How to choose the right Kid's Bike

Do you remember your first bike? Perhaps you remember it waiting for you under the Christmas tree with a big shiny bow on it. If you're planning on making dreams come true for a special child in your life this holiday season, make sure you read through our tips for choosing the right kid's bike!

Size Matters

The wheel sizes you'll see on kid's bikes are 12", 16", 20" and 24". You will want to make sure that your child can stand over the top tube of the bike with both feet firmly on the ground. You want your child to feel in control of the bike - not overwhelmed by it! Because of this, we do not recommend buying a bike that is large so that your child can "grow into it." Doing this can set your child back in terms of riding skills and confidence. A correctly sized bike will be much easier for your child to handle, much safer, and consequently, a lot more fun.

If your tot is just starting out with bikes, you may want to consider beginning her on a balance bike - a bike in its simplest form. On a balance bike there's no pedals or chain, just wheels and a frame. A balance bike helps teach 2- to 5-year-olds how to coordinate steering and balance and can make the transition to a big kid bike much easier.

Braking Matters

When looking for a kid's bike, the most important mechanical parts of a bike, overall, are the brakes.  You want your child to have control of getting his bike stopped.  Kids' bikes usually have either coaster brakes (brakes on the back wheel that are engaged by pedaling backwards), or handbrakes (brakes engaged by a grip on the handlebars that pinches brake pads against the rim of the wheel) or both.  Because of children's small hand size and limited hand strength, the smallest kids’ bikes have coaster brakes.  Until a child’s hands are large and strong enough to effectively use a handbrake, they should rely on coaster brakes.  However, a bike with both brake options offers opportunities to for kids to practice the next style of braking before moving up in bike size.

Weight Matters

While most adult bikes are about 20% of the rider's weight, this ratio isn't really found on kids' bikes. Ideally, though, your child's bike should be 40% of their weight. The lighter the bike, the better for your child. The weight of a bike is often a first indicator of the quality of the bike.

Geometry Matters

A child’s body position on the bike plays a large role in how well they can ride the bike. Bikes with a longer wheelbase (distance from wheel to wheel) tend to provide more stability and control for the rider. In addtion, pay attention to the handlebar position. Tall handlebars that sweep back, often found on big-box-store bikes, limit the rider's space and prevent them from applying more force on the handlebars. For the average young rider, a mid-rise handlebar is ideal.

The Bike Shop Advantage

You may be tempted to stop by the nearest box store for a kids' bike. He'll just outgrow it fast, right? Why not get a bike for a steal? We want to caution you though - most of kids' bikes are being sold at stores where the employees aren't familiar with important information like the difference between coaster brakes and side-pull brakes and which is needed. Similarly, they may not know very much about the quality of the bikes on the showroom floor. Another problem is that often these same employees assemble the bikes - with no formal training as bike mechanics - so even a good bike may be assembled wrong. Our staff is both knowledgeable and skillfully trained. You will leave with confidence that your child is both safe and on the bike that is best suited for him. Who can put a price tag on that?

