I’m sure you remember your first bike. Who doesn’t remember the falls, the laughs, and the cries with that bicycle we worked so hard to get? Back in the day, parents couldn’t always afford such an expensive gift. Or the activity was simply not given much importance. It was unusual to see a whole family happily riding around town.
Times have changed and today the “bike” is synonymous with health. Physical and emotional well-being are two the basic characteristics of all physical activity and riding your bike provides both. We all want our little ones to understand its importance from the earliest stages of their childhood. Riding a bike can also help instil the principles inherent in all sports; principals like dedication, mindfulness, etc.
How can we make this world available to our children from an early age and in a safe way? With a bicycle.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best bicycles for children on the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know when buying a kids bicycle
- 3.1 Why is it important for our little ones to specifically have a kids bike?
- 3.2 How are children’s bicycles classified?
- 3.3 What are the traditional methods for teaching a child to ride a bicycle?
- 3.4 How can a child drive a bicycle without pedals and from what age is it advisable to get them started with this method?
- 3.5 What are the advantages of using a bicycle without pedals?
- 3.6 What safety measures do we need to keep in mind and discuss with our children?
- 4 Purchase Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Kids’ bicycles are vehicles specially designed for children to enjoy and exercise. Children’s bikes stimulate the ability to succeed while testing their reflexes and promoting a sense of balance.
- There are important features you should take into consideration before deciding on a bike for your little one. These fundamental safety aspects are important to consider.
- In Canada, there are rules concerning the use of helmets in two-wheeled vehicles. Children must have compulsory protection.
Ranking: The best bicycles for children on the market
Next, we’ll show you the best children’s bikes you can find in the Canadian market. Side note: Remember that the bicycle is not for you. It’s important for children to choose colour and style, even if the technical aspects are your responsibility. Also, take a good look at the manufacturer recommendations because every age has different requirements. Let’s begin!
No. 1: Critical Cycles, No-Pedal Balance Bike
This is the best-selling children’s bike on Amazon, which gives you an idea of its popularity. It is a bicycle without pedals recommended for children between 2 and 5 years old. It is designed to ease the transition to a pedal bike and develop balance. It has height-adjustable handlebars and seat. Its wheels are made of ultralight and anti-puncture material.
The maximum weight recommended by the manufacturer is 25 kilograms (kg) and the minimum height is 85 cm. Wheel size is 10 inches (10″). The seat is non-slip and the bike weighs 2.7 kg. Parents find it to be very good value for their money. This bike has positive reviews all around but don’t forget that it’s meant to be used under adult supervision.
No. 2: RoyalBaby, BMX Freestyle Bike, Boy/Gir, with training wheels
This frame is made from welded steel and is available in multiple sizes and colours – ideal for both boys and girls. Some other safety features worth noting are the enclosed chain guard and non-slip resin pedals with reflectors for safety. Moreover, the brakes and cockpit are designed with your child’s safety in mind. It has front caliber brakes and rear coaster brakes with special kids-sized levers. For comfort, the bike has soft rubber grips, a special juvenile seat and a quick release seat clamp.
This bike is suitable for both boys and girls. Some of it extras features include a holster for a water bottle, a back grill, a bell, assembly tools, and heavy duty training wheels. Parents have reported this bike to be nothing but amazing. They especially raved about the brakes being toddler sensitive, the assembly being quick and easy, and the frame and parts of the bike being impressively sturdy without weighing a tonne.
No. 3: Mamba Sport, Balance Bike
The Mamba Sport Balance bikes feature 12″ wear-resistant EVA Polymer tires, handlebar padding, solid rubber hand grips and a comfortable padded seat. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to fit the child – seat is adjustable from 12” – 15.25”. This bicycle is very lightweight at just 6.9 LB and it comes in multiple colour finishes of high grade paint.
This bike is recommended for kids aged 2-8 years old, and up to 60 LB in weight. Mamba balance bikes feature CPSC, CE & CCPSA safety certifications. Buyers have reported it to be of easy assembly and it comes with the only tool necessary to build it: a wrench. The consensus from shoppers is that this this bike is of good value for your money. Another resoundingly positive review was regarding the bike’s weight, as it allows children to handle it easily.
No. 4: Razor, 62042 High Roller, BMX/Freestyle Bike
The high roller from Razor is reported as a well-rounded option in kids’ bikes. It’s loaded with features found on higher-end bikes but at a more affordable price. This bicycle comes with 20” wheels. The manufacturer recommends it for children between 8 and 10 years of age.
