Figuring out what size bike you need can be a challenge, and is more than looking at a bike size chart. This bike sizing guide will help you figure out the correct bike frame size. If you are looking for info on Kids Bike Sizing, please click here to jump to that section of the article. If you want to learn more about the different types of bikes we sell, check out our Bicycle Buying Guide.
The size of your bike is incredibly important as it affects comfort, safety, and pedaling efficiency. A bike that fits you well will let you enjoy your ride and get the most out of it. However, an ill-fitting bike can lead to discomfort that will ultimately lead to you not wanting to ride. Best to avoid that!
The first step is to look at our Bike Sizing Chart and based off of your inseam and height, select the appropriate size. Though this bicycle size chart is a great guide and place to start, there are other factors that play into bike sizing. Continue reading to find out how to be sure the size is correct.
*A handy way to measure your inseam is to stand up against a wall with a hardcover book, square up the hardcover book with the wall and your inseam, and measure from the top of the book.
Different styles and brands of bikes will be sized differently.
Kids’ bikes are sized differently than adult bikes. Unlike adult bikes, which are sized off of the frame, kids’ bike sizing is based on the wheel size. The smallest bikes usually start with a 12” wheel size (some balance bikes may have a 10” wheel). The largest kids’ bikes will have 24” wheels. After that, kids begin to move into small sized adult bikes.
Balance bikes are also known as 'run bikes' or 'strider bikes.' They come in two sizes - 10 inches and 12 inches (wheel diameter) - and are suggested for kids 2-5 years old. This bike has no pedals, so a child uses their feet to push the bike along. This is a great way for them to learn one of the hardest parts of riding a bike - how to balance on two wheels.
After the balance bike, it is time to upgrade to a bike with pedals. Picking the next size bike is going to depend on your child's height. When picking a kid’s bike size, safety should be the number one priority. While it might be tempting to buy a bike a child can grow into, a bike that is too large won’t be safe or fun for a child to ride.
As your child grows, you'll need to raise the bicycle seat. Make sure to pay attention to where the minimum insertion line is on their seat post. Their seat post should have a line that indicates how far up the seat can be raised. For safety purposes, the post should never be sticking up past that minimum insertion line. Riding a seat beyond this point is dangerous and could result in a malfunction of the bike frame.
Parents often ask us about buying a size up since their child is growing. We understand that you want to get as much use of the bike as possible, but we encourage you to consider the safety issues that come with buying a bike that's too big. Especially if the child is new to biking, riding an oversized bike can be hard to balance and difficult to stop.
A better option is ERIK'S Guaranteed Trade-In Program. It’s perfect for those buying a bike for their fast-growing kids (or anyone ready to upgrade their current bike). Trade in your kids' used bike and get ERIK'S store credit to use towards a new bike for them... or anything else we sell! Learn more here.