This is a sponsored guest post.
For some people, one of their fondest childhood memories is learning how to ride a bike. One could easily say that a child learns their first lessons in patience and hard work by mastering how to maneuver this simple vehicle without falling. It is considered as a milestone in many families as well. Riding a bike is also highly regarded as one of the healthiest ways for families to spend time together.
Any beginner may start with training wheels until the rider is confident enough to balance the vehicle without difficulty. A bicycle is both a toy and a means of transport for children. However, because children differ from one another, they may also have different needs when it comes to bikes. If you want to get an idea on the best bikes out there, head to https://www.twowheelingtots.com/best-girls-16-inch-bikes.
If you’re looking for a bike for your little girl who is four, five, or six years old, here are a few things to consider before spending your money:
- Balance or Pedal Bike?
Children learn how to ride the bike at different ages. The type of bike you should get must depend on the age group your child belongs to. Balance bikes are for toddlers up to the age of five years old. However, transitioning to pedal bikes will be dependent on how fast your child can learn how to balance herself. Training wheels are often used in pedal bikes to help the child develop more confidence when riding a bigger bike.
- Does it fit her?
Children don’t have the patience like adults do. If they are not comfortable with the bicycle, they will not have the motivation to learn how to ride it. Little girls around the ages of four to six will not only settle for bikes that appeal to their eyes. Such bicycles should be easy to control, too, given girls’ physical build and temperament. They also need to have a bike that they can get in and out of without much effort. It should be stable enough to support their weight as well.
The bike should fit the child depending on her current age and height. Buying a bigger bike is detrimental and puts her at risk of injuring herself. To determine the right fit for your child, it’s important to take note of her age and height.
Bicycle makers have their own bike size charts, and these tend to differ from one another. Girl bikes for four-, five-, and six-year-old kids may also have little differences due to the closeness of the ages. If you have a bike brand in mind, you may research the company’s bike chart to be able to find the right bike model for your little one.
Keep in mind that a four-year-old could be as tall as a six-year-old, and some five-year-olds may be smaller than their younger playmates.
- Is it lightweight enough?
Weight consideration is not only for adult bikers. The bike’s overall material should be easy enough to carry no matter what direction the rider wants to go. While learning, children will be using their arms and legs to turn, and they might have to lift the bike even for a while. Young children still have developing bodies, therefore heavier bikes will not be appropriate for them.
While some manufacturers put the weight on the frame, others put more massive wheels. Always go for aluminum bikes for little kids. Aluminum is a well-known lightweight metal and is perfect for small bikes. It’ll be easier to pedal, especially when going uphill or when biking off-road.
- Is the seat comfortable?
The seat is a primary determining factor whether or not your child can last long while on her bike.
Some bicycles have plastic seats, while those of other models are made of leather.
When choosing a seat for your young girl, you can let her try out the seats to help you decide which one is best for her. Little riders will be able to use their leg muscles more efficiently if the seat puts them at ease. Some bikes have cushioned seats, and they are a great choice as well.
Other things to consider are the seat height and standover height. A bike’s seat height should match a beginner rider’s height, utilizing the rider’s inseam. The standover height is just as vital because the gap between the seat and the rider’s inseam will help prevent injuries. Beginner riders tend to use their legs to put their bikes to a halt and to keep themselves from falling. Your child can quickly plant her foot on the ground if the standover height is not too high.
- What is the right bike frame?
A bike frame has various areas, which affect the child’s position while riding it. The wheelbase, which is the gap or space between the handlebars and the seat, determines the center-of-gravity. Longer wheelbases are generally better for slow riders and help them develop more confidence when establishing balance. Space, also known as a cockpit, must be broad enough that the child’s knees have room to pedal without hitting the frontal areas of the bike.
The height of the handlebars must also match the rider. There are three available handlebar heights, namely low, mid, and high rise. Lower handlebars are for riders who are more experienced in aggressive riding. Higher handlebars are more suited for beginner riders because their upper bodies are encouraged to be at an upright state, preventing quick exhaustion.
- How far apart should the pedals be?
Grant Petersen of Bridgestone Bicycles once discussed the Q-Factor in bicycles. It is the gap from one pedal to the next. The Q-Factor applies to bikes with pedals that have a shorter distance from one another. It enables cyclists to be faster and more efficient, with less stress put on the knees with every bend they make. Because children’s muscles and joints are still growing, it is essential to choose a bike with pedals that have a short gap. It lessens the risk of injury, and they don’t tire out quickly while pedaling.
