Cyclinghacker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The Best Bike for Teens in 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Two Teenagers Riding On Bikes

Getting your kids interested in biking will keep them in shape and also give them a fun and safe means of transportation around your neighborhood.

If you love biking, then sharing a weekend ride with your kids is a great family activity.

Since I’m an experienced cyclist, my friends often ask me for some help choosing a bike for teens, which is what’s inspired this post.

BEST VALUE

BEST CHOICE

PREMIUM PICK

Kent La Jolla Girls Cruiser Bike

Kent Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

Schwinn Predator Team Freestyle

5/5
5/5
5/5

BEST CHOICE

Kent Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

5/5

BEST VALUE

Kent La Jolla Girls Cruiser Bike

5/5

PREMIUM PICK

Schwinn Predator Team Freestyle

5/5

#1. Kent Dual Suspension Mountain Bike

This Kent bike is perhaps the safest one in this article. Its 26-inch frame is appropriate for teenagers and young adults.

Kent’s front and rear braking technology distributes braking over both wheels. This prevents head-over-handlebar accidents that can be caused by front-wheel brakes.

This innovative brake design also provides stopping power up to 44 percent faster than other brakes that only stop front or rear wheels. 

The dual suspension system also offers greater comfort, especially on rocky trails, while both front suspension and rear shocks are part of the frame.

This 21-speed bike is designed for easy assembly, and most parents found that they could put it together in less than 10 minutes with the included toolset.

PROS

CONS

#2. Kent La Jolla Girls Cruiser Bike

Your teenage daughter is going to love cruising around the neighborhood with the Kent La Jolla Girls Cruiser.

From the stylish white tire sidewalls to the basket attachment on the handlebars, this bike looks and feels beautifully retro, making it one of the best bikes for teenage girls.

The fenders are a nice touch also, and keep your young lady from splattering mud on her clothes.

The price tag on this bike is also attractive, making it the cheapest on my list. Like most cruiser bikes, though, this bike only has one speed.

PROS

CONS

#3. Schwinn Predator Team Freestyle

This BMX teenage bicycle is an excellent choice for your teenager who wants a rugged ride.

If your kids like going offroad and riding through the mud, you can’t go wrong with the Schwinn Predator Team Freestyle.

The steel frame is sturdy for hitting those hills, and the rugged tread on the tires is great for off-road traction.

If you’re planning to use this bike on paved roads, going from home to school, then your teenager might find the bike tires cumbersome and wide. This bike is better suited for the trails.

PROS

CONS

#4. Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX

Don’t let this BMX option prevent you from buying it for your teenage daughter. Both a boy and girl can have fun on this stunt and trick bike.

The sturdy frame and forks aren’t for high-speed racing, but rather for spinning and performing stunts. This bike has a cable detangler to allow 360-degree spins on the front tire.

If your teenager likes to take their bike to the park to show off for friends, this Mongoose bike is ideal for this.

PROS

CONS

#5. Huffy Cruiser

The Huffy Cruiser is another comfortable and classic style for either a boy or a girl in their younger years.

If you’re as mechanically challenged as I used to be, you’ll appreciate the quick and easy assembly of this bike.

The seat is generously padded for superior posterior comfort. Your teen will love the look and feel of this bike as they cruise around with their friends.

PROS

CONS

The Best Bicycle for Teens

After reviewing all of these great bikes for teens, my final recommendation is the Kent Dual Suspension Mountain Bike.

The dual suspension makes this bike comfortable and agile on those rocky trails. You’ll have a blast taking your teenagers for rough outdoor biking on the weekends.

The front disc brake and rear, linear pull brake combine to give this bike tremendously safe stopping power, so you won’t worry about your kids getting into high-speed accidents.

With 21 speeds and Shimano shifters, your teenager will have a wide range of torque to rapidly choose from. On this bike, they’ll be able to handle all kinds of terrain.

* Buying Guide *

Getting Your Teenager Into Biking

If you think replacing their shoes is expensive, bikes are ten-fold more expensive if you don’t get the right one for their needs.

Not sure what to look for? Check out the factors below…

Bike Sizes

Your teenager will want a bike that allows almost complete extension for their legs when pedaling, but also short enough that your teen can comfortably mount and dismount the bike.

Check whether they can touch the floor with their tiptoes without having to angle the bike to the side too much.

Kids’ bikes are generally measured by wheel size rather than frame height.

