Bicycles are a great Christmas gift for kids. They get them exercising outside in the sunshine, which keeps them healthy and happy.
However, you need to choose the right size bicycle for children. If the bike is too small, then they will struggle with their knees. Too large, and your kids can be in danger of falling and hurting themselves. 16-inch bicycles hit that sweet spot for 3-8 year-olds.
In this holiday gift review guide, we look at the best 16-inch kids’ bikes on the market. We evaluate the pros and cons and make buyer recommendations.
We also help you decide the right size and type of bicycle for your child. We discuss how you can measure a child for a bike and necessary safety features. Lastly, we outline the pros and cons of using training wheels.
So, let’s get into it!
Best 16 Inch Kids Bikes For The Holiday Season 2020/2021
The Best Boys’ 16-Inch Bike: Schwinn Koen Boys Bike
- Size: 48 inches (121.9cm)
- Type: 16-inch boys’ bike with training wheels
- Weight: 27 pounds (12.2kg)
- It has a lightweight frame so kids can maneuver it.
- The cranks and pedals are forward-facing for effortless pedaling.
- The gears are simple to use.
- It has a sleek black design.
- It includes two kinds of brakes for extra safety.
- All parts are adjustable for comfortable riding.
- It includes training wheels for learners.
- It is not the most affordable option.
- It doesn’t include a kickstand.
- It is difficult to assemble.
The Schwinn Koen Bike is the overall best boys’ 16-inch bike. It isn’t the cheapest option, but it includes a sturdy and attractive design optimized for children.
It has a child-friendly design, including a lightweight frame, forward-facing pedals, simple gears, and smaller grips. This design makes it even easier for young children to learn how to ride a bike.
Safety is always a priority with kids’ bikes, so we appreciate the dual brakes, including reverse pedal brakes and hand-brakes. This layout allows children to stay extra safe and transition to using only hand-brakes.
Your child will inevitably grow, but the Schwinn Koen bike can accommodate the growth. It has an adjustable seat, seat post, and tube. As your kid gets taller, you can ensure that the bike is still safe and functional.
It includes many extra features, including training wheels, a number plate, chain guard, and saddle handle. However, the 16-inch bike doesn’t have a kickstand, so you will need to lean it against a wall or keep the training wheels on for storage.
Overall, this is the best option for young boys who are ready for a 16-inch bicycle.
Runner-Up: JOYSTAR Pluto Kids’ Bike
- Size: 53 inches (134.6cm)
- Type: 16-inch unisex bike with training wheels
- Weight: 21.5 pounds (9.8kg)
- There are multiple color options for boys and girls.
- It includes front and back brakes for extra safety.
- The seat is adjustable.
- It has a simple design with one speed.
- It includes a chain guard to protect the skin.
- The bike has a durable steel frame.
- It has training wheels for learning to ride.
- The installation is quick and straightforward.
- The training wheels wear down quickly.
- The hand brake can be challenging to use.
The JOYSTAR Pluto Kids’ Bike is a reliable unisex 16-inch bicycle. Available in multiple colors, it’s simple and safe design helps young cyclists to pedal in style.
It has a durable steel frame, which is lightweight but strong. Kids can efficiently steer the bike, but it can also withstand the occasional accident. The bicycle also includes front and rear brakes for ultimate safety.
Other safety features include a chain guard to prevent cuts to the hands and legs and training wheels. However, the training wheels are not the best quality, so we recommend transitioning out of them quickly or investing in a sturdier model.
You can adjust the seat height quickly with a quick-release seat to accommodate the growth of your child. It is also easy to assemble this bike in just 20 minutes, making it an overall stress-free option.
This bike has only one speed, so kids don’t need to worry about changing brakes. Overall, it’s a simple and reliable option for young children who are new to cycling. It is a great first bike that provides the tools necessary for kids to transition to a more adult model.
The Best Girls’ 16-Inch Bike: Schwinn Jasmine Girls’ Bike
- Size: 48 inches (121.9cm)
- Type: 16-inch girls’ bike with training wheels
- Weight: Unknown
- The bike has a cute and colorful design with flower details.
- It has a basket at the front to carry toys.
- The pedals have a narrow position that is comfortable for young bodies.
- The overall design is comfortable and optimized for children.
- The seat is easily adjustable.
- It includes hand-brakes and coaster brakes.
- The bike has removable training wheels.
- It has a single-speed design for easy riding.
- The assembly instructions can be confusing.
- The white sections get dirty quickly.
The Schwinn Jasmine Girls’ Bike is the overall best 16-inch girls’ bike. It has a pretty and colorful design with fun accessories like a basket and flower-themed handles. Paired with attractive training wheels, it is aesthetically impressive.
