Best Bikes For Boys | PedalChef

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Finding a bike that'll go pound-for-pound with your kid's rumbustious energy is taxing. That's why I've gathered some of the best bikes for boys.

The issue isn't finding a bike because every big-box store has cheap in-house brands or a couple of other bike brands on the floor. The problem is that these bikes are heavy and unreliable, among other things. Those commonalities can be dangerous and expensive over time.

These are some of the best bike options boys will enjoy:

  1. Guardian Ethos
  2. RoyalBaby Freestyle
  3. Trek 820
  4. Specialized Riprock 20-inch
  5. Co-op Cycles Rev 24 Plus
  6. Scott Ransom 400
  7. Frog 69
  8. Schwinn High Timber 24 Step-Thru

I know it's fantastic to have a list of dependable and curated bikes for your little lad. However, it would help if you read on as I weigh each bike's affordability with its different characteristics and functionality. It's not an ecosystem entrapment but a one-stop-shop of information.

I've had my shared grief with finding quality bikes for my kids because I used to assume that the same non-rules that worked for my parents would also work for me. However, I fast saw that I had to be as diligent as I was buying an adult bike. So, I did all the research for each entry and dove deep into customer reviews, expert opinions, and first-hand tested reviews from places like bikeradar.



11 Best Bikes For Intrepid Boys

When choosing a bicycle for kids, it's essential to check the ideal height of future riders. This height can be represented as the inseam height (measurement from the floor to your child's groin), the bike's height recommendation, or both.

Bike companies will often have information regarding bike fit through a sizing chart or a button to help you find the correct size. To get the best fit out of a bike for your child, avoid buying a bike if your child is already 2 to 3 inches from exceeding the recommended height limit.

1. Guardian Ethos

Picture of the Guardian Ethos Bike

At 25.5 pounds, Guardian's Ethos is not as light as some other expensive bikes that we have had experience with, but having a steel frame does help with some market acceptance. The SureStop rim brakes are surprisingly responsive and appear to not struggle in wet conditions.

Ethos also uses a single lever for rear and front brakes and has a pinch of internal cabling, adding uniqueness to the build. With a seat height of 25 to 33 inches, Guardian reports that the bike is ideal for ages 7 and 11 and boys with heights ranging from 49 to 59 inches.

The 24-inch hybrid tires are designed to function as road and offroad tires. However, they aren't knobbly enough to provide float over sand or looser material, but they are sufficient for weekend offroad riding and adequately speedy for road riding.

Etho's 7-speed twister gears are intuitive and dependable for the price range. Assembling and making adjustments on the bike is easy. The quick-release lever for the saddle is comfortable, and Guardian has showcased its specialty by providing 16-inch and 20-inch models.

Guardian Ethos Specifications

Frame Steel, lightweight
Color Clear polished coat
Brakes SureStop Rim brakes, single lever
Gears 7-speed easy twist gear shifter
Seat Thinly padded saddle with quick-release adjustment lever
Seat height 25 to 33 inches
Height Capacity 49” to 59”
Tires Non-proprietary, 24” hybrid tires
Accessories Kickstand, four reflector lights
Included tools Wrench and tool kit
Age range 7 to 11 years
Geometry Child-specific proportions, casual upright
Rims Durable double-walled rims
Weight 25.5lbs

2. RoyalBaby Freestyle

Picture of the RoyalBaby Freestyle Bike

The Freestyle is a perfect companion for boys new to riding. RoyalBaby ensures that kids of all ages and sizes will have a suitable bike fit by providing 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20-inch wheel sizes. The two bigger wheeled bikes come with a decent quality kickstand, but the smaller bikes also have removable training wheels.

Unlike cheaper bikes at this $219.99 price point, the BMX-inspired bike has sealed bearings that keep riding smooth and help reduce constant maintenance because of dust sediments.

But, it seems that only the 20-inch version has dual v-brakes while the others either have coaster brakes or none. RoyalBaby designed the 20-inch for riders over eight years old with a 53 to 65-inch height.

