How to Shop for a Bike for Your Kid

All the experts we consulted cautioned against buying the cheapest bike you could find at a big-box store because many of the mass-market discount bikes are of dubious quality, and the parts aren’t always easily adjustable. That means after your child’s initial fitting, you won’t be able to alter the bike to fit them properly. (A high-quality, new bike should cost around $400 to $600.)

 A cheap bike that doesn’t have common or adjustable parts will make it difficult, if not impossible, to change or swap these parts—and will hinder the comfort and safety of your child. So even if you find a super-low-priced bike that’s great today, you’ll have to buy another one when your kid grows out of it. 

As mentioned above, the rough range of a new kid’s bike that’s adjustable and lighter weight is about $400 to $600. But a good bike can also return at least part of its value on the resale market—unlike big-box store bikes, which have “zero resale market,” says Justin England, the director of business development at Pro’s Closet, an online retailer that buys and resells bikes. “They go straight into a dumpster once your kid outgrows them.” England’s company resells bikes from well-known, reputable makers, such as Giant, Specialized, Woom, Cannondale, and Trek. England adds that a decent bike for a child will last through generations of kids because “you’ll sell it to a friend or resell it on Craigslist. That also means that it’s a sustainable product, as well as giving you a return on investment.”