Today we are going to talk about buying a kids bicycle. Under the term kids bicycle we understand two types of bikes: tricycles and bicycles.
In this post we are going to talk about bicycles, and more specifically – 5 things you should consider when buying a kids bicycle.
My first bike was given to me as a present by my parents when I was about 7 years old. I still to this day vividly remember all the positive emotions I felt at that moment.
Back then there was no such assortment of bikes to choose from, like we have today. There were no recommendations on how to make up your decision. More than that, there was no such thing as a bike sizing! Which I consider to be the most important aspect when purchasing a bicycle for your children. So for the first year that I had my bike I had to wait until I got a bit taller, cause I couldn’t reach pedals and handlebars. What a bummer that was, a brand new shiny toy just sitting in the corner, waiting for me to grow taller.
Nowadays we don’t have problems like this anymore, and there’s a great amount of information and bike assortment to choose from, so this whole process becomes science in itself, which we’ll try to figure out in this post.
- First and most important thing is bicycle size, it’s wheels diameter to be more specific. It has to correspond proportionally to hight of your child. Notice that not the age but the hight is important, because kids grow at their own pace, so the same bike size can fit a 3-year old as well as a 5-year-old.
Now lets look at size ratio:
12 inch wheels: this bike will fit a child with hight 84 to 98 centimeters( 2.7 – 3.2ft.)
14 inch wheels: from 95 to 108cm (3.1 – 3.5ft.)
16 inch wheels: from 104 to 120cm (3.4 – 3.9ft.)
18 inch wheels: from 110 to 130cm (3.6 – 4.2ft.)
20 inch wheels: from 116 to 135cm (3.8 – 4.4ft.)
A little helpful advise for the parents. If you are buying a bike in the spring-summer season then use the sizes from above. If you are buying a bike in autumn-winter season ( the child will ride it in a couple of months, half year maybe) then keep in mind that kids grow up very fast so you have to add 3-5cm (0.1 – 0.2ft) to their hight)
- After we figured out the wheel size, let’s take a look at the frame. Frames come in couple of types. It can be a sport frame, a classic frame or a woman’s frame. For little princesses it’s better to buy a “ladies” frame. It will be much more comfortable for them to get on and of the bike. For boys, on the other hand, they are much more physically active so the choice of the frame is up to parents or child(whichever frame style he likes better). Since we are already talking about the frames, this leads us to point number 3 – frame material.
- In majority of cases frames are made from either steel or aluminum. The material from which it’s made does not affect the durability it only affects weight of the bike. Aluminum bikes are around 20% lighter than steel ones, but at the same time they are 20-50% more expensive. Sometimes you can even find carbon or magnesium frames, but they are a lot more expensive. Parents keep in mind that you will be carrying the bike all the time.
- Next on our list are bike components. Chain guard: there are two types of chain guard – open and full. Preferably it has to be full. Pay attention to breaks, not all bikes come with front handbrake. There are models which come only with rear drum brake (pedal brake). Other important components are training wheels. If your child is not yet quite comfortable at balancing and turning, they might be really helpful.
I recommend that you do not forget that you are purchasing a bike for a child, so how the bike looks is very important for him or her. Things like bike bells, rubber grips, cargo racks, baskets, bottle holders and bottles, fenders, these are all things that are important as well.
- Last but not least. You have to take care about your child health. ALWAYS wear a helmet. A childs healthy back depends on the right position on a bike. Not under any circumstances the child has to lean in order to reach handlebars. Same goes for pedals, child does not have to try to reach them. Use the seat hight and handlebars angle adjustments. That way you can ensure your child right position on the bike. Straight back, while on the bike, is what you are aiming for.
Final tip for you, is that there are no bad looking bikes, but not every single good looking bicycle is qualitative. So if you are shopping at a store ask away. At least ask a dealer how to spot a high quality model from low quality one, so you won’t make an unpleasant purchase.
If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below