Seeing the excitement in your kid’s face when they have their very first bike is simply priceless! The problem is that there are so many different bikes available in the shops, that you can end up totally confused about which bike is right for your child.
To help make your search a lot easier and faster, here are 7 things you need to sort out, before whipping out your credit card.
1. How heavy is too heavy?
You can appreciate that young kids aren’t very strong, so you need to make sure that the bike is light enough for your child to handle, whilst also being sturdy enough to take their weight. Aluminium rather than a steel frame is preferable, as it’s light and easy to maintain (it won’t corrode) and a basic bike with fewer features is also going to be lighter.
2. Pedalling can be hard to master
Sometimes, it’s best to look for a bike without pedals, particularly if your child is very young, because they might have difficulty actually pedalling the bike. A balance or strider bike, as they are sometimes called, is propelled along and stopped by your child’s feet, helping them with their balance and co-ordination without the complexity of pedalling as well.
3. How much assembly is required?
The best bike for your child might be the one that you don’t have to assemble! Of course, this all depends on your skill level, but it doesn’t do any harm in looking for a bike that is ready to hop on right away.
4. What size wheel matters?
One of the most important factors when selecting a bike for your kids is the diameter of the wheels, which for the under-4s should be no bigger than 12 inches. This size helps your child to sit comfortably on the bike, hold the handle bars and put their feet safely on the ground.
5. Stopping can be make or brake!
Brakes can be a controversial issue on bikes for young kids, because if they brake too hard, they can go straight over the handle bars! For young kids aged 4 and under, its best to stick with a balance bike that doesn’t have any brakes and is stopped by using their feet.
6. Accidents can happen
We all know that our kids will fall off their bikes and it won’t just happen once! This means that safety is gear is vital for your child and the younger they become used to wearing a safety helmet, the better. Elbow and knee protection can also be important, so give it some thought before you child hops on their first bike. If you have a child under 4 years of age, it might be best to purchase a balance bike, because with their feet on the ground, they will be less likely to fall off and injure themselves.
7. Training wheels can have a negative impact
Stabilisers, such as training wheels, might give your child more assistance while they are learning to ride their bike, but they can make it difficult to ride a bike without them. This is why balance bikes are better for young children and in fact, research has shown that kids transition to bigger bikes more easily if they have learnt to ride on a balance bike.
For more information on balance bikes for kids, send us an email.