16 Inch Bike for What Size Person?

Nothing excites kids more than a well-fitting and comfortable bike. But for that to be the case, you must know what size to get them, and one of the most popular sizes is size 16. So, 16 inch bike for what size person?

Regular kids’ bikes with 16-inch wheels are best for 3-7-year-olds or about 38-48 inches (3’2″ – 4’0″) tall, while BMX options suit 5-7-year-olds and under 7 feet. However, those with 16-inch frames are best for those who are 5’2″ -5’6″ tall.   

So, while 16-inch traditionally refers to a bike with 16-inch wheels, a few exceptions refer to the frame size, which I’ll discuss. So, we’ll cover regular kid’s bikes and BMX bikes under the wheel size and MTBs and hybrids under the frame size.   

But first, let’s explain more about what a 16-inch bike means. 

What age is a 16 inch bike for

In a rush? Check out our most recommended 16-inch bikes on the hotlist below:

4 Best 16 Inch Bikes

  1. Royalbaby Freestyle Kids Bike 16 Inch: Best Kids 16-inch Bike
  2. Mongoose Legion L16: Best 16 Inch BMX Bike
  3. Schwinn Mesa 2: Best 16-inch Mountain Bike
  4. Schwinn GTX 2.0: Best 16-inch Hybrid Bike

What Does A 16 Inch Bike Mean?

Often, a 16-inch bike means a kid’s bike with 16-inch wheels. These are primarily kids’ first pedal bicycles. They often feature traditional pedal-backward coaster brakes and are generally single-speed.

Note, nonetheless, that sometimes a 16-inch bike refers to a youth’s bike with a 16-inch frame. In most cases, these bikes are MTBs or hybrid bikes with a small frame size (size 16-inch)

16 Inch Bike for What Size Person?

To explicitly answer this question, we’ve to look at the 16-inch wheel and the 16-inch frame to determine who should ride them.

But just an overview, both bikes are for kids, where the 16-inch wheel favors younger kids not taller than 4’0″ while a 16-inch frame favors those taller than 5 feet.

16 Inch Wheel Size for What Person?

Let’s discuss regular kids’ bikes and BMX bikes under the wheel size as they are the only bikes sized according to the wheel diameter.

Regular 16-Inch Kids’ Bikes

Kids bikes with 16-inch wheels usually suit kids between 3 and 7 years old, according to Schwinn, and are about 38-48 inches tall (3’2″ – 4’0″) tall.

It’s, however, necessary for your kid to enjoy a 1.3-inch clearance from the bike top tube to their crotch.

Below is a table comparing 16-inch kid’s bike wheels and other sizes:

Wheel SizeAge (years)Height (in inches)

One 16 inch bike girl and boys’ choice that stands a level above the rest is the Royalbaby Freestyle Kids Bike 16-inch.

According to the manufacturer, this kid’s bike is perfect for 4-7 years old. It borrows its design from BMX, thus a good choice for freestyle.

The kid’s bikes come with removable training wheels to help your kid learn to pedal and balance much faster. It’s well-accessorized, and it’s not just about the training wheels but also the bell, kickstand water bottle and water bottle holder, reflector, and assembly tools.

The kid’s bike is easier to ride, stylish in appearance, comfortable in build, and sturdy in design. It could be the perfect gift for your adventure-seeking child.

How tall should you be for a 16 inch bike

16-inch BMX Bikes

Regular kid’s bikes are not the only bikes with 16-inch wheel sizes. BMX bikes are also sized according to the wheel size, and you’ll find them in 16-inch, among many other dimensions.

A 16-inch BMX bike ideally suits riders who are 4’0″ – 4’10” tall or about 7-11 years. However, the rider must have an inseam length of at least 23 inches to stand over a full-size BMX bike (normally 20-inch).

Since 16-inch BMX bikes are not full size, the riders can be shorter but slightly taller than those riding regular kid’s bikes (discussed earlier).

Below is a table comparing 16-inch BMX bikes with others.

Wheel SizeHeight Age (years)
16”Under 4’0”5 – 7
18”4’0” – 4’10”7 – 11
20”4’10” – 6’4”11+

One 16 inch bike boy option for freestyling that exemplifies what quality 16-inch BMX bikes should look like is the Mongoose Legion L16

These kids’ BMX bike suits riders who are not taller than 3’6″, and it’s generally best for freestyle. The kids BMX bike comes with a lightweight, rigid hi-tensile steel frame and single wall 28H rims, thus strong.

Its 2.3-inch tires offer your youngster extra stability, while its aluminum u-brake promises good control.

The BMX is overall a good entry choice into bicycle motocross. It can take on an impactful landing and is generally comfortable to move around.

16-inch BMX Bikes

16 Inch Frame Bike for What Size Person?

When referring to a 16-inch bike frame, only two bikes come to mind; MTBs and hybrid bikes. Both bikes have a small frame size (s) which usually measures 16-inch.

16-inch Mountain Bike

The most petite mountain bike frame usually comes in an extra small frame size (13-14 inches), and the size above that is 15 or 16 inches (small frame size).

Overall, a small MTB frame (size 15/16-inch) is best for riders who are 5’2″ – 5’6″ tall. Below is a table comparing a 16-inch MTB frame with other sizes.

