types of bikes for kids

Types Of Bikes For Kids – A Parents Guide

This post may contain affiliate links. Full privacy policy and disclosure here.

If you’re a parent, you know how much we want the best for our children! Because purchasing kids bikes is such an important aspect of their youth, we want to make sure we pick a first bike that is robust, safe, and affordable. So, what are some different type of children’s bicycles?

Bikes with child comfortable seats, Single-speed Bikes, Bikes with gears, Hybrid-style bikes, 12-14-inch bikes, 16-inch bikes, 20-inch bikes, 26-inch bikes, and Cross bikes are all wonderful choices for kids.

Even if you have a preference for one bike over another, knowing why one is better will help you make the best decision for your child’s age.

Some kids bikes are solely meant for road usage, while others are designed for off-road use, and yet others are hybrids that can be used for both. you wouldn’t want to get the wrong bike as a first bicycle.

Balance bike vs pedal bike

First and foremost, what is available in terms of children’s bicycles?

You would assume it’s just a scaled-down adult bike, but it’s actually rather different. There’s a lot to think about when buying a child’s bike, but let’s start with the two most common options: a balancing bike and a pedal cycle.

Balance bikes have been quite popular as a child’s first bike in recent years, and for good reason, as we’ll discuss later. Alternatively, compact pedal cycles, frequently with retractable stabilisers, are a more conventional option.

Flat bars, rather to the drop bars we’re used to seeing on road bikes, are more common on children’s bikes, especially for younger riders. As they increase, you may expect to see additional options, such as rigid and suspension bikes, as well as hybrids and hardtails.

The earliest steps of teaching a youngster to ride a bike are critical, and the balancing bike has proven to be a revelation for many eager parents – and kids.

There are no pedals on these basic tiny motorcycles, and some don’t even have a brake. The name says it all: a balance bike teaches a child essential balancing abilities that a pedal bike with stabilisers just cannot provide.

In reality, because stabilisers basically convert the bike into a tricycle, learning to corner a bike with or without them is extremely different. Starting off with stabilisers might actually complicate rather than ease the learning process.

Kids may master balancing, steering, and occasionally braking methods on a balance bike from the beginning, which they can then improve on when graduating to their first pedal cycle and adding the challenge of pedalling.

Balance bikes are ideal for children from the time they begin walking until they are roughly four years old, while the age at which they should transition to a pedal cycle will depend on the child’s skill.

Types Of Bikes for Kids

Balance Bikes for Children

Balance bikes provide a wealth of benefits for children and I believe it is one of the best bikes to start your child on. As a result, they are preferred over tricycles and training wheels/stabilizers by parents and children that started without a pedal bike.

Kids may use balance bikes to improve their confidence, control, and balance. These bikes are appropriate for children aged two to three years before moving to ordinary pedal cycles. It’s a wonderful alternative for kids who are afraid of learning to ride a bike since it allows them to steer and brake with their feet.

In no time, a child who learned to ride a balancing bike will be confidently riding a pedal bike. It’s important to examine the size of the bike, just as it is with other forms of children’s bikes.

Balance Bikes: With Pedals

The transition from a bike without pedals to one with pedals is critical, and how well the bike fits the child is vital. Keep in mind that while sat flat on the saddle, your child’s feet must be able to fit comfortably on the ground and reach the handlebars and brake levers.

It will boost the children’ confidence by giving them greater control over their cycling experience. They’re ready to progress to bigger bikes once they’ve mastered pedalling! They should begin riding their second, larger pedal cycle around the age of seven.

Training Wheel Bikes

When it comes to introducing their children to riding, some parents choose to use kid’s bikes with training wheels. It is generally assumed that such bikes aid in the development of pedalling, control, and balancing abilities in toddlers and children.

These bikes are said to help youngsters gain confidence in cycling since they feature stabilisers or training wheels. As a result, if a child is enthusiastic about riding but also nervous, these bikes can help.

These bikes, like BMX and cruiser bikes, come with single speed and coaster brakes. Some versions, however, include a rear brake that may be operated from the handlebars.

