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 too 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. When considering bikes for the family, there is everything from cute children’s bikes to powered adults bikes such as Sturdywheels Electric Bikes. You may find yourself overwhelmed in making a decision, so we have gathered this information to make it easier.
To begin with, be prepared to invest in a high-quality bike suitable for your child. Cheap, off-brand bikes cannot offer guaranteed safety as a must, and this is clearly essential for helping our child learn to cycle.
You will want to consider the following when buying bikes for your family.
Be aware that when teaching your child to cycle, you’ll need to budget accordingly. A good starting child’s bike can cost anywhere from $250 – $800. Since your child may outgrow the bicycle quickly, you may want to take this into account. It isn’t like buying yourself the best electric bike you can find, because a child can outgrow a bike within months or a year, whereas adult bikes are a longtime investment.
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, because uncomfortable or unstable saddling can cause balance issues on the bicycle. Do not purchase a bike too large for children, 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 tires 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 you 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 children with an emergency braking aid if necessary.
For adults, the correct height of a bike is selected so that in the standing position the distance from the groin to the upper tube is about 5 cm. When choosing a bike, step through bike reviews recommend giving preference to variants equipped with an aluminum frame. On average, such models are 25-30% lighter than their iron counterparts, which makes them more practical in everyday use.
Correct sizing for kids 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.
Lastly, 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.