With such an all important gift purchase at stake there’s a few things worth considering to make the right choice. Get it right and your child will fall in love with cycling. Get it wrong and they’ll soon be asking for something else!
Aside from some good tips to choosing a kids bike I’ve also included some popular choices at the end of the post.
Choosing a kids bike
The biggest difference between choosing a kids and an adults bike is how fast the child will grow out of it. However, don’t be tempted to buy something too large. This will make it difficult for the child to cycle as they won’t be able to comfortably reach the handlebars and pedals. The best option is to buy the size comfortable for the kid.
You’ll also have to think about how much to spend. If the bike will be used frequently then it may be worth upgrading to a better model and spending £150+. The advantage of spending more is you get better components that won’t break and a lighter bike. Which ultimately means a more enjoyable ride for your kid. Remember, a lighter bike makes a big difference when you weigh so little!
Ages 0-4: While kids are learning you can either buy a bike with no pedals or remove the pedals yourself and lower the seat.
Ages 5-6: These kids bikes will be without gears to keep things simple. They should also have a chain cage to prevent kids from putting their hands in the drivetrain. This tends to be a good age to be without the stabilisers. Ideally do this in the beginning.
Ages 7-10: At this age, kids bikes start to have gears. Don’t worry too much about rear suspension as it is a costly extra. If there’s front suspension then that’s a bonus but definitely not essential.
11+: At this age kids bikes are comparable to adult bikes. You’ll see much the same features and therefore you can expect to pay more.
When buying a kids bike check how it will be delivered. Ideally you’ll want a bike with the minimum amount of assembly at home as for the inexperienced it can be a little stressful. Also, it’s probably not want you want to be doing at times such as Christmas eve.
(Tends to be a good rank to refer to if you’re a believer in group intelligence! Here’s the full list..)
- Elite Panic 20” BMX (Ages 7-14, Boys, £69.99) – this kids bike has a ton of positive reviews although why they’d call a kids bike Panic?
- Flite Panic 20” BMX (Ages 7-14, Girls, £69.99) – the girls version of the above bike.
- Flite Punisher Freestyle 20” BMX (Ages 7-14, Boys, £88.00) – good specs!
- Raleigh Twinkle Girl’s 14” Bike (Ages 4-7, Girls, £69.99) – easy to put together
- Sonic Glamour Girls 16” Bike (Ages 4-7, Girls, £59.99)
- Early Rider Classic Kids Bike (Ages 2-5, Unisex, £99.99) – good for kids learning to ride a bike as it doesn’t have pedals.
- Specialized Hotrock 20 Inch 2011 Kids Bike (20 Inch Wheel) (Ages 7-9, Boys, £249.99) – expensive but good quality. Perfect if there’s another kid on the way who can’t have the bike after it has been grown out of.
- Specialized Hotrock 24 Inch 2011 Kids Bike (24 Inch Wheel) (Ages 9-11, Boys, £269.99) – same as above kid’s bike but with bigger wheels and frame.
- Ridgeback Melody 2011 Kid’s Bike (16 Inch Wheel) (Ages 5-7, Girls, £119.99)
- Ridgeback Honey 2011 Kid’s Bike (14 Inch Wheel) (Ages 3-5, Girls, £119.99)
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.