Depending on the size and maturity of your teenager, you’ll have to decide whether to get a kid-sized bike or one sized for adults.

Keep in mind that buying a bike that’s too large or too advanced for your teenager might cause them to lose interest in biking altogether.

Use this as a guide:

Wheel Size (inches)Age (years)
122-4
144-6
165-8
186-9
207-10
249+

Bike Types

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the different bikes out there, consider these different variations:

  • Road bikes
  • Mountain bikes
  • Hybrid bikes
  • Freestyle/BMX bikes
  • Specialty bikes

You should choose your bike based on the terrain and situation that are best-suited to your teen.

Road Bikes for Teenagers

If your teenager is going to be cycling to school or work on roads or cycle paths, then a road bike is your best choice. Bikes for road cycling have a slimmer profile and are designed for higher speeds and take less work from the cyclist on paved roads.

Road bikes are also an excellent option if they’re already showing an interest in road cycling, especially if you’re a keen road cyclist already.

Have you eyed your teen watching the Tour de France already? If so, lean them toward this style.

You could say cruiser bikes fit into the same category, but they don’t have any of the high-performance features of a road race bike. They’re simply designed for casually riding along roads and tarmac as a commuter option.

Mountain Bikes for Teenagers

Even if your teen’s going to be cycling to school but over rougher terrain, a mountain bike will suit them better thanks to the bigger tires and suspension.

Two Teens Riding On Top Bikes
Two teenagers mountain biking on their mountain bikes.

They’re also an excellent choice for off-road trail riding. Taking your family out for a ride is more fun if you know you can handle some off-road terrain.

Hybrid Bikes

Not sure whether to go with a road bike or a mountain bike? Perhaps a hybrid bike is the answer.

They mix the best of both worlds by combining the speed and efficiency of road bikes with a little of the durability and off-road capability of the best mountain bikes. It’s an economical option if you aren’t sure which type of bike to buy.

Watch out for some hybrid bikes, though. If you combine heavy-set handlebars and front suspension with a light frame, your teen might disappear over the top, which is exactly what’s happened to me before.

Freestyle/BMX

Freestyle/BMX bikes are the epitome of ‘cool’ to most teen riders. They tend to have a low-slung seat, which doesn’t get sat on much, and are ideal for short and functional bursts of riding.

Nothing is stopping a teen from riding their BMX bike to school or a job, but they don’t offer much comfort. Instead, they’re designed for the bike track and for stunts—think of your boy or girl doing inverts, half-pipes, rails, and tricks. (1)

Teenagers Performing Tricks On Bmx Bikes

Specialty Bikes

These bikes are for the more adventurous teenagers out there. While I wouldn’t say they’re a good idea for teens for their first bikes, they might be an option to encourage them into cycling, by adding a unique spin on the design:

Folding bikes

These are pretty hip right now, and are ideal for storage and transportation. If your kid has to cycle to catch the school bus or get a bus to work, this could be a good solution.

Touring bikes

While I don’t agree that these are much of a ‘thing,’ touring bikes come with extra storage. Why not just get a more-suited bike and buy saddlebags or use a backpack? This way, your teen can have the bike they want and have extra storage, rather than being pigeon-holed. They are great for family cycling holidays, though.

Electric bikes

If your teen’s a classic lazy type, electric bikes can get them outside without the entire effort of having to pedal the distance. They’re also great for hills, although some aren’t powerful enough to power up steep gradients.

 A teenage girl with mobile phone and electric bike
A teenage girl with mobile phone and electric bike

Bike Brands

Among the hundreds of quality bike brands out there, there are four in particular that I want to pick out:

Kent

Kent bikes are stylish, with the company having an image of British glamor, but you wouldn’t know this going by the prices. This company makes an assortment of products, and their bikes are affordable and still quality.

Schwinn

Schwinn is a US company founded by Ignaz Schwinn, who was born in Germany and worked on bikes from a young age. It has a strong bike history, with record-breaking links and popular icons such as Bing Crosby and Ronald Reagan choosing Schwinn bikes in their time. (2)

Fast forward to the 21st century and Schwinn is now a partner for getting foster kids to cycle, through the Together We Rise foundation.

Mongoose

Mongoose makes a bike for a serious cyclist. It specializes in bikes made for performance, whether racing or demonstrating stunts. Your teenager will develop skills and a passion for biking when riding a Mongoose.

