Motorbike bicycle 16 inch

Motorbike bicycle 16 inch DEFAULT
The Best First Pedal Bike
  • The boys version of our runner-up pick (the Raleigh MXR) is out of stock and we’ve moved it to the Competition section, but the girls version (the Jazzi) is almost identical.

  • The boys version of our runner-up pick (the Raleigh MXR) is out of stock and we’ve moved it to the Competition section, but the girls version (the Jazzi) is almost identical.

    Our former also-great pick—the Pello Revo—is also out of stock; we’ve moved it to the Competition as well, but we’ll monitor the situation and update the guide if it becomes available again.

April 9, 2020

If the walls are closing in on your and your kindergartener, maybe it’s time for their first pedal bike. After spending 30 hours evaluating 13 pedal bikes on pavement, dirt, and grassy hills, we’re judging the REI Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids' Bike as the best first pedal bike for most kids. Lightweight and highly adjustable in size, it comes pretty much pre-assembled, with removable training wheels, a midrange price tag, and REI’s reputable customer service.

The REI Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids' Bike is a nicely designed, mid-price bike from REI, a nationwide retailer run by actual outdoor enthusiasts. It is light (16.9 pounds), has kid-friendly geometry, and was a favorite of our testers because of its versatility—it comes with removable training wheels and is highly adjustable, and its old-school coaster brakes make it easy for kids to get going without much fuss. (Kids who learned on balance bikes and are accustomed to putting their feet down to stop will have a small adjustment period in learning to use coaster brakes.) The REV 16 comes nearly completely assembled and ready to ride within a few minutes—unlike two-thirds of the other bikes we tested, which required more wrenching (or possibly a bike shop visit). The 1.75-inch, semi-knobby tires perform well on dirt or pavement, and the 1.5-plus inches of adjustability on the handlebar stem and a seatpost that ranges between 20.5 and 25 inches means this bike will fit a wide array of kids. We also liked the bike’s gearing, which performed well on moderate hills and allowed for good acceleration. The paint job, welds, and componentry—from headset to alloy wheelset—are top-notch, as are REI’s customer support, warranties, and return policies. If we had one complaint, it’s that the 17-inch-wide handlebars are a bit narrow, which in our testing meant that the bike responded sometimes too quickly for first-timers.


Raleigh Jazzi 16

Raleigh Jazzi 16

Better for pavement

Heavier and not as trail-friendly as our top pick, the aluminum Jazzi 16 nonetheless boasts child-friendly geometry and a low price. (A matching “boys version”—differentiated only by a higher top tube—is currently out of stock.)

Kids bikes costing $150 or less usually drop in quality dramatically. However, the Raleigh Jazzi manage to hit that price while featuring what we consider to be the most important options for kids: a lightweight aluminum frame (at 17.75 pounds for the Jazzi, the bike is only slightly heavier than our top pick), kid-friendly geometry, and sizing that will suit a good range of ages (we’d estimate from 3 years up to 6). While the Jazzi and the MXR (currently out of stock) are delineated by Raleigh as girls and boys bikes, respectively, the differences between the two models are cosmetic, not substantive. Our testers liked the medium-aggressive riding position that allowed easy out-of-the-saddle riding, the quick acceleration (and stopping) on mild to moderate inclines, the adjustable seat height, which—similar to the Co-op—ranges from 19.5 to 24 inches—and a handlebar stem that adjusts by 2.5 inches. That said, it has a lower top speed than our pick, which made it less fun for our more experienced testers, and its tires—which are smoother than the REV 16’s—didn’t handle dirt paths as well. The Co-op Cycles REV 16 also has smoother welds, a nice (unisex) paint job, and tougher, better-designed components.

The lithe, aluminum Woom 3 is remarkably lightweight (13.6 pounds) thanks in part to its wheels, which incorporate proprietary alloy rims and just 16 spokes each (most of the other bikes we tested had 28). Everything on the bike, from the saddle to the powerful linear-pull brakes to the Woom-specific cranks and headset, is kid-proportioned and butter-smooth. The handlebars encourage a more upright riding position than do the more mountain bike-inspired and comparably priced Cleary Hedgehog and Prevelo Alpha 2—the Woom’s main competition in our tests—but our kids found it more comfortable, and yet it still allowed them to stand in the pedals and ride aggressively when the need arose. The bike is so darn light that speedy riding is, in fact, almost a given—this was the case even among our more timid testers. Woom makes sure all else is top-notch too: The company ships its bikes in boxes large enough that ours arrived with the wheels already mounted; the brakes came pre-adjusted too. You pay a premium for all this, though—it costs more than twice as much as the REV 16.

