How To Buy A… Child’s First Bike
Do you remember your first bike? Most people do – it’s just one of those important childhood memories that seems to stick in your mind, even years later.
Those hazy but happy memories of wobbling around the front garden are why many parents look forward to buying their own kids their very first bike. It’s a family milestone, just like throwing their first birthday party or dressing them for their first day at school.
The only problem is, with the huge variety of childrens bikes on offer these days, it can be a bit bewildering trying to pick between them all – take a look at the top tips below from Halfords to help get you started.
1. Safety first
Although it can be easy to get carried away with pretty colours and matching accessories, safety should always be your first priority. It’s really important to buy the right size bike for your child, or it will be dangerous for them to ride. Many parents are tempted to buy a bicycle that’s a little bigger than needed so that their child will ‘grow’ into it – never do this! If the bike’s too big then your child won’t be able to reach the ground with their feet or turn the handlebars properly, which can spell disaster when they’re trying to avoid that hedge that’s rapidly approaching.
To be on the safe side, measure your child’s height and match it to the right size bike using manufacturer’s guidelines. The best retailers will be able to help you decide which is the right one to go for. Simply pop into one of your local bike shops or use the kids bikes size guides you will find on any reputable retailer’s website.
2. Try it out
Although there are loads of great online deals available for kids bikes, nothing beats going into the shop and actually trying the bike out before you buy. That way you can check that your child can sit safely on the saddle, with both feet tip-toed firmly on the floor. The staff will also be on hand to offer guidance, as well as adjust things like brakes and saddles for you.
3. Don’t skimp
We all know that times are tough, and it is tempting to go for the cheapest bike out there. However, be aware that with bikes you generally get what you pay for, so don’t expect a cheap version to withstand the abuse that energetic children can throw at it! Spending a few more pounds often means you end up with a better quality bike that will last longer and be much safer.
4. Choose a character
If you really want to make your child squeal with delight, why not get a bike that’s themed around their favourite character? There are plenty of girls’ and boys’ bikes out there that feature popular characters like Thomas the Tank Engine, Ben 10 and Disney Princess. It’s also a good idea to buy a matching helmet if possible, as your kids are far more likely to wear it if they think it’s cool.
These are just a few tips on buying your child their first bike – after that you have the small task of actually teaching them to ride it! But it’s well worth it, as you’re actually providing them with a valuable life skill, freedom to explore, and hopefully a love of cycling that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Happy shopping!