Best Bikes for Teens

We have tested numerous bikes over the years (both our teen and adult years). After considering our own experience and talking to our peer cyclists, we found Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser to be the best bike for teens.

We took into account our own criteria for quality bikes, our experience with bikes from our teenage years as well as feedback from our biker friends to compile this list of “Best Bikes for Teens”.

Our #1 choice, the Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser is durable and stylish. So it can last a long time and cater to the style-conscious teenager. It’s an efficient bike that is comfortable and convenient to ride around in urban settings as well as on hard-packed trails. 

best bike for teens

Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser

Best Overall

With its durable steel frame with sleek design, balloon tires with good suspension Firmstrong Bruise Man Beach Cruiser is a great bike for teens.

But we know teens like their options and when it comes to bikes, there are many. So we compiled a list of our favorite bikes for teens.

Keep on reading to see which bikes made the list and our reviews on the best bikes for teens!

Our Favorite Bikes for Teens

  1. Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser (Best Overall)
  2. Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike (Best Mountain Bike for Teens)
  3. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike (Best Road Bikes for Teens)
  4. Schwinn Destiny Girls/Womens Classic Beach Cruiser Bike (Best Bike for Teenage Girls)
  5. sixthreezero Reach Your Destination Men’s Hybrid Bike (Best Hybrid Bike for Teens)
  6. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike (Best for Your Budget)
  7. RALEIGH Bikes Rowdy 16/20/24 Kids Bike for Boys and Girls (Best Bike for Preteens)



Best Overall: Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser 

Key Features

  • 26-inch wheels
  • 19-inch steel frame
  • 1-speed, 3-speed and 7-speed options
  • Shimano internal gear system
  • Coaster brakes (1-speed and 3-speed models) or handbrakes (7-speed models)
  • Sleek, black matte frame
  • Fits riders 5’ 4” to 6’ 2” tall

Our Review

This Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser is our top pick as the best bike for teens because it combines durability, performance and a sleek design. Like many cruisers, it has swept back handlebars that support a comfortable, upright riding position. The saddle is wide and has dual springs, which add to the comfort. The 19-inch steel frame is durable and has a sleek design. The 26-inch wheels come with balloon tires that will absorb small bumps and roll over small debris easily. This bike fits riders who are 5’4” to 6’2” tall.

The Shimano internal gearing is easy to operate and shifts easily. You can pick among 1-speed, 3-speed and 7-speed options. If you intend to get on the saddle for casual and recreational cycling, you should go for the 1-speed option. If you intend to ride it on hills or cover long distances, 3-speed or 7-speed would be best. 1-speed and 3-speed bikes come with rear coaster brakes whereas the 7-speed models come with front and rear handbrakes, which are easy to use and efficient.

This is a great every-day bike that is durable and performs well on both pavement and hard-packed trails. It’s ideal for commuting and makes rides more comfortable thanks to the upright riding position and balloon tires, which make for a cushioned ride. This bike also comes 80% assembled and the rest of the assembly is fairly easy. 

The biggest downside of it is that this bike weighs around 43 pounds, which is relatively heavy for a bike but not heavy for a cruiser. This can be a bit of an issue when you’re lugging your bike around. For instance, when you are using public transit with your bike. If you don’t expect to carry your bike around all that much, the weight shouldn’t be a major problem.

Given the long list of pros, the best bike for teens according to our list is the Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable, steel frame with sleek design
  • Easy assembly
  • Balloon tires with good suspension
  • Quick and efficient brakes
  • Performs well in urban setting as well as on hard-packed trails
  • Internal Shimano gear shifts easily
  • Comfortable, upright riding position

Cons

  • On the heavier side at 43 pounds



Best Mountain Bike for Teens: Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike

Key Features

  • 24, 26, 27.5 or 29-inch wheels
  • Aluminum and steel frame options
  • 21-speed
  • Twist shifters with rear derailleur 
  • Knobby mountain tires
  • Several color options
  • Alloy linear pull brakes (front and rear)

Our Review

The Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike takes its place as the best mountain bike for teens in our list. The good thing about this model is that it comes with a lot of options. There are 4 different wheel sizes you can choose from, ranging between 24 and 29 inches. The one that’s ideal for you depends on your own measurements. 