See also: 8 Easy Backyard Games For Kids

Mountain Bikes

Because of their adaptability, durability, and performance, kid mountain bikes have become a craze. The majority of ideal kid’s mountain bikes have 24″ wheels to fit children’s shorter legs. For stability and cushioning, they have a rear suspension fork and knobby-treaded tires. The suspension aids in the reduction of arm and hand fatigue.

Mountain biking should be introduced to children between the ages of 10 and 13. The size of the youngster in issue, however, should be taken into account. Mountain bikes with 20″ wheels are a good place to start for big kids.

See also: 9 Special Things That Kids Will Always Remember

BMX Bikes

Most youngsters like the adrenaline rush that a BMX bike provides. BMX bikes were originally developed for racing over jumps, dirt courses, and banked corners.

Nonetheless, they are currently a popular and well-liked bike for city riding. Children adore BMX bikes because they allow them to perform feats and tricks in skate parks.

Flat Bar Road Bikes for Kids

Aside from drop handlebar road bikes, flat bar road bikes are also available. These bikes allow children to ride while standing up.

They’re usually utilised by school-aged children or while they’re out and about in the neighbourhood. These bikes, on the other hand, are best suited to individuals who are comfortable on two wheels.

Cruiser Bikes

Children are spoiled for choice when it comes to numerous sorts of children’s bicycles. The cruiser bike is designed specifically for children’s enjoyment. The majority of these motorcycles have beautiful and bright artwork and colour combinations.

Wide tires on kid cruiser bikes provide traction, cushioning, and stability. They’re single-speed bikes with coaster brakes, much like the BMX. They’re also noted for their robust frames and comfy chairs. For short trips around the neighbourhood, kids like to ride cruiser bikes.

This bike is suitable for pre-adolescent riders and can be used as adult bikes too. Children are constantly enthralled by their simplicity. They may also personalise the motorcycles by adding different add-ons.

Trailer Bikes

Cycling is enjoyable for young children. Using a trailer bike with your kids is always a good idea. As the child develops his or her abilities and confidence, he or she will ride alongside you on a kids bike from the local bike shop.

When the kids ride trailer bikes, they rely on you for balance and control because young riders don’t have that skill level yet. In bike parks, this is a wonderful choice for family cycling or cycling with kids.

Single-wheeled trailer bikes are always linked to the seat post of an adult bike.

20-Inch Wheel Bikes

Advanced bike features start to open up when you look at motorcycles with 20-inch wheels. With the exception of cruiser bikes (which have coaster brakes), all of these bikes have hand brakes and a variety of gearing options. Furthermore, 20-inch bikes are an excellent choice for kids aged six to ten.

20-inch bikes are available as single-speed or gear bikes, so pick the one that you think would be the most useful for your child.

See also: Kids Need The Outdoors, And Here’s How To Get Them Off The Couch

Why It’s important To Get The Right Size

While it may be tempting to get a bike that is a little too big for your child so that they may ‘grow into’ it, this might actually slow down the learning process and make it more difficult for them.

Riding a bike that is too big might make it difficult to manoeuvre, as well as detract from the enjoyment of the ride. If you want your child’s first riding memories to be pleasant and pleasurable, finding a bike that is the correct size for them at their present dimensions is critical.

How To Choose the Right Size Bike For Kids

The size of a bike is important, because it comes down to the fit. If a bike doesn’t fit well, your child will have trouble sitting on it and riding it, which means you’ll need to spend more time adjusting the seat and handlebars.

When choosing a bike for your child, look for one that’s comfortable to sit on and fits properly in the seat, on the handlebars, and at the feet. Make sure there’s enough clearance between the tires and the ground to prevent your child from falling off or hitting their head on the ground.

On a smaller bike, don’t worry if you can’t lift your child onto the seat; just place them on the ground so they can straddle the bike frame. On a larger bike, try to lift them into the seat with both legs.

Once your child has tried out the bike, sit behind them with your arms around their chest and legs through their legs to make sure they’re not being pushed too far forward or backward.

