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Best Bikes for 8 to 11-Year-Olds of 2021

Updated
Let your kid saddle up with one of these best 24 inch bikes.

Bike buying can be confusing, especially when you’re looking for one for your child. You want to get one of the best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds, but you don’t know where to start. We can help you with that.

The most suitable bicycle for this age group is usually a 24-inch. But these are large, and it can be challenging to find one with child-friendly features.

Whether your pre-teen wants something fun or a little more grown-up, the best 24” kids’ bikes cater to all needs. We’ve put together for you a buyer’s guide and reviewed the eight best bikes in this category to give you some inspiration.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Raleigh Bikes Alysa 24 Kids Flat Bar Road Bike for Girls Youth 8-12 Years Old,...
Best Overall 24-Inch
Raleigh Alysa Kids’ Bike
  • Low standover frame
  • Excellent for commuting kids
  • Effortless speed control
Product Image of the RoyalBaby Kids Bike Boys Girls Freestyle BMX Bicycle With Kickstand Gifts for...
Best Brakes on a Bike
RoyalBaby Freestyle Bicycle
  • 95% pre-assembled
  • Water bottle holder
  • Unique seat
Product Image of the Guardian Ethos Safer Patented SureStop Brake System 24' Kids Bike, Black/Red
Best with Gears
Guardian Kids Bikes Ethos
  • Surestop technology
  • Sturdy frame
  • Easy to assemble
Product Image of the Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race Bike for Beginner or Returning Riders, Featuring...
Best BMX-Inspired
Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race Bike
  • Incredibly durable
  • Lightweight construction
  • Assembly is a breeze
Product Image of the Diamondback Bicycles Tess 24 Youth Girls 24' Wheel Mountain Bike, Blue
Best 24-Inch for Girls
Diamondback Bicycles Tess Girl
  • Perfect kid-sized mountain bike
  • Strong brakes
  • Durable hi-ten frame
Product Image of the Dynacraft Magna Kids Bike Boys 20 Inch Wheels in Black for Ages 6 Years and Up
Best 20-Inch for Boys
Dynacraft Magna Throttle BMX
  • Excellent for various riders
  • Rugged frame
  • Durable
Best Mountain Bike
Roadmaster 24
  • Great all-purpose bike
  • Alloy wheels
  • Easy-to-use gear
Product Image of the Schwinn Baywood Cruiser Bike, Featuring Steel Step-Through Frame and...
Best Cruiser Bike
Schwinn Girl's Cruiser Bike
  • Classic design
  • Eye-catching colors
  • Large fenders

How to Choose a Bike for a 8 to 11 Year Old

Bike Size

Size is the first and foremost point you need to consider when buying a bike for your child (1). It’s easy to think they’ll adapt, whether it’s too big or small. However, it doesn’t work that way.

Having a bike that’s too big can be intimidating for a child. They’re heavy and place the rider high above the ground. Too small, and your youngster won’t be able to ride efficiently, which can lead to frustrations and even body aches.

What determines the bike’s size is the wheel diameter. You’ll typically see standard wheel sizes like 18-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch. This can be confusing, as manufacturers don’t follow a uniform height despite the standard wheel size.

Frames can vary in size from brand to brand, so 24-inch bikes from different manufacturers may differ by up to 5 inches in height.

The typical best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds are the 24-inch sizes. If your kid is short, a 20-inch would be suitable as well, so we’ve got one on our list today too.

It’s essential to measure your child’s inseam and height to find the perfect fit. Use those statistics to compare different bicycles.

The height of the bike should be measured with the seat fully down. This will allow for growth, and the bike will be suitable for longer.

If the rider is still learning, go for a height that matches their inseam. For bikers with more experience, choose a height that’s approximately 2 to 3 inches higher than their inseam.

Watch The Toes

Assuming this isn’t your child’s first bike, their feet shouldn’t be able to touch the ground fully while seated. Once they’re confident riders, they should reach the ground with their toes. This allows for proper leg extension while pedaling.