Schwinn designed the bike with children in mind. The pedals have a narrow distance between them to accommodate smaller hips. You can also adjust the seat as your child gets taller without the need for tools.
It has both a coaster and hand-brakes. Young children sometimes lack the strength to use hand-brakes, so this allows them to stay safe while they learn to ride the bike. The coaster brakes only need the child to pedal backward to slow and stop the bicycle.
The bike is durable enough to resist damage from accidents but light enough that a young child can steer it. However, the white parts of the cycle do become dirty quickly. If your backyard or neighborhood has a lot of dirt or dust, you will need to have cleaning products handy.
The assembly instructions are also confusing. However, once assembled, the bike is reliable and cute. We recommend it for any little girls that want to pedal around their neighborhood.
Runner-Up: Mongoose Girls’ Presto Bike
- Size: 37 inches (94cm)
- Type: 16-inch girls’ bike with training wheels
- Weight: 26.7 pounds (12.1kg)
- It has a cute pink and white design with handlebar ribbons.
- The bike is one of the more affordable options.
- The frame is low so children can touch the ground.
- It includes foot brakes for safe riding.
- It has a single gear for easy riding.
- The handlebars include a bag to carry toys.
- The seat has a soft and ergonomic design.
- The seat is adjustable.
- You can add or remove the training wheels.
- The bicycle doesn’t have a kickstand.
- It doesn’t include reflectors.
The Mongoose Girls’ Presto Bike is the runner-up for the best 16-inch girls’ bike. It has a super cute design, which features bright colors and handlebar ribbons. The handlebars also have a zip-up bag that girls can use to transport dolls or other toys.
It has a simple design that allows children to get used to riding a bike. It only has one speed and features coaster brakes that function with back-pedaling. The lightweight bike is easy to turn, so girls only need to focus on pedaling and steering.
The bicycle has an adjustable seat that can fit your child’s height. It also has a padded, ergonomic design that puts minimal pressure on the body and increases comfort. It sits low in the bike so children can put their feet on the ground as needed.
The main downside of this bike is that it doesn’t include a kickstand or reflectors. Therefore, it is not suitable for night riding, and you will need to store it leaning or with the training wheels on.
Overall, it’s a cute and reliable 16-inch girls’ bike.
The Best 16-Inch BMX Bike: RoyalBaby BMX Child Bicycle
- Size: 43.3 inches (110cm)
- Type: 16-inch BMX bike with training wheels
- Weight: 26.6 pounds (12.1kg)
- It has two attractive color options.
- The bike is almost fully assembled.
- It has two brakes for extra safety.
- The bike has a sturdy design with a rigid frame and pneumatic tires.
- The seat has a handle for parents to help.
- It includes a kickstand, training wheels, bell, and water bottle with holder.
- It has an adjustable, quick-release seat.
- It is not the most affordable option.
- The training wheels are not the most resistant to damage.
The RoyalBaby BMX Child Bicycle is the best 16-inch BMX bike. It has a durable design that includes a steel frame and pneumatic tires. This design can withstand any accidents and is suitable for the more confident riders.
It ensures safe riding, with standard coaster brakes and hand-brakes. The hand-brakes are placed closer to the handles so that children’s hands can operate them. They are easier to use than adult brakes and so can help teach your child.
We like that the bicycle includes multiple accessories, with the kickstand allowing you to store it easily. It also has training wheels, but these are not the most durable. We recommend teaching your child to ride without them as soon as possible or buying stronger ones.
Overall, the RoyalBaby BMX Child Bicycle is not the most affordable option on the market. However, it is one of the most durable and has a child-friendly design. If your kid wants to cycle at speed and build their confidence, you should consider this option.
Things to Consider When Buying a 16-Inch Bike
Many 16-inch bikes come equipped with training wheels. These can be a handy tool that helps your child build confidence.
However, many people believe that they interfere with developing balance and properly learning to ride a bike. If you choose a model with training wheels, you should have a clear plan of how long your child will use them before transitioning.
Your child will inevitably crash at some point. Besides making sure they always wear safety gear like a helmet, you also need to choose a bike that can withstand the damage. Durable frames will ensure that the bike lasts for many years.
Your child will need to maneuver the bike when they are riding. They also need to park it and occasionally push it along while walking. Consider your kid’s strength and choose a weight that they can comfortably handle.
Color, pattern, and style are some of the most critical factors for a child. You should try to get a bike in their favorite color or with stylings that match their personality. If in doubt, ask your kid what they would prefer.
16-Inch Kids Bikes FAQ
How do I choose a bike for my child?
When choosing a bike for your child, the most crucial consideration is the size. You need to match their height and leg length to the appropriate bike size. By doing so, they can cycle comfortably and put their feet down as required.
