Children grow fast (too fast if you ask me), this is not news to any parent. It's obvious when your child is growing out of his or her clothing but not as obvious to some when they grow out of their bicycle. It's pretty easy from the terrible twos to around 4, a tricycle fits the bill perfectly. Bicycles though, are a different story altogether. Riding a bicycle children learn inertia, steering, braking and pedaling. Tricycles of course do not teach your child the very important skill of balance.
The average age most kids begin to ride a 2 wheeler is around 5 years of age.
The ages of 4-8 see significant physical coordination development, agility and balance. By this age most, if not all kids are experts at starting and stopping on a tricycle or a 2 wheeler with training wheels. There is much more than physical strength needed to begin riding a two-wheeler for the first time. A child should also be self-confident and motivated to venture out onto a "big kids bike". Experts say this development might not occur till after the age of nine or older. If you've ever taught a child to ride a bike you know it can take a lot of patience. If your child is not motivated to ride a two wheeler they can be persuaded by friends riding 2 wheeler, a parent explaining to their child that training wheels are "for babies".
Sizes Of Kid Bikes
The size of children's bikes are determined by the diameter of the wheel, not as commonly thought by the height of the seat and size of the frame. This is how adult bikes are sized. A very important factor in your choice should be brakes. I do not recommend hand brakes to a child until they are at least 6. A lot of children are not coordinated enough to use them, making them potentially very dangerous. So, that leaves coaster brakes. Coaster brakes are much easier for smaller children to use but a dependence on them can cause problems at later ages when coaster brakes are less common. The next jump after the smaller kids bikes is to a frame size of 26 or 27 inches with 700c wheels. Sage advice: No matter what age, have an expert size the bike for your child, do not take any unnecessary safety risks.
Buying a Bicycle
With hundreds of brands out there it is easy to lose in a sea of bikes. The best method for choosing the right bike for your child is through education of the basics of biking. Get to know the basic parts of a bike as well as competitive pricing.
As I have stated in another article on buying an adult bike, find a trust worthy dealer. The local guy down the block has a much more vested interest in providing you with great customer service since the huge stores have much more volume.
Kids bikes are cheaper than adult bikes and there is a reason for this. Manufacturers realize that kids outgrow bikes quickly so most models will not have the same quality of parts as your bike may have. That's not to say that the bikes are not made well however.
A correctly sized kids bike will allow the rider to dismount and straddle the bike flat footedly. With a slight lean they should also be able to get their rear onto the seat, put their foot on the pedal and take off. Knees should absolutely not hit the handlebars and obviously they should be able to reach the handlebars easily.
Hopefully there will be a range of bicycles in your price point. Pick up a few and you will notice the cheaper one made of steel are heavier while the lighter and more expensive bikes are made of metal alloys. There is no real noticeable difference in my opinion besides a slight ease in handling for the light alloys.
Source by John Remquist