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So many bikes! What do they do, and how do I choose..?

There's no doubt that the bicycle is versatile - what else can be used for such a wide range of recreational, competitive, and practical purposes; and by people of almost any age?

While a bike can serve you across a variety of tasks - from exercising, to socialising, to getting from A to B - not all bikes are created equal, and picking the right one can be a challenge. What type of bike best suits the riding I'll be doing? How much should I spend, and what am I spending it on?

While it's best to visit a store and talk face-to-face with an experienced consultant, this Christmas we've also put together a helpful buyers guide with some of the info you'll need to get started.

Bicycles are a fantastic gift for children. They're fun, safe, and encourage the child to be active and enjoy the outdoors.

The most important thing to consider when buying a bike for a child is wheel size. This relates to the height of the child more than the child's age, however, for simplicity this guide will refer to the suitability of the bike relative to approximate age groups.

Given how quickly young children grow, it is important to speak to an experienced consultant in order to get the longest useful life out of the bike. Additionally, for safety reasons it is important that your child is riding the correct sized bike that they can safely and easily steer, brake and dismount from. Apart from size, the other important consideration is the frame. Steel frames will be heavier and more difficult to ride for beginners; and also prone to rust. Alloy frames, while more expensive, will be lighter and resistant to rust.

 

Kids Bikes - 12"

Suitable for kids 2 – 4 years old. These bikes come with training wheels, and may feature a push steerer so the child can be directed when required.

Radius Dinosaur 12inch Red/Black 2011
Radius Dinosaur 12inch Red/Black 2011
Was: $149
$145
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Mongoose Lilgoose 12inch Pink - 2011
Mongoose Lilgoose 12inch Pink - 2011
Was: $189
$183
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MERIDA Dakar 12inch White - 2011
MERIDA Dakar 12inch White - 2011
Was: $199
$193
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Kids Bikes - 16"

Suitable for kids aged 3 – 6. Generally come with training wheels and no gears. Some children may not have developed a lot of the strength required for riding, so the bike's weight will be an important consideration. For older children you may want to consider a 16" BMX for a stronger, heavier duty bike.

Mongoose Mitygoose 16inch Red - 2011
Mongoose Mitygoose 16inch Red - 2011
Was: $199
$193
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Radius Wizard AL 16inch Silver/Red - 2011
Radius Wizard AL 16inch Silver/Red - 2011
Was: $229
$222
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MERIDA Dakar 16inch Pink - 2011
MERIDA Dakar 16inch Pink - 2011
Was: $249
$241
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Kids Bikes - 20"

Suitable for kids aged 6 -10. This is also the standard size for a BMX wheel, and given the lack of gears, the kids bike and BMX hold a lot of similarities. The main difference is a kids bike will be lighter and easier to ride, and a BMX will be heavier and more durable.

Radius XLR8R 20inch White/Red 2011
Radius XLR8R 20inch White/Red 2011
Was: $299
$193
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Mongoose Ladygoose 20inch Blue - 2011
Mongoose Ladygoose 20inch Blue - 2011
Was: $245
$238
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Mongoose Racer X 20inch Blue - 2011
Mongoose Racer X 20inch Blue - 2011
Was: $235
$228
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20-24" Geared

As the child becomes a more confident rider, geared bikes will become a consideration. 20" bikes are suitable for ages 6-10; 24" - ages 8 -13. For children that are quite tall, or around 13-16 years the next progression will be to an adult MTB in XS size. The MTB style is most suitable due smaller wheels, which gives lower ground clearance, as well as improved balance and stability.

MERIDA Dakar 20inch Black/Green - 2011
MERIDA Dakar 20inch Black/Green - 2011
Was: $349
$338
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Radius Leopard 24inch Silver/Black 2011
Radius Leopard 24inch Silver/Black 2011
Was: $369
$329
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Mongoose Rockadile AL 24inch Blue - 2011
Mongoose Rockadile AL 24inch Blue - 2011
Was: $399
$387
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Browse our complete range of Kids bikes