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Kids Road Bikes
Compared to mountain bikes or all-terrain bikes that most kids bikes are designed to be, kids road bikes are faster, lighter, and more appropriate for long-distance riding.
The biking world is an ever-growing sport and industry with new innovations, challenges, and adventures coming every day. From mountain biking to road biking to commuter biking, two wheels can take you pretty far.
Road biking is probably something you’ve seen because road biking has certainly grown in popularity, but what you might not have known is that kids can learn how to road bike and get starting in the sport early on, so as soon as your child is confident riding their pedal bikes, they can definitely start exploring the world of road biking.
So let’s take a look at road cycling for children and check out some of the best kids road bikes!
Best Road Bikes For Kids– Quick Overview:
|Brand Name||Wheel |
|1. Frog Road 67 Bike||24||19.4||800||Crossover/Hybrid style|
|2. Frog Road 70 Bike||26||20.5||825||Double chainring system|
|3. Frog Road 58 Bike||20||18.1||850||Best road bike for younger kids|
|4. Allez Jr.||27.5||N/A||1049||Lightweight Aluminum frame|
|5. Luath 26||26||19.3||1100||Carbon Fiber and Disk brakes|
|6. Ridely Road Race 26||26||21.4||829||Best for kids a few years away from adult bikes.|
What is the Difference Between Kids Road Bikes and Kids Mountain Bikes?
The two great pillars in the bike sports world are road and mountain biking. They are completely unique sports that require entirely different terrain and equipment.
Mountain biking requires, you guessed it, a mountain, but at least you’ll need to find some natural terrain or unpaved roads whether on a mountain, in a forest, or across a hill, Mountain biking can mean ripping it across difficult terrain or shredding down steep mountain edges.
In any event, mountain biking gear is durable, heavy-duty, uses high-end suspensions, wide tires with a thick thread, and a helmet that provides a lot of coverage and protection, and sometimes, you’ll wear special mountain biking clothes that are made from heavy-duty fabrics and can even have some padding inside.
On the other side of bike sports is road cycling. Road cycling requires long stretches of paved roadways or a track designed for cycling, but, these kids road bikes are not designed for the hardcore terrains of a mountain bike, rather, road bikes are made like an arrow: they’re sleek, ultra-light, and incredibly fast.
For road biking, your gear will be lightweight, aerodynamic, and designed to support the rider’s body in a special “dropped” position. You’ll notice that the handlebar has two levels: a higher one that resembles normal bike handlebars, and lower bars that are perpendicular to the bars above. These are called the “dropped handlebars” and they’re used to get into a tight, forward position while pedaling hard and riding fast.
Different but Unique:
Both sports offer a great athletic experience and are hugely popular around the world. It’s only a matter of preference when choosing which style of riding your kids would like to start. Both sports require their own set of special gear, which can get equally expensive. But these sports can offer a lifetime of enjoyment and positive, healthy activity.
Can Kids Ride a Road Bike Around Town?
Road bikes for kids are considered specialty bikes, so they’re not ideally suited for casual cycling around town. These bikes are designed for sport, which doesn’t make them a comfortable ride for casual commuting or playing. They’re also more expensive than a standard bike, so you might want to avoid unnecessary damage.
There are versions of a junior road bike that are considered a crossover between a touring or commuting style bike and a road bike. If your kids are on the fence or just starting out, you might want to look at crossover bikes. They will have a speedy and sport design and engineering, but suitable tires, weight, and durability for everyday, casual rides.
Are Road Bikes Practical for Kids?
Since juniors road bikes are designed for a certain style of riding, they can be limiting and impractical. The bike is designed to put the rider in a forward position, on their foot pedals, and in the dropped handlebars.
This is an ideal and comfortable position for riding long and fast. But this can become uncomfortable for causal, slower rides. The tires are also designed with a single purpose in mind.
Why Road Bikes are Not Ideal for Regular Uses:
They are thin, with very little treads, which means that they will not perform, or even become dangerous on unpaved roads.
Overall, kids road bikes are not ideal for practical purposes. These sportbikes should be considered as those used under specific circumstances. Most kids will require a road bike plus a less technical, and less expensive bike for simple touring around town.
What Should the Size of Your Kids Road Bikes Be?
Beginner Road Bikers
For a new road biker, their safety and confidence are the top priority. Check their standover clearance by lowering the saddle to its lowest position and then having the child straddle the top tube.
In this position, a kid rider needs to be able to easily place the balls of both their feet on the ground.
If the child is tilting the bike to reach the ground, or stretching to get their tiptoes to touch, the frame is too big.
Why it’s important:
Making sure they have comfortable and stable access to the ground is important for their safety and confidence.
It can take time to practice and develop their skills riding a road bike, so you want to make sure their experience is positive and accessible.
