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If there’s one factor in a kids bike that’s more important than all others, it’s bike weight. It makes the biggest difference and is worth every extra dollar you spend.
For years, we bought our kids nice bikes, but never focused on weight. It wasn’t until we were shopping for a little 12″ bike for my 3-year-old that I realized that all of these tiny bikes weighed as much as my adult bike, and many of them weighed more than he did. Since then, we’ve been on a quest to find the lightest bikes we can for our kids while still not breaking the bank.
The effort to get our kids lightweight bikes has paid off immensely. Not only have lightweight kids bikes allowed our kids to ride longer, and get less tired, but it’s also enabled them to have the strength to try more technical features on mountain bike trails.
Since getting our kids lightweight bikes, our teens have gotten into mountain bike racing (it’s so much easier on a bike that’s 23 pounds instead of 35 pounds), and our younger kids have become just as comfortable biking everywhere as they are with walking!
Shopping for lightweight kids bikes can be confusing and frustrating for most parents because the options seem endless. As we know, the world of kids’ bikes has been turned upside down in the past decade. Training wheels are out, balance bikes are in. And even basic bikes have evolved to make riding easier to learn, more fun, and safer.
Since your child will be on the bike often, you want to make sure you choose an option that is safe and durable. Some brands of lightweight kids’ bikes are much better than others.
In this post, we review some of the best lightweight bikes for kids, so you can make the best decision for your child.
- Why Lightweight Bikes for Kids are Important
- Best Lightweight Bikes for Kids (a quick overview of each brand)
- Best Brands for Lightweight Kids Bikes
- Woom Lightweight Bikes For Kids
- Guardian Lightweight Bikes for Kids
- Guardian 20″ Bikes Large and Small Frames
- Pello Lightweight Bikes for Kids
- Strider Kids Bikes
- Final Thoughts
Why Lightweight Bikes for Kids are Important
An ordinary steel bicycle can be anywhere from 2/3 or more of the bodyweight of the child. Even some aluminum bicycles for kids can be 1/2 of the child’s body weight. Imagine what that feels like when it falls on top of you? Even more, imagine just how hard it is to steer a bike or ride up a hill on a bike that’s that heavy?
The best kids bikes should be lightweight. Because a lightweight bike is safer for kids to ride, not to mention easier to handle.
With a lightweight kids bike, your child can ride longer distances, get on more easily, start faster, can cycle faster and more easily bike up a hill.
For example, the Woom children’s bicycle that’s 16 inches weighs 11.8 lbs (5.7 kg) which makes it one of the best lightweight bikes for kids and allows them to move faster with more confidence. In comparison, we weighed one of the neighbor kids 16″ bikes (from a reputable bike brand), and the bike weighed 28 pounds. The weight difference is SHOCKING!
Lightweight bikes for kids have the regular dimension and geometry of a traditional bike, the’yre just built with lightweight, and often better, components.
Best Lightweight Bikes for Kids (a quick overview of each brand)
No matter which bike you choose, choosing an option from one of these brands will give you the best kids bikes.
|1. Woom 1||$249||12″||6.6 lbs||Balance Bike – Low-stepover and long wheel base ensures balance & comfort|
|2. Woom 2||$399||14″||12.3 lbs||Perfect for learning balancing & pedalling skills|
|3. Woom 3||$449||16″||13.1 lbs||Freewheel hubs for free pedal rotation|
|4. Woom 4||$599||20″||17.9 lbs||8-speed gearing with an easy-to-operate twist shifter|
|5. Woom 5||$650||24″||20.3 lbs||Grip shifter & gears make hills climbing an easy-peasy|
|Balance Bike||$199||12″||8.5 lbs||Balance Bike – low stepover, Sure Stop hand brake|
|Guardian 16″||$289||16″||17.5 lbs||Sure stop braking, highly adjustable seat|
|Guardian 20″ small||$339||20″||20.7 lbs||Smaller frame with 20″ wheels, Sure Stop Braking, 1 gear|
|Guardian 20″ Large||$399||20″||22.9 lbs||6 speed grip twist shifter, Sure Stop Braking|
|Guardian 24″||$429||24″||25.5 lbs||7 speed grip twist shifter, Sure Stops Braking|
|Gecko||$310||12″||N/A||Best suited for riders with an inseam of 14″-18″|
|Hedgehog||$390||16″||16 lbs||Pairs a lightweight frame with a modern geometry to a medium gear ratio.|
|Reddi||$419||20″||17 lbs||Single-speed gear and a single-speed shifter|
|Strider 12 classic||$109.99||12″||6.5 lbs||The lowest seat height of any balance bike|
Best Brands for Lightweight Kids Bikes
There are several brands that now make lightweight kids bikes, but our personal favorites are Woom and Guardian. Woom is the gold standard for lightweight kids bikes. They function well, are designed perfectly with kids bodies in mind and they can stand up to lots of abuse (we have one on it’s third kid and it’s still in great shape). Woom has bikes that can handle any condition and even lightweight mountain bikes that fit kids up to age 14.
