It’s a childhood right of passage: getting a bicycle for a birthday or Christmas. Parents, especially inexperienced ones, also are going through their own tradition of sorts as they shop for just the right set of wheels. Choosing the right bike, though, can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Getting the wrong bike style or size could make riding a frustrating experience for the child or even be dangerous. If the bicycle is wrong for the child, he or she could be seriously injured in a fall. Even worse, the child could have trouble handling the bicycle and accidentally steer into the path of a car. Here are some helpful tips to consider when shopping for the best bike.
Be wary of the cheapest bike in the store. On the one hand, kids grow up fast and in short order are too big for that new bike. So parents are often reluctant to spend too much money on something that won’t last. On the other hand, children really do need a reliable and sturdy bike for safety. The bottom line here is that if a decent bike is too expensive, then it might be wiser to wait until you can afford one rather than go for something too cheap and potentially dangerous Also, keep safety a priority if you decide to buy a used bike. Take your time and carefully inspect it!
According to the American Automobile Association, the general bike size range should match the child’s age as follows: children under 5 years old should get between 12-inch and 16-inch wheels; between 5 and 7 years old should get 20-inch wheels; between 8 and 10 years old should get 24-inch wheels; and 11 years old and up should get 26-inch or 27-inch wheels. However, some kids can be bigger or smaller than the average kid for their ages. A proper sized bike should allow the child to easily balance it with both feet on the ground while seated. And the tips of the child’s toes should easily reach the pedal when it’s at its lowest position.