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Choosing the Right Bike for your Child

With all of the choices on the market, our most commonly asked question is, how to determine which bike is the right one for my child?

We've boiled the process down to 3 easy steps:

1. What is your child's inseam? By using this quick metric, you can narrow down the bikes that will, most importantly, fit your child.  

  • For balance bike sizing, subtract 1" from this number so your child can sit flat-footed with a slight bend in the knee.

2. What is your budget? Our bikes start as low as $69 and climb up to $500. Cheap doesn't always indicate low-quality, it may just be a no-frills version. We don't sell anything our own children wouldn't use.

3.
What features do you want? A couple things to keep in mind:

  • Buying a bike to last 2-3 years may not be the best choice for your child. If your child is lighter in weight or shorter in height than the average for their size, they might need a more petite bike that allows them to develop their strength and confidence. Look for lighter weight bikes, in general no more than 30% of their weight.
  • Do you live in an area with high humidity or extreme weather or will the bike be stored outside often? A wooden bike may not be the best choice. Metal or composite bikes are a good all-weather fit.
  • Will your child be riding mostly on-pavement or off? EVA (foam) tires are just fine for mostly on-pavement riding but if you plan to ride rocky terrain, an air tire will be your best friend. (Review our comparison of EVA foam tire vs. foam tires)
  • Hand brakes on balance bikes are not essential as toddlers often don't have the hand strength or coordination to use them. They are a nice feature to have for the 3 to 7 year old as they can develop that skill before transferring to a pedal bike.
  • For brakes on pedal bikes, we recommend that kids riding their first pedal bike should have, at the minimum, a coaster brake, and ideally, also a hand brake. This gives them time to develop their braking skills as little hands commonly have trouble squeezing a hand brake. It can be much more natural (particularly coming off a balance bike) to use feet to apply the brake.
When looking through our choices of balance bikes or pedal bikes, you can filter by your minimum needed saddle height (inseam), budget and color by choosing the buttons on the far left hand side of the page. 

NEED HELP DECIDING?

Contact us at support@tikesbikes.com with questions about finding the right bike for your child.