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Most young children receive a tricycle, or small bicycle – equipped with training wheels – at quite an early age. This interest often stays for many years to come and can even lead to cycling on a competitive level. Whatever ‘journey’ your child decides to take with cycling, getting everything right from the outset makes all the difference.
Most children are not really ready to begin riding a two-wheeler bike without training wheels until they are around five years of age, as it takes time for them to develop sufficient physical coordination, balance, and the right mental attitude. Getting on and off the bike can also be difficult for them early on. You should never push your child to do this until they are ready, as all children are different.
What to Consider When Choosing The Best Kids Bike?
There are a number of factors to consider before purchasing a best kids bike. It is definitely not something, which your child should have to ‘grow into’. It should be the correct size from the beginning – a bike, which is too big, could be very dangerous. You will need to consider the height of your child too and decide how long the bike is likely to last – seat posts and handle stems can be adjusted as the child grows. There is also a huge choice of best kids bikes available, so choosing the right colour, make and type can be a very difficult task indeed.
Wheel Size Matters
Children’s bike sizes are determined by wheel diameter, not seat height and frame size. Ideally, you should always take your child along with you when choosing the best kids bike, even if you do want to purchase one as a present. Bike shops are usually very good at keeping them for you until required if it is for a Christmas or birthday present.
Your child should be able to sit on the bike seat with their hands on the handlebars and place the balls of their feet on the ground. They should also be able to mount and dismount the bike easily and straddle the center bar of the bike comfortably whilst keeping both feet flat on the ground.
Pay Attention to Safety Features
One of the most important mechanical parts of the best kids bike is the brakes. Depending on the type and size of the bike, it will have either coaster or handbrakes. Coaster brakes are located on the back wheel of the bike and are engaged by pedaling backward. These are generally found on the smallest children’s bikes, as young children have small hands and are not strong enough to use handbrakes safely. Handbrakes are engaged by gripping on the handlebars and pinch the brake pads against the rim of the wheel. These are found on larger bikes.
Many of the larger bikes with handbrakes have multi-speeds with a derailleur (a gear that lifts the chain from one sprocket wheel to another). Best kids bike with a derailleur should have chain guards, which are an important safety issue, preventing laces, trousers, etc from getting caught up in the chain.
You need to inspect the bike frame carefully too. They are generally made to be strong enough to withstand a moderate amount of abuse. You will probably find that the heaviest bikes are usually the cheapest and are made from steel. The lighter bikes are made of alloy metals, which is lighter to maneuver and works better on the wheels in conjunction with the brakes. Whichever type you choose; make sure that all nuts and bolts are tight and secure.
Where to purchase?
Although it is a good idea to look around a variety of places before deciding on a best kids bike, think carefully about your final place of purchase. Bikes come flat packed in boxes and require assembling and tuning. It is, therefore, better to choose a shop, which specialises in bikes and has experienced staff on hand to assemble your bike correctly for you.
Many of them will also be able to offer you an on-site repair department – should you have any problems once you have purchased your bike. For online shopping, Amazon has the many great deals for best kids bike (often with a free shipping).
It may also be worth considering a second hand bike for your child, as they do grow very quickly. You could even manage to find one, which is virtually new and costs much less than purchasing a new model. You will, of course, need to be very careful when looking at second bikes, to ensure that they are in good working order.
If you do purchase one, it may be worth taking it to a place that repairs and services bikes before your child rides it.
Don’t Forget About Kids Bike Helmet!
Another very important point to remember when purchasing a bike is that you must also buy a kids bike helmet. You should ideally get one for your child when they purchase their very first bike, so that it becomes an essential item associated with the bike. There are a number of other accessories available too, to suit all ages, ranging from simple bells to hydration systems.
Cycling is a very healthy and worthwhile activity and something, which the whole family can enjoy, from short bike rides to cycling holidays. The younger you get your child interested, the more likely they will continue to enjoy cycling for many years to come.