Get your Kid the Right Bike
The warm weather is starting to stay and it is time to get the winter things put away and starting pulling out your summer toys. As you pull down the bikes you may find that your child has grown out of their bike or maybe you have a new little one who is ready to start riding. You know you want to get your kid a good bike, but not spend a fortune, and hope that it lasts a couple years. Well here is a guide to help you through the process of getting the right bike for your child.
Lets start at the beginning. You have a new little one who is ready to start riding, but you don’t know where they should start. Once your kid conquers walking, they are ready to start using a balance bike also known as a run bike or a strider bike. These bikes have no pedals. The child uses their feet to push the bike along. At first the child will probably just walk with the bike, then they will start to run and finally they will start to push off and keep themselves balanced upright as they roll down the sidewalk. This is a great way for your child to learn how to balance on two wheels without having to hassle with training wheels.
Once your kid grows out of the balance bike then it is time for them to upgrade to a bike with pedals. Picking the next size bike is going to depend on how tall your child is. The best way to determine size is to take you child into an ERIK’S store and have them sit on the different size bikes. We can give you an average age range for a specific sized bike, but it is more of a guide line as this range isn’t always accurate for children that are tall or short for their age.
So, have your child sit on a bike and ask yourself these important questions:
- Can they easily reach the handlebars?
- Are they able to sit on the seat and touch their feet to the floor
- Can they reach the pedals?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions then this bike is probably the correct size. We understand that you want to get as much life out of the bike as possible, but we encourage you to consider the safety issues that come with buying a bike that is too big for you child.
As your child starts to grow out of their bike 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 a seat should go on a bike. Yes, there is still some post left under that line, but for safety purposes, the post should never be sticking up past that minimum insertion line.
When your child gets big enough to ride a 20″ bicycle they will have the option to choose from getting a geared bike with hand brakes or sticking with the single speed with coaster brakes (the brakes where you pedal backwards to stop). This decision is your decision to make. You know your child best. Are they ready to learn how to use gears? Are they in need of gears? Will they be able to handle using a hand brake instead of the coaster brake?
We know that your kids grow fast and it may seem like you are needing to buy them a new bike every summer. That is why ERIK’S has the Half-Back Trade in program. With this program, you can bring in your child’s bike and trade it in towards their next bike. The bike that you bring in needs to be a bike shop quality bike (meaning that it wasn’t purchased at a department store) that is less than 10 years old and is in good condition. We will assess the bike and give you a quote on how much we can give you for it. If the bike is 2 years old or less you could get up to half back towards your next bike.