Kids bikes are sized according to their wheel size, not their frame size like adult bikes. Size is the most important consideration when choosing bicycles for kids. The right size bike will help keep your child safe, comfortable and get the most enjoyment from their bike.
Another important consideration is the frame. A lightweight frame that places the child in a stable, comfortable riding position will be easier to pedal and more enjoyable to ride, meaning it will get ridden much more! Bikes made with alloy frames are typically more expensive than bikes with steel frames. The benefits of alloy are that it is lighter and easier for the child to ride, as well as being less prone to rust.
All kid’s bikes at 99 Bikes are professionally assembled by a trained bike mechanic according to a rigorous safety checklist. This ensures both a safer and less frustrating experience than assembling the bike yourself.
Kid’s Bike Sizing
The height of the child more important than the child’s age, however, for simplicity this guide refers to the suitability of the bike relative to approximate age groups.
ages 1 - 2
|78 cm - 94 cm||12 inch balance bike|
|ages 2 - 4||78 cm - 94 cm||12 inch kid’s bike|
|ages 3 - 6||84 cm - 112 cm||16 inch kid’s bike|
|ages 6 - 10||108 cm - 129 cm||20 inch kid’s bike|
|ages 8 - 13||125 cm - 148 cm||24 inch kid’s bike|
|taller children and more advanced riders||148 cm - 158 cm||Extra small adult bike|
12" Balance Bikes
Balance bike all come in a 12 inch wheels size and are suitable for kids up to 2 years old. Balance bikes are two wheeled bike without pedals that allow children to sit and coast, helping them develop the balance and skills required to ride a bicycle.
12" Wheel Size
12 inch bikes are generally suitable for kids 2 – 4 years old. These bikes come with training wheels, and may feature a push steerer so the child can be assisted or directed when needed.
16" Kids Bikes
16 inch bikes are generally suitable for kids aged 3 – 6 years old. Typically bikes this size will have training wheels and no gears. Around this age children may not have developed a lot of the strength required for riding, so the bike’s weight will be an important consideration. For older children you may want to consider a 16” BMX for a stronger, heavier duty bike.
20" Kids Bikes
20 inch bikes are generally suitable for kids aged 6 -10 years. 20 inch is also the standard size for a BMX wheel, and given they both have no gears the 20 inch kid’s bike and BMX share a lot of similarities.
The main difference between the two is that a kid’s bike will be lighter and easier to ride, and a BMX will be heavier and more durable. Kid’s bikes are designed in a mountain bike style, whereas BMX are designed more for street and skate park riding. A kid’s bike may be a better option if the child is still learning to ride, while a BMX will be more suitable if the child is already confident - or if they have a tendency to be rough with things.
Some 20 inch bikes also come with gears, which can be beneficial if the child is a bit more experienced and coordinated, as well as suspension for better comfort and handling.
24" Kids Bikes
24 inch geared bikes can suit children aged 8 - 13 years old. 24 inch bikes are designed in a mountain bike style, features like gears and suspension forks. 24 inch is the largest of what we would call kids bikes. For taller kids, the next progression would be onto an extra small adults mountain bike.