Tips for Buying Your Child’s First Bike
Just like children, bicycles also come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some bikes are preferable when used by timid or petite kids, while others are better for aggressive or taller riders. Research has been carried out about bikes, and you will be able to acquaint yourself with them on this article about which kind is better for a particular type of child, and the criteria used to make an absolute decision.
1. The Size of the Bicycle
When purchasing a bike, size is the most significant feature that should be gotten right. If a bike is too big, or too small, then it is potentially dangerous for a child. Most bikes for children usually have a tire diameter of between 12-24. The stand over height should also be considered along with the diameter of the tire.
2. Tire size
Children’s bicycles are usually categorized by the size of their tires, and most brands make models in 24, 20, 16, and 12 while the smaller brands often sell the ones with size 14 tire. However, the overall size of the bike does not determine the size of the tire.
3. Seat height
Many people assume that the tire size is the overall indicator of for a baby’s bike but the most accurate indicator that anyone should go with is the height of the seat.
4. Stand over height
It is important also to consider the stand over height of a bike as it should be just over the top tube of the bike. When standing over the bike, there should be at least two inches of clearance. The gap plays a critical role in the prevention of injury in case a child slips forward from the seat when falling.
5. The Child’s weight
Adults usually ride bikes that are 20% of their total weight while kid’s bikes are about 50% of their weight. Experts are arguing and saying that the ideal bike for a child should be less than 40% of their average weight, but with a closer look, it is impossible. When purchasing a bike for your kid, select the lightest bike within your price range. Weight should not be overlooked at any given moment as it makes pedaling an easier ordeal for the child.
The position of a child on the bike plays a vital role on how they will propel the bicycle. Just like cars, a bike which has a high center of gravity and a short space between the wheels quickly lose their tip and balance. A well-designed bike with the wheelbase being placed strategically provides more stability and coordination for the rider.
7. The balancing features-the wheelbase and cockpit
For beginners, bicycles with a lower center of gravity are the perfect when it comes to balancing. The bikes are made with lower seats and longer frames than other bikes of the same size. To quickly determine whether a wheelbase for a child’s bike is befitting, check the space between the handlebars and seats.
The design of the handlebars plays a vital role in determining how the bicycle will maneuver. Big box store bikes usually have tall handlebars that sweep back. The handles often limit the riders’ space and prevent them from applying more force hence the ideal type of bike for beginners. Low handlebars place beginners in an awkward position as it gives them a tough time propelling it.
It is imperative for any bicycle to have brakes though performances of brakes do vary from one bike to the other. A child’s bicycle is only as good as the brakes Lower end bikes are made with a coaster brake, while high-end brakes have responsive dual handbrakes that can be activated with much ease.
9. Coaster brakes
Also known as back-pedal brakes, coaster brakes are the most popular though they can be a bit tumultuous for small children. When riding uphill kids naturally pedal backwards and a bicycle without coaster brakes allows a child to gain their balance and keep riding
10. Hand brakes
When a child is around four years of age, they can properly use a well-designed handbrake when riding a bicycle. As much as hand brakes are good, they also have their downfalls. They require a lot of maintenance and don’t work properly with small children.
For a bike to stop the determinant factor is how properly a gear has been made. The gain ratio is a number usually calculated using the size of a wheel and the length of the arms. A bicycle with high gain ratio needs more effort to gain momentum. A low gain rate, on the other hand, requires no effort at all to get it started.
12. The width of the bike
If pedals of a bike are far apart it means a child will miss the pedal each time making it uncomfortable for them at every instance. When pedals are close to each other, then it gives a child an ample time to keep the bike in control.
13. The price
All things constant, the amount of money you have will determine what kind of bicycle you will buy for your kid. An expensive bike will perform better than a cheaper one. In case you have a tight budget you can purchase a second-hand bike that is still performing well.
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