The Definitive Guide to Kids Bike Wheel Sizes | BikesRider

kids bike wheel sizes

No matter what age group does your child belongs to, there is always a right-sized bike in the market. Whether they are young or old, taller or not so taller, children nowadays don't have to sacrifice their comfort in order to ride a bicycle. In order to make sure that your child fully enjoys his ride, it is imperative to select a right sized bike. Never go for a large-sized bike with the intention of the child eventually overgrowing to that size because it will instantly ruin the excitement on the part of your kids.

One of the most important factors, which differentiates one bike – for a specific age group – from the other – for riders of different age group – is the wheel size. This is important in the sense that every wheel size is designed so that the rider of a specific age group can easily reach their hands onto the handlebars and can also set foot on the underneath surface. So before setting foot in the market, parents are advised to make themselves familiar with the right wheel size for the kids’ bicycle.

Buying Guide to Kids Bike Wheel Sizes

Depending on a child’s age, here are various wheel sizes of a bike. Read this information and select accordingly.

12-inch Wheel Size

Bikes incorporating such type of wheels generally don’t have pedals at their disposal. Commonly known as Balance bikes, these are ideal for toddlers who are yet to ride a bicycle for the very first time. With the help of this pedal-less bike, children learn of how to maintain balance while riding on a two-wheeled bicycle.

Coming towards its suitability, the balance bike requires children to ride with the help of their own momentum. These bikes are designed for toddlers with 2 – 3 years of age so if your child lies in the same age group, go for the balance bikes.

14 – 16 Inch Wheel Size

Once a child masters the art of balance bikes now is the time to introduce him to a pedal-bike. For children between the ages of 3-4, most of the pedal bikes prefer 14 to 16 inches wheel sizes. This wheel size is particularly feasible for children with a minimum height of 3ft 3inches as they can easily control the handlebars without any hesitation.

As per the brakes, it varies as per the choice of the parents. They can either go for the rim brakes or the bikes with pedal brakes.

18 Inch Wheel Size

For children slightly older than the above-said age group – that is the kids above the age of 5— they should go for the bicycles with the 18-inch wheel size. Preferably, their height should be greater than 3ft 5 inches in order to ride the bicycle without any such trouble.

20 Inch Wheel Size

In the United States, this is the first bike where children are allowed to have a rim break in both the front and rear end of their bicycle. For every other bike with the lesser wheel size, a U.S. resident can only opt for the pedal brakes.

Coming towards its specifications, a bicycle having an 18-inch wheel size is designed for riders with a minimum height of 3ft 8 inch. As per the age of its riders, children above the age of 6 are recommended to ride upon this vehicle. Lastly, riders with a height of 3ft 11 inches are recommended to use this vehicle.

24 Inch wheel Size

Once a child starts getting serious about riding, as for the children above the age of 8 and with a minimum height of 4ft 2 inches, the 24-inch wheel size works just perfect. Bikes having such wheels can be used for both off as well as on-road riding as it is designed to deal with bumps in a much better way than the 20in wheel size.

26 Inch Wheel Size

Before getting your hands on the full-sized road bicycle, riders beyond the age of 12 should consider buying the 26-inch wheel sized bicycles. Basically, it is the last stepping stone before the adult sized bike and it will provide roughly the same accuracy as that of an actual bike. So for all the preteens and teenagers, who want their bikes to perform to its fullest, this should be their ideal purchase without any second thought.


As far as the kids bike wheel sizes are concerned, the aforementioned guide has got all the information starting from the toddler right till the teenagers. Remember that children should never consider buying an up-sized bicycle for themselves. Even though it will save some money upfront, it will eventually cost the rider comfort-ability and ease of use while riding the bike. So if you’re a parent, considering buying a bike as per the physical needs of your child.

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