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Guide to Kids' Bike Sizes

Not sure which bike size is the right fit for your child? Our kids' bike size chart will help you determine the correct size bicycle that your child needs. 

Drew Kries

The time has come for your child’s very first bike, or maybe something new in a larger size. While there are tons of bikes out there, finding one that fits doesn’t need to be difficult. We’re here to help!

Q: What are the sizes based on?

A: Kids' bike sizes are best determined by wheel size. This directly correlates to the frame size: as the diameter of the wheel increases, so does the frame size of the bicycle.

Q: Do bike sizes correlate to kids’ ages?

A: Yes and no. You can estimate what size bike your child will need based on their age, but the best way is going by their height. Kids’ heights can vary quite a bit, what with the growth spurts and all, so using their height instead of age will provide a much more accurate way to determine the appropriate bike size.

Q: Is my child too young to ride?

A: It’s always good to start learning early. But if your child isn’t ready to ride yet, or you just want to bring them along for a longer outing, we’ve got trailers and child carriers that easily attach to your adult-sized bike.

Schwinn SmartStart

Kids deserve bikes that are made just for them. Schwinn SmartStart bikes are engineered for kids’ proportions so kids in motion can stay in motion. Thanks to the more accurate fit, added comfort, and improved handling, little riders learn to cruise with confidence. Check out our Schwinn SmartStart page to learn more about how it works! Since kids aren’t all the same size, we make SmartStart bikes in multiple sizes so every kid can enjoy them. Let’s dive into a little explainer about each of our different sizes!

Learn More About Each Size We Offer

We’ve got a lot of different sizes for kids’ bikes, but having a wide range of sizes helps us make sure we’ve got the right fit for all riders. You can check out the whole assortment of kids bikes and then read on to learn how each size is different.

A kids bike size chart with recommendation for 12", 14", 16", 18", 20", 24", and 26" bicycles.

12-Inch Bikes
First up are 12-inch bikes, our smallest size for the smallest riders: kids 28” – 38” tall and usually under four years old. These bikes are for kids who are still learning to ride, and they’re designed that way. Some are balance bikes, while others come with training wheels. You can browse all our 12-inch bikes and decide what’s right for your little learner.

14-Inch Bikes
Next, we have 14-inch bikes, which are for riders between 36” and 40” tall. These are mostly kids 3 – 4 years old who are still learning to ride and probably need the support of training wheels. Although this may be the best size for your child, it’s less common than the other small sizes listed here

16-Inch Bikes
For kids who are 38” – 48” tall, there are 16-inch bikes. This size usually fits kids 3 – 7 years old, but like we said, age isn’t always a good indicator of size. Kids grow differently and very young riders will ride differently sized bikes.

18-Inch Bikes
Another less common size is the 18-inch bike. Riders who are 42” – 52” tall and usually 5 – 9 years old will feel most comfortable with this size. While some may still need training wheels, the training wheels are easy to remove. It’s all up to what your little rider needs!

20-Inch Bikes
The smallest size that doesn’t come with training wheels is the 20-inch bike. A wide range of kids 48” – 60” tall can fit this size. They’re usually around 7 – 13 years old and gaining independence in riding around on their own. This is the smallest mountain bike size and the only size for our classic Krate bikes.

24-Inch Bikes
More of a tween or teen size, 24-inch bikes aren’t much different than adult-styled bikes except that they’re smaller. These are for kids 56” – 66” tall and aged anywhere from 10 and up.

26-Inch Bikes
This size is considered an adult size, but it’s the best fit for some tweens and teens. Remember, it’s all about height! 26-inch bikes fit riders over 60” tall, regardless of their age.

A group of children riding their Schwinn kids' bicycles on the sidewalk.

We've Got Your Back

Next step: get out that measuring tape! Once you find the right bike size for your child, you’ll be ready to shop. But don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Watch our video on learning to ride, or check out our kids' bike assembly and helmet fitting guides for some extra support. You’ll have them riding in no time!

Shop Kid’s Bikes

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