A child’s first ‘big-kid’ bike should be fun and safe because it is a step towards independence. Safety should be a top priority since they will be riding alone soon. The best bikes for 4-year-olds are usually 14 to 18 inches in size, but such a wide range implies plenty of models to choose from.
We have compiled a list of the best-rated bike brands to help you make the best buy. Some of the crucial parameters that helped us create the product list include bike’s weight, frame material and design, brakes, and bike size. The factors are directly related to the bikes’ performance, longevity, and ease of use.
More features: 37″–41″ rider’s height for 14″ option and 41″–45″ rider’s height for 16″ option; 2.4″ wide cylinder tires; water bottle; handle on the saddle; 95% pre-assembled
This is one of the best durable bikes for four-year-olds. The RoyalBaby freestyle bike is a solid all-around option that is made to last with a steel frame. It comes in eight different colors to suit the tastes of different children. It also has a few stickers that add to its beauty. Behind its seat, you can attach a bottle holder so that your child can be carrying water when they go on long bike trips.
Moreover, it features a thin frame and welded steel fork that offers adequate shock absorption. Its tires are wide, knobby, and durable with RoyalBaby’s custom treads that offer maximum stability. The tires and the rugged steel frame make the bike capable of tackling different terrains.
The RoyalBaby bike is our top pick because of its all-around capability. Your child can ride it to school, in the neighborhood with friends, or on that occasional family bike trip on the weekends. Its design is incredibly comfortable. Its pedals feature a non-slip resin to keep your child’s feet securely in place. The dual brakes that consist of caliper brakes and rear coaster brakes are optimized for kids, so your child’s safety is guaranteed. Plus, the handles are super-comfortable as they are suited with soft rubber so that your child can ride for a long without getting blisters. The bike’s seat is also well-padded for maximum sitting comfort.
Woom is a famous bike brand known for its wide range of kids’ bikes, from those still in diapers to teenagers. The Woom 2 is one of the best kids’ bikes for 3 to 4 ½-year-olds. It is the ultimate bike upgrade for your young one graduating from a balance bike. The bike is incredibly lightweight, coming in at 12.3lbs. Its frame is geometrically designed with four-year-olds in mind. Plus, it features a Woom-designed chain guard that protects the chain and your child’s hands and legs from accidental pinches and cuts. You can easily remove the chain guard to lubricate the chain or change a flat.
Woom 2 and Woom 3 are pretty similar, but Woom 3 is better suited for five-year-olds. It also offers a seamless transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike. Woom 2 is our best lightweight pick because of its perfect balance of lightness and robustness. It is also super comfortable, with a low-entry point that allows a child to hop on easily and have fun. Also, the bike’s saddle is ergonomically designed to suit a child’s anatomy, and the handgrips and pedals are comfortable and grippy. Further, its innovative braking system will build your child’s riding confidence by teaching them to brake without using their feet.
More features: for riders 37″–47″ tall; low profile and low resistant tires
The Byk E-350 is the best bike you can buy for your child to grow with. The bike fits 4 to 6-year-olds perfectly. The bike’s design oozes innovation and excellence. Each of its components has been carefully selected. It features a smooth handling long wheelbase and ultra-efficient tall wheels that can provide your toddler with a smooth cycling experience. Moreover, its custom-sized and shaped V-bars are made with kids in mind, considering crucial aspects like riding position, shoulder width, safety, and comfort. The seat height is adjustable from 18 inches to 23.3 inches so that your child can comfortably sit in a suitable riding position.
The Byk E-350 is the best bike your child can grow with because it comes with training wheels just in case it is their first bike ever. If your child has already learned how to ride on a balance bike, you can remove the training wheels. The bike’s frame is made with an alloy which offers an outstanding balance between longevity and lightness. Its saddle is well-padded for premium comfort. Its low profile allows your toddler to hop on for a fun ride on their own easily. What’s more, the bike’s design guarantees your child’s safety as its brake levers are easily reachable and adjustable. It also features a bell and safety reflectors.
