Choosing the right size bike for your kids
AvantiPlus has a self-shopping guide which matches your child’s height with the right size bike (see below). These guides are also available in-store at certain retail shops so your child can stand next to the chart and you can see what size bike to buy.
Don’t forget: Once you’ve bought the bike ensure you have adjusted the seat height correctly. When they are seated on the bike they need to be able to touch the ground with their toes and still be able to steady the bike. In their confidence is low then adjust the height so their feet are flat on the ground when they are seated on the bike.
Assembling the bike
Kids bikes should be preassembled by a proper mechanic to ensure the seat has been set at the right height, the wheels have been installed correctly and the front and back brakes are working! The best thing about buying your bike in store is that they can’t sell you a child’s bike unassembled, so the bike will be assembled by an expert for you.
If you’ve bought your bike online or it is delivered unassembled we recommend taking it to your local bike shop to have it put together – this should only cost $30–$80 depending on where you live. While this is an additional cost it is totally worth it – you don’t want to accidentally assemble the bike incorrectly yourself as this puts your child’s safety at risk.
Safety gear for kids when riding bikes is important because it can help minimise both the chances of an accident as well as the level of damage to your child if the bike does crash. The great thing these days with bike safety gear is that it is available in trendy, cool designs, for decent prices, that kids actually love wearing!
- The number one safety item that is a necessity is a helmet, which is very important as it protects the head. Additional safety gear is what experts recommend, but what you choose for your child to wear is up to you.
- Closed-in shoes over thongs and long laces are preferred as they won’t fall off or get caught in the chain. Also, avoid backpacks with dangling straps as these too can be a safety hazard if they get caught.
- Bright clothing and/or reflective clothing for optimal visibility – if your child is choosing between a black or red top, go with the red as this has higher visibility. Kids love bright and loud colours, which is perfect because when dressing for riding, the brighter the better as this helps with visibility. For dusk or evening riding, make sure your child has on light, bright colours or reflective clothing so they are sure to be seen.
- Reflective snap chains and reflective drink bottles are also now available and can increase side view visibility.
- Cycling gloves aren’t a necessity but gloves do provide grip for your kids and can protect their hands if they fall.
- The same goes for knee pads – while they can protect the knees from scrapes, they can sometimes get in the way when pedalling.
Choose a bike lock that’s appropriate for your security risk. Most locks will come with a security rating; if not, ask the expert at your local bike shop, who can help you decide.
Check-ups – bike maintenance
Book your bike in for its first check-up around 5–6 weeks after purchase. This is a great way to ensure everything is working safely and nothing needs adjusting. So if you got the kids bikes for Christmas, now is a good time to get a check-up!
Image credits to AvantiPlus.
- Feature image credit to ©iStock.com/VisualCommunications