A spring birthday is awesome.
Every couple of years you can be guaranteed of a big birthday present. With my oldest turning 5 at the end of the month, that big birthday present came early in the form of a new bike.
Talk about the best day ever.
Children’s bikes are measured by tire size. They start at 12 inches and take leaps from there to 24 inches and beyond.
Bikes with 12 to 18 inch wheels are usually found with training wheels already attached, the 20″ and up models are for those closer to 10 years of age.
Here’s a children’s bike sizing chart for kids to help you gauge where you should be looking in the store, remember it’s just a guide and you should get your kid to hop on for sizing before you buy it:
|Age of Child||Height of Child||Wheel Size|
|2 – 4 years||2′ 10″ – 3′ 4″||12 inch wheel diameter|
|3 – 5 years||3′ 1″ – 3′ 7″||14 inch wheel diameter|
|5 – 7 years||3′ 7″ – 4′ 0″||16 inch wheel diameter|
|7 – 9 years||4′ 0″ – 4′ 5″||20 inch wheel diameter|
|9 – 11 years||4′ 5″ – 4′ 9″||24 inch wheel diameter|
(via Evans Cycles)
You will, most likely, have to replace your child’s bike every year – if not, then every other year for sure. Kids grow quickly, and bikes (like shoes and clothes) won’t last them more than a couple of seasons.
Don’t forget the helmet. While the ages on the tags can be a guide, try them on. The 5-year-old helmets were too tight, he complained, so he’s actually wearing an 8-year-old helmet. (Big head?) The helmet is tight enough that it doesn’t flop around when he shakes his head, but still has some room to grow, so it might last two seasons.
Kids grow out of their bikes quickly. Craigslist is a great place to find second hand bikes, but the good ones go quickly. We decided to stop chasing the deal and grabbed our son one from WalMart for less than $90. We’ll probably be able to sell it in two summers for $50ish (if he doesn’t break it), so it’s about the same as buying one second hand. We also have two boys to share the gear, so buying new gives us a better chance of quality hand-me-downs for son #2.
I’m the Dad who missed the first time my son learned how to ride a bike, I plan on not missing it this summer with this new “big boy” bike.