Children Bikes – What Bike Sizes for Kids?

I bet you can remember that as a child, you once received a bicycle as a present. This is because kids love biking so much that they make it their hobby in most of their early life. Biking has many benefits for children: it makes them fit, is fun and can get kids to enjoy the outdoors. The good news is that your kids can start riding bikes very early. In fact, your kid is ready to hit the pedal at the age of 3. You just need to choose the right bike sizes for kids. 

Buying Kid Bikes Is Not a Simple Matter as It Used to Be 

Unlike adults, kids do not remain the same size for long and thus, it gets confusing on the bike size to buy. As a result, many people wonder about what bike sizes for kids to purchase for their little ones. However, the right bike size is very important for your kid, it will ensure that they can ride it safely and with confidence.

The most important thing to think of when choosing a bike for your kid is whether they will be comfortable with the bike and whether they will love it in the first place. That is why it is advisable to take your kid along when shopping for a bike as this will enable you to know if they like the outlook of the bike.

Therefore, it is important to follow the right steps so that you do not end up with a bike that is either too small or too large for your kid. This is because the kid might either feel silly sitting on a small bike or uncomfortable on an overly large bike.

In the past, people did not have many choices when it came to kids bikes as they do today that is why it is much harder to purchase kids bike today, compared to the past.

As adults, we choose kid bike size based on the frame size. If you can stand over the frame and still have 2 inches between the frame and your inseam, the bike is probably of the right size. On the other hand, this does not apply to kids bikes. Luckily, you should not get worried about what size if bikes for kids because there are ready guides available to help you in the process.

Things to Consider to Choose the Correct Bike Sizes for Kids

1. Wheel size

When choosing adult bikes, the major part that we consider is the frame size. However, we consider wheel size when choosing kid bikes. The wheel of kid bicycle determines the dimensions of the rest of the bike. You will find wheel sizes in 12, 16, 20 and 24 inches. Anything larger than this falls into the adult bike category.

The 12 inch bike wheels are designed for kids who are just starting out on biking and aged between 3-5 years. This increases with age and by the time the kid reaches 14 years, he will probably be riding on a 24 inch wheel bike.

Therefore, to get the right wheel size for your child, you need to look at a sizing chart. You can find these charts on biking sites and stores. Below is a good example of a biking chart for kids that you can follow.

2. Height charts

When looking for the answer to the question of bike sizes for kids, it is important to know that height charts will not give you a definitive answer. However, they can be a good starting guide to what you are looking for.

Like in adult bikes, the most important thing to do is to have your kid test out the bike as you observe. You should ensure that your kid can ride comfortably and that he has full control over the bike.

3. Have your kid test the bike

Getting the right bike for your kid is not as hard as it might look. And although bike size tables are here to help us, nothing beats the idea of having your kid test out the bike as you watch.

The other thing to watch out for is that you should not buy a large bike hoping that your child will grow into it. On the contrary, you should ensure that the kid can straddle on the bike with a 2 inch clearance between the bike and his crotch. Safety is also important and therefore, you should ensure that the kid can hop off the bike with much ease.

The kid should also be very comfortable when riding the bike. You should ensure that his knees are not touching the handlebars and when pedaling, his feet should be able to make a complete rotation.

4. Get some expert help

You should always count on expert advice when looking to answer bike sizes for kids. This is very important because a few minutes spent with an experienced bike expert can provide you with more answers than you could otherwise get. This is contrary to looking for answers online where you end up with thousands of query results only to wonder about the one to rely on.

5. Heavy bikes & lightweight bikes

The heavy feel on kid bikes is due to the nature of materials used in their construction. However, you can find lightweight bikes at a very decent price. Since kid bikes are harder to pedal than adult bikes, it is advisable to go for the lighter ones.

6. Different age groups

  • The balance bikes (2-5 year olds). It is normally said that the earlier you introduce your kids to biking, the easier it will be for them to master riding. Balance bikes are ideal for the 2-5 year olds because they come with balance wheels. These bikes have no pedals and are ideal for kids who want to learn how to steer and balance a bike.
  • Small wheelers (3-6 year olds). These bikes normally comes with 12, 14 and 16 inch wheels and are ideal for kids who have already learnt the art of bike balancing and steering. The bikes are designed in a way that enables the kid to reach the ground with their fingers.
  • 20 inch bikes (6-9 years). These bikes normally come with a proper set of gears, brakes and pedals. Most of the bikes in this category have 5-10 gears and are designed more for the hills than speed.
  • 24+ inchers (9-14 years). Kid bikes in this category come with all the features of adult bikes including added gears (up to 36), triple chain sets and even bigger wheels.

7. The types of kid bikes

There are many types of kid bikes. We will introduce you some popular ones as below:​​​​

  • Mountain bikes and road bikes. As you learn about bike sizes for kids, you may be wondering whether you need to choose a mountain bike or a road bike. Most 24 inch kid bikes come in the form of mountain bikes and normally features horizontal handlebars and big tires treads. However, you can find some 24 inches that come in the road bike design. The best choice however is the mountain bike since your child is still learning the ropes of biking. You can introduce them to road bikes once they have grown up.
What size bike for kid

Young girl in bicycle helmet cycling mountain bike on the forest trail in the spring time

  • BMX Bikes. BMX bikes are single geared, durable, tough and have higher resale value. The good thing is that, your kid can go just anywhere with this bike. In addition, BMX bikes offer a wide range of choices as they come in numerous sizes. You may also find that BMX bikes are more affordable than other bikes in the market.
what size bike for kid

A teenage boy with a BMX bike.


When it comes to answering the question on what bike sizes for kids? It is important to find the right bike at the right time. It is also imperative to choose a bike that your kid will love. In fact, it is advisable to buy the best bike you can afford.

The key to getting the right bike size for your kid is to avoid being misled by fancy gadgets on the handlebars but instead, focus on the main points such as frame size, handlebars size and bike height. Sometimes, you may either go with a bigger or smaller size depending on the individual needs of your kids.

We hope that this article could give you useful information. We are also glad to get comments from you. Please share this article with the others if you like this post.

Shop related products:

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments
%d bloggers like this: