Bike frame size for kids is not as important as the tire size. Few if any manufacturers rely on the frame dimensions for sizing. Almost all rely on the tires for size.
For 2-4 yrs with a 30 cm inside leg, 12″ wheels are ideal. For 2-5 yrs with 30 cm inside leg, 12” wheels are sufficient. For 3-5 yrs with 36 cm leg, the 16″ wheels are suitable. 16″ are also good for 5-7 yrs with 41 cm inside leg measurements. For children 7-9 yrs old with 51 cm inside leg, 20″ wheels are recommended. 24″ frames are for 9-11 yrs with 61 cm inside leg measurements. 26” tires are for 11 and up with 66 cm inside leg measurements.
Getting the Height Right
Related to bike frame size for kids is the height. This shouldn’t be a big problem now because some bikes have adjustable seats. The handlebars can also be adjusted. You can make the adjustments or the child. But you can avoid a lot of problems by measuring the child’s height.
Height adjustments are not just for enhanced biking. It also improves the safety of the bike. If the seat is too low, controlling and pedaling the bike becomes hard. This may cause children to lose control. On the other hand, a seat that is too high will make it hard to reach the pedal.
Inappropriate seat heights make for very uncomfortable rides. It is best to let the child decide what height they are happy with. This will allow them to ride in comfort. Of course height alone is not enough. The bike dimensions must be correct, hence the need to check the wheel size.
How to Find the Right Bike
Have the child stand over the desired bicycle. Their feet must be flat on the floor. The upper bar has to be two to four inches under the child as they straddle. Resist the temptation to buy a bigger bike than necessary. It’s true that kids grow up quickly. However, that is no excuse for forcing them to ride a bike bigger than they can handle. They will not be able to control it and run the risk of an injury.
As these facts show, bike frame size for kids is not the determining factor when it comes to buying. It is important for buyers to know this. Otherwise, they will get confused when they shop for one.