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Kids Bikes - How to choose the best size for your children's first bicycle

Updated on November 23, 2016

Best bicycle for your child

Your child has seen other kids riding their own bikes and now the only thing he/she is thinking about is getting one for him/her self.

First thing to do is choose a suitable bike for the kid´s age, before 3 or 4 years old you should consider to buy a tricycle (it is safer) or even a balance bike which will give your child enough confidence when trying a normal bicycle for the first time.

After 4 years old your child is capable to ride a two-wheeler and learn all those things needed to start pedaling.

At this time it is recommended the use of training wheels so they can develop sufficient physical coordination and agility, good balance, and master starting and stopping on a bicycle with training wheels.

After this (normally at the age of 8) they should be ready to start riding by them self.

Which one is the best for my kid?


Before you buy your child´s bicycle first you have to determine the appropriated size.

Children bikes are sized by their wheels diameter: 10", 12", 16", 20" and 24".

The little ones are for kids until 4-6 years old, 16" wheels are suitable for kids between 6 and 8 years old, 20" wheels are usually fitted for 7-10 years old kids and finally the kids older than 9 should use a 24" wheel bike.

After choosing bike size you have to decide about some extra options like type of brakes, single or multi-speed and other less important features like little baskets or even the horn.

The bicycle industry has been growing and making better bikes each year.

Today it is not unusual to find full suspended bicycles for kids or even other features that some of us only had the chance to try after being adults.

Safety first

Nothing is more important than our children safety so the first thing to do the moment you choose your kids bike it is to buy a good bicycle helmet as well as gloves and other protective gear.

Knowing that bicycle helmets are now required by law in many areas it is obvious your child will need one before starting to ride.

There are so many good helmets on the market that choosing one it is not easy. To choose the better helmet for your kid you should make sure it fits well to his/her head and that it will not come off. It is also better if it has a smooth shell and a bright color so it can be easily seen.

It is also essential for you to follow close your child first ridings to avoid dangerous roads as well as other unsafe places to ride.

Kids riding their bikes with Training Wheels

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    • john hayls profile image

      john hayls 6 years ago

      I get some information after reading that hub. There is more information about the cycling, how to ride bicycle, which best size is for kids. First of all helmet is must wear during the riding of cycle.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 7 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks Phillipsd, for the kind comment and for the kids trike link ;)

    • profile image

      Phillipsd 7 years ago

      Great information. Usefull for choice bike for our child.

      If need more info about trike, please visit



    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      Hey Jim, thanks for stopping by :)

      Learning how to ride is not easy when we are kids, I remember having 5 yo when I decided to take the training wheels without my parents knowledge, it was a great feeling until I started to fall lol. The good thing was it didn´t took long until I was riding up and down the street (it was on my parents vacation house on the country - very near where I live today). Riding with our family is one of the best things one can do. This morning I went for a mountain bike ride with my wife and we had lots of fun, we are just waiting for our daughter to grow a little more to be able to come with us ;)

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 8 years ago from ma

      Great information. Teaching my oldest son was a nightmare. We lived on a very quiet street. He was about 6 and we tried taking off his training wheels. He eventually got the hang of it and I was next to him just to steady him. But, anytime a car was within viewing distance he would jump off and head for the house. Now he refuses to ride a bike. My next son was very determined. I taught him in the backyard on the grass and that worked great. He just kept trying until he got it. Now he wants to ride it all of the time. I was hoping it would get my older son more interested. But, hasn't yet.

      I'm hoping to get a bike soon because it would be great if we could all go on a bike ride. I used to ride my bike all of the time and everywhere. But, stopped once I got a car.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks for commenting Mulberry ;)

      Those "rail trails" are starting to arise in Europe too. Here at Portugal we already have some old railroads transform to rail trails and the best thing about them beside not having cars around is to have flat trails where less prepared people can ride without having to carry their bikes walking lol.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 9 years ago

      Bikes have been around for sooo long, but they're still a favorite with kids. Your guide is very helpful. Increasingly we have "rail trails" here in the US where you can ride safely without having much interaction with CARS. Yippee!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

      Hi Jacqueline, so nice to see you here at Hubpages. Thanks for commenting!