This bike also comes with RoyalBaby's decent warranty and customer service, which is a welcomed addition since bikes at this price range sometimes end up being shipped with ill-manufactured parts. The 18-inch is for 5 to 9-year-old riders of 45 to 53-inch length.

RoyalBaby Freestyle Specifications

Frame Sporty hi-tensile steel
Wheel sizes 12”/ 14”/ 16”/ 18”/ 20”
Height capacity 33~37”/ 37~41”/ 41~45”/ 45~53”/ 53~65”
Recommended age 2~4 yrs/ 3~5 yrs/ 4~7 yrs/ 5~9 yrs/ 8+ yrs
Saddle height 17”~21”/ 19”~24”/ 21”~26”/ 22”~28”/ 24”~30”
Brakes Caliper front brakes, rear RoyalBaby rim brakes or coaster
Safety features Steering limiter, sealed bearing pedal system, bell, chainguard, reflectors
Tires Wide tires with 2.4-inch width
Assembly Easy, comes 95% assembled
Accessories Kickstand, training wheels, bottle holder,
Weight 18.4lbs/ 19.9lbs/ 22.9lbs/ 27lbs/ 29.6lbs
Geometry Child-specific proportions, casual upright
Rims Durable double-walled rims
Weight 25.5lbs

3. Trek 820

Picture of the Trek 820 Bike

Trek 820 is a real mountain bike for new adult riders. With Trek's size options, you can pick up size XS. The extra small is recommended for riders between 45.9- to 5'11 ′′ with a minimum height of 25 inches to 27.9 inches. That means average-sized boys between 10 and 13 could potentially fit this bike.

The biggest complaint that kept coming up about this bike was the weight and sometimes some of the components mixed in with the Shimano Tourney parts. I heard some complaints about the freewheel Formula FM31 alloy rear hub.

You'll often find Formula components on cheap entry-level bikes, like tho one. There's nothing wrong with them, but they don't compare with some Shimano Deore stuff. While I'm on the Deore talk, let's spill the tea on the mostly Tourney groupset.

A sip of the tea is that Trek should've spent a bit more and upgraded to the Deore line. Both lines are at the bottom of the Shimano catalog, but if Deore is on the ground floor, then Tourney is the well-kept basement.

However, as time passes, the distinction between the Shimano tiers is becoming less prominent, with significant jumps in quality only noticeable with the mid to high-end stock.

The 7-speed 14-28 cassette is tiny for adults, but it should be great for boys first exploring the anthill-sized slopes and cruising around the neighborhood. The Bontrager Sport saddle is... not great.

It looks chic and professional but is not the most comfortable saddle. The saddle is value-for-money and will live long with the bike's steel frame, but your kid's posterior won't prosper.

The coil spring SR Suntour M-3030 shocks are a decent introduction to shocks on a mountain bike. SR Suntour shocks have come a long way; I now don't know how to finish that sentence. The shocks have a preload adjustment with their 75mm of travel.

The Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes aren't disc brakes, but they do a fine job of bringing this pony to a stop. Bottom line, despite all the shortcomings that I wouldn't have even noticed as a young rider, this bike is serious fun. Add a chain guard, and your child is good to go.

Trek 820 Specifications

Frame 135x5mm QR, Trek’s proprietary steel construction with mounts for racks
Fork 100x5mm QR, SR Suntour M-3030 fork with 75 mm travel coil spring
Stem Alloy construction thats Blendr compatible with size-specific length
Headset Threadless, 1-1/8 inch
Handlebar Bars made from Bontrager with matching-brand SSR grips, offset is also variable and the length can be adjusted according to bike size
Hub 7-speed freewheel, Formula FM21 alloy, 100x5mm QR (F) & Formula FM31 alloy
Rims 36-hole Bontrager AT-55 with Schrader valve
Max tire size 26x2.00” but always check manufacturer’s guide
Shifter 7-speed Shimano Tourney EF41
Front derailleur Top swing Shimano Tourney TY500 with a dual pull design
Rear derailleur Long cage Shimano Tourney TY300
Crankset Shimano Tourney TY301, 42/34/24, 170mm length with a 73mm sealed cartridge bottom bracket
Cassette Shimano TZ500, 14-28T with a KMC Z7 chain
Pedal system Nylon platform VP-536
Seat post Bike-size dependent Bontrager with Bontrager Sport saddle
Brake Linear-pull Tektro alloy rim brakes
Rider Height XS: 4’5.9”-5’1.0”, S: 5'0.2" - 5'5.6"
Recommended inseam XS: 25.2" - 28.7", S: 28.3" - 31.1"

