Your guide to kids’ bikes
Learn all about how to pick the best (and most fun!) bike for your child
Kids’ bikes are all about having fun, making memories, and giving your child the kind of freedom only found on two wheels. It’s amazing to see your child ride for the first time, head out together on a family cruise, and watch them grow as a rider. This post highlights the topics we cover in our comprehensive kids’ bike guide, including kids’ bike sizing and fit, how to choose the right type of bike, and what kinds of accessories to get for safe, fun riding. You can check out the full kids’ bike guide here, and shop for kids’ bikes here.
In general, the size that’s right for your child depends on their age and height. Our biggest piece of advice? Don’t buy a bike that’s too big for your child, thinking they’ll grow into it. It can slow down their learning and affect their confidence. The right size bike makes your child feel comfortable and is a lot easier for them to maneuver so they can pick up skills fast. Check out our kids’ bike size chart and tips for finding the best-fitting bike for your child.
There are lots of kids’ bikes to choose from, so narrowing down your options can be hard! The main thing is to ensure the purpose and features of the bike match your child’s skill level. For example, most young kids will likely only ride short distances around the neighborhood. They benefit from a simple, hybrid-style little kids’ bike without unnecessary features. As kids get older and gain more skills, they’ll be able to choose from several types of bikes with many different kinds of features.
Balance bikes are like a cross between a scooter and a bicycle. They’ve become popular in recent years as savvy parents have recognized that balance, not pedaling, is the most important part of riding a bike and should be the starting point of any instruction. Balance bikes don’t have pedals, which allows small children to push themselves along using their feet and practice balancing their weight over the bike. They’re the best bikes for toddlers, and teaching kids to balance early on will make their transition to a bike with pedals much easier.
What about kids’ bikes with training wheels?
You probably learned to ride by using training wheels, and most professional cyclists probably did, too. Training wheels are a great way to get kids comfortable riding, and to get them hooked on the feeling of freedom that only a bike can provide. They’re a good choice for kids who are too big for a balance bike or simply need a bit more time to gain confidence.
Definitely a helmet! It’s important for your kid’s on-bike safety and it teaches them that riding safer matters. We also always recommend front and rear lights on every ride to help them stand out, and you can also add fun stuff like baskets, bells, and handlebar bags.