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The Simple Kids Bike Size Guide

Finding the right size bike for your kid is crucial. A poorly fitting bike can lead to pain whilst riding, ultimately making cycling a horrible experience for any youngster.

Getting to grips with and learning to cycle is hard enough, so a properly sized bike will allow them to focus on developing their cycling skills whilst enjoying their time on two wheels.

Fortunately, I’ve put together this kids bike size guide so that you can quickly determine what size bike your child requires.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn precisely how to choose the right size bike for a child, along with many other helpful bike sizing tips.

The age at which a child can start riding a bike varies. Some children develop their balancing skills sooner than others, but the sooner your child starts learning to ride a bike, the sooner they’ll master the skills needed to cycle without support.

On average, children between the ages of 3 and 8 can start riding a bike. As they spend more time on two wheels, they’ll become more confident, eventually being able to cycle without stabilisers or other support.

Note that the 3-8 age range is average. However, some children may take to two wheels before the age of three, and some may require a little longer to build the confidence to try cycling.

If your child wants to start cycling at an earlier age, a balance bike can be a great way to build confidence for children as young as 18 months!

Otherwise, if your child is ready to ride a pedal bike, they may benefit from using training wheels (stabilisers) to help them balance.

Now that we’ve covered the best age to start cycling let’s look at how to properly measure kids bike sizes.

If your child needs a new bike, you’ll need to measure their inseam and height to determine the best size bike for them.

Age can also be used to find a kids bike size, but this is a less accurate sizing method.

Unlike adult bikes, kids bikes are measured by the wheel size, not the frame size, don’t get the two mixed up, or you’ll end up with the wrong size bike!

Just before we get into the nitty-gritty, I wanted to let you know two essential rules when choosing a bike size for a child:

A kid’s inseam measurement is the length of their inside leg, from the top of their crotch to the ground.

The inseam measurement determines how tall a bike needs to be for a rider to touch the ground with their feet whilst sitting on the bike seat.

The short steps below will talk you through the most accurate way to measure a child’s inseam for a bike.

  1. Have the child stand with their shoes on and back to a wall, feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Take a sturdy book and place the book as high as comfortable possible between their legs, with the book’s spine pressed flat against the wall.

  3. Whilst holding the book firmly in place, ask the kid to step away from the wall.

  4. Using a measuring tape, measure the distance between the top of the book and the ground.

  5. This length is your inseam. Take note of it to avoid having to remeasure.

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