Purchasing children’s bikes can sometimes be a nightmare. Especially around Christmas time when you want to keep it a surprise but forgot to get your measurements before December! If you’re looking to buy your child a new bike, or just want to know a bit more, read on!
Inside leg: 30-40cm
Wheel size: 12”
Bicycles for small children with 12” wheels often come in a range of options. Balance bikes are a great starting place for children to learn about balance and centre of gravity before trying a proper bicycle. Options with pedals and stabilisers are also available.
Inside leg: 40-54cm
Wheel size: 16”
Wheel size 16” bicycles all come with pedals and detachable stabilisers. If you’re purchasing your child this size, ensure you check the handlebars to see if they have a brake, if not, this means the braking mechanism is within the pedals and your child will have to pedal backwards to stop.
BMX bikes often have 16” wheels as well, these can be hard to ride so avoid purchasing BMX bikes for this age range.
Inside leg: 52-59cm
Wheel size: 20”
20” wheel bicycles often come without stabilisers and can be hard to fit them to (especially ones with gears). For this age range, back pedal brakes are replaced completely with handbrakes, gears are introduced and options with suspension are available.
Inside leg: 57-66cm
Wheel size: 24”
24” wheel size bicycles are the last size in children’s bicycles before they will have to upgrade to adult sizes. These are equipped with handbrakes and gears to help your child fully develop their cycling skills. Here, a child can get a higher specification bike for different conditions, such as mountain and road.
Inside leg: 64-70cm
Wheel size: 26”
26” inch wheels are usually found amongst adult bikes. These will usually be disguised as a small or extra small frame size. Again, these bikes have higher specifications and you’ll be able to find a wider range of road, mountain and hybrid bicycles. Usually, in girls, these bikes will last many years as long as they don’t have a big growth spurt!
Helmets and protection
Helmets are fundamentally one of the most important pieces of safety equipment you can wear whilst riding a bicycle, that’s why it’s crucial that the fit and size are right.
How to get a measurement for a helmet
To measure the size of your child’s head for a helmet, you can wrap a piece of string of material around the head (an inch above their eyebrow) and measure the length against a tape measure.
How can I tell if it fits properly?
When trying on helmets, the helmet should sit flat on top of the head, an inch above the eyebrow. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath the chin strap, and the helmet should have no wobble to it at all (if you find any of these happening, try adjusting the helmet first before trying the next size down).
What extra protection can my child use?
If you’re worried about your child’s first ride (with or without you!) there are extra precautions you can take.
When buying a helmet, look for little yellow mark that says “MIPS”. This is a technology integrated in to helmets that can reduce the risk of concussion in the case of an accident. Additionally, knee and elbow guards are available in all sizes. With options available for basic riding, to BMX, to mountain biking.
If you're looking for a bit of knowledge on basic bike maintenance, click here and check out our blog!