REI offers endless ways to encourage your child to enjoy the great outdoors, including more than 40 bike options. REI features well-made bikes perfect for the sidewalk or the mountain, and prices range from $150 to over $1,000. Narrow down options by price, size, color, handlebar shape, suspension, and more. Every one of REI’s products comes with an extensive description and highlights section that breaks down the must-knows and nitty-gritty details in an easy-to-understand format, so you can make the right choice for your child.
One of the best perks of shopping at REI is their incredibly generous satisfaction policy, which allows you to return any product for a refund if you’re not 100 percent satisfied.
If you're hunting for a more unique bike that is both attractive and well made, check out Public Bikes. The company, founded by Rob Forbes, creates beautiful bikes with aesthetically pleasing and simple designs that mimic bikes found in Europe. While their options are a bit more limited (they offer six different options), you can still choose from both single and seven-speed, and their 16-inch version includes optional training wheels for new riders. All of their bikes come in several color options and arrive 99 percent assembled so you don’t have to navigate difficult instructions. Bikes start at $250 and include free shipping over $50. In addition, bikes come with a one-year warranty on parts and defects.
If you want a beautifully designed, well-made bike from a small company that prides itself on original designs, you’ll love Public Bikes.
Maisonette is another great choice if you want a unique bike for your child that you can't find anywhere else. Maisonette is a curated children’s boutique that sells clothing, toys, and accessories but also has a wide selection of kid’s bikes from independent companies such as tokyobike. They offer over 10 bikes that cater to toddlers and children up to 6 years old. All of their bikes feature vintage-inspired designs that are as attractive as they are durable. Prices start at around $200 and go up from there, so they're definitely at the higher end of the spectrum. Most bikes will require assembly from a local bike shop and typically ship within one day of purchase.
Because Maisonette offers a 14-day return policy and some items are final sale, make sure to check whether your desired bike is available for a full refund before buying. All things considered, Maisonette is a great choice if you're hunting for a more high-end option that's beautiful and well-designed.
What to Look for When Buying a Kid's Bike
The biggest consideration when purchasing a bike for your child is to ensure you know what size he or she needs. It is important to buy the right size for your child now (and not one he or she will grow into). Start with a sizing chart based on your child's height and age and ensure your kid can comfortably stand over the bike with both feet on the ground. Additionally, make sure your child can reach the handlebars easily when seated and that he or she is not straining to hit the pedals.
"Parents should consider how long will their child be able to ride this size bike. They should look to get at least two years out of a bike if possible. That means finding a bike that allows some room for the child's growth without it being too cumbersome or big to ride safely," says Manny Saggio, Founder and CEO of The Loose Wheel Bicycle Co. in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
You want a bike that will last for at least a few years and one that is durable as your child rides. Most bikes are made from aluminum or steel. Steel is often the most affordable choice, but it does tend to mean a heavier bike that is not as easy to haul. Aluminum bikes are lightweight and won't rust if left outside in the rain.
In terms of material, Saggio knows that most parents may not know the in's and out's of how bikes are assembled. He recommends parents ensure that bikes are assembled by professionals so that they are as safe as possible.
"It is not a bad idea to bring any bikes purchased online or from a big box store to your local bike shop for assembly or if the bike is already assembled, have them give a quick safety check at the very least. We want to make sure that the bike has reflectors, that the brakes function, the wheels are true and that it is not going to fall apart 5 minutes into their first ride," he says.
If you are buying a bike online, you will want to ensure you can return the bike if anything doesn't fit. Getting stuck with a bike that is ill-suited for your child can lead to injury. Check out the retailer's return policy and how difficult it is to ship back before you purchase.
Some bike retailers offer a wide selection of name-brand bikes while others specialize in their own line of bikes. Consider what type of bike you want for your child (mountain or road bike) and whether the store you are eyeing has designs to suit your child's preferences.
Saggio says that is important to consider where your child will be riding their bike the most. "Are they riding mainly on the streets? Are they using it for commuting back and forth to school? Will they be riding offroad on trails? Should the bike have smooth road type tires or a more aggressive knobby tire? Making sure they have the right bike for the terrain they will be traversing is really important in regards to their safety," he shares. "Make sure your child has the right bike for the terrain they intend to ride."
How are kids bikes measured?
Sizing a child's bike is best done by wheel size. Your kid's bike size will be determined by his or her height. A bike's wheel size correlates to the frame size and while most bike sizes will align to a kid's age, it is best to go by his or her height for the most appropriate fit.
When do kids start riding bikes?
When a child decides it is time to ride a bike will vary a lot, but in general, kids as young as three can start to learn to ride a bike. The average age for a child to learn to ride a bike is between three and eight, but it is never too late to learn to ride a bike. It can take anywhere from one day to many weeks for a child to get the hang of a bike.
When do kids start riding bikes with training wheels?
Some kids skip the training wheel phase and go directly to two wheels. Others use training wheels for many years before they're ready to master the bike. In general, children as young as 18 months to two years can start to ride a bike with training wheels. Most children phase out of training wheel bikes by four, but others use them well past six. It is different for every child and you can determine what is right based on your own child's needs.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Ashley Knierim, a freelance writer with over ten years of experience. From interior design trends to decor and more, she's covered a variety of home topics and knows what makes a product great. To make this list, she considered each pick's suggested age, as well as how active and educational it is. Additional research was done by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more.
Expert advice was provided by founder and CEO of The Loose Wheel Bicycle Co. in New Jersey Manny Saggio.