Why you should trust us

To write this guide, I spent more than 30 hours researching bikes, dissecting their literature and componentry, and taking copious notes on how easy they were to put together. Then we handed the bikes off to eager young testers and let the steel and alloy cream rise to the top. I’m a lifelong mountain biker who raced, put on races, and worked as a bike mechanic during my college days in Athens, Georgia, and wrote about road and mountain bike racing for VeloNews, Bike, and The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter) early in my now three-decade journalism career.

The author riding mountain bikes along a red clay trail through the forest with his son.

I interviewed John Bradley, until recently the editor in chief of VeloNews magazine and a former editor at Outside magazine. Bradley has a son named Max who at the time had recently graduated from a Strider balance bike to a 14-inch Islabikes Cnoc pedal bike, which we didn’t review because it was north of our price parameters. We also spoke to Toby Hill, then the managing editor at Bicycle Retailer magazine; Marissa Guyduy, a spokesperson with the NPD Group, a consumer research organization; and Katie Bruce, at that point the director of marketing and communications for the National Sporting Goods Association.

I spent an hour on the phone with Strider inventor and longtime mountain bike racer Ryan McFarland, talking about modern methods of learning to ride a pedal bike. I also spoke with Dave Weiner, owner of Priority Bicycles, and Shane Cusick, owner of Pello Bikes, and I consulted quite a bit with fellow cyclist enthusiasts and parents, including Wirecutter editor Dan Koeppel—Dan is former editor of Mountain Bike magazine and a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Who should get this

A mother pushing her daughter as she rides a pedal bike with training wheels.

If your child is 4 to 6 years old and you’re considering getting a first pedal bike, this guide is for you. Although this kind of single-speed pedal bike is available in 12-inch, 14-inch, 18-inch, and 20-inch sizes (this figure denotes the wheel’s diameter), we’re focusing on the easy-to-find 16-inch size because our experts suggested that children grow out of smaller bikes too quickly. Most kids have learned to ride a bike by the time they’re ready for one that’s 18 inches or larger. However, if your bike-antsy tyke is ready for a pedal bike early, check out our balance bike guide, which has recommendations for 14-inch balance bikes with pedal attachments. Most 16-inch bikes will be small enough that 4- to 6-year-olds can straddle the seat with feet flat on the ground for balance (the ideal way to size a bike), and such a bike will last them at least a couple of years.

While training wheels can help teach your child to pedal, they don’t teach a child to balance, which is the most important first step to biking.

This brings us to a key point: The most important measurement on any bikes you’ll read about in this review is the minimum seat height. It’s vital that beginner child riders be able to stand with feet flat on the floor while straddling the seat. This allows them to quickly get their feet down to avoid a wipeout and will help them to quickly learn to balance. If the lowest setting for the seat is too high to allow this, you should absolutely pick a smaller bike for your child.

All of the bikes we chose are kid-size for learning and improving on; they’re highly adjustable, so they’ll last for years; and they don’t compromise on safety—a pitfall of buying from big-box stores, we’ve found. (More about that in the next section.) Some of our picks have features that make them perfect for kids upgrading from a balance bike (see the Woom, for instance) while other bikes here are great first bikes or upgrades.

There are essentially three current methods to teach a kid to ride. The first is training wheels. The second is to start the child on a balance bike when he or she is 2 to 3 years old. The third method is to hold onto the back of the pedal bike, trotting behind the bike while the wobbly kid learns to pedal. (A great handle attachment for this method is the Balance Buddy push bar. It has two terrific bonuses: If your kid gets up too much speed and can’t stop, you can grab the handle and keep ’em out of traffic, and if you’re on a longer outing and your kid gets tired, you can simply push the child home, rather than having to shoulder both grumpy child and heavy bike.)

A child should be able to straddle the seat with feet flat on the floor to help them avoid wipeouts and learn to balance.

Of these three methods, the only one our experts strongly discourage is training wheels. While training wheels can help teach your child to pedal, they don’t teach a child to balance, which is the most important first step to biking, according to our research. Training wheels are also dangerous because they don’t teach the skill of leaning into a turn—in fact, they teach the opposite, which can result in a fall with some momentum. John Bradley points out that once you take the training wheels off of a child’s bike, they are back to square one. They may know how to pedal, but, again, they don’t know how to balance.

Nonetheless, some parents still want training wheels. So we’ve included bikes here that either come with, or can be equipped with, training wheels.

How we picked

Our picks for best first pedal bike lined up in a row.

After deciding to focus on 16-inch pedal bikes, we spent hours parsing through best sellers online, at a range of big-box stores, and at local shops here in Charleston and at the REI in Greenville, South Carolina. Although we looked into the very low-priced kids bikes you’d find at big-box stores, we’re not including them because of reports of assembly problems: backward-facing forks, reversed handlebar stems, misadjusted brakes, and wobbly wheels, as shown in this video by YouTube product reviewer WRB. We highly recommend making use of a local bike shop (even over the biggest bike marketplace: the Internet) because you will gain knowledge, expertise, (sometimes) free tune-ups, access to demos, and (sometimes) discounted service.

