How to choose a bike for your teen

Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise for children, teenagers and adults alike. You can spend time out in the open having fun, while also getting in some much-needed exercise. But it can be difficult to choose the right bike, especially for growing teens. They are constantly growing and developing, meaning their size and height is in flux. This makes buying a bike somewhat tricky. 

You will need to find bicycle parts in South Africa that can be easily swapped out as your teen grows or find a bike that will last them for a few years to come. Not sure where to start looking for bikes? Below are some top tips to follow to choose one that is perfect for their needs.

Size matters

The first and most important step is to look at the size of the bike. Children’s and teen’s bikes are sized based on their wheel size. This is different to adult bikes, which are measured according to the size of the bicycle frame.

For teenagers, you will naturally need to look for a bigger bike, but this does depend on their height and weight. Some teens grow very quickly and might need to use an adult bike while some might grow in slower bursts and will be more suited to a smaller bike. Be sure to measure your child’s inseam which is the measurement from the top of their pants to the bottom side of their ankle. This will show you which bike size is better for you.

Look at the seat height

Another important aspect to look at is the height of the bike seat. You will find many bicycle parts in South Africa that are perfectly suited to a teenager’s height and weight, but it is important to be completely sure that the height of the seat is correct for their needs.

The seat height is a more accurate representation of how well the bike will fit your teen, so it is important that you are accurate. The tyre size on a bike can be the same on two different models but it is the seat height that is a defining feature. A tall teenager will need a bike seat that allows them to stretch their legs comfortably whereas a shorter teenager will do well with a seat that does not make them feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Consider the weight of the bike

How much the bike itself weighs is an important part of choosing a bike for your teen. A lightweight bicycle is the best choice, as it will allow them to pick it up and move it when they need to, without having to struggle with a heavy piece of equipment.

A bike that is too heavy is going to be difficult for even the most athletic of teenagers to manoeuvre, and will make it exhausting to ride. While teenagers will have more capability with a heavier bike due to their age, it can become cumbersome to have to ride a heavy bicycle on a regular basis. You will need to bring your teen along with you to choose a bike so that they can choose one with a weight that suits their needs.

Which type of bike is best?

Once you have looked at the size, the weight and the seat height of the bike, you will need to consider what type of bike is best for your teen. This will be based on their own personal preferences and interests, such as if they prefer mountainous trails or road racing.

The different types of bikes are as follows:


  • Mountain bikes: These bikes come with multiple gears that make uphill and downhill riding much easier to handle.



  • Road bikes: Road bikes are ideal for everyday use and can be used for commuting along roads, racing on tracks or even for bike marathons.





  • Speciality bikes: Speciality bikes are those bikes that are made for unique purposes such as bikes that can ride over beach sand, electric bikes and even foldable bikes. These bikes are more suited to experienced bike riders but can provide an element of novelty for all teens.


Choose wisely

A bicycle is one of the best ways to introduce exercise and activity to teens. But it is important to choose the bike wisely. You will need to look at elements such as the size of the bike, using the tyre sizes to look for one your teen can easily ride.

The next most important element to look at is the height of the seat. This is more of a determining factor for the bike as it will help to make it more comfortable to ride. Be sure to choose a bike that is not too heavy for your teen to ride, and you will soon find your teen gearing up on the weekends to explore the great outdoors on their two new wheels.