Finding the right bike for a child can feel like a bit of a minefield. Not only do you need to make sure that your child likes it, but you also don’t want to be spending too much money as they will probably outgrow it within the year.
What to think about
Firstly consider what confidence level your child is. If it is their very first bike, you may want to start with a balance bike, or a more simple bike with a single gear.
If they have already outgrown a balance bike, then you will want to get a bike with enough room for stabilizers (aka training wheels) to help them get used to the brakes, balancing, and controls of a regular bicycle.
Keep an eye on how it looks
Next, you need to make sure that your kid is going to like the bike’s look.
First impressions matter, and none more so than with a toy or gift that they will be parading around on in public.
It is crucial that your child likes the color and overall design; otherwise, they will simply not want to be seen outside on it. The easiest way to nail this is by simply asking them what design they like, even if you are just pointing out bikes you see in the street.
Try out different bikes
Just like on adult bikes, getting a frame that fits is crucial.
The single most straightforward way to ensure that the bike is the right size is to take your kid down to the bike shop to try them out.
If you intend on it being a surprise, most manufacturers make suggestions based on age for children’s bikes.
Don’t buy too big
The first thing that many parents do, is want to save money by buying too large of a bike for their child.
Avoid buying a few sizes too big on the basis that they will grow into it. You risk putting them off cycling altogether.
Also, if you can get your child to look after this bike, you will be able to sell it once they have outgrown it. Thankfully these bikes are not that expensive either, and can be bought at your local Walmart.
Deck it out in accessories
Finally, although they may not be cycling alone at night, get all the accessories to make their bike as safe as possible, including reflectors, lights, a bell or horn, and a cycling helmet.
There of course are also tons of fun accessories that your child may want as well!
You want the bike to be as fun and safe as possible to help encourage them to get away from their screens and embrace the joys and adventure of cycling.