Being able to ride a bike at a young age is one of the life’s essential skills. There’s so many different makes, types and sizes of bikes on the market that make it seem like a complicated task. Choosing the correct size of the bike is a simple process, but there is some really key point to remember. Here is what you need to know when buying a bicycle for kids.
Don’t choose a bike based on age
The first point is not to choose a bike based on age. There are all kids and small kids. So while it might provide some basic guidance, age alone is not enough to ensure that your child is going to be safe and comfortable on their new bike. The best way to choose them well is by measuring their height and inseam.
Get them to stay still for long enough standing next to a wall and rest a book on the top of their head and mark the point on the wall where it meets it. Measure it to the floor, and that is their height then measure their inseam. Place the book between your child’s legs and Nestle it snugly. Again measure the point on the wall where the book meets it, and that is the length of their inseam. If you do these two measurements, you will be able to get a much better idea of size. Most dedicated children’s bike manufacturers will list height and inseam measurements as a guide on their website.
What is the right size?
When you head to your local bike shop or the bike you’ve ordered online arrived your house how do you know that is the right size? The first thing to look at is when they are sat on the bike with one foot on the floor and one foot on the pedal at the bottom of its stroke, their knee is slightly bent. Make sure that the seat is not too low because it will make pedaling extra hard for them and it can also make balancing a bit harder – as their knees cannot move from side to side. The balance bike is slightly different so the saddle should be set that your child can get their foot flat on the floor and still have a slight bend in the knee.
Brakes, gears, and pedals
For a bike to be truly comfortable and fun to ride, you still have to pay attention to some of the other parts of the bike that are fitted explicitly for smaller people. Pay particular attention to the brakes that their hands can easily reach them and you can also look at the handlebars. ensure that they’re slightly smaller because it’s going to make them more confident on the thigh.
Make sure they can easily pull the levers on.
Look also at the cranks and the pedals because they need to be in proportion to the rest of the bike. Short cranks particularly mean that the saddle can be set at the right height, but when the pedal comes up, the knee and the hip aren’t going to have to bend too far. They can be more comfortable, and it also means the whole bike itself can be a little bit lower and still have plenty of clearance when going around corners.
Younger children should be more upright
Younger kids need to sit more upright on their bikes than older kids. That’s because their internal organs are proportionally much larger between the age of five. It’s less comfortable for them to be hunched over, plus it’s much easier to learn to ride a bike when you are sat more upright.
Don’t rush them into bigger bikes
A common mistake when getting a bike for your child is to choose a bigger bike than your child’s height. This is something most parents are guilty of.
However, we should try to steer clear this temptation because a bigger bike is far harder for them to handle and much less enjoyable to ride. It could also potentially dent their confidence, and it’s also far less safe as well. So if you have a choice between say a 16-inch wheel bike and a 20-inch wheel bike and your child is equally comfortable on either, then go for the larger wheels.
Choosing the right size of bike for your child is ultimately just about making sure that they are comfortable. Remember not to decide based on their age that younger children need to be more upright and also that every part of the bike needs to be in proportion.