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View Full Version : What size bike does your 3/4 year old ride?



jerickson100
12-05-2008, 03:08 AM
We want to get my daughter a bike with training wheels for Christmas -- well, actually Santa does ;) I have absolutely no idea what size to get. She is 3 and will turn 4 in March. She is on the tall side, but not insanely so. We took her to Toys R Us, and the 16 inch seemed huge, but they didn't have any other smaller sizes there to try. And we didn't realize that the seat is adjustable, so I am not really sure about even the 16 inch. I really don't want to take her to a bike store because I know we want a Disney princess bike (or risk meltdown on Christmas morning), and I feel like it is unethical to get help from a bike store and then not buy from them.

Can anyone help with a guesstimate?

Thanks in advance!
Jessica

Brady
12-05-2008, 09:30 AM
My son has a 16", he's the same age as your daughter. He started riding it over the summer, it was his first "real" bike, so he transitioned off his trike onto it. He does great on it, you can tell once he gains another inch or two the reach to the pedals will be a little easier (I think he's like 39"?), but it's not impeding him in any way. My thought was I wanted something that he could grow into it and not have to buy another bike in a year, you know?

AlisonCO
12-05-2008, 02:08 PM
My DD got a 12" bike for her 3rd b-day and it fits her really well. She is 37" tall and her seat pretty far down - I bet she will ride it for at least another year. It was a $32 one from walmart since we really wanted to get her a bike but didn't want to spend a ton. My 5yo has a 16" and still has room to grow on his - his seat would have never gone down far enough for dd to ride it comfortably.

BridalLace
12-05-2008, 02:22 PM
my DD still rides a tricycle. i guess that doesn't help. let me know how your daughter does with a bike and training wheels (can you update here?) my DD just recently learned to pedal correctly on the trike, so that is why i am not sure she'd be ready for a two wheeler, but i'm interested in hearing how other kids might do. hope you find a nice one!

AlisonCO
12-05-2008, 02:41 PM
Bridallace - my dd is just a bit younger than yours and she does great - she took to it so fast (faster than ds who didn't get a bike until he was 4). her training wheels are on really tight so her bike is very stable and doesn't move side to side at all.

jenjen0713
12-05-2008, 02:52 PM
We got DS #1 a 12 inch bike for his 3rd birthday. He is on the shorter side and is about 37-38 inches. We got ours at Wal-mart as well for maybe $40 and I figure he'll get at least one good year (maybe longer) out of it before we have to move up. He has a younger brother, so I figure he will also get some use out of it when older brother outgrows it.

SD601
12-05-2008, 09:06 PM
I'd recommend a balance bike. We bought one for DS's 3rd b-day, and it's great for kids to learn how to ride a bike I(and they adjust for toddlers to older kids). DS will transition from a balance bike to a regular bike with no training wheels. Here's a cool comparison sheet (http://pvglider.com/compare.html):

We have a boot scoot (http://bootscootbikes.com/) for DS, and he's already able to ride it. I wish I had a wood one, for I've heard the steering is limited and easier for new riders, but I'm sure this one will last us until he's ready for a real bike, which won't be too long. Hopefully we'll skip the training wheels.

Grenouille
12-05-2008, 09:14 PM
My son started riding a 12" bike with training wheels about 2 months before his third birthday, and it is a good fit for him. I am sure he will continue to ride it next spring and summer, just before he turns 4. My daughter, who was 4.5 this summer, rode a 16" and it was a teeny bit big for her, but she managed just fine. She will be quite comfortable on it next spring and summer when she is 5.5.

jbemommy
12-06-2008, 01:35 PM
We just bought my DD a disney princess bike for Christmas. She is almost 5 and is about 41" tall. We actually bought it at Kmart and they had a chart hanging up showing which size to buy for the height of the child. I don't remember the exact numbers, but she was in the middle of the 16" range.

QPDoll
12-06-2008, 04:47 PM
My boys are 3 years old and have 12" bikes (3yo birthday presents). When we got the bikes, they were 36lbs, 39" tall and the other was 32lbs, 37" tall - and both have stubby short legs despite the height.

They didn't know how to pedal super well yet, but had learned the concept on a trike - they didn't like a trike because they couldn't keep up with the older kids and they tipped over easier because they do not turn as sharp. With bikes, we can ride together at the park or when we were camping, with a trike, we can't. It took them about 1 week to learn how to pedal, turn and stop with their feet. Kids learn to stop with their feet first, not by pedaling backwards and 12" bikes can come either a back pedal to stop or a free-spin backpedal.

We did have 2 different 12" bikes at first, one was cheaper, and actually was a bit smaller (frame thickness) and it was lighter - that one was easier to pedal and start because of the weight, the weight of the bike is a good thing to keep in mind when shopping for a first bike (my guys got frustrated on the heavier bike for a few months until they got coordinated enough on it).

I also found that TRU didn't have a great selection in the size we were looking for. We actually bought ours at Walmart because they had what we needed, it was affordable and they had it put together in a matter of minutes.

jerickson100
12-08-2008, 06:32 AM
Thanks everyone for the tips. I think I will get her the 12 inch bike. It may not work for very long, but the 16 inch just seemed way too big and I don't want to scare her off of riding bikes.

I will try to remember to come back and post after Christmas!

Jessica

emschwar
12-08-2008, 06:38 PM
I'd recommend a balance bike. We bought one for DS's 3rd b-day, and it's great for kids to learn how to ride a bike I(and they adjust for toddlers to older kids). DS will transition from a balance bike to a regular bike with no training wheels. Here's a cool comparison sheet (http://pvglider.com/compare.html):

We have a boot scoot (http://bootscootbikes.com/) for DS, and he's already able to ride it. I wish I had a wood one, for I've heard the steering is limited and easier for new riders, but I'm sure this one will last us until he's ready for a real bike, which won't be too long. Hopefully we'll skip the training wheels.

I second this. My 4.5 year old is getting one for xmas. He's tall for his age, and even then, with the adjustable seat, he's getting a 12" balance bike. We haven't gotten it yet, but it's a kinderbike. It seemed to have the largest range of seat heights, or at least that would work for us. Went tall enough that DS1 could ride it now, and for another year or so until he's ready for a regular bike, yet the seat still goes low enough that DS2 can ride it when he's ready, in another 2 years or so.

SiValleySteph
12-09-2008, 12:24 PM
We got our son a 16" bike for his 4th birthday. He's like 41" tall. He can ride with the training wheels. We planned to take the pedals off and have him use it like a balance bike, but it is a little high for that right now, plus he is not that interested. Once Spring comes around, we'll probably try again. We actually bought him a somewhat expensive bike (Trek) so we hope he'll use it for a long time.

For now, he still loves to ride his Kettler around. Now that is one thing where we got our money's worth for sure! :D

Grenouille
12-09-2008, 01:21 PM
We planned to take the pedals off and have him use it like a balance bike, but it is a little high for that right now, plus he is not that interested.

This is my plan as well, when DD expresses interest in learning to ride without training wheels. I can't justify the expense of a balance bike AND a regular bike.

RobynScott
07-11-2010, 09:33 AM
I thought there was a thread somewhere about balance bikes. I'm looking for a birthday gift for my three year old (actually, grandparents are) and Amazon has the strider for $54. My mom actually got him a bike with training wheels for his first birthday, but ut's still in the box.

So, balance bike, trike, "big wheels" or something else for an about to turn 3 year old?

Scooter
07-11-2010, 10:43 AM
I don't think I've seen a balance bike thread, but I'll bump up a more recent thread for you where they are mentioned.
http://www.constantchatter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47967&highlight=balance+bike