It's important to find your kids' appropriate size bike to enhance their learning experience and support their development during family bike rides.
Making the right decision for your kids' bike size may seem overwhelming, but don't worry - that's a normal feeling. We're here to help you find the perfect size bike for your kids. The two most important factors to consider are height and age, and we'll provide further information on these below.
First off, it's important to note that bike size is measured in inches and represented by this symbol ("). As a point of reference, one inch is equivalent to 2.54 centimetres. This information may not be useful in practical terms, but it's always good to have a fun fact to share during conversations.
The size of the bike's wheels is determined by the diameter of the wheel in inches. Meaning, a 24-inch bike will have a larger wheel diameter compared to a 20-inch bike. It's important to consider the child's age and height when selecting the appropriate bike size to ensure a comfortable and efficient riding position. This is similar to choosing the right size for an adult bike. Once you have the right size, you can then choose a bike that suits their intended cycling use, such as mountain biking, road bikes, hybrid bikes, or city bikes.
The balance bike is a great option for children as young as 2 years old (who measure at least 85 cm) to learn how to balance on a bike. Different models have varying age and height limits, but your child can typically enjoy riding a balance bike until they reach a height of 100 to 105 cm.
A 14-inch bike is ideal for a child aged between 3 and 5, with a height that falls within the range of approximately 90 cm to 105 cm. For kids aged between 4 and 6 years, with a height of approximately 105 cm to 120 cm, a 16-inch bike will provide comfort. When it comes to kids aged between 6 and 9, who measure between 1m20 and 1m35, a 20-inch bike is the preferred choice. Once children surpass 9 years of age, and have a height between 1.35 and 1.50 m, a 24-inch bike is the recommended option. Children who are taller than 1.50 m can consider adult bikes in size S or XS. It's worth noting that these height ranges are only a general guideline and every child grows at their own pace.
It's important to keep in mind that these are simply suggestions, and it's important to base their selection more on height rather than age. To ensure that your child is fully comfortable on their new bike, here are a few key factors to consider and discuss with them:
• Both their feet much town the ground
• The child must be able to reach the brakes easily
• Your kids' bike frame must be appropriate, meaning it should allow them to easily mount the bike seat.
Overcoming rough terrain challenges, thrilling rides uphill and downhill, exploring different gear options, and going off road paths - mountain biking is a fantastic outdoor adventure! Mountain bikes are equipped with specially-designed treaded tires to prevent slipping, and may also feature a suspension fork to absorb shocks, ensuring they are perfectly tailored to the unique needs and anatomy of kids. Pick your kids' mountain bike today!
For 3-year-old kids, there are two options available: a balance bike, if the child has not yet mastered their balance or has not used a balance bike before. This is considered the first step towards riding a bike and is ideal for developing balance on two wheels before transitioning to a "real bike" with pedals.
Alternatively, if the child has already used a balance bike and has established two-wheeled balance, they may be ready to progress to a 14-inch bike with pedals (with or without training wheels, depending on their confidence level).
When selecting a bike size for your kids, it's best to go for the next size up if it's only 2 or 3 centimetres larger. Keep in mind that a bike that is too big can actually hinder the child's learning and development, rather than support it. However, it's also important to consider the child's level of comfort and confidence.
If they feel comfortable on a slightly larger bike, it may be easier for them to adapt. Just keep in mind that the difference should not be significant.
~Always adjust the height of the bike seat. Neither too high, which would prevent your child from touching the ground with their feet and force them to lean forward to pedal, nor too low, so their knees don't touch the handlebars. This way, you'll avoid the risk of having them fall.
We also recommend making adjustments in increments of 5mm until you find the ideal height. Make sure not to exceed the seat's minimum insertion marker. This marker should never be visible for safety reasons (the same applies to the minimum insertion marker of the handlebars).
~Remember to adjust the height and incline the handlebars to maintain a comfortable posture.
~Finally, as soon as the child has outgrown it, their bike should be replaced with a larger one.
We understand the you might be tempted to buy a slightly larger kids' bike in order to anticipate the child's growth and allow them to keep it longer. Warning, that is not a good idea!
Choosing the wrong size bike for your kids can lead to discomfort, fatigue, and even safety hazards. Bicycles are designed with specific ergonomics to fit each age and body type, so it's important to choose a bike that fits your child's size. Avoid the temptation to opt for a larger bike with the intention of using it for a longer time. This not only hinders the learning process, but it can also pose a risk to your child's safety.
The child should be able to reach the brakes quickly and easily and have both feet touch the ground if a sudden stop is needed.
An overly large bike or a bike seat placed too high can cause discomfort and strain in the knees. When the legs are forced to stay straight while pedalling, knee pain may occur. Furthermore, being farther away from the brake handle can prolong the child's reaction time in case of an obstacle, reducing safety. On the other hand, when a bike is too small, the child bends their legs excessively, making them tired faster, and may experience knee pain in the front of the knee. A bike seat that is too low can also cause discomfort in the front of the knee.
In summary, an improper kids' bike size is not ideal if you want them to enjoy the sport.
If the size of the chosen bike allows your kids to be comfortable during outings with their family and friends, it is important to remember to follow these safety rules, starting with a helmet.
~A reminder from the Canadian government:
"In Canada, it is mandatory to wear a helmet in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia for all cyclists, and in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba for cyclists under the age of 18. In Quebec, wearing a bike helmet is done on a voluntary basis, except for the city of Sherbrooke where it has been mandatory for those under 18 since March 2011. Studies shows that making it mandatory to wear a helmet increases the use of this protective gear to approximately 80%."
~Choose a helmet that fits your child's size and activity when purchasing their bike.
You've got age and size covered! Your child is starting off with a solid foundation for their cycling journey. However, your role as a supportive parent doesn't end there. Remain attentive and periodically assess your kids' progression on their bike to ensure their continued growth and safety.
Do you have any questions? Do you need more information? Let us know, we'll answer you!