Biking is an experience no kid will ever forget. It’s their first foray into freedom and adventure. So picking the right bike plays an important role in how the child would experience it: fun or frustration.
A 16-inch bike is an ideal size for a 4 or 5-year-old boy or girl. Some kids would have already learned biking on a 12 inch bike or a 14 inch bike and are now ready to graduate to the next level and that is where the 16-inch bicycle comes in.
Age is only a general guideline. Check our Kids Bike size chart for more details on how to size a bike for your little one.
So, here’s our pick of the 6 best kids 16-inch bikes for boys and girls under $200.
Best 16-Inch Bikes For Boys & Girls:
|Brand||Ghost Powerkid 16||Btwin HYC100, Kids’ Hybrid Bike, 16″||Retrospec Beaumont Mini Kids’ Bike – 16″||Co-op Cycles REV16 Kids’ Bike||Raleigh Jazzi 16 Inch Girls Bike||Schwinn Koen 16 & Elm 16|
|Brakes||Coaster + Hand brake||Coaster||Coaster + Hand brake||Coaster||Coaster + Hand brake||Coaster + Hand brake|
Raleigh Jazzi 16 Inch Girls Bike
Raleigh is an age-old brand with a heritage that spans more than 100 years.
They also have performance bike brands such as Diamondback and Redline in their portfolio of brands.
The Jazzi green 16 girls bike with training wheels is made of an aluminum frame but weighs in at 20.6 pounds including the training wheels that come with it.
The step-thru frame makes it easier for girls to climb on and off the bike effortlessly.
The bike comes fitted with only a rear coaster brake. There is no front handbrake for which we give a negative point.
The bike comes with a chain guard that protects the kids’ hands and legs from scrapes.
There is only one color option available – green. However, the bike is eye candy and would help appease the color palette of your little girl.
|Aluminum Frame||Only coaster brakes|
1 color variant
Btwin HYC100, Kids’ Hybrid Bike, 16″
Btwin is an in-house bike brand from the sports goods retailer Decathlon.
This 16-inch wheel bike HYC100 has a steel frame and weighs a hefty 20 lbs without the training wheels. Training wheels can be bought separately.
The bike comes with rear coaster brakes as well as a V-brake on the front which is a plus.
The bike comes only in white color and is fitted with a chain guard with some cool illustrations that give the design a nice touch.
The bike also has a lowered top tube to make climbing and alighting easier.
|Front V brakes||Steel Frame|
Schwinn Koen 16 & Elm 16
Schwinn is a popular bike brand, especially in the kids’ bike space.
Koen 16 and Elm 16 are boys’ and girls’ models respectively.
Each of the models comes in 3 color options that would appeal to color-conscious kids.
The bike sports a steel frame with rear coaster brakes.
This kids’ bike is also equipped with front caliper hand brakes.
Schwinn has tried to put some thought on kid-specific geometry with their SmartStart technology, reducing the Q factor as well as better work on geometry and comfort.
The bike comes with training wheels and a chain guard. Elm 16 also gets a front basket.
|Front caliper brakes|
6 color variants
Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids’ Bike
Co-Op Cycles is an in-house bike brand from REI, well known for its outdoor products.
The bike comes with an aluminum frame which is a plus point and weighs in at 16.8 lbs which also makes it the lightest kids bike on this list.
The brakes, however, though are only coasters with no front hand brakes which is not an ideal option.
The kid would have to rely on the coaster brakes all the time and would find it difficult to adjust to hand brakes later on.
The bike comes in two colors with sticker packs with a lot of designs that can be a fun experience for the kid in sprucing the bike up.
The bike also comes with training wheels included.
|Aluminum Frame||Only coaster brakes|
Retrospec Beaumont Mini Kids’ Bike – 16″
The Beaumont Mini Kids’ Bike is a cute little bike from Retrospec.
The bike scores high on the aesthetic front with its classic Dutch look, and to amp it up, this 16-inch girls’ bike with a wicker basket also comes in 5 shades.
The frame is made of steel and comes with attached training wheels and a chainguard.
