WHAT MAKES A GOOD CHILDREN'S BIKE?
Well, all good kids bikes have a few things in common. They are lightweight, ergonomic and are sized properly.
Lightweight - Remember those big, clunky laptops from the '90s? You wouldn't carry one around today! There are so much better, sleeker options available. A bad kids bike is like a '90s laptop. Heavy and awkward. It's hard to build a love of cycling if you can't even lift your bike. That's why it's so important for kids bikes to be as light as possible. ??
Ergonomic - Think about your smartphone. Everything is placed just so and you can easily touch all the buttons with one hand. Ergonomic design for kids bikes is much the same. Their hip ratio is much narrower than adults, so without the right design...well, they look like a frog. Pedalling with their legs splayed out to the side. They will also struggle to wrap their hands around the brake levers or shift. All things that really make it hard for them to enjoy riding at all. The ergonomic design makes riding easier. ?
Size range - Children grow at key points across their youth, so a lot of research has gone into a developing bike ranges that fit perfectly into these 'growth spurts'. Measure them once, pick the bike to match and as they grow, just choose the next size up in the range. It will fit just right and they'll find it easier to steer and pedal, building their confidence. ?
What about toddlers?
Please, please use a balance bike. ? We can't stress this enough. Stabilisers don't teach children how to balance, which is key to riding confidently.
Why are balance bikes better?
Balance, steering and pedalling are the key elements of cycling training. But it matters in what order skills are learned. When you start them on a balance bike, they learn steering and balance. Developing these skills greatly reduce their fear of falling. First, they scoot along with their feet, eventually progressing to a seated glide. When they are gliding around in circles, it's time to put on the pedals. Pedals just extend the glide they already understand. ?
Contrast this with stabilisers that teach pedalling and steering. Instead of teaching balance, they build a false sense of confidence. When the stabilisers are taken off, suddenly something they thought they were good at is hard. They feel a wobble they've never felt before. They'll probably fall, maybe a lot. This shock can put children off cycling, sometimes for years. So, do them a favour and skip the stabilisers.
Need help picking the right bike? Check out our bike finder here.
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