Do you want to get your youngster moving as soon as possible? Is there anything more enjoyable than riding a bicycle? Children aged 3 to 5 years old should ride 12 inch bikes or 14 inch bikes because they are the most suitable for their size. The sizes of such bikes are ideal for teaching children how to ride.
But, believe it or not, there’s a lot more to choosing the appropriate bike for your precious little one than tire size. You want the best for your child, so consider things like the bike’s frame material, weight, brake type, comfort features, and, most importantly, safety features.
Browsing through the hundreds of kids’ bikes on the market can be exhausting. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 5 of the best bikes for toddlers and preschoolers.
Best 12 Inch Kids Bike Review
1- Trek Precaliber 12 Inch best Kids Bike
Trek Precaliber is a children’s bike model. These bikes are designed for children aged 5 to 8 years old. Although there is a Precaliber for boys edition, the model is ideal for both boys and girls. These bikes are small and light, making them ideal for teaching your child to enjoy mountain biking or road racing safely.
Design & Features:
The average weight of a pre-caliber bike is roughly 17 pounds. Despite this, the well-built frame makes these bikes quite tough. The geometry is nicely balanced, requiring little expertise from the rider to keep the bikes on pace. These bikes are only ideal for children who already know how to balance on a pedal cycle.
Seat Height Is Low
Its low minimum seat height enables very young riders to comfortably touch the ground with their feet, rather than skimming the ground with their toes on a too-tall 12′′ bike. For example, the REI Co-Op Cycles REV 12′′ bike has a minimum seat height of approximately 18′′, whereas this 12′′ Trek cycle has a minimum seat height of 15.25′′.
This lower seat also lowers the child’s center of gravity, allowing them to sit more “in” the bike rather than sitting on top. Another advantage of having a low center of gravity is that balancing and maneuvering the bike is much easier.
The Precaliber’s extended wheelbase allows a youngster to stretch out comfortably between the saddle and handlebars while also making navigating easier and smoother.
Handlebars with Adjustment
The Trek features a more flexible fit than most compact bikes, thanks to adjustable height handlebars. This permits the saddle and the handlebars to be elevated as a child develops. The handlebars can also be adjusted towards or away from the rider to alter how far a child must reach to hold them.
- The kid-friendly geometry provides plenty of room for growth as well as easy maneuverability.
- For the price, it’s very light.
- Available at local bike shops.
- High-quality training wheels
- The 2.3′′ wide tire improves stability.
- There is no handbrake
The Precaliber 12 is a high-quality bike for the price, with sturdy and durable components and wider tires for better stability. The cheaper price of the Precaliber is due to its coaster brake and lack of hand brakes.
2- REI Co-op Cycles REV 12 Inch Bike
Co-op Cycles REV 12 Inch bikes are inexpensive, stylish, and great for learning to ride and keep upright on two wheels. The aluminum frames on all REV 12 bikes are painted in exciting and vibrant hues like orange, red, pink, purple, and blue. They’re suitable for both boys and girls.
Co-op Cycles has four different 12″ bikes for boys and girls, two with pedals and two without, in various colors.
Design & Features:
Strong aluminum frames, thick tires, and a comfy saddle characterize the very adorable 12″ balance bikes. Most toddlers will have no issue navigating the bike with their feet, thanks to the 13.75″ standover. Fireglow orange, Lime blast yellow, Grapefruit pink, or Spring green are all options. To precisely adapt the bike to your child’s size, use the readily adjustable handlebars and seat post. Even a youngster can safely hold the bike because it weighs only 9 pounds.
The Co-op Cycles REV bikes have a high-quality aluminum frame that is similar to those of higher-end bikes. Aside from durability, the REVs’ aluminum frame allows them to weigh far less than cycles of comparable size and characteristics.
Because children are light, it is critical that their bikes be light as well. A bike should not weigh more than 30% of a child’s body weight. It’s expensive to build a lightweight bike, but the REV series is unique in that it’s the same weight as or lighter than more expensive bikes.
The 12 Inch REV has a Small Cockpit
We were also concerned about the undersized cockpit of the 12 inch model bike. Our little riders were really constrained on the 12′′ REV, which had a significantly shorter wheelbase than 14-inch bikes with identical seat height ranges. As children grow, their knees may collide with the handlebars, making turning difficult.
- The sturdy construction can withstand a lot of abuse.
- For the price, the quality is excellent.
- It comes in a range of hues and has a lovely matte finish.
- There is no handbrake on a coaster brake.
- Cockpit crowded
- Lower handlebars are a little inconvenient.
- Pedals and grips are really small.
The REV single-speed series from REI Co-Op Cycles is a solid-quality but problematic bike for neighborhood cyclists. We like how light these bikes are without breaking the bank; however, due to geometry difficulties, we only recommend the REV series to confident kids.
3- Cleary Gecko – Superb Kids 12 Inch Bike
The Gecko is mainly built for the tiniest of mini-groms in 2T/3T clothes, with superb build quality, a freewheel hub option to remove the coaster brake, an aggressive geometry, and a wider q-factor.
Design & Features:
It’s difficult to find a well-made, smartly designed 12′′ bike. It’s challenging to design a high-quality 12 inch bike with little room for cranks and pedals and small legs to maneuver them. The exception is the Cleary Gecko. The Gecko fits and works brilliantly with the smallest of riders, thanks to its compact frame, small brake levers, and short crank arms. Unfortunately, the Gecko’s beauty is also its possible demise.
The Gecko is unique because it has a broader q-factor to aid ambitious riders in having a “wider base.” The distance between the insides of the pedals is the q-factor. This is crucial because it determines how much the child must protrude their legs to pedal the bike. The less splay there is, the less efficient the pedal stroke becomes.
The Gecko has a q-factor that is about 2 inches wider than the woom 2 thanks to outward-angled crank arms versus straight crank arms on the woom 2.
Handlebar with a U-shape
The Cleary Gecko 2021 update, unlike previous versions, now comes standard with a u-shaped handlebar rather than a flat handlebar. The previous flat handlebar was too low and aggressive for most riders, so the slight rise is a welcome addition.
Dual Hand Brakes for Gecko
The brakes on the Gecko performed admirably for our preschoolers, kudos to small-reach levers and responsive Tektro brake components.
Street Tread Tires
The multi-use tire on the Cleary Gecko 12 provides plenty of cushion and traction for use on mostly paved surfaces. While we did not test the bike on any dirt trails, we do not expect any issues with the tires operating on hard, compact dirt trails.
- Little riders benefit from the low minimum seat height.
- Dual hand brakes that are easy to reach and pull
- Different gearing options are possible with optional rear cogs.
- The stretched-out geometry creates an extremely aggressive body stance.
The Gecko is the world’s smallest bike with a freewheel hub, which eliminates the need for a coaster brake (back pedal brake). Because coaster brakes are renowned for limiting a child’s ability to develop the right pedaling action, we prefer bikes with freewheels. This is especially true for those who have completed their balancing bike training.
4- Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
The Strider 12 is a compact balancing bike. Strider bikes are suitable for children as young as 18 months, with a minimum seat height of 11 inches. The Strider is a wonderful beginner balancing bike for youngsters because it is also one of the lightest.
Design & Features:
Strider bikes are a pleasure to ride because they are simple to use. What sets them apart from other balancing bikes found in big-box stores? They have a well-designed frame in addition to being lightweight. It’s all about running and gliding when riding a balancing bike. Children instinctively lean forward to run and need enough space to do it.
Strider bikes have plenty of space between the seat and handlebars, giving youngsters plenty of room to lean in and extend their legs, allowing them to run securely and organically. This part also makes getting on and off the bike easier. Just said, children need space to ride and striders have a lot.
It’s also worth noting the seat’s position on the frame. When the seat of a progressive balance bike is set in the lowest position, it sits near the rear wheel. This little gap gives the rider a lower center of gravity, making it simpler to balance and manage the bike.
All Strider bikes are equipped with puncture-proof foam tires. Foam tires are lightweight, non-marking, and almost maintenance-free. They never go flat and are always ready for action. For many families, the fact that they will never have to deal with flats is a significant selling feature. Foam tires, on the other hand, have some drawbacks.
- Puncture-resistant foam tires with no need for maintenance
- Blue, green, orange, pink, yellow, red, and black are among the seven colors available.
- Large cockpit
- For easy storage, the frame is small.
- Designed for speed
- Visual instructions that are simple and easy to understand
- Footrest for comfort
- Foam tires aren’t the best choice for tough terrain.
- There is no handbrake or steering limiter
- A complete assembly is required.
The Strider 12 Sport balance bike has a deceptively basic design and is one of the lightest balance bikes on the market. It has just about everything your child needs to hit the pavement.
The bike’s absolute lightness and clever design make it ideal for even the tiniest toddlers, helping them to swiftly grasp the concept of speeding around, especially because very young riders begin by picking up the bike before learning to turn.
5- Schwinn Elm Girls 12 Inch Bike
The Schwinn Elm girls bike is the best girly bike for small girls searching for a nice bike to ride about the neighborhood, especially if they plan to use training wheels. There’s a lot to appreciate about the Elm, from its vast range of sizes to its adorable designs (along with a basket).
