We bet you still remember your very first bike, and the falls and laughs and cries that came along with this prized possession. In the past, parents couldn’t necessarily afford such an expensive item, and sport just wasn’t considered to be so important to us. As a matter of fact, seeing entire families happily ride around the city wasn’t common at all.
Thankfully, times have changed and bikes now go hand in hand with health. It has been proven that any physical activity contributes to our physical and emotional well-being. We all want our children to understand the importance of sport and its inherent principles and ethic from an early age. How, you ask? A bike is your answer.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best kid bikes in the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about kid bikes
- 3.1 Why do children need specific bicycles?
- 3.2 How are kid bikes classified?
- 3.3 What are traditional teaching methods for bike riding?
- 3.4 How and from what age can my child ride a bike with no pedals?
- 3.5 What are the advantages of bikes without pedals?
- 3.6 What safety measures do I need to pay attention to?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- These bikes are specifically designed for our children to enjoy themselves while exercising. They stimulate self-improvement, test their reflexes and contribute to developing their sense of balance.
- You must be aware of a certain number of key features – in particular in terms of safety – before buying a bike for your child.
- Australia has strict rules regarding the use of helmets on two-wheeled vehicles. Both adults and children are required to wear regulated protection.
Ranking: The best kid bikes in the market
Let’s have a look at the very best children’s bikes available on the Australian market. Don’t forget that this product isn’t for you, so you want your child to choose the colour and style; on the other hand, you’ll always be in charge of the more technical aspects. You should also keep in mind that every age is different, and the characteristics should be appropriate for your kid. Let’s get going!
No. 1: WeeRide Deluxe balance bicycle[amazon box=”B006G5SJLA” description_items=”0″]
This balance bike by American bicycle company WeeRide is ideal for your child to learn how to ride on his or her own. The 14-inch wheels are suited for children aged 3 to 6, with an adjustable seat height so this bike can grow with your kid. It only presents one rear wheel brake to keep your little one from front-flipping as he or she learns to ride.
The non-slip handlebars provide extra safety, while the leather seat offers more comfort to ride longer. The low frame will allow your child to easily hop on and off of his or her new bike. Customers have been particularly satisfied with the easy build of this WeeRide bicycle. With it, your child will develop a sense of balance while having hours of fun!
No. 2: Reverse tricycle[amazon box=”B07KQXJ4M8″ description_items=”0″]
This tricycle for 3 to 6 year-olds is ideal if you want your child to have an easy, stress-free time while being able to stroll around. With two handlebars – one for the child and one for adults to push the tricycle – and the reverse seat, this bike is truly polyvalent. Let your children have some autonomy and exercise, then push them back home while they relax.
The safety fence gives you more peace of mind while taking your toddler around, but you can easily detach it when it is no longer needed. The bell placed on the handlebars is an important safety feature. Available in red, purple or blue and with a maximum capacity of 25 kilos, this tricycle will make your children happy for years to come.
No. 3: Royalbaby BMX bicycle[amazon box=”B00HXGSC40″ description_items=”0″]
This RB16B-6B BMX bike by Royalbaby with 16-inch wheels is suited for children aged 5 to 7. Delivered with removable training wheels, it is ideal for kids to gain confidence on the bike before challenging them to ride on their own. With 6 different colours available, your child will for sure find his or her favourite.
Royalbaby does it just right safety-wise: front and rear wheel brakes, a full chain guard, two reflectors and a bell are all present so all your child needs is a helmet. According to customers, this BMX bike is easy to assemble. A water bottle is provided with the bottle holder, so your kid can stay hydrated while exercising!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about kid bikes
Learning to ride a bike is a challenge for children as much as it is for parents. The age range greatly affects the different types and characteristics available out there, but your child’s safety is and must always be your number one concern. In the following section, we’ve detailed some of the most frequently asked questions to help you choose the best possible model.
Why do children need specific bicycles?
There are many reasons for this, one of which is that riding is meant to be a fun activity. Children who exercise more, and are therefore more tired at the end of the day, are also more likely to set their phones and consoles aside. This activity also allows them to develop the values of sport, and it stimulates their ability to self-improve and their team spirit. Psychomotor skills and reflexes greatly benefit from cycling too.
How are kid bikes classified?
We generally sort these products by the size of their wheels, expressed in inches (“). As you child grows, the size of the tyres needs to be adapted too. For example, 12” bikes are most suitable for children aged 18 months to 4 years. Other factors that influence this include the height (in centimetres) of the bike.
The table below will introduce you to the different measurements according to the height of your child (in centimetres). The length from the child’s crotch to the floor is also an interesting aspect to know. Note that thieves values are indicative only, as every kid has his own growth rate.
|Age of the child||Height of the child in centimetres||Length from crotch to floor||Size of the bike’s wheels in inches|
|2 to 4||Less than 90 cm||30 cm||12”|
|3 to 5||From 90 to 105 cm||30 cm||14”|
|4 to 6||From 105 to 120 cm||36 cm||16”|
|5 to 7||From 105 to 120 cm||41 cm||18”|
|6 to 9||From 120 to 135 cm||51 cm||20”|
|7 to 11||From 135 to 155 cm||61 cm||24”|
|11 and over||155 cm and up||66 cm and up||26”|
What are traditional teaching methods for bike riding?
The best options available are training wheels and tricycles. However, according to experts, they both present one problem: they don’t help develop balance. This is a big factor to consider, as the secret to bike riding is precisely balance, a concept that you can only learn with bikes that have no pedals. The table below will help you better understand the differences between these methods.
|Development of the sense of balance||Development of psychomotor abilities||Development of the sense of orientation|
|Bikes without pedals||+||+||+|
How and from what age can my child ride a bike with no pedals?
