A Word On Kids Bmx Bike Sizing
And now to throw a wrench into everything Ive said above. If youre buying a kids BMX bike, the above rules on bike size dont apply.
There are two different types of kids BMX bikes: freestyle/street BMX bikes and racing BMX bikes . Both have different sizing.
For freestyle/street BMX bikes, youll generally want to choose a bike that has a wheel size one size smaller than you would for a traditional kids bike. In other words, if your child would ride a 16 inch bicycle, theyd want a 14 inch BMX bike.
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V Shopping For Your Kid’s New Bike
Nothing’s more fun on Christmas or a birthday than surprising your little one with a brand-new shiny bicycle, one that he’ll want to immediately take outside and show off to the neighborhood. Here’s an important piece of advice: forget it. That is unless you’re prepared to tear your youngster off of that new bike and return it for a full refund.
When shopping for your child’s new bike, here’s your first rule: Take your kid with you. Going to the store with just your child’s measurements and a kids bike size chart is a big mistake. In order to find the perfect bike for your perfectly unique child, you have to actually put him on the bike and check the fit, and then take him outside for a test ride.
Here’s your second bike shopping rule: Be sure that the bike you are putting your child on is the exact same model as the one you are considering to buy. In fact, it’s better to put your child on the exact bike you’re thinking of buying, and if the exact bike or model is not available, come back another day. Or go somewhere else.
And remember to bring your child’s bike helmet with you on your shopping trip. It’s for the test ride. If your kid doesn’t have one, you know what your first purchase will be.
Bigger Kids: Which Bike To Choose And Buy As Children Grow
Kids grow so if they are in a child seat or trailer it won’t be long until they outgrow it. At 2-4 years they can move on to their own appropriately sized tri-cycle. On a bicycle, kids can experience/learn the laws of inertia, pedaling, steering, braking and sitting on a saddle. Tricycles don’t do much to develop a sense of balance and they can be tippy .
Most kids try a two-wheeler with training wheels around age 3 years.
Between the ages of 4 and 8 years most kids have developed sufficient physical coordination and agility, good balance, and master starting and stopping on a tricycle or training wheels so that they are ready to learn to ride a bicycle. But, along with physical skills it also takes mental readiness and motivation to learn to bicycle. Some kids don’t develop this until they are 10 or more years old. It sometimes takes a lot of patience on the part of parents. Interest and readiness to learn to ride a bike can manifests itself as questions about bicycles, a desire to ride with friends, talk about tricycles and training wheels as things for “babies,” etc. For tips on how to teach a kid to learn to bicycle click on this link.
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Frame Design Find A Long Wheelbase
Most 14 inch childrens bicycles are designed inefficiently. Most have brief body problems. A bike with training wheels allows the child to concentrate on the bike better.
The 14-inch bikes have a more elongate body and offer more space for the young driver. It also increases stability and manoeuvrability and makes it easier for the bike to move.
They also usually hold a child in an upright position, which is the most comfortable position to ride for beginners.
Most Accurate Kids Bike Size Chart
Once youve taken your childs height and inseam measurements, you can use the table below thatll help you find the most suitable bike size.
At the end of the article, Ive included a Bike Size FAQ section, so if you have any questions when deciding upon the best bike size for your kid, take a look.
|26″, 27.5″ & 700c Wheels|
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Is There A Difference Between Bikes For Girls Or Boys
Or at least there shouldnt be, especially for the younger rider.
Admittedly as kids get older, certain anatomical differences will start to assert themselves but even then, thats not something that needs to concern any parent until their kids reach their late teens.
That said, people still market bikes that are specifically for either girls or boys. Most notably, the difference between these girls and boys bikes tends to be the lower stand over -Murder She Wrote/Miss Marple- style bikes made for girls.
that the basket is very useful for transporting Barbies and snacks. I tried telling her this is why we have panniers and backpacks, but she just wont listen to reason. Im still convinced that the reason she picked the pink beach-cruiser style thing she rides everywhere was because it was the only bike in the shop that had streamers stuck onto the handlebars. Go figure.)
But yes, specific girls bike also tend to be brightly colored with classic feminine pink and white etc. Conversely, specific boys bikes will classically cliche darker blues and bright reds.
Whats singularly important to note at this point however is that there is no physical need whatsoever for the lower tube for girls and higher tube for boys difference.
Why Kids Bike Sizing Is Challenging
When purchasing a kids bike, you should never choose a bike size based on an age range that is listed on a sizing chart. There are 2 main reasons for this:
Kids the same age can be taller, shorter, and have different leg lengths than the average size kid.
