How To Buy A Bike For A Child !!LINK!!
So, your child is interested in bikes - time to welcome your little one into the sport you love! Whether your child is just three years old and ready for their first bike, or they're ready to explore roads or trails, we have put together a few tips to make buying your child a bike a little less confusing.
how to buy a bike for a child
Training Wheels: An add-on part that can be attached to a two-wheeled bike. For a lot of parents, this is how you learned to ride a bike. Training wheels sound like a great deal because the child can learn to ride with the training wheels on and when the time comes to pop the training wheels off, you have a regular bike. The downside of training wheels is that the child does not learn to balance, but instead relies on those extra wheels like a crutch. Training wheels can also be a bit unstable for young riders.
Balance Bikes: With only two wheels and no pedals, these bikes require the child to sit on the saddle, scoot, and balance. Many resources say balance is the hardest part of learning to ride, so transferring to a pedal bike is easier for children that start out on a balance bike.
Alright, you are armed with tons of knowledge about kids' bikes and now you are ready to go buy them one to put under the tree this holiday or tie up with a bow for their birthday! Right? Well, maybe not quite yet.
When your child is old enough, it's important for your they are involved in the bike-buying process. Taking your kid to the bike shop for a test ride is a great way to find out what fits best and what kind of riding they are most interested in doing. The employees at your local bike shop are experts on how your child should fit on a bike, what kind of bike they will need for the riding they will be doing, and they can save you tons of time scouring the internet for answers.
However you decide to give your kid a bike, make sure you plan ahead for this purchase. Some bike shops may not have the exact bike you are looking for in stock, but they can definitely order it if you give them enough time.
Geared: Gears on a bike help you ride more efficiently and can make going uphill easier. Choose bikes with gears if you want the child to learn how to use them early or you plan to ride in hilly areas.
Ask any adult and no doubt they'll be able to tell you about their first bike or the adventures they had on two wheels as a youngster. A bike provides kids freedom, confidence and everlasting memories, not to mention the honing of fine motor skills and muscle development, and so choosing the right one is pretty important! There are no specific rules for buying a particular bike for a child, however, the tips below should point you in the right direction.
Selecting the right size bike for a child might seem like a simple equation but there's a lot more information to consider than age alone. As you'll see from the recommendations we've made below, many of the sizes overlap in age and are more dependent upon height, not to mention confidence and ability.
It's important when selecting a bike that you don't choose a size the child will 'grow into'. As the size of a bike increases, so does it's weight, making it more difficult to manoeuvre. An increase in height raises the center of gravity and makes it harder to balance. As a result, if you choose a bike that is too large, your child may have difficulty riding it and not enjoy the experience. Use the age and height recommendations below as a guide and be mindful that the best way to know if the bike is the right size is to see if the child can comfortably stand over the bike with both feet flat on the ground, comfortably reach the pedals from the seat, and comfortably reach the handlebars when sitting.
It's also important to note that unlike adult bikes that are measured via the frame, kids bikes are measured by wheel size, and so the size is not indicative of the frame size or seat height of the bike. As well as looking at the bikes tire size, be aware of the minimum and maximum seat height to make sure the child can fit the bike.
Balance bikes are designed to suit children from as young as 18 months and teach balance, fine motor skills and good habits right from the get go. These bikes have no pedals and rely on the child to push themselves along with their feet. They are a great introduction to cycling and will make the progression to balancing a pedal bike much easier when compared to progressing from using training wheels.
12in bikes are often a child's first pedal bike and are designed for two to four-year-olds or those between 85cm - 110cm. As this is often the first foray into cycling, you want to look for simplistic designs without things that could complicate their riding experiences like multiple gears, lever-operated rear hand brake or front suspension.
Feeling comfortable and developing confidence is crucial at this point so ensure the fit is correct and the child is happy with the look and feel of the bike. The frame is likely to be made out of either steel or aluminium, the latter being the preferred (but more expensive) option as it will be lighter and resistant to rust.
