When a child reaches the milestone, where he or she can advance into bike riding, parents will need to start researching the topic. Choosing the perfect bike for a child can be extremely challenging, especially for first time parents. Of course, you can always rely on a professional to assist you with this task, but you will probably want to do it alone. Below, you will discover a few tips on how to choose the perfect bike for your child.
Some children are very satisfied with riding a tricycle until their body outgrows it. However, you always have those giddy parents that cannot wait until their child is capable of riding a 2-wheeled bike. It is crucial to let the child decide when it is time to upgrade to the bicycle. Pushing them to learn how to ride a bike will only make it more difficult for both the parent and child. If the child is not ready to make the transition, you should encourage them to continue riding the tricycle until they are ready.
Choosing A Helmet
In many states, cities and countries, children are required by law to wear a helmet, when they are riding a bike. Parents should consider investing in a helmet for their child, before shopping for road bikes. Protecting your child from injuries should be your main goal. The only possible way to prevent brain injuries is with a helmet. You should take the child shopping with you, so he/she can try on the helmet, this will help in getting the perfect fit.
When you place the helmet on the child’s head, you need to make sure that it does not move around freely. It should fit the top of the child’s head perfectly, without moving backward, forward, or from side to side. Make sure the strap snuggly fits underneath the neck, but you do not want it to be too tight. Have the child to open their mouth wide, while you feel to see if the helmet is hugging the child’s head.
If it is too tight, you could become a safety hazard, in the event of an accident. As a rule of thumb, the rim of the helmet should only be 1 or 2 finger widths above the eyebrows.
Cost Does Not Always Matter
Many parents are so excited that their child is ready to transition to a 2-wheeled bike that they will go all out and purchase an expensive brand. Just because the bike is manufactured by a well-known brand does not necessarily mean that it will be safer for your child. The Consumers Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees the design and manufacturing of children’s bicycles and other accessories. This basically means that all bikes undergo specific safety tests, before they are released to the market. This ensures consumers that every bike on the market has met or surpassed the safety standards required by the CPSC.
Hand Brakes Or Not
Children are fast learners, but they will receive a few bumps and bruises along the way. Many parents will automatically rule out a bike with hand brakes, because they weary about their safety. To help parents make the decision of whether or not to invest in a bike with hand brakes, some manufacturers have designed bikes that are equipped with both hand and foot brakes. This way the child can decide which brakes they prefer to use for stopping. It is not unusual for children to take advantage of both brakes for specific types of stops.
Many parents make the mistake of choosing a bike based on the child’s age, since children come in all shapes and sizes at all ages. When you take your child to the bike shop, you should have an attendant to get a bike off of the rack and let the child sit on it. When the child’s foot is sitting flat on the pedal, the knee should be extended around 75% of the way. Just because the child’s feet do not sit firmly on the ground, does not necessarily mean that the bike is the improper fit. You can always adjust the seat, where the child’s feet will touch the ground, but you want to make sure the child can achieve the perfect pedal stroke.