Picking the Perfect Bike for Your Child
By Donna Stark
Do you remember what it was like the day you learned how to ride a bike and how exciting it was to achieve that extra dose of freedom? Well, now it's time for your child to learn ... but things are a whole lot different now than they were then, aren't they? The variety of choices available today consists of more than just picking out a favorite color. In fact, with so many options to choose from, your head may feel like exploding!
The Right Bike
Bicycles for children are designed to make the process of learning how to ride easier and more enjoyable. But with so many options, it can be difficult to find the perfect bike. Here are some tips that can help you select exactly what your child needs.
- Toddlers - Learning how to balance and find stability is your child's first course of action and there is no better way to do so than with a balance bike. Balance bikes don't have any pedals and are great at building the confidence and coordination needed to ride. Don't rush your child into learning though. Let them manage their own pace and after your child masters this level, you can start looking for bikes with pedals and training wheels.
- Young children - It won't take long after the training wheels come off to move up in size. Your local bike shop can help you select the perfect size and weight for your child's next bike. And don't forget to check out all the accessories that can be added too. When children are excited about their bikes, they tend to head outdoors and explore the world around them a bit more.
- Teens - At this stage, the bike you purchase for your child will start to look more like an adult's bike. There will be more options to choose from too, such as the number of gears, the style of bike, and the type of suspension. And because this is the age where your child may end up determining their favorite cycling discipline, it's important to listen carefully to what they want.
Size Is Important
The main thing you need to keep in mind when purchasing a bike for your child is whether or not you are selecting the right size. If the bike is too large or heavy, it will be difficult for any child to enjoy the process of learning and could even become quite dangerous. You should always buy a bike that fits your child's size now and avoid buying one for them to "grow into." Promoting a positive experience while encouraging safety should be your number one priority here!
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