Your kids will have more bikes to choose from as they reach 6 to 8 years old and graduate from their balance bikes. They’ll be ready to make the transition to 20-inch bikes and be eager to learn the workings of gears in bikes.
They’re still far from tackling mountain bikes but as your kids ditch the training wheels and are able to cycle faster for longer periods, their interest in the activity will only grow manifold. However, to make sure they experience continued fun on the bike, they’ll need bikes that are suitable for them.
When choosing a bike for your child as a guardian, you should typically go for one that has good geometry, decent gearing range, and tires that are compatible with both on and off-road terrain. Of course, you should also choose a lightweight option.
Now, the bike market for kids is littered with plenty of uninspiring choices and several bike sizes. Most of the bikes sold in big department stores are heavy and have poor geometry; those bikes aren’t built to last a long time either.
So, picking a suitable bike for your child can be a rather challenging thing to do.
Rest easy for I have trawled through countless options in your stead. Listed below are some of the best kids’ bikes with 20-inch wheels.
There’s no real pick of the bunch as they’re all equally exceptional bikes. Most of the bike options I’ve chosen below are all-rounders; they’ll serve well both on paved roads and off-road trail use.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Kids 20 Inch Bikes
- Top 7 Best Kids 20 Inch Bikes – Our Reviews:
- Things to Consider When Buying a Kids 20-Inch Bike
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Kids 20 Inch Bikes
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the kids 20-inch bikes that most people buy).
- Woom 4 Top Pick
- Prevelo Alpha 3 Runner-up
- Pello Rover 20″ Runner-up
Top 7 Best Kids 20 Inch Bikes – Our Reviews:
1. Woom 4
The Woom 4 will prove to be an excellent choice for young, timid kids who need to build their confidence on the bike. Weighing well-under 17 pounds due to its aluminum construction, the Woom 4 is arguably the lightest bike around in the “20-inch” bike segment.
When speaking of the Woom 4, I must wax lyrical about the bike’s design. Featuring an upright geometry and adjustable handlebar, this bike encourages young kids to ride the right way.
Thankfully, it is quite the looker as well with its sleek design. I also like the fact that the dual handbrakes on this bike are easy to operate.
If need be, you can even accessorize the bike with a kickstand for ease of parking. Plus, since the Woom comes equipped with Kenda Small block tires, your child can also take the bike out for a spin on grass and gravel.
As your child starts building confidence and develops a thirst for action, he can delve further into the bike’s wide gain ratio range of 2.3 to 6.7, allowing him to zoom past flat paved terrain or climb steeper roads.
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Available in a variety of color options
- Wide gain ratio range
- Flexible seat height
- Easy to use hand brakes
- Encourages proper riding position
- Versatile enough for rides on dirt roads and paved bike trails because of its Kenda Small block tires
- Priced a bit too steeply
2. Prevelo Alpha 3
With a lightweight construction, narrow Q-factor, low stand-over height, sturdy Shimano drivetrain components, and Tektro V-brakes, the Prevelo Alpha has all the bike features required for a venturesome ride.
Featuring trigger shifters too, the Alpha 3 has gone above and beyond to cater to the requirements of adventurous kids. The trigger shifters facilitate quick-shifting, allowing the rider to climb up hills with enormous power.
So, if your child likes riding past obstacles, trail riding, and jumping on ramps, the Alpha 3 will please him plenty.
Another thing I like is the long wheelbase of the Prevelo Alpha 20″ as it provides stability in the corners and makes the bike safer to ride. The down-sloped top-tube is also an inspired design choice from the makers as it enables young kids to mount and dismount with ease.
Of course, the Alpha 20-inch doesn’t come cheap; however, with a trade-in program, you can get a nice discount on the market price.
- Nimble and light bike weight
- Trigger shifters facilitate an adventurous ride
- 8-speed Shimano drivetrain
- The aluminum frame on the Alpha 20 is visually appealing
- Easy to use front and rear hand brakes
- Low minimum seat height makes the bike a safe choice
- Works like a mini-mountain bike
- Nice V-brakes
- Kids with smaller hands may struggle to use the trigger shifters effectively
3. Pello Rover 20″
The Pello Rover 20″ is the best in the business when it comes to children’s bikes best for rides on dirt and paved trails.
