Pedal Bike for 6 Year Old... Suggestions?

Updated on March 24, 2013
H.W. asks from Portland, OR
10 answers

Kiddo's sixth birthday is coming up. He's been on a scoot bike for about a year now-- wasn't interested before that point-- and he's really maxed it out. It's way too small for him.

He's expressed interest in having a pedal bike (we offered "If you had a choice, pedal bike or scooter". ) He doesn't know we're getting him one for his birthday next month.

We are looking for these qualities:
no gears
hand brake (coaster is fine, but I don't know if they make'em)
room to grow, so we might have him on the same bike for 3 years.

NOT looking for:
skulls/macho design/licensed characters depicted on bike
bells and whistles (he has vision issues, so streamers/etc are just a distraction)

Any suggestions? Any brands you have had good luck with or any that I should avoid if possible?
We are also going to talk to a neighbor who used to own a bike shop,and are willing to do used if it's a better-quality bike.

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answers from Columbia on

Just go for a regular, BMX style bike. Yes, they still make them with coaster brakes.

I wouldn't worry too much at this point about having a "better quality" bike. He's going to outgrow it before he wears it out.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

I would just go to toys r us.. and get a regular old 20 inch bike.

my 5 year old is riding a 16 inch bike and it is almost too small. so a 6 year old is about ready for a 20 inch bike. If you get your son a 16 inch bike he will outgrow it in one year.

they still have coaster brakes. you can actually buy a simple bike at kmart or walmart for about 50 or 60.

I would not spend big $$ on a bike for a child this young. you do not need a bike store bike that might cost 200. your son will ride it on your block or maybe around the neighborhood with you. he is not going on major bike rides.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

Just bought one at target for $70 for our 6 yr old. I got the 20 inch bc he outgrew his old bike. It's simple grey with a touch of yellow on it. I believe it was a mongoose. I bought the cheapest one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Walmart has a lot of 12", 14", and 20" bikes. The thing is, he's going to be 6. So he's going to have a growth spurt in a year or so and then he'll use that 20" bike for several years. Most kids get a 12" or a 14" bike with training wheels that will last them from about 3 years old up to about 5 or 6 then they get the next size up but not the 20" yet unless they are super tall and coordinated.

So I'd say go to Walmart and have him try them on for size. Tell him that you are considering getting him one for his birthday and want to see what they have. Get a couple of different sizes down and have him try to ride them there on the isle. You'll be able to tell rather quickly which ones are way too small and which are way too big. Get the one that fits him best now with only a tiny bit of room to grow. He'll need that 20" around the time he's 8 or 9 probably.

More expensive bikes are nothing more than a status symbol at this age. It's not like he's going to go riding on long trips or for day long trips in the mountains. He doesn't need anything more than a normal kids bike.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We went to a bike shop when we bought my son's first bike. They told us that, for a little kid's bike, there is absolutely no difference in quality between a bike from a bike shop or one from Toys R Us or Target. So really, just pick a bike that you think looks nice and it will be fine. It's not until they are bigger and ready for gears that bike quality and design really matters.

Depending on his height, you'll want anywhere from a 16 - 20" (16 is pretty little for a six year old, so unless he's very small, 18 or 20 would be best). Since it's not a surprise, take him with you and find the best fit.

When he's starting out, lower the seat a bit more than usual to help him learn how to start pedaling.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you can find an 18" bike, that might be an easier transition from the push bike, provide the stability and confidence he needs (his feet will be flat on the ground if you lower the seat) but still grow with him for a couple of years.

Otherwise, you're looking at 20" Still doable, but will feel MUCH bigger than his current bike.

My son (also an ex-scoot bike rider... but went to pedals at 3), is 7 and has been on his 20" bike since 5 1/2. But it's still one of the bigger bikes among his neighborhood peer group. Many 6 and 7 year olds are still making it work with 16". It's a Schwinn from Target. Red with black trim. It has hand breaks AND a coaster break, so he can use whichever he's comfortable with. No gears. Kickstand. He LOVES it. It cost me around $150 I think, but honestly, it was a while ago.

Whatever you get him, but the seat all the way down and skip the training wheels. If he's used to the scoot bike, he'll have no problem balancing... he can scoot along without even putting his feet up for a while if he wants, or do a mix.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just go to Walmart, Target or Toys R Us and find a bike that is his size. Depending on how tall he is either an 18 or 20 inch would be good with training wheels. If he don't know how to ride without them. Be aware most bikes this size I don't think have a hand brake. my son's bikes did not.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My boys both have CCM.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband found a "no frills" pedal brake (is that coaster??) at Academy for $30. It is a Huffy. It is just gray and red with some detailing that looks like zig-zags.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I disagree with a lot of the other posters. There is a huge difference in bikes, especially weight. The bikes you get from TRU and Walmart are exceptionally heavy and difficult to maneuver.

Nice bike stores will sell higher-end brands like Specialized (that's what we buy) that are made of aluminum, so much lighter weight and super easy to maneuver.

We have owned both and I will only buy high-end bikes now. The quality difference is huge. Plus, I get two kids out of each bike, so it negates the price difference a bit. Also, my kids are on the smaller side, so the lighter weight bike is important for them.

Definitely check out both types and see if the weight issue is important to you!

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