4. Specialized Riprock 20-inch

Picture of the Specialized Riprock 20-inch Bike

Specialized has made the Riprock inspire rider confidence from an early age. The improved geometry includes:

  • A narrower Q factor.
  • A more miniature 130mm Kids Bridge saddle.
  • An overall more refined body for a better fit.

The Riprock model is made for 4 to 12-year-old kids, with the option of the 16-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch bike. Your little spirited adventurer should find the 20x2.35 inch Ground Control Sport tires a worthy companion, as they shred both tarmac and towpath.

The 22.5 pounds of the bike are hefty but not so much as to deter kids from testing frameset's A1 Premium Butted Alloy literal metal.

There's integrated cabling which makes the finish of the Riprock clean and mature, with just two cables momentarily sticking out before diving into the frameset. The internal cabling could prove a double-edged sword for DIY mechanics because you know that kids can be rough on their toys. And what a toy this is.

The Riprock is a solid rigid frame bike because kids don't need suspension that would make the final build heavier and costlier.

The backswept, Mini Rise handlebars provide accurate steering that obeys the rider's every whim. Specialized Trail Grips provide enough padding for hands without gloves while adding chicness to the already sleek design.

There's already so much that the Riprock provides for its reasonable $650 price for the 20-inch version, but it provides a bit more with its mostly MicroShift Advent 9-speed groupset.

Although MicroShift generally has ways to go, the drivetrain is thoughtfully constructed to provide dependable shifting. However, it quickly falters because of the wide gaps between gears and weight and struggles to keep the chain attached when left unguided.

The 11-42t cassette paired with 30t 1x chainring wouldn't be the best for experienced riders, but it is more than your kid should need. Even though the Riprock introduces kids to hydraulic brakes, C-STAR Hydraulic disc brakes aren't great. Fortunately, they are cheap and do stop the bike.

Specialized Riprock 20-inch Specifications

Frameset A1 Premium Butted Alloy frame and fork, 3D Forged Aluminum stem with internal cable routing
Handlebars Mini Rise, Alloy Double Butted, 6-degree Backsweep, Specialized Trail Grips with lock-on
Saddle Kids Bridge seat with bolt-type seat binder on Alloy seat post, dropper post compatible
Brakes C-STAR Hydraulic Disc Brake
Rear derailleur microSHIFT Advent RD-M618M, 9-speed without Clutch, replaceable derailleur hanger compatible
Shift levers 9-speed microSHIFT SL-M9295
Cassette 9-speed microSHIFT Advent, 11-42T
Chainset KMC X9EPT, Anti-corrosion coating, trade-marked Missing Link, narrow-wide 30T alloy design
Crank Forged Alloy, 115mm length, Q-factor with 68mm square-tapered bottom bracket
Accessories Mini mudguards, chainguard, nylon platform pedals with reflectors
Hubs 11-speed compatible Alloy, 6-Bolt, 28H
Rims Alloy with stainless steel spokes
Tires Ground Control Sport, 20x2.35” with Schrader valve

5. Co-op Cycles Rev 24 Plus

Picture of the Co-op Cycles Rev 24 Plus Bike

I almost committed a mortal crime by not including this seemingly forgotten gem. The Rev 24 Plus retails for $439 from Rei dot com and demolishes most bikes I found at this price point.

I mean, Co-op went to the old-western town with this build. Everything from the 7-speed Shimano Tourney 14/34t rear cogs paired with the lightweight, single Samox 36t to the gritty 24x2.6 inch Slant Six Sport is made to impress untainted eyes.

I know that the gear spread is laughable to an enthusiast such as yourself, but again I bring you back to the fact that your budding stripling is much lighter and, if not light, is not challenging Mount Everest.

