Bike riding is one of the best fun activities for kids. For your kids to have more fun when cycling, it’s important to buy them the right type of kids’ bicycle, according to their needs. The right bicycle type will also allow your child to gain strength and coordination.
There are several types of bicycles for kids, including motocross, mountain, and cruiser-style bikes. Therefore, choosing the right type of bike for your child can be overwhelming. Since we understand the struggle, we’ve reviewed the best seven bikes for five-year-olds you can find in the market by considering factors such as safety, durability, weight, size, type of brakes, materials used, and available colors to help make your decision easier. We have also included a buying guide to help you make an informed choice.
More features: 7 gears, rubber grips, Shimano Altus 7 speed drivetrain, light action thumb shifter, Tektro V-Brakes, all-purpose Vee Speedster tires, narrow pedals
The Vitus 20 Kids Bike is our Editor’s Choice because it’s ideal for children who want to explore rough terrain or off-road trails. This bike is also the best first for children aged 5-8 since it features premium Tektro brakes and Kenda tires and is designed to offer a comfortable upright riding position. Another impressive feature is the Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain which offers dependable shifting. As for the rest of the bike, there’s an aluminum frame and fork that are lightweight and strong. The bike’s versatile and grippy Vee Speedster tires are ideal for a wide range of surfaces, and the narrow pedals make pedaling a comfortable experience. Additionally, the short-reach adjustable brake levers make it simple to brake securely and safely.
Compared to a similarly, spec’d bike like the Cube Youth stereo, the Vitus 20 is amazingly priced. Your kid can ride the bike in any kind of neighborhood with pavements or off-road trails. However, unlike higher-end models like Cube Youth stereo, the Vitus 20 is less ideal for riders with no gear experience. In addition, it isn’t the best for a rider looking to gain high speeds on long flat runs.
More features: mushroom-style soft grips, traditional BMX geometry & gearing, Innova tires, GT low profile platform design pedals, sealed front hub, pivotal saddles 4pc, 1-speed gear
Any child who wants to learn how to perform tricks and stunts should consider the GT Performer Lil 16 due to its comfortable and responsive geometry. The bike also has a sturdy steel frame that can withstand the pressure of riding rough. If you’d rather not spend extra buying bike accessories, this is the perfect bike for your child. It comes with high-quality parts and accessories, such as a 4-piece pivotal saddle, traditional BMX geometry frame, Innova tires, GT low-profile platform pedals, a sealed front hub, and mushroom-style soft grips.
The GT Performer Lil 16 has been a staple for many BMX fans, and it stacks up well against other popular 16-inch BMX bikes like SE Bikes Bronco. It is pretty similar to the SE Bike Bronco, except for its frame material made with steel. It is a better choice if you are looking for a lightweight yet rugged bike for learning the first riding tricks.
More features: resin platform pedals, Selle royal saddle, 6 gears, single-density Kraton grips, water-sealed bottom bracket, Kickstand accessories, Kenda small block tires, standover Height: 1.93”
Having fun on the trails is made easy with the Fuji Dynamite 20 Kids Bike. This bike is best suited for young riders ready to tackle the trails due to its lightweight aluminum frame and a suspension fork with 40mm of travel that smooths out most of the bumps on a MTB trail. Another good thing about this bike is the low step-over height which makes it simple to get on and off. Additionally, the Fuji Dynamite 20 Kids Bike has six speeds with a grip-type shifter, allowing your kid the versatility to switch from going downhill to uphill fairly easily.
The Dynamite 20 is a prime option if you look for a bike with which your kid can grow. It is better than other models on this list, like the Vitus 20, when it comes to the ease of using gears. Your kids will have an easier time learning how to use gears. It is also better for riding on uncertain terrains.
The Cube Cubie 160 RT features 16″ wheels, a coaster brake, and an aluminum frame, making it a true off-road bike for kids. You can also take your child for forest adventures without any worries, thanks to its strong aluminum frame, which can withstand pressure. Also, transporting the bike to your preferred destination is simple since it only weighs 15.4 lbs. With this bike, even if your kid gets into an accident, there’s a reduced chance of due to the rounded corners and edges. Even the chain is covered so the kid’s pants don’t get caught, resulting in injury. Finally, the ergonomic saddle, handlebar grips, and soft rubber pedals on this kids’ bike make it comfortable for kids to ride.
Compared to all the bikes on this list, the Cube Cubie 160RT is the better option for off-road riding. It is a potential contender against popular brands like the Vitus 20 and the GT Performer Lil 16 because of its steady build that can withstand the highest riding demands. Moreover, the bike is a better choice if you want something your child will grow with.
