The best children’s bikes to buy for Christmas

Kids on children's bikes

by Eleanor Weaver |

Do you remember getting your very first bike? Or maybe your first ‘grown up’ bike? We have fond memories of coming down on Christmas morning to find a shiny new bike decorated with a big ribbon and bow. It’s a classic Christmas gift and it’s fair to say it makes for a wonderful present – it’ll be loved by budding adventurers and learners alike and it can be used all year round for years to come.

As the big gift under the tree that keeps on giving, we’ve shared some of the best children’s bikes to buy for a range of abilities, ages, and budgets.

Halford's helping hand this Christmas

This year, Halfords has launched a new service that allows parents to keep their kids' Christmas bikes in-store until Christmas Eve so you don't have to worry about hiding them at home. It's completely free and dubbed 'Santa's Cycle Stash', it should save the surprise for the big day.

Emma Dines, Buyer for Kids Bikes and Scooters at Halfords says, There is nothing quite like being a kid on Christmas day with a shiny new bike! But it’s the hardest present for parents to hide and more than half of kids risk spoiling the surprise by going snooping. We wanted to help parents keep the magic of Christmas alive so we’ve launched ‘Santa’s Cycle Stash’ to come to the rescue. Customers can pick up their kids’ bikes for free from their local Halfords store right up until 5pm on Christmas Eve, and for just £10 we’ll even build the bikes too.”

Halfords also have bespoke bike gift bags for just £3 so if you were planning the pain-staking task of wrapping a new bicycle head-to-toe, this will do the job for you. It's a Christmas miracle!

How do I know what size bike to buy?

Whilst most bikes come with a handy age guide, the best way to know if you’re getting the right size bike for your child is to measure their height. Unlike adults, where the frame size often dictates which bike to go for, it’s the wheel size that’s most important when choosing a child’s bike. Wheels that are too big or small can affect their balance and control.

Shopping for children's bike
©Getty Images

You can follow the below guide from Halfords to work out the right size bike for your child. If your child is between sizes, it’s best to go for the larger size as they’ll always grow into it.

Wheel size: 12 inches

Age: 3-5 years

Height: 98-112cm

Wheel size: 14 inches

Age: 4-6 years

Height: 105-117cm

Wheel size: 16/18 inches

Age: 5-7 years

Height: 112-127cm

Wheel size: 20 inches

Age: 6-9 years

Height: 117-136cm

Wheel size: 24 inches

Age: 8-11 years

Height: 127-145cm

Wheel size: 26 inches

Age: 9-12 years

Height: 138-154cm

For children aged 11 and over, it would be worth considering adult bikes based on frame size instead.

What to read next:

The best baby and toddler bike helmets to protect your little one

The best baby trikes and balance bikes for babies, toddlers and kids

The best child bike seats for cycling with your baby

The best child bike trailers for cycling with your tot

What is the best age for a balance bike?

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