How Size Varies Among the Different Bike Styles

The wheels and the frame are the two factors that determine the size of a child’s bike. As the kid develops, these two key parts grow in size in lockstep. Unlike adult bicycles, however, children’s bicycles are often measured and sold by wheel size.

The smallest wheels you’ll usually see on balancing bikes are tiny 12-inch wheels, which range up to 26 inches for certain cycles made for teens. In most cases, sizes rise in two-inch increments. The frames are designed in such a way that they can fit the growing size of the wheels as the youngster grows.

On smaller frames, you’ll discover smaller, adjustable-reach brake levers and shorter cranks, as well as smaller, adjustable-reach brake levers.

What if your child is in between sizes?

Again, as tempting as it may be to size up for school uniforms or shoes, it’s typically advisable to go for the smaller size here. What is the reason behind this?

A bigger bike, on the other hand, will be more difficult for a youngster to control, stop, and start, especially if they must stand on tiptoes to reach the ground. For less experienced riders, this bigger bike may seem more daunting and uncomfortable.

Given the importance of emotions of control, security, and confidence in a good riding experience for children, it’s easy to understand why, if you’re confused between sizes, a smaller bike is likely to provide a better experience.

How a child’s cycling skill can affect size

Surprisingly, your child’s dimensions aren’t the sole factor in determining which size is right for them. Their skill level has an impact on the size and weight of bike that is suitable for them.

A somewhat smaller, more lightweight bicycle would be ideal for a child who is less confident or adept. This is due to the fact that they are easier for the youngster to manage and manoeuvre, as well as get on and off.

‘Having said that, getting the fundamental fit correct, again for your child’s physical size rather than age, will be the most important component.

How Long Can A child Ride Their Bike Before They Outgrow It?

It’s a common question, and the answer depends on a lot of factors, including age, size and activity level. Typically, if a child is able to pedal fast enough (the average 8-year-old can go 35 miles per hour), they’ll outgrow their bike around age 10 or 11.

However, if your child has special needs like a physical disability or limited mobility that affects their ability to pedal, they may be able to keep their bike for a few more years.

There are many ways to know when it’s time to start looking for a new bike for your child:

  • If your child gives up on trying to pedal, your first clue is that they will be less interested in riding.
  • Your child may also take longer and longer to get back up onto the seat each time they fall off the saddle.
  • Finally, if you notice any signs of injury or pain while riding or after the ride, it’s probably time to get a new bike for your child!

Getting Kids To Play Outside On Their Bikes

Biking with kids is a terrific way to spend quality time together as a family. It’s also a wonderful way to get in shape while getting outside and seeing new areas/trails.

Learning to ride a bike is a valuable skill that every youngster should acquire, since it provides a variety of advantages. While most of us are aware that regular exercise is beneficial to our physical health, there are several more reasons why learning to ride a bicycle is more vital than ever.

It helps children gain confidence and independence. Riding a bike enhances your child’s learning development and mental health in addition to improving physical fitness. Furthermore, choosing active transportation such as cycling instead of driving minimises carbon emissions, traffic congestion, and parking issues.

Our towns will become greener, healthier, and less stressful places to live with less pollution and traffic.

Bicycling allows children to engage with their surroundings, community, and environment in unexpected ways. They learn about the local people, geography, and monuments.

Kids who spend the most of their time in automobiles are less likely to know their way around their own communities. They may also sense a lack of emotional attachment to their communities.


When bicycling with children, safety is paramount, so make sure that everyone wears a helmet at all times (even in a trailer or seat). Helmets should be able to fit firmly around the head and not flap around. The chin strap should be snug but not painful. Because children develop quickly, make careful to check for fit every time you ride.

If your children aren’t used to wearing helmets, they may object, but make it a rule: no helmet, no bike. Give them no choice but to wear one. And the more you cycle, the more accustomed they will become.

Being Prepared

You’ll want to outfit your kids appropriately for the weather and conditions, in addition to making sure their bikes are maintained and in good operating order. Make sure they’re wearing suitable footwear to avoid blisters. If it’s sunny, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Feed them before the ride so they don’t get weary, irritable, or hungry.

