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Anyone with a 24" / 26" kids bike and a tape measure?

jamespotterjamespotter Posts: 5
After a favour if you can help?

I have a 9 year old, doing really well, up to 15 miles a time out with the family which is great and he's all :D which is even better.

Now he's grown out of his bike and its time for a change.

The debate starts about 24" bike or 26" bike :? and I wondered if someone could measure their kids bike for height of saddle top to ground with the saddle down low so I can get some idea of which way to go.

Local shops have a really poor selection so sitting is not an option, plus the only good sized shop is Halfords :roll: and I wouldn't trust their advice on if tyres were round (sorry but based on my experiences).

Can anyone help out with any experience or a tape measure? :?

Thanks in advance.

Coffee fuelled, 365 mountain biker and off road at night most often.


  • Before anyone else jumps in, try as a starting point. Especially built for kids of all ages. We are on our 3rd for our soon to be 7 year old. He is riding the Beinn 24 with the seat post right up. Having said that he is reasonably tall at 126cm. Almost certainly better off buying new rather than from eBay as they sell for almost as new. Plus they have some new ltd edition colour schemes due for release very soon including a green. This really upset the man-child cos he fell in love with it immediately, as did I! Sadly he's not going to have it for a while.

    Not quite the answer you hoped for but all kids are different shapes and sizes
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,706
    Sizing on kids' bikes is all over the place. I'd avoid anything too big, 26" might be pushing it just yet. Don't buy something for him "to grow into" (a great way to undermine their confidence and technique), get one that's right for him now. Islabikes provide a very accurate sizing chart for each model, do the same.

    Also, try to avoid anything with 'suspension' and more than one chainring, both add weight and are a waste of money. In my experience Islabikes are worth the extra, especially if you know it will be used lots, and the resale value is unmatched. They are also several kilos lighter than most of the rest.

    If you're really strapped for cash a secondhand Carrera Blast 24 or Ridgeback MX24 would be OK, provided it has been looked after.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • You could also look at moda bikes, pro-lite and the junior forme range which I think are formula
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,957
    edited September 2013
    Minimum seat height is only part of the equation - lots of seats go very low, but the reach can be far too long.
    Need to look at distance between seat and bars in relation to child & exisiting bike. Can adjust this a bit with stem - my lad was too bunched up although seat height was fine, and we got an extra year out of the bike by going for a 30 cm longer stem off the 'bay (it was very short originally though). Don't overdo this, since handling is affected (although usually in a positive way - less twitchy).
    Very easy to change on modern bikes, leave all the levers & cables in place on the bars.

    Edit - 30 mm longer stem - because 30 cm would be silly!
  • othelloothello Posts: 577
    What type of bike are you going for -- MTB, road, cyclocross?

    As people have said, standover height isn't the only issue as reach can be a big factor. Plus the riders skill and confidence.

    My 8.5yr old son is currently riding a 24" wheel Islabike Luath on road and cyclocross. Even though the saddle isn't all the way up he is starting to look a bit small on it. I'm currently looking at a new 26" wheel bike for him as he can easily handle that. Before he had the Luath he had a 24" wheel Moda Minor. Lovely bike but the frame was really compact and he rapidly grew out of it. We swapped for a Luath so he could ride cross too, but the Luath has a bigger frame and gave him more room. Something to think about.

    For his MTB I've recently built him up a 13" frame MTB with 26" wheels. It looks like the Isla Creig 26 in proportions. I put a really short stem on and he fits it great. I was really surprised at how well he has fitted it.

    As an aside, I've sent plenty of 8 year olds racing circuit races on road bikes with 650c or 700c wheels and very dropped frames. So it really does depend on the rider.
    Blogging about junior road bikes
  • The bigger the wheel, the faster they go and go for longer. My 7 yr old has just started riding his older brother's Giant XTC 24". He is of average height for his age and takes a while to get on but then he flies on it. He does cycle every weekend though. As with anyone else it is a case of try before you buy. Does he have any mates with bikes he could have a go on for example?
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Need to look at distance between seat and bars in relation to child & exisiting bike.

    If the next bike up does have a little too much reach for them to be comfortable/confident, and it has a 'regular' saddle, take the saddle off, turn the seatpost around 180 degrees, put the saddle back on. This will allow you to position the saddle a few inches closer to the bars, without having to muck around with the stem. I've done this with a few kids and it's transformed their riding.

    (Just remember in 6 months or so, to change it back again, as it will also move the pedals 'back' in relation to where they're seated) ;)
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
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