How to measure your child for a bike helmet and balance bike

How to measure your child for a bike helmet and balance bike

In the market for your child’s first bike and helmet? First off, congratulations, we’re so happy you’re getting your child started early on riding bikes! We’re here to help, that’s why we’ve put together an article to help you better understand how to measure your child so that you get the right fit for their bike and helmet the first time. 


First up, and the most important piece of equipment, is the helmet! A properly fitted helmet is essential to your child’s safety. One that is correctly fitted should be comfortable and should not move forward to obscure vision or slide back to expose the forehead. For a helmet to function as intended and protect the rider it must be the correct size and properly fitted.

Helmet sizing is determined by the circumference of the head, and is typically given in a minimum and maximum range. It’s important to correctly measure your child’s head to get the right size helmet. This is a simple process and takes just a few minutes.

How to measure your child for bike helmet


  • Step 1 - Gather your tools
    • A flexible measuring tape, string, phone charger or something similar will work great (and a ruler to measure the length of string).
  • Step 2 - Measure
    • Wrap the measuring tape around your child's head just above their eyebrows and 1.5 cm above their ears. Mark the location of overlap to find the measurement.
  • Step 3 - Find Your Size
    • We carry a few helmets in different sizes that are great for your child. You can view the sizing charts here. And remember, if your child is between sizes, size DOWN (it’s more important to have a proper fit for a helmet, than something they “will grow into” later).

When your new helmet arrives, head over to our safety article about how to correctly adjust your child’s helmet so they have the best proper fit when riding their bike. 



Now it’s time to measure your child for their bike fit. Since every child is completely unique it’s important to check their measurements before making a bike purchase. We want to make sure your child’s new bike is rideable from day one! Getting the right size balance bike for your child is simple and only requires a couple tools to get the right measurement.

How to measure your child for a balance bike
  • Step 1 - Gather your tools
    • You’ll need a book, a measuring tape, and your child in their favorite pair of shoes.
  • Step 2 - Measure
    • Have your child stand against a wall, place the book between their legs and raise the book up until it hits their crotch. Measure from the top of the book (make sure to hold it level) to the floor.
  • Step 3 - Find your size
    • Subtract 0.5 inches from the measurement and that is the inseam measurement, or what is also called the “standover frame height” for your child (we recommend subtracting 0.5 inches from their inseam because you want your child to be able to place their feet flat on the ground when standing over the bike).

Simple as that! Check out our bike size guides to find the appropriate inseam range for your child.

It’s important to get the right size bike because one that is too small or too large will hinder the learning process. Here’s an illustration of what we mean by not having the right size bike or not having the saddle height properly adjusted:

Bambino Bikes balance bike fit guide

CORRECT - Your child is seated on the bike, feet flat on the ground, knees are slightly bent. This is best because it allows for full leg movement while still being able to stand over the bike with feet flat on the ground. 

WRONG - Your child is "standing" over the seat. Their feet are not flat on the ground (tiptoes) and their knees are not bent. This will make it hard for your child to ride the bike if their feet can't reach the ground. 

WRONG - Although your child is sitting on the seat their knees are very bent, so much so that they will not be able to "kick" or run on the bike with full and complete leg movement.

If you have any questions about measuring or fitment for either a helmet or balance bike please feel free to schedule a call with a Bambino Gear Expert.

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