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Best 16-inch BMX Bikes for Kids in 2021

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KEY
POINTS

  • Freestyle riding BMX bikes are perfect for kids who want to ride in skate parks, bike jumps, and pump tracks.
  • 16″ BMX bikes are a good fit for children between 3’7″ and 4’6″.
  • 16-inch freestyle BMXs weigh between 15 lbs. and 23 lbs.
  • On average parents spend around $250 for a BMX.

We’ve spent more than 20 hours researching many BMX bikes to put together this list of the very best 16″ BMX bikes for kids. If you want a reliable, cool-looking, and affordable ride, get the Mongoose Legion L16 ( Link to Amazon ). It’s a very comfortable, steel BMX bike for kids that measure up to 3-feet; 6-inches. But we also have recommendations if you need a BMX bike with training wheels or maybe something more customizable.


-Best Overall-

Mongoose Legion L16


  • Comes in 7 hot colors
  • Solid steel frame
  • Rigid suspension
  • Affordably priced

Kids just want to have fun, and if yours measures up to 3-feet; 6-inches, he can experience the geometry and feel of an adult BMX, and you won’t have to empty the family bank account to see the thrill on his face when you wheel this cool bike in. Featuring a durable high-tensile steel frame with a 15.3-inch top tube length, quality is the name of the game.

The drivetrain’s 130mm one-piece crank plus 25T alloy chainring and loose ball bearing bottom bracket promise dependability and stability in addition to the Hi-Ten steel handlebar and fork. Aluminum U brakes deliver on stopping power, and 2.3-inch wide tires mounted on aluminum single-wall rims give kids the BMX ride of a lifetime.


-Simple, Cheap, Reliable-

Huffy Kids Bikes 16


  • Eclectic color choices
  • Coaster-style brake
  • Dense steel frame
  • Quick-release saddle

This colorful Huffy bike is as trendy as it is strong and hefty. Featuring rigid suspension and ideally suited to kids between the ages of 4 and 6 (height: 42- to 48-inches), your wild child can have all the growth spurts Mother Nature intends since the saddle quick release mechanism makes height adjustments a breeze.

Decorated with bold racing graphics on the chain guard, the padded seat delivers comfort, while the rear coaster brakes are so easy to master, any child can learn to pedal back to stop fast. The frame is so sturdy, it’s backed by Huffy’s limited lifetime warranty, so when he’s ready to move on to a bigger ride, the pass-along value keeps going, no matter how many kids there are in the family!


-Safe and Fully-Equipped-

RoyalBaby Kids Bike BMX 16


  • Comes with kickstand and training wheels
  • Available in 7 vivid colors
  • Fitted with caliper and coaster brake
  • Crafted of high-quality steel

Parents needn’t lose sleep over assembling this awesome bike because 95-percent is pre-built, so all you do is follow instructions and use tools (included) to finish the job. The RoyalBaby brand is all about safety in addition to styling, so both contribute to this bike’s popularity. Safety grips, front caliper, and rear coaster brakes, plus an exclusive brake lever system, provide the efficient stopping power parents seek.

The 2.4-inch pneumatic tires produce smoother rides, and pedals crafted of non-slip resin produce sure-footed stops, but factors that win kids’ hearts are the designs, patterns, and colors. The soft seat’s handle feature allows you to guide your child until he’s ready for you to let go, though the modest price tag could be the factor that seals the deal for you.


-Jack of All Trades-

Haro Downtown 16


  • Freestyle Hi-ten steel frame and fork
  • Integrated head tube and seat clamp
  • 7-inch handlebars; Haro 1978 alloy stem
  • Fully-padded adjustable seat.

Don’t be disappointed if you find that this bike has sold out. Keep looking. You’ll be rewarded, say brand fans who wouldn’t let their kids ride another bike brand. Kids between the ages of 5 and 7 — and between 3-feet; 6-inches and 3-feet; 10-inches – will enjoy a perfect fit and you’ll like knowing that the 25/9 gearing system with sealed bearing 9T driver is solid and reliable.

From Haro’s signature padded, fully-adjustable seat to Kenda Kontact 2.5-inch wide tires, this bike’s stopping power is courtesy of the Tektro Alloy 990 U-Brake system that is controlled by the Haro 78 alloy hinged-brake lever. You’ll spend a few more dollars on this bike than you would for a competitor’s model, but given this brand’s pedigree, that may not factor into your buying decision.