Check the Saddle Height;
Saddle height on a junior road bike will depend on and change with the rider’s confidence. Kids should always be able to safely reach the breaks and the ground, regardless of their experience level.
You will want to start the saddle height low for new road bikers. But the saddle height can be lifted to bring their body position higher as they progress and gain skills.
Still, though, they must be able to reach the ground. When you’re adjusting the saddle, make sure it’s parallel to the ground.
Experienced Road Bikers
For experienced road bikers, measure the saddle height to the top of the hip.
How to measure the saddle height:
Get the rider to sit on their bike while it’s in a stationary bike stand and pedal backward.
Pay attention to their hips as they’re pedaling. If you notice the hips are rocking from side to side, the saddle is too high. If the knees are staying bent at their fun extension, the saddle is too low.
Adjust the seat height:
Next, while in the same stationary bike stand, get your child to place their heels on the pedals and pedal backward. Watch the extension of their legs and then adjust the seat height until the legs are straight while not lifting them out of their seat. The knees can be slightly bent at full extension but ensure that they don’t lift from the saddle while pedaling.
All riders should have slightly bent elbows while on the top handlebars. And every rider should be comfortable in their riding position. When you’re buying a bike for a youth rider, it’s a smart choice to get the largest frame size that stills allows them to touch the ground while sitting safely and comfortably in the saddle. This will give them room to grow into and help your new bike last for many seasons to come.
4 Tips for Sizing a Kids Road Bike:
- Check standover clearance
- Make sure the rider can easily reach and maneuver brakes and gear shifts
- New rider saddle height allows the balls of both their feet to be on the ground
- Experience’s rider saddle height allows their legs to be straight at full extension while their heels are on the pedal
Best Brakes For Kids Road Bikes:
The best brakes for kids road bikes are rim brakes. These are non-technical style brake, they’re a simple, yet highly effective method. These brakes use a rubber pad that grips and stops the spinning motion of the tires.
They need some regular tune-up and maintenance, so it’s always a good idea to check the brake functions and make sure it’s in working order. Different weather conditions can change the effectiveness of the brake pads, so always be aware of how they’re performing and teach your kids to check their brakes regularly.
5 Best Kids Road Bikes:
Frog Road 67 Bike
Bike Wheel Size: 24”
Weight: 19.4 lb.
Special features: This is a crossover-style kids road bike that will allow kids to experience both off-road and racing sports. This children’s road bike is durable for off-road rides and it is engineered as a 9-gear, ultra-light arrow that performs well in speed.
Frog Road 70 Bike
Bike Wheel Size: 26”
Weight: 20.5 lb.
Special features: This kids road bike has a double chainring system that gives your child the experience of both front and rear derailleur shifting. This boys’ road bike functions both off and on road by changing the wheels between road and cyclocross tires. This is the best kids’ road bike for a full-on road biking experience.
Frog Road 58 Bike
Bike Wheel Size: 20”
Weight: 18.1 lb.
Special features: This is one of the best kids’ road bike for younger or smaller riders. These offer all the technical elements a new road cyclist would need in a perfectly sized package. So even your six-year-old can start to practice on their dropped handlebars!
Bike Wheel Size: 27.5”
Special features: This children’s road bike have an aluminum frame that is durable yet lightweight. It’s well suited as a boy’s road bike and in recent editions, the bike’s designers have been able to shave off 400-500 grams of weight. This is a fast road bike that will transition your kids from beginner to experience road racers.
Bike Wheel Size: 26”
Weight: 19.3 lb.
Special features: This children’s road bike has a carbon fiber fork, which makes it lighter yet stronger. They also include disk brakes, which perform better in rainy and dirty road conditions. You can switch the wheels for either road or gravel tires. Everything about this bike makes it a great three-season ride!
Ridley Road Race 26
Bike Wheel Size: 26”
Weight: 21.4 lb.
Special features: Either a road racing or cyclocross bike that will keep your kids training at the top. This is the perfect youth bike for kids that are just a couple years away from an adult bike. The technology will perform top-of-the-line and be a competitive edge against adult bikes.
Are Road Bikes Worth the Price?
Short answer: YES!
A road bike is worth every dollar, because it allows you to go faster with less effort than a crossover or other type of bike.
The whole bike is lightweight and stiff, built for speed.
The wheels are built for the best traction and speed on the road and not for bumps, dirt, gravel, and grass.
A road bike or any bike with drop bars and integrated shifters will cost more than a flat bar bike with separate shifters and brakes. The extra hand positions the drop bars provide, and the improved safety of being able to shift and brake without moving your hands are worth the price.
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More Reading for You!
- Why Bring the Kids?
- Whitewater for the kids!
- Tips for Hiking with Kids
- Backpacking with kids… not for the faint of heart!
Are your kids beginner or experienced road bikers? What is the best kids road bike you’ve used or had experience with? Share with us in the comment below, we’d love to hear from you!