Getting a Children's Bicycle

With so many gentle and safe trails, biking in Contra Costa County can truly be a family affair. But a safe and properly fitted bike for your child is an important first step. If you plan to buy online, this is particularly important. A good bike shop should be able to help you with this in person. The folks at Ibike offer this sizing guide:

Approximate Age Child’s Inseam Wheel diameter
2-4 years 14-17 inches; 35-42 cm 12 inches
4-6 years 16-20 inches; 40-50 cm 14 inches
5-8 years 18-22 inches; 45-55 cm 16 inches
6-9 years 20-24 inches; 50-60 cm 18 inches
7-10 years 22-25 inches; 55-63 cm 20 inches
9+ years 24-28 inches; 60-72 cm 24 inches

What should you look for in a kids’ bike?

  • Kids are smaller than adults, so consider a frame that is light and easy to maneuver.
  • Look for large hand brakes that are easy to grab.
  • Aluminum rims (as opposed to allow or steel) are strong and weather-resistant, which will preserve braking power.
  • We recommend frame sizes above, but make sure the wheels are the right size to allow the child to stand astride the bike with their feet flat on the ground for balance.
  • Most importantly get a properly fitted helmet! A good bike shop should be able to help you with sizing.

And finally, where to shop?
Some people prefer the selection of large retailers. REI, Sports Basement and Target, for example, have a wide variety of options and are in Contra Costa County. Locally owned bike shops also have a great experience and knowledge. Used bikes are also a great option. Local bike shops carry several different bike manufacturers, including many that make children’s bikes.
Find a local bike shop in your neighborhood.  Check our our map.

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