Kids Bike Buyer's Guide
Finding the perfect kids bike
Every kid is different so finding the right kids bike for your child can be a bit of a challenge. There are numerous factors to consider when looking for a kids bike, including age, height, and experience riding on two wheels. While adult bikes are measured by the frame, kids bike sizes are calculated by wheel sizes, with the smaller the wheel size, the smaller the child the bike is designed for.
This buyer’s guide for kids bikes will help you navigate the different sizes and styles we offer so you can find your kid’s first or next bike.
Tricycles are perfect for your kids if they are wanting to start riding bikes, but may need to gain some confidence in pedaling and steering without the fear of being on two wheels. Generally, they are sized for toddlers, but can allow for a smooth and fun ride for bigger kids too.
Balance bikes are the perfect type of bike to teach your kids how to ride. Instead of featuring pedals, they are meant to get your children used to the idea of balancing, maneuvering, and scooting around on a bike.
Ideally, your child will get more comfortable and confident with these skills and you’ll notice they might be wanting to ride around faster, to which a bike with pedals might be the next logical choice.
Balance bikes can also be a good alternative to starting your kids with training wheels.
12-Inch Bikes (2-4 Year Olds)
For 2 to 4 year olds, 12-inch bikes are often a top choice of parents. They are perfect for helping your kids get used to riding bikes and gain a little confidence in themselves.
Often paired with coaster brakes and removable training wheels, 12-inch bikes like the Giant Animator are great first bikes to get your kids to associate having fun with being on two wheels.
16-Inch Bikes (3-6 Year Olds)
Slightly bigger than 12-inch bikes, 16-inch bikes generally have the same features of their smaller counterparts like removable training wheels and coaster brakes and are sized for kids between 3 to 6 years old. They are also great for building up your kid’s confidence in riding bikes and learning how to ride.
20-Inch Bikes (5-8 Year Olds)
As your kid gets older, the bikes built for them tend to feature more variety and the selection of 20 inch bikes is where that begins. Generally, there are two types of 20 inch bikes, each built for kids with different levels of ability.
Basic models most always feature a single speed and coaster brakes, with some having the option of training wheels and a front hand brake for kids to practice using one. One of our favorites is the Specialized Riprock Coaster 2.0.
More advanced models of 20 inch bikes are perfect for kids who are more comfortable riding on two wheels and are ready for a bike with multiple speeds and hand brakes. Of the more advanced 20-inchers, the Giant XtC JR 20 Lite is a great choice.
24-Inch Bikes (7+ Year Olds)
Think of 24 inch bikes as the starting point of more advanced bikes with their hand brakes and gears. These bikes are good for your child to get used to riding the standard of bikes they will be riding as they get older. They generally fit a wide age range, anywhere from 7-12 years old.