Accessories

The first and most important bike accessory that you’ll want for your teenager is a good helmet. Accidents happen, even to the safest riders, so make sure your child’s head is protected with a helmet. (3)

A good bike also deserves a good bike lock. Horseshoe locks are sturdy and secure. Teach your teenager how to properly lock their bikes so that they won’t get stolen.

TIP: While many teenagers will scoff at these, gloves and knee and elbow guards are crucial if they’re freestyling or BMXing.

Prices

Most of the best bikes for teens go for between $300 and $400. You can find good bikes for under $200 also, but these will lack some of the safety and durability of the others.

Basic Components

When choosing between bikes for teens, you’ll want to pay close attention to the pull brakes and the gears on their bikes.

Brakes

It’s a good idea to make sure that your teenager’s bike has perfectly performing brakes. After all, this is the first line of safety.

Kids’ bikes and BMX bikes often have coaster brakes, which function when the pedals are turned backward. Your teenager has likely outgrown these kinds of brakes on regular bikes, but if they’re still into BMX, then they’re still relevant.

Modern bikes have either V-brakes on the rim or disc brakes. Both of these are very safe options and easy for teenagers to control.

Gears

When your kid becomes a teenager, this is usually a good time to put away that single-speed bike and give them a bike that’s easier to accelerate.

TIP: If you plan on biking in the hills and mountains, you’ll need those extra gears for the tough terrain. But if this bike is just for commuting to school or work along flat, paved roads, fewer gears are necessary.

Weight

You definitely don’t want your kid to push around a heavy bike frame. Consider bikes with high-tech carbon fiber or aluminum frames for the lightest weight. Steel frames are the most common, though, so they’re more robust.

Comfort on a Teen Bicycle 

Bikes these days typically have advanced gel seats for optimal comfort. If you’re looking at mountain biking, don’t forget about the suspension fork and shocks to ensure a comfortable ride.

Most teen bikes will have an adjustable seat, but don’t be surprised if the BMX and freestyle bikes don’t.

How to compare teen bikes?

If you’re struggling to decide—and the bike isn’t for a surprise gift—get your teen involved and weigh up the bike’s intended use. If it’s just for a short ride to and from school, you don’t need lots of gears.

Equally, if they want a smooth ride to school but want the option of some off-road cycling with their friends, go for a hybrid.

What I’ve done before is to write a list of pros and cons for each bike and then highlight the features that are more important. This greatly helps to narrow your choices down.

TIP: If you have any questions or need help, check out my details down under, or look for other helpful guides and reviews on the homepage

* FAQ *

Here are some of the most common questions fired my way about the best bike for teenager boys or girls. 

What is the best bike for a teenager?

If I had to pick out a single bike, it would be the Kent Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike. It’s one of the safest and top bicycle for teens. 

What is a good size bike for a 13-year-old?

A 13-year-old will most likely be comfortable in a bike with 24-inch wheels. Even so, I’ve known some teens to still need 20-inch wheels. Though not ideal, your best bet is to get your teen to try out some bikes to see which size is best suited.

What size bike is good for a 14-year-old?

For 14-year-olds, go for 24-inch plus wheel size. At this age, your teen is borderline being able to ride adult bikes, but that obviously depends on their maturity.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all type of guide, be sure that their feet can touch the ground without having to strain and that the knee extension is adequate for pedaling.

How do I choose a bike for a teenager?

To choose a bike for a teenager, think of their hobbies and interests. If your teenager likes nature, a mountain bike will help them appreciate trail rides. If your teenager likes to ride with their friends, a road bike or cruiser is a fun option.

Don’t forget to match their age with the wheel size. Seats are adjustable, so bear this in mind when choosing one for longevity. If your child can ride the bike at the lowest seat setting and the wheel size is in their range, it’ll last a couple of years, at least.

References

1. Shane Scott – University of Louisville – A subcultural study of freestyle BMX : the effects of commodification and rationalization on edgework, retrieved from https://ir.library.louisville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2290&context=etd
2. Schwinnbikes.com – About Schwinn Bikes, retrieved from https://www.schwinnbikes.com/pages/about
3. Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute -Highlights of US statistics, retrieved from https://helmets.org/stats.htm

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Erik

Erik

My name is Erik, and I love everything about cycling. I ride because I love it.

I’m an experienced cyclist with almost 20 years of experience. I compete in races and like to ride some group-rides from time to time.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

About Me | Twitter | Facebook | Contact |