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Boys Bike - 20 or 24 inch?

stevep3156stevep3156 Posts: 37

Looking to buy my son his first decent bike (with not much money...always the problem!!).

I've been to two shops so far, both have sized him up as just about fitting a 24inch. However, when sitting on it, it looks far too big & he can just touch the floor with his toes with the seat down as far as it will go .

The shop assistants have insisted this is fine & that he will grow into it. However, i'm not entirely comfortable with this, a 20inch may not last as long, but seems to me a safer bet.

Has anyone else had this dilemma, i.e. on the cusp of a larger size, but seemingly not quite there yet? If so, would you advise we stick to a smaller (but seemingly safer) size, or take the plunge & go for the larger size?

Many thanks in advance, & my apologies if this has been covered to death here, I have had a look online at size guides, & it seems both would fit him!



  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,196
    A second hand 20" for a few months, or something from Asda? They had something for about £60 the other day I think. Buy a 24" when he's comfortable on it, and spend some proper cash then.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    How's his skills?

    5 yr old Thing1 now prefers her saddle so that she can get decent leg extension. That means when in the saddle, she's on her toes or balls of her feet. At first, we had it lower but as her confidence built, so did her saddle height (well, it's more the rate at which her legs are growing that determines that - I feel like I'm raising it every week at the moment!) But yeah, she's asking for her saddle to get raised. "Daddy, it's too hard to pedal quickly, or up hills. I think I need my saddle higher again". :shock:

    Lots of decent kid's bikes these days have a geo where, if the saddle is dropped, they're still not 'over' the wheels, they're more 'between' them. It makes balancing and handling what appears to be a big and heavy bike, a lot easier than it appears.

    Weight is another issue too. As a general rule, lighter is better coz there isn't as much of them to wrangle a bike. However, longevity and price are also factors. You know what they say... light, strong, cheap - pick any two.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • othelloothello Posts: 574
    I would go with the 20", even if you start with the saddle half up. Nothing knocks a childs confidence on a bike more than a bike that is too big an unwieldy.

    We had a similar issue going from a 16" wheel. My son had outgrown his 16" and I bought him a 20" hotrock. He *just* fitted it, but was stretched and he struggled for ages until he really fitted it. His confidence took a knock.

    Now his skills are so good he can hop on a bike far too big for him and just cycle.
    Blogging about junior road bikes
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    I picked up a 20" Carrera Blast for my six year old for £35 on eBay (£135-165 new iirc). He loves it. My older child has a Raleigh Venture which is not coping well after a years use so steer clear or be prepared to upgrade, this bike feels like a mistake compared to the Carrera. A wet day in Hamsterley forest damn near killed it.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • johnboy183johnboy183 Posts: 777
    Surprised no one has yet mentioned the "I" word yet.... Try Bikes will last a while. Possibly be able to sell 2nd hand or always available on eBay. Costly yes but defo value for money and they hold value.
    Size wise my boy on cusp of 20inch but because he quite accomplished he has managed to ride it no probs. Perhaps you should try larger size and save money longer term. Good luck with decision
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