Buying the right size bike for your child is very important.
Having the right size bike not only makes it much easier for the child to ride the bike but also makes it a lot safer as well. A child who uses a bike that is a proper height for them is less likely to fall off and have accidents as well as will have better control over their bike.
What Size Bike Does My Child Need?
The important thing to know about children’s bikes is that they are measured by the diameter of the wheels not the frame of the bike like adult ones.
Kid’s bikes start at 12″ and go up to 24″. That means you will see bikes in sizes, 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″, and 24″.
To get a good idea of what size bike your child will need is to measure his inseam, which is the length of his leg starting at the inside where the hip meets the leg and down until you hit the ground. This should give you a pretty good starting idea of what size bike your child would need.
Most bike manufacturers will also give you height recommendations right on the bike description as well. Usually these are spot on unless your child has really long legs and a shorter torso and it may throw off the measurements a bit.
Do keep in mind that BMX bikes are exceptions to the rules most of the time since they are meant to be a bit smaller but will have higher seat positions to allow for taller kids. Most of the time you won’t find a BMX bike for a kid that is over 20″. On the other hand mountain bikes go up to size 24″ and are made to fit the child precisely.
Kids Bike Size Guide Calculator
Check out this bike size chart for kids to give you a rough estimate of the size bike a child may need.
If you want another resource for finding the right bike size for your kid, check out ebicyles.com bike size calculator that can give you a great guide on buying the correct size bike according to the style of the bike. It also has a calculator for adult size bikes as well.
Again, you want to check out each bike individually for specific measurements the company may have.
One tip that I want to share with other parents as well is it can be tempting to buy a bike that is too large for a child so they can “grow into it” and get more use out of it, but this can actually lead to more accidents. When a bike is too large for a child it can not only be uncomfortable to ride but it can also be hard to control and steer properly as well. Instead buy a bike that fits your child at the size they are now to help them gain confidence when riding and actually enjoy riding bikes for years to come.