- What is the right wheel size?
The bike’s overall height must also be at par with your child’s. If the wheels are more substantial, it would be harder for the child to get on the bike. Wider tires are also more grounded and offer a tighter grip for a safer ride. The ideal diameter for this age group is 14 to 16 inches. Their feet should still be able to reach the ground, especially if they are just starting to ride pedal bikes. They will feel safer and more independent when they are in control from the get-go.
- Are brakes important?
The answer to that is a resounding YES. The brakes are the safety net of every bike, and different types have their pros and cons. Handbrakes are typically the better choice because they are more efficient. However, not all are of good quality, hence they will require proper maintenance. Some low-end bikes have handbrakes that are cheaply made, so make sure that you’re looking into a good bike shop. Other types are the back-pedal brakes or coaster brakes that don’t require maintenance but are challenging to use for beginner riders who just transitioned to pedal bikes. This type of brakes tends to slow down the learning process and may cause injuries along the way.
- Where and how often will the bike be used?
There are many types of bikes because of the different kinds of riders. There are various brands and models for various purposes. Some bikes are best for beginners and are more likely to be used on weekends for practice. Others are more likely to be used daily, especially if your child rides her bicycle instead of the bus when going to school. She may also ride her vehicle around the neighborhood to visit friends.
Nevertheless, whatever type of bike you get for your little girl, it must be something that she will always use and will enjoy using.
- What’s the best color to pick?
It all boils down to the preference of the child. Girls typically like bright or soft colors, and, sometimes, there has to be some graphics on the body, too. Some would want a specific character on their bikes. Some girls will not even mind darker colors as long as she’s able to ride the bike.
While the color and design are the tips of the iceberg, never forget the most crucial aspect. Her safety should always be the top priority, thus the bike must meet all the requirements of a vehicle that is suitable for everyday use by a child of her age range.
- Low-end or high-end?
Prices for children’s bikes for 3- to 8-year-olds range from $80 to $200. That doesn’t include protective gear like helmets and pads. Everyone knows that high-quality is typically synonymous to expensive. The same can be said with bikes, especially if you’re looking for one with the best features. Most high-end bicycles have better frames, and have components with guaranteed safety measures. Well-known brands with the best components may range from $300 to $900. You can spend on low-end bicycles, but you need to be reminded that some manufacturers are not putting as much effort into better bike designs for kids. But, this doesn’t erase the fact that there are also cheap bicycles that give their more expensive counterparts a run for their money.
- Online or physical store?
Online shopping may be at an all-time high right now, however, when shopping for a bike, it is still better for you to see the product up close rather than view them on a shopping website.
If you’re a parent buying a bike for the first time, you’ll need the assistance of trained bicycle mechanics or technicians. They can offer a lot of advice on purchasing the best bike for your child.
If you can’t find the time to visit a physical bike shop anytime soon, then you may go online for the time being and search for the website of a reputable bike brand that has a store near your location. Such a platform must show you the brand’s various bike models, as well as the available components and accessories. After weighing the pros and cons of your options, you can take your pick. The moment you visit the store, you already know what model to ask the sales assistant.
Extra Precautions For Child Safety
The National Safety Council recommends biking as one of the ways to enjoy a healthy lifestyle while contributing to the environment. However, bikers of all ages can still come across various dangers along the road. Because children are still oblivious to traffic safety, they must always be accompanied by an adult, especially when they are still beginners at biking.
It’s also the appropriate time to start teaching your child about the basics of road safety. Make it clear to your little girl that wearing the right gear, such as a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-approved helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves, will help her avoid getting hurt. You can also educate your child to better take care of her bike because some parts may suddenly break out of carelessness.
Finally, have your child’s bike checked by a mechanic periodically to make sure that the components are properly working and are in place.
Finding the right bike may take time, especially if you’re the kind of parent or guardian who doesn’t skimp on the details. Do some research and read reviews on bike brands that could serve your child well in the long run. Keep in mind that there are no differences between bikes for boys and girls. The most vital of all is to make sure that the bike meets all the safety requirements. It should also possess all the necessary certifications. Whether you choose to shop online or go to a physical store, make sure that it can provide you with the best bike for your child for your peace of mind.