Our Guide to Choosing the Right Size Kids’ Bike

Learning to ride a bike can be a huge part of any child’s life. It can set them on the way to a love of bikes and cycling that will last a lifetime. It can help them grow in confidence and enable them to get out enjoy the outdoors on two wheels from a very young age, developing all kinds of skills in the process. Learning to ride a bike can be hard though and it takes time and patience from both child and parents but it’s much easier if the bike is the right size!

Not only does size matter, but even from a young age kids
can be pretty set in their ways in what they want their bike to look like, so
picking one that they adore will not only keep them happy but encourage them to
ride them more! To help you find which size is right for your child we’ve put
together a quick sizing guide to help you get the right one, as well as
highlighting some of our best-selling kids’
for you to choose from.

Balance Bikes

Suitable for children aged 2 - 4 years (82 - 100cm / 2’ 8” – 3’ 3”)

While it’s easy to throw kids in at the deep end on a
pedal bike with stabilisers, balance bikes are a much better proposition for
aspiring young riders. Balance bikes allow them to scoot along to their hearts
content, helping them get used to balancing and controlling the bike without
having to worry about pedalling. Balance bikes like the Kiddimoto
Super Junior
and Cube
Cubie 120 Walk
are both great examples of quality kids’
bikes, with handles under the saddle if the little ones need a little
assistance and stylish finishes that really look the part.

12-14” wheel bikes

Suitable for children aged 3 – 6 years (98 - 122cm / 3’ 3” – 4’ 0”)

Once they’ve mastered the balance bike, it’s time to move
onto pedal powered bikes. As kids learn at different speeds, they may be
slightly older or younger when they make the leap and as such you can get
pedal-powered bikes with the same 12” wheels as balance bikes, like the Cube
Cubie 120
or bigger 14” wheels for slightly older kids, like the Ridgeback
. With single-speed drivetrains complete with protective covers,
removable stabilisers and brakes, these bikes are a perfect way to get started
on pedal-powered bikes.

16-20” wheel bikes

Suitable for children aged 5 – 9 years (106 - 130cm / 3’ 6” – 4’ 3”)

Kids grow quickly and before you know it they’ll be
looking for a bigger bike and maybe even getting to grips with gears. Who
knows, they might even be racing at this age! From 5 to 9 years of age kids
will grow and progress on their bikes quickly, so the wheel sizes are staggered
quite closely in case they fall in between two sizes. With 16” kids’ bikes like
the Scott
Roxter 16
and 20” bikes such as the Cube
Acid 200
sandwiching the middling 18” bikes like Raleigh’s
Zero 18
you can be sure to find the perfect fit.

24” wheel bikes

Suitable for children aged 8 – 11 years (130 - 141cm / 4’ 3” – 4’ 8”)

This is where kids’ bikes can start to get serious. With
more and more kids racing from a younger age these days, you’ll see some pretty
flashy 24-inch wheeled bikes that take inspiration from adults’ bikes as well
as more traditional options. Bikes such as the Raleigh
Zero 24
are perfect for young riders who want to ride their bikes
everywhere, with a wide range of gears and semi-slick tyres. If your youngster
wants to push a bit harder, a bike like the Scott
Scale 24 Disc
will give them chunky tyres and disc brakes to help
cope with rougher terrain.

26” wheel bikes

Suitable for children aged 10+ (140 - 158cm / 4’ 7” – 5’ 2”)

26” wheels used to be the preserve of adults, but now
with bigger wheels available 26” wheels make for great kids bikes! Models such
as the 26” Scott
offer frames that are small enough for kids to ride, but
provide the same stability boosting performance that adults can enjoy from
bigger 29” wheels. These are a great choice for older or smaller kids who
aren’t quite ready to make the step up to an adults’ bike just yet and are
perfect for a wide-range of riding. They look awesome too!

Getting the right size is important!

Hopefully this guide has given you a better idea of what
size bike to buy your kids. Occasionally you’ll find they may fall between two
sizes, just like an adult may fall between sizes of bikes, too. If this is the
case we usually recommend going for the slightly bigger bike, as this gives
them room to grow and extends the usable life of the bike; kids grow fast after
all and the longer you can keep them on a bike the better! To help make life
even easier, take a look at our detailed size guide below, as this will be a
huge help in determining what size will be suitable.

If you’re still unsure, don’t forget our expert sales team are always on hand to offer advice by calling 01978 660 003. With years of experience behind them they can advise you on the right way to go and help ensure you get the perfect bike for your young riders!