So your child has their list to Santa all ready to roll, and at the very top they’ve asked for a spanking new, shiny bike. No surprises there! A bike is definitely one of the most memorable Christmas presents we ever get during childhood.
But Santa needs to do his research!
If you’re new to the whole world of buying kids bikes, Ken at Ivanhoe Cycles has you (and Santa) covered. Here he shares all the info you should need to get the right bike first try.
Santa is going to be kicking goals this year.
What size kid’s bike is right for my child?
Roughly speaking, here’s the rule of thumb when it comes to finding the right bike size for your child.
Under 2 years old : Balance bike
2 – 4 years old : 12-inch bike
4 – 6 years old : 16-inch bike
6 – 8 years old : 20-inch bike
8 – 11 years old : 24-inch bike
11 years old+ : Extra small adult bike
Ken also shares a word of warning about buying bikes for your child to grow into, or buying unassembled bikes from boxes.
Balance Bikes or Beginner Bikes with Training Wheels?
What’s the difference between a balance bike and a conventional kids’ beginner bike? When is the right time to move from a balance bike to a bike with pedals? Ken helps out with some direction.
If your child is about two – four years old, there’s every chance that a 12-inch bike is the right size for them. Ken talks about the 12-inch and shares some ripper advice about how to know when your child is ready to have their training wheels removed. The big steps!
This bike is going to suit kids in the range of four to six years old, or perhaps even a tall three year old or smaller seven year old. Here we see the introduction of hand braking along with the familiar back pedal brake. Ken steps us through the features.
Ken shows us that the different styles of kids riding sometimes call for different bikes. For example, if you’re a family that rides together then you’re probably going to look for a 16-inch lightweight bike, which will make it easier for your child to sustain greater distances than, say, just tearing around the backyard.
This size bike is going to best suit a six to eight year old girl. Ken explains why at this stage training wheels really shouldn’t be used on a bike this size (so make sure your child is feeling confident without wheels before they upgrade to the 20-inch).
This size bike is going to best suit a six to eight year old boy. It has three gears and a back pedal brake – and it looks like a little ripper!
The bike is designed for girls between eight and 11 years old. It’s a super weight saving bike that is great for getting around in areas without too many hills.
This bike is ideal for boys aged around eight to 11 years old. It’s a seven-speed gear bike, meaning it doesn’t have huge range for hilly areas but it’s great for getting around flatter or gently undulating terrain.
Now we move into adult bike territory, which means there are a lot more choices on offer. By this stage the bike’s wheels are 26-inch, but the frame sizes can vary vastly. Ken steps us through the choices on offer.