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Picking the right bike size for teenagers without going overboard

Children outgrow everything they own at an amazing pace. Clothes, shoes, books, and even bikes need to catch up with the pace. And, if your child loves cycling, they should be encouraged to continue their hobby with replacements for each growth phase. It helps promote a healthy, independent, and green thinking young generation. Picking the right bike size for teenagers is the start of new adventures, be it in the suburbs, back lanes, wooded paths, or the open country. Here’s our guide to upgrading bike size with age.

How can you tell if a teen has grown out of their current bike?

If you feel that your child has grown out of their bike, take a look at their feet and the angle of their knee. The leg should be almost fully extended on the downstroke. When the bike becomes too small for them, their knees bend more than necessary, they get sore thighs, and they won’t be able to go as fast as they like. You will see them spinning their legs inefficiently and with difficulty.

You will also notice that the difference in saddle height to handlebar height is extreme, with the front-end of the bike looking low in comparison to the saddle height. The bike will look too short, and your child’s centre of gravity will be too far forward. They might start to bang their knees on the handlebars when they are pedalling, even when seated.

Importance of proper bike size

Riding a bike should be like sailing through the air. The joy of riding comes from this very feeling. If the bike is too big and heavy, children will spend all their energy trying to control it. If the bike is too small, they will feel like the activity is a grinding effort. It's important to find the right size bike for both the comfort and safety of your child.

Age and Height

Although your child officially becomes a teen when they are 13, their build and height can be either over the average or below. The average height of children 11-14 is 4' 10" - 5' 6". For this age range and height, you should be looking at a 14inch frame size and 26inch wheel. 26” bike wheel size is the standard adult bike size. If your child is 5' 0" - 5' 8" in height, the average height of a 12-15year old in the UK, go for a 14”-17” frame. If your child is between the ages of 13-16 and is 5' 3" - 5' 10" in height, opt for a 17" frame. A child over 5’ 10” can ride all-sized adult bikes if they possess the necessary skills.

Measure your child for their height and inside leg. Stand your child in their socks against a wall. Place a book between their legs, high as comfortably possible. After moving them away from the wall, measure from the top of the book to the floor. Kids' bike sizing requires adequate room to stand over the top tube.

Skill level

Some kids start early and master the bike. Some start late and take a while to ride out the novice phase. Therefore, it is important to consider their skill level when buying a bike for your child.

Adjust the height of the bike

Standing over the bike's top tube, there should be a clearance. Mountain bikes require a decent gap. If their leg is bent when the seat post is at maximum extension, the bike is too small. Lower the saddle so, both feet touch the ground when sitting. They should be able to keep their feet flat on the floor if they're learners and toes down if they're still mastering balance. 

Comfort

Whichever bike size guide you use, if the bike does not provide an easy comfort of manoeuver, it can be counter-productive. Make sure the weight and design are easy on your child.

Buying children's bikes requires you to consider multiple aspects. It is worth the effort because your child is gaining a fundamental skill to be independent and stay active outdoors. Shop for an affordable, high-quality e-bike range at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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