Buying your child’s first bike can be a really exciting time. It’s a very important milestone in yours and your child’s life, therefore, it’s vital to get right.
Generally, types of children’s bikes usually fall into different categories, depending on the age, ability and height of the child. We must also consider your child’s current stage of development, if you feel they are ready for a bike that is considered ‘too old’ for them, there is no harm in tying or having a chat to us about the options available.
Here we’ve devised a simple guide to help you understand the different types of bikes available and how they work:
– Balance bikes are usually a child’s first experience of a bicycle. Such bikes can be used from around aged 2+, but you will usually have a rough idea of when your child is ready for a training bike. Balance bikes do not have any pedals or chains to encourage your child to learn how to balance, steer and build their confidence whilst being able to place their feet on the ground to move along.
– Tag-alongs are simply attached to an adult bike, they allow children to focus on learning how to use pedals, rather than having to worry about balancing and keeping upright. They can simply use their power to add to the movement of the bike or just relax and move freely with the pedals while you do all the work. These are most recommended for children from 4 years of age.
– Tricycles are three-wheeled bikes, with pedals. They allow your child to freely master the pedals of a bike without falling off or having the fear of falling. They are perfect for encouraging your child’s coordination and muscle strength. Tricycles are usually recommended for children aged around 3 years old.
– Stabilisers can be added to a child’s bike to provide support when learning to master balancing, using handlebars and pedals all at the same time. They should never be able to put both of their feet firmly on the ground at any given time with training wheels. Some specialists say that you may be throwing your child in at the deep end with training wheels as they skip the step of learning how to balance and force them to learn all of the skills needed, at once. When using training wheels be sure to lift them off the ground gradually to encourage balance and more independence.
Getting the right bike for a child’s size is very important. If your child is riding a bike which is too small or too big for them, it can hinder their ability to learn how to ride it and essentially be a waste of money. Below are a few tips to finding the right sized bike for your child:
– It should weigh no more than a third of your child’s body weight.
– You can usually choose the correct sized bike by the size of the wheels; if the wheels are too big or too small, your child will have difficulty controlling and balancing on their bike.
– Your child should be able to stand over the top tube, which is the bar that sits between the saddle and the handlebars.
– When sitting on or riding the bike, their arms should be straight with their back slightly hunched over (from a side view). They should not need to stretch to reach the handlebars or be hunched up.
If you need advice or help, feel free to visit Aladdin’s Bikes and speak to one of our specialists. We can also help with advice concerning safety wear and any other benefits that they may benefit from.