Children’s Bike Size Chart – Fit by your kid’s Age and Height

There is nothing more confusing than deciding on what size bike your kid needs. Kid’s bikes are way different from adult kids in many aspects such as bike frame, wheel diameters, tire size, bike seat, bike saddle, and even the brake type. Read on to know more about the children’s bike size chart

Kids’ bike sizing depends on the kid’s age as opposed to adult sizing where age does not matter. Kids from 2-4 years old require a 12-inch bike to a 20-inch wheel bike. It is recommended to get them a bike with the minimum Seatpost heights and training wheels as their skill levels are still low.

Children’s Bike Size Chart 

The sizing charts are grouped into adults’ and kids’ bike sizing charts. The definitive factor of a child’s bike is the standover height, frame height, and seat height. That is where a children’s bike size chart like the one below comes in.

Children’s ageChild’s Height Inseam HeightWheel Size
YearsFEET INCHESCENTIMETERSINCHESINCHESCENTIMETERS
0 – 2 years2′ 11″ – 3′ 5″88 – 105 cm 10″ – 15″10-12 25-30.5 cm
2 – 3 years3′ 3″ – 3′ 8″98 – 112 cm 15″ – 18″1230.5 cm
2 – 4 years3′ 5″ – 3′ 10″105 – 117 cm 15″ – 20″1430.6 cm
4 – 6 years3′ 8″ – 4′ 2″112 – 127 cm 16″ – 22″1640.2 cm
5 – 8 years3′ 10″ – 4′ 6″117 – 136 cm 19″ – 25″2050.8 cm
8 – 11 years4′ 10″ – 4’90”126 – 149 cm 23″ – 28″2460.7 cm
10 + years4′ 66″ +142 cm25″ +2665.8 cm

Visual lea

Each bike manufacturer will most certainly have its own children’s bike size chart. Be sure to check it out before making a purchase.

There are several reasons as to why one should always use a children’s bike size chart when shopping for a children’s bike, for instance when you don’t get the correct size wheels for the terrain, the riding experience will be terrible. Key benefits include:

  • You will know what wheel size your child needs, the smallest being  12-inch wheels for a toddler bike up to 24-inch size. However, balance bikes(a bike with training wheels), start with as low as 10 inches.
  • You will be able to know the inseam measurement which will help you determine the size of the bike. (check the inseam chart)
  • You can differentiate bike types to get the exact bike you need (not all bike shops list exclusive details on particular bikes)

Children’s bike size Measurements 

The key factors to consider while measuring your kid for a bike are the child’s height, knee position, proper leg extension, and age range.

Follow these steps when taking measurements for your kid’s bike.

Step 1

While wearing shoes, ask the kid to stand against a wall in an upright position with both feet flat on the ground.

Step 2

Place a medium-sized book between their legs, let the book spine face up.

Step 3

Measure the exact distance from the floor to the top of the book spine. Note down the recordings, that is their inseam measurement, it can be used to determine the approximate inseam range.

Step 4

Measure the child’s height while standing in an upright position. Note down the readings.

Children’s Bike Buying Guide

Please take the following into account when buying a children’s bike:

  • Always use a bike size chart for the correct size bike. A wrong-sized bike will ruin your kid’s biking experience. Also, research on different wheels and their bike sizes purpose.  For instance, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and gravel bikes will do well with a larger size of tires than road bikes 
  • Seek expert advice for bike accessories such as bike helmets, and training wheels for kid bike sizes till the age of approximately 8 and 9-year-olds
  • Always consider the height of the kid before settling on one-size balance bikes. A kid’s age might not exactly reflect their height
  • A kid’s bike sizing guide will be ideal for the right bike fit when doing first-time bike shopping for kids depending on their age. e.g.a 5-speed meerkat bike is 24″is ideal for a teenager while 16″  bikes are perfect for 5-6 years
  • Balance bike graduates will give you proper advice on balance bike guides & any other information that you may not find on a bike size chart
  • For babies between 2-4 years with a passion for biking, bike manufacturers always advise that you go for the minimum seat height with coaster brakes and the lowest saddle height to give a sense of balance
  • You will not find a perfect size bike if you do not use a bike size chart. For example, a 16-inch bike will work well with a 5-year-old as well as a short 7-year-old or a 20- inch bike will fit a tall 6-year-old. The type of bikes to settle for depends on one’s preference and the kid’s height. In short, sizing charts will come in handy
  • For sandy terrain, go for BMX bikes for kids as they can withstand the friction. Alternatively invest in bike stabilizers. Training wheel bikes do not do well in such areas as they can easily topple over
  • Do not let kids ride their guardian bikes as they have a large leg extension more than their size which may cause accidents
  • Measure frame sizes for accurate kids size as a larger bike than usual will bring instability while riding. In case the kid outgrows their bike and you need a larger wheel, check the chart by inseam for the right measurements
  • Teens can ride bikes between 20-inch wheels and 24-inch wheel bikes depending on their height. This is the recommended adult mountain bike wheel
  • Suitable bike size will give the kid a great rider experience
  • It’s good to invest in kid bikes that come with advanced features such as back-pedaling brakes for baby bikes

