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Best Bikes for Teenagers in 2022

By Jordan Grimes   /  Last updated - May 20, 2022   /  Best-Of-Reviews, Kids
best bikes for teens

Image source: giant-bicycles.com

Cycling is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do as a teenager (no bias here!), and traveling by bicycle is a safe and convenient way for teens to get around their town or city. 

Bikes for teenagers are pretty varied with a wide range of prices and many different styles on the market, so knowing how to choose a teen bike and what your teen wants and needs from theirs is valuable. 

The best bikes for teens should fit well, be durable, comfortable, relatively lightweight, and stylish. 

This article will provide you with the information to help you choose the perfect bicycle for a teenage girl or boy and provide 12 high-quality options to consider from popular online retailers. 


How to Choose a Teen Bike?


Choosing bikes for teens isn’t too difficult, but it is vital to have a conversation with your teenager before deciding, to get an idea of what they want from their bike, the styles they like, and the accessories they need to be safe and have fun. 

Different Kinds of Bikes

To reduce complexity, let’s consider the following five bike styles for teens, each of which is represented in the article. 

  • Hybrid  Bikes – These are popular with teens as they have relatively comfortable and relaxed geometry but are not so relaxed that you can’t achieve any speed. In addition, they typically have wide all-terrain tires, accessory compatibility, plenty of gearing, and lightweight frames—a great all-around choice.
  • Mountain Bikes – Many teenagers love the versatility of mountain bikes for tackling off-road terrain more easily. Wide, grippy tires, suspension, an upright position, and durable designs make MTBs ideal for young riders. Check out our best kids’ mountain bike recommendations for younger riders as well!
  • Road Bikes – If your teen wants a road bike, they likely have an established preference or wish to emulate their cycling heroes. Road bikes are made for speed and riding long distances. The downside is they are more expensive and limited to pavement riding.
  • Cruiser Bikes – The ultimate comfort bike for riding on leisurely cycle paths and getting around town. These bikes make riding feel effortless, and they are compatible with add-ons like racks and fenders but aren’t very useful when going off-road or up steep hills. 
  • Gravel Bikes – The do-it-all style of bicycle that can ride competently on pavement, provide stability and confidence off-road, and take a beating. These are light, versatile, durable, and fun bikes, but they come at a premium. 

Frame Size and Wheel Size

Frame size and wheel size are hard to determine for teenagers, as once past puberty, heights and sizes vary hugely.

You must know your teenager’s height and inseam length to have a chance of finding the right size bike. Once you know that, check out our bike size chart to find the right size.

In addition, you can visit a local bike shop to test some models to see which ones are the most comfortable. Then, compare the reach and stack of these models to others available online. 

Wheel sizes for teens vary from 24″ to 29″. However, 29″ (700c) and 27.5″ (650b) are typically full-size adults bikes, so be sure to check the geometry chart for sizing recommendations when considering these models. 

In general, frame sizes for teens will be equivalent to XS, S, and M adults frames, depending on their height. These sizes should cover teens between roughly 4’10” and 5’8″. It’s probably too early for teens below 4’10” to purchase most adult bikes. 

Boys’ vs. Girls’ Teenage Bikes

girls vs boys teen bicycle

Girls’ vs. boys’ Cannondale Quick 24 bike — the only difference is the color.

The geometry, components, and size of bikes for teenage girls are typically the same as those for boys’, so you can choose any teen bike for a boy or a girl, so long as they like the style. 

The characteristics that differ most are design and paint finish, with some manufacturers also using women-specific saddles. Some girls’ bikes may use more traditionally feminine colors, whereas a bicycle for a teenage boy may have traditionally masculine colors, but this is the only significant difference. 

Budget

The amount of money you spend on a teen bike should be significantly less than what you would spend on an adult’s bike because teenagers will continue growing, their interests will change, and they’re less likely to maintain the bike in top working condition for resale. As such, a bicycle in the entry-level to mid-range is recommended

In the reviews below, only two of the twelve bikes we recommend are above $1,000, with most between $400 and $800. This price range is sufficient to find a fun, long-lasting bike for general use. Finally, try to find a bike with a brand-name drivetrain, tires, and brakes, as these will help keep them safe and the bike working. 

Finally, an important factor worth considering is if your child wants to start riding competitively. If so, try to maximize your budget to get a lightweight bike specialized to their ride discipline. 

Which Accessories to Buy?

When purchasing a new bike, you can follow the helpful rule of thumb that 10-20% of the total budget should go towards safety and security accessories.

If you’ve allotted $1,000 for your teenager’s bicycle, use around $150 to purchase the following items:

  1. Helmet
  2. Lights
  3. Bell
  4. Lock

In addition, you can purchase repair tools like a bike pump, spare tubes, and a few essential bike tools for basic at-home repairs or roadside maintenance. 


Best Bikes for Teenagers


 

Co-op Cycles REV Plus 24

Best Mountain Bike for Young Teens

co-op cycles rev 24

8Expert Score
$439

A capable yet affordable mountain bike for teenagers who enjoy riding on singletrack and dirt roads.

Usability
9
Components
7
Design
7
Durability
8
Price
9
PROS
  • Wide off-road-ready tires
  • Shimano components
  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Seven gears for any terrain
CONS
  • Off-brand brakes wear quickly
  • Geometry issues for some kids
  • Slightly heavy

The new REV 24″ by Co-op Cycles is a reliable and durable bike by the well-respected REI brand. The most notable characteristic of this teenage mountain bike is the plus-sized 2.6″ Slant Six Sport tires which provide plenty of comfort and grip on or off-road.

The mechanical disc brakes on the REV 24″ are a surprising inclusion at this price and provide good stopping power initially. But unfortunately, after just a few months, some users report a significant degradation in their function.

Shimano provides the drivetrain with a 7-speed Tourney setup and simple Revoshift shifters. The cassette is a 14-34t ratio paired with a 36T crank, a decent range of gears for a beginner MTB.

This bike is built on a durable 6061 aluminum frame with solid ride characteristics. The other issue with the REV 24″ is the geometry, which may lead to problems with toe clearance for taller riders, so try to do a test ride of this bike before purchase, if possible.

All things considered, the REV 26″ is a solid choice without the big price tag for any teen who wants to venture off-road with confidence.

Buy from REI


Tommaso Imola

Best Teen Road Bike

7.2Expert Score
$975

A cheap entry-level road bike with a reliable Shimano groupset and comfort geometry.

Usability
6
Components
7
Design
8
Durability
8
Price
7
PROS
  • Endurance road geometry
  • Shimano groupset
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Plenty of gearing for different gradients
CONS
  • Cheap wheelset
  • Extra complexity with triple chainset

Tommaso is a direct-to-consumer brand specializing in entry-level bikes that over-deliver on quality and their lightweight 6061 aluminum-framed Imola is an excellent demonstration of this.

The Imola is the brand’s best-selling road bike, and it comes in XXS and XS sizes to fit teens between 4’9″ and 5’6″ tall. Although not a teen-specific bike, the low price, low weight, and small sizes make it a great choice.

The Imola comes with brand-name components in the most important places, including a 3×8-speed Shimano Claris drivetrain, Claris brakes, a WTB Volt saddle, and Kenda tires. These components ensure reliability, comfort, and performance for your budding teen road cyclist. The primary issue with this bike is the low-quality wheelset. However, you can consider replacing it if your budget allows it. 

Another notable feature of this bike is the compact road geometry that is comfortable for long-distance riding and boosted further by the shock-absorbent steel fork. Finally, the low base weight of 23lbs means teens can confidently tackle hills.

Consider Tommaso’s Imola if you’ve got an aspiring road biker at home who needs a reliable entry-level bike to enjoy until they begin competing. 

Buy from Tommaso


Woom Now 6

Best Teenage Bike for Tours and School Trips

8.6Expert Score
$849

Comprehensive teen-specific hybrid with all the bells and whistles.

Usability
9
Components
9
Design
9
Durability
8
Price
8
PROS
  • Wide off-road-capable tires
  • Teen-specific geometry and components
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Eight easy gears for any gradients
  • Fully-equipped
CONS
  • Slightly heavy
  • Small front wheel reduces rolling-speed

Woom manufactures premium bikes for teenagers and young kids, and their Now 6 26″ is perfectly tailored to make riding safe and enjoyable for your teen. 

This teenager bike comes with a unique mixed-wheel setup featuring a 26″ rear wheel and a 20″ front wheel. This design makes balancing easier to improve overall handling and offers an optimal view of the road or trail ahead.

