Best Bikes For Kids – 8 Things You Have To Consider When Buying
When your child is interested in a bike, it is time to let them into the world of bike riding with open arms and enthusiasm. No matter if your child has just learned how to walk and you want to get them their first little bike or they are going into first grade and they want to ride to school, purchasing a bike for a child is much more complicated than you think it is. That is because, unlike adults, kids’ bikes are not always sized based on the height and length of a frame. They are offered in sizes that are based on wheel sizes. Luckily, we live in a time where you can find anything online as well as a size chart that has all the measurements so you can get the perfect size bike for your kids. Looking up size charts is the best starting point for purchasing the first bike for your child. If you are ready for this adventure, there are things that you have to consider when you are purchasing a bike for kids.
Getting The First Bike: Balance Bike Vs Training Wheels
When you are purchasing the first bike for your kid you have to think about which one you will be getting. Just like for adults, there are many different types you can choose from. You can choose tricycles, a bike with training wheels, BMX or a balance bike. Here are some differences that will help you choose the right one.
- Tricycle: As its name says, a tricycle has three wheels. They are very low to the ground and they are very stable, so if you have a young child, this might be the best starting bike for them. But keep in mind, unlike riding a bicycle a tricycle will not help them develop the skill of balance.
- Training Wheels: The most popular first option for kids is a classic two-wheeled bike that has attached training wheels to it. For the majority of people, this is how they’ve learned to ride a bike. They are one of the best options because you can take the training wheels off once you are confident enough to try to ride a bike without any help. Once again, the main downside is that with the training wheels your child will not have the experience that will provide them with learning about balancing. Another disadvantage about this is that they can be quite unstable for younger riders.
- Balance Bikes: one of the best options for kids who are just learning to ride a bike is a balance bike that has two wheels and no pedals. The bike will require your child to sit on the saddle, balance and scoot at the same time which will prepare them for the real bike.
In the long run, the decision is up to you and your family as well as the abilities of your child.
Gears And Gear Shifters Can Cause Problems
Sometimes even the smallest bikes for kids will have gears and that is just something young rides don’t need. It will not only confuse them, but it will also add more weight to the bike which can cause the kids to tip over more easily. The most common advice is to avoid bikes with gears until you are getting them a bike that has at least a 20″ wheel size and even then, you should still consider if they need it. Once your kid knows how to ride a bike with no help what so even, then you can think about getting them a bike with gears. First, you will want to start with a simple triple chain set in the front which will provide 21 or more gears. If they are advanced and are going through different terrains, you will want to get them a bike that has the best gear ratios to the size bike they are riding. The difference between adult and kid gear shifters is the fact that child ones will obviously have kid-sized components so their small hands can use them easily. Depending on your child and their size you will choose different types of shifters that will help them speed around the neighborhood.
Brakes On Kids Bikes Need To Be Easily Useable
Just like the gears, break levels will come in different sizes. There are some kids bikes that will come with adult levers that are just too big for their small hands to reach as well as to operate. Before you buy the bike make sure that you are checking if there are child-friendly components. If the brakes are too hard to press or too big for them to squeeze, they just won’t be able to stop the bike and they will crash and fall.
One of the best bike types that you can get is one called a coaster bike. That means that they have breaks that work by pedaling backwards rather than using hand brakes. Even some adult people will prefer to have coaster brakes as they are very early to maneuver. Keep in mind that those bikes will be a little heavier so make sure that your kid has good balance and can work a heavier bike.
Buying a Bike for a Growing Child
We all know, kids grow like crazy. That makes buying a bike quite hard as one day it will fit perfectly and another day it will be too small. That is why you need to ensure that you are getting them the perfect size bike for growing. Even though it might seem economical to get them a larger bike that they can grow into, it might not be the best idea if you get one that is too large. Make sure that you are getting them a size bigger as well as one that has an adjustable seat so they can reach the pedals once you buy it as well as in a year simply by pulling the seat up higher.
- Safety: if you buy them a bike that is too big, they won’t be able to touch the ground when they are sitting which will cause them to fall over and feel unsafe and discouraged. If the bike is too big, they won’t be able to control it, same goes if the bike is too small for them. You also don’t want them to be crunched over on the bike while they are riding it, because they will feel unstable.
Buying a Bike as a Gift
As in most cases, the bike will be a present for the kids, they won’t be involved in picking the bike. That is also why you need to ensure that you have all the knowledge about choosing the right bike as well as enough time to find the right one. As it is a surprise you won’t be able to take them to the store and measure on the spot if the bike fits them or not. That is why you need to find the right store that will help you choose the perfect one. Another thing that you need to do is ensure that you are doing it well in advance as kid’s bikes will get sold out very fast. If you don’t want to get the wrong bike, simply make it a surprise for them to come with you to the store and pick out what they would like.
Make Sure You Are Getting All The Equipment
It is very important that you remember that even a kid’s bike needs to be very visible to vehicles as well as pedestrians. Make sure that they have proper bike lights as well as a bell that they can use to warn pedestrians. Another thing that you need to get them is all the equipment like knee pads and a helmet. You can also buy them a cute water bottle along with a bike lock
A Good Quality Kids Bike Should Last For Years
As we have mentioned, getting a kid’s bike should last for a while which means that they should be able to grow into it. That is why you need to ensure that you are choosing a bike that will not only be big enough for a while but that will be able to stay sturdy enough. Make sure that the bike is premium quality so it doesn’t break easily.
Choose The Right Colour
Even though you shouldn’t choose a bike solely on the colour or the pattern, it is something that you should keep in mind when choosing it. Kids are quite picky with colours so that is why you need to ensure you are choosing the colour that they will like but also a colour that can be handed down to other kids once they outgrow it.
Choosing a bike for your kids is a very special and important part of both of your lives. You are choosing the tool that will help define their future. That is why you need to do it right and help them be confident.