Buying a 24″ bike for your kids can sometimes turn into a decision-making nightmare. You’ll probably be asking questions like;
What age is a 24″ bike for?
Does it suit my kid’s height?
What’s the best 24″ bike out there?
…and many more.
You’d probably noticed that these bikes come in various types of configurations such as different frame materials, number of gears, tire types, brakes, and even different frame geometries.
Here are some of the important things about 24″ kids bike to know :
- For kids aged at least 7 and above or with an inseam of 24″ and above.
- Bike frame can be steel (cheaper, heavier) or aluminum (more expensive, lighter).
- Enough low gearing to tackle the hills around your neighborhood.
I’ll discuss each of them, and more in detail in the buying guide section, and hopefully, you’ll get a clearer picture of what you should be looking for.
A Quick Glance : Our Favorite 24″ Kids Bikes
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24" Kids Bikes Buying Guide
From experience, I’ve seen parents being overwhelmed by lots of information when it comes to buying bikes for their kids.
Well, it’s a lot of info to digest but it shouldn’t be that complicated.
In this section below, I’ve covered the 5 important things to look out for before you buy. Going through the sections below will give you a clearer idea of what to expect.
If you want a more detailed guide, you can read my kid’s bike guide which will cover each of the topics below in depth.
1. Suitable for Kids Aged 7+
24″ bikes are the last bike size before stepping into adult bike size territory. Generally the minimum age for 24″ bikes is at least 7 years old.
From my own experience and observation, kids usually start riding 24″ bikes when they’re 8, 9, or sometimes 10 years old. It’s inaccurate to size the kids just based on their age as kids of the same age might not have the same height.
A more accurate method is to measure their inseam.
But, what’s an inseam?
Inseam is the length measured from the crotch to the floor of a child who is standing with both feet flat on the ground.
Here’s a quick way to measure your child’s inseam.
- Stand with the back flat against the wall, feet close together.
- Put a book between the legs, push it up so that it’s touching the crotch.
- Hold the book while the child moves forward and away.
- Measure the distance between the floor and the top of the book.
The ideal inseam measurement for a 24″ bike is between 24″ and 28″.
If your child falls outside of this range, you might want to consider either sizing up or down a size for them.
Read More : 6 Tips to Teach A Child to Ride A Bike
2. Bike Frame Made from Steel or Aluminum
The majority of 24″ kids bikes are main of either steel or aluminum. There are some exceptions where they’re made of carbon, but those will cost you a lot of money.
Steel is a very durable, reliable material, and more importantly, affordable material to build a bike frame. The downside is, it’s heavy.
On the other hand, aluminum offers the same durability yet is a lot lighter and more expensive. Bikes like the Cannondale Quick 24 and Prevelo Alpha 4 are among the lightest 24″ bikes, but they come with a heavier price tag.
In short, be prepared to pay more if you’re after a lighter bike.
3. Enough Gears for Flats and Hills
Shimano and SRAM are the two most common gear manufacturers seen in 24″ bikes.
Since 24″ are now bigger bikes, they come with various gear configurations. Some of the bikes such as Co-op Rev 24 and Cannondale Quick will come with 7-speed gearing, while others can have up to 21 gears with 3 front chainrings.
For example, if the bike has 2 front chainrings and 7 rear cogs, there will be a total of 14 available gears. The wider the gearing range, the more versatile the bike is.
You might also start noticing that manufacturers specifying the gear ratio in terms of 11-28T or 11-34T.
What does this mean?
11T represents 11 teeth at the rear cog, which indicates a very high gear which is ideal for cruising along flat roads.
28T represents a very low gear, which is useful for the hills. The steeper the hill is, the lower the gears needed, which is why some bikes such as the Prevelo Alpha 4 comes with a 34T rear cassette.
Read More :
4. Front and Rear Brakes
You’ll notice that every 24″ bikes now come with brakes. And there’s really no surprise here.
However, what differs is the type of brakes.
5. Tires Sizes from 1.5" to 1.9" Wide
Almost all 24″ bikes come with tires that require air pressure and thus are vulnerable to punctures.
So, it’s about time that you consider learning how to change an inner tube yourself and teaching your kids how to do them too.
You’ll notice that the tires come in various sizes, typically from 1.5″ to 1.9″ wide.
The wider the tire size, the more comfortable the ride will be as you’ll be running a lower air pressure due to the larger tire volume.
Favorite 24" Bike
Guardian Ethos 24
Guardian puts out two lines of kids bikes; the Original and the Ethos with the former being the company’s high-end line. The main difference lies in the drivetrain and frame.
The Ethos is fitted with Shimano 7-speed shifting, giving it a high level of performance. Other upgrades include smooth welding, which improves looks by eliminating the weld seams and strength with the addition of reinforced joints.
The remainder of the bike features all the kid-friendly design features that are present in all of Guardian’s bikes. This includes shorter reach on the handbrakes, a lightweight aluminum frame, and geometry tweaks that include smaller grips, shorter crank arms, and a lower center of gravity.
Understanding that kids can be rough on bikes, Guardian goes with double-walled rims, which resist bends and dents. And, of course, the Ethos also features cool graphics, which come in three different color schemes.