With premium-quality Kenda K-Rad tires with flat knobs to help riders ride through rough terrain and paved surfaces, and a Cane Creek headset to soak in the abuse, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to state that the bike has been specifically designed for adventurous young riders.
Weighing a mere 18.5 pounds, the Rover 20″ also benefits tremendously from its powerful front and rear mechanical disc brakes and 7-speed Grip-shift drivetrain. To further sweeten the deal for you, the manufacturers also offer a lifetime warranty on fork and frame.
The Pello Rover 20″ can be categorized as a well-performing all-around bike as it can do a bit of everything. Not only is it a practical choice for rides to school, but it is also sturdy enough to handle tough terrains.
Plus, the fact that it is lightweight makes it a fantastic choice for long-distance riding.
If you don’t think your child is ready for gears or big enough to sit on the Rover 20″, you can opt to purchase the Pello Reddi 20″ instead. The Reddi 20″ is a single-speed version of the Rover 20″ with a much smaller frame.
- Well-functional mechanical disc brakes
- Easy to use 7-speed drivetrain
- Tubeless-ready wheel-set
- Light weight beyond belief
- No training wheels
- Perfect bike for kids who love adventurous riding
- The cables are routed externally
4. REI Co-Op Cycles REV 20
The single-speed REI Co-Op Cycles REV 20 can be an ideal companion for your kids on paved roads. Boasting a durable aluminum construction, this lightweight bike features a coaster brake and Tektro handbrakes, giving your kids two brake options to choose from.
Though I am not a fan of the coaster brake, its presence can give your kids a feeling of familiarity and thus, provide them with the confidence to ride the bike ably. Meanwhile, the other in-house bike components work as well as they can.
With narrow-street tires that have minimal tread, this bike is, unfortunately, not the best choice for non-paved terrain.
Also, instead of having an upright geometry, this 20-inch bike encourages one to lean their body position forward. Therefore, this REI Co-Op 20 can only be expertly maneuvered by confident riders.
On the plus side, I really like the contemporary matte paint job on the framework of the REI Co-Op Cycles 20. I have also grown to love the bike’s fun and comfortable BMX-style handlebar.
- Best 20-inch bicycle for rides around the neighborhood
- Light weight beyond belief
- Affordable pricing
- Offers Tektro handbrakes and the old, familiar coaster brake too
- One of the best bikes for children who are 9 years old
- Not the best pedal bike for non-paved trails
5. Priority Start 20
The Priority Start 20-inch Bike can be the perfect bike for your kid if you’re looking to introduce him or her to gears for the first time.
I must speak favorably of its internally geared 3-speed hub among other things. This bike is as easy to use as a single-speed, but with the extra gearing options.
The internal gear hub ensures that further weight and other complications aren’t added because of the bulky derailleur that usually comes with your standard geared bike. The easy-to-use 3-gear option truly provides your kids with an easy introduction to shifting.
I’m also a huge admirer of its low-maintenance belt-drive. It is certainly a huge relief that the grease-free chain doesn´t need frequent drivetrain cleaning or grease. Plus, your kid won’t have to deal with dirty bike grease too.
This bike works best as a commuter bike as it can get your kid from point A to point B with relative ease. Plus, the fact that the Priority Start 20-inch even sits on the school bicycle rack only adds to its charm.
All in all, I truly believe that the Priority Start 20 is worth the investment as it is certain to bring a smile to your son´s face.
- Easy introduction to shifting
- Low-maintenance belt-drive
- Grease-free chain
- Relaxed, comfortable riding position
- Good gear range
- Easy-to-reach brake levers
- Externally-routed cables
- The brake lever isn’t up to par with Tektro brakes found on other 20-inch bikes
6. Trek Precaliber 20
Trek is a huge name in the biking industry. The brand is renowned for manufacturing top line, state-of-the-art bikes.
Thankfully, they haven’t missed the mark with the Trek Precaliber 20.
Lightweight beyond belief owing to its aluminum construction, this high-performing bike excels in the durability department. In essence, kids can not only carry this bike around with minimum effort but also abuse it to the extreme. I also like the fact that Precaliber 20 is completely rust-resistant.
Boasting front suspension forks with 35mm travel and wide tires, the Trek Precaliber 20, like most Trek bikes, excels at off-road terrains. Think of it as your kid’s light introduction to mountain bikes.