Preparing ahead of time, like with any outdoor trip, is half the battle. Biking adventures are no exception, albeit the gear and supplies you bring will differ from a typical expedition. Here are a few items we recommend you bring with you on your next bike ride:

  • water
  • air pump
  • multitool
  • bike lock
  • first aid kit
  • sunscreen
  • cellphone
  • snacks

Types Of Bikes For Kids Bottom Line

In conclusion, there are several types of bicycles available for children; nevertheless, you must make an informed decision. And choosing to engage the user develops immediate love and passion for the bike.

Some parents are often inquiring about the bike sizes for their older children. Generally, manufacturers make children’s bicycles with 12″, 16″, 20″, and 24″ wheels. For a comfortable transition, there are also 14″ and 18″ kids’ bikes available. Always accurately measure your child’s bike size and follow the bike chart to ensure a proper fit.

Adults, on the whole, already have the confidence, and all they need is a great bike to get on the road. 

Cycling is an exhilarating experience. It also benefits the environment and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Putting today’s generation on two wheels simply implies that tomorrow’s generation will be healthier. Who knows, maybe we’re bringing up the next great thing in triathlon, mountain biking, road racing, or cyclocross. Bikes are beneficial to children’s cognitive and physical development.

Always remember to check that your child is wearing appropriate safety equipment before considering the many types of children’s bikes available. It’s usually advisable to engage the kids in the decision-making process when purchasing a bike for them. For you, they have a distinct taste and preference. As a result, kids become self-sufficient and develop a passion for riding.

Tips For Teaching Your child To Ride A Bike

Teaching a child to ride a bike is the first step to becoming a confident, independent cyclist.

The key to success is patience and consistency. Start off by taking your child on short, slow rides that allow them to get used to the feel of the bike and the pedals. Once they are comfortable with these rides, begin taking them out on longer distances.

As they get better at riding, they will start looking forward to each ride; this will encourage them to practice more often and become more confident.

Eventually, they will be able to ride on their own without any assistance.


How long until a child outgrows their bike?

Some manufacturers claim that their bicycles last on average two years before being outgrown. If the youngster falls into the smaller end of the size range, this is the case.

Do Children Need Bikes with Suspension?

It is preferable not to get a bike with suspension. Tires filled to the proper pressures give more than adequate suspension for very young children’s riding activity.

What Protection Do Kids Need for Riding Bikes?

First and foremost, make sure you get a helmet! Knee and elbow protectors are also recommended, especially for children who are just learning to ride.

Why is the Right Bike Size Important?

Riding a bike that is too large makes manoeuvring extremely difficult, and it takes the pleasure out of learning. You should make it a point to make your child’s first cycling experiences pleasurable and good, and you want them to feel the satisfaction of progress.

Has Your Child Outgrown their Bike?

Most bikes are designed to last two years, but only if the child begins riding them at the younger end of their age range, rather than when they are almost too old for the specified age range. Fortunately, most children’s bikes have a high trade-in value so you can get them a new bike or a used one.

What Are hybrid bikes?

Hybrid bikes are a good mix of road, mountain, and touring bike styles, giving them a “little bit of everything” bike that can be utilised for a variety of activities.

Bottom Line

Now that you know what types of bikes there are, it’s important to know how they differ. We’ll go through these in order.

Bikes with child-friendly seats: Although not all children’s bikes come with child-friendly seats, many are. The seats on many of these bikes are essentially flat at the front, and ergonomic at the back. They offer more support to your child than a recumbent bike and usually have padded grips.

The best option is to choose a bike that has a seat that’s designed to be used by children. This means that the seat is adjustable, so it can grow with your child. It also means that the seating position will be as comfortable as possible for your child.

It’s also important to remember that not all bikes will have a seat that’s suitable for children. You can purchase a bike that has a child-friendly seat alternative, such as a seat that’s shaped more like a downturned seat on a regular bicycle.

More Like This

You may also like...