Once we had a list of 28 contenders, we eliminated those that: were too expensive or too heavy; had strange geometry, too few reviews, or too many negative online reviews; or were similar to other bikes in our list but cost more without obvious reason. This narrowed the tester list down to 12 popular bikes we deemed worthy of in-person inspection and testing.

We're not including low-priced bikes from big-box stores because of reports of dangerous assembly problems.

Our general criteria for finding the best first pedal bike for most kids followed these guidelines:

  • Geometry and Q factor: The best kids pedal bikes are built anatomically correct for their riders, which means the fixed elements have child-appropriate angles for things like the wheelbase, angle of the headset, steerer tube, and seat tubes, and appropriate distances between handlebars and seatpost and between a lowered seat and the rear wheel. If the distance between the handlebars and seat is too tight, the child will be uncomfortably upright, or even leaned slightly back and scrunched up, and their knees will hit the handlebars as they grow; if that seat-to-bar distance is too great, the youngster will be hunched over and placing too much weight on the handlebars. A good pedal bike should put a kid in an upright to very slightly forward-leaning position. It’s also important that a first bike has a fairly long wheelbase, as this makes the bike inherently more stable. Many kids bikes are designed based off of BMX (bicycle motocross) geometry, which was first designed for teens in the 1970s (they have small frames and 20-inch wheels). BMX bikes ride equally well off-road and on pavement. BMX-influenced geometry is most visible in kids handlebars on the bikes we tested, which often have a pronounced upward curve and a crossbar. Bikes with swept back or cruiser-style handlebars are tough to maneuver, whereas flatter, mountain bike-style handlebars put a kid’s weight out over the front wheel, making the bike very maneuverable but less comfortable. The Q factor—the distance between the outside of the two crank arms (these hold the pedals)—should be about 5.5 inches to 7 inches on a 16-inch pedal bike. This width—narrower than what you’d find on an adult bike—keeps a kid’s legs pulled in, allowing for more pedaling power and efficiency.
  • Low step-in height: Also known as standover height, this is the height of a bike’s top tube. Ideally, it’s 16 inches or less on a 16-inch pedal bike, which is low enough for most 2-year-olds to stand over comfortably. A low step-in height lowers the bike’s center of gravity, helps a child to lift the bike up to start riding, and enables a skittish youngster to keep the bike balanced and to easily bail out.
  • Adjustability: The best pedal bikes grow with your kid. The greater the adjustability of the seatpost and the handlebars, the longer your child will be able to use it.
  • Assembly and maintenance: From the time you take it out of the box, a pedal bike should be ready to roll in half an hour, and the average parent should be able to assemble it properly without a professional’s help. Instructions should be clear and easy to follow, and the bike should come with the necessary tools. The best bikes come perfectly adjusted to ride right out of the box. Handlebar headsets—a crucial element of any bike—are often adjusted too tightly, making the bike an effort to steer, or too loosely, allowing the handlebars to flex, but the best did not need any adjustment.
  • Price: We’ve found that the best first pedal bikes for most people fall in the $150 to $370 range. Such bikes should offer a good blend of quality, performance, and weight without compromising on ease of build and quality of components.
  • Availability: A bike should be broadly available, with delivery in a reasonable amount of time to Manhattan, Topeka, or Fairbanks.
  • Buying experience: Being able to access resources online (like instructions, for instance), contact customer service, and return a product should be easy. Upgrade programs from retailers—which allow you to get a credit for returning an old bike and upgrading to another bike from the same manufacturer—are nice.
  • Brakes: Most pedal bikes for kids come equipped with old-school coaster brakes—the kind you pedal backward to stop the bike—due to US regulations. They work okay, but a kid’s feet have to be in a near-horizontal 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position to stop the bike, which means stopping can take more time than with other kinds of brakes. They can also be problematic for kids moving up from balance bikes, as these riders are used to putting their feet on the ground to stop, and the pedals on bikes with coaster brakes may whack them on the back of the leg. That said, most kids can adjust in a relatively short amount of time. The most ideal brake, according to our experts, is a hand-operated brake that has easily adjustable small grips and linear-pull brakes—also called V-Brakes (a trademark of bicycle giant Shimano). Squeeze the lever, and the brake pads clamp onto the rim of the wheel, slowing its spin. New riders often find rear hand brakes less tricky to use than front brakes because grabbing a front hand brake too hard can pitch you over your handlebars. (To test a rear brake on a toddler’s bike, give the lever a pull with your ring finger—or better still, a pinky. This should stop the bike). Not having a coaster brake also means that kids can correct bobbles with a quick backward pedal, reducing the chance for wipeouts.The least desirable brakes of all, our experts said, are stamped metal U-shaped side-pull brakes—like those on the front wheels of the Schwinns we tested. They’re flimsy and tough to adjust, and you’re better off just disconnecting them (provided the bike also has a coaster brake, of course).
A close up of the front tires on five of the pedal bikes we tested.
  • Overall construction: The welds on the frame should be smooth and of high quality. Nuts and bolts should not be exposed, or should at least be rounded off, lest they bruise your kid in a fall.
  • Weight and frame material: A bike should weigh no more than 30 percent of a child’s weight. Aluminum-framed bikes, which are among the lightest kids’ bikes, tend to be more expensive. Steel frames are less expensive, but can weigh as much as three times as much as aluminum. All of our main picks have aluminum frames.
  • Gain ratio: This is a way of measuring the distance a bike goes with each turn of the pedals. A good first pedal bike should have a gain ratio between the low 2s and high 3s. Flat areas demand higher gain ratios while hilly areas demand the opposite. Most of our featured manufacturers provide gain ratios on their websites. To learn more about gain ratios (including how to calculate one), head here.
  • Tires and wheels: The most versatile bikes feature tires with somewhat knobby treads so that they can be ridden on and off road and are less likely to slide out in wet conditions.

