The Bobbin Kids' Bike Buying Guide

The Bobbin Kids' Bike Buying Guide

Choosing a child’s bike for your little ones can be overwhelming with so many options out there. This guide will help you decipher the different types of bikes, how to choose the right size, and what you need to watch out for.

Buying a Toddler Bike

Children can start learning to ride a bicycle from around age 2. At this point, choosing a child’s first bike involves deciding whether you want to start with a balance bike or training wheels.

Balance bike

A toddler’s balance bike is a bicycle without pedals, which is used purely to help them learn the basic feel of getting moving on two wheels.

With no pedals for them to worry about, balance bikes are a safer way for infants to test the basics of cycling with a much lower risk of injury. As they push along with their feet, eventually they will learn that the bike will stay balanced while in motion.

You can learn more about how children learn from balance bikes here.

For advice on how to make this process happen, read our guide: 4 Ways to Teach Your Child How to Ride a Balance Bike.

What's the best balance bike?

These are the qualities you should look for when choosing a balance bike:

  • Durability, so it can survive lots of bumps and scrapes (we all know how children like to drop things)
  • Lightweight, so they can easily pick it up and mount it
  • Quality tyres, to keep the child comfortable on rough surfaces
  • Quality saddle, so their little tush doesn’t get sore

On the last two points, Bobbin balance bikes are equipped with inflatable rubber tyres which help absorb impacts, as well as a quality vegan leather saddle for added comfort. While this does mean you will need to make sure that the tyres do not puncture or deflate, many parents find this preferable to cheaper balance bikes, which often have low quality plastic tyres that leave the child feeling every bump in the path.

And while your child is learning how to ride their balance bike, why not have them look good while they’re at it? Bobbin specialises in fashionable, vintage-style balance bikes for a classy look. The distinctive cream tyres, brown saddle and handle grips, a ding dong bell, and signature handmade wicker basket will give you a fabulous-looking young cyclist.

12 inch wheel balance bike

Bobbin currently has two models of toddler balance bike, which are available in a range of colours to suit your child’s taste. Both models come with a wicker basket attachment, so Teddy can go for a ride with them.

The Gingersnap Balance Bike is recognisable for its low-curving frame which allows its young rider to easily step over and mount it. While this is a unisex bicycle, it is a hit with young girls. Your little one will look adorable and classy as she rides her Gingersnap with the basket.

With 12” wheels, the Gingersnap is available in mint green, red pink, yellow, duck egg blue, and pale pink.

Our other model is the Moonbug Balance Bike. A hit with both boys and girls, this one also has 12” wheels with distinctive cream tyres and a basket. It is set apart from the Gingersnap by its sturdy, straight-line frame, and this one is available in pea green, blueberry, and fire engine red.

Toddler bike with stabilisers

While balance bikes might initially give a child an easier time learning to ride, a bicycle with stabilisers offers the option to simply remove the training wheels when the child wants to start taking on the balance element. Alternatively, children who have already mastered a balance bike might also find stabilisers helpful while they get used to pedals.

Young child riding a red bike with a matching helmet and stabilisers, decorated with a basket and tassles

Moonbug Children's Bike for Ages 2-3 | 12" wheel

Bobbin provides pedal versions of both the Gingersnap and Moonbug 12-inch models, with stabilisers included.

There are also training wheel bikes available for slightly bigger children after they grow out of 12-inch wheel bicycles. Take a look at this blog for the Best Kids’ Bikes with Stabilisers.

Bikes for children under 5

As children start to leave their toddler years behind, they don’t necessarily need to make a large jump up in bike size. A bike with 12 inch wheels will fit most kids in this age group, although fast growers might be ready to go up to 16 inch wheels with a lowered seat.

You should not buy a bike that is suited only to the size that your child is right now, because they will quickly grow out of it! Make sure you can raise the seat in line with the child’s growth, so that it will last a good few years.

Within the 12-inch wheel bicycles, children aged 2-4 can use the Gingersnap 12” and Moonbug 12” as above, but there is also the Skylark, which is more of a sporty style. The Skylark does not come with stabilisers but you can add them if needed.

As a safety measure for young riders, the chains on all the above bikes are contained within a casing, so it will not fall off and the child will not accidentally get fingers caught in the mechanism.

Young boy in a coat and wellies riding a blue bike with a matching helmet, stabilisers and basket

Bobbin Moonbug Kids Bike | Ages 4-6 | 16" Wheel

As children approach 5 years of age, they may grow into the size range of bikes with 16 inch wheels. Simply follow that link to see our selection.

If you’re in doubt as to which size of wheel and which model of bike will fit your child, take a look at our detailed Kids’ Bike Size Guide.

