Are you looking for a bike for an older kid or a shorter adult? If yes, then you have to consider a 20-inch bike vs 24 inch bike. But what between the two suits you?
20-inch bikes suit 6-year-olds and older who are about 4’0″-4’5″ tall, while 24-inch bikes suit 8-year-olds and older and shorter adults who are about 4’5″-5’4″ tall.
Note, however, that these two bike types differ in other ways, such as weight, maneuverability, acceleration, speed momentum, obstacle rolling, climbing power, and portability.
But before we can look at all these differences, below is a hotlist of the best 20-inch and 24-inch bikes:
5 Best 20 Inch and 24 Inch Bikes
- Mongoose Legion Mag: Best 20 Inch BMX Bike
- Schwinn Loop Folding Bike: Best 24 Inch Folding Bike
- Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike: Best 24 Inch Mountain Bike
- Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator: Best 24 Inch Cruiser BMX
- Sixthreezero Around the Block: Best 24 Inch Beach Cruiser
20 Inch Bike Vs 24 Inch Bike – 11 Differences Compared!
Here’s an overview before discussing the differences between a 20-inch and 24-inch bike in detail.
|Characteristic||20-Inch Bike||24-Inch Bike|
|Bike Types||BMX and folding bikes||Mountain bikes, cruiser BMX, and beach cruisers|
|Age||From 6 years||From 8 years|
|Suitability||Older kids||Older kids and shorter adults|
|Bike Weight||Lighter||Slightly heavier|
|Portability||More portable||Less portable|
|Maneuverability||More maneuverable||Less maneuverable|
|Acceleration||Better at acceleration||Not as good as 20-inch|
|Speed Momentum||Not great at maintaining speed momentum||Excellent at maintaining speed momentum|
|Obstacle Rolling||Not good at rolling over obstacles||Better obstacle-rolling power|
|Climbing Power||Not as good as 24-inch||Better climbers|
Here are the parameters that set the two bikes apart:
1. 20 Inch Vs 24 Inch Bike Type
Typically, 20-inch wheels are standard on BMX and folding bikes. So, even though you can get a few MTBs and cruiser bikes with 20-inch wheels, the wheel size is traditionally associated with BMX and folding bikes.
On the other hand, 24-inch wheels are most typical on junior mountain bikes, cruiser BMX, and beach cruisers.
That, however, does mean that you cannot get 24-inch wheels on other bikes, but in terms of popularity, they are more popular on the three.
2. Age Vs. Height
In terms of age, 20-inch bikes suit kids who are at least six years old. Often, such kids are about 4’0″-4’5″ tall. The exceptions, however, are BMX and folding bikes, which suit adults too.
A BMX bike like the Mongoose Legion Mag, for example, suits riders who are 4’8″-5’4″, making it ideal for kids and adults who are under 5’5″ tall.
As for 24-inch bikes, they are generally best for kids who are at least eight years and shorter adults who average 4’5″-5’4″.
a) Bike Size Chart Kids:
Below is a simple bike chart that you can use to match yourself with either a 20-inch or 24-inch bike that suits your kids’ age or height.
|Bike Type||20-Inch Bike||24-Inch Bike|
|Mountain Bike||Age||7-9 years||9-11 years|
|BMX||Age||7-13 years||10-15 years|
|Height||45-60 inches||56-66 inches|
|Beach Cruisers||Age||4-10 years||8 years +|
b) Generally, Is A 20 Inch Bike Good for What Height?
A 20-inch bike is best for riders who are 4’0-4’5″. Note, however, that 20-inch wheels are standard on BMX and folding bikes. For that reason, 20-inch BMX and folding bikes can accommodate riders who are over 4’5″, including adults.
c) And Is 24 Inch Bike Good for What Height?
A 24-inch bike is best for riders who are 4’5″-5’4″ tall. Ordinarily, these are older kids and shorter and medium adults. Note, however, that some 24-inch bikes can accommodate taller cyclists, depending on their frame sizes.
3. 20 Vs 24 Inch Bike Suitability
a) Who Is A 20 Inch Bike for?
While a 20-inch bike suits kids six years or older and about 4’0″-4’5″, it’s not always about the age. As I mentioned, 20-inch wheels are standard on folding bikes and BMX.
That means adults who are crazy about BMX cycling, especially freestyling, and commuting with a folding bike, can always go for a boys’ or girls 20 inch bike.
b) Who Is A 24 Inch Bike for?
Essentially, 24-inch bikes are for older kids from 8 years and adults who are not taller than 5’4″. But overall, 24-inch bikes are the transition bikes between kids’ bikes and adults’ bikes.
They suit older kids whose goal is to get into serious cycling. They also fit shorter adults, especially women, who find most adult bikes too big or too uncomfortable to ride.
That’s the case with the Sixthreezero Around the Block.
The girls 24 inch bike suits both girls and women who find it challenging to ride most cruiser bikes because of their massive frame or geometry.
