How to Get a Bike that is the Right Size For Your Child
Just like their first school and first pet, kids will always remember their first bike. For children, the excitement is the same as we get when we get a new car, so it's important to get it right so that they can enjoy their new set of (two) wheels for as long as they can.
The right bicycle choice can start a child on a journey toward a love of cycling, or just give them a healthy outdoor activity to enjoy after school and on weekends. Either way, the benefits are numerous, so here are some of the top things to consider when you are looking for a children's bike that is the perfect fit.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
One of the most important considerations for a children's bike is purchasing one that is the right size and fit for your child. Unlike shoes or school uniforms, it can be dangerous to buy a bike that a child can 'grow into', especially for a new rider.
Balance issues, a lack of confidence and difficulty controlling larger models with small limbs are all drawbacks of buying a bike that is the wrong size for a child.
Bike sizes in Australia are measured on the diameter of the wheels (the length from one edge of the wheel to the other, passing through the middle). For kids under six, a 30cm diameter is ideal, while riders between the ages of 6 and 8 should be comfortable with a 40cm diameter wheel. For ages 9 to 11, 50cm is a good fit.
Of course, if your child is tall or short for their age, make adjustments as these sizes are based on average heights.
Generally speaking if your child can sit on the bike seat, rest both feet on the ground, and reach the handlebars comfortably while still having a slight bend in their arms, the bike is the right size for them.
Kids bikes, like most multi purpose adults bikes, come with the ability to adjust seat height, handlebar height and brakes.
The best place to make these adjustments is before you even leave the store, with the help of an experienced cyclist and shop assistant. This is also a good chance for mum or dad to ask any questions about adjusting the bike in the future when their child grows taller, and learn how to do it to save a trip back to the shop!
If you'd like any more advice on how to choose the right sized bike for your child, we invite you to drop into Ivanhoe Cycles and ask our professional, friendly team and while there, take the time to have a look at our great range of kids bikes.