More features: 2021 year model, includes front LED light, fenders, basket, and bell, 3 Shimano Nexus gears, recommended height 3’4 – 4,4, Kenda Kommuter tires, plastic pedals
The Creme Mini Molly 20′′ bike is one of the best bikes for your little girl. This bike’s vibrant color and plush seat should allow the kid to feel both proud and safe as they ride around. It has three Shimano Nexus gears that allow your child to increase or decrease speed in addition to cycling difficulty according to their needs. Although it’s light, the bike’s aluminum frame is strong enough to withstand any bumps along the way. Furthermore, if your child wants to carry small items like toys, snacks, and drinks when they go riding, they can place them in the basket at the front of the bike.
Those who want simplicity will do great with the Crème Mini Molly bike. Unlike the Rowdy bike which we named as our Editor’s Choice, the Crème Mini Molly bicycle has only two speed modes and a sturdy, alloy frame. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, with smaller wheel tires and a steel fork and handlebar for responsive steering.
More features: a traditional v-brake in the front and a disc brake on the rear wheel, removable training wheels, come with a page of fun stickers to customize the bike
If your five-year-old kid is learning how to ride a bike for the first time, the NiceC BMX bike will be the perfect fit. This bike comes with training wheels to help them remain balanced and steady before they gain confidence. Its frame is made of sturdy aluminum, allowing it to withstand wear and tear. Another impressive feature is the adjustable handlebar and seat height which ensures your kid is always comfortable and gives them a few years of adjustments until they get another one. Lastly, the bike is available in various vibrant color schemes, including lemon yellow, princess pink, cool black, and mystery champagne.
Unlike other BMX bikes with training wheels like the Dynacraft 16” Magna, the NiceC BMX bike does not have easy-to-adjust breaks. However, it is a better choice if you want a wide size and customizable option. Other bikes may come with a wide color variety, but the NiceCBMX will make your kid feel unique in the neighborhood with all the fun stickers.
More features: enclosed chain guard, 1-speed gear, removable training wheel, design inspired by Beach Cruiser Bike
Are you looking for a functional yet fashionable kids’ cruiser bike? Consider the Joystar Kids Cruiser Bike. This bicycle has a sturdy, long-lasting steel frame and a one-speed gear. It also comes in a wide range of vibrant colors, allowing your kid to ride and show off their unique style. Most importantly, they can choose the color they love most. Another one of the best things about this bike is that it has a lifetime warranty and is simple to assemble. Your kid’s safety is also not an issue when using this bike since it has an enclosed chain guard. Moreover, it has an adjustable handlebar and seat height, making it ideal for kids of different ages.
The Joystar kids’ Cruiser bike has a brother, the Joystar Totem Kids Bike, which also has training wheels. They are similar, but the Cruiser has a better build quality. In addition, the cruiser has a phenomenal stopping power that makes it a better option for kids new to riding. It remains one of the best bikes with training wheels because of its effective impact resistance.
When buying a bike for a 5-year-old, there are several things you need to put in mind to avoid making mistakes. They include:
A seat tube is the part of a bicycle’s frame where a seat post is mounted. As such, the seat tube length is the distance between the bottom bracket and the top of the seat tube. When buying a bicycle for a five-year-old, you should consider the seat tube length. The average seat tube measurement for a kid’s bike is about 16-18 inches. Ensure the seat tube on the bike is long enough to accommodate your child as they grow so they can continue using the bike and save you the hassle of buying a bike every few months.
The size of the bike is another factor that you should put in mind. It’s important to buy the right bike size since a bike that’s too small or large will be uncomfortable and unsafe. To avoid making mistakes, determine the bike size suitable for your child by measuring the child’s inner leg inseam. The inseam length is the distance between the crotch and the floor. The bike you choose should have a frame that’s approximately 2 inches shorter than the child’s inseam.
When buying a bike for a five-year-old, choose a light one. The ideal weight for the bicycle should be about 25 lbs or less. Such a bicycle is easy for your child to handle and control. If you buy a heavy bike, you’re exposing your child to injury risks.
A gear chain is a device that transmits the force from the pedals to the wheels on a bicycle. Gears help the kid determine how much pedaling power is necessary to pull the bike forward. While not necessary, they can give five-year-olds the experience of managing the bike’s power and speed, a skill they’ll need when they graduate to bigger bikes.
Nevertheless, the ideal bike for a five-year-old should have an easy gear ratio. An easy gear ratio means that the distance the bike travels will be proportional to the number of pedal rotations. For instance, your child will want a low gear ratio when riding on flat ground, so they don’t have to pedal as hard.
Even with gears, it’s critical to keep this bicycle part well-lubricated. Otherwise, it will rust and be challenging to move.
Bicycle saddle and handlebar adjustment is another factor you should consider when buying a bike for your five-year-old kid. Buy a bicycle that allows you to adjust the saddle and handlebar easily for convenience and to allow the kid to keep riding despite having growth spurts.
Adjusting the saddle and handlebar is typically not a complicated process. All you need is some simple tools and basic knowledge of bikes.