      When choosing for a bike you have to remember that your daughter will still grow some more in the next years so be careful not to choose one that will be small in a couple years ;)

      Hope you´ll enjoy some rides with her, have fun!

    • Tink.mom42 profile image

      Tink.mom42 9 years ago from Michigan

      Awesome info fun! My 7 year old really needs a bike this year and I wondered about the sizing since she is a full head taller than the next tallest classmate. You broke it down very well in here - thanks!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

      I´m sorry Guru-C, I don´t know how I could let your comment without an answer. Today while "upgrading" this hub I noticed your comment. The good thing was it made me go and read your newest hub, it´s good to see you publishing on HP again ;)

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 9 years ago

      Hi Funride. You rock!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      EHEHEHEH! Children at that age can be quite annoying lol.

      I hope this hub can help you. The best thing to do is to give her the geared bike ;)

    • profile image

      Abhinaya 10 years ago

      My 10 year old son is pestering us to buy one with a gear.This hub came in handy.Thanks funride.Great hub!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Thank you for commenting Dumbledore. Your daughter is safe and is she who should be making fun of the other kids, maybe then they and their parents would understand :[

    • Dumbledore profile image

      This Old Guy 10 years ago from Somewhere in Ohio

      I agree that safety equipment should be purchased befor a child is permitted to ride a bike the first time. My wife and I do not permit our daughter to ride her bike unless she wears her helmit and pads. We see many children around the neighborhood riding bikes without safety gear and they sometimes mak fun of our daughter. At least our daughter will not be joining them in the ER.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Your right it´s almost like the first kiss LOL, you never forget it! I had my first bike at the age of 5 and I had to learn quickly cause one of my training wheels came apart after a few rides :D

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Great info funride. I remember my first bike ride as a child. The training wheels does help a lot for first timers. :-) Ride, ride away!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Thank you for gentle comment pjdscott. Unfortunately here in Portugal we haven´t such schemes yet but people are becomig more aware about the benefits of bicycle riding and I hope that portuguese governance will soon develop some kind of incentive for young children to ride bicycles from early age. Thankfully in my region are being made many eco-trails so people can travel without being runover by some crazy car driver (and we have lots of them :( ).

    • pjdscott profile image

      pjdscott 10 years ago from Durham, UK

      Super article funride - some extremely sensible advice. In the UK many regional councils have schemes to involve children in cycling from an early age - I'm sure you have something similar.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Eheheh! You´re right cgull8m they grow faster nowadays :) but it isn´t all bad cause they also gain responsibility and character earlier (at least I hope so lol).

      Safety first!

      Thank you for your comment ;)

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree with the comments, great hub. It is very essential to provide them safety and get the right bikes they can enjoy. Your daughter is already acting grown up :) she doesn't want tricycle. They grow quick.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Thank you so much for your kind comment JerseyGirl. I hope you and your daughter will enjoy riding together very soon ;)

      Thanks manoharv2001 :)

    • JerseyGirl profile image

      JerseyGirl 10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I love the info. it is very imformative for me and my 4.5 year old daugher. Wow, thanks for all of the great info, and hope to see some additional hubs from you. You did a great job with this!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks broalex, my 3 years old daughter already have her first bicycle with training wheels cause she doesn´t want to ride her tricycle anymore :)

    • profile image

      broalex 10 years ago from Romania

      Interesting hub here , my little baby boy is three years old , he already has one bike , but he`ll love a new one , some interesting stuff on ebay , I`ll think about it ! thhanks funride great job !

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Well in that case I supose it depends on how much you want to spend and more important where she will be riding (what kind of terrain, if it´s flat or if she will have to climb).

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 10 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Funride, thanks for answering my hub, my daughter is actually on her early teens but I have never bought her a bike and now she really wants a bike not only to play but to help her exercise.