Standover Height

When you purchase bikes in this size category, standover height is crucial. It indicates the height needed to stand over the top tube on the bike frame while not in the seat. There should be at least 1-inch clearance, if not 2 inches, between the frame and the rider’s crotch (2).

If there’s no gap, your child could get injured should they fall forward during an accident. It’s also a crucial feature to look for if your child wants to use the bike for racing as it allows for leaning when turning. Most kids’ bikes have a frame that’s slanted slightly downward toward the seat to aid this.

Not all manufacturers indicate the standover height. Because of this, we recommend you look through user reviews — many post pictures, giving you an idea of the fit.

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Child-Friendly Geometry

As opposed to small, beginner bikes, which focus on teaching, many 24-inch bikes cater to specific types of riders. There are still general use bikes at this size, but if your child wants to get into long-distance racing or is into rugged mountain biking, you must choose accordingly.

We recommend having a chat with your child to see how they intend to ride. If they want to go off-road or race, a cruiser bike won’t suit them. If they prefer leisure riding around the neighborhood, a BMX bike will be too uncomfortable.

If you’re in doubt, look at the handlebar’s height and the position it places the rider in. If it’s located below the hips, it will promote an “aggressive” posture, excellent for experienced riders who go fast.

If the handlebar is above the hips, it’s more laid-back, relaxed riding, great for kids who are still learning or just want to cruise.

Many of our best bike selections today are suitable for mixed activities. We also found bikes catering to specific needs such as mountain biking or BMX riding.

Type of Brakes

With 24-inch bikes, you can expect to encounter dual handbrakes, where the rider controls both brakes from the handlebar.

Some manufacturers also include coaster brakes, which are pedal-controlled. Most kids are capable of using both when they’re big enough for these bikes, so the question is which system to choose.

In general, there are two types — V-pull or disc brake. V-pull brakes are the norm in kids’ bikes, and those usually found on the least expensive ones.

They work using a system that puts pressure on the wheel when the brake is squeezed. There is a separate brake for each wheel.

If you go for the V-pull brakes, check that they’re child-friendly. Some kids’ bikes include levers that are difficult to reach for small hands or ones that are tight to pull.

An ideal V-pull brake sits just within reach of the rider’s hand, requiring only an extension of the fingers to activate.

Disc brakes are more mechanical and work better. They are, though, usually on the pricey side. Unless your child is into aggressive downhill riding, they don’t need this type of brake yet.

Two of the bikes on our list feature a unique braking system called SureStop. This is an innovation by the manufacturer Guardian Bikes. It’s controlled through one lever on the handle, which stops the rear wheel before the front, preventing head-over-handlebar accidents.

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Gears

Gears are a norm with 24-inch bikes, although some cruiser bikes come with a single-speed drivetrain (no gears). Having gears on the bicycle makes it easier to tackle various surfaces.

Shifters come in two variations — grip shifter or trigger. Grip shifters are best for kids as they’re a lot easier to keep track of. They work by twisting the handle to get into the correct gear. Some trigger shifts are on the handle, but many will be situated on the frame, especially on racing bikes.

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The Best Bikes for 8 to 11 Year-Olds of 2021

Here are the best 24-inch bikes on the market.

1. Raleigh Alysa 24-Inch Kids’ Bike

Best 24-Inch Kids’ Bike

This pick from Raleigh is a 24-inch bike designed for the long journeys your kiddo will embark on. With an aluminum frame, constructed as a low standover, the bike is suitable for kids aged 8 to 12.

Thanks to the aluminum material, it is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It works well as your child’s ride to school, and it even features seven gears, making long commutes a breeze.

Your child should enjoy riding the bike — Raleigh put a lot of emphasis on comfort. It’s suited with soft rubber grips and a road bike seat. The 24-inch wheels are 1.75 inches wide and ensure smooth rolling.

Why We Love It

Low Standover Frame

Your child might be ready for a bigger bike, but it’s still essential they can stand comfortably over the frame. Raleigh designed the Alysa with a low standover frame so your child can feel fully in control. It’s easy to get on and off for children between 53 and 61 inches tall.

Excellent for Commuting Kids

Having a comfy bike is the best encouragement for getting out on the road or trail. With seven gears, the Alysa is a great companion for long commutes to school or as the sidekick for the family weekend getaway.

