At a Glance
- Buying a bike for a kid is different from buying a bike for yourself. For adult bikes the frame size is normally the reference point – that is not the case for kids bike sizes.
- When choosing the right kids bike size, you have to consider the wheel size.
- You are going to need 3 data points: the child’s height, inseam, and age. These are the 3 things that will help you determine the right wheel size for your child.
Kids bike size chart by inseam
|Wheel size||Inseam (Inch)||Inseam (cm)|
Kids bike size chart by height
|Wheel size||Child height (Inch)||Child height (cm)|
Kids bike size chart by age
|Wheel size||Age (years)|
Infographic: Kids bike size chart
How to find the right sized bike for my child?
First, Measure Your Child’s Inseam: Step Length and Stride length
Your child’s inseam describes the distance between the floor and the crotch. It is key to knowing whether both your child’s feet can still reach the floor at the minimum saddle height of the child’s bike. The contact of both feet with the ground on both sides is crucial for your child’s safety.
To measure your child’s inseam, you need a measuring stick or tape measure.
- Have your child stand up straight.
- Measure the distance from the crotch of your child’s pants down to his or her ankle.
Then, measure your child’s stride length, which measures how far your child walks with each step. You are going to need a yardstick and a medium-sized book.
- Have your child stand with his or her back against a wall without shoes, without pants and possibly also without a diaper.
- Align the book or spine vertically on the wall between your child’s legs.
- Lead the book carefully from below, but with gentle pressure upwards into the crotch.
- Measure the distance between the floor and the book spine or top edge of the book and you will get the inside leg length. Once you have measured the inseam, you can look up the corresponding bike size in the kids bike size chart by inseam above.
Second, Consider Your Child’s Height
The height of your child’s body is another orientation factor to help you find the perfect child bike. This is especially true for children with normal development.
Your child’s height will also determine the right kind of wheel size to choose for the kids bike.
Third, Consider Your Child’s Age
Age is another orientation factor when choosing a suitable child’s bicycle. Children with normal development have a fixed or narrow relationship between height and stride length.
Things To Look Out For When Choosing A Kids Bike
- For your child’s maximum safety, pay attention to the bike frame. It should be sturdy and robust to guarantee stable handling when things get bumpy. The wheels should also have the same quality — robust and less susceptible to faults. Good workmanship and high-quality components are what you’re looking for.
- Your child’s comfort level is also very important. It should fit the physiognomy of your child. Ask your child if he or she feels comfortable on the saddle. Your child’s hands should be able to reach the brake levers without difficulty.
Do not buy Kids Bike Training Wheels
You might be tempted to buy support wheels for your child for safety reasons. But did you know that when using support wheels, the dynamic equilibrium is insufficiently developed? This means that while support wheels give the child a sense of security, they delay rather than accelerate the cycling learning process. For this reason, you should only mount such aids on a children’s bicycle in cases such as if your child would not dare to get on the bike without them. But if your child has this level of fear about getting on a bike, he or she might not be ready. It’s best not to force your child. Better to start with training your child’s sense of balance at an early age with a scooter or wheel.
Helpful Kids Bike Add-Ons
- Kids Bike Light: Your child will inevitable satisfy their sense of adventure and curiosity once he or she gets comfortable cycling. No doubt your kid will encounter bad weather or darkness. With a lighting system — a bike light with reflectors — will ensure your child’s safety will not be compromised under such circumstances.
- Kids Bike Chain Guard: A chain guard will keep the chain from dirtying your child’s pants. It completely encloses the chain. And not only is it for hygiene purposes, it also reduces your child’s risk of falling by preventing the pant leg from catching on the chain.
- Kids Bike Derailleur system: If your children are going on tours with you, then a circuit would be very useful. But for larger tours, a derailleur system is highly advisable. Kids’ bikes do not have gearshifts, which will make it difficult for them to keep up with you if the terrain is impassable and steep. Your child is going to need more help with more challenging terrain.
- Kids Bike Trailing Runner: You can also make use of a special pole system such as a trailing runner, to attach your child’s bike to your bicycle. This device allows you to pull your kid’s bike behind you, and your child can pedal safely on the road. The special pole should be installed with utmost care to guarantee maximum safety. It’s best to leave the assembly to the experts or a specialist dealer.
- Front and Back Pedal Brake: Bicycles for smaller children are usually equipped with a back pedal brake, at the earliest with 20-inch children’s bikes. In case of danger, your child should be able to come to a standstill immediately. This requires a powerful front and back-pedaling brake. Make sure that your child knows how to use both brakes correctly.
- Kids Bicycle Helmet: Kids should wear a helmet when using their bikes, even if they don’t hit the road with them. You should get your children used to wearing a helmet as early as possible. And this helmet should always be on the bicycle at all times. This makes the helmet a matter of course whenever the child climbs onto the bike. You can model this behavior by wearing a helmet yourself whenever you go cycling too. Here is a good source to learn more about kids bicycle helmets.
Finally, choose a kids bike that you know your children will like. A bike worse than an ill-fitting bike is a bike that you chose with your design tastes in mind.
If possible, let your child decide on a bike that he or she wants. Nevermind if the child bike doesn’t reflect your taste. Again, this is a kids bike – not for you but for the child.
This is the way to ensure a long-lasting enthusiasm for bicycles.
Hoping this guide and the kids bike size chart here was of great help in choosing the perfect kids bike for your child!