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There are so many different styles -- which one is right for your child?

Is it time to buy your child their first bicycle? Is your "little one" not so little any more and ready for a bigger bike?

If it's been a while since you've shopped for a bike, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Today, kids bikes are lighter, better quality, and available in more varieties than they were even a few years ago.

Kids' Bike Sizes
Unlike adult bicycles, which are referred to according to frame size (typically in inches for hybrids and centimeters for road bikes), kids' bikes are referred to by wheel size, from ten (12") to twenty-four (24") inch wheel sizes. Because heights can vary broadly, ages fall into this very general range: 

  • Age 3 to 5 / height 35-40": 12" bike
  • Ages 4 to 7 / height 39-46": 16" bike
  • Ages 6 to 13 / 45"-52": 20" bike
  • Ages 9 to 13 / 51"-63": 24" bike

Fitting a bike is more than determining age and height, though; coordination and cycling experience should be factors in your purchase. Taller children who lack confidence might do  better staying on their current, smaller bike for another year until they feel more comfortable, while a coordinated 8-year old with long legs might be ready for a larger bike in order to join - and keep up with - you on the trails. 

General guidelines for assessing the fit of a child's current bike:

HEIGHT:

Make sure that they can sit on the seat and place both feet firmly on the ground. They should be able to hold themself upright and get on and off without difficulty. (If the bicycle is equipped with training wheels, it's okay if the child reaches the ground with their toes only. As balance develops, gradually raise the training wheels so they get used to leaning the bike to turn.)

REACH:

It's also important that children can comfortably reach the handlebars and steer. If the bars are out of reach, good steering is impaired. Likewise, be sure the child's hands can reach and operate the brakes. Even if your child is almost tall enough to ride a certain size, they might not be able to do so comfortably, confidently, or safely. Alternately, if your child is "hunched up" over the bars, steering might be difficult and a larger bike might be more exciting to control and ride.

Kids' Bike Features 

Entry-level children's bikes are designed to focus on comfort level and experience. Here are the main variations available in most sizes:

> Training wheels OR pedal-less / pedal add-on

> Coaster brakes (brake with pedals) OR hand brakes (pull brakes on handlebars) 

> One gear (no shift) OR multi-gear shifters

> Adjustable seat height

> Adjustable handlebars and crank arms 

Most bikes can also accommodate baskets, bells, streamers and other popular accessories. 

We Grow with You: Our Trade-In Policy

We want all customers, children and adults, to enjoy their cycling experience! Where cheaper kids bikes are often made of non-adjustable handlebars that compromise the fit and plastic parts that break down quickly, the bikes that we sell are higher quality, easier to ride, lower maintenance, and much more durable - and can be handed down to a sibling for future cycling. 

To maintain that value over time AND make it easier for you as your children grow, we offer trade-ins on kids' bikes purchased from Bicycle Habitat. Bring in the old bike in good condition, and we credit up to half of your purchase price to a new bike purchase.

Browse Kids' Bikes

Specialized Hotrock 24
Your little one might love to ride, but that doesn't mean they'll be doing ...
Specialized Fatboy 24
It's a kid's job to ride bikes, have fun, and eat cake. With a lightweight ...
Specialized Riprock Expert 24
Remember when riding bikes was all about having fun? So does Specialized. F...
Trek Superfly 20
Let their adventures begin Trek Kids' mountain bikes are the real deal, ...
Trek Roscoe 20
There's no family outing as fun as a trail session, and Roscoe is the ideal...
Specialized Riprock 24
Remember when riding bikes was all about having fun? So does Specialized. F...