How and where we tested

Five kids testing different pedal bikes for this review.

We employed two of our friends’ sons—ages 6 and (a very short) 7—to help us test our tester bikes, along with a 5-year-old who had just learned to ride a pedal bike and gave us a good sense of what works for an early stage pedaler. The kids tried out the bikes along the winding streets of their suburban Charleston neighborhoods. My 8-year-old son and his neighborhood buddies (ages 6 to 8) were also naturally drawn to the bikes as they went from box to assembly, beckoning like little alloy sirens. The boys were generally beyond these bikes in terms of size, but they still helped by testing toughness and durability—blasting around our neighborhood, locking up the brakes, and launching sweet jumps from our driveway quarterpipe.

We sent our six finalists up to then Wirecutter editor (and former Outside gear editor) Ali Carr Troxell, who lives in the hills in Woodstock, New York. She employed a gang of eight 4- to 8-year-olds to pedal in parking lots and on trails—paved and not—and determine how our brakes worked down long inclines.

In addition to putting the wheels to the ground, I took careful consideration of the bikes’ construction and how easy they were to assemble, as well as how they arrived, how they were packaged, and whether they were missing any components.

Our pick: REI Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids’ Pedal Bike

Our pick for best first pedal bike, the Co-op Cycles REV 16.

The REI Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids' Pedal Bike has a beautifully built aluminum frame, a lightweight 16.9-pound overall weight, hill-friendly acceleration, a kid-friendly and nicely adjustable upright BMX-style geometry, which is good for urban and off-road riding, and smooth-rolling hybrid on-/off-road tires. It’s an uncomplicated bike that your kid will enjoy for whipping around the neighborhood and over mild dirt trails and whoop-de-doos.

The REV 16 relies on a strong but old-school rear coaster brake to stop. If your kids have learned to ride on balance bikes with hand-operated brakes, we’d recommend keeping them on hand brakes as they advance. But for the majority of kids, who haven’t, the REV 16 will work just fine, and they’ll learn to pedal and stop it quickly. If your kid learned on a balance bike without hand brakes, start them on the REV 16 without pedals and with the seat low enough that they can stride. Then, when they’re used to the bigger bike, add the pedals and let them practice pedaling and braking in a flat area.

Aside from its pedals, which you have to screw onto the cranks, the REV 16 comes completely assembled and ready to ride. It features a very kid-scaled 17-inch-wide, 0.75-inch-thick handlebar, has an easy-to-pedal gain ratio of 2.9 (making it good for hill climbs, but giving it a slightly lower top speed than our upgrade and off-road picks), a reasonable 7-inch Q factor (on the wider end of “kid scale”), and—important to our testers—a customizing sticker pack and a handlebar bell. Like many higher-end kids bikes, the Rev 16’s shape is unisex; it’s available in green, blue, and pink.

The fat, semi-knobby tires perform well on dirt or pavement, and the bike’s coaster brake engages without the need for much force. With over 1.5 inch of adjustability between spacers on the handlebar stem and a widely adjustable seatpost, this bike can fit a wide range of kids. The minimum seat height on the REV 16 is 20.5 inches and its maximum is 25 inches, making it comparable to our runner-up, the Raleigh Jazzi. This is 2 inches higher, though, than the comparably set up and equipped Trek Precaliber, meaning kids with an inseam shorter than 21 inches will have a tough time on this bike—if that’s the case, consider the Trek.

A close up of the handlebars on our pick for best first pedal bike, the Co-op Cycles REV 16.