Woom tailored the Now 6 for teen bodies with an adjustable height handlebar, an age-specific ergonomic saddle, and a narrow Q-factor which maximizes comfort and power transfer while pedaling. 

These wheels are fitted with wide 2.15″ Schwalbe Big Apple tires with puncture resistance and a medium tread, allowing riders to seamlessly transition from pavement to hardpack trails and light gravel paths. 

Other noteworthy features for teenage boys and girls include the dynamo-powered LED lights, frame-mounted front rack, durable alloy fenders, ergonomic grips, and powerful hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable levers.

Woom certainly thought of everything with this bike, so choose the Now 6 if you want an enjoyable, tailored ride quality for your teenager. 

Buy from Woom Bikes


Norco Scene 1

Most Comfortable Teen Bike

norco scene 1

8.2Expert Score
$699

A cruiser-style bike perfect for older teens who value comfort and versatility.

Usability
8
Components
9
Design
8
Durability
8
Price
8
PROS
  • Comfortable balloon tires
  • Wide Shimano drivetrain
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Rack and fender mounts
CONS
  • Not teen-specific
  • Pricey

Thanks to its comfortable and versatile components, Norco’s Scene 1 is an excellent bike for a teenager. 

The Scene is built upon a durable aluminum frame with a low-step top tube, making mounting and dismounting easy. Likewise, the upright geometry puts teen riders in a relaxed and enjoyable position to cruise along their local bike paths.

The 2.2″ wide Kenda Kwik Seven tires on large 27.5″ wheels make this bike roll smoothly over most terrains and ensure plenty of traction when venturing off-road onto light gravel or hardpack. In addition, powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brakes ensure you’ve got all the stopping power you need in dry or wet conditions. 

The Scene 1 is the perfect choice bicycle for 15-year-olds and older as it isn’t a teen-specific bike, meaning the geometry is better for teens 5’1″ and above. 

Finally, this Norco bike has a broad Shimano Alivio 9-speed drivetrain for tackling varied gradients and various accessory mounts if you want to add a rack and fenders. 

Consider buying Norco’s Scene if you want an all-around bike that can tackle paved and unpaved roads and has relaxed city-friendly geometry.

Buy from Jenson USA


Diamondback Haanjo 2

Best Gravel Teen Bike

Diamondback Haanjo 2

7.8Expert Score
$925

Excellent introductory gravel bike for aspiring off-roaders.

Usability
7
Components
8
Design
8
Durability
9
Price
7
PROS
  • Gravel-specific tires
  • 16-speed drivetrain
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Endurance geometry
  • Plenty of customizability
CONS
  • Only one paint job
  • Expensive bike for teens

Gravel models make some of the best teenager bikes as they’re highly versatile, comfortable on varied terrain, and easy to handle. 

Diamondback’s Haanjo 2 has all the properties needed in bikes for teenage girls and boys. The XS frame size fits teens 5’1″ and above and has Diamondback’s Endurance Geometry design for comfort when riding long distances.

The frame is a lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy paired with a shock-absorbent steel fork with mounts for bike bags and a rack and fenders for the more adventurous teens. 

Diamondback chose a reliable Shimano Claris 2×8-speed drivetrain which ensures there are plenty of gears for steep gravel climbs. Additionally, 38mm Diamondback Interval tires and Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes provide plenty of control for confident riding on and off-road.

These features make the Diamondback Haanjo 2 a foolproof choice for anyone who enjoys going off the beaten path and exploring local gravel paths, and dirt and fire roads, without sacrificing speed on paved roads.

Buy from REI


Cleary Bikes Meerkat

Best Bicycle for 15-Year-Olds

cleary bikes meerkat

7.8Expert Score
$680

A versatile all-terrain bike for young teens.

Usability
9
Components
8
Design
7
Durability
8
Price
7
PROS
  • Wide off-road tires
  • Internally geared hub
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Teen-specific components
CONS
  • Limited gearing
  • Small height and age range

The Meerkat by Cleary Bikes is a great all-terrain choice for teens with inseams measuring 25-29″. Cleary describes this bike as an in-betweener for those teens transitioning from 24″ kids’ bikes to adults’ bikes.

Bikes for a teenage boy don’t get much better than the Meerkat.

This bike has wide 2.35″ tires and low, stable geometry to make tackling rough mountain trails and forest paths a breeze. 

