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How To Buy A Bike For Your Child?
KIDS BIKE SIZING AND BEST BIKES FOR KIDS
So, your child is interested in bikes - time to welcome your little one into the sport you love! Whether your child is just three years old and ready for their first bike, or they're ready to explore roads or trails, we have put together a few tips to make buying your child a bike a little less confusing.
Unlike bicycles for adults, children’s bikes are not sized based on the frame height or length. Instead, they are offered in sizes based on wheel size. Below is a chart you can use to determine the approximate size your child would need. Although children who are taller for their age may be able to size up to a larger wheel, they may not be as well equipped to deal with other changes as the bikes get larger: like multiple gears and hand brakes instead of coaster brakes. Sizing charts are a good place to start when choosing a bike for your child, but not a definitive answer. Once your child is over 4’10” (147 cm), they can ride an adult size bike with 26, 27.5, 29 or 700c wheels.
Your Kid's First Bike: Balance Bike VS Training Wheels
When you go to purchase your child’s first bike, you will have three options: tricycle, training wheels or balance bike. What’s the difference? We will break it down for you:
Tricycle: A bicycle with three wheels! Children’s tricycles are usually very low to the ground and therefore very stable. However, unlike a bicycle, trikes do not develop the skill of balance and are a bit hard to maneuver. They sure are cute though!
Training Wheels: An add-on part that can be attached to a two-wheeled bike. For a lot of parents, this is how you learned to ride a bike. Training wheels sound like a great deal because the child can learn to ride with the training wheels on and when the time comes to pop the training wheels off, you have a regular bike. The downside of training wheels is that the child does not learn to balance, but instead relies on those extra wheels like a crutch. Training wheels can also be a bit unstable for young riders.
Balance Bikes: With only two wheels and no pedals, these bikes require the child to sit on the saddle, scoot, and balance. Many resources say balance is the hardest part of learning to ride, so transferring to a pedal bike is easier for children that start out on a balance bike.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your family. Your local bike shop can also help you make the right decision for your child.