Designed for two to four year olds, 12 inch bicycles are often a child’s first pedal bike. BikeExchange has a wide range available with most brands offering options to suit both boys and girls. For more information on 12in bikes, see below.
Designed for young children ranging in height from 2' 9" to 3' 3", 12 inch kids bikes (named after its wheel diameter) are the smallest pedal bikes commonly available. Children of this age are quickly developing, so feeling comfortable and confident is essential to their safety and enjoyment. Department stores will occasionally refer to 12in kids bikes as '30cm kids bikes', an approximate metric conversion.
Cheaper options will feature a robust steel frame, while more premium models will often feature aluminum frames which are lighter in weight and resistant to rust. 12in bikes are typically supplied with trainer wheels and a rear coaster brake, however, some brands do supply a lever-operated front brake. This feature is more commonly kept for larger 16in wheeled bikes as children of this age often lack the hand strength required to operate this type of brake.
Not too dissimilar to toys, kids bikes are commonly sold in gender-specific options.
12in boys bikes
Boys 12in bikes will usually feature blue, red, green and black color options. Additional accessories commonly provided on boys bikes are racing graphics and number plates. Where a uni-sex bike is desired, look to the boys versions for more neutral color choices.
12in girls bikes
Typically just a different color to the equivalent boys versions, girls 12in bikes generally feature pinks, purples, and whites. Girls bikes will often feature a few additional accessories, such as streamers and even doll baskets - which can be removed if desired. Where such accessories are not included, they are typically available for purchase at most bicycle shops.
At BikeExchange, we're big fans of teaching children to ride with a balance bike before transitioning to a traditional kids pedal bike. A balance bike is well suited to children between the heights of 85-110cm and by the time they've mastered it, they'll likely be ready for a 16” or larger wheeled pedal bike. See our range of balance bikes.
Unsure which size bike is best for your child? Head back to our kids bike infographic for a look at other sized children's bikes.