This bike also comes equipped with the 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain. Now, wouldn’t your kid be stoked to have such a bike component that is only commonly installed on adult bikes?
Regrettably, Precaliber 20 has limited color options and is only available in blue and black. Also, to make matters worse, the Precaliber 20 comes with a coaster brake.
On the upside, the bike has a carefully thought out down-sloped top-tube design, allowing young riders to mount and dismount the bike with ease.
- 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain
- Lightweight enough for children to maneuver, and durable enough to handle children
- Front suspension fork to absorb shocks and vibrations
- Low standover height
- Arguably, the best bike for kids in terms of durability
- No bike testing required
- Not easily accessible in stores
- Has coaster brakes instead of rim brakes
7. Guardian Ethos 20
What makes the Guardian Ethos 20 a particularly safe choice for kids is its trademarked SureStop braking system. This braking system gives young riders the opportunity to push the brakes to the limit, allowing them to brake safer, faster, and with minimum effort.
Since the bike sports a steel frame, you can expect the bike to stand the test of time and take all the abuse thrown by young kids. Despite its steel construction, the frame on the Guardian Ethos 20 is still lightweight and thus, maneuverable.
Plus, since the Guardian Ethos 20 has a rather low center of gravity design, it’s extremely easy to hold up when at rest.
The Guardian Ethos 20 line is available in two different versions, one of which is a smaller sized single-speed bike while the other one has gear options and a larger frame. Understandably, the larger frame has a higher minimum seat height.
So, you’ll need the inseam measurement of your child to choose the better option.
- Suitable for all types of riding style
- Low center of gravity design makes it easy to hold up
- Durable steel construction
- One of the best bikes for a 6 to 8-year-old child
- Easy to use front and rear brake levers
- Gear change can be difficult in the beginning
Things to Consider When Buying a Kids 20-Inch Bike
I’ll admit that higher-end models do come with their perks and have a high resale value. However, you don’t have to pay over the odds for a 20-inch kids bike.
Stick to your budget and only spend what you can afford. When purchasing first-hand bikes, don’t pay more than $250.
Understand that your kid will most likely outgrow the 20-inch bike in a couple of years i.e. if he or she doesn’t have a phenomenal growth spurt.
All 20-inch kids bikes are not created equally. Therefore, you have to be careful when choosing a 20-inch kids bike for your child.
To be on the safe side, instead of relying on the age-range mentioned by the bike brand, get your child´s inseam measurement and compare it with the minimum seat height of the shortlisted bike.
Plus, don’t make the grave mistake of going a size up on a bike.
Tempting as it may be, the larger size can frustrate your child because of the extra weight. Larger bikes can also be dangerous to timid riders.
Bikes for kids that come off the shelves of big department stores usually weigh up to half of your kid’s total body weight. Now, that ratio isn’t ideal by any stretch of the imagination.
When shopping for a kid’s bike, you need to go for the lightest bike around. Lightweight bikes will be easier to maneuver and climb up steep terrain.
Unfortunately, lightweight kids bikes can burn a huge hole in your wallet. So, weigh your options carefully and find a lightweight bike that suits your budget.
Brakes are an essential bike component as they ensure the total security of the rider.
Most kids bikes, these days, come with V-brakes. V- brakes are fine enough and much better than coaster brakes.
Of course, more expensive kids bikes with powerful disc brakes are also available. If your child intends to ride regularly on areas with steep hills, a kids bike with disc brakes will be the best option for him as they also perform admirably under harsh weather conditions.
Bikes with fast-rolling, slick tires are the best choices for rides on paved roads. However, if your child is into cross country riding and loves riding on mud, grass, gravel, or dirt, you’d want to get him wide tires that have extra tread.
If you’re planning to introduce your child to gearing options for the first time, it’s best for you to get him a bike with an internally-geared hub.
Such a bike will work as a single-speed, but with the extra gearing options. With only a few gears and no derailleur, it will be much easier to use.
There’s also little to no maintenance involved with such bikes. Of course, you can purchase 20-inch bikes with traditional drivetrains too if you want your child to become familiar with the real workings of bikes from a small age.
We’ve finally reached the end of the article. I hope you’re now educated enough to choose the best children bike for your 6 to 8-year-old child and help them transition from their balance bike.
If you don’t intend to conduct your own research, feel free to choose any bike from the aforementioned options. They’re all excellent bikes in their own right.