Children’s bike test – which size brand is best?

Children usually love to ride a bike. Small children feel like really big with their first bike, for older children the bike is a piece of independence and individuality. But especially in times when discounters offer cheap children’s bikes, parents are often unsure how to find the ideal bike for their child.

Caution: toxins in handles on many cheap children’s bikes!

Because a good children’s bike must meet many criteria. It should be stable, safe and durable, but also fit in size and structure to the child’s physique. Parents who are overwhelmed with the abundance of offers can take a look on the Test winners of various comparisons of children’s bicycles help in their decision. These models perform significantly better than the competition in tests and can therefore be shortlisted.

Tests by the Stiftung Warentest (5/2005) and ÖkoTest (1/2010) found dangerous ingredients in most children’s bicycles, including found in the plastic of the handles.

Quality characteristics of bicycles for children

When testing children’s bikes, they have to withstand a few criteria. Even before driving, the visual impression and the screw connection of the wheel are checked. The individual elements must be processed safely and firmly so that the bike rides stable and safe. This also applies to attached parts such as the luggage rack. With low-priced models, this is often screwed unstably. If there is a heavy load from a schoolbag or a child traveling with you, it can break off in an emergency.

The weight of the game bikes also plays a role in test reports. A certain weight stands for the quality of the processed material, but the child should be able to lift the bike without suffering physical damage. In laboratory tests, the durability of children’s bicycles is also maximized. Poor quality models can tear the frame after only 1000 to 2000 kilometers and are therefore hardly worth their money.

Another test criterion for children’s bikes is driving safety. The steering and brakes are extensively checked for this. A high-quality children’s bike must not overturn when braking hard and should be safe to steer.

A very important criterion are the ingredients that are in the handles, among other things. In tests by Stiftung Warentest and ÖkoTest, dangerous plasticizers and other toxins were found in many children’s bicycles, which can disrupt the hormone balance of the child test. The Puky model scored the most in the Stiftung Warentest test (5/2005).

Which bike is right for my child?

In addition to the quality features that are examined in product tests, there are other criteria that parents should consider when buying a children’s bike. In addition to the quality, the size of the bike plays the most important role in the purchase decision. A wheel that is too big can make it difficult to learn to ride a bicycle and can make the child unsure. The right size is also important for safety reasons. To classify the size of the wheel, the diameter of the tire is given in inches. Common sizes for children’s bikes are the dimensions from 12 to 24 inches.

The right size for the children’s bike:

  • Children size 80 cm – 100 cm: 12 inches children Bicycle
  • Children size 90 cm – 110 cm: 14 inches children Bicycle
  • Children size 100 cm – 120 cm: 16 inches children Bicycle
  • Children size 110 cm – 130 cm: 18 inches children Bicycle
  • Children size 120 cm – 140 cm: 20 inch children Bicycle
  • Children size 130 cm – 145 cm: 22 inches children Bicycle
  • Children size 145 cm – 165 cm: 24 inches children Bicycle

The size of the child is assigned to the bike size by determining the body size, but also the stride length. The smallest model, a 12 inch children’s bike, for example, is recommended for a body size of 90 to 105cm and a stride length of 36 to 43cm. This usually corresponds to an age of two or three years. Furthermore, the frame height of the bike is also an important factor because the child should be able to get on and off the bike independently. If the child is sitting on the saddle, the feet should still touch the ground.

A bike that is too big is worse than a bike that is too small. Of course the child grows in over time, but which child would like to wait a few months for the bike at last can be used safely. The height of the saddle and handlebar can often be adjusted to the child’s growth. Thus, a children’s bike can usually be used for 2-4 years.

Well-known manufacturer of game bikes

When looking for a children’s bike, there are many cheap models from unknown manufacturers. But the name of a manufacturer that has been in business for years usually stands for a certain quality. For parents, this can be a feature that contributes to the decision. Well-known manufacturers of children’s bicycles include:

Children’s bike test winner & recommendations

In its 5/2005 issue, Stiftung Warentest recently compared leading manufacturers of children’s bicycles in a large test. The result was disappointing because none of the bikes tested received a good rating. However, the manufacturer PUKY impressed with driving safety and comfort. PUKY also always gets one of the best ratings in test reports from other companies. As the company specializes in the construction of children’s bicycles, this success is not surprising. The market leader places the highest demands on its own quality and builds safe children’s bikes with the latest technology and a long tradition.

Also at ÖkoTest (1/2010) 9 play bikes have been tested. Many have also noticed here due to poor quality and dangerous ingredients. The test winner was the children’s bike with a grade of 1.1 Puky ZL 18 Alu. It convinces with stability, child-friendly brakes, easy entry and harmless ingredients.

Recommendation: Children’s bike models from Puky were able to convince in two independent tests. Of course, not all sizes have been tested, but one can assume that the quality is also good with other bike sizes from Puky. Therefore, our recommendation to buy a children’s bike of the Puky brand is the right size. There are also beautiful models for girls and boys in terms of design.

Children’s bike safety and accessories

A children’s bike is a great gift for the child, but with all the joy, safety should not be left behind. A bicycle helmet is the bare minimum. A safety bicycle pennant draws attention to the child in traffic and can effectively prevent car accidents.

  • Bicycle helmet – an absolute must!
  • Safety pennants – are seen by drivers.
  • Children’s hand, knee, elbow protectors – only for learning to use
  • Bicycle learning aid bar – This gives parents a good grip on the bicycle
  • Training wheels – According to experts, not optimally learning to ride a bike.
  • Handlebar basket – so that everything can be taken with you.
  • Bicycle Horn – Much funnier than a normal bell
  • Tandem bar – connect children’s festival with parent bike

If you have already practiced balance with a balance bike in front of the children’s bike, it is usually hardly necessary to learn to ride a bike. If no vehicle has been experimented with before, there are some tools that can help.


Before buying a children’s bike, important criteria such as tire size and driving safety should be considered. Test reports show that it is worth investing in a high-quality children’s bike. Cheap models can usually not convince with stability, durability and security. Children should not be expected to break bike frames, brakes that do not work properly and dangerous ingredients.
Have fun on the first family bike tour


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Christina Cherry
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