Kids bike sizing can vary greatly between different brands
What, how can this be? This is because the same size bike can have very different geometries, especially when you find brands like Guardian Bikes that design bikes specifically for kids.
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How To Measure Bike Size For Teenagers
Measuring a bike size for a teenager is done precisely the same as when measuring for a child.
If your teen isnt of average height, you should locate a column in on of the bike size charts displaying the closest match to their height.
Otherwise as youll find in the table below, anyone above the height of 57 is now ready for an adult bike with full size wheels!
Its Good For The Environment
When your child rides a bike, they are not using any gas or emitting pollutants. This is good for the environment and helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Its also a great way to teach your child about the importance of protecting the planet. The child will also learn how to be independent and responsible.
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How To Choose Kids Bikes
From balance bikes for the smallest riders to youth mountain bikes with front suspension, there are a lot of two-wheel options available to young cyclists. But with so many choices, how do you narrow your search? Well guide you through the process of finding the right bike for your child.
The best indication of which size is right for your child is how comfortable they feel on the bike.
To get the right fit, its always best to have the child try several bikes out in person. That way they can sit on the seat, grip the handlebars, test the brakes and take the bike for a spin to make sure it fits and they can pedal comfortably. A skilled bike tech or sales associate at your local REI store can help you with personalized fit recommendations.
If youre not able to size a bike in person, its still possible to find one online by taking a childs measurements and comparing them to bike specifications.
What About A Bmx
BMX style bikes have an awful lot going for them. They are tough, single geared, extremely durable, and their resale value is quite high.
The best thing about BMX style bikes though is their inherent ability to go anywhere and deal with any biking situation life can throw at them. By their nature, they are small wheeled bikes, which means, as Ive already stated, kids can start using them at a very young age, and many kids versions will come with a 12-inch wheel.
Even when moving to a fully sized 20-inch wheel BMX base, the bike is the same shape, just slightly bigger. One of the big pluses of a BMX is that for the same money as a kids mountain bike, youll probably end up with a lighter and better bike overall.
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Its Different For Kids These Days
As grownups the proper way to choose a bike is by primarily referencing ourselves to the frame size of the bike we intend to choose. In the most basic of terms, if we can stand over the bike with our feet planted on either side of the upper tube, then we can say with some certainty the bike fits. This is not how you choose the right size bike for your boy or girl. Ideally you should use a kids bike size chart to make sure you are making the most informed choice possible.
Fortunately, there are guides and guidelines for helping you choose a bike that is perfect for your childs age and size. Take a look at the infographic below.
Can A 3 Year Old Ride A 14 Inch Bike
Yes, a 3 year old can ride a 14 inch bike, and is the recommended height too.
A 14 inch bike, technically, is a new entrant into the kids bike size segment and is a step up from a 12 inch bike.
So you can either opt for a 12 inch or a 14 inch bike as per your preference.
A kid who is between 36 and 42 inches tall would be a good candidate for a 14 inch bike.
14 inch bikes tend to be costlier but the kid would not grow out of the bike fast as its a little bit bigger too.
14 inch bikes tend to have better kid-specific geometry compared to a 12 inch bike.
If your kid is on the taller side with respect to height, then a 14 inch bike would be a better option.
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Find The Perfect Seat Height
Now that you know what size bike is likely best for your child, its time to take your childs riding ability into consideration. Why? The proper fit of a bike is based on the seat height of the bike as compared to the childs inseam. The seat height of a bike, however, should be set differently based on if your child is a beginner, is experienced, or is using training wheels.
The seat height is the distance from the ground to the top of the seat and will help you narrow down your options even further and guarantee a great fit from day one!
A beginning rider should be able to sit on the bikes seat and have their feet flat on the ground. At this stage, its essential for a child to be able to easily stop their bike using their feet. As a result, their bikes seat height should be set equal to their childs inseam.
In the image above, our 5-year-old tester is on a 16 inch bike with the seat height set to 19.5 to match her inseam. If she were a beginning rider, this bike would be a perfect size bike for her.
SIZINGTIP: The seat of a childs first pedal bike should be set at the same height as the childs inseam.
Experienced Riders 2nd Pedal Bike
If our 5-year-old tester was an experienced rider, this 20 inch bike with the seat height set to 22.5 would be a perfect fit.
SIZINGTIP: The seat of a confident pedaler can be set 2 4 above their inseam.