-Most Affordable BMX-

16-inch Huffy Kinetic Kids Bike


  • Comes with removable training wheels
  • Gets high ratings from shoppers
  • Solid steel construction
  • Front hand and rear coaster brake

At under $100, this hot yellow ride is the one you want if your kid is a speed demon and you’re short on cash because you couldn’t lose sight of her on this yellow bike if you tried. Fast assembly (all you need is an adjustable wrench) is music to parents’ ears who are short on mechanical skills and time. Designed for kids ages 4 to 6 (between 42- and 48-inches tall), you’ll know when it’s time to remove those training wheels.

Stable and safe, the padded seat and chainguard embellished with racing graphics grab attention, and since the handlebar is designed to protect little hands, her feet will likely run out of steam before her shoulders do! Engineered for beginning riders, this durable steel Huffy bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so bring on the abuse. This Huffy won’t disappoint.


-Amazing Look, Great Parts-

Redline Proline Pitboss


  • BMX racetrack ready
  • Lightweight aluminum frame; integrated headtube
  • Reasonably priced
  • Euro bottom bracket stands up to abuse.

For the post-toddler who has shown his willingness to take a risk or two, the style of this Proline Pitboss could compel parents to choose it over more frivolous and juvenile-looking models. Built to conquer track, trails, and streets, this black Pitboss is one versatile bike featuring serious geometry and features a 6061 T6 alloy frame plus Kenda Kontact tires.

Unlike other BMX bikes described in this review, this Redline has the widest sizing expanse of all, so your kid can grow like a weed, and as long as his height remains between 4-feet; 2-inches and 5-feet; 1-inch, you don’t have to retire this model and pony up for a new bike. Lightweight but solid, parents can count on the Tektro 926AL linear braking system and Tektro brake lever to bring this bad boy to a fast stop.


-Most Customisable Ride-

Co-op Cycles REV 16 Kids’ Bike


  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Comes with training wheels
  • Fork, handlebar, stem, chain, headset, and seat post are steel
  • Weighs less than all-steel models.

The REV 16 comes in blue or red and has no shortage of features, including removable training wheels and low stand-over height, both of which are likely to impress parents. But kids are drawn to the free stickers that customize the bike so it morphs into a true original. The sturdy, light aluminum frame gets high marks because it’s easier to handle than heavier steel products.

This REV 16-incher can handle 80 pounds of kid bodyweight and gear before your child outgrows it. The rear coaster brake and Kenda Kontact tires are top-notch but ask yourself whether you should permit your little one to go wild using what Co-op describes as a “Sticker pack [that] includes tons of letters and fun designs.” That depends upon whether you plan to donate or pass it along down the road, Mom and Dad!


-Comfortable and Zippy-

Cult Juvenile 16-inch


  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Caliper brakes with welded brake mounts
  • 2.3-inch Cult brand tires
  • Original owner warranty.

Don’t let the brand name scare you: You don’t have to join a secret society to ride a Cult Juvenile. Specifically designed for the smaller rider who is just starting to discover the pleasures of a BMX-style ride, this model features traditional BMX geometry with a unique Euro flair and a serious attitude.

Longevity is one of the reasons parents love this product because this 16-incher is engineered with solid parts known for their aftermarket quality. From the padded saddle featuring the distinct Cult logo to the 990 U-brake system, this BMX bike is for the kid whose idea of a good time is pure excitement – the kid who has no need to add decals because it’s performance and control they crave.


A Gateway to Serious Freestyle-

Fit 16 Misfit


  • Made for kids ages 5- to 8-years-old (3-feet to 3-feet; 6-inches)
  • Lightweight Chromoly top & down tubes
  • Sealed rear cassette hub
  • Responsive Odyssey Springfield brake system.

The 2021 Misfit 16-inch BMX-style bike is so popular that it sells out quickly online in either color option. Do some digging, and you’ll likely find a retail store that stocks the chrome or navy blue model or both. The Misfit’s Odyssey Springfield braking system features a linear cable for added stopping power, and hefty 2.25-inch wide FIT OEM tires are ready to go the distance.

Both the frame and down tubes are fashioned of TT Cro-Mo, and the fork is made of a new 31mm Offset Cro-Mo, too. The two-piece handlebar measures 24-inches to help kids develop balance as they master the ride, and the seat design has been updated: it’s now a flatter/more padded integrated combo so riders can keep going until you insist they come in for dinner.


-Amazing Freestyler-

Sunday Primer 16-inch 2021


  • 16-inch pro-style geometry
  • Odyssey Springfield brake system
  • 40mm top load stem; FSA headset
  • Sunday-brand frame, fork and handlebar.