As for the specs: the bike comes with front and rear pull hand brakes for control. Some extra features worthy of note are that it also comes with a set of front wheel axle pegs, an easy “no-tool needed” seat height adjuster, a 4 bolt system in the handlebars, and a steel BMX frame. Parents report it being of fantastic quality for a great price.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know when buying a kids bicycle
Learning to ride a bike is not only a challenge for children, but also (and often more so) for parents. When buying a bike there are many types to consider and their characteristics vary greatly depending on age range, materials, etc. However, your little one’s safety is always the biggest concern. To make sure you don’t miss anything, below we have gathered the questions most frequently asked by parents so that you can make an informed decision.
Why is it important for our little ones to specifically have a kids bike?
Actually, there are many reasons, including the fact that it’s a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. But not only that, bikes encourage children to be active, get outdoors, and put phones and gaming consoles aside. In addition, they help children organically acquire an appreciation for being active and its value. Learning to ride a bike also stimulates their ability to be resilient and active while at the same time being good for learning and practicing psychomotricity, balance, proprioception, spacial awareness and the of honing reflexes.
How are children’s bicycles classified?
Generally, as children grow, so does the size of the wheels on the bike they use (these are measured in inches (“)). For example, 12″ bikes are usually for children 18 months to 4 years old. Keep in mind there are also other variables to consider, like the child’s height and weight, for example.
Listed on the table below, we can see measurement classifications according to the height of the child in cm. We also take into consideration the child’s inseam size. Remember, these tables are for guidance only as some children grow faster than others. Pay special attention to the inseam measurements:
|Child’s age||Child’s height in centimeters||Length of inseam||Bicycle wheel inches|
|2 to 4||Less than 90 cm||30 cm||12″|
|3 to 5||90 to 1.05 cm||30 com||14″|
|4 to 6||1.05 to 1.20 cm||36 cm||16″|
|5 to 7||1.05 to 1.20 cm||41 cm||18″|
|6 to 9||1.20 to 1.35 cm||51 cm||20″|
|7 to 11||1.35 to 1.55 cm||61 cm||24″|
What are the traditional methods for teaching a child to ride a bicycle?
Without a doubt the first tools that come to mind are training wheels and tricycles. The problem with these aids, experts say, is that neither of them help the child develop and work on their balance. The secret to riding a bicycle is balance, a concept that can be learned easily on bicycles without pedals. Take a look below at the table below to better appreciate the contrast between the different methods.
|Development of sense of balance||Development of psychomotor abilities||Development of sense of orientation|
|Bicycles without pedals||+||+||+|
How can a child drive a bicycle without pedals and from what age is it advisable to get them started with this method?
There are bicycles that can be adjusted to the height of the rider. The child drives them with his own feet. These bikes are usually advised to be introduced to children as young as two years old. The greatest advantage of this model is that young children can develop a sense of balance while being perfectly safe. It also allows them to learn progressively and enables them to enjoy a sense independence and autonomy at an age where they crave this the most.
What are the advantages of using a bicycle without pedals?
Also called balance bicycles, as their popularity increases we can tell you these ‘first-step’ bicycles are here to stay. As noted above, experts consider them ideal as a child’s first introduction to learning how to ride a bicycle. Check out the list below to learn all their great benefits.
- Help improve the child’s sense of equilibrium. In a natural and progressive way.
- Stimulates and reinforces coordination. This is due to the fact that the child must brake, turn, and not fall while riding. This strengthens their ability to coordinate arm and leg movement.
- Improves their sense of orientation. Specifically, spatial orientation as they move their body and the bike through space.
- Encourages the development of the psychomotor system. In particular, it hones gross motor skills. These skills are transferable and also ensures that the child learns to jump or dance, among other physical activities.
- Develops the good habit of wearing a helmet from an early age. In addition to promoting safety, this is a mandatory requirement in Canada.
What safety measures do we need to keep in mind and discuss with our children?
Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to young children. The big problem, in this case, is the short attention span that characterizes most kids. It is therefore necessary as the parent to set some measures in place to help prevent unforeseen accidents down the road.
The following is a list of safety tips and measures to consider:
- Adult presence. A child should not learn to ride a bicycle without the vigilant supervision of a parent or guardian. Accidents happen when you least expect them to.
