You may be feeling overwhelmed or you simply may just not know where to start when it comes to buying a bike for your kid.
What size bike do you need and what type of bike style is best for your child? There are several factors that need to be considered when buying a bike for your child, especially a younger child who is just learning how to ride.
You want your child to be safe while riding the bike and you also want them to have a good experience and have fun. You can get everything out of a bike you want for your child if you know how to shop for the right bike.
Here are 3 important tips to consider before you buy your child a bike.
Buy the Right Size Bike for Your Child
It can be really tempting to want to buy a bike for your child that is a little on the big side or something that they can “grow into.” But, resist that urge and instead make sure to buy a bike that is the right size for them right now.
If you buy a bike that it too big for your kid, it can be a safety issue especially if they are unable to firmly touch the ground with their feet while riding the bike.Bike riders should be able to have flat feet on the ground while sitting on the seat.
Also, you may find that a bike that is too large for your child makes it too hard to properly steer or turn because they are too far away from the handlebars.
If you are wondering what size bike your child needs you will have to measure his inseam and then determine which bike is the best fit.
Check out my article on determining the right size bike for your kid.
Buy a Quality, Durable Bike for Your Child
If you are on a small budget or you simply want to save some money, you may just head out to your local discount store and pick up the cheapest bike you find. This isn’t always the best idea as most of the time you will find these bikes are made of quality, durable materials that help keep your child safe.
At a local discount store you aren’t going to have someone there to help you figure out if the bike is the right style for your child as well as the differences in the types of bikes. This means it is important to do your research before buying any type of bike.
You may find that a lot of cheaper kid’s bikes are quite heavy because they are made of steel. Keep this in mind as it can be a lot more difficult to ride a bike that weighs more than half than you do rather than a lightweight bike that is easy to steer and handle.
You don’t have to spend $200 on a kid’s bike to find a quality one, but you may have to pay a bit more than what you would expect. For example, you can find one of the best bikes for a 5 year old for a lot less than $200.
And remember with any type of kid’s bike, make sure that it is properly put together and everything is secure before your child rides the bike.
Choose the Right Brake Style for Your Child’s Ability
When buying a bike for your child a really important feature to look at is the brake type.
With kid’s bikes you are either going to have a hand brake or coaster brakes on the bike. A hand brake is just like it sounds with the brakes being controlled by a lever on the handlebars. A coaster brake is one that is controlled by the back wheels and pedaling backwards on the bike.
If your child is a beginner, you are going to want to go with a bike that has coaster brakes or at least a combination of both. You will find that little hands may not be strong enough or have enough dexterity to apply a hand brake when they are first learning to ride.
As your child gets older you should get them used to handbrakes with either a bike that offers both types of brakes or transition them to a bike that only has handbrakes.
Of course, even with these tips for buying a bike for your child you can’t always ensure that your child won’t get hurt while riding, which makes having a properly fitting bike helmet so important for children.
If you are looking for more tips on buying a bike for your child check out the International Bicycle Fund for a load of information about bike’s for kids as well as for adults.