You can also pick the material of the frame, available in aluminum and steel. Both are good in terms of durability. There are also various color options you can pick from and the option to pick an aluminum frame with disc brakes.

The bike is high quality, as is the case with a lot of Schwinn bikes. The 21-speed rear derailleur is ideal to explore trails and twist shifters are convenient to operate. The knobby mountain tires perform well on uneven terrain and absorb quick bumps along the way. The front and rear alloy linear pull brakes are quick and efficient.

The saddle is not too firm but not overly comfortable. The assembly is easy enough but the brakes need some finetuning. This could take a bit of effort on your end if you’re not familiar with this process. However, you can always take it to a bike mechanic for help.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Plenty of wheel size options to accomodate a teens of various sizes
  • Makes for a comfortable ride
  • Various color options
  • 21-speed rear derailleur performs well on climbs
  • Good dual suspension
  • Responsive linear pull brakes

Cons

  • Breaks need finetuning, which takes a bit of effort



Best Road Bike for Teens: Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Key Features

  • 700c, 29-inch double walled wheels
  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum frame (50, 54, 58 cm size options)
  • 21-speed
  • A050 Thumb Shifters
  • Alloy caliper brakes
  • Lightweight

Our Review

Our pick for the best road bike for teens is the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike. This is a good beginner bike for teens who want to dip their toes in the world of road-biking. The aluminum frame is lightweight and durable. The bike weighs around 27 pounds.

As can be surmised from its name, this bike is ideal for the cycling commuters out there. It performs well through a wide range of weather conditions. This 21-speed bike has Shimano A050 thumb shifters that are easy to operate. The alloy caliper brakes are efficient. However, they require some for quick braking in emergency situations.

This is essentially a good budget road bike that will perform well. Its saddle is a little hard but that’s to be expected on most road bikes as the rider is supposed to be in a hunched-over position. The good thing about road bikes is that their lightness allows the rider to accelerate easily.

One thing to note is that while the bike comes partially assembled, the rest of the assembly requires special tools the bike does not come with. The bike is relatively easy to assemble. However, it’s recommended that this product is tuned by a specialist in a bike shop.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Good for beginners and advanced riders alike
  • Ideal for commuters
  • Good value given price tag
  • Small (50 cm) , medium (54 cm) and large (58 cm) size options

Cons

  • Assembly takes time and requires special tools the bike does not come with
  • Tuning by a bike mechanic highly recommended
  • Not very comfortable on long rides if saddle isn’t replaced with a more padded one



Best Bike for Teenage Girls:Schwinn Destiny Girls/Women’s Classic Beach Cruiser Bike

Best Bike for Teenage Girls

Key Features

  • 24 or 26-inch wheels
  • Steel cruiser frame 
  • Purple or seafoam color options available
  • Single speed
  • Rear coaster brake
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Handlebar basket and rear rack

Our Review

Schwinn Destiny Girls/Women’s Classic Beach Cruiser Bike is our pick for the best bike for teenage girls. This bike is chic and functional. It has two different size options, 24 or 26-inch wheels. Its steel cruiser frame is sturdy and supports a comfortable, upright riding position. 

The bike is very pretty and comes in purple or seafoam colors. It has a classic, vintage design. Its front and rear fenders add to that effect, while also protecting the rider from splashes.

This Schwinn Destiny cruiser also comes with a small handlebar basket and rear rack with a wooden deck. These features not only give the bike additional vintage flair, but they also offer convenient cargo space.

