How to Choose the Right Size Bike for Your Child: (The Ultimate Guide)

How to choose the right size bike for your child: discover the guide to choose it well and no longer be lost with thumbs.

When it comes to bicycles, size refers to inches, which corresponds to the diameter of the bike’s rim—be it 12, 14, 16, 20, or 24 inches. Choosing the right size for your child is crucial.

This article aims to simplify your decision. We’ll provide straightforward guidelines to help you select the perfect bike for your child.

What thumb for what age? A table to help you choose the right bike for your child according to their age and size 

Refer to the table below for the essential prerequisites to make the right choice for your child when making a purchase! Consider your child’s height in inches. Depend on this table to ensure your child’s comfort on a bike.

Child’s AgeBike SizeMint’s Size
2 to 4 years old10-12 inches85cm – 105cm
3 to 4 years old12 inch bike85cm – 100cm
3 to 5 years old14 inch bike95cm – 110cm
4 to 6 years old16 inch bike1m05 – 1m20
5 to 7 years old18 inch bike1m10 – 1m25
6 to 9 years old20 inch bike1m20 – 1m35
+ 9 years old24 inch bike1m30 – 1m50

This chart will give you an idea of ​​the right size bike your child probably needs. Wheel size is the method bike manufacturers use to classify the size of their bikes, but beware this can be misleading.

Between two bikes of the same size, there can be a difference in the size of up to 10 cm or even more. The design of the frame and the wheels will determine the minimum seat height, and this can vary between two bikes with the same wheel size. 

For example, the Woom 3 (16 inches) has a minimum seat height of 42cm, while the Puky ZL16 (16 inches) has a minimum seat height of 51 cm, i.e., a 9 cm difference.

What  size for a child’s bike? child measure your child’s height

To ensure a perfect bike fit, the best way is to measure your child’s child and compare it to the minimum saddle height of the desired bike.

By choosing a bike according to the saddle height, you are sure not to go wrong even without testing it. Right size bike guaranteed!!

It is also possible to measure the overall height of your budding cyclist and compare it to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It also works, but it’s less accurate than the saddle height comparison.

Inseam size measurement

Please put your child straight against a wall and with his shoes on. All you have to do is measure the distance between the ground and the top of your thigh. You can put a book between your child’s legs, lift it until it touches the crotch, then measure from the floor to the top of the book.  

You now know your child’s child’s size.

How to Choose the Right Size Bike for Your Child
How to measure your childs inseam

Inseam size up to 6 years

Until your child is 6 years old, it is best to take the size of the bike with a saddle size that allows him to put at least both feet flat on the ground.

Therefore, your child’s height must be equivalent to or greater than the minimum saddle height.

Inseam size after 6 years

 After 6 years, a child is more comfortable on a bicycle; you can afford that once seated on the saddle, only the tiptoes touch the ground.

 In this case, the minimum seat height can be between 5 and 10 cm above your child’s child height.

Where can I find the minimum saddle height?

It must be provided on the bike’s characteristics and the manufacturer’s. A quality mark will fill in this information because it is crucial. Don’t waste your time with this bike if it can’t be found!

Generally, the manufacturer gives the minimum and maximum saddle height and can also directly provide the recommended inseam size.

The balance bike from 2 years old: the bike without pedals to gently learn about balance

We have already presented the balance bike in length, width, and crosswise; we are not going to go over it in detail. It’s jusIt’sgreat tool to start early learning to ride a bicycle, balance, and develop psychomotor reflexes.

From the age of 2, your child can get behind the wheel of a balance bike to experience their first adventures on a bicycle: fun and sensations guaranteed!!!!

12 inches and 14 inches / from 3 to 5 years old: the bike for the little ones

12-inch bike: for a child of 3 to 4 years old measuring 85 cm to 100 cm.

14-inch bike: for a child from 3 to 5 years old measuring 95 cm to 110 cm.

These bikes are the first children’s bikes they are suitable for young children in particular: an arm frame (to climb on them easily), the possibility of back-pedaling (pedal backward to brake/slow down ), enough to attach stabilizer wheels (casters), brakes and a handlebar with hand grips. They are adapted to the morphology of toddlers to help them start cycling as quickly as possible!! To protect your child and the mechanisms of the bike, they are equipped with a chain guard and a chainring protector. See our pick of the best 12 and 14-inch bike models.

If your child has already done a lot of balance bikes and is comfortable on them, if their size allows it, they can start with a 14-inch or even a 16-inch bike.

16 inches and 18 inches / from 4 to 7 years old: The intermediate bike

16-inch bike: for a child of 4 to 6 years old measuring 105 cm to 120 cm.

18-inch bike: for a child of 5 to 7 years old measuring 1m10 to 1m25.

An intermediate kid’s bike that starts to look a little more like an adult bike has the same options as the 12 and 14-inch bikes. They offer a little more comfort and speed for your child to go on more and more adventures. See our selection of the best models of 16-inch children’s

Warning, in general, on 16-inch bikes, there is no gear yet; avoid gradients and climbs if possible; in addition to not having any equipment, these bikes are relatively heavy, and your child risks having difficulty!

20 inches and 24 inches / from 6/7 years old and over.

20-inch bike: for a child of 6 to 9 years old measuring 1m20 to 1m35. See our selection of the five best models.

24-inch bike: for a child aged nine and over, with a height of 1m30 to 1m50.

The junior bike has everything of a big one, speeds, and a significant size; your children can now survey all types of terrain with or without unevenness. You can now even choose a variety of bikes, more oriented mountain bike (MTB), mountain bike, or road bike; it will depend on the roads you will follow if it is in the countryside or the city. Like an adult bike, you will be able to choose the weight, the material of the cycle, and the equipment: suspension, brake, derailleur, types of tires, and types of wheels. Generally, it is from 20 inches that learning how to change speeds starts—a real bike like mom or dad.

Family bike rides can now last several hours; parents will have to keep up! Also, be sure with this type of bike to take a model where it is easy to buy spare parts.

At this age, there are even electric bikes.

You are now ready to buy a suitable bike with all the knowledge.

Adjusting the bike correctly is important:

Having a bike adapted to your child is good, but it is essential to adjust it as he grows:

For the little ones (up to 9/10 years old): You have to adjust the saddle of your bike so that both feet (flat) touch the ground!!

For older children  (from 10 years old or even earlier if they are comfortable): you can adjust the bike like an adult’s; adults have to change the saddle to that only the tips of the feet touch the ground. It offers more power (with better pedaling) and is more comfortable.

Don’t panic; it’s a simple adjustment on the bike; it takes a few minutes!

The safety of your budding cyclist

From the first bike or balance bike, we do not laugh about your child’s safety; a fall can quickly happen. For example, with a 20-inch cycle, your child can easily pedal at 15/20 km/hour!!

Priority number 1: wearing a helmet is also compulsory for children under 12!! Warning to parents!!

You can also add some additional safety elements and accessories to protect your cyclist from minor injuries and to make him feel safer:

  • Gloves to protect hands
  • Elbow pads to protect the elbows
  • Knee pads to protect the knees
  • Flashing safety armband to be seen

Don’t also forget to remind him of the few essential traffic rules on the road, how to cross a street and that he must be careful. Unfortunately, a bicycle is an “easy” victim” for cars; you have to be alert and anticipate as much as possible!! Try to make him understand the importance of braking quickly.

There is a choice for all budgets and at all prices.

For your children’s pleasure, girls or boys, there are models in all colors (red, blue, green, pink, white); you can also customize them with different accessories: bells, horns!!

The price will depend on the brand and the options; for small budgets, you can turn to the occasion.

It is also possible for the little ones, babies, to start around 12 months with a walker or a tricycle!!

Some recognized brands for children’s bikes: are Gitane, Giant, Peugeot, Puky, Giant, Orbea, Mercier, Btwin, and Early rider.

Hoping that this guide has been helpful to you, good choice and good purchase of children’s bike. Ready for new sensations on the bike?


Marcelline is a writer and covers several categories thanks to her multidisciplinary expertise.

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