Many e-bike experts will agree that junior e-bikes deserve the label of “starter e-bike” more than electric bikes designed for kids. Junior e-bikes, after all, fit the bill better when it comes to parts, design, and pricing.
They look and function more like an actual e-bike and often cater to teens and seniors. The usual advanced features you can expect from more advanced for-adults e-bike may be absent, but they can basically simulate what a standard e-bike riding experience feels like.
That said, are you certain that what you are looking for is a junior e-bike for your older child, adolescent, or younger teen? The advantage of buying a junior e-bike is they cost significantly lesser than most types of e-bikes. Your choices might be limited compared to other kinds but there are great models – most of which we have shared in the following table.
Once you are sure a junior e-bike is what you want, then read on to learn about the criteria you need to remember and use.
Top criteria for choosing the best junior e-Bike
You have to make sure it will fit the size of anyone who intends to ride it regularly. Most junior e-bikes differ in size but usually come smaller than conventional e-bikes. It also won’t hurt to have adequate battery life and motor power.
Extra safety features are always preferred, too. Just make sure they will actually be used by its rider. Lastly, price and warranty should also not take a backseat. These e-bikes might be cheaper but certain models do cost as much as mid-range city and commuter electric bikes.
Read also: How much does a city e-bike cost? – in this article.
Read also: How much does a commuter e-bike cost? – in this article.
More or less, the following lists the best junior e-bikes that perform well in most, if not all, criteria mentioned. If you don’t want to have to scrutinize every detail of the prospective junior e-bike you want to buy, then don’t hesitate to choose from any of the ones listed here.
Since most e-juniors are comparatively cheaper, you might not have much of an issue with getting your value for money. Even if this is the case, certain models do stand out easily, especially if you look at the takes of household e-bike brands like BULLS and Trek on junior e-bikes. At best, they outshine their competitors due to the sheer “completeness” of their models.
That said, it’s safe to say that it’s relatively easier to decide on a junior e-bike model since:
- The prices do not have as vast a range as other e-bike types;
- Junior e-bike models are generally fewer (but more companies are certainly entering the field as we write this).
List of the best junior e-Bikes
|Model Name||Price||Riding Range||Weight|
|Bulls Twenty4 E||$2,899||37 – 118 miles (60 – 190 km)||45.3 pounds (20.5 kg)|
|Pedego 20″ Trail Tracker||$2,695.00 – $3,795.00||20 – 35 miles (30 – 55 km)||52.5 pounds (23.8 kg)|
|Scott Roxter eRide 26||$2,415||62 miles – 100 km (max)||43.9 pounds (19.9 kg)|
|TrekLift+ Lowstep||$2,299||30 – 50 miles (50 – 80 km)||45 pounds (20.4 kg)|
|Carrera Vengeance E-Junior||$933||40 miles – 65 km (max)||48.5 pounds (22 kg)|
Always check the height and size
Finding the right size for your young teen or adolescent can be tricky. Why? Kids belonging in this age range usually undergo growth spurts, making their height a factor that needs to be. You can never neglect how the e-bike’s size will fit the rider’s because it affects riding comfort and experience.
A lot of junior e-bikes are designed with specific age ranges in mind (e.g. 10 to 14, 13+, or 8 to 15, to cite a few) and most have a recommended height for riders. The size should be in harmony with the rider’s height since we’re talking about the best junior e-bike for you.
Much like in standard bikes, you have to be mindful of saddle height and frame size. But since manufacturers already anticipate the heights of the rider of their junior e-bikes, this should not be much of a problem.
Read also: How to select the right electric bicycle size? – in this article.
The size or height of the tires needs to be considered as well because it also more or less sets the final height of the e-bike. Junior e-bikes incorporate different kinds of tires (like those that use fat tires). Fat-tired e-bikes are often smaller because their tire sizes fall short by a couple of inches compared to standard tires.
Beat e-bike battery blues by minding riding range
Do not underestimate the battery you can find in some junior e-bikes. A few could just as easily pass for mid-range e-bikes because they use “adult” batteries, too. The BULLS entry we have here is a good example of this, which guarantees a maximum of 118 miles. That is a distance that not a lot of other adult e-bikes can provide in a single charge.