Guardian is our next favorite brand because they offer lightweight bikes for kids at an affordable price. These are the bikes I recommend for timid or new riders because the sure stop brake system takes all the uncertainty out of braking. The brake system is awesome for the road, though can get tricky on technical dirt trails. Overall, it’s an awesome bike company that provides lightweight ibkes for kids at a very affordable price.
Woom Lightweight Bikes For Kids
Woom is the all-around best lightweight kids’ bikes. All the options are ultra-lightweight and durable. Woom has several lightweight bikes for kids that come in different sizes and designs.
Woom 1- 12 inch Kids Bike
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Size: 12″ wheels
Ideal for riders between: 31″-40″
Ages: 1.5-3.5 years
This lightweight balance kids bike is valued at $199. And it’s one of the lightest kids’ bikes since it only weighs 6.6 pounds and specially designed with very small riders in mind. It is ideal for riders between 31”-40”. It is suitable for ages 1.5-3.5 years.
This balance bike is perfect for toddlers who want to learn to cycle and learn to balance and steer. The low-entry and long-wheelbase ensure balance, comfort, and enjoyment all wrapped up into one.
The brakes are mini-V-brakes with special braking power adapted for kids. They are suitable for small hands and are ergonomically adapted.
The grips have screw-in attachments to secure them to the handlebars and are non-toxic. They have the smallest grip of their kind and are made with the Woom Ergogrip.
Woom 2- 14 inch Kids Bike
Weight: 12.3 pounds
Size: 14″ wheel
Ideal for riders between 37″-43″
Ages: 3-4.5 years
This lightweight kids bike by Woom is also a great option since it weighs 12.3 pounds and is perfect for riders with a height of 37”-43” or good for ages 3-4.5 years. The 14” wheels make it a great medium-sized bike for smaller children.
It is perfect for learning balance and pedaling skills. It is made from light AA 6061 aluminum. The saddle has side protection to lean against walls and has a non-toxic and ergonomic design.
The handlebars are wide at 50cm giving your child more control. The brakes are two independently operated Mini-V brakes with special braking power for kids. The brake levers are suitable for small hands.
Woom 3- 16 inch Kids Bike
Weight: 13.1 pounds
Size: 16″ wheel
Kids Height 41″-47″
Ages: 4-6 years
This bike is ideal for riders between the height of 41”-47” or kids between the ages of 4-6. Priced at $389, this lightweight kids bike weighs 13.1 pounds and has 16” wheels.
This lightweight kids bike has several different colors including red, blue, and purple. It is perfect for children who are learning to ride for the first time. The position of the bike makes it very easy to balance and the kids are able to easily look around while riding.
Woom 3 16″ lightweight bikes for kids is made from high-quality AA 6061 aluminum. The wheels have freewheel hubs for free pedal rotation.
The brakes are specially adapted for children, are adjustable, and suitable for small hands.
Woom 4- 20 inch Kids Bike
Weight: 17.9 pounds
Size: 20″ wheel
Kids Height 45″-51″
Ages: 6-8 years
This lightweight 20” kids bike is 17.9 pounds and is perfect for kids with a height between 45” to 51”. It is great for kids between the ages of 6-8. It has 20” wheels and is $499.
