Kid's Biking Learning Stages

by Garneau

When it comes time to buying a kid's bike, it's not always easy to know which one will suit the needs of your little ones. Read the following guide to make the right choice.

  1. Beginner/First bike – Rider is just learning how to ride in a controlled environment and need plenty of guidance and teaching.
  2. Intermediate – Rider knows how to ride in a controlled environment and is ready to branch out and explore what’s next, still with some guidance and supervision.
  3. Advanced – Rider has mastered the art of the neighborhood and local bike paths, is fairly self-supporting, and is ready to try some off-road single track that puts more demand on their bike. They are ready to venture far away from home by themselves to reach new horizon.
  4. Little Ripper – Rider is ready to ride off-road on a durable and capable bike. At this point mom and dad are probably trying to keep up. Kid is mature enough to visits their local friends and make kilometers by themself.

A few points to keep in mind when choosing your kid’s bike

  • On his first pedal bike, when seated, the child should be able to have his feet flat on the ground. That way, he’ll be able to break and stay balanced easily. Once the child has mastered these techniques, the seat can be raised.
  • On his second bike, when seated, the child should be able to touch the ground with the tip of his toes. It will allow proper leg extension when pedaling for more power.
  • For most kids, the ideal position on a bike is around 60-70° related to the frame. Higher will make it to hard to get around and lower will tire them too quickly.
  • A longer frame with a lower seat is preferable to a shorter frame and a higher seat. It will be easier for the child to maintain balance and get rid of the training wheels later on.
  • The lighter the better. A kid's bike shouldn’t weight more than 40% of his own weight. It will be harder for him to transport it, to stop it when needed and to get around with it.

Sizing guide

Kid Height Inseam Age Bike size Recommended bike
28" - 38" 15" - 18" 2-3 12" bike Mini Will / F-12
32" - 40" 15" - 19" 4-5 14" bike F-14
38" - 48" 16" - 21" 5-6 16" bike F-16
48" - 60" 16" - 22" 7-8 20" bike F-20 / Rapido 203 / Rapido 202 / Rapido 201 /
Atom 20 and Stalla 20 / Trust 201
56" - 66" 23" - 28" 9-13 24" bike Rapido 242 / Rapido 241 / Trust 241 /
Atom 24 and Stella 24
68" - 76" 28" - 32" 9-15 26" bike Atom and Stella 26 / Trust 264
  1. Beginner/First bike

Push Bike – Ideal for learning

Push bikes have become the bike industry professional's go-to method of teaching their kids how to ride. By starting with a push bike, the child learns balance before any of the other harder skills, like pedaling and braking. Using their feet to propel themselves forwards and to stop, and using gravity as their friend, a child will be able to get a head start on the other kids in the neighborhood by being introduced to push bikes at an early age. We recommend to get them a push bike as soon as they're able to stand over it.

F-Series (Felix and William) – Ideal for learning

Do you remember the first time you tried to ride a kid’s bike? That feeling of uncertainty, a bit of fear, but most of all excitement and connection to the outside world around you? Remember when everything clicked and you figured out how to pedal forward, go fast, and make your first skid marks in the grass?

That connection to the ride and to the environment around us is what inspired us to create a dependable, safe, and inspiring line of bikes specifically designed to be a kid’s very first bike.

A kid’s first bike doesn’t have to be the most expensive bike on the market, but it does need to have quality parts that makes it easier to ride, which sets your child up for success, makes it fun, and has them coming back asking for more.

Every component in the F-Series was selected to provide more control, security and confidence to riders, with colorful graphics to round it out and give the surprise of a first bike even more excitement.

  1. Intermediate Stage

Rapido Series – Ideal for paved and off-road surfaces

Designed for kids who have mastered the basic skills of cycling and who are ready to step outside of the neighborhood and begin new adventures. The Rapido series of bicycles have a robust variety of features that make it confidence-inspiring while riding.

While the Rapido is great for any paved surfaces, it's also a great starter bike to begin the off-road journey. The Rapido series are made out of high-tensile steel frames and dependable components that will last a lifetime.

  1. Advanced Stage

Atom/Stella Series – Ideal for path/pavement with entry single track

Remember the first real bike that you could ride around all on your own? The wind on your face and the sensation of speed and feelings no words and no one could truly describe? We sure do, and the line of Atom/Stella bicycles we’ve created are modern versions of the bikes we all grew up loving, adoring, and even getting that occasional road rash from.

The Atom/Stella series of bicycles makes a great bike for any rider who plans to put it through some wear and tear. At this point, you know your child is committed to riding, has a knack for it, and is ready to get past the pavement and into the woods to try their hand at some mixed use and single-track riding. All the Atom/Stella line of bicycles offer lightweight aluminum frames and dependable components.

  1. Little Ripper Stage

Trust Series – Ideal for off-road, still good for anywhere else

When riding mountain bikes in the woods for the first time, it's important to have confidence inspiring equipment. Having a bicycle you can count on will enable you to ride off-road with more ease, and you will become a better rider because you trust your bicycle.

The Trust series of Garneau bikes offer all the necessities for your kid's first dedicated off-road mountain bike. They come in lightweight aluminum frames with multiple component packages and sizes depending on the rider’s age, size, and personal riding preferences.

Now it's time to let them go!

Our different series of bikes will meet the needs of the smallest to the largest by offering them bikes that are well designed and will help them to learn the basic skills of cycling.

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Garneau bikes are currently sold only in Canada.