This is a single-speed cruiser so it’s not the ideal bike to ride on hills or cover very long distances. However, it otherwise provides a very comfortable day-to-day riding experience. The bike comes with rear coaster brakes that are convenient to operate. Its padded saddle with springs is also quite comfortable.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Color and wheel size options
  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Front and rear fenders to protect rider from splashes
  • Rear rack and handlebar basket providing cargo space
  • Comfortable padded saddle with springs

Cons

  • Single-speed, not ideal for climbs or long distance rides



Best Hybrid Bike for Teens: sixthreezero Reach Your Destination Men’s Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Teens

Key Features

  • 700 x 35c wheels
  • 17-inch aluminum frame
  • 7-speed Shimano derailleur
  • Front and rear handbrakes
  • Rear bike rack and fenders
  • Fits riders 5’ to 6’ 2” tall

Our Review

Now we move on to our pick for the best hybrid bike for teens: sixthreezero Reach Your Destination Men’s Hybrid Bike. This is a great bike for day-to-day commuting and leisurely rides. 

The 17-inch hybrid frame is made of aluminum and is good for an upright riding position. The size, which is suitable for riders from 5’ to 6’2” tall, is ideal for most teens looking to get a hybrid bike. Thanks to the aluminum material, the frame manages to be both lightweight and sturdy. 

The front and rear hand brakes are comfortable to use and responsive. The 7-speed Shimano derailleur shifts easily and allows for medium-to-long-distance rides. The bike comes with 700 x 53c wheels, double-walled rims and front and rear suspension. All of these features add to the rider’s comfort level throughout their ride.

The sixthreezero Reach Your Destination Men’s Hybrid Bike also has full fenders to protect the rider from splashes and a rear rack. This bike, all in all, is a bike built for convenience and a great starter bike for a teen to have.

The main problem with it is that the assembly is more on the challenging side. The bike comes 85% assembled. But you might need the help of a professional while putting the rest of it together. Or at least someone with experience assembling bikes.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good for commuting and cruising
  • Upright riding position
  • Lightweight yet durable aluminum frame
  • 7-speed Shimano with smooth shifts
  • Full fenders to keep off dirt from biker
  • Rear rack for cargo space

Cons

  • Somewhat difficult assembly, might require assistance from a professional



Best for Your Budget: Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike

Best for Your Budget

Key Features

  • 20-inch, 24-inch, and 26-inch wheel sizes available
  • 13, 24 or 17-inch steel frame
  • 21-speed or 6-speed
  • Shimano rear derailleur 
  • 26″ X 1.95″ knobby tires
  • Slight rise handlebar
  • Linear pull handbrakes

Our Review

The best bike for teens if you’re on a budget is the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike. It has three different size options: 26-inch wheels with 17-inch frame, 24-inch wheels with 14-inch frame, and 20-inch wheels with 13-inch frame. The 26-inch wheel size fits riders aged 13 and up with a height of at least 5 feet. There are also multiple color options available. 

With its steel frame this bike is quite durable and its 26”x1.95” knobby tires allow for controlled and smooth rides on trails. The TZ-31 Shimano rear derailleur offers convenient gear shifting and linear pull handbrakes are consistently responsive. 

You can get the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike in 21-speed or 6-speed. The 21-speed model is better if you are looking to explore sloped bike trails with climbs and downhill paths. This bike is a good model for introducing any beginners to bike gearing.

An advantage of this mountain bike is it allows for an upright riding position thanks to its slight-rise handlebar. The bike also comes with a padded ATB saddle that is quite comfortable.

The bike comes partially assembled and the rest of the assembly is easy enough. However, you might find some parts to be misaligned or not fitting correctly upon completing the assembly. It essentially depends on how well the partial assembly was done and your skills in assembling the rest. You might have to make a trip to your local bike shop if you’re not familiar with finetuning and don’t have the necessary tools for it.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Various size and color options available
  • Efficient TZ-31 Shimano rear derailleur (21-speed or 6-speed)
  • Good introduction to gearing for a beginner
  • Consistently responsive linear pull handbrakes
  • Upright riding position thanks to slight-rise handlebar
  • Good value

Cons

  • Might end up having to take the bike to your local bike shop for finetuning upon assembly



Best Bike for Preteens: RALEIGH Bikes Rowdy 16/20/24 Kids Bike for Boys and Girls

Best Bike for Preteens

Key Features

  • 16-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch wheel sizes available
  • Aluminum frame
  • 7-speed twist shifter (24-inch wheel model, varies by size)
  • 1.95-inch wide knobby tires
  • Frame available in blue, green or orange colors
  • 24-inch wheel size fits riders aged 8-12 years old, 53-62 inches tall
  • Alloy V brakes

Our Review

Our pick for the best bike for preteens is RALEIGH Rowdy Kids Bike. This one also has multiple wheel size options (16, 20 and 24-inch). We focused on the 24-inch wheel model, which fits riders aged 8 to 12 that are 53 to 62 inches tall.

The 24-inch wheel model comes with a 7-speed twist shifter and 1.95-inch wide knobby tires, which are ideal for climbs and trail exploration respectively. This is a good beginner bike for preteens who want to hit the trails or simply ride it around the neighborhood. 

The aluminum frame is durable yet fairly lightweight. It comes in blue, green or orange colors based on preference. Alloy V brakes allow quick, controlled stopping. 

The saddle is fairly comfortable and the front and rear handbrakes are easy to operate. This bike is ideal for introducing new riders to handbrakes and shifting. That’s one of the main reasons it’s our top pick for the best bike for preteens.

The seat in this model is adjustable but the handlebar is not. If the handlebar is too low for comfort, you would have to consult a local bike shop for modification options (like buying an adaptor to raise the handlebar).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable aluminum frame
  • 7-speed twist shifter ideal for trails
  • Easy-to-use front and rear handbrakes
  • Comfortable saddle
  • 1.95-inch knobby tires absorb small bumps
  • Good for getting used to handbrakes and shifting

Cons

  • Handlebar is not adjustable



Guide to Buying a Bike for Teens

There are multiple factors to pay attention to when deciding on a bike. Here, we provide a brief explanation of the factors to pay attention to and why they matter.

Type of Bike

“What type of bike do I want?” is really the first question to answer after deciding to purchase a bike. The options are plentiful and include a wide range of styles: mountain bikes, road bikes, cruisers, hybrid bikes, etc. 

The answer ultimately depends on why you want to buy a bike  and where you will ride it. We are including a brief description of some of the most commonly found bike types out there to make this decision easier for you.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes, which are designed for off-road riding, tend to have riser or flat handlebars and wide tires. These tires help absorb bumps so the rider can have more controlled, smoother rides even on uneven terrains. 

Both riser and flat handlebars allow the rider to sit upright. This is good for not putting a lot of pressure on your upper body. 

MTBs are often smaller than road bikes in frame. The relatively small frames of MTBs are intended to increase their maneuverability, which is important when cycling off-road.

Road bikes

As can be surmised from the name, road bikes are designed for on-road biking and smooth surfaces. They tend to be lighter than other bikes, which helps riders accelerate more easily. 

Road bikes also have narrow tires and drop handlebars. Road bikes are designed to assume a hunched over position for the rider, which is often not the most comfortable over long distances if one’s not used to it.

Hybrid bikes

Hybrid bikes take certain physical features from road bikes and other features from mountain bikes to offer a wider variety of uses compared to mountain and road bikes. 

Hybrid bikes have flat handlebars and accommodate an upright riding position like mountain bikes, which makes them quite comfortable. However, similar to road bikes, they are more lightweight and have narrow tires. These characteristics are intended to help the rider accelerate faster. 

