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Choosing an off-road right bike for your child can be an exciting but challenging decision. With several options available, such as BMX, hybrid, and mountain bikes, it's wise to know their differences.

Each type of bike offers unique features and benefits that cater to different riding styles and environments. In this blog we will explore the characteristics of BMX, hybrid, and mountain bikes, to help you decide which option suits your child's interests.  

By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to get your child the perfect bike for their cycling adventures. 

BMX Bikes 

BMX bikes are one of the best-known types of bikes, known for their use in extreme sports. There are several distinct characteristics of BMX bikes that set them apart from hybrid bikes and mountain bikes. 

BMX bikes are purpose-built for off-road and stunt riding, making them a thrilling choice for young riders. With their sturdy frames and compact size, BMX bikes excel in manoeuvrability, allowing riders to execute impressive tricks with ease. 

Unlike hybrid and mountain bikes, BMX bikes for kids typically feature a single gear and a rear handbrake. They aim to keep things simple and offer precise control during high-intensity rides. With smaller wheels and a low-slung saddle, BMX bikes offer a lower centre of gravity, giving great balance and stability.  

Whether it's racing at the local track or practising skills at the skate park, a children's BMX bike offers a unique experience. 

BMX Bike Example 

The WeThePeople Nova 20 is one of our great kids BMX bikes. With its robust construction, featuring a high-tensile steel frame, it offers durability to withstand jumps and tricks.  

Another is The WeThePeople CRS 18" Freestyle BMX. Designed specifically for riders aged around 6 to 9 years old, this bike delivers a perfect balance of performance and durability. You can view our best BMX bikes blog for more info.

Hybrid Bikes 

Hybrid bikes lie between mountain bikes and road bikes, aiming to be the ideal all-rounder. These bikes can handle a variety of terrains and riding styles, making them an excellent choice if your child needs flexibility.

Hybrid bikes feature a lightweight frame and a comfortable riding position. Equipped with multiple gears and reliable brakes, they offer a smooth ride on both paved roads and light off-road trails. And with their slightly larger wheels and wider tires, hybrid bikes provide enhanced traction and control.

Whether it's cruising through town, exploring scenic paths, or commuting to school, hybrid bikes offer a versatile option. 

Hybrid Bike Examples 

Two great lightweight hybrid bikes we stock are the Frog 43 and the Woom 4. 

The Frog 43 is an outstanding bike designed for young riders taking their first steps into the world of cycling. Specifically designed for children aged around 3 to 4 years old, this bike offers a blend of stability, safety, and fun.  

The Woom 4 is an exceptional bike designed for young riders ready to tackle more challenging terrains. Ideal for children aged around 5 to 7 years old, 

The bike is equipped with reliable brakes and a wide range of gears, allowing young riders to take on hills. 

green squish 20

Mountain Bikes 

Mountain bikes stand apart from hybrid bikes and BMX bikes with their specialised design and capabilities for tackling rugged terrain. These bikes are specifically engineered to handle off-road trails and… mountains.  

Kids Mountain Bikes feature a robust frame, powerful suspension systems, and knobby tires. This helps them soak up shocks and handle bumpy terrain like a pro. Unlike hybrid bikes and BMX bikes, these bikes come equipped with a wide range of gears and advanced braking systems. This helps them conquer steep ascents and descents. 

Whether it's exploring forest trails, cruising on dirt paths, or embarking on thrilling downhill rides, mountain bikes offer the durability and performance that young riders need to explore the great outdoors and push their limits. 

Mountain Bikes Example  

We stock some great lightweight mountain bikes for kids and adults. Two examples include Orbea’s Onna 27 XS 50 and their Onna 50 Medium.  

The Orbea Onna 27 XS 50 is a superb bike that combines agility and performance for riders. Equipped with quality components, including a reliable drivetrain and responsive front and rear brakes, it delivers exceptional control and responsiveness on off-road terrains. 

The Orbea Onna 50 Medium is a fantastic bike designed to deliver a smooth and enjoyable ride for adults. With its thoughtful geometry and suspension fork, it offers an excellent balance of comfort and performance.  

Which Kids Bike Should You Choose? 

Each type of bike offers distinct features that cater to different riding styles and environments. Hybrid bikes provide versatility, combining elements of road and off-road bikes.  

On the other hand, BMX bikes are purpose-built for off-road and stunt riding. They are perfect for adventurous children who seek excitement and enjoy performing tricks at skate parks or racing on local tracks.  

For young riders who crave the thrill of conquering rough and challenging terrains, mountain bikes are the go-to option. 

When choosing a bike, carefully consider the features and benefits of hybrid bikes, BMX, and mountain bikes, and what your child is most passionate about. 

refer a friend - bike club 

Questions We Get Asked About How To Choose a Bike 

What age is a 14-inch bike for? 

A 14-inch bike is typically designed for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. However, it's recommended to go by your child's inside leg length. As an example, the 14” Woom 2 is recommended for leg measurements of 36 to 45 cm.  

The Woom 2 is a fantastic little machine from the famous brand, offering optimal comfort and control for young children.  

two children with woom 2 bikes - bike club

What is the best age to get your kid a bike? 

There is no best age to teach them and it’s never too late to start! Generally, children can start learning to ride a balance bike as early as 18 months to 3 years old.  

By the age of 4 to 6, many children have developed the coordination and balance skills to ride a pedal bike.

However, every child is different. It's important to assess their individual readiness and provide appropriate guidance as they learn to cycle.

Are lightweight bikes better for kids?  

Yes, lightweight bikes are generally considered better for kids for several reasons. 

Firstly, lightweight bikes are easier for children to handle and control. The lighter weight allows them to manoeuvre the bike more easily, especially when starting, stopping, or turning.  

Secondly, lightweight bikes are less physically demanding for kids. They require less effort to pedal and navigate, reducing the strain on their muscles and joints. This can make riding more comfortable and enjoyable, allowing them to ride for longer periods without becoming fatigued. 

Whether it's lifting the bike over obstacles or loading it into a car, a lighter bike is always a help.

What age is a 18-inch bike for? 

An 18-inch bike is typically designed for children between the ages of 4 and 7 years old. However, it's important to consider a child’s inside leg length.  

The Forme Cubley 18 is generally a good fit for children aged around 5 to 7 years old. It has a recommended inside leg length of 49cm – 59cm. Equipped with reliable brakes and grippy tires, it offers a safe and enjoyable experience on various terrains. It also stands out with its sleek design.  

Kids Bikes with Bike Club 

At Bike Club, our mission is to inspire the next generation to embrace cycling and lead an active lifestyle. That's why we offer premium quality lightweight bikes in the right sizes at an affordable price, making it easy for families.

You can sign up to Bike Club today and get access to a range of fantastic kids bikes. We stock bikes from leading brands such as Frog, Woom, Cube, and more.   

You can also use our handy interactive bike finder to narrow down your search based on a number of factors.  

By reusing bikes, we contribute to waste reduction and resource optimisation. With an estimated 12.5 million unused kids' bikes languishing in sheds and landfills across the UK, Bike Club offers a better solution for kids, parents, and the environment.

girl on forme bike - bike club