Woom’s lightweight bikes for kids feature eight-speed gearing combined with a twist shifter. Also, the frame is also very lightweight with kid-specific geometry.
The frame is high-quality AA 6061 aluminum material. The brakes are designed with Jagwire cables that provide reduced friction and smooth performance. The brakes are two V-brakes operated independently.
Woom 5- 24 inch Kids BIke
Weight: 20.3 pounds
Size: 24″ wheel
Kids Height 49″-57″
Ages: 7-11 years
One of the best kids bikes is the Woom 5 with 24” wheels. It is 20.3 pounds and ideal for kids between the ages of 7-11. The best rider height is 49”-57”. The price is $529.
This lightweight 24” kids bike is made from lightweight aluminum that is AA 6061. The gears are 8 speed with SRAM X4 twist shifter and SRAM X4 rear derailleur. And the grips are specifically designed for kid’s hands and have extra-large diameter handlebars.
The seat post can be adjusted according to your child’s height and has a safety plus at the bottom. The brakes are power adapted for children and have high-quality Jagwire cables that can reduce friction.
Guardian Lightweight Bikes for Kids
All guardian’s bikes are lightweight with a sure-stop system. The guardian bikes are award-winning in safety for children’s bikes. With any guardian bike, you can be sure that your child is safe no matter the speed or place they are riding.
Guardians unique Sure Stop braking system is unbelievable and is a game changer for young kids or children who are more timid on their bikes. All of their bike just have 1 hand brake and it controls both front and back brakes. The brakes are designed to sense where your childs weight is so that each brake gets the right amount of pressure so that the tires both stay firmly on the ground. I was skeptical at first, but we’ve put it to the test over and over again, and it’s incredible!
We first were introduced to Guardian bikes 3 years ago when we wre looking for an affordable lightweight bike for our 4-year-old. He was a pretty confident rider, but as he was always trying to keep up with is 4 older siblings, he wasn’t always safety minded. We instantly fell in love with lightweight Guardian bikes for kids. Our son got the safety of the sure stop system, but he was able to fit into a 20″ small bike, and the bigger tires on the smaller frame made it easier to keep up with his older siblings. We recommend Guardian Bikes to everyone with young kids!
Guardian Balance BikesBalance Bike
Weight: 8.5 pounds
Size: 12″ wheel
Kids Height 33″-40″
Ages: 1.5-4 years
We’ve tried lots of balance bikes throughout the years and the Guardian balance bike is one of our favorites. You can read our full Guardian Balance Bike Review here. It’s lightweight and has a super low stepover for really young kids so you can introduce biking to them even younger.
The best feature of this lightweight kids balance bike is that it has the Guardian sure stop system so that it evenly stops kids bikes so they can safely control their speed.
Guardian 16” Bike
Weight: 17.5 pounds
Size: 16″ wheel
Kids Height 40″-46″
Ages: 4-6 years
This lightweight 16” kids bike is ideal for kids between the height of 40”-46″. The seat range is 18″-25.2”. It is a great deal at $289 and comes in several different colors.
This lightweight 16″ bike for kids is only 17.5 pounds and is perfect for kids ages 4 and up (or taller 3 year olds). The wide wheelbase make it extra safe for kids and of course the sure stop system is one of our favorite kids bike safety features. The bike tires are hybrid bike tires that are good for both roads and trails.
The geometry is made perfectly for kids and has a design that is easy to control.
Guardian 20″ Bikes Large and Small Frames
Weight: 20.7 pounds – 22.9 pounds
Size: 20″ wheel
Kids Height 43″-53″
Guardian bikes has done something that few other bike brands have with their 20″ bikes: they created both a large and a small size frame. That means that younger kids who ware ready to go faster and tackle more terrain can get the benefits of bigger tires, whereas the average child can still get a 20″ bike with a frame that’s well suited to riding around town with the large size 20″ frame.
Read our full Guardian 20″ bike review here.