- Safe distance. Talk to your child and help them understand that they always have to keep their eyes open, placing special emphasis on the importance of keeping a safe distance from moving objects.
- Sense of danger. It is important that the child is aware of the danger attached to cycling in the city. You don’t have to show him or her accidents, but have serious conversations with them about the possible risks that riding in the city brings.
- Lock. Now a days it has become more necessary to secure bicycles from unexpected thieves. Always use a padlock to prevent theft and safeguard your investment.
Before buying a kid’s bike you need to look at some relevant features. Your child’s size and weight are important, but also the bike’s materials and accessories. In this section we show you a series of crucial things to consider before buying your child’s first bike:
- Chain Cover
- Low Frame
- Lights and Reflectors
One of the most important bearings when buying a children’s bicycle is the size of the child. You must measure his or her height and the length of his or her leg to select the most appropriate bike for their measurements. If you lower the seat completely and your child can put his or her feet on the ground, you are looking at the perfect bike. Remember that for children up to 105 cm in height you can use the 12 inch size.
The materials with which the seat and handlebars are made should be comfortable. It’s not only that about comfort; remember that children’s bicycles must comply with Canadian safety standards. These standards are in place to ensure the quality and safety of the toys available to your children.
As well as checking that the seat is comfortable, make sure that the child can touch the ground with both feet. By following this rule, you will for sure know if it’s adequate for the child’s size. Also, check that the saddle is adjustable so that your little one can use the bike for several years as they grow. This will extend the life of your bike and save you money.
The handlebars must be placed at the right size for the child’s height. This way you’ll avoid serious injuries if your child were to unfortunately suffer an accident. Furthermore, the handlebars must be made of padded fabrics. This way your child will be able to ride a bicycle much more safely. These may seem like small details, but they are important and make a big difference in your child’s experience.
If your child is still small, it is essential that the chain guard is made of plastic. That way, the bike won’t be as heavy, and you won’t have to be afraid that your clothes will get dirty. A protector will also prevent clothing from becoming entangled and causing a fall. Most children’s bikes include a bicycle chain guard.
Children’s bicycle frames should be low. This allows children to pedal effortlessly. This also allows them to develop their pedalling skills and get off and on without difficulty. It seems obvious, but it’s the best way to avoid injuries. If there is an unforeseen event, the child can jump off without any problems.
The brakes are a very important safety element on a child’s bicycle. In general, these toys should incorporate two – one on each of the handlebars. One brakes the front wheel and the other the rear wheel. Also, make sure your little one has enough strength to use them fully.
Usually, there are two types of brakes:
|Pedal Brakes||Hand Brakes|
|Pedal brakes are activated by peddling backwards. They are recommended for children up to eight years of age||Hand brakes are those located on the handlebars. They are used from the age of eight, when the child already has the ability and strength to handle them|
Generally, most of today’s children’s bicycles incorporate a bell for the child to warn others of their presence. Little ones should be able to handle the bell without releasing the handlebars. Before you decide on a children’s bicycle, consider this feature. Take a good look and see that your child can handle it without compromising their focus on riding.
Lights and Reflectors
If you already drive a vehicle you know it is crucial to be visible on the road. For this reason, you must make sure that your child is visible, especially on dark days or when it is already night outside.
Check that the kid’s bicycle you buy has both front and rear lights. Most children’s bikes also incorporate reflectors on pedals and tires. Look for this detail because it can make a all the difference to your child’s safety.
A child’s bicycle may go unnoticed by other drivers. For this reason, it is important that your child’s bike has this safety feature. This is a long pole placed on the rear tire. It is best if it has lights to make the child extra visible. It’s a very handy element for when it starts to get dark out.
The first bicycle for a young one in the family is a gift they will never forget. For them, it’s a treasure that allows them to have fun with other children while also giving them a sense of independence and autonomy, opening up a whole new world. If you’re also a cycling enthusiast, then you’ll definitely want your children to be able to enjoy excursions and outings with you.
Finally, before buying a kid’s bicycle, remember to pay attention to its characteristics and features. Keep in mind that in Canada, wearing a bicycle helmet is mandatory and it must comply with safety regulations. Pay close attention to the details and remember: the bike is not for you, its for your little one.
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(Featured image source: Dubanevich: 85106803/123rf.com)