Best Pedal Bike for Kids
The Duzy Customs has dual brake styles and comes with a parent handle to help little ones stay upright. It has folding pedals for storage and comes with spoke wheels in a variety of different sizes and five different colors. It features rubber handgrips and a roller pad on the handlebar.This bike has stiffer forks than the competition and the wheels didn't spin as freely as we'd like. However, it is a child's bike and we suspect kids won't notice the difference in performance. Overall, it is a flashy and cool looking bike kids are drawn to that works well.
The Huffy Moto X is a nostalgic throwback bike you'll likely remember from your youth. This cool-looking bike comes complete with training wheels, wire-spoke wheels, number plate, folding pedals, rubber handgrips, and two types of brakes. It has quick connect parts and is one of the lightest in the group.
There isn't much to dislike about this bike and compared to the competition, it fared well. We imagine some kids won't like the number plate, but this accessory is optional and easy to skip. We think this is a good option for parents on a budget or looking for something with a handbrake for prepping for future bikes.
The RoyalBaby Freestyle pedal bike is a great option for parents thinking long term. This quality bike is put together nicely with impressive materials and attention to detail. It includes two brake, styles, a water bottle, alert bell, and comes in a variety of bright eye-catching colors. This bike is easy enough to put together with a good majority of parts coming pre-assembled.This bike is one of the heavier options in the group, so it might not be the first choice for petite riders. That said, a three-year-old tester managed to transition from a balance bike to this option with nary a hiccup. Also, the print on in the user manual is oddly tiny, which can make reading the setup instructions harder than they need to be. Overall, we love this sturdy, well-constructed bike and experience tells us it will last for years making the slightly higher than average price worth the cost of admission.
The TOMY John Deere is brightly colored in green and yellow and includes training wheels and a rear rack for strapping adventure supplies. This kids' pedal bike was a tester favorite and is sturdy enough that it felt like it could carry two kids. The Tomy has spoke wheels and rubber handgrips.
This bike came poorly packaged with parts somewhat floating around in the box. This meant the final product was already sratched before it was ever ridden. Not a big deal, but could be a bummer if you buy the bike as a gift. Also, the instructions are so badly written we tossed ours aside and built it without them. Assembly isn't too hard, considering we winged it, but still disappointing. Overall, this bike was a tester favorite and we think it is a good option for parents who love John Deere or are looking for a bike with a rack.
If you're looking to reminisce about the 50s, then the JOYSTAR Vintage is the kids' pedal bike for you. This white and tan bike has under seat springs and a front basket that will have you seeing peddle pushers and poodle skirts. It comes with included training wheels, faux leather grips, and spoked wheels.
This bike is one of the heaviest in the review and the quality is only so-so. The weld points have visible holes in them and some of the parts are literally rough around the edges. In our tests, this light colored bike easily scuffed, and we suspect the basket won't stay attached very long. Overall, we think there are better bikes to be had, but if you simply can't resist the cool nostalgic feel, this bike works well and will likely last as long as your child is the right size to ride it.
The JOYSTAR Totem is a basic kids' pedal bike with lot of accessories compared to the competition. This less expensive bike includes stickers for naming your bike, a bell for alerting others you're on the path, training wheels, and reflectors. This bike is available in multiple sizes and has spoke wheels.
The Totem is heavier than much of the competition and it lacks the level of quality we saw in some of the other contenders. With holes in the weld points and rough edges on some parts, it has an unfinished, cheaper feel. That aside, this bike will get your little one from A to B without a hiccup and the quality doesn't seem to effect the overall functionality. However, there are better bikes to be had with similar price tags.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our pedal bike review is led by Bob Wofford, Senior Review Anlyst and father of 7. Bob spends a lot of time outdoors and on his bike commuting to work when the weather permits in the great mountains of Colorado. Bob has led our other bike related reviews and has assembled almost every product that has come through the BabyGearLab doors over the last 8 years. The team also includes Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor and mother of 2 bike riding fiends. Wendy reviewed and assessed Bob's testing results to help determine bike ranking and award winners. Each bike was tested side-by-side with the competition for ease of assembly, features, quality and more to help you make buying decision you'll be happy with.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tests some of the best kids pedal bikes in the business to find the right fit for every goal and budget.
Every bike requires some level of assembly. Depending on your knowhow or building savvy, this experience can be something that causes anxiety or barely registers in your buying decision. We respect that not all parents want to assemble a bike, and this is where our experience putting these bikes together can come in handy. If you're worried about bike setup, this is the section for you!
The fastest assembly time is about eight and a half minutes for the Huffy. This bike has what the company calls quick connect parts and they are right. The instructions are only average and they miss a step where you need to remove a plastic part included for shipping, but it quickly becomes clear it can't work with the plastic in place. Putting on the training wheels is a tool free operation which can be useful if you need to add or remove them while biking. The second easiest to setup is the Tomy John Deere. This simple bike has terrible instructions, but there are only a few parts and it is somewhat intuitive to put together.
We do acknowledge that we know a thing or two about assembly, but it still feels like something most parents can handle. The hardest to assemble is the Duzy Custom. The Duzy is a little intense for a kids bike and we had to adjust the brake cable length on the front brakes to make it work. The front tire is the hardest part because you have to take the brakes apart to get the tire to fit through. We also had trouble with one of the handlebar bolts stripping while hand tightening.
Features and Quality
Many of the bikes come with additional features. Few of these features impact overall performance or a child's ability to use the bike, but they definitely appeal to kids on different levels. All come with training wheels and some are even tool free to add them to the bike. Its the unique features that set each bike apart, like the Huffy number plate and rubber grips, or folding pedals.
Other standouts include the Joystar Vintage, with the seat springs and front basket. Both look cool, but the springs are for looks only and the basket may not last long in its front placement before falling or being taken off.
The Tomy John Deere has a rear storage rack suitable for strapping all kinds of treasures and supplies and our testers loved the idea of pondering what they might place there. Even if it is just giving a ride to a favored stuffed toy, we can see how this rack will get a lot of use. The RoyalBaby FreeStyle includes training wheels, reflectors, water bottle holder, alert bell, chain cover, and parent handle on the back of the seat.
Some of the bikes like the Duzy, RoyalBaby and the Huffy have handbrakes in addition to coaster style brakes, which can be useful for prepping kids for more grownup bikes. And the Totem comes with a handlebar alert bell, naming stickers, and reflectors. It also features a parent handle on the seat back.
Don't be fooled into thinking accessories make a product better or higher quality. Unfortunately, in this review, it seems to mean the opposite. Both Joystar bikes have multiple accessories, but they are also the lowest quality options compared to the competition. While their quality is unlikely to impact everyday use, we suspect parents might find them disappointing given their prices. The RoyalBaby, Huffy, and Tomy are the highest quality options in the group with the Duzy coming in right behind it.
Selecting the perfect pedal bike for your growing child helps to expand their world and gives them the power to join outdoor adventures under their own steam. Learning to ride a bicycle is a time-honored rite of passage for many children and choosing the perfect first bike can be intimidating. Your child could potentially remember their first bike for decades to come, making it an essential purchase for many families. We believe there is a product for almost every child in this lineup of cool competitors and our testing details will have you choosing a bike quickly, so you can enjoy new adventures together as soon as possible.
— Wendy Schmitz