16 answers

When to Get a Bike?

My daughter is 2, but she is about 31 1/2" tall. We know she is too short for a 12" bike, but I'm wondering how tall is tall enough for these bikes? She always wants one when we are in the store, but of course we can't get it because she is too short. Is there an approximate height that we need to wait for? I don't to keep trying out the bikes in the store & disappointing her every time if she is going to be too short for a while! I read a review from a parent that felt the kid should be at least 37" to ride the bike. By that height, my daughter will be 5 before she will ride a bike!!!

Perhaps other moms can tell me how tall their child was when they were able to ride a 12 inch bike. And are there certain brands/bikes that seem to accommodate shorter children better than others? The review I read was for a Dora the Explorer 12 inch bike.

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for the advice everyone. She does have a Go & Grow Rider that she likes (push the floor with their feet). She also has a tricycle, but isn't as interested in it right now. I just wanted an idea of how tall/old she would need to be before we consider getting a bike. We'll wait and see how she's doing in height & with the tricycle when she's 3. Her dad will be home then anyways, so he can help her out with the bike too (If she's ready).

PS. I've looked at the Kinderbikes. Those sound like a really good idea! Perhaps we will get her one when she's ready. Thanks for sharing that!

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My daughter has this bike. She will be 3 in August and rides this bike with no problem. The seat is adjustable so it grows with her. We got this for her on her 2nd birthday and she just now is really able to ride it. She loves it.

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I also have a 2 year-old. I'm a pediatric physical therapist, so when it comes to bikes I have done a lot of research. What we decided on was a kinderbike (www.mykinderbike.com). We LOVE it. You may have seen the wooden ones made my skuut in some catalogs and stores, but the kinderbike is metal, lighter, and more easily adjustable. It's a 2 wheel bike without pedals or training wheels. It's short so that kids can reach the ground with their feet. It's the European method of training to ride bikes. They don't believe in training wheels.
The kids learn to pedal on a tricycle and learn their balance on the kinderbike, which costs about $60. They push with their feet then pick up their feet and coast. Then, around 3-4 they go directly to a real bike without training wheels!!! My son loves his. He thinks he's a "big boy" and hopefully we won't have to go through the pain and fear of losing the training wheels!!!!!! Lots of companies are starting to make these bikes, but the kinderbike, made in Colorado was the best price and value to me.

2 moms found this helpful


My daughter has this bike. She will be 3 in August and rides this bike with no problem. The seat is adjustable so it grows with her. We got this for her on her 2nd birthday and she just now is really able to ride it. She loves it.

My two year old daughter is also just shy of 32". We opted to get her a radio flyer tricycle instead of a bike. She likes it because she's still in control and peddling and I like it because even if she's a little short for it she can't tip it over easily.

A bike store told me this rule: you need to be able to touch the ground with your feet when you are on the seat. This goes for every age and size.

Sometimes I have to respond to some of these with my mouth agape!
What's the rush? She's 2!! Ever heard of a tricycle or big wheel or one of those Fred Flintstone cars? You need to wait for about a 4-5 year old height is what you need to wait on. She may have to wait til she's 5 to ride a bike??? Yea because that's around the time she'll be coordinated enough to do it. Sometimes Mom it isn't about what the child wants, is she going to dictate her raising or are you?

I cannot remember if my kids' bikes are 10 or 12 inch. However, my daughter got her Dora one on her 3rd bday. Our son who is 2 just got his the other day. He is around 30" tall. :) He cannot always peddle it by himself but he scoots it enough to get where he is going. We bought it because his tricycle got run over by the neighbor. :( And, he wanted a bike like Sister. I guess what I am trying to say is that if its not a safety issue with you - buy her the bike. She will grow into it in no time and you'll both be happier. Good luck.

My boy was about 24" tall when I bought him a 12" bike with training wheels and he did just fine. He was even riding with no training wheels within about 6 months and has never had a problem. Sure there and the few scrabs and bruises but that is with every kid. Just get the smallest one with training wheels and let her have fun.

Both of my girls - also pretty petite - started on tricycles before going on to 12" bikes. They were still pretty small even when I got them, but they had training wheels and the girls felt pretty comfortable even when their feet didnt quite stretch. :}

I have a little girl who is two and two older girls 7 and 1. This year for our two year old we got her a trike with a push handle and all the bells and whistles(safety belt and a safety bar, cup holder, bucket and canopy) and a helmet and haven't looked back. It is a little flimsy (already had to bring one back) but toys R' us has an extended 2 year warranty for 10% and they replace it if ANYTHING breaks for 2 years. All the safety pieces and handle come off when she gets old enough to do it on her own too. LOVE her trike and EVERYONE we pass comments how cute it is.

Toy-r-us have 10 inch bikes. thats what we have my son on.

I can not give you a measurement per say but your daughters need to be ablle to push the padels, If you take the seat down to the lowest place it can go and if you have blocks to the padels could she then push them. Jeff need not have a bike until he was about 8. Does she have a tryclce.

My son was 2 when he was screaming to get on a 20 inch bike. He had to have what his sister had, and by 3 he was popping wheelies in the front yard on a tire, with no training wheels. That's fast, I know, and can be dangerous, of course, but once he had the bike, he took over from there.
Give your daughter whatever sized (child's) bike you can give her, and she'll start where she feels comfortable.

They do make 10 inch bikes which might fit her better

I had a tall child and a short child and they each received a 12" bike for their 4th birthday. There are other things to consider than height. Just like driving, there is the maturity to think of. At two she's more likely to go into the street, hit your car or just not be able to work it to HER satisfaction. If she gets hurt riding at two, you might never get her on a bike again. That would be sad and inconvenient later. Let her be a baby while she has the chance. Buy her a tricycle all tricked out with a horn/bell and handlebar tassels.
I've seen bikes with smaller wheels but she'll still have training wheels and it's harder than it looks to ride a bike. Giving her everything she asks for now will catch up with you later. Big time. And it won't be pleasant for either one of you!
Hang in there and have fun. All the developmental steps are important. You don't want to skip any of them. Having a tricycle before a bike is one of those steps.
Happy Summer!

I think it has more to do with age than height. My daughter is really tall (at almost 3 she is 41 inches) and we bought her a bike for Christmas and she never uses it. She doesn't get how to pedal and steel at the same time. I thought just because she could reach the pedals she would love it since she always wants to sit on it in the store. I would recommend a big wheel or something similar. She LOVES her big wheel and is starting to get the pedal and steel concept. My friend's son is short for his age and he loves his big wheel too. I think like the other moms have stated around 4, maybe 3 1/2, is the age for a bike just so they are developmentally ready for it regardless of height.

I have a three year old who is not even 3' yet. We got her a bike just before she turned three. It took her a while to figure out how to get on it because she is so short. We had to lower the seat all the way. It also took a while for her to figure out how to peddle. Now...keep in mind that we just got this bike in April and she is only about 32" and weighs 28lbs...last week she rode her bike to her sister's school which is about half a mile from our house.

I said all that to say...it's not going to be as much about her size as it is her coordination. If she can sit on the bike with the seat at the lowest and her feet can at least touch the peddles...she's ready to start trying. Just remember to be patient. She's young and it is going to take her a while to figure it out. She will probably even be scared of it at first. She'll get it.

Hope this helps...

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