A Colorado child injury lawyer discusses the importance of finding the right-sized bike for your child.  As spring approaches, stores stock up on bright, shiny bikes for children. A timeless activity, riding bikes have been popular with kids since their invention, but it’s important to choose the right one. As a child injury lawyer, we encourage you to take the time to find the right size to keep your child safe.

Many parents make one of two mistakes when buying a bike. The first is buying a bike too big so the child “grows into it.” While it may save you a few bucks, a bike that’s too big is hard to control, and can often result in an accident. The second is buying the bike the child wants because of its features. A child may see a certain character or color and be drawn to that particular bike. Or it has a horn, bell, pegs, or some other trait that makes it desirable. Use these guidelines for choosing an appropriate-sized bike.

A child should be able to get on and off the bike without struggling to hold the bike up. When seated, the child should be able to touch both feet to the ground. With one foot up on the pedal, as if starting to ride, the bike shouldn’t lean so far over that it is difficult to balance and get rolling. In general, kids should use coaster brakes until they are at least 5-years-old since hand brakes require more coordination and strength.


Bikes are sized by their tire size, and these are some general guidelines for choosing the right-sized bike:

12 inch bike: 2-5 years old, 26-34 inches tall

16 inch bike: 4-8 years old, 34-42 inches tall

18 inch bike: 6-9 years old, 42-48 inches tall

20 inch bike: 8-12 years old, 48-56 inches tall

24 inch bike: teens who are 56-62 inches tall

You may also want to check out for further discussion on choosing a child’s bike.  Use caution when buying a used or hand-me-down bike. Older bikes may not have some of the safety features of a newer bike, so a good rule of thumb is to acquire one no more than 5 years old. In addition to finding the right-sized bike, always make sure children are equipped with a properly fitting helmet.

If you need more information about bike and helmet safety or safety tips about bikes and cars sharing the road, or if you need to speak to someone about a child’s injury, contact us.