Looking Beyond Child Height and Wheel Size
Why do we need a NEW and BETTER guide for kids bike sizes?
Wheel size is the way that bike manufacturers classify their kid bike sizes, but it’s NOT the only factor! It’s not even the most important factor! Wheel size gives you a very general idea of the size of a bike, but bike frame size and seat height range can vary drastically from one bike to another within the same wheel size.
As a result, your child may fit on a 16-inch bike with one brand, but a 20-inch bike with another. There are even bike brands that offer small and large bikes within the same tire size.
What’s the best way to find the right size bike for a child?
Using your child’s inseam in relation to the bike’s seat height is the best and most accurate way to ensure a perfect bike fit. The frame and the tire size work together to determine the seat height of a bike. So by using selecting a bike based on seat height, versus tire or frame size, you can ensure a properly fitting bike for your child even if they’ve never had a chance to try out the bike before you buy it!
The four steps in the kids bike sizing guide below will help you easily navigate the various kid bike sizes.
So where do I find the best bikes and their seat heights?
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Most bike companies don’t publish the seat heights of their bikes so we’ve measured the seat heights of over 50 different bikes for you! You can access seat heights for all kids bicycle sizes using the comparison charts at the bottom of these pages:
For additional information on child bike sizes and what other features you should look for when shopping for a bike, check out our article Best Kids Bikes: The Authoritative Buying Guide.
For young kids that have never ridden a bike, a balance bike is likely a better option for them. Check out Why a Balance Bike Should be the First Bike for Your Toddler.