Selecting a 20-inch bike for your kid can be a cumbersome process as there are dozens of bike brands in the market with many of them having multiple variants for the same wheel size. And to complicate matters, there are various types of bikes, different price segments with different sets of features, etc.
So, how do you go about zeroing in on a 20-inch bike for your boy or girl? Just continue to read on. We have reviewed dozens of brands and have segmented them based on price so that you can make an informed decision depending on your budget. Below are the 5 best 20-inch girls and boys bikes under $300.
Best 20 In Bikes For Kids (Under $300)
|Brand||Vitus 20 Kids Bike||Giant XTC JR 20 C/B||Specialized|
Riprock Coaster 20
Lily 20 – Girls Bike
|Btwin Original HYC100|
Kids’ Hybrid Bike, 20″
|Brakes||Tektro V-brakes||Rear pull brake||Rear Coaster + V brake||Front + Rear V brakes||Front + Rear V brakes|
|Gearing||7 speed Shimano||None||None||6 speed Shimano||None|
Vitus 20 Kids Bike – Best Overall Bike
Vitus is a France-based bike brand that manufactures performance bikes for adults. Vitus is a brand that we feel is a value-for-money brand.
Vitus 20 kids bike is a good entry-level bike in the 20 inch wheel category.
The bike’s frame, as well as the fork, is made of aluminum that weighs the bike at 18.7 lbs.
The bike has a lot of aluminum in it and the 18.7 lbs weight seems pretty reasonable considering that the bike comes with gears that add to the weight of the bike.
This bike is also the lightest kids’ bike on this list.
The bike has a 7 speed Shimano gearing which we feel is adequate for a kid especially when starting out on a geared bike.
The bike also has good confidence-inspiring geometry with good angles on the frame as well as a low Q factor.
The Q factor is the measurement of the distance between the pedals. The lesser the distance the better.
The bike also comes fitted with Tektro V-brakes with levers that are adjustable which makes it simple to operate.
The 1.75 inches all-purpose tires can fire up some single-track trails as well as the neighborhood pavements.
The bike comes in 3 colors.
This bike is priced at £299.99 which would be more than $300 when converted, but we thought we should mention this bike on this list as we found it to be a good value for money bike.
|Aluminum frame & fork|
7 speed Shimano gearing
Giant XTC JR 20 C/B
Giant is a big name in the world of bikes. The largest bicycle manufacturer, the brand also supplies bike frames to most of the other bike brands.
The XTC JR 20 is a starter bike that can hit the trails and do some light off-roading. The frame is made of aluminum and comes with 2.1-inch tires that help with grip during the trail ride.
The bike has a single linear-pull rear brake.
The bike also has decent geometry but is not as great as the Vitus 20.
It’s a no-frills bike with no gearing or any other extra features; just enough to get the job done.
The bike comes in 2 colors.
|Aluminum Frame||2 colors|
Specialized Riprock Coaster 20
Specialized is a performance bike brand for adults created by a bunch of riders, well known for their mountain bikes.
The Riprock Coaster 20 as the name suggests is a coaster brake bike, which right off the bat is not an ideal option, and that too for a 20-inch bike.
However, the bike is also equipped with a rear V-brake that should provide some control and confidence to the child.
This kids bike is fitted with a BMX-type high-rise handlebar unlike the previous two bikes on the list that comes with MTB-style handlebars.
The frame is made of aluminum and the 2.3-inch tires provide good stability and traction and can be used to hit some light backyard trails.
The one highlight of the bike is the 5 color options that should help quench the color appetite of most of the kids.
Raleigh Lily 20 – Best 20 Inch Girls Bike
There are so many bike brands on the market that if you are not into bikes or biking you may not have heard most of them.
Except, Raleigh. That’s because Raleigh has been around for more than a century.
The Raleigh Lily 20 is a good starter girl’s 20 inch bike.
It’s also a good bike for those girls who’d also love to try out those neighborhood trails and light single tracks.