Verdict – A 20-inch bike suits older kids more than a 24-inch bike suits older kids and some adults, apart from a few options.
20 Inch Bike Vs 24 Inch Bike: Other Differences
Here are other differences that set the 20-inch and 24-inch bikes apart:
4. Bike Weight
Since 20-inch wheels are smaller in diameter, they have slightly smaller rims and shorter spokes. That means they have fewer materials than 24-inch, and that makes them lighter.
That is unlike 24-inch wheels, which have slightly bigger rims and spokes. 24-inch wheels also call for bigger frame size, and that means more weight.
Verdict – A 20-inch bike is generally lighter than a 24-Inch bike.
Smaller wheels don’t occupy as much space as bigger wheels. They are even much smaller after deflation, thus easier to pack and transport. So, that means that a girls’ or boys 20 inch bike is more portable than its 24-inch sibling.
And considering that 20-inch wheels are standard on folding bikes, there cannot be more portable options than folding bikes.
No bike illustrates that better than the Schwinn Loop Folding Bike. Not only is it foldable but also lightweight, thus portable.
Verdict – 20-Inch bikes are easier to store and more portable.
Due to their smaller wheels, 20-inch bikes are easier to handle. That’s essentially one of the reasons why they are standard on BMX and folding bikes.
On BMX, these wheels make it easy to do aerial stunts and jumps, and you can even race with the bike without losing balance. Meanwhile, the wheels make it easy to maneuver a folding bike in town under heavy traffic.
Verdict – A 20-inch bike is slightly more maneuverable than a 24-inch bike.
7. 24 Inch Vs 20 Inch Bike Acceleration
Ordinarily, it takes less effort to gear up a lighter and smaller bike than a bigger and slightly heavier one. Also, smaller wheels tend to roll much faster, which means 20-inch bikes have better acceleration than 24-inch bikes.
Note, however, that I’m not talking about ground coverage here, as a 24-inch bike is likely to cover more ground once it catches the right momentum.
Verdict – A 20-inch bike is easier to accelerate than a 24-inch bike.
8. Speed Momentum
While a 24-inch bike takes time to gather momentum, they are better at maintaining it. So, while a 20-inch bike picks up speed faster, you are less likely to keep up, as it’s the case with a 24-inch bike.
24-inch bikes have better traction and are likely to cover more ground once you find the right momentum. It explains why they are good racers, and there cannot be a perfect example than the Schwinn Sting Pro and Predator.
Due to its 24-inch wheels, thus cruiser BMX covers more ground, making it best for racing on paved roads and dirt.
Verdict – A 24-inch bike has better speed momentum than a 20-inch bike.
9. Obstacle Rolling
Bigger wheels are likely to roll over obstacles on the road more than smaller wheels.
In that case, smaller wheels are better suited to smoother roads, which explains why these wheels are standard on folding bikes. As you know, folding bikes are best suited to paved surfaces.
It also explains why there are more 24-inch mountain bikes than 20-inch options. With a 24-inch mountain bike, you can easily take on gravel and other obstacle-hit trails and be okay. You, however, cannot do that comfortably with a 20-inch bike.
Verdict – A 24-inch bike rolls over obstacles better than a 20-inch bike.
10. Climbing Power
The obstacle rolling advantage of a 24-inch bike makes it a better climber than a 20-inch bike. You are likely to comfortably take on the hills with a 24-inch bike than a 20-inch.
Besides, 24-inch bikes cover more ground, which means you are likely to ascend much faster than you would with a 20-inch.
One 24-inch bike that illustrates that is the Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike. This 24 inch boys bike comes with robust wheels and knobbier tires to allow you to take just about any trail.
Verdict – A 24-inch bike is a better climber than a 20-inch bike.
People Also Ask
1. 24 Inch Bike for What Size Person?
24-inch bikes are the transition bikes between childhood and adulthood. Older kids from 8 years and newbie adults who are about 4’5″-5’4″ can comfortably ride most 24 inch bikes.
2. Is 20 Inch Bike for Adults?
The only 20-inch bikes that most adults can ride comfortably are BMX and folding bikes. With these bikes, 20-inch wheels are standard. So, the difference is the frame size and how adjustable the handlebars are.
3. What Age Range Is A 24 Inch Bike?
24-inch bikes generally suit riders who are at least eight years and about 4’5″-5’4″. But while age is an important consideration, height is more conclusive. So, pay attention to the rider’s more than age when picking a 24-inch bike.
4. Is 24 Inch Bike Too Big for 8 Year Old?
24-inch bikes generally suit kids from 8 years who are about 4’5″-5’4″. So, unless your 8-year-old is taller than 5’4″, which is quite unlikely, a 24-inch bike is not too big for them.
20 Inch Bike Vs 24 Inch Bike Closing Thought:
Now you have a detailed comparison between a 20-inch and 24-inch bike. So, whether you want a bike for your short height or an older kid, you can use the tips to get the purchase right. After all, all it takes to have a funnier ride is a good bike purchase.