The Ultimate Bike Size Guide to Fit Your Kids 

During their childhood, children are in movement all day long. By playing, running, jumping, they are developing their bodies and securing normal and healthy growth. Every parent wants to enable his children to grow normally and secure their healthy development.

Whether you’ll buy skates, scooter or bicycle to your child, the essential thing is that it matches their age and weight. That is the key to their successful and enjoyable rides and happy days in childhood. Here are the most important things that you need to know in order to purchase the right bike for your child. Read kids bike size guide, so you’ll know the way for successful shopping for your kid.

Abida G.

Bike Size Chart for Kids

Kids enjoy riding bikes. As the matter of fact, every child remembers the thrill of that first ride, when they mastered the drive and felt so proud of themselves. A bicycle also presents an amazing gift that no kid will forget (Figure 1).

kids bike size guide

Figure 1 A Bicycle Is an Amazing Gift for Your Child

Additionally, it brings kids outside and offers them independence – and it is incredibly interesting to ride a bicycle, too! The good thing is that they can ride a bicycle since they turn about 3 years.

You should know, though, that kids overgrow a bicycle pretty fast. That is a fact and should always be considered when buying one.

When you are selecting a bike for your kid, it is essential how it looks, especially to kids. Every girl dreams about pink princess’ bike with sparkles and a basket, while boys want a tough bike for themselves to show that they are strong and old enough do ride it.

Secondly, you must ensure a high quality. Remember, kids don’t care a lot about this, so you’ll have to make sure that the safety and bike’s quality are completely fulfilled.

Before you start, make sure you are familiar with your kid’s weight and height. It will help you to determine how your child will fit into the bike.

You can use online tools for measuring your child’s bike size and combine the results with the bike size chart (Table 1). That way you will surely find the bike which your child will love and enjoy.

Don’t forget that charts are mostly general information, and must not be taken as an only solution when it comes to bikes. It is the best to find multiple ways for determining what kind of bike will suit your child best.

Table 1 The Bike Size Chart for Kids


Child's Inseam

Wheel diameter "bike size"*


2-4 years

14-17 inches / 35-42 cm

12 inches

Most come with training wheels, some are direct drive

4-6 years

16-20 inches / 40-50 cm

14 inches

Sold at many toy stores and big box stores.

5-8 years

18-22 inches / 45-55 cm

16 inches

Most have rear coaster brakes and pneumatic tires, some have front hand brakes.

6-9 years

20-24 inches / 50-60 cm

18 inches

not commonly available

7-10 years

22-25 inches / 55-63 cm

20 inches

Some models are multi-speed with hand brakes.

9+ years

24-28 inches / 60-72 cm

24 inches

Can have most of the feature of adult bikes.

Kids between 4 years and 8 years developed sufficient coordination for good balance on the bike so that it could be said that they are ready to master riding a bicycle. It can happen, though, that this occurs a little later, depending on an individual child’s development.

However, kids also need a lot of self-confidence to learn to ride a bike. Of course, this generally means that you as a parent will have to be more patient.

If your child has a lack of motivation, try to motivate him/her with friends – that might work because they can sometimes feel more comfortable.

What is the Best Bike for Your Kid?

Although the charts can help a lot, choosing the right bike for your child isn’t quite a science. The most important thing is to watch your kid testing the bike. The important is that the bike fits the child, not vice versa.

First, consider safety. Don’t buy a bigger bike because the child is going to grow. Your child must be able to overlap the mid of the bike with his/her feet flat on the floor on both sides.

This is important because of many reasons. The child must not have to rely on the bikes sides in order to touch the floor with his/her feet. Furthermore, it is essential for the situations where your child will need to get off the bike quickly.

Of course, the comfort is a must in this situation, too. Take care that your child sits naturally on the bike, without his/her leg unnaturally bouncing off the handlebars, or being overstretched on the wheel with his/her hands on it.

In order to purchase the best possible bike for your kid, follow these simple steps:

  1. Find and write down the right size of the bike. Use several methods so you can determine a narrow choice of the bike sizes. Write them down and get ready for shopping.
  2. Educate yourself. It is good to be familiar with the prices and the materials of the bikes, in order to choose the best in the end. Of course, the best possible solution is to find a bike expert, who will save a lot of your time.
  3. Determine your budget before you go shopping. This will help you in narrowing your choices and if you find some sales, you can even save money and get the same quality!
  4. Keep the standards high. Don’t take bikes which don’t have CPSC or Consumer Product Safety Commission, even if a bike is a lot more convenient than the bike with this mark.
  5. Pick up and try a couple of bikes. Look how the child acts while riding the bike. Ask him/her how it feels, too. Make sure that they’re in the right position and that they feel comfortable while riding.
  6. Choose good quality steering and saddle. Make sure that saddle is comfortable and that your child sits in the natural position. Steering must enable easy and free turning and thus be safe.
  7. Test the brakes. Choose the bike with the easiest brakes to press, and also ask your child can it push them easily.
  8. Choose the right tires. Pneumatic tires are the best, mostly in cases if riding over snags – they should spin freely and easily.
  9. Check the bike’s weight. If you plan to carry your kid’s bike everywhere, it is definitely the best solution for it to be as light as it can.
  10. Purchase the safety materials with the bike. If you buy a helmet and other safety materials with the bike, you might get a discount and you surely won’t forget that you need it after all!

What Size Bike for a 6-Year-Old Kid?

In order to practice and enjoy riding a bike, every child should start as early as possible. This will be useful for many reasons – kids will go out, enjoy nature and company and most of all, move!

At the end of age 5, your kid will probably need to change the bike and go for the bigger ones. Small wheelers for toddlers aren’t the option anymore.

As for the models, there are varieties available and that depends on your budget and kid’s wishes. Your child also became little stronger, so he/she can push stronger than before.

In this age, 16-20 inch wheel bikes are considered. They are mostly easily managed and durable. (Figure 2)

Don’t forget to ask your child for his opinion on the look of the bicycle. Wishes of girls differ from boys – they surely won’t like the same bikes. (Figure 3)

bike size chart for kids

Figure 2 the Bike for a 6-Year-Old Child (16 inches)

best bike for kids

Figure 3 the Bike for a 6-Year-Old Girl (16 inches)

Bikes for a 6-year-old child usually have steel or aluminium frames, single speed drivetrain, and v-brakes.

Bikes with 20-inch wheels are also an option for your 6-year-old kid (Figure 4). They are a little harder and stronger since the child started to approach to the world of bigger bikes.

These bikes are ideal for all terrains – they are lightweight, robust and have many gears, ensuring that your child will feel comfortable and safe all the time.

The braking system is based on disc brakes or V-brakes – that will provide bigger stopping power, but in most cases will cost more money, too.

Pedals are flat and fitted to bikes, and these ones have a larger shape, for the larger feet of your child!

What size bike for a 6 year old kids

Figure 4 the Bike for a 6-year-Old Child (20 inches)

Get the right bike for your kid at the right time and make sure that it fits well. Use bike size guide, but firstly listen to your child’s needs – make sure that they liked the bike and that they feel comfortable in it.

It’s important that you give enough money for the bike, and don’t bother with details around – bells, gadgets, and whistles aren’t really needed to your kid, at least in the beginning.

Get the advice from experts and from other parents, but also follow your thoughts and your kid’s wishes. In the end, ensure that your child has a pleasant atmosphere during his/her first ride, teach them to be responsible and to watch out for themselves. And don’t forget to always remember your child to wear a helmet!

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Abida Ganic Licina

I am a mother of two and I have much knowledge in babies and kids, their health and growing, education and parent behavior.

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