Tire size: 16"
Best for kids aged: 4 to 6
Type of bike: Boy's cruiser
Rider level: Beginner
Get it Now: Schwinnbike.com
Expert review: The Schwinn Gremlin fits the description of an excellent bike for first-time riders: It comes with coaster brakes and training wheels, and it has a streamlined design -- no handbrakes or gears to distract newbie riders. Assembly can be quick and simple for DIY pros.
Why we love it: Its sturdiness; cushy seat; sharp colors, (like an orange and green combo); included training wheels; kickstand; easy seat adjustability, handlebar reach; water bottle and holder; reflector light.
What we wish it had: This model typically comes assembled, but if by chance it isn't, there are no assembly instructions. You'll need a flat head screwdriver, a box and an allen wrench to install the front wheel, the seat, the fenders and the handlebar stem.
Great for: Intrepid and eager riders who just want to get the hang of bicycling.
Bottom line: The Schwinn Gremlin's a bit pricey for a first bike unless you're going to hand it down to a younger brother or sister.
What our parent tester thought:
"This is an expensive bike for this starter age group, but our son loved it. He rode it on our street for hours."
"My son had no problems doing turns and hopping on and off the bike. I think the lower height of the bike certainly helped make him feel independent and confident very quickly."
"It would be great if the bike had handbrakes. They are pretty instinctive and I don't think they're that big of a distraction for first-time users."
-- Padma, and her 5-year-old son, of San Diego, Calif.
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