Sizing Chart for Kids Bikes

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By In The Playroom

A bike is not only a mode of transportation, but also a tool for developing physical fitness, coordination and balance skills. Riding a bike builds confidence and provides a safe way for children to play outside and have some time with friends.

So you want to buy your child a new bike, but how do you choose the right size? 

kids bike wheels

There are many things to consider when you’re buying a kids bike, from frame size to handlebar and saddle height to wheel size and whether or not it’s adjustable.

Our kids bike sizing chart will help you get started. Let us help you out with how to choose a bike frame for kids.

choosing the right size bike for your child

Sizing Questions to ask when choosing your child’s new bike

What size bike does my child need?

This depends how confident and experienced your child is with bike riding. The standard sizing chart for kids bikes may apply slightly differently if it is your child’s first bike, or if they are a confident rider who just needs move up a size.

Ask yourself – Is your child a confident bike rider and capable of handling a bigger, heavier bike?

Is your child a beginner and feels more comfortable with their feet a little more flat on the ground, or are they confident just reaching the floor with their toes?

older kids bikes

How should a kids’ bike fit?

To check the fit of your child’s bike, have them sit on the bike and take a look at how they are positioned. Their arms should be comfortably straight towards the handlebars, if your child has to stretch far to reach then the frame is too big and if they look hunched up it may be too small. 

If this is your child’s first bike, they may feel more comfortable able to straddle the bike and be able to place their feet flat on the floor on both sides. However, once kids get more confident this is not necessary as long as they can touch the floor with the balls of their feets they don’t need to place them down flat. 

the right fit on a bike

When to move on to adult bikes?

Bikes of wheel diameter 26″ and up are classed as small adult bikes, and older kids may move on to these from around the ages of 9-11+ depending on your child’s height and confidence on the bike.

By the time a child is around 11 years old, it’s likely that they can comfortably move onto an adult bike.

adult bike

What to do if your child is in between sizes, for their new bike?

When deciding whether to go with the size up or down, ask yourself the following questions:

Is your child a confident bike rider and capable of handling a bigger, heavier bike?

Is your child a beginner and feels more comfortable with their feet a little more flat on the ground, or are they confident just reaching the floor with their toes?

If unsure, be aware that riding a bike that is much too big is a surefire way for your child to lose confidence and feel unhappy on the bike.

Always buy the correct size for the current moment, do not size up thinking they will grow into the bike or that it will last longer. It’s not worth it.

Sizing Chart for Kids Bikes

Check our kids bike size chart below for reference, showing typical age range, child’s height and wheel size to help you find the best fit.

Our size guide runs you through children’s bikes from 12-inch wheels to 26-inch wheels.

NOTE: Child’s height is more important than age. Within an age group, kids heights and sizes can vary a lot and kids grow at different rates so take into account your child’s ability and individual size, and their fit on the bike.

The chart is provided as a guide only. Please use your judgement or seek professional advice as needed.

AgeChild’s HeightWheel Size

Download the Kids Bike Size Guide as a PDF Printable

If you want to print or save this guide as a reference, we made it easy in PDF format.

Click the download button below for a free instant digital download.

More Questions to ask when selecting the best bike for kids

These questions go further than just picking the right size bike for your child, but are also important when picking out the most suitable bike.

Kid’s bikes can be expensive, and you want to make sure you made the right choice.

The best way (although researching online to get some ideas is important too!) is to go in person to a bike shop and physically try out the bikes, as well as take advice from the experienced staff.

We found that smaller Independent bike shops can often be the most helpful. If it’s possible to go for a test ride, this can be really useful.

Should my child’s bike have gears?

The younger riders do not need gears on their bikes. It will just add weight, making the frame more bulky and heavy which just puts your child at a disadvantage. When riding their first pedal bike, for the first time, you want to make it as easy as possible so it is better to avoid gears.

Once your child moves onto a bigger size, of a 20-inch wheel bike this is a great time to introduce a bike with gears.

teenager bmx bike

Does my child need a mountain bike?

When choosing the perfect bike for your child, your basic options are the following types of bikes

  • road bike
  • mountain bike / bmx bikes
  • hybrid bikes

The ideal bike to go for depends on the type of cycling your child will do. Will they be riding in the streets, in the mud, on the BMX track, or a mixture of all of these? Depending on your answer to this, the best bikes for your needs may vary.

Guide to Balance Bikes

While you’re here, check out our guide to getting your young child riding a bike confidently, and skipping the training wheels stage (aka stabilisers)

Spoiler alert – it’s all to do with balance bikes!

In conclusion, keep a close eye on your child’s height (and those growth spurts!) as this is more important than your child’s age when choosing a bike. Observe how they physically look on the bike and make sure to get the right fit.

A good choice of bike could last them for years, you can adjust the seat height of the bike to see them through the shorter to taller ends of the height spectrum for each bike size.

Kids bike sizing can seem confusing or overwhelming at first, but with the right advice you will soon have the perfect fit to watch your child happily pedalling on their way.


We hope you found this guide to kids bike sizes useful. Please go ahead and share with friends and family, if they need a hand on finding the correct sized bike for kids in the family.

sizing chart for kids bikes with free printable chart for reference

Want to pin the size guide to your Pinterest board for easy reference? Here’s a handy graphic version that you can use.

sizing chart for kids bikes, how to choose the right size bike for my child

Happy cycling!

More to Read on Kids Bikes

Now that you’ve found the right bike size for your child, let’s get on to other important things like researching some fun and beautiful bike trails all around Europe and even what to dress up your bike as for Halloween!

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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