It’s a lovely day — the sky is cloudy, the birds are chirping. What could be more perfect than a stroll around the park in a bicycle? But wait! Before you head out to buy a bike for your child, let’s find out how to choose a suitable one and stay safe on two wheels.
Getting your child a bicycle requires more understanding than perceived. In general, kids bikes are smaller with sturdy frames and thick tires. They are great for riding on flat and hard surfaces where the child can focus on riding, instead of navigating the terrain. The simplest style is called a balance bike which has no pedals, has very small wheels and intends to teach balancing skills. From there, the bikes get bigger, with more features to accommodate the child’s growing skills, coordination and confidence.
So, what do you need to consider before making a purchase? Read on:
As children are smaller, lighter and have less strength, weight makes a big difference. Make sure it’s not too heavy for your child to maneuver.
A crank is a bicycle component that converts the reciprocating motion of the rider’s legs into rotational motion used to drive the chain, which in turn drives the rear wheel. As a rule of thumb, get your child to sit on and ride the bicycle to check ease of maneuverability. Children need cranks that are about 20% their inside leg length.
> Wheels and brakes
Avoid buying big wheels for small riders, as they will be heavier and the steering will be less responsive. Large ones make it a little more difficult to control than one that fits.Brake slevers must be within easy reach of the bars and easy to operate with only the little finger of each hand.
How far away is your child from the handlebars? Most children are happier in a riding position that’s more upright than you would adopt, so they need the bars higher and closer.
> Suspension forks
For children, air sprung forks are best. They’re lighter and can be easily adjusted to suit a growing rider’s weight.
Children’s bike sizes are determined by wheel diameter, not seat height and frame size as is the case with adult bicycles. The chart below should help you narrow your search, but always seek the assistance of an expert to help you find a bike that is most suitable:
Bike safety for kids:
⦁ Make sure both their feet are flat on the ground when they stand straddling at the seat of the bicycle. There should be 2.5cm – 7.6cm of space between your child and the top seat.
⦁ Make sure the seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.
⦁ Check and oil the bicycle chain regularly.
⦁ Check the brakes to be sure they work well and aren’t sticking.
⦁ Check the tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure.
⦁ When riding, make sure that nothing will get caught in your bike chain, such as loose pant legs, ⦁ backpack straps, or shoelaces.
Let’s check out the range of children’s bicyles Happikiddo has in store:
Made of lightweight steel frame, it’s a balance bike that comfortable rubber grips, integrated footrest, and adjustable cushioned seat. It comes with aluminium rim and air tires, as well as a cute bike bell. Available in red or blue and suitable for 1.5 to five years old.
Y Velo Junior
This balance bike helps kids develop an early sense of balance and control. They can then progress to a normal bicycle at the age of three of four without having to use training wheels or stabilizers. Suitables for ages 18 months to four years.
JDBug Balance Bike
Made from ultralight aircraft-grade aluminium alloy weighing only 3kg, it comes with a 12-inch mag wheels and air tyres for a smooth ride. These models have an optional pedal kit for when the child is balanced and ready to pedal. It includes an adjustable seat and rear drum-type hand brake. Suitable for ages three to five years.
Kiddimoto Pastel Dotty Kurve
Gorgeoous little bike for the adventurous girls, the bright pastel dotty is painted with non-toxic childsafe paint. Its seat is adjustable to three positions and upright riding position allows similar experience to regular bike. Suitable for ages three to six years.
Kiddimoto Blue Target Scooter
Retro with award-winning British design, this wooden bike can be personalized with a name and number. Handgrips are sculpted to fit little hands and footboards for free-wheeling fun. Its steering lock restricts turn to 30 degrees so it will never jack-knife and 12-inch tires have inner tube. Suitable for two to six years old.
Bring your little one for a test-drive in stores or PM us for more details.