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What Should I Look For In A Kids Bike?
Every kid deserves to feel the freedom, the speed and the wind in their hair while learning a lifelong skill in the ability to ride a bicycle. It's not only a fun way to excercise but a favourite past time for kids of all ages. Shopping for your kid's first bike is a necessary purchase; it will make or break their cycling experience, which can be unclear.
There are plenty of things to consider before buying your child's first bicycle, but take a deep breath and relax. We're about to help you evaluate your kid's bicycle options and provide the down-low on how to choose the best bicycle for your child.
1. Age and height
Each child is different; some will have a natural curiosity and taking to cycling. In contrast, others will be apprehensive; children will begin cycling at different ages and various heights, which should be your first consideration when picking a bicycle.
Depending on your child's current height, you may want to use this as a measurement for the bicycle and one that can adjust. To give you room for the child to grow into the bike over time without replacing it any time soon.
Age and height are an excellent indicator for the type of bicycle but has absolutely no indicator of ability or confidence.
2. Ability and confidence
When children feel comfortable with a bike, they find a more significant deal of control and learning comes to a lot easier. Of course, this comes at a cost, children with a natural aptitude will not need much to get the hang of riding, whereas the less confident ones will see it as a daunting task will require bikes with more safety precautions and perhaps a lighter frame.
The great thing about these safety measures such as guiding wheels, and less reactive steering and breaks, means you can always adjust them as your child gains more control and confidence. Spending more on a bike that has more features may not only give your child the boost they need to master cycling but its something they can grow into and use once they've established the skill of riding.
3. Physical fit
You can judge if a bike is the correct size if your child can:
- Sit on the saddle and rest the balls of both feet on the ground.
- Straddle the top bar with a comfortable clearance and with both feet flat on the floor.
- Reach the handlebars with a slight bend in the arms when sitting on the seat.
- If there are handbrakes, your child should be able to grasp them and apply enough pressure to stop the bike.
That is why you need to gauge the length at which the bicycle can be adjusted since your child grows, you can raise the seat post and handlebar stem according to the length limits.
4. Bike weight
Would you feel comfortable hauling a frame that is half your weight? The heavier the bike, the more effort your child will need to put into to maintain its balance and to propel it forward as well as manoeuvre it around corners or up and down a curb.
Try to find lightweight frames for your child and allow them to test the bike they feel most comfortable with instead of trying to guess which weight they'll be comfortable with learning
5. Specific design
The difference in the girls or boys shape design has no impact on functionality. Certain bicycles designed for girls tend to have a lower step-through, but this is an advantage for most young riders as it is easier to get on and off. The design and colour is more a preference for your child; you could go with whatever design or colour you think your child would prefer.
Buying a child's bike isn't a cheap prospect, and you also need to think of the time value of the purchase. You need to think about how long your child will be comfortable using this bicycle and if it can accommodate their growing body. If you do not have a bike that ergonomically matches your child, it could cause severe discomfort and hurt your child or lead to accidents.
7. Re-sale or reusability
Perhaps your child is the eldest in the family and has siblings or cousins, then making sure you purchase a high-quality bicycle can be an investment that continues to have utility value once the eldest child has outgrown it. It can be passed down to siblings, cousins or even friends, so having a neutral design and colour makes it easier to pass on to any child, or resell it on a classified website.
8. Training wheels, bike stands and accessories
We all like to kit out our toys with accessories and bicycles are no different, sure if your child isn't too phased with their bike and would just like to ride a standard frame is perfectly fine. However, some kids may value having things like training wheels, kickstands, baskets, tassels, racks, or water bottle holder.
9. Chain guards are a lifesaver
Bikes have many a moving part, of which kids can quickly get themselves caught on, one of them being the chain. A chainguard will protect little hands and legs from the bike chain, keeping your child from injury and reducing the chance of their clothing being dirtied or worse ripped.
10. Getting them into gear
Naturally, if your child is starting out, they would need a simple bicycle and one set of gears is all they should need to master at this sage. As your child becomes stronger and more confident, they're going to want to take on inclines, and tougher terrain and of course gears make this job a lot easier.
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If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is sports.
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