Most children are very fond of bicycles. Both toddlers and teenagers enjoy riding a bike! Biking is a good exercise, which is necessary for the proper development. Therefore, since the age of three, any kid should have a bike.
How to choose a high-quality and reliable bike that is perfect for your child? The main thing is to find a bike of the right size. Today the range of models is so great that one can easily choose a bike to suit any height or age.
Bike sizing for kids
What to consider when choosing a bike?
- the space between the crotch and the frame of the bike;
- the child’s position on the bike;
- the size of the wheels.
The recommended distance between the crotch and the frame
Do not order a bike for your kid online. It’s a good idea to choose a bike together with your kid and to carefully measure the space between the child’s crotch and the top bar of the frame. For this let the kid stand with the frame of the bike between his legs. The distance between the frame and the crotch should be at least 5−10 cm (2−4 inches). If the distance is smaller, it is better to look for another model of a bigger size.
The position of the child on the bike
When the child sits on the bicycle, he should easily reach the pedals with fully straightened legs. For this it’s usually enough to adjust the seat height. You should also adjust the handlebar height for the most comfortable position for your kid’s back. By the way, while spinning the kid shouldn’t touch the handlebar with his knees.
This is the right position.
The size of the wheels
Look at the chart.
|Wheel diameter (inches)||Kid’s age||Kid’s height cm|
What else to pay attention to while choosing a bike?
Your child should be able to handle with the new bicycle — to take it from the house and to bring it back. Make sure that the model you have chosen is not too heavy. The weight of the bike depends on the material, from which it is made. Aluminum bikes are great for kids.
Bicycle chain should be covered with a lid for the pants not to get into. In some models, the cover is missing, which is dangerous for children under 10.
Children under 10 don’t need bikes with gears, as they are unable to concentrate attention and watch the road and shift gears.
You kid is ready to use hand brake only if he can crush an empty lemonade can with one hand. If the child can’t do this, he is not ready to use hand brakes safely. But even five-year-olds are quite capable of using the foot brake, which is convenient and reliability.
Choosing a bicycle for 2−3-year-olds.
At this age children need bicycles with 12 inch wheels. It can be either a three-wheeled bike or a balance bike. Choose among small and definitely lightweight models.
Some three-wheeled models have a handle for the dad or mom. A tricycle will help the toddler to learn how to pedal and brake. However, the tricycle won’t teach how to keep the balancing. A balance bike perfectly copes with the task of developing a sense of balance.
Balance bicycles are ideal for your kid’s first acquaintance with the world of bikes. They are two-wheeled bikes without pedals. Their task is to teach children to keep the balance. Such bikes allow kids to develop the speed that they can cope with, without the risk of falling down. In addition, the weight of balance bicycles is quite small — up to 5 kg, which is an extra plus for parents! Most balance bikes have adjustable seats and handlebars, which means saving money, for you won’t have to buy a new bike as soon as the baby grows a bit higher.
As the bikes for 2−3-year-olds are completely different, you can buy both a three-wheeled and a balance bike for your toddler.
Some toddlers prefer scooters to bikes. Learn how to choose a scooter.
How to choose a bike for a 4-year-old?
At this age, children become bolder and more active. They want to learn to ride a «real» bike. You can choose among the four-wheeled models with a pair of «adult» 12 inch wheels and a pair of complementary training wheels that can be easily removed, when the child feels more confident on the bike. You should take care of your kid’s safety and choose among the models with covered chains, rear brake and one speed.
How to choose a bike for a 5−6-year-old?
Bicycles for 5−6-year-olds differ from those for 4-year-olds only in wheel diameter, which now is 16 inches. Some bicycles for preschoolers already have speed gears and front hand brake. It’s better to avoid such models, as they are dangerous for preschoolers. No hand brakes and gears until 10 years old! At this age complementary training wheels are usually removed.
How to choose a bike for a 7−9- year-old?
At this age no more complementary training wheels! It’s time for total freedom and mobility! Bikes for this age look very much alike «adult bikes». The best wheel diameter now is 20 inches. Still it’s better to choose a bike without speed gears.
How to choose a bike for a child aged 10−13 years?
Bikes for teenagers have wheels 24 inches in diameter. If your son or daughter is higher than 135 cm, you can already choose among adult bicycle models. Bicycles for teenagers have to 24 speeds, hand brakes — front or rear, and front shock absorber.
Safety rules for young cyclists and their parents.
- Equip your baby with everything needed for riding: bike helmet and gloves.
- If you want to remove the training wheels from the bike, do not just raise them but remove them completely, otherwise the bike will become very unstable for the kid to ride.
- Think of a warm-up before riding: without it your kid will have more injuries and sprains.
- Talk to your kid about the main road rules, about children’s rights and responsibilities on the road.