Kid’s bikes? Find the right bike for your child here
Kid’s bikes and sizes
Apart from the equipment, the most important factor when buying a children’s bike is the right size. Your child is then secure on their child's bike and has fun. Choose the right size bike based on your child’s height. Here is an overview of current kid’s bike sizes:
height from approx. 85 cm: 12 to 14 inches balance bikes and scooters for balance training
height from approx. 95 cm: the smallest option – a 12 inch kid’s bike
height from approx. 100 cm: a 14 inch kid’s bike
height from approx. 105 cm: a 16 inch kid’s bike
height from approx. 115 cm: an 18 inch kid’s bike
height from approx. 120 cm: a 20 inch kid’s bike
height from approx. 130 cm: a 24 inch kid’s bike
The right frame size on a boys or girl’s bike means the child can put both feet on the ground (for stopping) while in the saddle and assumes a healthy position when riding. So it’s also important for the saddle and handlebars to be height-adjustable – you can adjust the bike at short intervals as your child grows.
12 to 14 inch kid’s bikes
Kid’s bikes with this frame size fill the gap between a balance bike and the first proper kid’s bike. Instead of pushing along with their feet, your child learns how to use pedals, getting a feel for this new form of locomotion. These bikes aren’t allowed on the road, so they don’t need lights or reflectors. Bikes of this size often have really wide tires that making learning easier and reducing frustration.
16 to 18 inch children’s bikes
Kid’s bikes with wheel sizes from 16 to 18 inches mostly keep to the essentials. Here too, enjoyment is the key and the kid’s bike is for tearing about rather than proper cycling. But if you want to go with your child when they ride to school or sports events, you will need to think about the necessary kit such as lights, reflectors, bell and mudguards. And it’s really important to know that, in this country, children under 8 aren’t allowed to cycle on roads or cycle paths. So, if you are in any doubt, you must accompany your child along the pavement with extreme care to fulfil your supervisory duties.
20 to 24 inch kid’s bikes
This size already comes into the equation for kids around 8 years old. Because children in Germany don’t have to cycle on the pavement from the age of 8, but can go on the cycle path, or if there isn’t one, in a cycle lane on the road, 20 to 24 inch kid’s bikes are generally equipped for the road. They have lights, reflectors, two independent brakes and a bell. Mudguards aren’t compulsory but are a good option. The choice of different types of bikes and models now get a lot bigger:
- Maybe you buy your child a comfortable city bike – for school – or get your little adventurer a kid’s mountain bike with a suspension fork and even disc brakes instead of calliper brakes.
- A derailleur with lots of gears is just as much an option as low-maintenance gears with a small transmission range.
- You’ll see 20 to 24 inch children’s bikes with either a hub dynamo or lights running on regular or rechargeable batteries. USB rechargeable battery lights are as powerful as lights hub dynamo lights. But they need to be ready to use at any time for safety on the road.
Suitable add-ons for kid’s bikes
With the right accessories, your child will be safe and comfortable on the road. This might include:
- Pads (e.g. on the handlebars)
- Rubber bar ends
- A chain guard: no trouser hems in the chain or oil and dirt on legs
- Mudguards for the tyres (deflect spray when raining)
What about brakes?
What about brakes?
Brakes really need to be user-friendly. This means they have to be the right size for your child’s hands for proper grip – the only way that brakes will be truly effective. Kid’s bikes usually come with calliper brakes. Two independent hand brakes are also better than a hand and a backpedal brake. The latter has less brake power and only works in a certain pedal position – and the crank on these bikes has to be put back in position before you can start off again. So we recommend a children’s bike with two hand brakes.
Are gears really necessary?
Up to 20 inch kid’s bikes usually don’t need a gear shift, as this means more weight and more of a challenge/distraction. If your child is more experienced, a gear shift is a good idea, as it increases the range and the fun factor with the kid’s bike.
- Hub gears are easy to use but really heavy.
- Derailleurs are lighter and relatively easy to understand with just one chain ring on the crank.
- 7,8 or 9 gears are plenty for a kid’s bike at first.
What do I need to know about lights and reflectors?
Rear reflectors are still a side issue for toddler bikes, but really important for safety and roadworthiness. The bike has to have them in addition to front and rear lights. As lights go, LED battery lights are now a popular choice. Dynamo lights are decreasingly popular but have the advantage of charge-free operation and always being fitted. A decent children’s bike helmet is also extremely important, of course. And a bike lock is also a good idea.
How important is a lightweight kid’s bike?
Without a doubt, a kid’s bike needs to be as lightweight as possible, because that makes riding so much easier. So it can’t hurt to consider the weight of the frame and the components.
The material used by the manufacturer is an important weight factor: kid’s bike frames are mostly made of aluminium or steel. The latter may be really robust, but is also a lot heavier – if in doubt, go for an aluminium kid’s bike.
How do I assemble the bike when it arrives?
There’s very little for you to do when it arrives – BIKE24 delivers your new kid’s bike to your home pre-assembled and almost ready to go. You will just need to do a few little jobs like fitting the pedals and setting the handlebar height before the first test ride on the kid’s bike. We provide a detailed explanation of what you need to know on our web site at bike assembling. And you can always contact our customer service at any time, and they will be happy to help you with any questions about girl’s and boy’s bikes.