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As parents, we understand that children grow quickly, and their bikes may not keep up with their changing needs.   

In this guide, we will explore the important factors to consider when determining if your child has outgrown their current bike.   

Our aim is to help you make the right choice when upgrading to a larger bike for your child.   

Size & Fit    

As children grow, their physical dimensions change, and the bike they once loved may no longer be the right size. Look out for these signs to see if they're outgrowing their bike:

  • The child's knees are bent too much when they are pedalling. This can cause discomfort and may also affect the child's ability to pedal efficiently.  
  • The child's head is too close to the handlebars. This can make it difficult for the child to see the road ahead and may also be uncomfortable.  
  • The child is growing out of the seat or handlebar adjustment range.    

You can also get a sense of whether your child is too big for their bike by comparing their inside leg measurement to the size recommendation. If you are wondering how to measure bike size for your kid, we have a handy size guide.  

Bike too small:

child on bike too small

Confidence & Control  

If your child is having trouble controlling their bike, it may be a sign that the bike is too small for them. This can lead to the child feeling insecure and hesitant, which can make it even harder to learn how to ride.  

Another scenario is having a child that is highly skilled on their balance bike. If they are whizzing around with confidence it might be time to teach them to ride a first pedal bike. 

Safety Considerations  

A bike that is too small or too big can be a safety hazard.   

When a bike is too small, the child may not be able to reach the pedals or handlebars comfortably. This can make it difficult for the child to control the bike, which can increase the risk of falls.    

Likewise, a bike that is too big can will also be unstable and difficult to manoeuvre.  

Bike too big:

bike that is too big for child - bike club

Riding Experience   

When a child is riding a bike that fits, they are more likely to have a positive and enjoyable experience. This is because they will be able to reach the pedals and handlebars comfortably.   

However, if a child is riding a bike that does not fit, they will have a more difficult time controlling the bike and will feel uncomfortable. This can also lead to more accidents! If the bike does not fit well, they may lose interest in riding altogether.   

Seeking Expert Advice  

If you're unsure what size bike your kids need, then we can help. At Bike Club we consider ourselves experts when it comes to kids bikes. We have tools to help you find the correct size for your child.   

You can input the inside leg measurement of your child into our interactive bike finder to get suggestions.     

You can also check our collection pages to view our currently available bikes and their sizes. Finally, we have a host of useful blog posts, such as Age vs Inside Leg and Our Ultimate Guide to Kids Bikes.   

Correct Kids Bike Size   

When your child is riding a bike that fits well, they should feel completely comfortable:     

  • Their feet should be able to reach the pedals comfortably without having to stretch.  
  • Have the child stand over the bike with their feet flat on the ground. There should be at least 2 inches of clearance between their groin and the top tube.  
  • Have the child ride the bike around. They should be able to control the bike and manoeuvre it easily.  

Having a bike that fits well is not only important for their comfort, it is also crucial for bike safety.   

child on bike that fits

child sitting on bike that fits

Types of Kids Bikes Available  

At Bike Club we offer bike sizes for kids of all ages and types. This way your child can always have a bike that fits perfectly.  

Balance Bikes   

Balance bikes are a great way for children to learn how to balance before they move on to a pedal bike. They are also a lot of fun, and children can use them to explore their surroundings and develop their confidence.   

Balance bikes have no pedals, so children have to use their feet to propel themselves forward. This helps them learn how to balance their weight and steer the bike.  

First Pedal Bikes  

First pedal bikes are for children who are just learning how to ride a bike with pedals. They have features that make them easier to ride, such as a coaster brake and a low seat.   

First pedal bikes typically have a single gear, which makes them easy to pedal.   

Hybrid / Off-Road Bikes  

Hybrid bikes are great for children who want to ride on a variety of surfaces, such as pavement, dirt, and gravel. They are also a great choice for children who want to ride on trails.  

Hybrid bikes typically have wider tires than other types of kids bikes, which gives them more stability on rough terrain.  

Road Bikes  

Road bikes are ideal for fast-paced riding on roads and tracks. They are lightweight and fast, and good for riding long distances or competing in races.  

Road bikes typically have thin tires that are designed for speed on smooth surfaces.  

BMX Bikes  

BMX bikes are made for tricks and stunts. They are lightweight and manoeuvrable and excellent for children who want to have fun riding around town or in the park.  

BMX bikes have a high bottom bracket, which gives the rider more control when doing tricks. They also have a short wheelbase, which makes them more nimble and agile.  

Mountain Bikes  

Mountain bikes are designed for riding on trails. They have features that make them stable and comfortable on rough terrains, such as suspension forks and knobby tires.   

Mountain bikes typically have wider tires than other types of kids bikes, which gives them more traction on loose surfaces.    

refer a friend - bike club

Questions We Get Typically Asked About When to Upgrade a Bike  

What size bike does my child need?  

This depends entirely on the size of your child. We recommend going by inside leg measurement to find the most accurate fit.    

You can input this into our interactive bike finder to get precise recommendations. You can also view our collection pages to see our available bikes.   

What is the standover height of a bike?  

Standover height is the distance between the ground and the top tube of a bike. It is important to have at least 2 inches of clearance between the rider's crotch and the top tube when they are standing over the bike.    

How do I know if my child’s bike is too small?  

Here are some points to look out for if you think your child’s bike is too small:  

  • Their feet do not reach the ground when they are sitting on the seat. This can make it difficult for them to pedal and can also make it more difficult for them to balance.  
  • Their knees are bent too much when they are pedalling. This can cause pain and fatigue.  
  • They are having difficulty controlling the bike.   
  • They are not comfortable riding the bike.   

How quickly do kids outgrow bikes?  

Kids typically outgrow bikes every one to two years. However, every child grows at a different rate. Some children grow slowly and steadily, but others can shoot up like beanstalks seemingly overnight!  

Is a 20-inch bike too big for a 7-year-old?  

20-inch bikes are generally the right wheel size for a 7-year-old. However, to get the right we always recommend going by inside leg measurement. 

If they have an inside leg measurement of over 57cm, they would likely be more comfortable on a 24-inch bike such as a Woom 5.   

Should a 7-year-old ride a 20” or 24” bike?  

Again this will depend on the height of your 7-year-old. Our 20-inch bikes are suitable for children with an inside leg measurement of 49 – 62cm, varying depending on the bike. Our 24-inch bikes are suitable for measurements of 57 – 67cm.   

Getting a Larger Bike with Bike Club 

At Bike Club all our bikes are available on subscription at an affordable monthly rate. We have bikes for all age ranges, from balance bikes to 26 inch mountain bikes. We also have adult bikes so that you won't get left behind. You can view all our current children's bikes on our kids bikes page. 

family bike ride by a lake - bike club