It’s a great idea to help your children learn how to ride a bicycle when they come to a suitable developmental age. For many parents, the age of four-five years old is suitable, although smaller tricycles can be well-utilized before that age. Choosing the perfect bike for your kids can be a complex task, however, a fact that you’re likely either already familiar with or will be introduced to soon.
This is because there are a plethora of amazing products out there, and many are suitable for your needs. However, to find the perfect bike will require a careful eye, and the motivation to scour through hundreds of product catalogues and websites. Or, alternatively, we could present the best advice to work for you below.
To begin with, we must be prepared to invest in a high-quality bike suitable for our children. Cheap, off-brand bikes cannot offer guaranteed safety as a must, and this is clearly essential for helping our child learn to cycle.
Be aware that when teaching your child to cycle, you’ll need to budget accordingly. Many bikes can be A good starting child’s bike can cost anywhere from $250 – $800. Of course, it is possible to purchase second-hand models such as from eBay among other outlets – but make sure you’re purchasing from either a reputable online store or someone with a passionate cycling hobby – they’ll know how to maintain it. However, just like a car seat, some parents will want to ensure they have a full warranty and purchase a brand new, untouched model.
It’s also very important to purchase from a legitimate source, even when online. Bike shops are preferable to wide-range toy-stores, for instance. That can help you ensure you’re getting a quality product.
It’s important to find the right saddle for your child, because uncomfortable or unstable saddling can cause balance issues on the bicycle. Do not purchase a bike too large for them either, because they may ‘grow into it,’ but this limits safety as they learn.
A saddle should have a concave front to prevent your child from falling into the frame. Additionally, remember to set the height so that your child can easily balance themselves when taking the foot off the peddle. If you’re unsure, lower is better than higher.
Pneumatic tyres are often the best choice for your child’s wheels, as they provide a smooth, comfortable riding experience. Your wheels should be well-oiled and ideally be connected to a covered safety chain that protects your child from exposure to injury. The brakes should also be well connected and topped with correct brake fluid or mechanical discs, well maintained. Again, placing your saddle so that foot-drag stops (while never ideal), can provide your child with an emergency braking aid if necessary.
Correct sizing usually follows the following measurements, depending on how large your child is for their age.
- Age 3-4 – 14” wheels with a 16-20” inseam.
- Age 4-5 – 16” wheels with an 18-22” inseam.
- Age 5-6 – 18” wheels with a 20-24” inseam.
- Age 5-8 – 20” wheels with a 22-25” inseam.
Of course, one of the most practical elements of helping a child feel comfortable on a bike is fitting it with stabilizers. These attached wheels can help the bike balance without much effort on the part of the child, but it will help them feel used to the overall mechanics of the bike and benefit as a result. You can remove these stabilizers with careful observation during your practical cycling lessons.
Steel is a popular choice for frames, but it can be open to rust, so unless you have a secure place and maintenance oils to sustain your bike, an aluminium frame can also be a good alternative. It will also be lighter.
Also, consider how your child will interact with the framing. Chain safety covers are important, as they can be dangerous for curious children to interact with. Additionally, hard foam covers over the midriff bike frame can prevent falls or nasty bumps against the harder materials. Some handlebars also offer this foam insert to prevent a bumped head in case of a collision. Remember, they say death and taxes are the only universal constant, but you can be certain that children falling of their bikes is a close third as inevitabilities go. It’s important to protect against that guaranteed issue ahead of time.
Also, remember that small bikes (then growing into mountain bikes) are preferable to BMX offerings (these are too lightweight and can be unsafe for unskilled children), or racing road bikes. At least, this should be your rule for now.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily choose the prefect bike for your kids.