The bike sports a front handbrake in addition to the rear coaster brakes.
|Cute Looking with 5 color options|
Front hand brakes.
Ghost Powerkid 16
Ghost Powerkid 16 is an artistic kids’ dream come true because of the myriad designs this bike sports.
Your child might find it difficult to zero in on one as all 4 variants of this 16-inch wheel bike are striking.
Ghost is a Germany-based bike manufacturer known for its performance bikes for adults.
The frame is made of aluminum but weighs in at a hefty 21.6 lbs.
The bike has a V brake in the front and coaster brakes in the rear.
The bike also comes with training wheels and a safety flag.
Kids are gonna love this bike just for the eye-catchy designs alone.
|Eye-catchy designs with 4 color variants|
Front hand brakes
What To Look For When Buying A 16 Inch Bike Under $200:
However, age is only an approximation as kids of the same age can vary widely in terms of their height and size.
If your kid is below 4 years of age, a 14-inch bike would be a better option, depending on the height. And if your kid is tall or above 5 years, better option would be an 18 inch bike or 20 inch bike.
We recommend a 16-inch bike for a 4-year-old kid who has learned biking as it would help factor in the future growth of the kid.
16-inch wheel bikes are good for kids who are between 36 and 46 inches tall.
A better way of determining the height would be to measure the child’s inseam length.
The child should feel at ease and in control of the bike while standing.
If your child hasn’t learned biking, the saddle height should be set such that the kid’s feet are planted firmly on the ground while in the seated position.
Once the kid has learned how to bike, the saddle height can be increased so that the child can now tiptoe rather than placing the feet flat as it would help in better balancing and control of the bike.
The weight can vary depending on a lot of factors such as the material used, the accessories included, etc.
It is also an aspect that doesn’t get much attention during the bike buying phase.
Most adults compare it to their own adult experience of riding a bike not realizing that for kids it’s a vastly different experience when it comes to weight.
That’s because, unlike adults, the child’s body and muscles are not developed fully for them to carry the weight that is heavy in proportion to their body weight.
This directly plays into how a kid experiences the joy and fun of biking rather than seeing it as a necessary evil kind of activity.
At the $200 price point, the bikes tend to be heavier than the expensive ones which typically have lighter frames.
A good bike weight should be 30% of the kid’s body weight.
There are various aspects to a bike’s geometry that can impact a kid’s comfort level with the bike.
16 inches is mostly the starting point where the kid’s bikes start to differentiate into various segments, in terms of usage, like neighborhood bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, etc.
At the under $200 price range, the 16-inch bikes normally fall under the neighborhood or paved-road bikes category.
Some of the other geometrical factors that can have an impact on biking are:
The top tube length: The top tube length is the length of the tube from the fork to the saddle.
If this distance is less, the kid can feel cramped, and as a result, will have the knees bent at a 90-degree angle or more at the top of the stroke that results in ineffective or exertional pedaling.
The Q factor: It’s the measurement of the distance between the pedals that affects the splay of the legs while pedaling.
A low Q factor results in lesser splay which is ideal as it helps with lesser exertion and sway of the body from side to side during pedaling.
Wheelbase distance: This is the distance between the front and back wheel hubs.
The longer the distance between the hubs, the better the control of the bike. A shorter wheelbase is good for nimbleness and deft handling.
A 16-inch bike typically will have steel, aluminum, or an alloy as the frame material.
Under $200 bikes mostly have steel to keep the costs low.
Steel is strong and durable but heavy and prone to rust. Aluminum on the other hand is lighter and less prone to rust.
Under $200 bikes won’t feature many of the specs that would be mostly reserved for expensive mountain bikes, such as gears, suspension forks, etc.
Since these bikes are not expected to be taken off of paved surfaces, these additional features are not necessary for an under $200 bike.
Depending on the type of the bike as well as the extra features included, the price can vary widely for a 16 inch bike.
The wise choice is to find a good bike for your kid at a price that you can afford.
The bikes featured in this under $200 dollar list fall in the budget category, but are not the cheapest kids bikes, however, are a step up from some of the mass-manufactured big box low-quality brands.