Kids' Bikes Buyer's Guide

Your first bike is a chance to experience the fun and freedom of cycling, so getting the right size and style is essential. In this kids’ bike buyer's guide, we provide common-sense information to help you choose a children’s bike that's stylish, safe and the correct size.

A bike is a great way to get your child away from the TV or games console and out exploring the world. They’ll even stay fit and healthy while they're at it!

By the end of this article, you'll know everything you need to buy the best bike for your child.

What size kids' bike do I need?

When buying a new bike here are some of the essential components you’ll need to know about.

Buying a bike that's the right size is essential. A bike that fits properly will be comfortable, give confidence and make everyday cycling safer. We recommend that every rider visits a Halfords store where one of our in-store experts can help find the correct-sized bike.

If you're not able to visit a store, or the bike's going to be a surprise, then you'll need your child's height to narrow down your choices. When they've stopped moving, and you've got an accurate measurement check out our guide to finding the right size bike for your kids.

Kids' Bike Size Chart & Frame Size

  Height (cm) Age (Years) Wheel Size Bikes (Inches)
  88 - 97 First Bike 9" - 10" Bikes + Balance Shop now
  98 - 104 3 - 5 10" - 12" Bikes Shop now
  105 - 111 4 - 6 12" - 14" Bikes Shop now
  112 - 116 5 - 7 14" - 16" Bikes Shop now
  117 - 126 6 - 9 16" - 20" Bikes Shop now
  127 - 135 8 - 11 20" - 24" Bikes Shop now
  136 - 144 9 - 12 24" - 26" Bikes Shop now
  145 - 154 9 - 12+ 26" Bikes Shop now
  127 - 154 8 - 12+ BMX Bikes Shop now
For Children 11+ please consider our range of adult bikes. Below gives an indication of the sizes you should look for. (For accurate sizing please view size guide on individual bikes).
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Frame Size Age (Years) Height (Inch) Height (cm)
14 Inch 11 - 14 4' 10" - 5' 6" 148 - 168
14 Inch /17 Inch 12 - 15 5' 0" - 5' 8" 154 - 174
17 Inch 13 - 16 5' 3" - 5' 10" 160 - 178
Check out our Finding the Right Size Bike for your Kids Guide

A step-by-step guide to buying the best kids' bike:

So, you've narrowed down the size and decided on a style, it's time to choose the best bike for your child. Here's how:

Focus on feel: Ensure your child feels comfortable in the saddle, their feet can reach the handlebars, and their feet can touch the pedals. It's OK if they're stretching a little as they're growing quickly (and it's easy to make minor adjustments), but if they're straining, go for a smaller size.

Grab the brakes: Being able to safely stop a bike is critical, so ensure your child can reach and operate both brakes.

Climb on/off:Check your child can easily climb on and off the bike and handle the weight. Bigger bikes weigh more, so sticking with a smaller size may be safer.

Frame material:Steel frames are hardwearing, but they are heavier. Aluminium or alloy frames are lighter. Check your child can lift or carry a bike before buying.

Gears: Does the bike come with gears, and if so, are they enough? Check your child can safely operate the gears (and understand how they work!)

Do they like the look of it: You want your child to love the look of a bike, so ask them what they think about it. We stock bikes in different colours, finishes, and styles, so they're sure to find something they like to look at and love to ride.

At Halfords, our staff are highly trained and can help your child find a frame and a bike that fits. If you're struggling to select a bike, ask for their help. They'll be able to guide you to find a bike that fits correctly and looks cool too. For more about sizing click here.

Why should I buy my child a bike?

A bike is a gateway to the great outdoors, providing endless hours of fun and freedom. From tiny toddlers on balance bikes to big kids on mountain bikes, anyone and everyone can experience the benefits of riding a bike.

Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage and an opportunity to experience independence. Whether it's a potter around the park, a family cycle ride, or a quicker commute to school, a bike makes every journey better.

Plus, with the rising cost of living, a bike ride or outdoor adventure is a great way to save money on a day out, while still having fun and getting active.

Kids bike types: which one should I choose?

At Halfords, we've got the UK's largest range of children's bikes in stock and ready to ride. But how do you know which bike is right for your child? 

This section describes the different types of kids’ bikes, explaining what they are and who they're for. 

Balance bike – An ideal first bike

Balance bikes are the best way for toddlers to tackle two wheels. There are no gears or pedals to worry about; you simply jump on and ride. Kids use their legs to push themselves along and stop.

You can tell a child is ready for a balance bike when they're tall enough to climb on and keep two feet on the floor. They'll need to be able to reach the handlebars, the strength to steer, and the confidence to give it a go!

>Balance bikes are all about teaching them how to manage on two wheels. They're simple, slow and stable, making them an ideal place to start. In time, your child will develop the skills and gain the confidence they need to take their feet off the floor and balance.

Balance bikes are an ideal first bike

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Kids' bikes – Your child's first pedal-powered bike

Stabilisers provide additional support for young riders, stopping the cycle from toppling over (and them from taking a tumble). Bikes with stabilisers help young riders build confidence and improve riding skills.

Your child may have grown out of their balance bike or prefer the safety of stabilisers while they get used to riding a pedal bike. When they've got the hang of riding, you can take the stabilisers off and give them complete control.

Stabiliser bikes are suitable for children 3 - 7 years of age.

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Junior bikes – Your child's gateway to freedom

Junior bikes are suitable for cyclists who can ride with care and confidence. You'll find a range of models, from trail-ready mountain bikes for adventurous boys and girls to BMX bikes for those ready to tackle some tricks. Junior bikes are essentially smaller versions of their adult counterparts, with similar gears and brakes but smaller wheels and frames.

Junior bikes are suitable for children 6 years and older.

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Junior bike types

When your child is ready to ride a junior bike, you have a range of options to choose from, including hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and BMX bikes. Here's what they are, what makes them different and why your child might want one:

Hybrid bikes:
When your child is ready to ride a junior bike, you have a range of options to choose from, including hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and BMX bikes. Here's what they are, what makes them different and why your child might want one:

Mountain bikes:
Mountain bikes are built for off-road adventure. They come with thick knobbly tyres to grip the mud and rocks and rigid frames to deal with the lumps, bumps, dips, and damage. Most mountain bikes will come with suspension at the front (known as a hardtail) or at the front and back (a full suspension mountain bike). Mountain bikes will have a range of gears to enable any rider to tackle the toughest of trails. 

Built for style, not speed, BMX bikes have smaller frames, sturdy wheels and low-slung saddles that make it easy to flick around and do tricks. Suitable for trips to the skate park or the school gates, a BMX is as cool today as it was in the 80s. 

Safer cycling for kids

At Halfords, we want everyone to enjoy safer cycling. As well as a bike, every rider of any age should wear protective equipment, including a helmet. We stock a wide range of cycling accessories for riders of all ages, including helmets and more, in a selection of fun and fashionable designs.

Here's a run-down of the cycling safety essentials we think every rider needs:


Helmets can prevent serious head injuries, and they'll go a long way to avoiding nasty cuts and bruises too. Your child's helmet should fit securely and not move when it's in place. Invest in an adjustable helmet, and it'll last for several years.

At Halfords, kids' cycling helmets don't have to be boring. We've got a huge range of child's cycling helmets, including sporty designs, cool skate styles, pretty patterns and even their favourite Disney characters.

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Protective pads and gloves

Knees and elbows can often take the impact when falling, so protect them with pads. A set of cycling gloves can also protect your child's hands, as well as offering extra grip while they're riding.

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Learning to ride accessories

It’s a challenge to ride a bike, but our accessories can help make it easier. Our suspension stabilisers provide extra comfort that helps young riders grasp biking basics. Little ones will love the support and stability they get from the Halfords balance bike handle. If you want an affordable solution, our must-have learner accessory packs have everything a young rider needs at an incredibly low price. Each pack contains a helmet, arm and knee pads, a lock, lights and stabilisers. It's everything any rider needs, and all available online or to collect in store.

Lights and reflectors

Anything that can improve visibility is vital, so add a set of lights to your bike. You'll find reflector fitted as standard on all kids' bikes, but it's cheap to add a set of lights that can ensure they're safe and seen day or night. If they're planning on riding in the dark, lights are a legal requirement.

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Hi-vis clothing and accessories

Hi-vis clothing can ensure your child is safe and seen on the road and off it. A reflective wristband and hi-vis jacket include fluorescent strips and surfaces that reflect light. They're cheap, lightweight and effective, even on the darkest of nights.

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Hi-vis clothing can ensure your child is safe and seen on the road and off it. A reflective wristband and hi-vis jacket include fluorescent strips and surfaces that reflect light. They're cheap, lightweight and effective, even on the darkest of nights.

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Bike building service


Buy a bike at Halfords, and we'll build it for you. Our bike building service won't just save you time; we'll ensure your bike is safe to ride. Every nut, bolt and moving part is tightened, checked and verified to ensure it's in tip-top condition for your tiny one.

Bike building is free for any bike over £250. If it’s under £250, it’ll cost just £10.

Just select the 'bike build' option at the online checkout or ask a Halfords team member at the till.

Kids' bike maintenance and repair

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At Halfords, we offer a free bike health check for all our bikes and Kids' Bike CycleCare for 1 Year for just £15. You can sign-up in-store or online when you buy your new kids’ bike. You’ll need to book a bike check online. This annual plan includes unlimited 10% off bike accessories​, 2x puncture repairs per year (worth £28)​, bike checks with tyre inflation​ and unlimited bike accessory fitting.

Kids' Bike CycleCare is available on any new Halfords kids' or junior bike up to and including our 26" wheel bikes. Just ask a Halfords bike expert in-store or book the service online.