Expect the bike to come with trainer wheels and a rear coaster brake, potentially a front lever-operated handbrake too. Children of this age often lack the hand strength to operate this type of brake but it can be a key learning consideration as it will get the child used to using the handbrake to slow down. When the child is prepared to do this will vary depending on their physical ability, confidence and strength. Around three-four years is a good guide.
14in bikes share virtually the same form and features as 12in bikes but with slightly larger tire size. Much of the industry work with wheel sizes of 12in, 16in, 20in and 24in to simplify the progression but some brands, such as Byk, skip the industry's more common 12in size in favour of a larger 14in wheel. Larger wheels provide better stability, a smoother ride and increased speed.
The age and height recommendations are very similar for 12in and 14in bikes, and so the choice is likely to be decided by your budget, brand preferences and availability as 12in bikes are far more common.
An 18in bike is suitable for those aged four to six-year-olds or those between 100cm - 120cm. Choosing an 18in bike over a 16in bike is likely to come down to budget, brand preference or availability as 16in bikes are far more common.
20in kids bikes are the most popular size on BikeExchange and it's at this stage that children really start to develop a sense of adventure and freedom through their cycling. 20in bikes are suitable for those aged between seven and nine-year-olds or those 115cm - 135cm.
20in mountain bikes typically feature much of the same technology as adult mountain bikes including multiple gears and suspension, albeit abridged versions of both. Gears will likely feature a single cog at the front and multiple gears at the back, operated by a simple shifting mechanism on the handlebars. Suspension will likely feature at the front of the bike providing shock absorption and control if children go off-road. Some bikes may also feature suspension at the rear but this does add significant weight to the bike and decreases durability so perhaps should be saved for larger bikes with more advanced riders.
20in BMX bikes are a popular option as they are highly durable, feature a simple design and are lots of fun. These bikes will typically feature a coaster rear brake, lever-operated front handbrake and a single speed gear. The good news is adult BMX bikes also typically feature 20in wheels, and so these bikes may be a suitable option for a number of years.
Like 20in bikes there are distinctive categories of mountain, BMX and road, bridging ever closer to the features of a full adult bike. 24in mountain bikes gain more gears and greater movement in the suspension when compared to 20in mountain bikes, they will also feature either disc or rim brakes operated by hand.
26in bikes are suitable for children eleven and up, and those taller than 145cm. Some brands use this size as their largest children sized bike, while they can also be an alternative to a full sized adult mountain bike. 26in wheels were previously the industry standard for adult mountain bikes but the move to larger tires that offer greater rollover ability and comfort has become the norm.
Steel bikes are the most cost effective option and highly durable with the ability to withstand plenty of punishment that will no doubt come its way. The downside of steel bikes is they're significantly heavier than aluminium and can rust if left out or ridden in all weather conditions.
To begin with, a single speed gear normally features an easy pedaling ratio, so children have no problems turning the pedals over. If there is a still a single speed gear present as the size of the bike increases, this ratio is likely to be larger, making it harder to pedal initially, but capable of faster overall speeds.
When multiple gears become available, it normally involves a single cog on the front, and multiple cogs on the rear with a shifting mechanism on the handlebar to control them. Often children will have access to seven or eight gears to begin with, but some 20in bikes can have 21 or 24 gears with three cogs on the front and seven or eight cogs on the rear.
Kids bikes will often feature a chain guard which covers the chain wheel and the upper run of the chain to protect the child from rubbing their leg against it or getting their clothes or shoelaces snagged. It can easily be removed if you wish but provides some peace of mind during the early riding days.
Tires come in many different forms; solid foam, pneumatic (simply a tire inflated with air), honeycomb rubber, solid rubber and hard plastic. Balance bikes, 12in and 14in kids bikes could possibly come with all of these, but as the size of the bike increases your likely to find the tires are pneumatic.
Pneumatic tires are most common thanks to the all-round benefits they provide including a cushioned ride and good grip. They come in multiple tread patterns, which are typically either knobby tires, similar to mountain bike tires, or a standard tread pattern or 'slick' (no tread pattern), which is similar to road bike tires. 041b061a72