What size bike does my child need?

Almost all children like cycling – some would like to start cycling at the age of three, while others will only enjoy cycling later. But no matter what age your child shows interest in cycling, it is always important that the bike size fits the child. This prevents unnecessary falls and increases the fun of cycling. With our table of bicycle sizes for children, you can instantly see which bicycle size your child needs.

Whether you are a beginner or a young professional, it is always important that the bike size fits the child. And as our dear little ones are constantly growing, it requires a new bike of the right size every few years so that our children can tread safely and with joy.

As with children’s clothing sizes, one can not rely on age information when it comes to children’s bike sizes. For children of the same age can be very different in size. Our child bike size chart gives you a first indication of what bike size to use for your child. But beware, please read on, because the table of bike sizes for children alone is not enough to find the right bike for your child.

What bike sizes are considered child sizes?

Children’s bike sizes are generally all inch sizes between 12 and 24 inches. Bicycles larger than 26 inches are adult bikes.

Table: The right bike size for children

Child’s age (years) Child’s height (cm) Inner seam (cm) Recommended empty size Recommended saddle height (cm)
1 – 1.5 85 – 91 33 – 36 impeller only impeller only
1.5 – 2 92 – 97 37 – 39 impeller only impeller only
2 – 3 98 – 103 40 – 43 12 42
3 – 4 104 – 110 44 – 47 12 – 14 47
4 – 5 110 – 115 48 – 51 12 – 16 52
5 – 6 116-121 52 – 55 14 – 18 55
6 – 7 122-127 55 – 58 16 – 20 59
78 128-133 58 – 60 18 – 20 64
8 – 9 134 – 139 61 – 63 18 – 20 67
9 – 10 140-147 64 – 66 20 – 24 72
10 – 11 148-151 68 – 70 24 75
11 – 12 152-157 71 – 73 24 – 26 78
12 – 13 158-163 74-76 24 – 26 81
13 – 14 164-169 78 – 80 26 83
14+ 170+ 80+ 26 86

The stride length determines the bike size for children

The age information in the table is really only indicative and should never be the starting point for finding the right children’s bike size. The actual size or inner leg length (inner seam) of your child is much better. This determines the correct bike size for children.

You need to measure your child to the right individual children’s bicycle size. Do not rely on the values ​​in the table, as this only contains average values. Each child has their own physique, so it is absolutely necessary to measure the height and stride length individually.

Measure the inner seam correctly

To measure your baby’s inner leg, you need the following tools:

  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • medium size book

Put your child without shoes and preferably also without trousers (tight trousers or leggings are not a problem) with your back against a wall. Now fasten the book vertically between the child’s legs so that the book is perpendicular to the wall at the back. Carefully adjust the book (or let your child do this themselves) so that it sits at the top of the crotch. Now measure the distance between the bottom and top edges of the book with a tape measure or ruler. The result is your child’s inner leg length or inner seam.

What does “inch” mean in children’s bike size?

Bicycle sizes for children and adults are always stated in inches, even though we use a different length gauge in Germany. Inch measuring unit for bicycles always refers to the diameter of the wheel. The larger the empty size of the wheels, the larger or taller the bike.

Why not blindly trust the “Kids Bicycle Size” table.

Our and any other regular children’s bike size overview is always just a starting point for buying a new bike for your child. Even with the individual measurement of your child’s stride length and size, you should not just “blindly” buy a bike for your child. The correct child bike size depends on a factor other than the inch size of the wheels. However, in bicycle size tables and many other estimates of children’s bicycle sizes, it is always only the inch size that is spit out as a recommendation of bicycle size.

A bicycle consists not only of wheels, but also of tires and frames. It probably only makes a small difference whether you have thick or thin tires, but with kids who are right on the border between two sizes, this can make the crucial difference.

Our expert tips: Always use the manufacturer’s child bicycle size tables, or check them out again if you have used ours or another child bicycle size table. If you have decided on a manufacturer, you will find the actual sizes of that manufacturer in their tables. And maybe it turns out that your child needs a size smaller or larger for this brand. Some manufacturers even offer a bike with the same inch size in different sizes.

Find the right bike with the right frame

The frame also plays a big role in determining if a bike fits your child perfectly. Each brand has its own frame shape. Some wheels have a more sporty cut, so your child sits leaning forward on the bike, e.g. B. Early Rider bikes. And there are bikes that your child sits more upright (comfortably) on, such as bikes from Woom or Btwin. Sometimes it also happens that the frame sizes are different between the different manufacturers. Of course, it matters to the right bike size for your child.

EARLY RIDER Belts 14 inch children’s bicycle

The price may be higher now. Price from 19/06/2022 08:55

Children's bike 16 inch 900 Racing
Children’s bike 16 inch 900 Racing

The price may be higher now. Price from 19.06.2022 at 12.10

Have you found the right bike size for your child? This is how it goes

Have you measured your child and taken the correct inch size from the list? With the right bike size for your child, it is best to go to the nearest bike shop and try out different models in the kids bike size that suits you. Your child should ride several laps on each of the bikes to get a sense of how comfortable they are with the bike.

This is especially important for cyclists who are just learning to ride a bike. But also for children who change from one bike size to the next and also want a new model (eg on a mountain bike) or another bike brand.

Those who remain loyal to their brand, e.g. always buy Woom children’s bikes for their children, can buy without a test drive if they have measured their child’s goals properly in advance.

Cannondale Kids Cujo 20 inches
Cannondale Kids Cujo 20 inches

The price may be higher now. Price per. 19/06/2022 at 11:56

Amigo Flower - 20 inch children's bike
Amigo Flower – 20 inch children’s bike

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Sunday 2022 Blueprint 20.5 inch complete BMX
Sunday 2022 Blueprint 20.5 inch complete BMX

The price may be higher now. Price from 19/06/2022 09:08

Children in bicycle size: adjust the saddle correctly

In order for your child to be able to ride optimally on his new bike, it is important that you adjust the saddle height correctly. Anyone who is only marginally familiar with this and buys the bike in a specialty store can get it done directly by the professionals there.

Let me just say it briefly: With the right children’s bike size and properly adjusted saddle, the child should be able to put his feet on the ground (stable standing on his toes is sufficient for older children). For optimal power transmission when stepping on the pedals, your knees should be slightly more than a 90-degree angle when the ball on one foot is in the center of the front horizontal pedal. Not too much, but also not less than 90 degrees. The knee should be perpendicular to the center of the football.

Incidentally, most saddles can not only be moved in height, but also back and forth. Play with these settings to find the perfect sitting position for your child.

Children in bicycle size: Adjust the handlebars correctly

On some bikes, the handlebars can also be adjusted in height or distance from the saddle. If this is possible with your model and you have the feeling that your child, for example, would ride better in a more upright position, try different steering positions so that your child is as comfortable as possible on their new bike in the right size.

We wish you a really good cycling pleasure and always remember that children must always wear a helmet (including us parents) – safety always comes first. If you are not yet sure which bike brand is right for you, take a look at our article “Which bike for beginners”. And these bikes did particularly well in the Stiftung Warentest. And if you are interested in an electric bicycle for children, we have also tested them for you.

Is your child not ready to ride a bike yet? In the video you will find wheel tips …

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Image source: Getty Images / sergeyryzhov

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