While buying a bicycle may seem like a no-brainer to most parents, it is an important task and should be given due attention. The main factor to be considered while choosing the right bike for your child is the inseam length – the measurement of the inner leg. This is important because your child needs adequate space between his/her inner leg and the top tube while standing. If the top tube is too close to the intersection of inner leg, there is a chance of getting hurt while getting on and off the bike. This is applicable for adults as well.
More so, as kids get acquainted with bicycles, there are more chances of them taking a tumble here and there. Hence, it is critical to that the ‘stand over height’ is correctly chosen.
So where do parents go wrong in choosing the right bike? The general mentality of parents is to choose a bike that is slightly bigger for the child so that he/she can use it for a few more years (than what would otherwise have to be done away within a shorter span). What they don’t realize is that this is not favorable because the bike’s frame is larger than the child, causing him/her discomfort especially when reaching for the handlebar and the ‘stand over height’ is insufficient. Getting the size of your child’s bike right is crucial – if it’s too big or too small, it will be trickier to ride and could cause an accident.
The following are pointers you can keep in mind while choosing your munchkin’s bike – this corresponds with the child’s age:
• 2 – 4 years: Balance (has no pedals, cranks and brakes, helping the tiny tot balance and steer with minimum distraction) bikes
• 3 – 5 years: 12 inch-wheel bikes
• 4 – 7 years: 16 inch-wheel bikes
• 5 – 10 years: 20 inch-wheel bikes
• 8 – 14 years: 24 inch-wheel bikes
• 11(+) years: 26 inch-wheel bikes
The general rule-of-thumb is that the size of the kid’s bike is ideally determined by the wheels’ diameter (not frame-size like adult bikes). The bicycle should fit the child. All children need to feel safe and comfortable on a bike, whether they admit it or not – they will only make the most of their new wheels if they are confident.