The best kids’ stabiliser bikes

At Halfords, we have an array of fantastic kids’ stabiliser bikes. Here are some of our favourites:

Apollo Twinkles Unicorn Kids Bike 14"

The Apollo Twinkles Unicorn Kids Bike complete with a plush unicorn head is the perfect kids bike for going on magical adventures! Ideal for children agreed between 4 – 6, your little unicorn lovers will have great fun building their confidence on this vibrant ride. There are plenty of Twinkles accessories to pair with the bike including the Twinkles kids helmet and matching knee pads.

Apollo Fade 16" Kids Bike

The Apollo Fade Kids Bike makes learning to ride fun with its cool multicolour design and spray-painted graphics. The full chainguard ensures that their clothes will not get caught in the chain, allowing them to happily whizz away!

Motobike MX16 16" Bike

The Motobike MX16 is the ultimate choice for your little adventurers with its Motocross inspired design. Kids will love whizzing around and learning on this fun ride, complete with pneumatic tyres which provide both comfort and speed. Available in both 12” and 16”, kids between the ages of 3-7 can enjoy the ride!

Apollo Police Patrol 14"

The Apollo Police Patrol is a much-loved option within our kids’ bike range. Complete with a police box and cones, your little police officer is fully equipped to go out on patrol. Kids can finish the police look with the Police Patrol Bike Pads and Bike Mitts

Apollo Claws 14" Kids Bike

The Apollo Claws Kids Bike has everything your little one needs to confidently whizz away. With its colourful orange frame and graphics of Claws the dinosaur, this bike will certainly provide your child with an exciting ride!

Apollo MonsterZ 14" Kids Bike

If your child loves to get creative, then the Apollo Monster Z is a great choice! The bike can be personalised using the removable magnets so little ones can change up the design whenever they choose. The bike also comes with an insulated lunch bag – perfect for taking to school or on a picnic!

Apollo Sparkle 12" Kids Bike

For little ones who love to dazzle, the Apollo Sparkle is just the ticket! The bike comes with a parent handle so your child can be pushed along if ever they get tired. For your wild ones, the bike is also available in the cute Jungle Pals designs.

Apollo Mermaid 14" Kids Bike

If your little ones are a fan of mermaids, the Apollo Mermaid bike will leave them mesmerised. With a shimmery, aqua design, your child will feel like a real-life mermaid as they build their cycling confidence. There is also a dolly seat so your child’s favourite toy can accompany them on their adventures.

Disney Princess 14" Bike

The Disney Princess Bike is a must for any Disney lover, with a design featuring some of the most popular Disney princesses including Jasmine and Ariel. Little ones can also carry around their favourite toy in the princess themed doll carrier. To complete the Disney princess look, there’s also the Disney Princess Kids Helmet.

Apollo Cipher Junior Mountain Bike

For an effortless cycling experience, look no further than the Apollo Cipher Junior Bike. With 18 speed Shimano gearing and front suspension forks, your child can conquer steep hills whilst enjoying a smooth ride.

Apollo Vivid 24"Mountain Bike

For kids who are keen to get out and about, the Apollo Vivid 24” is a perfect choice. With a vibrant design, Shimano 18 speed gearing and front suspension, this bike has all you need to set off on your cycling adventures.

Apollo Kinx Junior Hybrid Bike 24"

The Apollo Kinx Junior Hybrid Bike combines the benefits of both a road and a mountain bike. The V brakes provide greater stopping control while the SRAM twist shifters allow kids to shift gears quickly. The Apollo Vortice is also a great alternative for those looking for a junior hybrid bike option.

Carrera Saruna 20" Hybrid Bike

The brand-new Carrera Saruna will serve you well, whether your leisurely riding down cycle paths or engaging in an off-road adventure. It’s lightweight alloy frame makes for an easy ride while the 7 speed Shimano Revoshift gears allow for swift gear shifting.

Carrera Blast 24" Mountain Bike

The Carrera Blast Junior Mountain Bike is a fantastic choice for kids who are ready to advance into their cycling journey. Clarks disc brakes offer superior braking whilst the 21 speed Shimano Revoshift gears provide smooth stopping control.

Carrera Vengeance JR 26" Mountain Bike

The Carrera Vengeance Jr is modelled after the adult version which is our best-selling mountain bike. Packed with amazing features from the 24 speed Shimano gearing to the mechanical tektro disc brakes, this bike gives you great control whilst providing a thrilling ride.

Apollo Gridlock 24” Mountain Bike

The Apollo Gridlock is perfect for kids who love the outdoors. The Shimano 18 speed gearing allows them to efficiently climb hills and quickly shift gears, the front suspension makes bumpy terrain a breeze.

Apollo Independence 26" Mountain Bike

The bright and colourful Apollo Independence is great for those who love to stand out from the crowd. The front disc brakes make it easier to ride through wet and muddy conditions and is a great middle option between kids and adult bikes.