Our testers found the REV 16 to be a comfortable and quick-handling ride, though the center of gravity is a bit higher than our other picks, with a relatively high bottom bracket height of 8 inches and a standover height of 15 inches (the Trek is only 14 inches). This, coupled with a narrow 17-inch handlebar, make it good for off-roading and fast turns, but it’s not quite as stable as bikes like the Woom 3, which has a lower center of gravity and wider handlebars. Simply put: Although the bike is taller, it might not work as well for the biggest young pedalers as the Woom or our runner-up picks from Raleigh.

Everything on this bike—welds, paint job, and smoothness right out of the box—feels top quality, as are REI’s customer support, lifetime warranty, and generous return policy, which let you return a bike within a year. The REV 16 comes with training wheels that are a snap to install, though as we’ve pointed out, we don’t recommend training wheels, in general.

A close up of the training wheels that come with our pick for best first pedal bike.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The handlebars, while kid-friendly in terms of size, make the bike a touch less stable than other bikes we tested because they are narrower at 7 inches (instead of 8). If they were an inch wider, the bike would be more controlled when the child is turning or pedaling out of the saddle. A 1-inch narrower Q factor—the distance between the pedals—could also help the bikes almost-too-quick responsiveness.

The seat-to-handlebar distance can be narrow for bigger kids. If your kid’s knees start to the hit the bars, rotate the handlebars forward and raise the stem.

Because hand brakes are superior to coaster brakes and allow kids to have more control over their stops, we lamented the REV 16’s lack of a rear hand brake. If this is important to you, check out the Priority Start F/W 2.0—you may have to wait to receive it, though, because this popular bike is often on back-order.

We would have also liked to see a quick-release clamp for the seatpost to make it easy to adjust. You can add one yourself by purchasing it at a shop for a few bucks.

Runner-up: Raleigh Jazzi 16

Our two runner-up picks for best first pedal bike.


Raleigh Jazzi 16

Raleigh Jazzi 16

Better for pavement

Heavier and not as trail-friendly as our top pick, the aluminum Jazzi 16 nonetheless boasts child-friendly geometry and a low price. (A matching “boys version”—differentiated only by a higher top tube—is currently out of stock.)

The aluminum-framed Raleigh Jazzi 16 was originally being considered for the budget category in this guide, but we found that these affordable rides hit so many of the traits we look for in good first pedal bikes—light weight, easy stop/start, kid-friendly geometry, wide availability, and smile-inducing power among our testers—that it quickly became an excellent backup option if REI’s Co-op Cycles REV 16 is sold out. (We also liked the Jazzi’s sibling, the MXR 16, which is meant for boys, although there’s actually little about these bikes that makes them gender-specific, aside from a slightly curved top tube on the Jazzi. However, the MXR 16 is currently sold out.) Like our top pick, this bike has a sufficiently narrow (7-inch) Q factor and a size adjustability that accommodates kids from ages 3 to 6. It does, however, outweigh the REV 16 and lack its higher-end componentry and better all-around gearing.

A girl riding the Raleigh Jazzi pedal bike.

I was impressed with Raleigh’s packaging when I opened the box—the frame was well-padded and included the three Allen wrenches and a 15-millimeter wrench you need for assembly. The bike’s rear wheel, chain, and completely protective chain guard were already installed. The wheels were true (meaning they didn’t wobble or rub on the brakes at all), the tires inflated, and the bike was ready to go after I attached the handlebars, front wheel, and pedals, all of which took around 20 minutes.

Once on the road, our testers liked the medium-aggressive riding position that allowed easy out-of-the-saddle riding and the very low pedal gain ratio, allowing the bikes to accelerate quickly and climb mild to even relatively steep inclines with ease. And though our testers preferred hand-brake and freewheel-equipped bikes, Raleigh’s coaster brakes engaged easily enough for quick stops. The weight (17.75 pounds, Jazzi) made the Jazzi 6 pounds lighter than its steel-framed, gender-oriented Schwinn counterparts (a popular budget bike). For a child, that difference is substantial, and our testers found the lighter bikes easier to haul around and maneuver. We also liked the seat height range of 19.5 to 24 inches and the fact that you can raise the handlebar stem 2.5 inches, allowing the bike to grow with your child.

A girl riding a Raleigh pedal bike.

As far as complaints: The cheapo protective covers for exposed, squared-off axle bolts and the generic instructions that came with this bike were merely acceptable. But, they were on a par with all of the other budget bikes we assembled. While they’re just clear enough for most people to muddle through, they also cover most all Raleigh models from kids to grownups. This requires some digging to make sure you’re wrenching where you should be. The bike comes with removable training wheels, which we assume is why it has no kickstands—though it features mounting holes should you opt for one. The bike also lacks the higher-end headset and super-tough four-bolt alloy handlebar stem of the REV 16 and outweighs it by 1.5 pounds. The very low gain ratio, while great for climbing, makes it a little less all-purpose than the REV 16. Still, it's a solid option if the REV 16 is sold out.

A close up of a girl riding a pink and purple Raleigh Jazzi pedal bike.

