Kids Bikes: Ratings of Sources
Experienced cyclists started Two-Wheeling Tots to review kids' balance and pedal bikes when they noticed most parents had little basis for comparison between models. Reviews are balanced, comparative and thorough, and the site includes charts that let parents see essential information at a glance. The site also has buying guides and reviews of bike trailers, helmets and other gear.
The International Bicycle Fund, an independent nonprofit, has a range of educational articles on its website including a thorough guide to buying kids' bikes. It includes a size guide that recommends bikes based on age, height and inseam and breaks down other features to look for and test when choosing a bike.
IceBike.org is run by cycling enthusiasts. It includes educational articles on cycling and bicycle reviews for adults. The helpful guide to kids' bikes breaks down ages, sizes and types of bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes and BMX bikes).
As one of the largest online retailers in the U.S. with a long-standing tradition of collecting user reviews, Amazon.com offers a wealth of user feedback on current and popular kids' bikes. We were able to find numerous reviews of most bikes covered in this report. Amazon user reviews are useful for anecdotal information about bikes and for gathering consensus about a bike's overall performance and durability.
ToysRUs.com has a range of parent reviews for popular, less expensive young' kids' bikes. Reviewers rate products on a five-star scale and note pros and cons, but reviews are typically much less informative than many of those on Amazon.com.
Target.com is a popular destination for parents purchasing kids' bikes. It sells fewer bikes than Amazon.com and ToysRUs.com, and there are fewer reviews overall. But user feedback tends to be detailed and helpful.
Outdoor gear retailer REI.com sells a smaller collection of kids' bikes than the other retailers listed here, but the reviews are helpful for parents who want a higher-end model than what's typically available at big-box retailers.
Mills' roundup of 14 popular balance bikes doesn't appear to include first-hand testing of every model. Each blurb is a helpful summary of standout features for the included models, but Mills does not note any cons or compare bikes.
Though it appears a bit dated, this New York Times roundup on balance bikes includes an expert opinion on the five included models, most of which are still available for purchase.