The rider can switch between seven speeds using the included Shimano Reva shifter. It’s smooth to turn, even for kids who are still getting used to gears. The big comfy seat prevents sore bottoms, enabling the rider to go for longer.

Effortless Speed Control

Raleigh fitted the bike with Alloy V brakes. These are effortless to use and offer high precision control. It’s great for those fine adjustments to the speed as well as efficient stopping.

Smooth-Rolling Tires

This bike is a miniature replica of Raleigh’s adult version — it even has the same smooth-rolling tires as the bigger variant has. With the large, stable wheels, riding on the sidewalk or the trail is effortless.

Keep In Mind

No Chain Guard

The bike’s chain is exposed. It doesn’t feature a chain guard. Long skirts or loose pants could get caught while riding.

Additional Specs

Color Teal
Suitable for ages 8 to 12 years
Recommended height 53 to 61 inches
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight 22.1 pounds

2. RoyalBaby Freestyle Bicycle

Best Brakes on a Bike

A good quality set of brakes on a kid’s bike can make all the difference when it comes to safety. The front caliper brake and rear coaster brakes makes stopping safer and more efficient. There’s also a brake lever for added safety. It was designed to be really short so that most kids can easily press it to stop their bike, even if they have small, weak hands.

You should also note that this bike comes in seven different colors. Your child can choose their favorite! It’s also available in a variety of sizes, with or without training wheels or kickstands. Check out the chart to find the right size for your child.

Why We Love It

95% Pre-Assembled

This bike comes nearly fully assembled. So when it arrives, you hardly have to do any DIY before hitting the trails! However, it still comes with assembly instructions and the necessary tools.

Water Bottle Holder

The handy water bottle holder, located behind the seat, is a huge bonus. It’s important to stay hydrated while exercising, and this sturdy water bottle holder will keep a big bottle within reach during your whole cycle!

Unique Seat

This unique bike seat is super soft, and equipped with a handle, so it’s easy for parents to lift in and out the car. The seat is also adjustable to suit kids of different heights. Adjusting it is super easy, too, due to the quick release.

Keep In Mind

Heavy Bike

The bike is quite heavy. Coming in at over 34 pounds, it can be a bit of a challenge for smaller kids to get the bike going. Some parents said their child struggled to start pedaling as the bike was just too heavy for their little legs!

Cheap Tires

The tires aren’t of the highest quality. Customers described them as being cheap. They often deflated, and didn’t stay pumped up for long. Some customers also said the tires fell off the wheel. This issue isn’t ideal for long cycles around the park!

Additional Specs

Color Red, blue, fuschia, green, orange, pink and white
Suitable for ages 7 years and up
Recommended height 53.2 to 65 inches
Bike size 20 inches
Bike weight 34.55 pounds

3. Guardian Kids Bikes Ethos 24-Inch

Best 24-Inch Kids’ Bike with Gears

With a slightly heavier frame than the Original, the Ethos by Guardian Bikes is a great budget-friendly alternative. It features all the best from the famed Shark Tank brand such as SureStop brakes, easy assembly, and fun decals.

The bike is suitable for children between 8 and 12 years, ranging from 49 to 61 inches in height. The 24-inch bike comes with a seven-speed gear — suitable to use for daily commutes or long trips.

Due to the bike’s geometry, it’s stable, promoting a sound balance, excellent even for the child who’s still learning.

Like its lighter big brother, the Ethos comes 95 percent assembled. It requires minimal work on your side, and most parents said they finished the job within 30 minutes.

Why We Love It

SureStop Technology

With a single lever controlling the brakes for both the front and rear wheel, it’s easy to stop in no time. It’s efficient, proven to be more than 44 percent quicker than competitive bikes. The innovative system eliminates the chances for head-over-handlebar accidents.

Sturdy Frame

The Ethos is a bit heavier than the Original, weighing in at 26 pounds, but it’s sturdy. It’s made of a durable steel frame, capable of taking a few tumbles. Your child can ride it until they fully outgrow it, and it will still be fine for the younger sibling to inherit.

