Bike riding is a great activity to encourage your kids to get outside. To make sure your child has a good experience, it's important that she is outfitted with the appropriate gear, including a properly fitted bike. Don't be tempted to buy a bike that's too big so your child will have time to grow into it. A bike that is too big can be hard to ride and even dangerous.
How Kid's Bikes are Sized
Unlike adult bikes that are sized by the measurement of the frame, kids bikes are most often sized by their tires.
The smallest of the kids line-up, 12-inch bikes fits most kids ages 2 to 4 or with an inseam of 14 to 17 inches.
16-inch bikes fit kids ages 5-8, or with an inseam of 18-22 inches.
This size with fit most kids ages 7-10, or with an inseam of 22-25 inches.
Just a size below a standard adult bike, 24-inch bikes will fit kids with an inseam between 24 and 28 inches.
Once your child hits the 5-foot mark, she may be able to buy an adult frame. Make sure she is able to stand over the top tube of the bike with at least an inch of clearance so she can come off her bike safely.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.