When choosing a bike for young riders, the first step is to select the correct bike size. Kids’ bikes are classified according to their wheel size, from 12 to 24 inches.
How to choose a child’s bike
When choosing a bike for young riders, the first step is to select the correct bike size. Kids’ bikes are classified according to their wheel size, from 12 to 24 inches. Other differences include style and accessories, such as multiple gears, front suspension and knobby or slick tires.
How to choose the bike size?
For children of age 6 and under, a two-step test is suggested:
- Make sure the child can put both feet flat on the ground
- Make sure the child is able to turn the handlebars easily while keeping both hands on the handles
This simple test allows you to see quickly if the bike is too high or too long, two crucial things for optimal control and safety.
Bike size chart
Our recommendations by height and age:
- 80-95 cm (2-3 years old): 12” bikes and push bikes
- 95-115 cm (4-6 years old): 14-16” bikes
- 115-135 cm (6-8 years old): 20” bikes
- 135-150 cm (9-13 years old): 24” bikes
- 150 cm and over: 26” bikes or adult bikes with an extra-small frame
Although this chart is valid in most cases, it only serves as an indication and you may choose another size depending on your child’s abilities.
How to choose the perfect model?
Most bike brands usually offer a mountain bike model and a hybrid bike model.
The mountain style model is appreciated for its wider tires and greater versatility. It’s perfectly suited to the neighborhood life, light gravel trails, parks and cycling pathways. The Giant XTC and Garneau Trust 201 are good examples of mountain style bikes.
The hybrid bike is well suited for long family rides where you need to cover greater distances. Thanks to better frames and components, these bikes are usually lighter and their thinner tires reduce the rolling resistance. The Giant Escape and Trek Precaliber 24 are good examples of hybrid bikes.
For the young racers out there, kids’ road bikes with 24”, 26” and 650 mm wheels are also available. This is the perfect choice for those who want to follow their parents already on road bikes, or try their hand in the local road racing club.
With or without gears?
For the sake of simplicity, smaller 12”, 14” and 16” bikes don’t come with derailleurs, they only have a single gear, a coaster brake, and a handbrake for the rear wheel. Bigger 20” and 24” bikes can have multiple gears in order to tackle more challenging terrain with ease, as well as cover greater distances with more efficiency. Parents can determine if their child is skilled enough to handle multiple gears.
We strongly recommend multiple gears if you plan on doing longer rides as they allow much more efficiency. Most people don’t realise this, but when the rider weight is taken into consideration, kids’ bikes can be much heavier than regular bikes, meaning having easier gears are really important on more challenging rides.
Let yourself be tempted by our wide selection of kids bikes and come try it in one of our stores located in Blainville, Brossard and Laval.