An outstanding feature of this bike is the Sturmey Archer 5-speed internally geared hub that reduces maintenance requirements significantly and eliminates the chance of damaging the derailleur. 

Another advantage of this bike is that many of the components are tailored for smaller bodies. These include the teen-specific brake levers and a junior saddle and pedals.

Finally, the Meerkat comes with powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brakes that ensure safe stopping no matter the conditions. 

In summary, the Cleary Bikes Meerkat is a winner for teens who love riding off-road and for parents who suck at bike maintenance.

Buy from Backcountry


Cannondale Trail 8

Best Budget MTB for Teens

Cannondale Trail 8

 

8Expert Score
$625

Comfortable and affordable mountain bike that can navigate paved and unpaved roads.

Usability
8
Components
7
Design
8
Durability
8
Price
9
PROS
  • Plus-sized tires
  • Comfortable geometry
  • Disc brakes
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Entry-level components

Cannondale Trail 8 is a comfortable and capable beginner’s mountain bike that would be a great entry point into mountain biking for older teenagers. It has been one of the best-selling MTBs in this price range for years.

The design of this bike’s geometry and the inclusion of a slanted top tube means riders from 4’6″ and taller will find the perfect fit in the Trail 8. In addition, the low standover height, low-step frame, and upright ride position make it super comfortable to ride. 

The unique feature of this bike is the fact that XS and S frame sizes come with 27.5″ wheels, whereas larger frame sizes are 29ers. This ensures the best possible handling and riding experience for riders of all heights. 

The bike also comes with a 75mm front suspension that’s good for light trails and gravel roads, as well as a 14-gear drivetrain with plenty of easy gears for climbing. 

On top of that, the wide 2.25″ WTB Ranger Comp tires and a slack head tube angle make the Trail 8 a joy to ride on or off-road.

Choose Cannondale Trail 8 if you want to spoil your teen with a fun and versatile mountain bike to tackle varied terrains, travel to school, and explore dirt roads after classes.

Buy from REI


Public Bikes C7

Best City Bike for Teenagers

PUBLIC C7 - Powder Blue

7.6Expert Score
$649

Stylish urban cruiser bike with lots of options for customization.

Usability
9
Components
6
Design
8
Durability
7
Price
8
PROS
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Comfortable touchpoints
  • Lots of mounts
  • Durable steel frame
  • Seven gears
CONS
  • A bit heavy

The C7 step-through by Public Bikes is a Dutch-style city bike that makes urban riding comfortable and carefree.

Public makes this bike to fit a broad range of riders, and the small/medium size is perfect for teens measuring 4’10” to 5’5″. 

The upright position, swept-back handlebars, step-through top tube, and padded saddle make the C7 a joy to ride for short to medium distances around the city. In addition, the sturdy Chromoly steel frame and hi-tens fork provide road-smoothing characteristics. 

The C7 has tons of mounts for front and rear racks that pair with various baskets and cargo holders, so your teens can transport whatever type of cargo they need.

The groupset on this bike includes Promax v-brakes, which are sufficient for day-to-day city riding, and a 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain that provides more than enough gearing. Finally, this bike has 35mm Kenda Kwest tires on fast-rolling 700c wheels. 

Consider the C7 for style-conscious teens who want a comfortable do-it-all bike to cruise around town. 

Buy from Public Bikes


State Bicycle Co. Klunker

Most Fun Bicycle for Teenager Boys

Klunker - Black & Metallic (27.5

7.4Expert Score
$420

A fun single-speed bike with off-road capability for taller teens.

Usability
7
Components
6
Design
7
Durability
9
Price
8
PROS
  • Wide off-road-ready tires
  • Low-maintenance and durable
  • Comfortable geometry and touchpoints
  • Attractive design
CONS
  • Coaster brake
  • Only for taller teens

The State Bicycle Co. Klunker is a retro-style bike that mixes mountain, cruiser, and BMX characteristics for a comfortable and capable teen bike. 

Durable 27.5″  wheels, 2.3″ WTB mountain bike tires with deep tread, and a robust steel frame and fork mean your teenagers can put the Klunker through hard riding without worrying.

The large-volume tires, upright handlebars, and a leatherette saddle make this bike feel smooth wherever you take it. However, this bike is sized for taller teens starting at 5’5″. 