We started our son on the Guardian 20″ small bike when he was 4.5 yeras old. It was the best thing ever. The sure stop system kept him in control and the larger tires let him keep up with his younger siblings. I can’t recommend this bike enough!
Guardian 24” Bike
Weight: 23 pounds
Size: 24″ wheel
Kids Height 49″-61″
This lightweight 24” kids bike is ideal for riders with a height of 49”-61”. It weighs 23 pounds and is $479. It has a 7-speed twist gear shift. The bike includes a premium kickstand, 4 reflector lights, a wrench, and a tool kit.
All the geometry and parts are perfectly engineered for kids. The tires are hybrid which makes them perfect for road and trail riding. The adjustable seat is perfect for your child as they grow. The hand brake is a single lever, and the bike is built to be easy to control.
Cleary features steel frames with a durable design and durable components. They are well-known for having some of the best bikes for kids.
Gecko 12” Single Speed Lightweight Bikes for Kids
Size: 12″ wheel
Kids Inseam 14″-18″
Ages: 2-3.5 years
Sold for $370, this lightweight kids’ bike comes in three different colors that give it a sleek and modern design. Best suited for riders with an inseam of 14”-18” and 12” wheels.
The frame is made with a lightweight 1020 alloy steel frame and fork. The saddle is made with vegan leather and is integrated with the alloy seat post. The freewheel is 14 tooth and the chainring is 25 rings.
It can be assembled with three simple tools.
Hedgehog Lightweight Single Speed 16” Kids Bike
Weight: 16 pounds
Size: 16″ wheel
Kids Inseam 17″-21″
Ages: 3-5 years
This lightweight 16” kids bike is $390. One of the lightest kids’ bikes weighing 16 pounds. It has 16” wheels and is ideal for kids with an inseam between 17” to 21”.
The bike is made with a lightweight 1020 alloy steel frame and fork. The brakes are Tektro junior v-brakes and with matching brake levers. The saddle is made of vegan leather and the seat post is 25.4mm x 250mm alloy.
This bike will give your kid the confidence and features to ride throughout the neighborhood and trails.
Cleary Owl 20″ Bike For Kids
Pello Lightweight Bikes for Kids
Pello offers great lightweight bikes for kids for off-road riding. They have specially designed geometry for kids including the tube lengths and angles.
Weight: 17 pounds
Size: 20″ wheel
Kids Inseam 18″
Ages: 5+ years
One of the lightest kids’ bikes is the Reddi 20” with 20” wheels. It is $439 and is ideal for riders with a minimum inseam of 18”.
This lightweight 20” kids bike is 17 pounds and has a 6061-aluminum frame. It has single-speed gearing and a single-speed shifter. The brakes and brake levers are Tektro-micro and made from aluminum. The handlebars are aluminum 60mm rise with 500mm wide 9-degree sweeps.
This bike is perfect for experienced riders that want to move up a size but are not ready for a large bike.
Strider Kids Bikes
Strider has affordable and great lightweight balance bikes for kids and toddlers that come in a 12” size. With these balance bikes, your kids learn to balance before they get to paddle.
Strider 12 Classic
Size: 24″ wheel
Kids Inseam 12″-17″
This balance bike has the lowest seat height of any balance bike at 11”-16”. It is ideal for kids between the ages of 4-5 with an inseam of 12”-17”. Priced at $109.99. Made of steel frame and weighs 6.5 pounds. Strider 12 classic comes in three different colors including blue, pink, and red.
It has cartridge bearings and flat-free foam rubber 12” tires and has ultralight molded wheels with maintenance-free seals.
It features built-in footrests and a standard handlebar and grips.
Ideally, a kid’s bike should be less than 40% of their weight. While all kids can benefit from lightweight bikes, a few pounds can make a big difference for young, timid, and beginner riders.
While all the brands on our best kids bikes list build bikes that are much lighter than the average bike, Woom bikes is king when it comes to lightweight bikes for kids.
Choosing a lightweight kids bike can be a hard decision. Since you want it to be safe and designed with your child’s height and body in mind. Many great bike brands make bikes for children and toddlers who have never ridden before.
Start your child with a small bike. It helps build confidence when riding.