The Vitus Smoothly is the ultimate balance bike for average to aggressive riders. The bike offers top value for money, with its superior features at such an attractive price point. Its smooth-rolling air tires can dominate different surfaces, including ramps, sidewalks, and off-roading, with great ease. Air tires are not a common feature in balance bikes at such a price point. Unlike regular foam tires, air tires provide superior cushioning and traction that is good for beginner riders. Moreover, the bike is ultra-lightweight, coming in at 6.6 pounds, thanks to its unique magnesium frame. The weight is balanced and heavy enough to keep the child grounded yet lightweight enough for a child to pick it up easily.
The Vitus smoothy balance bike is our best balance bike choice because it offers more ample room for growth than most bikes within its price range. Your toddler will have more than enough time to master balancing before graduating to a pedal bike. The bike also features a true headset that keeps handlebars in a tight alignment and in place, especially after falls. They also offer smooth steering. Further, the bike’s saddle is child-sized and covered with light padding that has durable material not prone to ripping. The bike also comes with an unobtrusive footrest that wouldn’t interfere with your child’s stride for added comfort.
More features: for riders 35″–47″ tall; 16″–20″ inseam; fully enclosed chain guard; flexible riser handlebar; 2.125″ pneumatic rubber tires
Joystar is another popular bike brand known for high-quality kids’ bikes for children between 2 and 9 years. It is a well-loved brand because it offers kids’ bikes with kid-specific geometry and confidence-boosting designs. The Joystar Totem is a joy to ride, thanks to its amazing features. For starters, the bike comes in single-speed, thus super easy to ride, and it has convenient coaster brakes for your child’s safety. The coaster brakes are operated by pedaling backwards, which is brilliant for a child learning to cycle.
The Joystar Totem is our best durable choice because of its strong HI-TEN steel frame. The frame is not only tough but also elegant. It can hold up well to frequent bumps and regular abuse from your temperamental toddler learning how to ride. What’s more, the bike comes with training wheels to help you with the balancing department until your child masters riding on two wheels. Its design offers superior comfort, so your child can ride for long without getting fatigued. The saddle is well-padded, and it even comes with a holder that you can hold to help your little one hop on easily. Overall, the Joystar Totem bike is suitable for aggressive riders because of its sturdy build and stability. You can count on it to give your child a first, second, and a thousandth fun ride.
More features: dual suspension; for riders 36″–50″ tall; 23″–26″ adjustable handlebar height
The NiceC BMX bike is one of the most attractive and powerful bikes you can buy for your toddler. Its high-quality magnesium and alloy construction makes it one of the best bikes for a 4-year-old boy or girl. The top-quality materials offer the ultimate lightness and robustness. It is light enough for a child to maneuver easily. Moreover, your child will enjoy smooth and efficient braking with the dual brake system that consists of a traditional v-brake in the front and a disc brake on the rear wheel. The brake system is better than a single-disc brake because it allows your kid to stop the bike at a shorter distance.
Like other BMX bikes, the NiceC has thick tires that grip well to the ground and enhance overall stability when riding. The tires have multiple rubber layers that provide better shock absorption and increases their longevity. You wouldn’t have to spend an extra buck repairing and replacing the tires. Also featured on the bike are training wheels to allow your child to learn cycling carefully and safely. You can remove them when they are ready to ride on two wheels. Furthermore, you can adjust the bike’s handlebars from 21 to 25 inches, and seat height from 17 to 22 inches to suit your toddler’s build. For a more fun experience, NiceC provides a full page of fun stickers that your kid can use to customize the bike.
More features: for riders 28″–38″ tall; removable parent push handle; bottle holder; quick-release saddle
Schwinn is a top of the rank bike brand renowned for its unmatched high-end kids’ bikes. The Schwinn grit bike is one of the brand’s best-selling gems. The 12-inch wheels bike is best suited for 4-year-olds that are about 28 to 38 inches tall. It comes with removable, heavy-duty training wheels to support your child to learn riding carefully and safely until they can balance on two wheels. The bike’s single-speed drivetrain and coaster brakes make it incredibly easy to use. The rear coaster brakes allow your child to stop the bike easily, guaranteeing their safety.