Excellent Kid-Friendly Geometry

Guardian Bikes constructed the Ethos specifically for kids — the geometry places the rider low, closer to the ground. The bike enhances their balance, giving them more confidence to ride.

Additionally, it features an extended wheelbase. This structure promotes stability, making the bike suitable for the experienced, or riders who are still learning.

Easy Assembling

One of the most common praises of this bike is how easy it is to assemble. It arrives 95 percent ready, leaving you to attach the front wheel and handlebar. Included are fun water-transfer decals your child can use to decorate the bike.

Keep In Mind

Gear Changes are Difficult

The bike comes with seven-speed gears. A few parents said their child wasn’t able to smoothly make gear changes. It’s a bit stiff and hard to turn for small hands.

Additional Specs

Color Black and red; black, blue and green; light blue and blue
Suitable for ages 8 to 12 years
Recommended height 49 to 61 inches
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight 26 pounds

4. Mongoose Title 24-Inch BMX Race Bike

Best BMX-Inspired Kids’ Bike

Designed to go fast over tough terrain, the Title 24 BMX race bike from Mongoose is great for adventure-seeking children. It’s a 24-inch bike, constructed with a tectonic T1 aluminum frame. The bike is lightweight yet highly durable.

Mongoose designed it with an integrated headset and internal cables running through the frame instead of hanging outside. The clean lines improve the bike’s safety, making it ideal for racing or tricks.

The bike will run smoothly across various surfaces, due to its large Arisub XLR8 tires. These sit on aluminum, double-wall rims from Xposure. As for the brakes, they’re a high-quality alloy V-brake with an easy-to-use lever for precise speed control.

Why We Love It

Incredibly Durable

For racing, the rider needs a durable bike that can tackle each jump with ease. That’s precisely what the Title can do. Everything is optimized for BMX riders, or those aspired to be.

The high-tensile handlebars that are connected by a sealed bearing enhance the steering. The rider can turn on a dime with minimal adjustments, perfect for racing.

Lightweight Construction

Another factor that enables the rider to maneuver the Title with ease is its lightweight construction. The frame itself weighs a mere 3.11 pounds — when fully assembled, it checks in at 25 pounds. The large 24-inch wheels are mounted on aluminum rims — they’re wide, aiding stability and balance.

Assembly is a Breeze

Many parents praise how easy the bike was to assemble. It comes pretty much ready to ride out of the box, with only minor components to attach.

Keep In Mind

Pedals are Plastic

A few reviewers pointed out the pedals are plastic. This isn’t as durable as other materials and caused a few parents to switch them out.

Squealing Brakes

Some parents noted the brakes squeal the first time you use the bike. It seems all they need is time to settle, and the noise will stop after a few rides.

Additional Specs

Color Blue or red
Suitable for ages Based on the recommended height, this bike may be best for ages 10 and 11, rather than 8 or 9.
Recommended height 63 to 68 inches
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight 25 pounds

5. Diamondback Bicycles Tess Girls 24-Inch

Best 24-Inch Girls’ Bike

For the girls who love hitting the trail, the Tess 24 works well. The 24-inch mountain bike is based on a sturdy steel frame, featuring all the essentials for an all-terrain bicycle.

Your adventurer can go fast for long with the 21-speed Shimano drivetrain. Thanks to the included suspension fork, jumps and bumps on the track are no problem for the bike. It’s also an ideal ride for a lap around the neighborhood or to school.

While on the road, the rider can stop in no time due to the strong brakes. Even down a steep hill, they can stop at any moment.

Suitable for children aged 8 to 12, the height range is from 53 to 62 inches tall.

Why We Love It

Perfect Kid-Sized Mountain Bike

If you’re a family who enjoys your weekend trips to the forest track, then this is a good bike. It enables your child to come with you, even when the trail becomes bumpy or there are steep hills to climb. Thanks to the 21-speeds, the rider can choose the best setting for each challenge.

Strong Brakes

When mountain biking, things can quickly get too fast when riding downhill. Your girl can feel secure knowing that the reliable brakes will allow her to stop at any time.