The first step when adjusting the saddle and handlebar involves determining the ideal saddle height for your child. Have your kid sit on the bike and put their feet on the ground. To know if the saddle height is right for your child, the knee should be slightly bent when the leg is on the ground. If the saddle is too high for your kid, they will have to stretch too far to get to the ground, making it difficult to ride the bike. Conversely, if the saddle is too low, your child won’t be able to extend their legs fully, which can limit how much power reaches the pedals.
Next, adjust the handlebar’s angle. You may need to adjust the stem’s angle to get the handlebar in the proper position. Ask your child to hold the handlebars and check if their elbows are slightly bent. If not, then the handlebar height is not ideal for your child. If the stem is too low, the kid’s hands will be too close to their bodies, and they won’t be able to control or steer the bike.
On the other hand, a high stem will force your child to fully extend their hands, making it harder to reach the brake levers. It may also lead to back and neck pain.
Finally, tighten the bolts starting with the saddle bolt and then the handlebar bolt. It’s important to use a bicycle tool only to prevent damaging the bolt.
Once you’re done, your kid ought to be able to ride comfortably and safely.
Most kids can comfortably ride a bike by the time they’re five years. However, if your child is riding a bike for the first time, it’s important to get them one with training wheels to help them balance before they gain confidence.
For the training wheels to be safe and effective, install them correctly. Install the wheels in such a way that the bike leans slightly forward. The bike may topple over if the training wheels are too close to the back wheel. If you place them too far from the back wheel, your child may find it difficult to pedal.
Most five-year-old bikes usually come with training wheels. Consider buying them separately if they’re not included in the model you want to buy.
There are two main types of brakes you can find on bikes for five-year-olds, including a handbrake and a coaster brake. The coaster brake is usually activated by pedaling backward. Handbrakes, on the other hand, are operated by squeezing levers on the handlebars, gradually slowing down the bike.
According to most experts, handbrakes are ideal for five-year-olds compared to coaster brakes, especially if they are new to bike riding. The brakes offer more control and allow your child to regulate speed. Nevertheless, if your child is used to coaster brakes, ensure the new bike has them.
The type of bike you buy is crucial because it affects the terrain your child can ride on. For instance, a BMX bike is better for stunt riding and skate parks than riding on the street. A roadster or cruiser bike is better suited for leisurely rides around the neighborhood, whereas a mountain bike can be used for off-road and MTB trails. If your kid recently discovered the joy of stunts and you want to ensure they get the best equipment for the job, check out our guide to the best BMX bikes for kids for suitable models.
A chain guard is a plastic or metal fastened to a bicycle’s frame to cover the chain. It prevents the child’s clothing from getting entangled in the chain or the chain from contacting the child’s skin. Since a 5-year-old is still learning to ride and might not be as experienced as an older child, a chain guard may be essential on the new bike.
Once the bike is in your hands, confirm that the chain guard is correctly installed and in good shape to protect your child, even though you might need to take a trip to a bike repair shop to be sure.
Bicycles require several accessories for convenience and safety. One of the most important accessories is a helmet which protects your child from serious injuries in case they fall. If your kid is riding in a highly populated area, bells and horns can also be useful accessories. Other important accessories include a water bottle, a tool kit, a basket, and knee and elbow pads. Some bike models come with accessories, while others don’t.
With the latter, you’ll have to buy them separately, something you don’t have to worry about if you check for the accessories before committing to the purchase.
For older kids who are experienced, choose a bike with larger wheels since it better matches their height and can be more comfortable for them to ride.
The top tube on a girl’s bike may also be slightly curved. This doesn’t make too much of a difference in how the bikes ride, and kids in this age bracket typically can’t tell boys’ and girls’ bikes apart. As such, if you and your kid find a girl or boy bike that is well-suited to their needs, there should be no problem with buying it, no matter their gender.
Read our best 14-inch bikes or best first bike for 3-year-old selections if your child still requires a smaller bike size.
Your child will be ready to ride a bike by themselves once they have mastered these fundamental skills. Before allowing them to head out onto the open road, check your local laws regarding the use of helmets and other safety requirements. Most importantly, ensure they enjoy themselves and use safe riding practices.
The Vitus 20 is the best option for a 5-year-old because it is portable and has a sturdy aluminum frame. Its narrow pedals make it simpler for kids to balance, and the Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain guarantees seamless gear changes. Rubber grips are also included on the bike to enhance comfort and control.
The GT Performer Lil 16 is the best BMX bike for kids under five years. It features a traditional BMX geometry, making it simpler for kids to ride and try different stunts. Additionally, the bike comes in a wide range of colors and a one-speed gear ideal for beginners.
The Fuji Dynamite 20 is a fantastic entry-level mountain bike for 5-year-olds due to the suspension fork offering up to 40 mm of travel for shock absorption. This bike also has a water-sealed bottom bracket, preventing the gears and bearings from getting wet and corroding.