You should also make sure that your child can reach the handlebars from a seated position and that they can sit with a slight bend in their legs. This posture allows your kid to control the bike and ride more safely.
Other than size, you should accommodate the personality of your child. Kids’ bikes often have bright colors and fun designs. It could even be a good idea to get your child to choose the bike they like the most.
Is it better to get a bigger or smaller bike frame?
Not everyone has measurements that match one particular frame size. Commonly, both adults and young people may sit in between two different frame sizes. Whether you should go for the bigger or smaller bike frame depends on your riding position.
Choosing a larger frame is a better option if you have a longer upper body. It allows you greater reach, and you can drive more power through the bike. Mainly if you like to ride leaning forwards, this is beneficial.
Especially with children, a larger size can accommodate their growth. As they get bigger, the bike will still be suitable. However, make sure that it is still small enough to be safe and comfortable.
Going for a smaller frame could feel more comfortable if your legs are longer than your upper body. If you like to ride in an upright position, the shorter frame allows you to sit tall but low, with an aggressive riding style.
What age is a 16-inch bike for?
Depending on your child’s height, a 16-inch bike is suitable for children aged 3-8 years old. A 16-inch bicycle fits kids between 39 and 48 inches (99.1 to 121.9cm), with a leg length of 18 to 22 inches (45.7 to 55.9cm).
How do I know what size bike frame I need?
Frame size depends on your height, as well as the type of bicycle you want. Mountain and road bikes use differently sized frames, for example.
First, you will need to measure your full height and the length of the inside of your leg. Ensure you are standing straight when you take these measurements and do it twice to double-check the numbers.
Once you know these numbers, you can follow this as a rough guide:
|Height||Length of Leg||Size of Road Bike Frame||Size of Mountain Bike Frame|
This video goes into further depth about measuring yourself for a bike size.
Children’s bikes use wheel measurements rather than frame measurements. For example, a 16-inch bicycle has 16-inch wheels. This size is suitable for children aged 3-8, depending on their height. The following wheel sizes are ideal for different ages:
- 12-inch wheel: 2-4 years old
- 14-inch wheel: 3-5 years old
- 16-inch wheel: 3-8 years old
- 20-inch wheel: 6-10 years old
- 24-inch wheel: 8-12 years old
- 26-inch wheel: 10+ years old
The age ranges are a rough guide because sizing depends on the height of your child. If they are tall for their age, they will need a larger wheel size and vice versa.
Should your feet touch the floor on a bike?
Both children and adults need to place their feet flat on the ground while straddling the bike. This is important in case of an emergency. However, feet should not touch the floor when you are seated.
While high-quality bikes have sound braking systems, there might be times when you need to brake by putting your feet on the ground manually. Being able to touch the floor is also helpful when you need to stop at traffic lights.
However, feet should not be able to touch the ground when seated. If they can, the seat is too low, and the feet can drag on the floor. This can also be dangerous, so it’s essential to find the perfect balance.
While a child is learning to ride a bicycle, you can lower the seat so that their feet can touch the ground from a seated position. However, once they build confidence, we recommend raising the seat to a more comfortable height.
When should I remove the training wheels?
Training wheels attach to the back of a bicycle and help children learn how to ride a bike. They add extra stability and allow kids to balance while they focus on their steering and pedaling.
If you choose to use training wheels with your child, you should remove them once your kid is comfortable steering and pedaling. Usually, children have enough coordination and can handle balancing themselves around age four or five.
Many people suggest avoiding using training wheels. They argue that they don’t push children to actually learn because balance is one of the most critical factors of riding a bike. Without having to balance, kids aren’t actually learning the necessary skills.
There is a faster way that you can teach your kid to ride a bike without training wheels. You can follow these steps:
- Take your child and their bike to the top of a slight incline. Make sure they are wearing protective gear, including a helmet.
- Sit your kid on the seat of the bike and align the handlebars straight.
- Get your child to roll to the bottom of the incline while moving in a straight line.
- Repeat this process various times to build confidence.
- Teach your child to use the brakes once they are on a flat section.
- Move on to slight turns, both left and right.
- Teach your kid to start pedaling and turning once they are in the flat section.
- Repeat all steps as necessary until your child feels confident.
In conclusion, a bicycle is a great holiday gift for any child. It encourages them to get outside, be active, and have fun.
If your child has a height of between 39 and 48 inches (99.1 to 121.9cm), a 16-inch bicycle is a perfect size for them.
The best kids’ 16-inch bicycles are sturdy enough to withstand damage and light enough to handle. They usually have fun designs that children love and may include helpful accessories like training wheels.
If in doubt, sit down with your child and ask them which style of bike they prefer. After all, they’re the ones that are going to be riding it.
Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Matthew Carpenter