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What to Look For in Children's Bikes

Children’s Bikes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock - A young child riding a bike

Buying a new bike for your child needs special attention. The right choice can introduce them to a sport that they can spend a lifetime loving and the wrong choice can put them off cycling and lead to buyer’s remorse. With a wide range of options available, it can be difficult to narrow down your search, especially since there’s a lot more than just age to consider. In this article, we’re making this easy for you by telling you exactly what to look for in children’s bikes.

Size

When it comes to buying bikes for children, it’s vital you don’t fall into the trap of buying one your child will grow into. Purchasing a bike that is too big for your child will make it more difficult to ride and can ruin the experience. It’s important to remember that as a bike’s size increases, so does its weight. For a young child, this can make manoeuvring the bike extremely difficult.

Unlike adult bikes which are measured by the frame, children’s bikes are measured by wheel size. While you can use age and height recommendations as guides, the best way to measure fit is to try the bike out in person.

Type of Bike

The type of bike you choose for your child should reflect the type of cycling that they’re most likely to do. If the majority of their cycling is going to be on the road, you shouldn’t get them a mountain bike. Similarly, if they’re going to be cycling across muddy trails, a road bike isn’t the best option for them. If you’re unsure about the type of cycling they’re going to a do, buying a hybrid is a good choice.

Materials

The materials used in the construction of the bike affect durability, price, and weight. Most children’s bikes are made from aluminium and steel. While steel is durable and cost-effective, it’s much heavier than aluminium and more prone to rust. Aluminium is not only light, but also durable and resistant to rust, making it great for bikes for children. However, it comes at a higher cost. Titanium is another lightweight option to consider when buying children’s bikes.

Weight

When it comes to children’s bikes, the lighter the better, especially if you have younger children. Even if the difference isn’t significant to you, it will be to the child. The weight of the bike depends on not only material, but also tyres and additions such as brakes and suspensions. A good rule of thumb is to keep the total weight of the bike under 50% of the child’s weight.

Seat Height

This is another important factor to look at, especially since the tyre size is not an indicator of seat height. Seat height for children’s bikes starts at 10 inches and can go up to 40 inches. This is best measured by asking the child to stand over the seat and ensure that there’s 1-2 inches of clearance in case of injuries.

Therefore, when buying a children’s bike, there are many different factors to take into consideration. While size and price are always considerations, it’s important not to forget safety and comfort. 

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