Accessorizing a bike is sometimes just as exciting and important as the initial bike purchase. For kids, it adds personality and really makes it their own. Here are a mix of the top-selling and my favorite kid’s biking gift ideas.
Kids’ Bike Helmets
If you buy a kid’s bike from me, I ask about the helmet. How old is it, how does it fit, and does the kid like to wear it? Kids can be pretty unpredictable on two wheels and can make silly choices like going down that rocky hill. A great fitting kid’s bike helmet can protect their head from skull fractures and protect their faces if they fly off the front. Let me know in the comments below your favorite kid’s helmet – my goto are the Kali Chakra and Lazer Gekko!
Who doesn’t love a good bike bell? We use these a lot as a carrot for kids. They can be distracting for kids learning to pedal but a great reward for once they master them. I also love installing them on cargo bikes so kids can do the ringing. $12-15 for a good bell. The most popular are the Jellibell twist style, the small ding dong lever, or the new Woom Vienna Bell that sounds rather beautiful.
Side-Entry Water Bottle Cages
If your kiddo has a mount for a water bottle on their bike, a standard bike cage and bottle probably won’t let them easily get the bottle in and out. I recommend the MSW Side-Entry Water Bottle Cage and a small bottle from Woom or Elite. I like the MSW bottle cage because you can switch the direction of the bottle cage so you can make the exit point be on the left side. I prefer teaching kids to use things like bells and bottles with their left hand so their right hand is available for the rear brake. (Opposite if your rear brake is your left hand like in Europe).
Even if your kiddo doesn’t ride at night I really like having blinky lights for kids that may ride near the street. My go to lights for kids are the basic Planet Bike blinky lights ($15) and my FAVORITE is the magnetic powered Reelights that use magnets on the wheels to blink the light. They require no charging or turning on the light.
If you are riding at night or dusk, check out the Monkeylight Wheel Lights! The M204 works down a 16″ wheel and really illuminates your kid’s bike wheel and creates this glowing orb around them.
Bags & Baskets
Bags and baskets are SO fun to add to kids’ bikes and scooters. Starting at about $15 they allow your kiddo to collect rocks, bring snacks, or hold a water bottle. My three favorite bags are the SlapBag, Banjo Brother small handlebar bag, and the new line of bike bags from Woom.
Kid’s Bike Gloves
Long fingered gloves protect kids’ hands when they crash and make them look super rad. We sell the woom gloves and Pearl Izumi youth gloves in the store. The new woom winter gloves are also pretty nice for moderate winter riding.
Kid’s Biking Clothes
I may be falling in love with woom’s new kid’s bike clothing. Their jackets and winter hats are so darn cute! We have winter hats in stock at the store, and jackets to try on for us to order the right size for you.
Normalizing the bike is a very important part of getting kids excited about biking. We carry the Buddy Pegs books in the store, and I plan on making a list of my favorite kid’s bike books here soon. Comment below to add yours!
The very best kids’ biking gift you can gift is your time with them on two wheels. Some of my favorite experiences as a parent have been biking to ice cream or to explore the dirt path with my kids. In Denver, there are many kid-friendly bike parks that would be a wonderful daylong adventure!
1. All products listed here I have personally used and tested. If my own kid doesn’t like them, I don’t recommend them.
2. Some links below take you to woom’s website. I will make a commission off of any sales purchased through those links.
It is an amazing time to be looking at new kids’ bikes. There are several amazing bike brands that are solely dedicated to making fantastic bikes designed for kids (not small adults), and some bigger bike brands are investing in making their kids’ bikes great, too.
How to Use this Kid’s Bike Sizing Guide
1. You’ll see some opinions and ideas that I have to share after fitting, selling, and successfully helping hundreds of kids on bikes. This comes from being a mom, a bike mechanic for over 20 years, and my wife who is a pediatric emergency doctor.
2. The actual kid’s bike sizing guide. This is a good starting point to figure out sizing but if you aren’t sure between a couple of bikes please contact me!
3. Finally, you’ll see a rundown of sizes for bikes I’ve tried and a link to a crowdsourced google sheet to find sizes and info for various kids bikes.