For more details on bikes for children under 5, check out these blogs:

Best Bikes for 3-Year-Olds

Best Bike for 4-Year-Olds

Which bike for a 5-8 year old?

There can be a lot of diversity of size (and taste) between children in this age group, so let’s break it down.

Children who are aged between 5 and 8 will generally fit bikes with 16” or 20” wheels. After that, it is a matter of setting the seat at the correct height for them to be able to comfortably ride. However, if you are unsure, you should definitely check that kids’ bike sizing guide linked above.

Children of this age will have started to express their explicit preferences more openly, although this might not always stay consistent. You should check with them what style of bike they would like to ride; some will want a bike with their favourite characters on it, others will just want to look pretty, while the more adventurous kids will want a bike that can handle stunts and tricks.

Bobbin’s bikes for 5-8-year-old children include models of the Gingersnap, Moonbug and Skylark as above, but also introduce the sleek and stylish Hornet, the Dutch style Brownie Junior, the fast and simple Shadowplay Junior, and the high-tech vibes of the Arcade.

For more advice on selecting a bike for your child by age, check out these guides:

Best Bike for 5-Year-Olds

Best Bike for 6-Year-Olds

Best Bike for 7-Year-Olds

Bikes for 7-11 year olds

24-inch wheel bicycles will fit children between the ages of 7 and 11, although your mileage may vary. Some smaller kids and slow growers might stick with their 20” bikes a while longer. Bigger kids who put on a growth spurt before they are out of primary school might even be ready for a 26-inch wheel bike. (Again, check our guide to figure out which size of kids’ bike you need.)

Bobbin offers 24” models of the Gingersnap, the Hornet, the Shadowplay, and the Arcade. More on those below.

Styles of Children’s Bike

To some kids, appearances are everything. So whether they’re riding to school or going out to meet their mates, it’s important for them to be on a bike that expresses their identity. Here are some of the hottest bike styles that kids enjoy today:

Dutch kids’ bikes

Dutch bicycles are a distinctive retro style that take after the era of the cycling revolution that occurred in the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Built for city and rural town riding, Dutch bikes are recognisable from their tall frames that give cyclists an upright sitting position, along with their cream tyres and curved handlebars.

Brownie Junior 20" Wheel Kids Bike

Our children’s Dutch bikes include all sizes of the Gingersnap and the Brownie Junior.

Vintage kids’ bikes

Retro style bikes are all the rage for the sophisticated kid. While many Dutch bikes could also be considered vintage, this style is typified by the thin lightweight frame, silver handlebars, and coloured trims. The Hornet (pictured below) is one of our most popular children’s vintage bikes.

Hornet 20" Wheel | Boys and Girls Hybrid Bike for Ages 5-8

Kids’ BMX bikes

BMX bikes are an attractive option for the promise of being able to perform jumps and tricks. It is important to understand that most children’s BMX bikes are not built the same way as a professional stunt bike that adults would use on the ramps, with stunt peg attachments, small wheels, no gears and often no brakes. Children and teenagers will often experiment with bike stunts no matter what style of bike they have, but the best bikes for the job are those with straight-line frames that can take the strain for this kind of use.

Our range of children’s BMX bikes includes models which will give your children a safe riding experience while also looking stylish.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes are ideal for children who will spend a lot of time riding on hills and off-road. While they can sound appealing for their ability to perform jumps and take knocks with their suspension, they are not built for speed and are definitely not the most efficient bikes for everyday use on the streets.

Kid’s road bike

For riding to school, out with their friends or just general street cycling, all Bobbin bikes feature specialised tyres and frames for this purpose.

A particular highlight for older children and teenagers is the Shadowplay. This is a fast, sleek bike with no gears for the child to worry about. It is available in both 20” and 24” wheel models.

Bikes for gamer kids

Today’s children grow up surrounded by screens. And even if you haven’t given in and let them have a smartphone yet, it’s likely they spend a lot of time on their video games, a tablet, or another screen of some kind.

For these kinds of kids, Bobbin created the Arcade bike. Available in 16”, 20” and 24” wheels, the Arcade uses metallic colours, black trims, and retro gaming decals to give its young rider a high-tech look as they take to the streets.

A kid on a city street with a Bobbin Arcade bike

Arcade 24" Wheel – Bobbin (

For younger kids who want to express this part of their identity, the Arcade 16” is perfect for boys and girls aged 4+.

The best kid’s bike

Hopefully you should now have an idea of how to choose a bicycle for your young ones. Take into account not just their age and size, but what they would use the bike for and how they like to express themselves. And once again, use our children’s bike size guide to be certain of getting the right model when shopping online.

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