Children’s bicycle test: from doll to flaw

In the search for the best children’s bikes, Stiftung Warentest has hired those who should know best: primary school children with a proven track record. They were our testers in hands-on testing. All twelve 20-inch kids’ bikes tested passed the hands-on test with good marks for the ride.

Children’s bikes in the test
Test results for 12 kids bikes

20″ Kids Bikes: Expensive Doesn’t Mean Good

But five kids’ bikes earned the poor judgment in the test. Because in addition to hands-on testing, we also performed a number of safety tests in the lab, including brake, durability, and contaminant tests. In these investigations we found problems: weak brakes, components that broke in the endurance test, problematic materials in the saddle caps.

At the bottom of the test are expensive bikes from famous brands. The three good kids bikes in the test prove there is a safer way. Among them is also the cheapest bike.

advice: A helmet is essential for safe driving: You can find good models in our children’s bike helmet test.

This is what the children’s bike test by Stiftung Warentest offers

  • Test results. The table shows our ratings for twelve 20″ kids bikes. These include models from popular brands such as Puky, Cube and Woom from 270 to 575 euros. The comparison is worthwhile, because the range extends from a good test winner to some poor models.
  • Purchase advice. We explain how to find the best bike for your child, and what features are important and least important. In addition, the experts at Stiftung Warentest summarize what you should look for when buying a used children’s bike.
  • Magazine article in PDF format. If you have unlocked the children’s bike test, you can download the PDF of the test report from the test 6/2022.

Children’s bike comparison: Twelve models in the test

The candidates for the test are 20-inch children’s bikes for €270-575. The tested bikes were equipped with derailleur or hub gearing, with hand or front brakes and coaster brakes. Among the twelve models, there are also some with a very curved frame – they are often colloquially referred to as girls’ bikes.

advice: Even before you activate our test database, you can see which kids’ bikes have been tested.

Light children’s bike, serious problems

The children’s bikes in the test weighed as much as 15 kilograms as some adult bikes. Young children can have a hard time lifting and moving this weight, even adults can work up a sweat by dragging it. Only an expensive bike is really light and kid-friendly. However, it was not a test winner: due to a serious issue with H-security, it was rated generally unsatisfactory.

advice: Children’s bikes cost 575 euros. Our bike lock test shows which of the 60 tested locks that can be used to park a bike in the schoolyard and resist theft on sports fields.

Children’s bikes: find the right size

Candidates for the test are 20-inch children’s bikes – usually suitable for elementary school children. The size of children’s bicycles is usually given in inches. This size corresponds to the diameter of the wheels.

Whether or not a bike is suitable mainly depends on the lowest adjustable height of the saddle. Thus also whether the child is big or small. For average-sized kids, testing showed that 20-inch bikes started at six to eight years old.

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