You can find bicycles specifically tailored to the height of your child, who pushes them with his own feet. These models are generally recommended from the age of two. Younger children can therefore start developing their sense of balance. These products also help your child learn progressively and enjoy greater independence and autonomy.
What are the advantages of bikes without pedals?
Also called two-wheeled bikes, they aren’t just a trend, and their popularity hasn’t stopped growing since being introduced on the market. As we mentioned earlier, experts believe them to be the perfect bicycle for children to learn to ride. The following list will introduce you to some of their many benefits:
- They improve the sense of balance, naturally and progressively.
- They stimulate coordination. This is due to the fact that children must brake, turn or avoid falling on their own, therefore coordinating the work of their different limbs.
- They improve the sense of orientation, and more particularly spatial orientation.
- They develop the psychomotor system. This is specifically true for gross motor skills. This helps children learn to jump or dance, amongst other activities.
- Adaptation to the use of the helmet. In addition to promoting safety, this is a mandatory element in Australia for children and adults alike.
What safety measures do I need to pay attention to?
Safety is paramount when it comes to young children riding bikes, and the biggest concern is generally the lack of attention of our little ones. This is why you need to take some measures of precaution to avoid unforeseen accidents. Here are some key safety tips and measures:
- Adult presence. A child should learn to ride a bicycle under the close observation of a parent or guardian. Accidents tend to happen when we least expect them.
- Safety distance. Talk to your child so that he understands the importance of being aware of his surroundings, strongly insisting on safety distances.
- Sense of danger. Your child needs to realise that riding a bike in the city presents certain risks. In that regard, an educated discussion goes a long way, but don’t show him accidents.
- Padlock. Nowadays, unexpected thefts are much more common; use a padlock to prevent this from happening.
There are number of different features that you want to be aware of when buying your child his first bike. Aspects such as your kid’s size, materials or accessories present on the bike are essential. This is why we designed the following section, where you’ll be able to learn all the information you need to know before making your final decision:
- Chain guard
- Low frame
- Lights and reflectors
- Back flag
As we mentioned earlier, the height of your child is actually a fundamental factor in choosing the right model. This includes the total height as well as the length of the legs. You’ll have found the perfect bike height when your child can place his feet flat on the ground when the seat is lowered to the maximum. 12-inch bikes are generally used by children up until they reach 105 centimetres in height.
Comfort is the word when it comes to the materials used for the seat or the handlebars, but it’s not the only relevant factor. In Australia, there are a number of safety norms with which kid bikes must comply; different quality and safety standards were developed to show that products are considered safe for use by children. Make sure that the bicycle you buy fits within these norms before making the purchase.
Here’s something else we’ve already mentioned: your child must be able to place both his feet firmly on the ground when sitting on his bike. This will help you know exactly whether a specific model is suitable for his size. Adjustable seats are also a big plus, as your kid will be able to ride the bike for years to come, extending its life and helping you save money.
The handlebars must be set at the right height so that your child avoids serious injuries in case of an accident. We strongly recommend that you also opt for handlebars featuring padded fabrics. These details may seem futile, but they are actually key in making your child more comfortable and safe while he’s riding around.
Plastic chain guards are particularly useful if your child learns from a very young age. They make the bike lighter, and you won’t face any problem with dirty clothes. In that regard, protectors are another interesting feature; they prevent clothes from getting tangled in and causing a fall. Nowadays, most kid bikes come standard with these chain protectors.
Low frames are the go-to for children’s bicycles, as they let our little ones pedal effortlessly. Their pedalling abilities will develop faster, and getting on and off is also made easier for them. We know this might seems obvious, but it is actually the best way to avoid injuries. Your child can hop off his bike in a hurry if anything happens.
They are naturally one of the most important safety features on any bike. Children’s models tend to include one brake on either side of the handlebars, one being for the front wheel and the other for the rear wheel. Certain brakes are harder to pull than other, so check that your child has enough strength for the specific model you want to buy. Here are the two main types of brakes:
|Pedal brakes||Hand brakes|
|Pedal brakes work by pedalling backwards. They are recommended for children up to eight years of age.||Hand brakes are located on the handlebars. They are used from the age of eight onwards, when the child has acquired enough skill and strength to use them.|
All modern kid bikes should naturally feature a bell for the child to warn of his presence. These helpful safety items must be easily accessible to the child, who shouldn’t have to let go of the handlebar to use them. Depending on the place your child will ride, this may be an essential element. Again, make sure that your kid can use it without difficulty.
Lights and reflectors
As you’ll know from driving cars, being visible on the road is the number one safety measure. It’s no different with bikes, so your child must be seen at all times, and more particularly on dark days or when he rides at night. For that matter, every Australian State has its own rules regarding the compulsory use of safety lights when cycling.
You’ll want to opt for a model featuring both front and rear lights. Nowadays, most kid bikes also include reflectors on the pedals and/or wheels. Consult your local state’s laws and make sure the bicycle you buy complies with them; your child’s safety depends on it.
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Children’s bikes are always easy to notice for other road users, so you might want to consider this additional safety feature. This long pole is placed on the rear wheel, and may integrate lights so that your child is even more visible. Back flags are particularly useful at night.
Your child won’t forget his very first bike. This prized treasure will allow him to have fun with other kids, while also learning the values of sport. And you’ll definitely want your little ones to tag along on your excursions and countryside explorations if you’re a cycling enthusiast.
Make sure you pay attention to the different characteristics and safety features we discussed throughout our article when buying your kid’s bike. In Australia, helmets are compulsory and the bicycle itself must comply with your local state’s regulations. And don’t forget one thing while you’re analysing those details: the bike is for your child, not you!
If you liked our guide, feel free to leave a comment or share it on social media so that we can help other people make the right decision for the fun and safety of their children.
(Source of featured image: Dubanevich: 85106803/ 123rf.com)