Young girls will always remember that intoxicating feel of freedom as they make that initial ride around the neighborhood on their first big girls’ bike. I know I remember mine. As parents, we want our kids to have that same experience, but it’s a daunting task to choose a bike that girls will want to ride and provide safety at the same time. It’s tempting to buy cheap considering that kids grow so fast, but oftentimes cheap equals frustration and the bike could end up sitting in the garage. So if you have a girl who’s ready to get out of the child seat, we offer up are our picks for the best girls’ bikes of 2010 that both kids and parents will enjoy.
A quick note on sizing: girls’ bikes are sized by wheel size with 16, 20, and 24 inch wheels being the most popular. The 16 inch size is suitable for girls age 4-7 with a height range of 3’6″ to 4’0″. The 20 inch wheel size has an age range of 6-9 for heights of 4’0″ to 4’5″. Finally, the 24 inch wheel size is good for ages 9 and up with a height range of 4’5″ to 5’0″. For a more detailed description of sizing here’s a helpful article from Livestrong.com.
Schwinn Jasmine Girls’ Bike (16-Inch Wheels)
Pass on an American tradition to your girl with her first Schwinn bike. The Jasmine Girls’ Bike provides all the “girly” requirements without skimping on quality. Safety features include a locking bracket for the durable training wheels to ensure that they don’t slip out of place and a full top-wrap chain guard to keep pants and hanging cords free from entanglement. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this bike is that it provides both front and rear brakes in addition to the coaster brake. This helps young girls to practice with hand braking while still maintaining the safety of a coaster brake. The brake levers are made of metal (not plastic). With a low stand-over height, unicrown fork, double wide rims, and 3 inch wide tires, your girl will feel stable on the Schwinn Jasmine. Like most kids’ bikes, all of these features do add weight, so make sure this is the right fit or she could have trouble powering it. Comes with a handlebar bag and streamers.
The Schwinn Jasmine Girls’ Bike is sold on Amazon for $109.99.
Kawasaki KX16 Girls’ Bike
The Kawasaki KX16 is for the girl who isn’t much into the sparkles and frills that adorn most girls’ bikes and wants a bike more like the boys. This bike would make a great introduction to trail riding with it’s knobby tires and high BMX-style handlebars. Also includes a rear hand brake and coaster brake, full chain guard, and padded seat. The best feature about the Kawasaki KX16 is that it’s considerably lighter than other kids’ bikes, weighing in at an impressive 20 pounds. Comes with a handlebar bag and enclosed water bottle.
Sells for $84.99 on Amazon.
Diamondback Octane Jr Girls’ Mountain Bike (20-Inch Wheels)
Diamondback prides itself on making bikes that are meant to be ridden with high quality components and strong frames. Is your girl ready to be introduced to the wonderful world of shifting? The Diamondback Octane has a Shimano Revo 6-speed twist shifter with Shimano rear derailleur, which will aid in frustration-free shifting. With a 30mm front suspension fork, the Diamondback Octane is perfect for the beginning mountain biker. Other specs include a lightweight aluminum frame, alloy brake levers with reach adjustment, knobby 20″ tires, and alloy rims.
Electra Hawaii 1 20-Inch Girls’ Bike
If you’re looking for something a little less complex that your girl can spin around the neighborhood on or join in family bike rides, then a cruiser may be what she needs. Electra is an innovator in making high quality retro style cruiser bikes and have created a patented flat foot technology which allows the rider to place their feet flat on the ground while still maintaining proper leg extension while riding. This also allows for a wide range of adjustments to ensure a proper fit and a frame size that kids won’t soon outgrow. The Electra Hawaii is a Shimano single speed with a coaster brake, no shifting or brake levers required. The durable steel frame puts cruiser bikes on the heavy side, but they can withstand a lot of abuse. Features an ergonomic saddle with springs, chain guard, front and rear fenders, alloy rims, and Strat-O-Balloon whitewall tires.
The Electra Hawaii 1 20-Inch Girls’ Bike can be purchase on REI for $240.00.
Marin Hidden Canyon 20″ Girls’ Bike
The Marin Hidden Canyon Bike is another great choice that gives the option of riding both on and off road. Marin is a bicycle company from California who have built a strong presence in the mountain bike industry. The Canyon model for girls features an aluminum frame, 50 mm front suspension fork, Shimano Sram twist shifters, front and rear brakes with alloy brake levers, and knobby Kenda tires. With a double chainring and 7 speed cassette, the Marin Hidden Canyon offers up 14 gear combinations.
The 2010 model sells on REI for $309.00.
Novara Moxie 24” Bike
The 2010 Novara Moxie 24″ Bike is ready to take the adventurous girl anywhere for a full day of riding. Offering up a 21-speed drivetrain, a lightweight aluminum frame, and Shimano shifters, the Novara Moxie takes it to the next level. The front suspension fork provides for an impressive 80 mm of travel compression to absorb the rough terrain and help maintain control. Another cool feature is the rear moto-style fender and down tube deflector to keep her somewhat protected when it gets muddy. Unlike most kids’ bike, the front hub has a quick release lever which makes it easy for transport.
The 2010 Novara Moxie 24″ Girls’ Bike sells for $299.00 on REI.
Diamondback Della Cruz Girls’ Cruiser Bike (24-Inch Wheels)
If your girl’s ready to move beyond the appearance of a kids’ bike, but not big enough yet for a womens’ bike, then the Diamondback Della Cruz Cruiser Bike is a great choice. This 2010 paint scheme has a great retro look to it. Once again, Diamondback does not cut corners on quality with a steel frame and fat whitewall cruiser tires which lend for a sturdy, tank-like ride. Features a chain guard, fenders, spring saddle, and rust-proof aluminum rims. No shifting or hand braking on beach cruisers. A simple coaster brake is all that’s needed.
This 2010 model can be purchased on Amazon for $219.99.
Schwinn Midi Mesa 24″ Girls Mountain Bike
Schwinn has a long tradition of making quality bikes for kids. And they continue their dedication to creating a line of bikes for kids that parents can trust. The 2010 Schwinn Midi Mesa 24″ Mountain Bike is made with a Schwinn N’Litened Aluminum frame and their trail tuned geometry. Specs include a Suntour 50 mm front suspension fork, a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with a triple chainring, Shimano shifters, multi-use tires, and alloy rims.The MSRP on the Schwinn Midi Mesa is $359.99.
You can find the full line of 2010 Schwinn bikes here.