Do you remember the excitement of getting a new bike? Riding around the neighborhood, to and from school, or on an adventure to get ice cream with the family? Bikes are an excellent way for kids to get outside, expand their world, get exercise, and enjoy time with friends and family. For parents, buying a bike for a child can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t need to be! We’re here to help make the buying experience one that’s fun for you and your child.
First, sizing is the most important thing to consider when purchasing your kid’s bike. The right size is going to make biking safer, learning to ride easier, and biking more fun.
Kids’ bikes are sized differently than adult bikes. Unlike adult bikes, which are sized off of the frame, kids’ bike sizing is based on the wheel size. The smallest bikes usually start with a 12” wheel size (some balance bikes may have a 10” wheel). The largest kids’ bikes will have 24” wheels. After that, kids begin to move into small sized adult bikes. Review our Bike Sizing Guide to learn step-by-step how to find the right bike size for your child.
New research shows that the earlier your child gets on a bike, the more likely they’ll continue to ride later in life. And if you ride yourself, you’re probably looking forward to sharing cycling with your kid. If your child has conquered walking, they’re ready to start using a balance bike. In other words, the earlier, the better!
You always want your kids’ feet to comfortably reach the ground when they’re sitting on the seat. For some children, comfortably will mean tip-toes, and for others, it may mean flat on the ground. This means that when they come to a stop, they can have complete control over the bike.
It’s also important that the standover height is correct. With the child standing over the top tube of the bike and their feet flat on the ground, there should be room between the top tube and your child. If your kid is resting on the top tube, you should consider the next size down.
Lastly, your child needs to be able to easily reach the handlebars in a way that allows them to control the bike. If they have to stretch to reach the handlebars, they won’t be able to control the bike.
As your child grows, you'll need to raise the bicycle seat. Make sure to pay attention to where the minimum insertion line is on their seat post. Their seat post should have a line that indicates how far up the seat can be raised. For safety purposes, the post should never be sticking up past that minimum insertion line. Riding a seat beyond this point is dangerous and could result in a malfunction of the bike frame.
When your kid is big enough for a 20” or 24”, you’ll have the option between geared bikes with hand brakes or sticking with a single-speed and coaster brakes (where you pedal backward to stop.) This decision should be based on a few simple things. First, are they comfortable enough riding for them to learn how to use gears and a handbrake? Next, think of the type of riding they’ll be doing. If they are taking longer rides with the family or tackling hills, gears will make that easier. If training wheels are necessary, then you should be looking at single speed bikes.
Our professional sales staff are here to help you get the right size bike for your child. Our experts can answer your questions and make sure you’re getting the right bike so your child can safely get out and ride and have fun! And our Bike Trade-In Program means you can get the right size for right now.
Professional Assembly and Service: All of our kids’ bikes are built by professional assemblers following ERIK’S high-quality standards. Every bike is checked to our 100-point standard before hitting the sales floor and then checked over again before you take it home.
Once you purchase your kids’ bike from ERIK’S, you can be confident that we stand behind it. We offer ERIK’S Parts Warranty, which extends the manufacturer’s warranty against defects for as long as you own the bike. If your kids’ bike has a problem, we’ll work to fix it.
Helmets are a must for young riders. And just like with the bike, the fit is critical. You want to make sure you find a helmet that your kid is going to find comfortable and stylish for them to wear it. We’ve got a great article on how to tell if your child’s helmet fits.
Once you get your child a bike, ride as a family – even if it’s just around the neighborhood to start. You can demonstrate how to navigate roads and intersections safely. Studies show that kids are more likely to get into cycling if a parent rides (in case you needed an excuse to get out!). Biking can be the perfect family adventure, one that gets you outside and away from screens, that no one ever outgrows.
View our general Bike Buying Guide to review the other kinds of bikes we sell. Or, go here to see our complete list of Buying Guides. Learn what you need to know when purchasing a helmet, bike shoes, a car rack, and more!
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