Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

Kids MTB - too big?

Notices
Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and donít know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. Itís more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youíll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here yaí goÖ..the location for everything fit related.

Kids MTB - too big?

Old 06-05-20, 01:05 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Kids MTB - too big?

Hi

I have bought a 24" bike for my 6 year old son - he tried a different brand in a shop, and the 20" was almost too small - the 24" was suggested by the retailer. He measures 121 cm.

However; he cannot reach the ground when seated, and he stretches his legs out almost entirely when riding.

It's a nice bike and he likes it, so we will keep it anyway - but should I buy a 20" for him, that he could ride for the next year or so - or will he get used to the "a little too big" bike? Maybe it's too dangerous, or maybe even damaging his knees?

Thanks in advance from Denmark!
palle22 is offline  
Old 06-05-20, 11:04 PM
  #2  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Inseam 56 cm without shoes, lowest seat height 70 cm.
palle22 is offline  
Old 06-06-20, 03:03 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
AnthonyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Queanbeyan, Australia.
Posts: 4,135
Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3450 Post(s)
Liked 419 Times in 288 Posts
I'm an adult, 152cm, and I ride a 24" wheeled bike these days. I'm of the view that most people, children and adults alike are fitted to bikes that are too large for them so yes, I would put your son on a smaller bike for a while.

I just remembered. I rode a 16" wheeled bike until I was 12. Then I rode an 18" wheeled bike until I was 15 before I got a 24" wheeled bike for the first time. Later on I moved to even larger wheeled bikes yet in hindsight I should have stayed with 24" wheeled bikes.
AnthonyG is offline  
Old 06-06-20, 05:46 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1074 Post(s)
Liked 294 Times in 221 Posts
Originally Posted by palle22

However; he cannot reach the ground when seated
Being able to reach the ground from the saddle is a rather unimportant feature in bike fit. Itís very common only to reach with the toes. Itís generally recommended to be able to straddle the bike off saddle and have some margin to the top tube.
Originally Posted by palle22
and he stretches his legs out almost entirely when riding.
Legs Ēalmost straightĒ when pedalling sounds just fine, as long as he doesnít have to flex his foot to pedal with his toes.
Another thing to look for is if heís rocking his hips to reach the pedals. Thatís a fairly reliable sign of a too high saddle.
Originally Posted by palle22
but should I buy a 20" for him, that he could ride for the next year or so
On numbers alone, a 24Ē bike sounds big for a 6-year old. But Iím not there. Sizing and fit issues are easier judged visually.

Originally Posted by palle22
will he get used to the "a little too big" bike?
Very likely. Or grow into it.

Originally Posted by palle22
Maybe it's too dangerous?
IMO, that would be more dependent on how he is able to handle the bike than the fit as such. If he has to stretch a lot forward-and-out to reach the bars, that would interfere with bike control. Perhaps enough to add an important amount of risk. However, at that age, the biggest contribution to risk comes from judgement error. Iím not sure if changing handling ability a few % would be important in the big picture.
Originally Posted by palle22
maybe even damaging his knees?
Not saying itís impossible, but itís FAR more common to trigger knee issues by riding with the saddle too low.
dabac is offline  
Old 06-08-20, 08:13 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 470

Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Linus Libertine

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by palle22
Hi

I have bought a 24" bike for my 6 year old son - he tried a different brand in a shop, and the 20" was almost too small - the 24" was suggested by the retailer. He measures 121 cm.

However; he cannot reach the ground when seated, and he stretches his legs out almost entirely when riding.

It's a nice bike and he likes it, so we will keep it anyway - but should I buy a 20" for him, that he could ride for the next year or so - or will he get used to the "a little too big" bike? Maybe it's too dangerous, or maybe even damaging his knees?

Thanks in advance from Denmark!
If he has standover clearance and can mount it fine, then just use it. I have seen kids riding adults fixies that are "too big".
hermanchauw is offline  
Old 06-08-20, 08:15 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 470

Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Linus Libertine

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
I'm an adult, 152cm, and I ride a 24" wheeled bike these days. I'm of the view that most people, children and adults alike are fitted to bikes that are too large for them so yes, I would put your son on a smaller bike for a while.

I just remembered. I rode a 16" wheeled bike until I was 12. Then I rode an 18" wheeled bike until I was 15 before I got a 24" wheeled bike for the first time. Later on I moved to even larger wheeled bikes yet in hindsight I should have stayed with 24" wheeled bikes.
I am with you. The wheel size does not determine the frame size. Mini velos and 20 inch (and smaller wheels) exist for adults.
hermanchauw is offline  
Old 06-08-20, 10:14 AM
  #7  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,158

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5839 Post(s)
Liked 4,461 Times in 3,076 Posts
I can't reach the ground with both my feet when seated in the saddle. I'm just on a road bike though. Don't know if it should be different for a mountain bike.

But the norm for being stopped on a bike is to be off the saddle. I do sometimes stay in the saddle but lean to one side standing with one foot on the ground.
Iride01 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.