A bicycle is an indispensable attribute of childhood, because it is not just a fun toy, it is an important step in the development of dexterity, endurance and independence of a child. Riding a bike is a complete delight for all kids without exception, perfectly develops muscles and a sense of balance, allows you to gain the respect of other children and make new friends.
Experts do not recommend buying bicycles in tents in the market, in a toy store and other “non-specialized” places. Most often, low-quality components are used in such bicycles: the bushings will begin to creak at the slightest ingress of water, the wheels will go “eight” when hitting the first bump.
Which children's bike is best for a child?
Depending on the height and age of the baby, kids bikes with different wheel sizes are suitable for him. So bicycles with 12-inch wheels are designed for babies up to 3 years old who are just starting their journey in mastering a bicycle, bicycles with 14 and 16-inch wheels are suitable for children from 3 to 5 years old, and bicycles with 18 and 20-inch wheels will fit boys and girls from 5 to 9 years old. 24-inch wheels are already a teenage standard (9-12 years old). Models for older kids and teens tend to be equipped with entry-level "adult" attachments to help kids get used to shifting and braking properly. Now, knowing the intricacies of choosing a bike for your child, you can proceed to a more detailed analysis.
Three-wheeled children's bicycles are models for the smallest cyclists from 1 year old. The stability of the landing provides the safest ride, thanks to which the baby will be able to master the basics of pedaling and steering without fear of losing balance and falling. Some tricycles are equipped with additional accessories: fenders, toy basket, parent handle, 2nd child scuffs, etc. The frame of such bicycles is as low as possible, which helps the baby to climb onto the bike on his own.
Children's bicycles without pedals are called balance bikes, and they are designed for babies from 1 year old. Children really like to ride them, because at this age, pushing off the ground with their feet is easier and more fun than pedaling. Sitting in the saddle, the child will learn to steer and balance, which means it will be easier for him to master a real bicycle. Balance bikes are very safe, because the baby almost does not take his feet off the ground and can stop the movement at any time. Such bicycles appeared relatively recently, but have already gained strong popularity around the world.
Bicycles with a handle combine the advantages of a bicycle and a pram. Thanks to the parental handle, you can carry the bike every time the baby gets tired of pedaling or just use such models for the first time as a stroller. Thus, such models are great for family leisure and joint walks. On some models, umbrellas from rain and sun are installed, and there are brake buttons on the handles themselves.
Bicycles with extra wheels are great for teaching balance while riding and providing extra safety when braking. The side casters will help your child overcome their fear of a new outdoor activity, because with them the bike does not fall on its side, even if it is standing still. And when the child feels more confident on the bike, they can be removed and further training becomes easier.
How to choose a bike for the height of the child
So, let's start choosing. It must be remembered that the smaller your child, the simpler the model he needs, and as the son or daughter grows up, more complex and faster bikes are required. The main thing is that the kid himself was comfortable riding. It is better to avoid situations when the child has not yet grown up to the bike he rides, or vice versa, has grown out of it. Knowing the height, you can easily choose the right size bike for the diameter of the wheels and, accordingly, the frame.
The easiest way to find out if a bike is right for your child is to place your child over the frame in front of the saddle so that the saddle rests on the coccyx and the frame is between the legs. The minimum distance between the crotch and the frame should be at least five, and preferably ten centimeters. In this case, the child will not be hit by jumping off the bike during hard braking. Check that while sitting on the bike, the baby easily reaches the pedal with his foot, and his leg is fully extended when the pedal is in the lower position. If not, adjust the height and angle of the saddle.
If your baby is just learning to ride, you can lower the saddle to the lower position so that when he stops, he can easily put his feet on the ground. When the rider feels more confident, be sure to raise the saddle to the correct position, otherwise the load will be distributed unevenly.
Features of teen bikes
Teenage bicycles are called bicycles for children aged 9 to 14 years and up to 150 cm tall. but more like adults: there is a transmission with gear shifting, disc brakes, etc. But at the same time, the size of the saddle and pedals, the width of the steering wheel, and the length of the frame will be suitable for the child.
Typically, teen bikes come with 24" wheels, but models with 26" wheels can be found. It will be more difficult for a teenager of 130-150 cm to spin such large wheels, but they will keep rolling longer and hide road bumps.
Often teenagers prefer BMX instead of classic bikes. These bikes with small wheels (20”) are designed for stunt riding on special tracks, ramps, pump tracks. A pleasant factor for parents is that such bicycles are on average cheaper than ordinary ones. And to make riding them safe, you need to take care of purchasing protective equipment: a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads.
All in all
And in conclusion, let's summarize and highlight the most important factors when choosing a bike for a child:
- the bike is suitable for growth;
- like the child;
- the type of brake (foot or hand) is convenient for your child;
- you are satisfied with the price.
Secondary factors (determine for yourself if this is important to you):
- the bike is not too heavy;
- there is depreciation (if you want it to be);
- there is a speed switch (if you want it to be);
- the pedals hold the sole well;
- have the necessary accessories.