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More about Kids Bikes

The youngsters are growing, the shoes are getting too small every six months and the kids are sitting on their bikes like “a monkey on a grindstone”, as we use to say in Germany.

From 12 inch wheels without pedals for the first hara-kiri use to 16 or 24 inch racing bikes with powerful braking systems, children's bikes come in a wide range of brands, models and designs. With this category guide, we help you find the right bike for your kids, whether boys or girls!


Choosing the right size

Okay! Honestly, with exponential growth like a stack of used cups in the kitchen, it's not easy to make the right choice straight away when buying children's bikes. The size charts of our partners provide recommendations based on frame- and wheel size.

Wait, frame- and wheel size? That's right! The actual size of a children's bike is not strictly dependent on the wheel size. For example, a 20 inch children's bike, due to smaller frame dimensions, can be slightly smaller or larger by manufacturer. Decisive for safety is above all the frame height or the so called over stand height. This height describes the contact point in the first third of the top tube, which occurs when your child stands with both feet flat on the ground.

The over stand height should be smaller (at least 2.5 cm) than the actual inside leg length. To determine the inside leg length, all you need is a book, measuring tape and the motivation of the youngsters. Simply stand with your back to the wall, take the book between your legs, in your crotch, and measure perpendicular to the floor.

What is meant by 12, 16 or 24 inches anyway?
Here it is only about the tires- or wheel size! The wheel size determines the frame size in a certain way, and the frame size provides the so called overstand height of a bike. 

Better to buy a number too large?
... they grow in! Absolutely correct! But ideally, the bike should fit directly. That means the saddle and handlebars should be able to be adjusted so that, on the one hand, safety is guaranteed and, on the other hand, the kid gets optimal power transfer. To put the saddle down to the maximum so that the toe tips come to the ground does not lead to success.

What does this mean in concrete terms? Too large in no way! Here we refer again to the size charts of our bicycle brands. Fun is only guaranteed if the kids sit properly on their bikes. The trick is to let the bikes grow with them, e.g. with longer seatposts and stems.

What can be adjusted on a child's bike?
If we disregard the gears and brakes and focus only on the contact points, we have the saddle, handlebars, stem and brake levers. The adjustment of the saddle on children's bikes is often a compromise between height and safety. Adjust the saddle height so that when the heel hits the pedal in the lowest crank position, the leg is fully extended.

To give the kids some security, the seat height can be adjusted so that at least the tips of the toes touch the ground. The saddle angle can be adjusted horizontally, and the position can be used to push the saddle a little further over or behind the bottom bracket to support low or high cadence.

In the cockpit area, handlebar height can be adjusted by replacing the headset spacers. Simply explained, the lower the handlebars, the more power goes into the pedal, the higher, the more comfort increases. In addition, the brake levers should be adjusted to the reach of the fingers. Put the finger on the lever and adjust to the first joint of the finger.

Only one more ride!

Features

Drivetrain & derailleur
After 12 or 16 inches and several laps in the court or backyard, the first mountain stages are starting now. Without gears and transmission, the yellow jersey and especially the motivation of the children will be a bit difficult. From 20 inch models, gears are installed that can be operated with a grip shifter suitable for children.

The number of gears is limited in most equipment variants to eight gears, a compact transmission range at the cassette and a small chainring. The rear derailleurs come in simple designs, since these parts are often damaged due to the small wheel size and the carefree nature of the kids.

Disc or rim brakes? Rim brakes are installed on the majority of children's bicycles. The braking power is sufficient and the braking systems are easy to maintain. The pro models of some manufacturers are equipped with disc brakes for racing and bike park use. The advantage here is that the brake is easier to operate, better to dose and the performance is constant, because the brake disc is not directly exposed to dirt or water like an aluminum rim flank.


Is a lighting system mandatory? That depends on the regulations in your country. We recommend installing a light system and reflectors on the bike.

Weight, Fabrics and Co.

Have you ever ridden an e-bike uphill without assistance? This is roughly how the power/mass ratio feels on a heavy children's bike. Therefore, when buying a children's bike, pay attention to the weight. Fully equipped means more weight in most cases. Mudguards can be added with light-weight clip-on fenders, luggage racks can be replaced with a backpack. On a children's bike; less is more!

Especially simple suspension forks in a steel spring design, do not bring significant added benefit, because the disadvantage of weight predominates. Wide tires and a bit less air pressure create enough damping for decent comfort.

Basically, children's bikes are heavier. The frames are made of lightweight aluminum, but since the bikes are not handled with kid gloves, the focus is on robustness at the same time.

Do we have something left out?
Okay, we point it out again! No helmet, no ride – The bicycle helmet is just as natural when biking as brushing your teeth before going to bed! In our category bike helmets, you will find the right equipment for kids.

So that the bike does not get lost, we also have a selection of bike locks, pumps, repair kits and much more in our bike accessories category.

Would you like to read more about bikes? Then we have some interesting blog articles about biking:

Biking helmets and glasses – what is there to know?
Mountain Bike Etiquette: How to Behave on Trails


Have a look and enjoy reading!