Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Your Child Their First Bike
Owning and riding their first bike are among the most important and unforgettable milestones in a child’s life. Kids adore and love bikes. If you look back on your childhood memories, you could still probably remember the first bike you owned and how you learned to ride it. In fact, for many kids, having their own bike is a rite of passage.
Things to Consider When Buying Your Child’s First Bike
Excited to grab a bike for your kid? There are things that you must consider before visiting your favourite bike shop and choosing a bike for your child. You can’t simply buy a bike because your toddler wants it, or because it had the face of your child’s favourite cartoon character.
There are key things that you must consider for your child’s safety and comfort. Here are some of them.
1. Choose a bike that is appropriate for your child’s height and age.
Using only your child’s height as an indicator of the type of bike to buy is not enough. You also need to consider your child’s age and his ability to balance. You’d know if you have bought the right bike for your kid if he or she could do the following:
- Sit on the saddle with his or her feet on the ground.
- Reach the handlebars with ease while sitting on the bike’s seat.
- Reach and apply pressure on the hand brakes with ease while sitting.
2. Choose a bike that is easy to manoeuvre.
Choose one that is made for your child’s age. Some bikes can be challenging to manoeuvre, but a child’s bike is light enough for him to handle with ease.
Choose bikes with lighter materials, such as aluminium, over steel ones. If you are having difficulty lifting a bike, then your child will also find it heavy and difficult to control.
A lightweight bike is ideal for kids, especially those who are just new with bikes. Never choose a bike that is more than half their weight. It would be hard for them to take control of the bike when riding around corners and up and down hilly roads.
Aside from the material, it would help if you also choose one that is designed for a child. A bike with a low step-through frame lets your child get on and off his bike easily, which is especially crucial for children who are just learning how to ride with their first bike.
3. Choose the right type of bike for your kid’s age and ability.
Depending on how old your child is, you might get him a different bike if you get it at a later age. That’s because as your child gets older, the appropriate bike type for them differs with age.
As your child grows older, you may still adjust the seat of his bike and the stem of the handlebar.
Here are the types of bikes that are appropriate to certain ages of a child.
- Tricycles – Recommended for children aged two to four years old, tricycles allow your ring riders to develop their strength, coordination and balance safely.
- Balance Bikes – Balance bikes are ideal for children who are older than two years old. They allow kids to ride a two-wheel bike without actually needing to pedal it to move. They just need to push off with their feet to get the bike to start to move. It helps them develop their strength, balance, and coordination, gearing them to ride a bike soon.
- Trailer Bikes – Recommended for children between ages 4 to 7 years old, a trailer bike is a two-wheeled bike with trainer wheels. It allows the child to go on longer rides with his friends or with the rest of the family. Trailer bikes will enable them to practice stepping on the bike pedals.
You can also base your choice on the wheel diameter. Here is a guide that matches the child’s age to the bike’s wheel diameter.
4. Your child’s safety is top priority.
Make sure that your child is easily visible on the streets. Let them wear clothes with high-visibility so pedestrians can see them. Attach some bike lights on their bikes to make them more visible, especially to other drivers.
You can also put chainguards on your child’s bike to protect his legs from tears and cuts. Before they go on a ride, make sure that the brakes are working. Better yet, ride with them for their safety and your peace of mind.
- Children aged 4 to 5 years old – Wheel diameter of 12 to 14 inches, usually with training wheels.
- Children aged 6 years old – Wheel diameter of 16 inches, with hand brakes or coaster brakes.
- Children aged 7 to 8 years old – Wheel diameter of 20 inches, with hand brakes.
- Children aged 9 years old and up – Wheel diameter of 24 inches, with the same features as an adult bike.
When Should You Buy Your Child a Bike?
Do not just buy your child his first bike because your neighbour got one for their kid. Introduce your child to riding a bike by letting him ride a child seat or a pull-along for kids when you go cycling. This will get them acquainted with riding on two wheels. Watch out for your child’s sense of balance and coordination. Some toys are aimed at developing your child’s gross motor skills. Once you see that your child has a sense of balance and can keep himself upright, he might be ready for his first bike.
Visit Stead Cycles for Your Bike Needs in NSW.
Stead Cycles is a family-owned bike shop in Maitland. We offer only the best and branded bikes for adults and kids alike, and we have a wide range of bikes and bike accessories to meet your cycling needs.
Visit us or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you with your needs and concerns.