Unbiased Bike Reviews, Guides & How-To's
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Bike sizes are one of the most confusing aspects of cycling, so it’s no surprise so many people are wondering what size person a 24-inch bike fits. If you’re concerned about whether or not a 24-inch bike is the right size for you, here’s the short answer:
The term “24-inch bike” specifically refers to the diameter of the bicycle’s wheels, not the size of the frame. This type of bike is versatile as it can accommodate both children and shorter adults comfortably. It’s suitable for individuals with a height ranging from 4 feet 1 inch to 4 feet 9 inches.
In this article, we will examine the characteristics of 24-inch-wheel bikes and outline which ages and types of riders they’re best for, so you can choose the perfect bike for yourself or your child.
As mentioned above, a ’24-inch bike’ is one with rims that measure 24 inches in diameter and is a term that typically refers to kids’ bicycle sizes. Adult bike sizes use a frame size measured in centimeters (49 cm to 62 cm) or standard size labels (XXS to XXL).
However, depending on how tall you are, you can ride a 24″ bike even if you are an adult. If you’re a short person, it could be the perfect choice for you. If you’re taller than that, you should consider a 26-inch bike.
Kids’ bike sizes range from 12″ to 26″, increasing in two to four-inch increments. 24-inch bikes are roughly for kids aged 7 to 11 or 4’1″ to 4’9″ in height.
For adult bicycles, wheel diameter is one of the most influential factors affecting performance, comfort, payload capacity, and handling. Each bike wheel size has a unique blend of characteristics, making it useful for certain styles of bikes.
For example, 29″ wheels are ideal for mountain bikes as they maintain momentum well and are more comfortable on bumpy terrain. In contrast, 24″ wheels are often used for cargo bikes as they are stronger, more agile, and allow a lower center of gravity.
Another popular use for 24-inch wheels is on folding e-bikes. However, most models use even smaller 20-inch wheels as they are more compact and lighter.
24-inch bikes make great commuters. Some folding bike manufacturers choose this wheel size because it is compact, yet it offers a comfortable ride quality that typical 20-inch folding bikes don’t have. Another style that uses 24″ wheels is the cargo or utility bike. Examples include the Yuba Kombi or Xtracycle’s Stoker and RFA.
24-inch wheels have specific advantages over larger ones that make them favorable for certain bike styles.
Both adults and children can ride 24-inch bikes. Most bikes with this wheel size are aimed towards kids, but, as mentioned above, several adult bike styles use this type of wheel.
In terms of kids’ bikes, 24″ is the size at which they become more specialized. Many children aged around 8 to 11 are ready to choose a specific cycling style, such as mountain or road. Almost all 20″ and smaller kids’ bikes are hybrids, designed for general riding.
Bike sizing varies hugely between manufacturers and even among models by the same manufacturer. This lack of standardization means each 24″ bike will fit a slightly different height or inseam range. For example, Marin’s San Quentin 24″ fits 4’1″ to 4’8″, the woom 5 has a height range of 4’1″ to 4’9″, and the Trek Roscoe 24 is 4’3″ to 4’11”.
The age range for a 24-inch bike is roughly 7 or 8 to 11 years. However, the best metric to use is height or inseam. The children’s bicycle brand woom provides a height and age range for all of its bikes. For example, the woom 5 mentioned above is designed for heights from 4’1″ to 4’9″ and ages roughly from 7 to 11.
If you’re an adult trying to determine if a 24-inch bike will fit, you should start by taking some key body measurements. If you want to buy a 24″ bike for your child, you should take the same measurements.
Once you have these measurements, you can use them to determine which bike frame size is suitable (adults’ bikes) or if your child fits a specific 24″ kids’ bike. The two most important measurements are height and inseam length.
It’s a good idea to test-ride a bike before buying it to ensure it’s the right fit. Bikes are highly adjustable, so there is always room to modify the components to find a better fit.
A 24-inch bike for kids fits riders 4’1″ to 4’9″ tall. The size range for a 24-inch bike for adults will vary based on the model and manufacturer. For example, the Tern Node folding bike has a height range of 4’10” to around 6’5″. The Yuba Kombi cargo bike fits riders 5′ to 6’6″ and the Electric Bike Company Model A 24″ version fits riders 5’2″ and under.
Some 24-inch bikes are excellent for women as they have lower standover heights, are lighter, and are easier to maneuver than larger wheels. For example, most of Electric Bike Company’s e-bikes have 26″ wheels, with a free option to change to 24″ for riders 5’2″ and below. This is ideal for shorter women.
A 24-inch bike for kids is likely too small for a short woman, as the max height of these bikes is typically 4’8″ to 4’11”. In addition, 24″ kids’ bikes may have child-specific components and geometry unsuitable for adult females.
For example, a child’s saddle is narrower than an adult’s, but women typically need wider saddles than adult men because their sit bones are wider.
As we’ve seen throughout the article, several types of bikes come with 24-inch wheels, most of which are for kids. However, specific types of adult bikes also use this wheel size for its characteristics.
