7 Key Tips to Choosing the Right Kids Bike Size

Getting the first bike and learning how to ride is perhaps one of the most significant childhood memories for many people. As parents, you would want to give the same experience to your kids. Nevertheless, with a considerable number of brands and styles available in the market, choosing the right bike for your kids can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have prior experience. This article provides a comprehensive kids bike size guide.

One of the essential steps in picking the right bike for your kids is choosing the correct size. Unlike adult bikes, you can determine the size of the bike for kids by the bicycle's wheel size, which directly connects with the bike frame's size. Although choosing bikes for kids based on their age is essential, age alone is not enough to ensure your kids experience a comfortable and safe ride on their new bicycle. There are other necessary things that you should keep in mind when selecting a bike for your kids. If you want to know more about this aspect, then you should continue reading.

How to choose the right bike for kids?

There are several things that you should keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right bike size for your kids, such as age, height, and inseam, among many others. If you want to select the perfect size bike for your kids, you should remember these essential points:

Understand the kid's bike size chart

When it comes to kid's bikes, the wheel size determines the kid's bikes' size. In contrast, finding the right adult bikes are done by selecting the size by the frame. As such, you should note that as the wheel size increases, the bike's size will also increase.

The following table presents a rough indication of the kid's bike size chart, which you can use as a guide when looking for a suitable bike for your kids:

Wheel Size (in inch)Inseam Length (in inch)Child Height (in feet)Age
2628 above5 above11-14


Know the age of your kids

You should note that there is a bicycle for every age. Whether you are looking for a mountain bike or a balance bike, you should always know your kids' age. You should take the above chart's help when looking for a bike based on your child's age. However, as mentioned, age alone is not enough to choose a suitable bike size for your kids.

Measure your child's inseam

Another way to choose the right bike size for your kids is by measuring the inseam. You can calculate your kid's inseam by following three simple steps. First, let your child stand alongside a wall with their legs slightly spread apart. Then you should place a book between the legs and lift it towards the crotch. Thirdly, mark the point where the edge of the book meets the wall. After this, you should measure from the floor to the mark, which will be your child's inseam.

Know the height of your kids

The size of the bike should complement the height of your child. As shown in the table above, the kids' bike sizes range from 10 inches to 26 inches; each size comes with a recommended child height. As such, you should choose a bike depending on the height of your kid. It will allow them to learn faster and enhance the riding experience.

Straddle test

One of the most effective ways to choose your kids' bike size is by letting your child do a straddle test. You should make sure that your kids are wearing biking shoes when trying out a straddle test. The clearance for a boy's bike should be one to three inches, while it should be at least one inch for girls.

Things to look for when trying a new bike

What should you look for when your kid is trying a new bike? The following are some things that you should remember:

  • The foot on the pedal should have a slightly bent knee.
  • Both feet should reach the floor for stability when they sit on the saddle.
  • You should ensure that the saddle is not too low as it can make the peddling significantly hard.
  • Your kids should be able to grip the handlebars without fully extending their arms comfortably.

Additional things to consider

Apart from the above-listed points, you should also pay close attention to some of the other bike parts. Experts suggest the following essential things that can genuinely make a bike comfortable and fun to ride:

  • Ensure that your kids can reach the brakes easily. They should be able to pull the brake levers without any difficulties.
  • The handlebars' diameter should be slightly smaller to ensure a firm grip, thereby making them confident while riding the bike. Besides, your kids should be able to grip the handlebars without fully extending their arms comfortably.
  • Another essential part of paying close attention relates to the pedals and cranks. They should be in proportion with the rest of the bike.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens if your kids are between wheel sizes when choosing a bike size?

Picking a bike for your kids that is too small or too large can bring about various complications when riding their bike, thereby providing an unfavorable riding experience. As such, you should always choose the perfect bike size for your kids. However, if your child comes in between two sizes, then we recommend picking the larger size as getting used to riding a larger bicycle can sometimes help children to become more confident as they get older.

Should your kids wear protective clothing like a helmet?

The answer to this question is absolute, yes. Wearing protective clothing such as a helmet is essential for your kids' safety when riding their bikes. As such, you should help your kids in getting used to wearing protective kits. Besides, to help them realize the importance of wearing helmets, we recommend that you wear them too. 

Those adults who find helmets uncomfortable can check out this list of comfortable folding bike helmets.

How much should your kid's bike weigh?

When looking for a suitable bike for your kids, you should always opt for the lightest one that comes within your price range. Generally, your kid's bike's weight should be less than 40 percent of their total weight.

When should a kid get a bike?

Biking is essential for your kids, as it allows them to have fun and helps in physical development. There is no fixed age as to when a kid should get a bike. Generally, a kid can learn to ride a bike between the ages of three and eight.

Which age group should use a balance bike?

If your kids can walk, then a balance bike will be a great way to start. Typically, a balance bike is for children between 18 months and seven years old.

How important is bicycle standover height?

Bicycle standover height is one of the most essential when it comes to safety. Your children can hurt themselves if the top tube is significantly high. As such, you should choose a bike in which your kids can stand over the top tube without touching it.

How to know if your kid's bike is too small?

Several signs can indicate the bike is too small for your kids. Nevertheless, one of the obvious signs is difficulty in peddling. You can notice it by looking at their feet and angle of their knee. If your kids cannot fully extend their leg on a downstroke, then it is a sign that the bike has become too small for your kids.


To sum up, choosing the right bike size for your kids is ultimately about making sure that they are comfortable. There are several things that you should consider before blindly selecting a bike. First, make sure that you get familiarized with the bike size chart, which comes in varied wheel sizes. Your kids' age and height are also relevant factors when selecting the bike size.

Another essential way to choose a suitable bike size for your kids is by measuring their inseam. It helps you determine the distance between the crotch and the floor. Besides, you should pay close attention to some of the other bike parts, such as the brakes, diameter of the handlebars, and pedals. These parts should be in proportion with the rest of the bike.

It would be best if you always bought a bike that fits well for your kids. We do not recommend opting for a larger or smaller size, which can significantly reduce comfort and safety. The above listed-points are essential things that you should keep in mind when choosing a bike for your kids and are by no means exhaustive.

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