17 November 2015

Tips For Buying The Right Bicycle For Your Kid

As parents, we all get caught up with the idea of teaching our kids things we used to do when we were their age. We want them to experience the sheer fun of doing things the conventional way like climbing trees, trekking, hiking, planting in our backyard, flying a kite, camping, fishing, roller skating, ice skating on the frozen pond nearby, and riding the bike.

We had so much fun doing things differently in our time. There was no complex technology to rub us off our playtime. We actually had to do things manually using our physical prowess as kids that we thought we never had. It was just simple fun that we all enjoyed.

Amongst the many activities we had during our childhood years, riding the bike is one of the most popular one. It was endless hours of riding in the village with friends, visiting cool places in the neighbourhood, or simply using the bike as a means of transportation (and a cheap one at that!) to get to school. Now, as a parent, I have also thought about teaching my kid how to ride a bike. It’s just not fun to know how to use the bike when you can ride it with such gusto! However, before jumping to a real bike and letting our kids ride it without proper knowledge and skills, lest, we are introducing our kids to biking failures and even accidents.

There are things to consider and remember before we get too excited with our plans to have tandem biking with our little ones for fun, adventure and good health. There are factors to note of and check to see if our kids are really ready for the big world of biking or we have to wait a while and see how it goes.

Here are simple tips to follow to ensure you are buying the right bicycle for your kids.

Quality of the bicycle

We tend to shortchange our family when it comes to buying them things. We always look for the easy way out by purchasing the cheapest one we can find while compromising the quality and safety aspects of the product. It is important to note that high-quality bikes with materials that are produced with great craftsmanship and care will usually command for a higher price than other bicycles that are sold cheaply. Choose quality over cost while making sure that you have read reviews from other consumers about the same brand of bicycle and how durable the materials are which can last for many years.

Safety features (including gears and brakes)

A safe and sturdy bike must have its tire air gauge, gears, brakes, lights, horns, padded seat, and pedals all in superb working condition. They must be checked, and tested, if possible to ensure that they are roadworthy.

If you plan to buy your young child a bike, you may opt to purchase one that has a balance wheel attached at the back of the wheel for balancing. 

Photo credit: dreamstine.com


Will you let your child ride his or her bike on certain terrains? If so, make sure that the shift gears are not very complex for young children to use and understand. Sometimes, it is best to stick with single speed bikes for safety reasons until your kids are a bit older to handle bikes with various shift gears and speed.

As for the brakes, there are 2 types of brakes, the coaster brake (the one that brakes at the back of the wheel when the bike is pedalled backwards) and the handle brake. Smaller kids do not have firm grip to manage a handle brake so most small bikes have coaster brakes instead. If your kid can manage to firmly grip the handle brake then it is also a wise idea to have a handle brake installed.

Size

Is your child going to be stretched while reaching for the handlebars or his or her legs will have to try reaching for the pedals in order to ride the bike? If that is the case, then it is noteworthy to select the right bicycle size for your kid’s height and reach. Kids around 4-7 years old can benefit from a small bicycle with adjustable seats, handlebars, and cranks.
Photo credit: dreamstine.com

If they are between 2-3 years old, it will be best to let them enjoy a tricycle until they move on to a more challenging bike.

Older children can ride the normal bike as long as they are still comfortable reaching for the ground when they pedal and not exerting much effort to reach for the handlebars.

Accessories

No matter what age your child is, riding a bike is an exciting thing. However, make sure you have the proper accessories your child will need when riding the bike. Consider buying these accessories for a safer ride:

Photo credit: dreamstine.com


  • Helmet
  • Elbow and kneepads
  • LED lights to attach to the bike
  • Reflectorized stickers on the bike
  • Air pump
  • Kids sunglasses





5 comments :

  1. We didn't do much biking this year but we plan to get the kids new bikes next year.

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  2. Totally agree with you. We must consider the safety of our kids. I used to be so scared when my kids had their first bicycle. I guess my parents felt the same way too when they got me mine when I was a kid.

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  3. It's nice to teach our kids what we used to play when we were little. It gives them a hint of how it was like when we were kids. Teaching them how to ride a bike would be an awesome quality time, and it's important to know which bike to buy them. Safety is definitely on top of my list of concerns. Thanks for the tips!

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  4. Oh dear, this article came way too late we already have a bicycle for our little son i guess this tips would apply on the next time we buy him a bigger one.

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  5. The tips you shared here are quite helpful, especially since we're planning to buy our son a new bike. Thanks!

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