According to Sunday, this is the ride kids with tricks up their sleeves covet, so if that’s your kid, you can stop reading now. Scaled down to fit younger, smaller BMXers, that doesn’t mean it’s a wimpy ride. This 2021 Primer is relatively light; aluminum components include the stem, rims, and aluminum brake lever. Fitted with 2.1-inch wide Sunday Current tires, this bike isn’t for kids who are too scared to go big!

Additional pro-level features include the sealed cassette rear wheel and bottom bracket plus 3-piece Chromoly cranks. As long as your kid stands between 3-feet, 2-inches, and 4-feet tall, he’s good to go. This model isn’t hard to find, and it could make you the coolest parent on the block the moment it arrives.


If your child has outgrown his 14-inch BMX, does that mean he’s ready for a 16-incher? Probably, say professionals at RascalRides.com. Depending upon your child’s development, this size is best suited for children ages 5 to 8 years old. But the Rascals say that using age isn’t the best way to assess a proper bike size.

Related: 10 Best Indoor BMX Parks in the US

“An even better indicator of appropriate bike size is height. 16-inch BMX bikes are a good fit for children between 3-feet; 7-inches and 4-feet; 6-inches. If this differs from statistics you’re used to seeing associated with non-BMX models, you’re not imagining things. Kids who master 20-inch pedal bikes are good candidates for 16-inch BMX models.


Race BMX vs Freestyle BMX – What’s the difference?

Not only do racing type bikes tend to be lighter due to the amount of aluminum used for the frame and components, but technology employed to produce race BMX models help kids perform more dynamically on the ground. Built for optimal speed and control, race BMX bikes focus on performance rather than tricks.

Related: Best BMX Bikes for Adults

Originally built for flat land, streets, dirt, and skateparks, freestyle bikes are all about the moves, and varying sizes of tubes enable the rider to perform like a pro. Freestyles are born to take abuse, so many manufacturers employ Chromoly alloys so kids can beat them up. Freestyle models may be short on speed, but they’re easy to repair, a fact not lost on parents who are short on mechanical skills.


BMX bike brakes: Because every kid needs to stop eventually

If there’s one thing bike experts agree on, it’s that the letters BMX and the words coaster brakes should never appear in the same sentence. Yes, you will find coaster brakes on some 16-inch bikes, but it’s important to understand upfront that you’ll compromise your child’s ability to coordinate pedaling while balancing if you make this trade off.

Coasters slow a bike down, and when last did you hear a kid say, “I’d like a BMX that goes slower, please”? If two BMX bikes cost the same amount of money, U-Brakes are the way to go, say those in the know, because your kid will learn to balance more expertly while still coming to a stop that likely won’t end with a crash.


Which tires? That depends upon your kid’s goals

You probably noticed that most tires on bikes profiled here average a little over 2-inches, but the rule of thumb is that if you’re eager for your kid to use his 16-inch BMX to achieve optimal balancing skills, wider tires make more sense. That stated, kids intending to race are best served by thinner tires.

If your youngster intends to hit the trails, knobby tires are the bomb when it comes to traction. Racers? Forget the knobby tires; they could slow a rider down. Just make sure you stipulate “BMX” style tires if you’re shopping and you’re offered lots of options.


Cranks: 1, 2, or 3-piece cranks?

If you use the word “crank” to describe the creepy, crabby downstairs neighbor, being offered a choice of up to 3 cranks as part of your kid’s bike’s drivetrain requires a decision. Dads who know lots about cranks agree: More is better. The 3-piece crank is stronger; it takes more material to manufacture this type, and if the material is hi-tensile steel or cro-mo that’s been cold forged or heat-treated, strength is optimal.

Does your child intend to spend a majority of her time doing jumps and street tricks? You’ll really want to avoid 1-crank components for several reasons, not the least of which is that you’ll be constantly replacing them. They could bend on landing or even cause an injury, so save yourself time and stress by upping your crank ante.


The best frame for the best price

Once upon a time, steel was the go-to material for kids’ BMX bikes, and there’s a logical reason why. Parents want kids safe and what could be safer? Then, along came aluminum and like most components used to build bikes, there was a trade-off: solid steel that’s welded to make it even stronger or a lighter-weight aluminum frame that’s easier to handle.

Since impact resistance should be at the top of every parent’s wish list, the type of steel you choose is essential. Chromoly is considered the choice of pros. You won’t have to worry about deformed aluminum, not to mention your little one’s tears, if his favorite ride winds up spending more time in the shop than on the street.

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About Alek Asaduryan

Alek Asaduryan is the founder of YesCycling and has been riding bikes and in the cycling industry since 1991. Since then, his mission is to make cycling more accessible to everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people to achieve that. When he's not out riding his beloved fitness bike, Alek reports on news, gear, guides, and all things cycling related.