Upgrade pick: Woom 3 16-Inch Pedal Bike

Our upgrade pick for best first pedal bike, the Woom 3.

We loved the Woom 3’s extremely light aluminum frame; its proprietary components (from narrow 5.25-inch Q factor to snap-on stem to awesomely adjustable linear pull handbrakes); its super-knobby, super-plush tires; feathery wheels; its low, 15-inch step-in height; easy availability; and the maker’s incredible attention to detail.

First off, the Woom 3’s assembly is a snap. The bike arrives from the Woom assembly facility in Austin, Texas, in a box large enough to fit the bike with wheels already mounted and the brakes pre-adjusted. It has a beautifully laid out quick-start guide that includes everything you have to do (not much): Slip in the saddle-and-seatpost and tighten its quick release, snap in and tighten the headset with the included Allen wrenches, and screw in the pedals with the included 15-millimeter wrench, which, like the crank arms, are labeled left and right. Unboxing to riding should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Woom’s proprietary alloy wheels are strong enough to need only 16 spokes—versus the 28-spoke rims on most other bikes. This weight-saving and acceleration-enhancing (lightweight wheels spin up faster) feat is accomplished via a specialized wheel-truing machine (most high-performance lightweight wheel sets are laboriously trued by hand) and helps in shaving total bike weight down to a remarkable 12.7 pounds. Everything on the bike, from the seat to the powerful linear-pull brakes to the 3.7-inch-long Woom brand cranks to the seat to the headset are as kid-proportioned and kid-specific as any bike we have seen—particularly at this price point (similar bikes we considered can cost $100 more). Height wise, we loved the wide adjustability of the seat, between 19.5 and 25.5 inches, which accommodates a lot of growth.

A close up of the wheel spokes on our upgrade pick for best first pedal bike.

The BMX-inspired handlebars create a more upright riding position than the comparably priced and more mountain bike-inspired Cleary Hedgehog and Prevelo Alpha 2, but our kids could still stand in the pedals and ride aggressively when the need arose (which was often). The Woom 3 comes with 1.5-inch Schwalbe knobby tires, which provided a good blend of off-road grip and on-road speed.

Woom’s proprietary “SmallHandReach” brake levers are color-coded front (black) and rear (green) and super easy for small hands to engage, particularly when paired with the small diameter (0.74 inch) handlebars, which are smaller than any other bike we tested. Not only that, the rear brake pads are made of a softer, green compound for quick stops, while the front brake’s harder black compound are less “grabby,” so the rider will be less likely to go over the handlebars accidentally. We also love the freewheel setup, which makes learning to pedal and to stop even easier than a bike with coaster brakes.

A close up of the handlebars on the Woom pedal bike. One of the break levers is green, while the other is black.

All of the ball-bearing assemblies—pedals, wheels, headset, and bottom bracket—were buttery smooth in operation and had no back-and-forth play. The Woom 3 also had no exposed bolts. Everywhere from headset to wheels, you’ll find recessed Allen bolts to protect skin from protruding metal. We also loved the little touches, including the scuff-proof fabric on the side of the seat, a water bottle mount, and even pannier rack mounting points on the rear triangle and front fork (though we’re not sure if there are actually any panniers for bikes this size).

The Woom 3 also features a steering limiter to keep kids from jackknifing. It’s little more than a thick rubber O-ring that mounts to a little post on the fork via a sturdy nylon strap. To disengage, you simply pop off the O-ring and let it hang.

A close up of the steering limiters on our upgrade pick for best first pedal bike.

Woom also offers a trade-up club. Return the bike (Woom pays for shipping) to Woom within two years of purchase, and the company will put 40 percent of your returned bike’s purchase price toward the next size bike. However, according to a March 2020 recall on the larger versions of this bike—the Woom model 4, 5, and 6 bicycles—the bolt that holds the front wheel on its fork can become loose and cause the wheel to unexpectedly detach from the bike. Check that the issue has been fixed before upgrading.

The competition

The Raleigh MXR 16 is the “boys” version of our runner-up pick, the Raleigh Jazzi 16. What that means is that its top tube is slightly straighter, its green paint is more neon, and the chainguard lacks the Jazzi’s ice-cream cone motif. The bike has been removed from Raleigh’s website, but you may still be able to find models in local bike shops.

Formerly our also-great pick for beginner off-road use, the Pello Revo 16″ offers the best combination of trail-ready tires, hill-climby gearing, and geometry that suits both beginner and off-road needs (a higher bottom bracket, for example, gives it more clearance than the Woom 3). However, it’s currently out of stock, with no estimated date of return.

If the Priority Start F/W 2.0 is in stock (when we first published this guide, it was back-ordered nearly half a year), it’s very much worth a look. Other bikes in our test had similar features—hand-operated brakes; easy hill-climbing ability; and high-quality aluminum frame—but no other bike we tested was as light and adjustable, or had as high-end componentry or as innovative a drivetrain (it uses a carbon-cord belt instead of a chain) as the Priority, while keeping cost in check. (That’s relatively speaking—the price tag still tops $300.)