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Kid’s Bike

It’s always important to consider the following vital factors when buying a bike for your child;

Tire width

The width of the tire whether on an adult size bike or bike for children matters a lot. It depends also on the purpose and type of bike, for instance, a mountain bike will need a wide wheel size as compared to a bike for toddlers. The wider the tire the more suitable it is for rough terrain while thinner tires are fitted for smooth surfaces.

Wheel cost

To be realistic, we all check on the price tag first. The type of wheel will depend on the budget. A free piece of advice on bike sizing, the prices are too good to be true then just know the quality will be compromised. Expensive bikes do not necessarily mean durability.

Terrain

This depends on where you will be riding your bike mostly. For instance, wider tires are suited for rough terrains and vice versa. Bikes for kids thou do not necessarily need a larger size than the usual size for kids as you do not intend to let your kid ride a bike on rocky terrain, do you? If so, then all-terrain tired and adult care is recommended. Mountain bikes do well with knobby tires as they are mostly suited for sandy and rocky areas.

Ease of riding

Do you want your kid to learn to ride easily? Then get then a balance bike sizing guide for a balance bike as opposed to a pedal bike. For adult bike sizing, get adult bike size charts especially for adult size mountain bikes. Remember for wide wheels you will need to sacrifice speed but the comfort will be worth it.

Friction resistance

Do you require a bike for fun, or for traveling long distances? One of the adult bikes features to consider is the wheel friction resistance ability especially for road riding. Most adult models have customization in size depending on one’s preferences.If the purpose of the bike changes then you can consult your shop bikes for minor customization on the wheels for a perfect bike.

Children bike Tire type

There are three major types of bike tires in the market today, as follows.

Clincher tires

A clincher tire is made with beads that hook into the bicycle wheel. They are the default tires that bike wheels you get when you purchase a new bike on most bike models 

They have an inner tube that is removable and replaceable in case of a puncture. These tires are the cheapest and the most available in the market as they are easy to source and maintain. An advanced rider would not mind these clincher tires.

These are used mostly in women’s road bikes, and general road bikes that ride on smooth surfaces.

Tubular tires

These kinds of tires are stitched closed around the inner tube to form a torus. They require more labor to repair as compared to the clincher tires as the tire needs to be removed from the rim, then it is opened up and patched, sewn back up, and finally, it is glued back to the rim.

The good thing about tubular tires is that they get punctured less easily than clinchers. Most bike shops recommend tubular tires as it is considered safer to ride in them because the risk of exploding during high speeds is minimal.

Tubeless tires

Unlike the first two, tubeless tires do not require a separate inner tube. They have continuous ribs which are molded integrally to the tire bead. This forces the pressure of the air in the tire to seal with the flanges of the rim of the wheel.

In the case of a puncture, the air escapes slightly through the hole and does not burst like a balloon as in the clincher wheel type. The puncture can be repaired by injecting a liquid tyre sealant.

The probability of getting pinch flats in tubeless tires is low compared to tubed wheels hence are ideal for aggressive riders on rough terrain.

Why is kids bike sizing important?

Children’s Bike sizing is the most important aspect to get right when choosing a bike for your child. If the bike is too big or too small, it can ruin your child’s biking experience and lead to accidents.

Conclusion on kid’s bike sizing

The journey to confident riders begins with children’s bike size and height charts. We wish you and your kid a beautiful rider experience on their way to becoming an experienced rider! Very soon he/she will become a confident pedaller. Remember it is important to teach the kid to ride, in the early days.

Did you enjoy this article, hope you found some help? Please ask any questions you might have in the comments section. Don’t forget to share and help your fellow parents or guardian looking keen to buy great bikes for their kids.

Picture in this post by Kaiyu Wu on Unsplash

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