Hybrid bikes come with additional features like places to mount racks and bags to carry belongings. Subcategories of hybrid bikes include cross, city, comfort, trekking and more. If you’re a teen looking to commute by bike, city bikes are a great option.

City bikes

Popular among commuters in metropolitan areas, city bikes are also known as utility bikes. This is because they are pretty low-maintenance. They are designed to cover short-to-medium distances at a moderate speed through a variety of weather conditions. 

Their main purpose is to make the ride comfortable and convenient when the rider gets on the bike to commute. The focus on comfort is evident in city bikes’ design, which features wide saddles and elevated handlebars, allowing the rider to sit in an upright position while cycling.

Cruiser bikes

Cruiser bikes are pretty similar to city bikes in terms of their intended use and focus on comfort, but cruisers are somewhat more durable and heavier. The difference in weight is mainly due to the thicker tires cruiser bikes come with. These tires come in handy if you are going over some small debris while commuting in the city. They help absorb small bumps on uneven terrain and make your ride smoother. 

Saddles on cruiser bikes are also extra comfortable thanks to their padded nature. Overall, this is the right pick for you if you want  to commute comfortably in the city by bike and speed is not that important to you.

Size

Picking the right size when purchasing a bike is crucial. What makes this difficult with teens is that they are probably still in their growing stages. This is especially true for riders in their early teens. The chances are they are still getting taller and growing fast. 

Riders closer to 20 are less likely to get significantly taller. So it’s obviously easier for a 19-year-old rider to find a bike that will fit him in 5 years’ time than it is for a 12 year-old.

Ideally, you would purchase a bike that you will be able to ride in a few years’ time. But then riding a bike that is too large for your current body measurements can be uncomfortable and more importantly dangerous. That is why we recommend buying a bike that fits the rider’s current size even if they are still growing. 

If you’re not sure which bike size to go for, there are bike size calculators you can use on the web. Below we include a list of our favorite online bike size calculators in terms of accuracy. 

  1. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.jsp
  2. https://www.omnicalculator.com/sports/bike-size
  3. https://www.bikeexchange.com/promo/bike-size-calculator
  4. https://www.bergfreunde.eu/bike-frame-size-calculator/

We recommend using more than one calculator to cross check results. You can find a more comprehensive guide to finding your bike size here.

Material

The material of a bike’s frame has a direct impact on its durability, weight and speed. Aluminum and steel are sturdy and durable materials. So it should come as no surprise most teens’ bikes are made of aluminum or steel. However, they differ from each other in some respects. 

Steel bikes are much heavier than aluminum bikes, which is really their biggest disadvantage. Higher weight typically means more effort required to accelerate. However, steel bikes also tend to be cheaper than aluminum bikes, which is why they still remain popular among teen riders. 

Carbon and titanium are the lightest materials when it comes to bike frames. Bikes made of carbon or titanium are more expensive than bikes made of other materials on average.

Budget

The price of a bike depends a lot on its material and level of customization. If you just want to buy a basic, steel bike that will do the job and don’t mind if it’s on the heavier side, you could definitely go for an affordable bike ($80-$300). 

If you want your bike to be more lightweight but still durable, your best bet are mid-range bikes ($300-$1,000), which are typically made of aluminum.

High range bikes ($1,000+) are usually made of carbon and titanium (as mentioned above). These are the lightest bike materials. At this price point, you can also get a lot of customization. This could have to do with picking the color of the bike or the kind of wheel you would like to have.

It’s a good idea to explore second-hand options as well. We recommend looking at https://www.theproscloset.com if you’re interested in purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned bike.

Brakes

There are various kinds of brakes and not all brakes are operated the same way. So you should definitely check out what kind of brake a bike comes with before purchasing it. Make sure it’s the kind you’re comfortable operating.

The hand brakes that are attached to the handlebar are called lever brakes. Since these brakes engage the rider’s hands while they are also cycling, they take some coordination and getting used to. 

