Sizing a bike for a teen or young adult can be a confusing affair because of the myriad number of bike sizes on the market.
On top of that, you’ll have to wade through the maze of different bicycle types, brands, and models and you are going to find yourself stuck in the rabbit hole.
But getting the right size bike for a 16-year-old or for any other age is important because that can have a big impact on how comfortable and fun the teen finds the bike and the entire biking experience to be.
Getting the kids to enjoy the outdoors and not be addicted to electronic devices and lead a sedentary life can be a fruitful endeavor in itself.
Not to mention that this would also help them to stay fit and active.
What Size Bike For A 16-Year-Old Boy Or Girl?
A 16-year-old who is between 64” and 68.3” will find a size Small bike with a frame size of 15” to 16” to be a good fit.
If your teen is taller than an average 16-year-old, then a Medium size bike with a frame size of 17” to 18” would be a better fit.
It’s a recommended bike size for 17-year-olds too.
Conversely, if your kid is shorter than an average 16-year-old, then a size X-Small bike with a frame size of 13” to 14” might be a better fit.
This is a recommended bike size for 15 year old too.
Have the kid test out the various sizes, if possible, and see which one he/she is comfortable with, and then take the call.
What Size BMX Bike For A 16-Year-Old?
A 16-year-old that stands tall between 5’3” and 5’7” will find a 20-inch wheel BMX with a 20.5” top tube length to be a good fit.
When it comes to BMX bikes, you need to assess the top tube length too along with the wheel size.
The 20-inch BMX bike is a very popular size and you’ll get to see varying top tube lengths for this wheel size.
If your teen is taller than an average 16-year-old or above 5’7” in height, then you can consider a 20-inch wheel with a 21” top tube length.
Likewise, if your teen is shorter than an average 16-year-old, then a 20.25” top tube length would be a better fit.
It would be a good idea to have the kid test out the various sizes, if possible, and see which one he or she is comfortable with, and then take a call.
What Size Bike Frame For A 16-Year-Old?
A size Small bike with a frame length of 15 to 16 inches is a good size for a 16-year-old.
Again, teens of the same age can vary very much in terms of their height and so going with age alone will not be the best way to size bikes for a teen.
A 16-year-old who is between 162 cm to 173 cm in height would be a good fit for a size Small frame.
For kids who are taller than this height range, you can look at a Medium-sized bike with a frame size of 17 to 18 inches, and for teens who are shorter than an average 16-year-old, a size X-Small bike with a frame size of 13 to 14 inches would be ideal.
What Size Mountain Bike For A 16-Year-Old?
A 16-year-old who is between 5’3” and 5’7” tall would find a 26-inch mountain bike with a size Small frame that is between 15 and 16 inches in length to be a good fit.
But teens can vary widely in terms of their height size for the same age.
So, if your 16-year-old is shorter than this height range, then consider an X-Small mountain bike with a frame size of 13 to 14 inches.
Likewise, for very tall 16-year-olds, a size Medium mountain bike with a frame length of 17 to 18 inches might be a better fit.
Keep in mind that as the size of the bike increases, so does the weight.
This may not go well with some riders as the extra weight can spoil the fun of biking.
Points To Consider When Sizing Bikes For 16-Year-Olds:
Apart from the wheel and frame size of the bike, the weight and geometry of the bike are two aspects that you need to look at to make sure that your 16-year-old finds the experience to be a fun and inspiring one.
Weight: This can be a make-or-break factor for some young riders.
This is because teens’ bodies haven’t developed fully like adults to lug around weights that can be heavy in proportion to their body weight.
And to make it difficult, bikes like mountain bikes will have extra features such as front and rear suspension, etc, that can make it even heavier.
A frame made of aluminum will be lighter than steel but can be expensive.
So balancing cost, weight, and size come into play when selecting the right size bike for your teen.
Geometry: Depending on the type of bike, the geometry of the bike varies and this is something that you need to keep in the back of your mind when sizing bikes.
A road bike will be lighter with a steep head tube angle (the head tube is the tube that connects the handlebars to the fork).
This is because road bikes are built for speed and aerodynamics play a role in it.
A mountain bike on the other hand requires good handling and control of the bike and so the bike would look aggressive with a slack head tube angle.
A neighborhood cruiser or a hybrid bike would be built with both comfort and control in mind.
A BMX bike will have a barebones frame to help with the bike park stunts.