We loved the Prevelo Alpha Two because it can accommodate the smallest of riders with a lowest seat height of 18 inches, the lowest step-in height of all at 13.5 inches, and a low (6-inch) bottom bracket makes it very stable. Combined with mountain bike geometry, knobby tires, and a thoughtful array of components, this is a top upgrade if your smaller child is likely to be an aggressive off-road rider. But, because of its low-rise handlebars and more aggressive riding position, the Prevelo isn’t quite as good a first bike “for most kids” nor will it last most children as long as our similarly priced upgrade pick, the Woom 3. (It’s also currently out of stock, but due to be shipping again in June 2020.)

We loved the Prevelo Alpha Two because it can accommodate the smallest of riders with a lowest seat height of 18 inches, the lowest step-in height of all at 13.5 inches, and a low (6-inch) bottom bracket makes it very stable. Combined with mountain bike geometry, knobby tires, and a thoughtful array of components, this is a top upgrade if your smaller child is likely to be an aggressive off-road rider. But, because of its low-rise handlebars and more aggressive riding position, the Prevelo isn’t quite as good a first bike “for most kids” nor will it last most children as long as our similarly priced upgrade pick, the Woom 3. (It’s also currently out of stock, but due to be shipping again in June 2020.)

We also loved the Cleary Hedgehog. This beautiful little mountain bike features a really strong but still lightweight steel frame (the whole bike weighs 16.6 pounds), powerful linear-pull brakes, and a marginally lower price than the Prevelo or Woom. Our testers found it a fast and very maneuverable trail rig, but as with the Prevelo, its low-rise bars and geometry make it too aggressive for most beginners.

Trek’s Precaliber 16 (available in boys and girls models, which are nearly identical apart from the colors) didn’t make our finalist roster because it’s so similar to our top pick, the Co-op REV 16, but is more expensive and it’s not as easy to obtain: You have to purchase it at a Trek retailer (though that retailer can likely ship the bike to your house). It’s also very similar to the Specialized Riprock 16 Coaster and the Cannondale Trail 16 (also in boys and girls models, which are the same apart from the color selections), both of which cost at least $10 more.

At $230, the Raleigh Rowdy 16″ is a lightweight aluminum mountain bike with kid-friendly geometry, a freewheel, front/rear linear-pull hand brakes, but the aggressive, 21-inch-wide flat handlebars are uncomfortable and make the bike slow to turn. We found the brake assembly challenging, given Raleigh's generic instruction book.

Despite there being a bewildering variety of 16-inch bikes costing around or less than $100, very few in this budget category are worth the money. An exception—at least where geometry is concerned—is Schwinn’s Smart Start line. The BMX-style Schwinn Scorch (out of stock but due to start shipping again in mid-April) and Iris (also sold out; no estimated restock date) are solid, coaster brake-equipped bikes that our testers genuinely enjoyed riding. However, they were 4 to 6 pounds heavier than our runner-up picks (without training wheels), making them tougher for our tykes to maneuver without help.

How to fit a kids bike

A boy sitting on the Pello pedal bike with his feet flat on the ground.

For beginners, a bike saddle’s minimum height should be right at the top of the child’s inseam, so that they can get their feet flat on the ground. The handlebars should be at a level where the child is comfortable—generally around belly button height—with the child standing flat on the ground straddling the bike. If the seat is set at the lowest height, the bars should be, too. If the child has to be on tippy-toes to straddle the seat, the bike’s saddle is either set too high or the bike itself is just too big. While seated atop the bike and holding the handlebars, the child should be fairly upright and neither leaning back nor hunched over the handlebars.


  1. John Bradley, former editor in chief of VeloNews magazine, phone interview, August 25, 2017

  2. Watts Dixon, owner of Revolution Cycles, Greensboro, North Carolina, and columnist, Dirt Rag cycling magazine, phone interview, August 25, 2017

  3. Ryan McFarland, president of Strider Bikes, phone/email interviews, August 30, 2017

  4. Katie Bruce, director of marketing and communications for the National Sporting Goods Association, email interviews, September 27, 2017

  5. Toby Hill, managing editor of Bicycle Retailer magazine, phone and email interviews, September 27, 2017

  6. Dave Weiner, founder of Priority Cycles, email interviews, October 11, 2017

  7. Dave Norris, marketing manager of Woom Bikes USA, email interview, September 10, 2017

  8. Mathias Ihlenfeld, owner of Woom Bikes USA, email interview, September 10, 2017

  9. Christian Bezdeka, designer of the Woom 3, email interview, September 10, 2017

  10. Ivan M. Altinbasak, owner of WeeBikeShop, email interviews, September 7, 2017

About your guide

Chris Dixon

Extra Cool Kids Bikes That Look Like Motorcycles [Multi Sizes]

So you have a little biker at home, don’t you? Riding a motorcycle is a completely different experience from driving a car, adults can understand this easier because they can feel the engine’s power and the fast wind on their faces, but children care more about the look.
Finding kids bikes that look like motorcycles can be easy, but choosing one that’s high-quality and safe enough for our kid is a tough task.
Fortunately for you, we have done the research job and we present you the best kids bikes that look like motorcycles, so your little rider can enjoy his afternoons at the park in a cooler way.