Frame Si9ze NameFrame Size (in inches)Riders Height
X-small (XS)13 – 14”4’10”- 5’2”
Small (SM)15 – 16”5’2” –  5’6” 
Medium (M)17 – 18”5’6” – 5’10”
Large (L)19 – 20”5’10” – 6’1”
X-large (XL)21 – 22”6’1” – 6’4”
XX-Large (2XL)23 – 24”6’4” – 6’6”

Note that in the case of women MTBs, we usually don’t have x-large and xx-large frame choices as women are inherently shorter, thus unlikely to want a bike frame that’s bigger than 20 inches.

Overall, one MTB with a 16-inch frame that both genders can ride is the Schwinn Mesa 2 Mountain Bike.

Its small size frame generally suits riders who are 5’2″ – 5’6″, and it’s ideal for both genders. The Schwinn Mesa 2 is for serious trail riders who want to take their skill to the next height.

This MTB comes with a Schwinn-tuned MTB frame and robust 27.5-inch wheels to take on virtually every terrain you ride on.

Its 21-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain is almost a bargain, given its dependability when taking on gravel paths, mountain trails, and dirt roads.

Its hydraulic disc brakes are also dependable in all-condition crisp stopping. The bonus is the front suspension that smoothens most bumps to have a comfortable and fun-filled riding experience.

16 inch bike girl

16-Inch Hybrid Bike

Hybrid bikes with a 16-inch frame size are also available in small frames, as is the case of MTBs. Overall, the 16-inch hybrid bike frame suits 5’2″ – 5’6″ tall, just like the MTBs.

Below is a sizing chart comparing 16-inch hybrid bike frames with other sizes:

Frame Size Name Frame Size (in inches)Height 
X-small (XS)13 – 14”4’10” – 5’2”
Small (S)15 – 16”5’2” – 5’6”
Medium (M)17 – 18”5’6” – 5’10”
Large (L)19 – 20”5’10” – 6’1”
X-large (XL)21 – 22”6’1” – 6’4”
XX-large (2XL)23 – 24”6’4” – 6’6”

Note that, as it’s the case usually mountain bikes, we don’t have women’s hybrid bike frames with X-large or XX-large frame sizes. That’s unless it’s a unisex choice.

One fantastic 16-inch hybrid bike for both genders is the Schwinn GTX 2.0 Comfort Bike. This dual-sport hybrid bike suits 5’4″ – 6’2″ tall riders.

Since it’s a dual-sport hybrid, there’s no terrain that you cannot take with Schwinn GTX 2.0. The bike enjoys a quick shift 21-speed drivetrain and multi-terrain wheels to allow you to ride it on-road and off-road.

Its mechanical disc brakes promise fast stopping in all conditions, while the triple crank promotes optimal gearing. Its wheels are 700c, the exact size you find on road bikes, thus fast rolling.

Furthermore, it comes with a limited lifetime frame warranty, therefore a long-term investment.

16 inch bike boy

In Summary:

16 In Bike for What Age?

As shared, a 16-inch kids’ bike is best for 3-7 years olds while its BMX counterparts suit 5-7 years olds. So, it’s fair to say that a kid below seven years can ride both a kids’ bike or a BMX bike with 16-inch wheels.

16 Inch Bike for What Height?

There are two ways to look at this question. First, we can look at it in terms of wheel size and secondly, in terms of frame size.

If it’s the wheel size, then a 16-inch kids’ bike suits kids who are 38 – 48 inches (3’2″ – 4’0″), while a 16-inch BMX is best for those under 4’0″ tall.

But if the reference is the frame size, then a 16-inch bike (which could either be a hybrid or MTB) is best for 5’2″ – 5’6″ tall riders. The frame size in the discussion here is the small size frame.

People Also Ask

1. What Age Is A 16 Inch Bike for?

A traditional 16-inch bike frame (with a 16-inch wheel size) suits kids who are 3 -7 years old, while a 16-inch BMX is best for 5 -7 years olds.

2. How Tall Should You Be for A 16 Inch Bike?

A 16-inch wheel bike requires the rider to be 38-48 inches tall, while its BMX counterparts need them not to be taller than 4 feet. A 16-inch frame bike, however, requires the rider to be 5’2″ – 5’6″ tall.

3. Is A 16 Inch Bike Good for A 5-Year-Old?

Traditionally, 16-inch kids’ bikes are best for 3 – 7 years old. So, yes, a 16-inch bike is suitable for a 5-year-old. However, the kid should be 38 – 48 inches tall to fit on a 16-inch bike properly.

4. Is A 16 Inch Bike Too Small?

A 16-inch bike generally suits riders who are 38 -48 inches or about 3 – 7 years old.  So, it targets smaller kids. So, yes, a 16-inch bike is too small.

5. What Size Is A 16 Inch Bike?

A 16-inch bike is a bike with a 16-inch wheel size or a 16-inch frame (small size). Such bikes are generally best for kids.

Closing Thought On 16 Inch Bike for What Size Person?

There is no denying that a 16-inch bike is one of the most accommodating sizes for kids, given that they can fit kids who are 3-7 years or about 5-7 years in the case of BMX and about 5’2″ -5’6″ when referring to MTB ad hybrid frames. So, if your kid falls on any of these brackets, you should get them a 16-inch bike.

Also Read: