Kids Bike Size Guide
When it comes to size, “one-size-fits-all” is quite a misconception.
Differing wheel sizes need consideration, 10″ or 12″. A 10″ wheel may allow for a lower seat height, but check the maximum seat height so it will still fit when they are older. A quality 12″ no-pedal bike will still achieve low seat positions, but the bigger wheel will avoid speed wobbles. Older children need bigger lightweight first pedal bikes, so consider a 14” or an 18” bike.
Seat height-adjustability is crucial so that the bike will last a few years. The seat height needs to allow a slight bend in the knee, allowing the bike to be walked or run along.
2. BIKE WEIGHT SHOULD BE IN PROPORTION TO A CHILD’S SIZE
Experts recommend bikes shouldn’t be more than 30% of your child’s weight.
Heavy bikes over 4 kg will prove challenging to manoeuvre. Young children get frustrated easily. We often hear, “my child doesn’t like their bike,” and when we delve deeper, it is because they have a hefty steel bike with incorrect geometry or with stabilisers.
However, the same bike can be a piece of cake for a bigger child. Choose the lightest you can afford without eliminating all the features that make it comfortable.
The Rookie 12″ is 2.9 kg and can be handled comfortably by the smallest riders. The Rookie 14” is just 4.7kg without pedals or 6 kilograms in pedal mode. Kidvelo Bikes are made from top-quality 6061 aluminium alloy to keep the weight down.
3. GEOMETRY IS IMPORTANT
Suitable bike geometry will work with the child to help them learn to balance and manoeuvre, whilst a bike with poor geometry will work against them.
Learning to balance is done by walking, running, and gliding. It’s natural for kids to lean forward when running. But to be able to do so, they need plenty of room.
That said, you need to consider geometry that creates more space between the handlebars and seat post—making it easier to extend the legs for a more comfortable and natural run style while striding. It also means that the handlebar reach is still correct as the child grows bigger.
Watch the step-over height. A low step-over frame is much easier for children to get on and off. On the other hand, some bikes have a very high frame exactly where the child needs to get on and off, making it more difficult. We specify the geometry for all our bikes. Balance Bike Reviews – Cyclesprog explains what they love about our design.
4. TYRE SIZE
Tyres play a crucial role in the performance and comfort level of a bike.
The type of tyres will determine the smoothness of the ride and the traction achieved on various surfaces. There are four types of tyres used. These include foam, air, plastic, and rubber tyres.
Pneumatic tyres give the most cushioning and traction and are considered the best all-around solution. Foam tyres are cheaper, lighter and generally puncture-proof. However, they lack traction, something we have witnessed firsthand in off-road riding. Rubber tyres are pretty solid, puncture-proof, and have better traction than foam tyres which aren’t comfortable over rough terrain. Plastic or EVA polymer is the lightest but lowest quality and typically only lasts a year. However, 12-inch pneumatics will offer longevity, far longer than a plastic 10″ wheel.
All Kidvelo Bikes come with Alloy rims and pneumatic tyres, perfect for any terrain riding. Our performance wheels are strong and very light.
All bikes in the Kidvelo range have easy adjustment on the seat height, using quick release clamps and even a scale marked on the post so you can easily fine-tune as children grow. Handlebars that you can set for near or far reach. Our grips are scaled for little hands to give the rider complete control.
Don’t make your purchase based on age alone. There can be a huge difference in leg sizes/inseam between children in the same age group.
6. How to measure a child’s leg size?
Tip! – Measure their inside leg/inseam with shoes on.
Measure your child’s INSEAM. Leg length is critical when gauging the correct size of bike. Please don’t just size a bike by the age of your child. Everyone is different!
The fit: Remember a balance bike is different to a pedal bike as children’s feet need to touch the ground. When sitting on the bike, kids this age should be able to put both feet flat on the ground. This helps children learn balance quickly and prevent tip-over accidents.
- Stand the rider straight against a wall
- Put a book between their legs
- Measure from the top of the book straight down to the floor
- That is your child’s inseam
7. Choose the bike to match your child’s ability level
Don’t stress this bit. Our experience has taught us what approximate age children pick up the varying skills required to ride. Kidvelo bikes are sized correctly and consider what skills each age group can handle confidently.
Really young children should start on a straightforward 12″ bike without pedals and brakes. We explain why a Kidvelo is one of the best balance bikes for a 2-year-old
A convertible bike may suit older children. The Rookie 14 (also known as a convertible pedal bike), has lever brakes and transforms into a pedal bike after installing the pedal kit.
Getting a balance bike that also converts to an ergonomic pedal bike makes perfect sense for this age bracket. Older children will need the Rookie 18 version as it is bigger again.
We ask you to consider that Stabilisers on Kids Bikes – They Don’t Work!
8. Transitioning onto pedals
The rider needs to be comfortable with the weight and handling of their balance bike before transitioning to pedals. At Kidvelo, we make this process simple by giving you a larger, slightly heavier bike that you can use without pedals fitted to start. Get used to the increased weight and size and start learning how to use the brakes. Once your child has mastered balance, our unique conversion bike converts to a pedal bike with the easy fit pedal kit. Why buy two bikes when you can have the next generation of kid’s bikes with the Rookie Convertible Balance to pedal bikes. (Arriving Summer 2022). This design gives your child the best chance to learn balance without the complications of pedals. If they aren’t ready, you can easily remove the pedal kit again.
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