Yamaha Moto 16″ BMX Bike for Kids

yamaha moto 16 inch kids bikeThis model looks just like the typical BMX bike for adults, and it totally rocks!
It’s a 16” bike for kids between 4 to 8 years old, can carry 100lbs and comes with little training wheels for beginners.
Has standard size pedals and front brakes for an easier stop; has only one speed also for safety reasons and to avoid complicated gears.
Among the coolest features of this bike we have:

  • It comes with removable training wheels
  • It has a stunning look
  • It’s directly sold by Yamaha, which means it really high-quality
  • Has many plastic parts, which makes it lighter than expected
  • It only comes in blue
  • It is a bit expensive, but the way we see it, it’s actually a really nice price for such a great bike

Check Price on Amazon

12″ Yamaha Moto Child’s BMX Bike for Kids

yamaha moto 12 inch kids bike
If you fell in love with the previous model (like we did), but you need it to be a bit smaller because your child is between 3 to 5 years old, Yamaha has it covered.
There’s a 12” model just like the one we talked about and is amazing. The difference, besides the size of the bike, is that protects the bike’s chain to avoid getting soiled and it’s less heavy.
This is the same model as the 16” we just talked about, so all the pros are pretty much the same. We could add the fact that this bike is suitable for toddlers, however since the seat is not adjustable, it would be better to just wait for the kid to be older and get the first model.
Despite this little inconvenience, if you still want to get your little moto-head a bike that resembles a real BMX bike, you can get this one for half the price of the 16” one.

  • Suitable for 3-5 years old
  • Awesome design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Durable construction

Check Price on Amazon

Hyper 16″ Nitro Circus Motobike for Kids

hyper 16 inch motobikeNow, if you are concerned about your budget but want to get one of the kids bikes that look like motorcycles before his birthday, Hyper has a 16” design and an authentic motorcycle saddle plus nitro circus graphics!
Comes with a suspension frame Knobby tires and offers a single speed for safety reasons.

The coolest features of this model are:

  • It is very similar to the 16” Yamaha model, only cheaper
  • It is built with a steel oversized frame and steel handlebar
  • Comes with front brakes
  • Can carry up to 100lbs
  • The seat is not adjustable
  • It has a very cool design but it only comes in blue

Check Price on Amazon

Final thoughts

Despite these three models only coming in blue, they all look like a tiny BMX motorcycle, which will make your kid super excited about taking his new bike on a ride. All models can remove the training wheels, something that will come in handy for when your child decides it’s time to take the next step and ride with full independence.
We honestly believe that it would be better to get the 16” model because it’s perfect for kids between 4 to 8 years; getting a 14” model would make you buy a bigger one in short time, since children grow really fast.
And why exactly should you get kids bikes that look like motorcycles? Well, first of all because it is cooler than a regular bike, especially if your child feels fascinated by regular motorcycles.
He won’t be able to ride a real one until a few years later, but we can encourage them the passion for a sport that demands lots of discipline and hard work, two things that adults must learn at an early age to succeed in life. Besides, the smile on your face when you see your little one riding this type of bike for the first time will be worth a picture. We do it for our children’s happiness, and yes it could be an out of budget gift, but aren’t they worth it?

I hope that you liked my Extra Cool Kids Bikes That Look Like Motorcycles [Multi Sizes] article and I’ll see you soon!

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16in Hyper MotoBike

The perfect bike for beginners. This Hyper Bicycles MotoBike features motocross-style fenders with authentic Hyper graphics and a motocross saddle seat that adds some extra style to this riding machine. It is built with a steel oversize frame, steel handlebars, 16-inch rims and knobby tires. This kid’s MotoBike also has standard size pedals and front brakes for an easy way to stop. With only one speed, there are no complicated gears. Training wheels are included for beginners who are still learning to ride. This 16-inch Hyper MotoBike made only for riders under 100 lbs.


  • Usage: Ride on sidewalks and in safe areas
  • Frame: Suspension steel frame
  • Speeds: Single speed
  • Brakes: Front caliper and rear coaster brakes
  • Wheels: 20 spoke steel wheels

Available at:

Categories: Bicycles, Kids Bikes



Bicycle 16 inch motorbike


16-inch kids bike (conventional and lightweight)


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