It’s an efficient dual-brake system, which includes two levers on each side of the handlebar. These control the braking of the front and rear wheel effectively.

Wide Tires

The 24-inch tires are wide and deep treaded — they’ll go through dirt and rocks while preserving optimal traction and stability. The tires also work well on smooth surfaces, so it’s great for the daily ride to school.

Durable Hi-Ten Frame

Hi-ten or high-tensile steel is incredibly durable and well suited for a miniature mountain bike. It’s flexible when compared to aluminum or usual steel. This allows the bike to adjust to the rider and terrain over time — however, it may need a tune-up after the first month of riding.

Keep In Mind

Chain Tends to Derail

A few parents pointed out that after a few rides, the chain started to derail often. This is relatively easy to fix though — a tune-up should sort it.

Additional Specs

Color Blue
Suitable for ages 8 to 12 years
Recommended height 53 to 62 inches
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight N/A

6. Dynacraft Magna Throttle Boys BMX Bike

Best 20-Inch Bike for Boys

For smaller boys in this age group who love speed or dirt bike riding, we recommend this BMX bike from Dynacraft. It’s a robust 20-inch bicycle, recommended for children aged 6 to 10 years, weighing up to 105 pounds.

Everything on the bike is optimized for comfort while on a rough track. It features a padded handlebar, a comfortable seat, and large wheels. It also comes with a kickstand for easy parking.

The bike is rather heavy, weighing in at 26.95 pounds, but it’s durable. Your boy can tackle the jumps on the track with ease while having optimal stability right from the gate.

Why We Love It

Excellent for Various Riders

Although it’s a BMX bike, the rider can also use it for street biking or going to school. The large deep-treaded tires provide maximum traction while on dirt or smooth surfaces. It’s even equipped with a padded saddle, making it comfortable to sit on.

Rugged Frame

The rugged steel frame, decked out in black, red, and white, gives the bike the essence of BMX. It’s durable and will safely support your child while pedaling or jumping on the track. The padded handlebar protects the rider, should they happen to fall forward.

Straightforward Assembly

Many parents praised how easy the bike was to assemble. It comes practically ready to ride. You only need to attach the pedals, front wheel, handlebar, and seat.

Keep In Mind

Holes In the Tubes

A few parents complained the tires kept losing air. It turns out there were holes in the tubes from the manufacturing process. This wasn’t an immediately noticeable issue as the company sealed the holes — it only became a concern after a few rides.

Dynacraft may have now rectified this problem. If not, it’s easy to fix by replacing the tubes.

Additional Specs

Color Black and red
Suitable for ages 6 to 10 years
Recommended height 48 to 53 inches
Bike size 20 inches
Bike weight 26.95 pounds

7. Roadmaster 24-Inch Granite Peak Mountain Bike

Best 24-Inch Girls’ Mountain Bike

For the girls who love an all-terrain bike, we recommend the Granite Peak from Roadmaster. It’s a mountain bike with 24-inch wheels and suitable for girls aged 8 and up.

Any surface, whether smooth or rugged, is a breeze on this bike. Its tires are wide and feature knobby treading throughout, providing ample grip on uneven trails.

The steel mountain bike frame has a front fork suspension, so the rider will feel in full control as it evens out each bump. Additionally, it’s fitted with an 18-speed twist gear and Shimano rear derailleur, maximizing the performance.

Why We Love It

Great All-Purpose Bike

Whether your daughter enjoys the rugged tracks of the forest or she rides to school every morning, she’ll love this. It’s an all-purpose bike, capable of going on smooth roads or uneven trails. The large wheels provide a soft ride, and the gears allow her to adjust to the surroundings for optimal comfort and speed.

Durable Frame

The bike is based on a durable steel frame, capable of taking a tumble or two. The wide tires sit on sturdy alloy rims, aiding stability. It’s easy to turn and maneuver, even for riders who are still learning.

Easy-To-Use Gear

Although gears are a norm on 24-inch bikes, not all riders are equally experienced with them. The 18-speeds on the Granite Peak are easy to use, however. It’s a simple twist shifter, allowing the rider to change gears smoothly when needed.

