How to choose a bike for a child
Children’s bikes should be chosen according to the height and age of the child. When buying, also consider the material from which the frame is made, the number of wheels, features of the brake system and depreciation. And to be sure of your choice, give preference to bikes of well-known brands.
- Which bike manufacturers are the best
- What to look for when choosing a tricycle
- balance bike
- What to look for when choosing a balance bike
- Tips for choosing children’s bikes
Which bike manufacturers are the best
A bicycle is the real vehicle for a child. Therefore, it must be of high quality: with a solid body and reliable fasteners, a comfortable seat and steering wheel. The child should easily pedal and maneuver on the road. Bicycles from the following manufacturers meet these requirements:
- Merida is the world’s leading bicycle manufacturer. The company’s products are distinguished by excellent build quality, thoughtful design, reliable fasteners, durable housing and durability. Merida is a sponsor of cycling competitions, providing its products to professional cyclists.
- Royal baby. Bicycles of this brand are in great demand among our compatriots. They are tested for safety (crash tests) before they enter the market. Bicycles are strong, stable and reliable, you can safely buy them for small children.
- Puky – a well-known German brand that produces children’s bicycles, balance bikes and scooters. The safety and reliability of products are tested in research laboratories, and Puky’s own quality standards are stricter than international ones.
- Giant – the main competitor of Merida. In production, it uses its own patented technologies, thanks to which bicycles become more reliable, durable and light. Giant sponsors professional cyclists and provides them with their own products.
- Stels is a Russian manufacturer of bicycles. It is inferior in quality to previous brands, but is very popular in our country. Stels manufacturing facilities comply with the international quality standard ISO 9001:2011.
This is the ideal type of transport for toddlers from 1 to 3 years old. Some models can be used for children who have recently learned to sit, and for young riders who are already 4 years old.
Tricycles have a strong and simple design and, most importantly, increased stability. On such transport, the baby is unlikely to roll over or fall. With it, it will be easier for the baby to learn the basics of cycling: he will learn to pedal, maneuver and brake.
Such vehicles, as a rule, are equipped with a parent handle and have seat belts, a rain and sun visor, a comfortable backrest, footrests (needed in cases where the baby does not want to pedal), a luggage basket, etc. When the baby grows up, unnecessary structural elements are removed, and a regular tricycle is obtained.
- Reliability and sustainability.
- The presence of additional bonuses: a parental handle, sun protection, footrests, etc.
- Inconvenient location of the pedals (on the front wheel). Because of this, the legs of the child quickly get tired.
- They take up a lot of room space.
What to look for when choosing a tricycle
If the seat is plastic, it should have rubberized inserts. They are needed so that the child does not slip off his vehicle. Also look for springs under the seat. Buying a bike equipped with a seat with springs will make it easier to ride on uneven surfaces and reduce shaking.
Wheels are most commonly made from plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), and rubber. The most budget option is plastic wheels. But they do not ride well even on asphalt, they rumble loudly and are not suitable for riding on grass, sand and other uneven surfaces. PVC provides a more comfortable, quieter ride and improved abrasion resistance. PU wheels wear out faster, but they don’t make noise and reduce shaking when rolling on pavement. The best option for a bicycle are rubber inflatable wheels. They provide good cushioning and are suitable for off-road use. They also have a negative side – they can be pierced.
Wheel diameter also affects ride comfort. The larger the rear wheels, the easier it is for the child to ride on uneven pavement, tiles, etc.
Tricycles are equipped with a straight handlebar and a handlebar with curved handles. A straight steering wheel is usually installed on inexpensive models, but it is not very convenient. Therefore, it is better to choose a steering wheel with a lift – with its help, it will be easier for the baby to cope with his vehicle.
The frame on a tricycle can be plastic, aluminum or steel. Aluminum and steel structures are considered the most reliable, but steel models are much heavier than aluminum ones. Plastic frames are the lightest, but have low strength. Therefore, it is best to choose structures made of aluminum.
balance bike This is a bicycle without pedals. Therefore, the child has to ride it, pushing off the ground with his feet. It can be used for children 2-5 years old. It is quite easy to drive, accelerates well and is suitable for driving on uneven surfaces.
Running a balance bike teaches a child to keep balance and not fall, so children who have successfully mastered this vehicle can change to a two-wheeled bicycle, “bypassing” three-wheeled and four-wheeled models.
- Little weight.
- The child quickly learns to keep balance.
- Easy to transport in public transport.
- High permeability.
- Instability. The child may fall.
- Parents cannot control the speed of riding.
What to look for when choosing a balance bike
Handlebar and seat
Balance bikes come with adjustable and non-adjustable saddles and/or handlebars. Models with a non-adjustable saddle are suitable only for toddlers, but when the child grows up, he cannot use his favorite transport. Limited handlebar height also shortens the life of the model. So choose balance bikes with seat and handlebar adjustment that will grow with your child.
Just like with tricycles, an aluminum frame is the best option. For the smallest, plastic models are also suitable, which can be easily lifted and transported. Premium balance bikes can have a carbon fiber (carbon) frame. This material has high strength and reliability, it is light and durable.
When choosing a balance bike, you need to take into account its weight, since the child will carry it over the curbs, lift it up the stairs, and carry it with him. Therefore, do not buy models heavier than 3 kilograms for children under 2 years old, and models heavier than 4 kilograms for 2-3 year old babies.
These models are designed for children 3-7 years old. They are a design that is as close as possible to two-wheeled vehicles. Bicycles have two main and two additional wheels, the latter help the child to keep balance. When the baby begins to ride confidently, the balancing wheels are dismantled.
Such models are equipped with comfortable pedals, so the child can ride such a bike for a long time and not get tired.
- The kid easily masters the control of the bike and keeps the balance.
- Some bikes have a removable parent handle.
- You can adjust the height of the saddle and handlebars as your child grows.
- Big sizes. Takes up a lot of space indoors, not suitable for transportation in public transport and car.
- Not designed for uneven surfaces.
Two-wheeled models are small copies of adult bicycles. They are designed for school-age children (starting from 6-8 years old) who already know how to balance. They have a wide range of models, good depreciation and several speeds.
- Good cross-country ability and maneuverability.
- Wide price range.
- Large selection of models.
- It is difficult for a child to learn to ride a two-wheeled bicycle if he has not previously had a balance bike or four-wheel / three-wheel models.
Tips for choosing children’s bikes
- When buying a vehicle for a child, pay attention to the diameter of the wheels. The patency of the model will depend on it. The larger the wheel, the better the bike rides on uneven surfaces.
- The wheels must also be appropriate for the height of the young rider. For example, for kids below 98 cm, models with a wheel diameter of 12 inches or 30 cm are suitable, and for children 98-115 cm – 16 inches or 40 cm. For children under 9 years old, whose height is 115-130 cm, you should choose a diameter in 20 inches or 50 cm, and for students over 10 years old and above 130 cm – 24 inches or 61 cm.
- For small children, choose models with a foot brake. A child under 6 years of age is unlikely to be able to use the handbrake, as its handles are still too weak.
- Choose models equipped with a bell and reflective elements. If they don’t come with the bike, buy them separately.
- Make sure that the bicycle (two-wheeled and four-wheeled) is equipped with a protective pad for the handlebars. It will protect the child during sudden braking and will not get hurt on the hard steering part.
- Choose durable bikes made from materials such as steel (for schoolchildren) or aluminum (for kids of all ages). Models made of plastic will suit only the smallest riders.
In the next article, our experts will tell you how to choose the right scooter for your child.
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Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.