Equipped with Shimano 6 speed gearing and front and rear V-brakes, the bike provides confidence to the budding mountain biker.
Made of an aluminum frame with 2.125 inches tires, the bike can handle some bumps and curbs with ease.
At 21.5 lbs, the bike is not exactly lightweight, but considering that the bike is equipped with gears and big tires, it’s understandable.
This girl’s bike comes only in 1 color, but the charming shade of beige – ivory should pacify most of the girls’ color preferences.
Front and rear V brakes
6 speed Shimano gearing
Btwin Original HYC100, Kids’ Hybrid Bike, 20″
Btwin is the inhouse bike brand of Decathlon, the sports retailer.
Btwin Kids 20” is a pretty basic bicycle for kids.
Made of a steel frame, this is the only bike on this list that sports a steel frame.
There isn’t much to write home about this bike but at $249 one can’t too expect too much either.
The bike also weighs a hefty 23.8 lbs and comes in only 1 color.
Thankfully, the bike comes with front and rear V brakes and no coaster brakes.
If you are looking for a budget 20-inch bike that can handle neighborhood pavements, then go for it.
|Front & rear V brakes||Steel frame|
Factors To Look For When Buying A 20-Inch Bike
However, age cannot be used as an absolute guideline as kids of the same age can vary in height and size.
A 20-inch wheel bike is good for kids who are between 43 and 55 inches tall.
A better way to gauge the height requirement is to measure the inseam length of the child and to select a bike based on that.
The top tube height of the bike should be lower than the standover height of the child.
This will provide confidence to the child while biking.
If your child has learned how to bike, then set the saddle height to be lower than the kid’s inseam length so that the child can place the feet flat on the ground.
If the kid has already learned biking, then set the height to be a couple of inches taller than the inseam length so that the child can tiptoe which would increase the efficiency while pedaling.
The weight of a 20-inch kids bicycle varies widely as this is the wheel size where segmentation of the bikes into various categories such as neighborhood bikes, trail bikes, mountain bikes, etc., starts.
The requirements for each of these types of bikes are different, and so the weight can also dramatically differ.
Some of the bikes on this list have gearing that can also add to the weight of the bike.
The material used also plays a role in determining the weight of the bike.
Depending on the type of bike, a 20 inch bike can vary in terms of geometry.
Mountain bikes will have a slacker head tube angle than neighborhood bikes, as well as, wider handlebars with shorter stems.
The three main things to look for are:
Q factor: The distance between the two pedals.
The lower the Q factor the more efficient the pedaling, and conversely, the higher the Q factor the better the stability.
Wheelbase length: This is the distance between the wheel hubs.
The longer this distance the better the control and stability of the bike.
The shorter the distance the higher the nimbleness.
Distance between the saddle and handlebars: This distance determines whether the kid’s seating is cramped or relaxed.
The longer this distance, the better and efficient pedaling, as well as handling of the bike.
The materials vary from steel to aluminum.
All the bikes on this list have an aluminum frame except for 1 bike that has steel. Vitus 20 has even aluminum in its fork.
Steel is robust and strong but is prone to rust and heavier than aluminum. But aluminum is pricier than steel.
Brakes: Some of the higher-end 20-inch bikes do sport disc brakes, however, at the under $300 price point, the brakes would mostly be caliper V brakes.
Gears: Gears first start to appear typically on 20 inch bikes. It’s a good time to introduce your child to gearing if she hasn’t been exposed to geared bikes.
Forks: Suspension forks also start to appear on 20 inch bikes depending on the type of bike.
Mountain bikes typically will have at least front suspension forks, but that will add extra weight to the bike and it’s only necessary for riding technical trails.
What is the general price range for a 20-inch bike?
20-inch bike is the segment where the prices of bikes start to vary widely.
You’ll get to see bikes in the low $100s to some even as high as $2000 as the bikes start to get additional and expensive features.
The wise decision is to choose a bike that is good for your kid that falls within your budget.
For Further Reading:
Best 16 inch bikes