- Pros : 7-speed drivetrain allows the kid to ride over multi terrains.
- Cons : No disc brakes.
Value for Money Pick
Co-op Cycles Rev 24
It’s hard to justify spending a lot of money on a kid’s bike when you know they’re just going to grow out of it. Co-op, the bike brand of outdoor outfitting company REI, knows this.
That’s why they came up with the 24” Rev 24, a single-track ready bike at a very affordable price. While the REV 24 may lack some of the accouterments of a full-sized mountain bike, most notably a suspension, it has everything else including mechanical disc brakes and 2.6” knobby tires.
The Rev 24 also offers reliable shifting with a full Shimano Tourney 1×7 drivetrain.
- Pros : Disc brakes provide reliable braking in all conditions.
- Cons : Limited and boring color choices.
24" Bikes for Mountain Biking
Trek Precaliber 24
Trek’s Precaliber 24 offers versatility for your growing cyclist. This bike is at home on rides around the block or adventures on the local MTB trails.
An aluminum frame keeps the Precaliber at a weight that’s easy for smaller bodies to maneuver while a dropped top tube makes entrances and exits into and out of the cockpit safe and easy.
A modest front fork with 45mm of travel and knobby Bontrager XR1 tires supply enough shock absorption and traction for aggressive off-road riding on hard-packed singletrack.
A full Shimano 8-speed drivetrain keeps pedaling easy on those big hills in the neighborhood.
- Pros : Front suspension allows for aggressive off-road riding.
- Cons : Expect to pay slightly more.
Salsa Timberjack 24 Plus
The Salsa Timberjack includes plenty of features for serious off road riding to suit young adventurers.
Let’s begin with that radical-looking top tube, which looks like a tree fell on the aptly named Timberjack. This curve is actually intended to promote maneuverability by creating a sharper head tube angle while keeping the top tube low for easy mounting and dismounting.
The Salsa Timberjack is an impressive 1×8 system with full Shimano components. Massive 3” tires provide plenty of grips and shock absorption, making up for the lack of a suspension.
- Pros : Massive 3” tires provide plenty of grips and shock absorption, making up for the lack of a suspension.
- Cons : Heavy.
Cannondale Cujo 24
Looking for that first single-track bike for your child? Cannondale’s Cujo 24 is an excellent option.
With frame geometry designed for stability and maneuverability, the Cannondale Cujo 24 is ready to take on rugged off-road terrain. An aluminum frame keeps this bike light for easier maneuverability through singletrack.
Gearing covers a broad range with a 1×8 Shimano Tourney drivetrain and 11-34T gearing. The Cujo may lack a suspension system, but who needs one when the plus-size tires are 2.6” wide.
This bike is also fitted with smaller brake levers and twists brakes to accommodate smaller hands.
- Pros : Frame geometry aimed towards stability and easy maneuverability.
- Cons : Expect to pay more for a reputable brand.
Lightweight 24" Bikes
Early Rider Works 24
Not a little kid any but not yet an adult. That pretty much characterizes a 24” bike. And, with that in mind, Early Rider, a company that specializes in making kids bikes that teach kids how to be good bike riders.
The 24” is an upgrade from the 20” with a drivetrain that resembles a full-sized bike. This includes a 1×11 SRAM GX drivetrain with a cassette range of 10-42T. That’s not too far off from the 1x drivetrains that are becoming ubiquitous on adult mountain bikes.
Other features include a front suspension with 100mm of travel and hydraulic disc brakes. It’s safe to say that this is an excellent bike for getting your child off the road and onto some technical singletrack.
- Pros : Lightweight and equipped with top-of-the-line components.
- Cons : Expect to pay a higher premium over other models.
Prevelo Alpha 4
The Prevelo Alpha 4 certainly doesn’t come cheap. If you look closely at this bike, you’ll soon realize it screams quality right from the start.
The frame is made of a higher grade 6061 aluminum, which makes it even lighter than most aluminum frames out there. And it doesn’t stop here.
Gearing wise, the Shimano 8-speed drivetrain with an 11-34T gear range will ensure your child gets over the steepest climbs around the neighborhood. While not having a front suspension, this is compensated by 1.5″ wide tires which will help smoothen out the uneven surfaces for a more comfortable ride.
Even though Alpha Four is a bit pricier bike, it’s worth every dollar it costs.
- Pros : Sleek and modern-looking aluminum frame design and colors.
- Cons : No disc brakes for the selling price.
Cannondale Quick 24
Cannondale is a very well-known bike manufacturer and they provide incredible quality which is highly visible in their Quick 24 bike.
This bike is based upon Cannondale’s lightweight SmartForm C2 alloy frame and fork that is designed for riding over any type of terrain. Throw in the 1.5″ wide Kenda tires, the ride becomes more comfortable.
The drivetrain is powered by a 7-speed Shimano gear system, controlled by a grip shifter. With its 11-28T gearing range, you’d be sure your kid will cover both flat and hilly terrains without any problem.
If you’re after a lightweight bike, the Cannondale makes a great choice.
- Pros : Cannondale’s alloy frame is renowned for its workmanship and comfort.
- Cons : No front suspension nor disc brakes for the price.