Whether you're buying your child's first bike or they've outgrown their current one, choosing the right size is a big decision! Our experts compiled top considerations, so you don't have to.
Our complete guide can help you find the right size bike for them based on their inseam, age, and height with ease:
Wheel size ultimately determines kids’ bike size (unlike adult bikes, which are measured by frame size and seat height). But you’ll have to know how to translate the wheel size back into your child’s height and inseam measurements.
Luckily, you have two methods to consider when measuring a kids’ bike size:
To help you find the perfect fit for your kiddo (or kids), we've put together the following kids’ bike size chart. We outline the recommended wheel sizes, age ranges, height ranges, and typical features for each size:
|Wheel Size (in)||Age||Height (in)||Height (ft)||Inseam (in)||Inseam (ft)||Typical Bike Features|
|12”||2-3 years||36” - 39”||3’ - 3’3”||13” - 17”||1’1” - 1’5”||
|14”||3-5 years||37” - 44”||3’1” - 3’8”||15” - 20”||1’3” - 1’8”||
|16”||4-6 years||41” - 48”||3’5” - 4’||16” - 22”||1’4” - 1’10”||
|20”||5-8 years||45” - 54”||3’9” - 4’6”||19” - 25”||1’7” - 2’1”||
|24”||8-11 years||49” - 59”||4’1” - 4’11”||23” - 28”||1’11” - 2’4”||
Take this bike size chart for kids to go! Simply click the button below to download this chart to your phone or print it off before you visit us in-store.
Have your child stand up straight with their back against the wall and follow these steps:
You can also use this time to measure their height. Try measuring them three separate times to make sure you’re getting the most accurate height possible.
Using our kids’ bike size chart, you can find their wheel size, based on their age, height, and inseam measurements.
You might find that your child falls into multiple categories. If they’re on the cusp of a bigger wheel size, opt for the bigger one so they can grow into their bike.
Just like no two kids are the same, bikes also all have unique nuances and features that may (or may not) matter to you and your child. Among those features and specifications, you’ll want to pay attention to two factors: standover height & seat post height.
Unfortunately, not every manufacturer is as forthcoming as others with this information. Just after wheel size, comes these two specs when you’re looking for a new bike model or upgrade.
A child’s inseam has to at least match a bike’s standover height. More room simply offers more comfort when riding the bike.
Always make sure the bike you choose is appropriate for your child’s skill level, riding mobility, and age group. Observe your child as they ride, then assess their comfort level on the bike:
Balance bikes are a great option for kids 2-4 years old. The best seat height we recommend would be 1 inch above their inseam.
Toddlers (even preschoolers) can gain many benefits from riding a balance bike:
When your child is ready to upgrade from their balance bike, a kids’ bike with training wheels is the best bet! The seat height should be 0-3 inches above their inseam.
Young riders gain the following benefits:
For big kid bikes, the training wheels come off! Make sure the seat height is positioned level with the kid’s inseam.
It’s now up to the child to ride their bike while coordinating their balance and operating it simultaneously.
“Look! No hands,” you hear as you watch your kid show off (safely, of course) around the sidewalk. Position the seat height between 2-4” above their inseam.
You’ll know an experienced rider when you see one. Consider the following when buying a bike for a seasoned rider:
Stuck on the seat height? Your child’s seat should be positioned so their feet are either flat on the ground or so their tiptoes touch, depending on their comfort level.
The great thing about kids' bikes is that they’re incredibly diverse. You should be able to find plenty of options out there that fit your child but also offer opportunities to accommodate them even as they grow.
Safety and comfort are the two most important things to keep in mind when choosing a new bike.
If in doubt, consult a kids’ bike size chart so you can gain some insight about what wheel size you should consider. You’ll get a range of wheel sizes to look out for before you buy a bike!
Make sure the wheel size is appropriate for their inseam. Seats often can adjust.
You’ll know when a bike is too big or small for your kid. Every child should be able to either plant their whole foot firmly on the ground or touch it with their tippy toes.
Should you size up or down when a kid is in between bike sizes? As long as the child can at least touch their toes to the ground, the bike size should work for them.
Never size up too much to where that’s not possible for them.
Kids' bike sizes often have some overlap. Thankfully, this gives you a couple of options from which to pick.
On a tight budget? Look for bikes with adjustable seat posts or detachable training wheels for longer use. Buying a tricycle for your child now may seem like the best choice. But a bike with detachable training wheels can last much longer if your child can at least touch their toes to the ground with a bigger wheel.
Ready to break out the bikes this summer? Your kids are sure to have a blast on our boys’ bikes and girls’ bikes. They can ride from dawn until sunset around the neighborhood or campground (which means you get more time to relax). Don’t forget to shop our selection of bike helmets to keep your kiddo’s head nice and safe!