The flat riser bar and wide tires perfectly complement the 6061 aluminum frame to present a heavy-duty demeanor I know any kid would enjoy.

The seven gears go through effortlessly while rolling on the Shimano Tourney Revo Twist shifters, and the intuitive Logan mechanical disc brakes bring the Rev 24 Plus to a hurriedly quiet halt. The finishing kit isn't the best, with the grips susceptible to inching off.

An absence of a kickstand, or an ability to add one, doesn't do much to lessen the labor of lugging a 28.2-pound bike. The stand-over height is low enough to allow 8 to 10-year-old riders to mount without too much toil.

Co-op Cycles Rev 24 Plus Specifications

Frameset 6061 aluminum, rigid suspension with alloy stem and semi-cartridge headset
Handlebars Aluminum, riser type with textured, rubber grips
Shifters 7 gear Shimano Tourney Revo Twist shifters
Crankset Samox, 36T with Cartridge bottom bracket
Rear cogs 7-speed Shimano Tourney, 14/34T with a KMC Z51 chain
Brakes Logan mechanical disc brakes
Tires Slant Six Sport, 24 x 2.6 inch with alloy rims
Hub Front and rear Joytech, 36h
Saddle Co-op Cycles, alloy seat post
Pedals Wellgo composite platform
Standover height 23.39 inches
Weight 28.2lbs

6. Scott Ransom 400

Picture of the Scott Ransom 400 Bike

Staying true to its name, the Ransom 400 is not a cheap buy. At $1,699, it's the higher end of even adult bike budgets. However, if you see that your kid is showing potential, there's nowhere else to look.

Rumor has it that the Future Pro Ransom 400 isn't simply a miniature of an adult bike; it is its bike. The geometry has been designed to fit kids precisely.

An Alloy 6061 Aluminum custom-butted frame features a low step-over height near the saddle while bringing so much strength and durability to the frame that the bike can endure many years of constant beating without bending a knee.

Don't dismay too much because of the hefty sum upfront; the entire bike is outfitted with such durable components that it can be a great hand-me-down if you have multiple kids. It should also retain much of its value once your kid outgrows it and you wish to recoup some of the wallet damage.

The bike can also be equipped with 26-inch tires if your kid hits a sudden growth spurt and they are still comfortable with the frame size. You'll find that the X-Fusion Slant RC 26 front suspension on the fork is tailored for lighter riders and responds appropriately when they hit those jumps.

The Kids Bike Tune is designed for kids, so your child can enjoy 140mm of travel. If the front comfort isn't enough, the X-Fusion 02Pro R Trunnion is bringing up the rear suspension.

The front and rear suspension give the bike a balanced feel and unmatched comfort during rigorous competition races if your child gets interested in those. Unlike the front suspension, the rear has a Rebound Adjuster for when your nipper isn't feeling comfortable with that 130mm of travel.

The clean internal cable routing completes the pro-ready look of the bike through the bike's frameset. It's not full cable integration, so the front isn't the most pristine, but it probably just looks excited to your child.

Most 11-speed Shimano Deore components are impressive and showcase why Deore is a staunch gatekeeper into Shimano's mid-range groupsets. The seamless transitions and accurate shifting blur any noticeable differences between Deore and the other uncontested midrangers.

An 11-51t Shimano CS-M5100-11 cassette marries fluidly with 2-piece Prowheel Charm 32t crankset. Again, not the widest span, but it's plenty for most action your kid can decide to put it through, and that's all without faltering and falling through chasms.

The Shimano BR-MT500 hydraulic brakes also bring star-stopping power at a villainously low price. I can't imagine that the handsome finishing kit adds anything to the 29.98 pounds of the bike. It's a tank by itself, and your mini-shredder will muscle up through their rides.

Scott Ransom 400 Specifications

Frameset Ransom Alloy 6061 frame and Kids Bike Tune X-Fusion Slant RC 26 fork, 24 inch or 26 inch, Custom butted tubing and internal cable routing
Rear shock Kids Bike Tune X-Fusion 02 Pro R Trunnion, 130mm travel with rebound adjuster
Rear derailleur 11-speed Shimano Deore RD-M5100
Shifters Shimano Deore SL-M5100-R
Crankset Prowheel CHARM-32T with KMC X11 chain
Cassette Shimano CS-M5100-11, 11-51T
Brakes Shimano BR-MT500 with Shimano BL-MT501 brake levers
Handlebar 6061 Alloy, Syncros FL T-Bar, Alloy 6061 T shape Flat
Saddle 80mm custom kid-centered tune, Syncros Future Pro with Syncros Dropper Ducan Remote
Hub 15x100mm Formula DC-71 IS (front), Boost 12x148mm Formula DC-3248 IS (rear)
Tires 24x2.4” Kenda Hellkat K1201, 60tpi folding tire
Pedals Wellgo J345 / with Reflector
Weight Roughly 29.98lbs

7. Frog 69

Picture of the Frog 69 Bike

If your tad is between the ages of 10 to 12 years, then the Frog 69 has their name all over it. The Frog 69 sells for $855 and will be worth every nickel and dime.

Eh, maybe not "every nickel and dime," but some of it. It's not a step-through or mid-through, but the top tube angles down to allow kids with a minimum inseam height of 27.17 inches.

It's a wholesome introduction to maybe longer rides in concrete with the flat bar handles not ruling out riding on loose dirt. The 19.84 pounds of the build also put the Frog 69 on the lighter end of some of the other bikes I've reviewed in this post.

A 6061 T6 heat-treated aluminum alloy frameset gives the F69 longevity without weighing the rider down. The F69 won't be the fastest 8-speed bike in the neighborhood, but the 11-32t freewheel rear cog and 34t chainring will provide considerable speed and allow the rider to coast on the pedals; therefore, ride longer.

At least I expected to get mechanical disc brakes for this price, but I was met with Tektro 837 AL rim brakes. While not a great addition, they are more intuitive for kids.

Frog 69 Specifications

Frameset 6061 aluminum alloy
Hub Quando, aluminum
Cassette 8-speed freewheel 11-32t
Rear derailleur 8-speed Microshift (model M36S)
Tires 26x1.5” Kenda K1047 hybrid tires
Saddle Frog Bikes child-specific seat for medium version
Crankset 34T chainring
Handlebar Flat bar aluminum with lock-on thin grips
Brakes Tektro 837 AL with easy reach Tektro JL510 aluminum shifters
Recommended age 10 to 12 years
Accessories Chainguard, reflectors, bell, frame protector patches, paint plasters
Weight 19.84lbs

8. Schwinn High Timber 24 Step-Thru

Picture of the Schwinn High Timber 24 Step-Thru Bike

I know Schwinn for its alluring aesthetic, passable quality, value components, and affordable price. The High Timber 24 with a step-through rigid steel frame embodies those descriptors perfectly.

The quality isn't excellent, but Schwinn manages to introduce several qualities that your kids will soon want in a bike. The pack leaders are probably the suspension, relatively lightweight, wide gears, and knobby tires.

However, it also comes with a lot of baggage that riders will quickly learn to steer away from with future bikes. The main one is assembly and the quality of the assortment of parts.

You can breathe easy, though; if everything arrives in order and you put it together correctly, it should provide excellent riding fun. With 24-inch knobby mountain bike tires, your child should have endless fun riding around the neighborhood and in the mountains.

They might not last as more prominent brand-name tires, but they should endure long enough for your kid to outgrow or outclass the bike. The suggested age of perspective riders is between 10 to 15 years, with heights of between 4'8" to 5'6".

The 21-speed twist Revoshift shifter does shift accurately enough, even though they aren't the smoothest things on the block. The V-brakes also work perfectly in dry conditions while providing easy maintenance and can have worn pads replaced cheaply and quickly. These are the brakes closest to those you grew up with.

Schwinn High Timber 24 Step-Thru Specifications

Frame Step-through steel frame
Fork Generic-suspension
Rider age 10 to 15 years
Rider height 4’8” to 5’6”
Shifters 21-speed twist shifters
Brakes Linear pull rim brakes
Tires 24-inch unbranded knobby tires
Weight About 34lbs