Like all State Bicycle Co. bikes, the Klunker has various options for customization and accessories from their website, so you can have yours do whatever job you need. 

Finally, it’s worth noting that this bike is limited in functionality as it only has a single-speed drivetrain and coaster brake. However, the advantage of this setup is that the Klunker is almost maintenance-free. 

The Klunker is a strong choice for parents that want to avoid constant maintenance and teens who like to put their bikes through the wringer. 

Buy from StateBicycleCo.com


Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Teenager Girls

Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike

7.6Expert Score
$649

Comfortable bike with broad gearing and extra mounts for urban teens.

Usability
7
Components
8
Design
7
Durability
8
Price
8
PROS
  • Puncture-resistant tires
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Rack and fender compatible
CONS
  • Dull finish
  • Limited sizes for teens

Another great choice from the REI brand Co-op Cycles is their CTY 1.1. This affordable urban bike offers excellent durability and broad functionality. 

The CTY 1.1 comes with a simplified step-through frame, but it has mounts for a rack and fenders if needed. Unfortunately, the weight is relatively high (26.8lbs), considering there are no add-ons.

Co-op provides comfort by including a plush Selle Royal saddle to complement the upright, relaxed geometry. In addition, the 40mm puncture-resistant Kenda tires help to absorb road vibrations. 

A 3×8-speed Shimano drivetrain is reliable but adds unnecessary shifting complexity for teens. Tektro mechanical disc brakes are a great inclusion in the sub-$700 price range as they provide plenty of stopping power in diverse weather conditions. 

This bike is available in x-small, small, and medium frames, which fit teens between 5’0″ and 5’9″ tall. So, for any city-slickers who want a versatile and comfortable option, consider choosing Co-op Cycles’ CTY 1.1. 

Buy from REI


Marin Larkspur 1

Best-Equipped Everyday Commuter

Marin Larkspur

8.4Expert Score
$919

A mixed-terrain bike with durable and reliable components.

Usability
9
Components
8
Design
8
Durability
8
Price
9
PROS
  • Wide puncture-resistant tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Durable CroMo frame
  • 10 gears for any terrain
  • Relaxed geometry
CONS
  • Pricey
  • Slightly heavy

Marin’s Larkspur begins with a solid CroMo steel step-through frame that’s comfortable, stable, durable, and easy to mount and dismount when carrying cargo. Sizes S-L fit riders 5′ to 5’10”.

The Vee Tire GPVee 27.5 x 2.35″ tires have various characteristics that add to the bike. For example, they have puncture protection to boost durability, they provide lots of traction on loose terrain and in wet weather, and they’re wide enough to absorb vibrations from the road or hardpack trails. 

Other notable features include Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for safe all-weather stopping and a simplified, broad-ratio 10-speed MicroSHIFT Advent X drivetrain. 

The Larkspur is already a jack-of-all-trades, but you can increase its capabilities with a rack and fenders. In short, this bike is a superb choice for any teens who need a bike to commute to school or run errands around town. 

Buy from Jenson USA


Salsa Rangefinder

Teenage Mountain Bike for Tall Boys

 

Salsa Rangefinder

8.4Expert Score
$1,099

A capable yet affordable mountain bike for teenagers who love riding on singletracks and dirt roads.

Usability
9
Components
8
Design
8
Durability
8
Price
9
PROS
  • Wide off-road-ready tires
  • Shimano components
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 7 easy gears for any terrain
CONS
  • Dull paint job

Salsa are specialists in off-road bikes, and their Rangefinder is an excellent choice for any aspiring mountain bikers.

This trail bike has a slack, stable geometry, wide 2.6″ tires, 29″ wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, and 120mm of suspension up front. These features combine to create a confidence-inspiring ride quality on varied terrain.  

The Rangefinder is a suitable bike for a teenager because of the single-chainring microSHIFT Advent X 10-speed drivetrain that keeps shifting simple without sacrificing gearing options for steep climbs.

Salsa is known for its excellent bikepacking bicycles, and the Rangefinder is no different. It incorporates these capabilities with mounts for a rear rack, a top tube bag, and an accessory mount under the down tube. 

Unfortunately, this bike is best suited to taller teens, with the size S fitting riders between 5’3″ and 5’9″. Nonetheless, this is an excellent value, affordable option to suit any burgeoning mountain bikers in the family. 

Buy from REI

 

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