That’s why a lot of parents choose coaster brakes for their kids’ bikes. A coaster brake brings the bike to a halt after the rider starts pedaling backwards. 

The problem with coaster brakes is that because they are attached to the hub of the rear wheel, if the rider pedals backward with too much force the bike might skid. Especially when cycling downhill.

It really comes down to what you are comfortable with. Both brakes take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with them to begin with.

Weight

Weight has a direct correlation with how much the rider needs to exert themselves to go fast. The lighter the bike, the easier it will be to accelerate for the rider.

As we have mentioned under Materials already, carbon and titanium are the lightest materials for bikes, followed by aluminum, followed by steel. The weight of the bike depends a great deal on the bike size and the type of tires used as well. 

If you have a small frame, it will be best to go with more lightweight bikes so accelerating won’t be too exerting. 

Gearing

Gearing is an important technical feature to pay attention to. If you will only be riding on even terrain such as paved roads and covering short distances, a single speed bike or a bike with less than 7 speeds will probably be optimal for you. 

You often see a low number of gears on hybrid bikes or city bikes. The reason is you don’t really need a wide range of gears if you are only getting on the saddle to commute.

If you intend to use your bike on uneven terrain such as hills and climbs or cover long distances on your bike, a higher number of gears would be better for you. 

Having a high number of gears makes the difficulty level of your ride highly adjustable. So you could gear down when you start a climb or feel winded. That’s why wide ranges of gears are popular on mountain bikes and road bikes.

FAQ

What are some good brands we can look at?

Our favorite brands include Schwinn, Mongoose, sixthreezero, Diamondback, and Priority Bicycles. According to our experience and our peers, these brands typically manufacture high quality bikes that tend to stand the test of time. The reviews they get online are positive on average.

Obviously there will always be customers that have issues with a model. Not every bike will work out perfectly for everyone. It’s important to look at the specific features of a bike and see if they match up with your personal preferences. 

What about bike accessories?

If you’re buying a bike, the chances are you will be investing in some bike accessories as well. The obvious must-haves include bike helmets and locks. Make sure to purchase a good quality helmet that fits the intended user right. 

Other bike accessories you could purchase include baskets, carriages, which can be attached to the rear, bells etc. If the rider intends to use the bike on deliveries it will probably make sense to invest in a basket. 

Are there any safety provisions I can take for my son/daughter?

If your kid, like most kids out there, has a smartphone, there are apps they can download on their phone that will allow you to keep track of where they are.

One example of such an app is Cyclemeter. Cyclemeter isn’t only one of our favorite cycling apps, but it also allows the rider to share their location live with contacts they invite. For a complete list of our favorite cycling apps, head on over to our article titled Best Cycling Apps’. 

It’s also important that your son or daughter doesn’t go on rough terrain or long trails out in nature if they are relatively inexperienced. It’s best to train close to home before going out to explore. 

Make sure your child is cycling with someone more experienced by their side in the early stages, at least before they get comfortable with cycling. And refrain from letting them go on mountain trails where accidents are common among amateur riders and can be quite serious.

Last but not least, make sure your kid is wearing a helmet and knee pads. In the event of an accident, a helmet can prevent serious injury to the rider’s head. So this safety measure should not be taken lightly.

Our Verdict

Cycling is a great activity for teens to indulge in. Not only does it have numerous health benefits, but it’s a convenient way for many to get around their neighborhood.

The best bike for teens according to our criteria is the Firmstrong Bruiser Man Beach Cruiser. It is durable, sleek, comfortable, and high-performing. It’s a great bike to gift your teen or enjoy yourself.

And if you are not into cruisers, then our list includes many non-cruiser options you can explore.

Hopefully, you’ve just found the best bike for yourself or your teen right here. Thanks for reading and happy cycling!

About the Author

About the Author

Hey, what's up? Ali here. EDM addict, gym rat, and Tame Impala fan of the Cycle Simply Team.