Hornit Hero 16 kid's bike review

A high-quality first 'proper' bike that smooths out the tricky transition from balance bike to pedals

Hornit Hero 16
(Image credit: Simon Collis)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

If you can afford the difference, and you get your timings right so that your child gets maximum use out of it, a premium bike such as this one (£369 at the time of writing) is worth the investment. The transition from balance bike to pedal bike has gone really smoothly, and a lot of that is down to the quality of the Hero Hornit 16. My five-year-old loved it at first sight, and I’ve loved watching her quickly get to grips with the challenge – and possibilities – of her first proper bike.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Low weight

  • +

    Belt drive means no oil or sharp edges

  • +

    Gender-neutral colour scheme

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Brakes a little grabby

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

When my daughter was presented with a Hornit Hero 16” pedal bike, it’s fair to say that her eyes lit up. Whether you’re 5 or 75, everyone loves New Bike Day. But the question on my mind was whether it would help her to transition her balance bike skills to proper bike riding – and whether a more premium kid's bike could justify its cost against the more mainstream versions that her older sister grew up with.

The Hero is the first pedal bike from Hornit, which began making cycling accessories (the world’s loudest horn, no less) before moving into balance bikes. Initially available in 14” (age 2.5 - 4.5) and 16” (3.5 - 6), it is competing head-on with well-known specialists such as Islabikes and Frog. The 16” version tested here has a starting price of £369, against the equivalent Islabikes Cnoc 16 (£399.99) and Frog 44 (£350).

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