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 the child. Riding a bicycle enthralls all children without exception, perfectly develops muscles and a sense of balance, allows you to gain the respect of other children and find new friends.
So, you have decided to get a kids bike for your kid. There are so many bike options ranging from balance bikes for the very young to youth mountain bikes. But with so many choices, how do you know you’re buying the best kids bike? Before you start shopping for a kids bike, it’s good to consider some essential factors that will make this process easier.
When choosing a kids bike, size that the child will ‘grow into’ is not an option, although at it may seem like a great solution for the family budget. Top priority things to consider while looking for a kids’ bike are:
Your child should stand comfortably on the bike with both feet on the ground and should easily reach the pedals, handlebar and breaks when seated. Otherwise, kid won’t be able to stop and direct the bike in the right direction. A bike that is too small will cause hitting the knees on handlebar, making the bike unstable and out of control.
Kids bike that is not fit properly obviously will cause riding difficulty and won’t bring fun experience to your child.
If you don’t have the extra money to get a new bike every time your kid grows, there are still some options to ensure your kids enjoys safe riding. You may look for a shop in your area that sells used kids bikes for affordabe price. Any option is good as long as it’s not the wrong size of the kids’ bike.
What Size Bike Do I Need to Look for My Child?
The first thing to remember that kids bike is measured by the size of the wheel, not by the size of the frame (as bikes for adults).
You may want to use Kids’ Bike Sizing below. Although the table has approximate age of the rider, using child’s height and inseam (measures inside leg) is much more accurate.
The list below describes the bicycles and their characteristics . As I have already mentioned earlier, a parent should choose the bicycle primarily guided by the height of the child.
Balance bike is the number one for the youngest and beginner riders. These bicycles help kids to learn first bicycle skills – control coordination and balance. Balancing bikes have no pedals, consists of wheels and frame. Due to this, they have a lightweight, and the child quickly learns the skills of driving. Brakes of the balance bike are kids’ feet. It is easy for a child to brake and not afraid to learn how to ride a bike. And accordingly, it is easier for the child to move to a bik with pedals.
Approximate age: 2-4 years
BABY BALANCE Bike
ANCAIXIN Baby Balance Bike
JOYSTAR Kids Balance Bike
12-INCH AND 14-INCH BICYCLES
Baby Balance Bike
If you compare 12-inch and 14-inch bikes you will see that they are not different from each other. Choosing among these two bikes likely depends on your budget and brands. By the way, 12-inch bicycles are more popluar.
These bikes are designed for children who are 30-44 inches tall. As a rule, 12-inch bicycles are a child’s first bike if the child has not ridden a balance bike before. It is advisable to choose a bicycle with simple designs, without suspensions, or a rear handbrake. It makes it easier for a child to learn how to ride a bike.
You can buy a bike with training wheels and a rear coaster brake for children who have difficulty balancing. Some models come with a front handbrake. Often a 2-4-year-old child may not have the strength to control the hand brake fully. But having a handbrake and practicing trying to apply it is an essential part of learning. Later, kids will clearly understand that they can use the handbrake to slow the bike down.
Frame for these bikes usually made of two materials: steel or aluminum. Aluminum frames are more expensive. It is lighter in weight and resistant to rust. Therefore, if you plan to pass the bike to a younger child later on, it is better to buy a bicycle made of aluminum.
Approximate age: 3-5 years.
JOYSTAR 12” 14” Kids Cruiser Bike with Training Wheels
RoyalBaby Kids Bike 12” 14” Bike
16-INCH AND 18-INCH BICYCLES
As in the case of 12-inch and 14-inch bicycles, 16-inch and 18-inch bicycles have almost no difference. These models still include training wheels and rear brakes. More common lever-operated hand brakes are added because the child is already developing enough strength by this age to use such a brake mechanism for its intended purpose.
When shopping for a bike, make sure the handbrake lever fits your child’s hand.
Approximate age: 4-6 years.
JOYSTAR Totem Kids Bike 18” with Caliper Brake & Kickstand
Schwinn Elm Girls Bike for Toddlers and Kids 16′ 18′
Titan Girl’s Flower Princess BMX Bike 16”
Kids bikes 20-inchm wheels are the most popular. After all, at this stage, riding a bicycle already looks like an adventure. Speed and freedom give children a lot of fun.
It is from this size of wheels, and the approximate age of 6-10 years, bicycles are already divided into mountain bikes, road bikes, and BMX*.
*A BMX bike is an off-road sport bicycle used for racing and stunt riding. BMX means Bicycle Motocross” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMX_bike#:~:text=A%20BMX%20bike%20is%20an,BMX%20means%20Bicycle%20Motocross.
20-inch mountain bikes are already similar to adult bikes, but the suspension and a few gears are reduced in a kid’s bike. A simple mechanism on the handlebars controls the gears on a children’s bike. An important tip would be only to take a child’s bike with front suspension, as the rear suspension is designed for more experienced riders. In addition, the rear suspension increases the weight of the bike, and this is not the best option for children’s riding.
20-inch BMX bikes have a simple design, are highly durable.
20-inch road bikes are equipped with lightweight frames for high-speed riding, hand brakes, and lowered handlebars.
Approximate age: 6-10 years old
Brave Very Pink Freestyle BMX Kids 2” Bicycle
Hiland 20 inch Kids Mountain Bike with Dual Handbrakes, Kick Stand
24-inch bikes are usually your child’s “last kid’s bike.
The characteristics of these bikes are already as similar to adult bikes as possible. Mountain bikes have more gears and are already equipped with disc or rim brakes that are hand-operated.
Road bikes have more gears, lightweight frames, and studded tires.
Approximate age: 8-12 years old.
Hiland 24 Inch Mountain Bike for Teenager with Shimano 7-Speed Suspension Fork V Brake Bicycle
In addition I suggest you LEARN HERE interesting tips and tricks about children’s bicycles and everything that is related to kids bikes.