The Go-To Low-Down On Buying The Right Kids Bike

When you’re buying a kids bike you really want to choose one that will go the distance with your young rider. You’re also looking for safety and value. In short, getting a great kids bike is all about bang for your buck! Most parents are tempted to choose a kids bike in a popular colour or with the latest trendy cartoon character. This might make the youngsters jump for joy, but a character bike is not always a safe bike. There’s not much point paying extra for the right character then having the wheels fall off. What’s more, trends come and go. So what if you could tick all the boxes and choose a kids bike that they won’t outgrow in a year? One that with the proper selection and aftercare service can keep your kids on the road for a couple of years? Behold the ultimate guide to buying a kids bike!

Don’t buy a bike that is too big for your kid right now

The first thing we want to do when the kids have a growth spurt is go for a bigger bike – one that they can grow into. But the bigger a bicycle gets, the heavier it gets. Plus, the centre of gravity changes making it more difficult for kids to ride the bike and enjoy the experience. These tips will help you to find the right bike for your child.

Have the child come bike shopping

Beside the fact they will want to throw in their two cents on the look of the bike, you will need to measure the bike on them. Have them stand over the bike frame with their feet flat on the ground. The bicycle should allow them to step over the frame unassisted and stand straddling it with ease.

Measure their legs from seat to pedals

Can they reach the pedals easily? Bike seats are fully adjustable for height, but their legs need to be able to reach the pedals comfortably, preferably with the seat in the lower position which will give you room to grow.

Check the wheel size of the bicycle

Adult bikes are measured by the frame size, but kids bikes graduate based on the wheel size. Each wheel size overlaps the appropriate age bracket so check with the sales staff which wheel size is correct for the age and height of your child. The bigger the wheel size, the more stability and speed they will be able to get when they are riding.

Types of kids bikes available

Balance bikes (78-94cm)

Balance bikes are recommended for toddlers between 18 months and 4 years. They don’t have pedals and are designed to assist children with balance and steering of the handlebars. Kids push off with their feet to gain speed and then, when they feel confident, they can lift their feet up and use the handlebars to steer and balance. They vary in price starting at $79.

12 inch wheels (78-94cm)

There are 12 inch wheel bicycles with pedals available and training wheels which are easily removed if you have a young rider who is confident riding without the additional balance. If they are graduating from a balance bike, the training wheels might not be necessary, plus 12 inch bikes are low to the ground helping with the centre of gravity and stability. These bikes are suitable for 2-4 year olds. Prices start at $99.

16 inch wheels (84-112cm)

A 16 inch bicycle is recommended for ages 3-7 years. They usually come with rear pedal brakes and handbrakes as kids learn to co-ordinate the dual brake system whilst riding. Training wheels are optional on the 16 inch bicycle and a lightweight frame will help to maintain the balance. Prices start at $149.

20 inch wheels (108-129cm)

This bike is recommended for kids aged 6-10 years. At this size, bicycles are available for different cycling disciplines like BMX, road bikes and mountain bikes. By this stage kids are becoming more adventurous with their riding and are likely to start going on family rides which may help you to decide what type of bike is best suited to your child. Bicycles start at $189.

24 inch wheels (125-148cm)

A 24 inch bike is suited to kids aged 9-12 years and is getting closer in design and size to a full adult sized bike. They typically have more gears for speed and climbing inclines. Prices start at $279.

Servicing and maintenance

Every single bike, including kids bikes come with a free first service and regular servicing is a great way to make sure that the bike lasts for years to come. 99 Bikes has bike mechanics in store that can attend to bicycles by checking and tightening bolts, adjusting and aligning brakes and gears, lubricating chains and cables, carrying out tyre and wheel maintenance, and giving them a professional clean. Annual services to the bicycle can ensure the bike lasts for the entire duration of age and height suitability giving you more longevity with the bike. Becoming a 99 Bikes Club Member can ensure you receive discounts on everything from bicycle purchase price to services. A lifetime membership costs $5 and also gives you access to a free maintenance class for home care of the bike!

So there you have it – finding the perfect kids bike is really quite easily done if you have the right technician helping you with a proper consultation, and advice. The good news is that all of the most popular colours and accessories come in all of the sizes and designs.

Chat with the friendly staff on your next visit to 99 Bikes to find out which bicycle is perfect for your kids!