Buying your child’s first bike is an exciting time for any parent. You remember the excited feeling when unwrapping your bike that Christmas morning. It brings back nostalgic happy feelings. You want your child to experience the joy that you felt when unwrapping your first bike.
But how do you know which bike will be the best for your child. Buying a bike seems like a big undertaking and you worry you might buy the wrong bike. The best thing you can do is find a specialist bike site first. A site such as http://www.cyclingplaza.com/best-kids-bikes/ will give you the information and guidance you need to buy the right bike for your child.
A balance bike is a good choice for a very young child. If you don’t know what one is, it is basically a bike without pedals. Back in my day I was taught to ride a bike with stabilisers. I still remember how scary it was when my mean dad removed my stabilisers.
If your child’s first bike is a balance bike, they learn steering and balance first. Some might argue that these are the difficult skills to learn. As someone who still has no balance, I would agree. Pedalling is something that is easy to learn at a later date. With a balance bike, your child sits on it and scoots themselves along. Their confidence will improve the further they coast along.
First Pedal Bike
If your child has started riding on a balance bike, don’t move them up to a bike with stabilisers. You will undo all the good work the balance bike has done. Instead move your child straight onto their first pedal bike once they are confident on the balance bike.
You are looking for a starter bike with no gears and 12 or 14 inch wheels that is not too big for your child. Never buy your child a big bike in the hope that they will grow into it. They will not be safe on a bike that is too big and you may put them off riding a bike for good. Your child should be able to easily touch the ground with both feet.
First Gear Bike
Your child will eventually outgrow their first ‘proper’ bike and you should be looking for a bike with gears. You will most likely be buying a 3 gear bike with wheels of around 20 inches. Your child should be able to touch the floor with one foot.
Bikes for Older Children
As you start looking for bigger bikes for older children, you will be looking at bikes with the same features as adult bikes. The bikes will be more expensive too. Depending on their age and size, you may even be looking at a small sized adult bike.
Features of Children’s Bikes
There are some things you need to take notice of, when looking to buy bikes for children.
- Some children’s bikes are surprisingly heavy. Some bikes for 7 year olds are actually heavier than adult bikes. Make sure you check the weight of the bike before you buy. If nothing else, you don’t want to be carrying a heavy bike back from the park! Pick up the bike to test the weight. Note that lighter bikes can often be more expensive.
- Make sure you don’t put your child on a bike that is too big for them. They should be able to sit on the saddle and touch the floor. Be aware of the increase in wheel size from one bike to the next one up. A bike with larger wheels is harder for them to control.
- Used bikes. Consider both buying and selling used bikes. If you consider that a child will grow out of their bikes in two or three years, buying a quality used bike makes sense. As does selling the bikes your child has outgrown.
Depending on the bikes you buy for your child, they will develop a love of cycling or a dislike of it. Select your child’s bikes carefully. Make sure they are suitable for the age range and don’t try and move them up too quickly. Try to buy the best bike within your budget. Cheap is not normally good when it comes to bikes.