Some Encouragement from a Loving Bike Mom (and bike shop owner)
I opened up my small bike shop with the goal of making the world a better place for my kids. A bike can solve so many issues that kids face from mental and physical health to freedom and finding confidence in themselves.
The very most important thing to remember in this is that your child is unique and you know them the best. Some of this guide will talk about sizing, confidence, and it will be a guide. Ultimately you can decide if your kid is more confident for a bigger size or maybe needs the investment in the lightest bike available.
The next most important thing is to remember to make this fun. My daughter didn’t take to a balance bike at first. She loved her little Micro Mini scooter and honestly as long as she was moving I was thrilled. Finally one day her friend started pedaling so she immediately wanted to try. Having peers and seeing other kids their size doing it is important, but so is wanting to do this because it is a freedom machine. Make it about going for ice cream or a reward of where the bike takes them. Making it a chore or a task they have to achieve doesn’t unlock the magical powers of the bicycle.
The Most Important Things in Buying a Kid’s Bike
1. Know your kid. I’ll reference sizing, and handling, and weight. Without meeting your child I can’t tell you if they are confident, petite, or like to take the path down the stairs but you can! If you have questions between models please contact me!
2. The Bike Must Fit. Not until 20″ or above do I feel okay with putting a child on a bike slightly too big, and then it is still dependent on the kid. It can be dangerous and also damage their confidence making them not want to try again for a long time.
3. Weight Really Really Matters. There are some kids bikes that weigh 25-35 pounds for a kid that weighs the same amount! My favorite first pedal bike is the woom 2 which weighs 11-13 pounds depending on the parts, some competitors first pedal bikes weigh 22+ pounds without training wheels. A kid that age weighs about 30 pounds on average. Could you imagine riding a bike 75% of your weight? Now imagine that you are just learning to ride.
4. Say NO to Training Wheels. Balance bikes are a fantastic thing. It teaches kids to use their own body to control a bike from stopping to balancing. If your child is taller than a typical balance bike simply take the pedals off a good, lightweight, bike that fits them. (I have an article on this coming!)
5. Yes, Some Kids Bikes Are Expensive But You’ll Get It Back. Think of that bike as a short term lease. You’ll buy it at 100% and then when you resell you’ll get 80% back because most of these kids bikes never go on sale they keep their value! They are also well worth it if your child starts biking on their own 2-5 years earlier than with a heavier and bulkier bike.
Kid’s Bike Sizing Guide
When looking at kid’s bikes we are going to be focusing on the standover height of the bike and the child’s inseam when wearing shoes.
Step 1: Have your child put their shoes on and stand against a wall
Step 2: Place a book gently between their legs until it is softly coming in contact with their crotch.
Step 3: Hold the bike parallel to the ground and measure from the top of the book to the ground. You now have their inseam!
How we use the inseam:
We want to make sure the inseam height is at least 1/2 to a full inch taller than the standover height of a bike so they can comfortably stand over the bike AND so they can come quickly off the bike if necessary. I measure standover height about 1-2″ in front of where the nose of the saddle is. Picture where they would be standing with the saddle hitting their bottom.
List of Standover Heights for Kids’ Bikes I Have Tried
This list is forever evolving and make sure to the full crowdsourced document of kid’s bike sizes and details here.
|Bike Name||Wheel Size||Stand Over Height||Minimum Seat Height|
|woom 1||12″ balance bike||10″|
|Prevelo Alpha 1||14″|
|Prevelo Alpha 2||16″|
|Prevelo Alpha 3||20″||17.2||20.3|
|woom OFF 4||20″ MTB||21.5||22.5|
|woom OFF 4 Air||20″ MTB w/ Fork|
|woom OFF 5||24″ MTB||25||27.5|
|woom OFF 5 Air||24″ MTB w/ Fork|
A quick capture as we’ve had many people ask how we carrying a kid’s bike on our bike or back when either kid tires out or when dropping off a woom kid’s bike rental to a customer.
I am using the woom “balance bike” carrier strap. I have successfully carried up to a 24″ lighter weight Prevelo kid’s bike with this. There is also the option of a tube or tube with carabiner but it isn’t nearly as quick or comfortable.