Keep In Mind

Difficult Assembly

The assembly isn’t as easy as hoped. Many reviewers said they had to take it to a local bike shop. Some do complain of a missing clamp for the seat, which is something to watch out for.

Additional Specs

Color White
Suitable for ages 8 years and up
Recommended height 57 to 67 inches
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight N/A

8. Schwinn 24-Inch Girl's Cruiser Bike

Best 24-Inch Cruiser Bike

With a classic cruiser look and one-speed drivetrain, this bike from Schwinn is ideal for pre-teen girls. It works perfectly for neighborhood rides with her friends or to school.

The cruiser bike features a step-through frame, and the front fork promotes a comfortable, upright position. With the wide, padded seat to smooth out the ride, your child will love this bicycle.

It sports a fun, eye-catching teal color with white-wall tires and pink rims.

The bike doesn’t have a handbrake and instead features a coaster brake. It stops with ease, and there’s no worry about head-over-handlebar accidents.

Why We Love It

A Great Take on a Classic Design

Cruiser bikes are a bit nostalgic — the design reminds most of us of our childhood bicycles. They’re perfect for laid-back riders who enjoy having a comfortable seat to sit on when going from point A to B. The low frame also helps the rider to get on and off with ease.

Eye-Catching Colors

Schwinn is known for creating child-friendly bikes, and this one is especially eye-catching. The bright teal color is complemented perfectly with white-wall tires and pink rims. Even the saddle looks retro-chic, sporting a white base color with pink details.

You can choose to add a matching bell and basket, but these are sold separately.

Large Fenders

Apart from being stylish, the large fenders help to keep road dirt and stones at bay. They extend across nearly half of the wheel, providing ample protection for the rider.

Keep In Mind

Tubes Come with Holes

A few reviewers said the tubes had holes in them. This caused the tires to deflate pretty quickly when riding. It’s an easy fix by purchasing a new set of tubes, though.

Heavy Bike

Cruiser bikes, in general, are considerably heavier than BMX or mountain bikes. This one weighs a hefty 31 pounds, which many parents thought was excessive.

Additional Specs

Color Teal
Suitable for ages 8 years and up
Recommended height N/A
Bike size 24 inches
Bike weight 31 pounds

8 To 11 Year Old Bike Comparison Chart

Product Best Color Suitable for ages Recommended height Bike size Bike weight
Raleigh Alysa Kids’ Bike 24-Inch Kids’ Bike Teal 8 – 12 yrs 53 – 61″ 24″ 22.1 lbs
RoyalBaby Freestyle Bicycle Brakes on a Bike 7 colors 7 yrs and up 53.2 – 65″ 20″ 34.55 lbs
Guardian Kids Bikes Ethos With Gears 3 colors 8 – 12 yrs 49 – 61″ 24″ 26 lbs
Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race Bike BMX-Inspired Blue or red 10 – 11 yrs 63 – 68″ 24″ 25 lbs
Diamondback Bicycles Tess Girl 24-Inch Bike for Girls Blue 8 – 12 yrs 53 – 62″ 24″ N/A
Dynacraft Magna Throttle BMX 20-Inch Bike for Boys Black & red 6 – 10 yrs 48 – 53″ 20″ 26.95 lbs
Roadmaster 24 Mountain Bike White 8 yrs and up 57 – 67″ 24″ N/A
Schwinn Girl’s Cruiser Bike Cruiser Bike Teal 8 yrs and up N/A 24″ 31 lbs

The Takeaway

When looking for the best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds, remember to use your child’s height and inseam as a guide when searching for the perfect fit. For this age range, the best size is a 24-inch — this will allow for growth while still being kid-friendly.

Look for a bike that’s suitable for your child’s interest, such as a mountain bike or BMX if they enjoy off-road rides. Ensure that it’s fitted with proper brakes and has the right amount of gears for the rider’s needs.

Headshot of Shannon Serpette

Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor, who regularly contributes to various newspapers, magazines, and websites. Shannon has been featured on Insider, Fatherly, SheKnows, and other high profile publications. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.

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