The Schwinn grit bike is our best steerable bike option because it comes with a removable handle that you can hold to push and steer the bike when your kid is still learning to ride on two wheels. It is pretty similar with the Schwinn Koen 16 which is also suitable for 4-year-olds, except the Koen has larger wheels, a smart start technology and handbrakes. The Schwinn grit is a fantastic option if you need a bike that your child can grow with because it features a quick-release saddle that you can easily adjust without any tools. Further, your child will enjoy a comfortable and steady ride on different terrains with the wide 12-inch street tires.
More features: 2.125″ wide knobby air-filled tires; front suspension; 26″–29″ adjustable handlebar height; rear sit
The COEWSKE kids’ bike is hands down the most attractive bike that money can buy. It is one of the best bikes for a four-year-old girl. The bike comes in an elegant well-thought-out design. Its low frame has a nostalgic, feminine appearance that will etic your little princess to ride more. The low frame also has a convenient stand-over height that allows the child to get on and off the bike easily. Moreover, the bike assembles easily, and it comes in six vibrant colors so you can pick your little one’s favorite.
The COEWSKE kids’ bike is our best girls’ pick because of its attractive design and how easy it is to ride. Its air-filled tires provide a good grip on various surfaces, offering a smooth ride. The tires are broad and treaded to enhance grip of different surfaces. The bike’s dual brakes also add to its smooth ride. Your girl will be in full control of the speed and stopping with the two brakes. You can teach them how to use both brakes efficiently, to manage accidents. For added safety, the bike features a chain guard that protects your child from accidental pinching and cuts. What’s more, while riding, your child can place their feet on the low frame which is meant to be a footrest for a more comfortable riding experience.
Choosing the perfect bike for your kid is not a walk in the park kind of business, especially if you have no idea how to go about it. This section has all the hints and tips you would need to make the best choice.
The perfect bike for your child is the correct size that suits their riding styles and needs. Most parents tend to buy a bike that their child will grow with to save money. It is not bad to get the best value from a purchase, but a bigger bike would be uncomfortable for your child, and they may end up hating cycling if they are still learning. According to Cycling News, kids outgrow their bikes 3 years after purchase, but it is important that you always get them the perfect fit and help them graduate all the cycling stages successfully.
The best way to know a bike is perfect for your child is to see how comfortable they are on the bike. Therefore, it would be best if you brought them along with you to physically try the bike. Help them hop on the seat, grip the handlebars, test the brakes and try riding the bike to see how comfortable they are while pedaling.
If you are not in a position to size a bike in person, you can take your child’s measurements and compare them to bike specifications online. It may not be the easiest option, but it is possible.
Kids’ bikes, unlike adult bikes are sized according to wheel size rather than frame size. They range between 12 inches and 24 inches. Older or bigger kids can choose from adult bikes that start from 26 inches onwards. 4-year-olds can fit perfectly well on 16- to 18-inch bikes. If you need a 16-inch bike for your child and have no idea what to look for, read our article on the best 16-inch bike for buying tips. However, there is a lot more to consider when sizing your kid’s bike than just the wheel size.
Some manufacturers offer bike charts with estimated age ranges to act as a rough guide to help you pick the right bike size for your kid. You should never substitute bike sizing in person with the charts because age is not a reliable factor when sizing a bike. A bike that may fit one 4-year-old may be tiny for another 4-year-old with longer legs. A size chart may guide you to get an 18-inch bike for your 4-year-old, yet all they need is the best 20-inch mountain bike for kids. Also, bike sizes may range across different manufacturers.
Measuring your child’s inseam is one of the surest ways of finding the correct bike size for your kid online. The inseam is the length of the inside of a leg. The inseam measurements will help you get the right clearance above the bike’s stand-over height. The child’s inseam should be higher than the stand-over height so that the child is not resting on the top tube. If your child’s inseam is 19 inches, your child’s bike should not have a stand-over height more than 18 inches.
To measure your child’s inseam, you will need;
Place the hardcover book between the child’s legs
Mark the spot where the spine of the book meets the wall then measure from that mark to the floor to get the inseam.
