Kids’ bikes these days are just as varied as adult bikes. There are options for all types of riders of all ages, starting as soon as a child can support their own weight. Sure, the bike may be more of a scooter, but hey, it teaches balance and coordination needed to ride! As kids get just a tiny bit bigger, the styles of bikes available to them expands, leaving kids well-prepared for their adult bikes. Choosing one, however, can be as simple as finding the correct size bike for your child.
When sizing a child for a well-fitting bike, the most important thing to consider is the height of the child. Kids’ bike sizes are determined by the tire size. Common ones are 12-inch, 16-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch. You see pedals and training wheels offered on these bikes right away. If kids learn the balance from a pedal-less bike first, called a balance bike, there is not a need for training wheels. These are two separate methods to teach a child to ride a bike, both teaching balance. It is important that you choose a bicycle size that is appropriate for the size of your child. Bring your child with you to try out and choose a bike that works for them. You will want to be sure the bike is not too big. Make sure they can touch the ground with their toes and also reach the handlebars with enough ease to be able to turn. If a bike is too small, the child will be cramped and controlling the bike will be far more difficult, making it dangerous for your child to ride. Their knees will be in the way of the handlebars and their own arms and they are more likely to drag their feet on the ground instead of using the pedals to brake. It becomes more of a scooter. This is a good thing to look out for as your child grows through bikes.
Do your best to make sure they are always on an appropriate sized bike. If your child is just learning to ride, make sure that you teach them how to move forward and, especially, how to stop. Little legs can sometimes have a hard time pushing the pedals down, so be patient. Aim for a flat, paved surface to get rolling the first few times. When your child grows more skilled and grows bigger, get them on a bigger bike and add features like hand brakes and gears! In no time, your kid will be riding with the pros!