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Bikes For 4 Year Olds

Updated on May 13, 2014

Choosing the best bike for a 4 year old

Are you looking for advice on buying and suggestions of the best bikes for 4 year olds. We have recently purchased a bike for my almost 4 year old boy and this article gives advice, suggestions and tips when buying a bike for a 4 year old based on my research.

There are lots of options of bikes for 4 year olds including balance bikes and pedal bikes with or without training wheels. The bike you choose will very much depend on whether your 4 year old has ridden a bike before and your preferences.

Here are the options:

Balance bike - if your child has never ridden a bike before, it's worth considering buying a balance bike. A balance bike has lots of advantages. Balance bikes work by scooting along with the feet to pick up speed and then lifting them up to glide. They are extrememly good at teaching kids the balance and co-ordination required for riding. Kids who have ridden balance bikes find it very easy to make the transition to a pedal bike. Additionally, they will be able to use them straight away.

Bikes with training wheels - these are another option for kids who have not ridden a bike before. They will be able to learn how to pedal and then learn the balance later after the training wheels have been taken off.

Pedal bikes - pedal bikes without training wheels are a good option for 4 year olds who have already mastered riding a balance bike. They should have the balance and co-ordination needed to ride a pedal bike without training wheel. If you're looking for a pedal bike, there are tips on what to look for on size, cost, safety as well as some top suggestions.

Read on for suggestions and more advice on the best bikes for 4 year olds.

Balance Bikes for 4 Year Olds

If your 4 year old hasn't ridden a bike before, I would highly recommend a balance bike. 4 is not too old to have a balance bike. The balance bike will allow them to get some speed up safely and enjoy riding a bike straight away without getting frustrated.

Balance bikes need to be smaller than pedal bikes as kid's feet need to touch the floor rather than the pedals. Many balance bikes on the market are designed for use for kids up to 5 years old so are fine for 4 year olds. And when they've finished with it you can always pass it onto younger siblings or sell it second hand on craiglist or ebay.

There are lots of balance bikes on the market. One option is the Radio Flyer bike opposite. It's designed for kids up to 5 years and is adjustable in height from 14.5 to 18 inches so should be fine for 4 year olds. To find the correct seat height for your child, measure their inseam (from their ankle to their crotch). The seat height should be about 1 inch less then their inseam so they can clear the seat well enough to get on and off. The radio flyer bike is also very lightweight so easy to carry back home, if your child has enough of riding it. It features EVA foam tires so no need to worry about pumping them up or punctures. You can get balance bike with air filled tires. These do require a bit more maintenance but they are better for uneven and rougher terrain. However eva foam tires are fine for sidewalks and most surfaces kids this age will be riding on.

How to Choose a Pedal Bike for a 4 Year Old.

The size of the pedal bike you wish to buy for a 4 year old will depend on their height. Again, measure their inseam. The bicycle size should be at least couple of inches shorter than their inseam (see the table below). Normally you are looking at a bike at around 12 to 16 inches tall with a 14 inch bike being the most common. The main thing is that they are able to ride the bike when you buy it otherwise they will get frustrated and want to give up. You can always sell a used bike in good condition or pass it down to siblings.

Check the table below to see the bike size you should get for your child.

Bike Size
14 - 17 inches
12 inches
16 - 20 inches
14 inches
18 - 22 inches
16 inches

Bike with Training Wheels

This bike comes 95% assembled so you just have to install training wheels, pedals,handlebar and saddle which is fairly easy.

It has a bell which kids will love as well as a water bottle holder.

It has a seat which can be adjusted and it features quick release seatpost so it's really easy to adjust the height.

It has heavy duty long lasting training wheels.

The reviews on amazon are very good for this bike.

Comments on Bikes for 4 Year Olds

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    • PeanutButterWine profile image

      PeanutButterWine 6 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      ooh my son is turning four this coming year, I will be getting him a 'big boy' bike for sure. Some great info here! Bookmarked your Hub and voted up Lou, thanks! :)