Before going home with the bike, test the handbrakes. Let your child sit on the bike and reach for the handbrakes. Ensure they can operate the handbrakes comfortably. Also, pick an adjustable seat so that you can make adjustments over time. When the child starts to learn how to ride, you will want the seat low enough for them to touch the ground with their feet so that they can stop and catch themselves when they fall.
Here are other crucial features to consider before paying for your child’s bike.
Your child’s type and style of cycling should determine the type of bike you buy them. If your child wants a bike for cycling on pavements around the neighborhood, don’t buy them a mountain bike. If they are aggressive and adventurous, go for something that matches their style like the NiceC Dual-Disc BMX kids’ bike. If you are interested in more BMX bike options, read our article on the best BMX bikes for kids.
If they are going to do a bit of everything like ride in the neighborhood and go for the occasional family bike trips, then choose an all-around option like RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids’ Bike.
Kids’ bikes should be sturdy, not heavy, and sturdy doesn’t mean heavy. According to Washington Post, you should always get the lightest and well-made bike you can afford for your child because a heavy and poorly made cheap option may turn them off the sport.
A lightweight bike is easy to maneuver and pick up. Avoid bikes with dual suspension that makes them heavier.
If your child is not yet a confident rider, you better opt for a bike with training wheels so that they can master riding on two wheels carefully and safely. You can remove the training wheels later on when they have mastered pedaling.
Frame material determines the bike’s weight, durability and beauty. Steel frames are more durable, only if they are protected against corrosion. Otherwise, their aluminum counterparts would outlast them. Aluminum frames are the best lightweight. Other materials like magnesium and alloy also offer a great balance between lightness and robustness.
The frame’s design is also important. Choose a low-step through frame to allow your child to get on and off the bike easily.
The main thing to consider when choosing tires for your kid’s bike is tread. Go for tires with a mountain-style tread for traction and confidence. The more tread a tire has, the more grip it will provide on a wide range of terrains. However, more tread also means a slower roll on the pavement. A smoother tire will roll fast on the pavement but have less traction on rougher ground surfaces.
For a 4-year-old, choose a bike with less gears so that they only have a few things to concentrate on when adjusting to the new bike. Plus, the fewer the gears the lighter the bike.
As for brakes, you can choose a bike with either coaster, rim or disc brakes. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), bikes must have front and rear brakes or rear brakes only. Coaster brakes are a requirement for all kids’ bikes in the US because they are allegedly easier to use and cause less accidents. However, rim and disc brakes are the best for off-road cycling because they give enough control.
Accessories include bike baskets, bottle holders, bells, pedals, saddle, lights, locks, and bike bags among other things. A bike that comes with extra accessories will save you some change. Plus, you can use the accessories to customize the bike according to your child’s tastes.
Durability should be a top consideration when choosing a kid’s bike. Kids’ bikes ought to be sturdy to survive. Pick a bike that can withstand regular abuse and your 4-year-old’s occasional tantrums. Go for brands like Woom and Schwinn that are highly reputed for durability. Also, the warranty period speaks volumes about the bike’s longevity. A longer warranty period means the manufacturer trusts their workmanship.
Invest in the best quality bike to get the best value for your money. Expensive doesn’t always mean great quality. Ensure you buy a well-made bike. Instead of settling for an inexpensive model with poor build quality, go for a used bike with solid durability. All in all, a 4-year old’s bike shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Buying the best bike for a 4-year-old can be a daunting experience because there are multiple brands in the market with good PR. All the pro tips in this guide should help you get the best bang for your buck. Our top choice, the RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids’ Bike is the best all-around bike you can get for your 4-year-old prince or princess. They can ride it in the neighborhood or when you go camping in the woods.
Our second pick, Woom 2, is the best lightweight bike for 4-year-old boys and girls.
The ByK E-350 18” Kids Bike is our third pick and is the best bike you can buy for your child to grow with because it has features suitable for kids between 4 and 6 years.
If your kid is just getting started with riding a bike, the Vitus Smoothy Balance Bike, number four on our list, is your best bet. It is one of the best balance bikes for 4-year-olds in the market. On the fifth spot, the JOYSTAR Totem Kids’ Bike is a sure bet when it comes to durability. If the product list has nothing you are looking for, consider other options in our best kids’ bikes article.