Home Blog The Key Tips For Choosing a Child’s Bicycle

The Key Tips For Choosing a Child’s Bicycle

by Aiza

Are you looking for the perfect bicycle for your child but don’t know where to start? When looking for a bike you should ensure that is age-appropriate, the right size and has all the right safety features like brakes and training wheels if necessary. Here is a guide to choosing the right bike for your child.

What are children’s bicycles?

Children’s bicycles are bicycles made for children. There are 3 main sizes that are suitable for children. One that is appropriate for kids up to 140 cm tall (approximately up to 9 years old). Teenagers — up to 150 cm tall or up to 13 years old.

There are also bicycles for younger children such as tricycles, balance bikes and training bikes.

How to choose the size of a child’s bicycle by height

Buying a children’s bike “for growth” is a bad idea. Riding a big bike is not only inconvenient but also unsafe. The saddle on most models can be adjusted in height, but the size of the bike itself is determined by the frame, and it needs to be selected according to the height of the child.

Knowing the height, you can easily choose the right size of the bike by the diameter of the wheels and, accordingly, the frame:

Here is a general guide based on height and age:

  • From 1 to 3 years old with a height of 80-100 cm — wheels 12”;
  • From 3 to 5 years old with a height of 90-120 cm — wheels 14” or 16”;
  • From 5 to 9 years old with a height of 110-140 cm — wheels 18” or 20”;
  • From 9 to 13 years old with a height of 130-150 cm — 24” wheels (teenage bicycles);
  • If your child is taller, you can pick up teenage models on 26” wheels (for example, this one), or choose among adult bicycles.

How do I check if the bike fits in size?

Ask the young rider to “ride” the bike and stand over the frame. They should be able to reach the floor with both feet and comfortably reach the handlebars.

The position of the saddle can affect the health of the cyclist’s knees. The correct height of the saddle is when the child reaches the heel of the fully straightened leg to the pedal in its lower position. At the same time, the leg should not be completely straightened with normal rotation of the pedals, the knee should remain slightly bent.

If the child is still learning to ride, you can lower the saddle to the lower position so that when he stops, he can easily put his feet on the ground. When the rider feels more confident, be sure to lift the saddle into the correct position.

Now that you have decided on the size of the bike, you can choose a specific model.

What a childhood without a bicycle! – right, boring. A bicycle for kids is great not only for physical health but also as a means of social development, for playing with peers.

However, choosing the right children’s bike for your beloved child is not such a simple task. We will try to give you some tips on the correct selection of a children’s bike.

First of all, I would like to say the following – the main thing when choosing bicycles in general, is the safety of the bike and suitability to the child rather than the appearance of the bike.

Remember that children are just learning to ride, they have a less developed sense of danger than adults, they downplay the danger, and they are ready for more dangerous tricks than adults.

A Technical Guide to Choosing the Right Size Bike.

The selection of a bicycle should begin based on the growth of the child. It determines the diameter of the wheels and the height of the frame. There is an approximate formula for selecting the diameter of the wheel: the child’s height should be divided by 2.5 and again by 2.54 (in 1 inch 2.54 cm) For example: if the child’s height is 120 cm, we get – 120 /2,5 / 2,54 = 18.9 inches. Therefore, you need to choose a bike with a wheel diameter of 18 or 20 inches.  World manufacturers provide the following table of correspondence of the child’s height (his approximate age) and the diameter of the wheel in inches.

In addition to the size of the wheels, you need to choose the length of the frame. To do this, measure the distance from the steering wheel too. Rules for selecting the height of the bicycle’s front edge of the seat. The optimal length is considered to be from the elbow to the elongated tip of the middle finger of the child (well, plus / minus a few centimetres – the children are growing). Be sure to try on the height of the bike when buying. When standing on the ground with both feet, the bicycle frame should be at least 8-10 cm below the child’s crotch. This will give them the opportunity to jump off quickly and safely in case of a fall, as well as being able to easily get on and off the bike seat.

When sitting on the seat, the child should reach the pedal in its lower position with a fully straightened leg. Pay attention to the fact that this is the centre of the foot and not an elongated sock. The foot on the pedal at the highest point should not touch the steering wheel.

The height of the steering wheel should be chosen so that it is convenient to hold it with any turn with one hand. The steering wheel should not rotate 90 degrees – the child may accidentally turn it around and immediately fall. In addition, with such a turn, the steering wheel handle can damage the child’s stomach and groin area when the bike falls.

One more point – do not try to buy a bike “for growth”, especially if he is just learning to ride it. It will be inconvenient for a child to ride a bike that is too big, and there will be a fear of riding and falling.

The Weight of The Bike

When choosing a bike ensure it is not too heavy for the rider so that they can carry it if they need to. Ask your child to carry the bicycle and see if they can lift it easily before buying the bike. This means if the bike breaks or the bike gets a flat tire your child can still move the bike if they have to.

Safety Features Your Bike Should Have

It is better to buy a bicycle with a gear shift for children over 11-12 years old. Experience shows that pedalling, watching the road, braking in time, turning the steering wheel and also understanding when and how to change gears are too difficult for a child under 12 years old.

Foot Brake or Hand Break?

If the child doesn’t have the fine motor skills required to pull a brake then you may want to consider getting them a bike with a pedal brake to start with. For children under 7 years of age, the safest and preferred option is the foot brake. If there is only a front handbrake, he can get stuck in an emergency and if they are not able to completely squeeze the brake handle. Keep in mind that if your child has a children’s bicycle with a foot brake and you are already buying them a teenage one, then it is better to have both a foot brake and a handbrake on it.  This is due to the fact that, when changing seats, it is difficult for the child to immediately adapt to the handbrake.

How to Protect Your Tires

Quite often children pierce the wheels. Why this happens more often than in adults is generally understandable. Firstly, an adult seeing a curb, a puddle or a broken glass will try to go around, and a child is always wondering how big he will drive through this obstacle. The second point is that children in the park and in the yards do not always drive only on paths and asphalt. And on the ground, especially where thorny bushes grow, there are always branches with thorns. Thirdly, some manufacturers, in order to reduce the cost, put tires and cameras made of thin rubber, which is easily pierced.

It is good to have a tire repair kit for sealing the puncture right away.

Are Bike Lights Necessary?

For children’s bikes, lights are preferred, but for a teenager, it’s necessary that there are reflectors and front and rear lights on the bike. Firstly, it is required by the rules of the road – especially for teenagers who will ride on the roads. Secondly, you yourself will see your little cyclist better at dusk and with poor visibility. We remind you that according to the traffic regulations, reflectors and lanterns should be as follows: white in front, orange on the sides, and red in the back.

Wheel Guards

A very necessary part of the bike. Believe me, the child will definitely drive into a puddle, drive at speed through mud, etc. This will save you from having to soak your child’s clothes and clean their bike.

A Bell

A bell is an important safety feature. They can use the bell to alert pedestrians and cars that they are nearby so they know to watch out.

And the last. When buying a bicycle, take into account the opinion of the child, because for our children, sometimes little things are very important that adults do not pay any attention to. Let them feel responsible and his own importance when making this decision. Remember that they will ride it, not you.




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