Design & Features:
The Schwinn Elm girl’s bike is equipped with Schwinn’s trademarked SmartStart technology, which ensures that bikes are built to fit children. It comprises a thorough modification of the bike geometry to better suit the rider’s body type, resulting in increased comfort and a more optimum riding position. Schwinn Elm girls’ bike riders benefit from a lighter bike frame, which improves control.
They also choose smaller grip diameters to accommodate their little hands. The riders especially appreciate the narrow pedal position, which fits most children’s hips. The seats are also slightly taller, which improves the reach distance of the handlebar, making it more suitable for children.
Expect exceptional control, reduced wobbling while pedaling, more confidence, and comfort for the young ones as they enjoy their ride around the neighborhood with the technology.
It is the greatest buy because it is the type of kids’ bike that prepares the girls for full-sized bikes. Everything about it suggests that it was created with young bikers in mind.
The Schwinn Elm girls’ bike has a kid-specific Q-factor with a narrower pedal position that corresponds to the width of the child’s hips. Even the most shy girls will be able to handle the Elm once they have mastered it.
For effortless stopping, the Schwinn Elm girl’s bike comes with two sets of brakes. It has a handbrake as well as a coaster brake. The coaster brake activates as the child pedals backward, or the front caliper brakes can be activated by engaging the brake handles on the left grips of the handlebars.
If you are not one of those parents with crafting talents, you should know that putting together the Schwinn Elm bikes is not tricky. The bike arrives entirely constructed. Saddle grip, chain guard, kickstand, and license plate will all be included in the package. We assembled and oiled the pieces of this bike in less than 10 minutes, and our reviewer was off on their best ride ever.
- Low step-through framework
- Padded seat
- Bolt covers made of plastic
- Foam tires
- Seat heights are limited.
- Elm Foam tires have low traction and no cushioning
- Steering is rough.
The Schwinn Elm girls bike is a wonderful alternative for everyday riders ready to explore the neighborhood in style, with designs that kids enjoy and a price that parents want. There are plenty of alternatives in the Elm collection to pick from, with five sizes and three distinct color variations.
How Do I Know What Size Bike to Buy My Kids?
The wheel diameter of a child’s bike is measured in inches: 12, 16, 20, and 24. You can very much guess what size bike your child needs based on their age. Another option is to simply have them stand over the bike to determine which size they need. They should be at least an inch above the top bar.
Similarly, you can measure your child’s height from crotch to floor when they’re wearing shoes, then compare that to the “stand-over” height listed in the bike’s specifications or “geometry” chart. In order for your youngster to have an inch clearance over the top bar, your number should be an inch higher than the stand-over height.
What Age For 12 Inch Bike?
- 2 to 3 years old kids can ride a 12 Inch Bike.
- 4 to 5 years old kids will ride a 16 Inch Bike.
- 6 to 7-year-old children will ride a 20 Inch Bike.
- 8 to 9-year-old children will ride a 24 Inch Bike.
Why You Should Never Buy a 12 Inch Bike For Kids?
The majority of 12 Inch pedal bikes have low minimum seats and do not compensate for this with higher handlebars. This translates to a lack of legroom, which means your child’s knees will most likely be constantly striking the handlebars. Riding becomes more difficult than enjoyable when there is insufficient legroom.
Can a 4 Year Old Ride A 12 Inch Bike?
Yes, For 4 year old kid can ride a 12 Inch or 14 Inch Bike.
Can 3 year Olds Ride Bikes?
Yes, 3 year old kids ride 12 Inch Bikes.
Can a 3 Year Old Pedal a Bike?
Yes, 3 year old kid pedal a bike easily without training-wheels or stabilizers.
What Height Should a 12 Inch Bike be?
For 12 Inch bike height should be 36″ to 39″.
Is a 12 Inch Bike Good for a 3 Years Old Kid?
The finest size bikes for 3-year-olds kids are 12 inch and 14-inch cycles, although they vary widely in price, size, and features. While younger children can ride on a 12 inch bike, we have found that pedal cycles are often too heavy for them to handle correctly and that a lightweight balance bike is a better choice for them.
What is Kids Bikes Size Chart?
To get the best fitting bike, a child’s inseam and height should be taken into account while buying a kid’s bike. The size chart that best fits your child is shown below.
It’s challenging to know which kids’ bikes are the best with so many options on the market. You want a bike for your child (or grandchild) that is simple to ride, durable enough to pass down, and light enough to make biking enjoyable.
The bad news is that there are a lot of terrible, heavy bikes on the market; the good news is that more and more child-specific bike businesses are entering the market and making some pretty fantastic bikes.