Read also: What is e-bike’s riding range? – in this article.
It’s almost a given that plenty of junior e-bike users will want to have as much battery life as possible. But this does not always mean that you should choose e-bikes with a high riding range. If you are a parent and want to limit your child’s riding time, a case can be made for buying e-bikes with lower riding ranges, after all.
Contrarily, it also would not be good if your child ends up with an e-bike that consistently disappoints battery-wise. While e-bikes can still be pedaled like regular bikes long after their battery has been drained, they are relatively heavier than their standard counterparts. This is why it’s better if you already have an inkling about how much time you want your child to spend on his e-bike when deciding on the best junior e-bike to buy for him.
Same as in other e-bikes, junior e-bikes with higher riding ranges will cost more. But make no mistake, it will be rare for junior e-bikes (even the best ones with amazing riding ranges) to cost $3,000 or more.
Aim for more sophisticated motors and better wear protection
Since junior e-bikes generally have less powerful motors, it can be argued that if you want your child to get the best e-bike experience, then it’s recommended to opt for those with more advanced motors from great brands like Bosch and Shimano. For a truly authentic e-bike ride, the motor should be able to provide just the same amount of assist levels as in other e-bikes.
Speed is all up to you and your child’s preferences. But know that there are junior e-bike models that can reach the average maximum top speed of 20mph. A few brands may have anticipated the safety concerns tied to speed so they chose to offer their junior e-bikes with less speed (15mph, for example), which is just as great.
However, e-bikes that are slower are usually not preferred if you tend to ride together and everyone has the 20mph (or more) top speed while your kid does not.
You also have to anticipate that your child or teen, assuming he is an e-bike newbie, will take a while to get used to gear shifting. They might, instead, focus on balancing, pedaling and stopping more (much like in average bike riding). Certain motors like mid-motors designed by Bosch, for example, have the ability to detect these shifts and automatically let their motors “ease off” without human intervention in order to protect the drivetrain from wear and tear.
Read also: How to shift assistance levels on an e-bike? – in this article.
It’s easy to rain praises on junior e-bikes that prioritize safety
For any concerned parent, the safety features of an electric bike are paramount. If you want to have the peace of mind that your kid will be kept safe from harm every time he takes his e-bike out for a ride, you have to start checking the protective features of the junior e-bike.
There are a couple of ways manufacturers promote safety in their models. Hydraulic brakes often provide the best stopping capabilities for e-bikes so do be more inclined to purchase junior e-bikes that have them.
Furthermore, know that safety can also be assured via other means. For instance, manufacturers make use of color accents on their frames and tires to make the junior e-bikes more readily visible to passing vehicles. Since junior e-bikes tend to be shorter, this is nothing short of an ingenious safety addition.
It will also be neat if the brand has excellent options for accessorizing. Helmets should, of course, be a priority so it will be real swell if the brand throws them in as a bonus. Otherwise, do not forget to buy one for your child and make sure he always wears it.
The great thing is most junior e-bikes are more affordable
As said above, it’s hard not to notice how cheaply (at least, in e-bike standards) manufacturers offer their models. Just look at the average cost of most BULLS e-bikes compared to their junior e-bike model to see for yourself.
The important thing is that your child does not miss out on the standard e-bike experience. And there are certain models out there that sell for outstandingly affordable prices and assure it at the same time. With this considered, you should not have much of a struggle buying a model that fits your child’s preferences and still fall well within your intended budget.
Read also: How much does a junior e-bike cost? – in our comprehensive guide on junior e-bike pricing in this article.
What’s similarly amazing is that you also get great two-year warranties from most well-recognized brands. Long warranties, regardless of what type of e-bike you buy, are always welcome for reasons.
Wrapping things up
As you can see, just because there’s a “junior” label attached to these e-bikes does not mean that they are small fry compared to their adult counterparts. There’s plenty of power and range in these e-bikes, enough to allow teens brimming with youthful energy to even compete with and overtake their parents’ e-bikes.
As long as you and your child keep the said criteria in mind, he will certainly get paired with an e-bike that will be able to do that and more.
Take a look at this video review of Trek Lift+ Lowstep junior e-bike:
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