Burley MyKick Balance Bike
$99.00
Kids don't realize that they can't do things. They just try. So even if you...
Electra Under-The-Sea 1 16
$299.99
Let kids be kids and enjoy all the quality and design details of our adult ...
Sun Bicycles Lil Rock't
$99.99
Get your boy on two wheels earlier than ever with Sun's Lil Rock't. This sa...
Trek Precaliber 16 Girl's
$249.99
Teaching and learning to ride is a breeze with Precaliber 16 Girl's. It has...
Electra Sprocket 1 - 20-inch
$319.99
Electra's newest Kids’ Sprocket 20-inch bikes provide good old-fashioned fu...
Trek Precaliber 20 7-Speed Girl's
$349.99
Precaliber 20 7-speed Girl's is a rugged kids' bike for young adventurers. ...
Trek Precaliber 24 8-Speed Suspension Boy's
$399.99
Precaliber 24 8-speed Boy's is a rugged kids' bike built for young adventur...
Sun Bicycles Scout 24
$339.99
The Scout 24 was designed to encourage your son or daughter to keep riding ...
Sun Bicycles Boardwalk (24-inch Wheels)
$439.99
Sun's 24-inch Boardwalk cruiser boasts a sweet upright riding position, a p...
Electra Sprocket 7D - 20-inch
$339.99
Electra's newest Kids’ Sprocket 20-inch bikes provide good old-fashioned fu...
Trek Wahoo 24
$459.99
Wahoo 24 is a lightweight, simple, and practical kids' hybrid bike that mak...
Sun Bicycles Lil Kitt'n
$89.99
Get your little girl on two wheels earlier than ever with Sun's Lil Kitt'n....
Haro Shredder 16
$219.99
The Shredder 16 is designed around a low profile alloy frame which is both ...
Electra Treasure 1 20
$319.99
Let kids be kids and enjoy all the quality and design details of our adult ...
Trek Precaliber 24 8-speed Girl's
$369.99
Precaliber 24 8-speed Girl's is a classic kids' bike with great style, perf...
Electra Starship 1 16
$299.99
Let kids be kids and enjoy all the quality and design details of our adult ...
Cleary Owl 20-inch 1 Speed
$410.00
Your early grade schooler will love the Owl. It accelerates and stops fast!...
Trek Precaliber 20 7-Speed Boy's
$349.99
Precaliber 20 7-speed Boy's is a rugged kids' bike for young adventurers. I...
Trek Precaliber 16 Boy's
$249.99
Teaching and learning to ride is a breeze with Precaliber 16 Boy's. It has ...
Haro Beasley 24
$369.99
The Beasley kids model is made of 6000 series alloy in a low frame stand-ov...
Cleary Owl 20-inch 3 Speed
$460.00
The Geared Owl is unique. The internally geared 3-speed rear hub enables yo...
Electra Straight 8 1 (20-inch) - Boy's
$229.99 $389.99 41% Savings
Let kids be kids and enjoy all the quality and design details of our adult ...
Haro Flightline 20 Plus
$349.99
Who said you have to be an adult to experience a plus size ride? Not us...T...
Haro Flightline 24
$349.99
Thanks to its 24-inch wheelset, the Flightline 24 is perfect for adventurou...
Trek Precaliber 20 Girl's
$239.99
Key features - Better than big box bikes, and your kid deserves it - Fr...
Sun Bicycles Scout 24 Single Speed
$279.99
The Scout 24 was designed to encourage your son or daughter to keep riding ...
Trek Kickster
$169.99
Key features - Steering limiter prevents kids from turning too sharply ...
Trek Precaliber 12 Girl's
$219.99
Precaliber 12 Girl's is the perfect first bike for little riders who are ah...
Sun Bicycles Lil Bolt Type-R
$389.99
Sun's Li'l Bolt Type-R is a child's perfect complement to your adult cruise...
Trek Precaliber 20 Boy's
$289.99
Precaliber 20 Boy's will have your little rider begging to go out for a ped...
Haro Flightline 24 Plus
$349.99
The Flightline 24 Plus is your take-anywhere, do-anything gateway to pure f...
Sun Bicycles Matrix 16
$209.99
For the child who's first learning to ride, Sun's Matrix is an eye-catching...
Sun Bicycles Flower Power 20
$229.99
For the girl who's first learning to ride, Sun's Flower Power is an eye-cat...
Cleary Hedgehog 16-inch 1 Speed
$375.00
The Hedgehog is a preschooler’s "do anything" bike. Kids ride this rig to d...
Haro PreWheelz 12 SE EVA
$149.99
Sitting at the top of the PreWheelz line is the 12 SE EVA balance bike. Thi...
Trek Precaliber 20 Boy's
$289.99
Precaliber 20 Boy's will have your little rider begging to go out for a ped...