Mountain bikes like the Trek Roscoe 24 and Precaliber 24, Marin Rift Zone Jr. 24 and San Quentin 24, and woom OFF 5 are all examples of great kids’ mountain bikes. Most MTBs for children are rigid (OFF 5, Roscoe 24) or front suspension-only hardtails (San Quentin 24, Precaliber 24). Some full-suspension kids’ bikes include the Marin Rift Zone Jr. or the Norco Fluid 4.1 FS 24″.
Road and gravel bikes are much less common than the mountain and hybrid categories. One brand that creates kids’ road bikes is Frog. The Frog Road 67 is a 24″ drop-bar bike that’s designed for kids from 4’8″ to 5’6″. Another model is the Vitus Razor Disc which fits 4’4″ to 4’10”. Finally, Decathlon’s in-house brand B TWIN has a 24″ kids’ road bike. Unfortunately, many of the models by large manufacturers like Specialized, Diamondback, and Raleigh have been discontinued.
The most popular kids’ bicycle is the hybrid. These bikes are ideal for the typical young rider who wants a fun way to get around, spend time with friends, or exercise. Hybrids usually have wide-ish tires which are comfortable to ride on pavement and capable of handling light off-road terrain. Most of these models are rigid (no suspension), but some have fork suspension.
Examples of 24″ kids’ hybrids include the woom 5, Trek Wahoo 24, Co-op Cycles REV CTY 24, Cannondale Quick 24, and Diamondback Division 24.
Folding bikes are the ideal option for riders with small urban apartments, with multimodal commuting, or who want a bike that’s convenient for road trips.
Most of the best folding bikes have 20″ wheels, as this is the most compact and lightweight size that still maintains decent comfort on paved surfaces. However, from time to time, manufacturers opt for 24″ wheels to increase comfort without completely sacrificing portability. An example of a model currently in production is Tern’s Node with two builds, the D8 and D7i.
Cargo bikes are designed to haul gear on the front, back, or both. They have high payload capacities and extra-long racks for attaching bags, bike seats, or other accessories. 24-inch wheels with wide tires provide a balance of comfort, strength, and stability for this type of bike.
The cargo and utility bike category is among the fastest growing, mainly due to e-bikes and their popularity. Cargo e-bikes allow riders to carry more and go farther, acting as practical alternatives to cars for short to medium-distance journeys. Some examples of 24″ cargo bikes include the four Benno Boost builds, Xtracycle’s Stoker and RFA, and Yuba’s Kombi.
Electric bikes commonly use 26″ wheels on specific models. In some instances, the ‘Medium’ and ‘Large’ frames have 26″ wheels, and the ‘Small’ frame has 24-inch wheels. For example, Rambo’s Ranger and Ryder both have small frames with 24″ wheels. In addition, Addmotor’s M-430 and multiple Electric Bike Company models offer smaller 24-inch-wheel frames. Buzz’s Cerana is an example of a one-size 24-inch electric bike.
Choose the best 24-inch bike for your kid by discussing what type of riding they would like to do (road, mountain, or general riding). Next, measure your child's height and inseam length. Then, look for options that fit your budget and your kid's measurements.
Yes, 24-inch bikes are good for mountain biking for children between 7 and 11 years old. There are rigid, full-suspension, and hardtail 24-inch MTBs for kids. Adults' mountain bikes typically use 26", 27.5", or 29" wheels because larger wheels provide better characteristics for riding off-road.
There are no specific brands that make the best 24-inch bikes. Most major brands like Cannondale, Marin, and Trek make bikes in this size for kids. Brands that make 24-inch bikes for adults include Tern, Yuba, Benno, Electric Bike Company, Rambo, and Buzz.
Yes, 24-inch bikes are safe for children. Bikes with smaller wheels are better for kids, and the wheel size changes according to age and height. For example, three-year-old children start with 12-inch balance bikes. 24-inch models are suited to kids roughly 7 to 11 years old.
A 24-inch bike can be suitable for any terrain. The terrain a bike is best for is determined by its frame design and geometry, tire width and tread pattern, and other components like handlebars and suspension. There are 24" versions of road, mountain, and hybrid bikes for kids.
24-inch wheels are used for both adults’ and kids’ bikes. The term ’24-inch bike’ typically refers to bikes for children aged 7 to 11. Various bike styles are available at this size, including mountain, road, and hybrid.
Adult 24″ bikes aren’t as varied. They’re most common on folding, cargo/utility, and small-frame e-bikes. The benefits of 24-inch wheels for adult bikes include better fit for small riders, high maneuverability, fast acceleration, high strength, low weight, and low center of gravity.
When choosing a bike for your kid, it’s crucial to note that bike sizing varies significantly between manufacturers and models. We recommend you base your choice on their height and inseam length rather than wheel size alone.
For adults, compare your height and inseam length to the manufacturer’s geometry chart to see which size is best. In all cases, test-riding a bike before purchase is the best way to ensure you choose the right size.
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