Beginner Bike with Training Wheels
How To Choose Your Kids Cycle
Childs Age: Whether it’s a balance bike, one with stabilizers, or your child’s first mountain bike, there’s a bike for every age! Children can start learning to ride a tricycle or balance bike from the age of two. In order to learn to ride “like a grown-up”, kids between the ages of three and five can use bikes with stabilizers and balance bikes that can be converted.
Childs Height: When your child is learning to ride a bike, you need to make sure the bike is of the right size for their height. This will make learning faster and more fun for your budding cyclist. Bike sizes vary from 10 to 24 inches. Depending on your child’s height, they will need the following size of bike.
Between 85 cm and 1 m: 10-inch bike Between 90 cm and 1.05 m: 12- and 14-inch bikes .Between 1.05 m and 1.20 m: 16-inch bike.Between 1.20 m and 1.35 m: 20-inch bike.Between 1.35 m and 1.55 m: 24-inch bike.To help you choose, we have the size chart on our website and in our local stores.
Usage of Bike: From the age of six, kids start using their bikes differently. Whether it’s a hybrid, mountain or BMX bike, you will need to refine your choice.
There are different kinds of hybrid bikes available depending on whether you cycle in cities or in the countryside, with features such as a low step-through, accessories such as a basket or panniers, a comfy saddle, mudguards, etc. For riding on slightly rougher terrain, a mountain bike is the best. BMX models are best used in state parks.
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How Big Is A 14 Inch Bike
14 inch bikes are suited for kids who are big for a 12 inch bike or who are looking for an alternative to a 12 inch bike.
14 inch bike sits between a 12 inch bike and a 16 inch bike in terms of sizing.
Some parents prefer to start their kids on a 14 inch bike instead of a 12 inch bike, and we would recommend the same too, as these bikes provide a better fit for the kid.
Finding The Right Bike
Keep in mind that many bicycles made for kids don’t have the high quality of adult bikes, the IBF says. That’s because a high-quality bikeno matter what the sizecosts hundreds of dollars, and many parents don’t want to spend that much on a bicycle their child is going to outgrow in a year or two. Buying a bike that is age-appropriate and safe for your child is worth the investment though.
A bike should be the right size for your child. That means your child should be able to comfortably straddle the bike with feet flat on the ground. Your child should be able to get onto the bike seat by slightly tipping the bike to one side. When your child is riding, his or her knees shouldn’t hit the handlebars, nor should they be so stretched out that your child can’t maneuver the bike easily.
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What Size Person Is A 26 Bike For
What size rider can a 26-inch bike accommodate? Bikes with 26-inch wheels are intended for riders who are between the heights of about five feet and the lower end of six feet in height. If youre significantly taller than that, your bike should have wider tires and greater room in length .
Ii Bike Sizes Types And Features
Kids bikes come in sizes measured by wheel diameter, as opposed to adult bikes which are measured by frame size and seat height. Common wheel diameters for children’s bikes are 12, 16, 20, and 24 inches. By comparison, adult mountain bike wheel sizes typically start at 26 inches. Note that not all brands make bikes in all of these sizes. In additon, you may run into a few manufacturers offering models with 14- or 18-inch wheels.
Types of bikes commonly available:
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Look Up The Specs For The Bike You Are Interested In
Just because you think your child probably needs a 14 bike doesnt mean that ANY 14 bike will fit them. Different bikes have different stand-over heights and min/max seatpost heights. Its best to look for a bike that will provide the BEST FIT for your kiddo.
Not all bike manufacturers list the standover height for their bikes. If they do, however, you should compare it to your childs inseam.
The standover height is the height of the top tube of the bike frame where your child will be positioned when standing with one leg over each side of the bike. This means that your childs inseam needs to be AT LEAST as tall as the standover height. Ideally, there will be a little more space than that for your child to maneuver the bike comfortably.
Your child needs to be able to comfortably stand over the top tube of the bike
The other stat that you should absolutely look up is the minimum seatpost height for any bike you are considering. How the minimum seatpost height compares to your childs inseam is dependent on whether you are buying a balance bike, first pedal bike, or a pedal bike for a confident pedaler.
For a balance bike, you want to make sure that the minimum seatpost height is no higher than your childs inseam length. This allows your child to put their feet flat on the ground, to learn to balance and to scoot.
For a balance bike, you want your child to be able to place their feet flat on the ground while sitting on the seat
Balance Bike Guides & Comparison Charts: