It is commendable that many parents try to accustom their children to a bicycle from a young age. This helps the kids to develop coordination of movements, helps to strengthen the muscles and allows you to spend a lot of time in the fresh air. Therefore, it is useful to consider what kinds of children’s bicycles can be found in the modern market, and which ones will suit your child the best.
Types of bikes
First of all, bicycles are divided according to the type of design, depending on the age of the child for whom they are intended. There is a special table in relation to the baby’s height and the size of the wheels. Together with the wheels, the frame also corresponds to the height. For example, when choosing a bicycle, you need to consider that the frame should be no more than 10 cm from the crotch of the baby in a standing position. A distance of the legs to the pedals is also important. The feet should be freely reachable to the pedals in their lower position. And you need to reach the paddles with the middle of the sole, and not the toes.
Basically, children’s bikes can be divided into 5 types:
• Two-wheelers for kids from 1.5 to 3 years (up to 100 cm);
• For children from 3 to 5 years (up to 115 cm);
• Almost teen models for children from 5 to 9 years (up to 130 cm);
• Externally similar to the adult MTB, but while reduced in size – from 8 to 12 years (above 130 cm).
Do not buy bicycles with the prospect that the child will grow. Each of these models is designed for children with a certain height and weight. Therefore, having bought a children’s bike for growth, your child is most likely not able to manage it because of the massive frame and insufficient height.
Many do not even consider this type of transport as bicycles. Yet, they are very popular among children from 1 to 3 years old. They do not have a chain, shifters and a speed switch. But, despite the simplicity of the design, these bikes are also divided into several types. Bikes for boys and girls differ only in color. This applies to children’s modifications of all ages. But functionally, there are several types of children’s tricycles.
The first one is a bicycle carriage. There are no pedals whatsoever in this model. It is designed for very young children whose age is less than 1 year. There is a long handle behind the back, thanks to which the parent controls it. Depending on the manufacturer and model, a visor and a seat belt are fitted to these bicycles.
There is a classic three-wheeled bike, where the kid himself turns the pedals, as well as a bicycle-transformer, which includes both pedals and a handle for parents. Thanks to this, after the child grows up, the handle can be removed and the kid can be allowed to operate the bike himself.
From 1.5 to 3 years
This type can fully be called a bicycle. To reduce the trauma of children, the design is as safe as possible. The frame is set up very low, so the child can sit comfortably and would not get damaged when jumping off the saddle. To maintain balance at the rear, two additional wheels are installed on both sides.
The chain and the sprockets have a special plastic or metal protection, so the child would not catch on to it with his trousers or put his foot in there. This type of bike strongly resembles old school children bikes.
From 3 to 5
It is remarkably similar to the previous group of bicycles. The difference is only in proportionally increased sizes. As a brake, there can be a foot-operated backstop mechanism as well as a handle on the handlebars. There is also chain protection and additional wheels. The frame can be made of both steel and aluminum. Each material has its advantages. The steel bike is stronger, and the aluminum one is lighter. Therefore, the bike should be selected from the characteristics of the child. As a rule, boys are bought steel, and for girls – aluminum.
From 5 to 9
At this age, the growth and weight of children is significantly increased, and their physical capabilities allow faster acceleration of their iron horse. Therefore, the bicycle must meet the stated requirements.
Brakes should be more reliable and responsive. This group of bikes often install the front V-brake. And the foot brake is also present. The fork is equipped with shock absorbers, and the wheels grow to 18-20 inches in diameter.
From 9 to 12 years old
Most similar to adult bikes. They are fitted with 24-inch wheels, full-bodied shock absorbers and at times even disc brakes. The frame corresponds to mountain bikes as much as possible. The only difference is in proportionally reduced size. The frame consists of two parts. There are special models for girls, where the upper crossbeam of the frame is lowered.
There are modifications that have retained the principle of the bicycle, but have been redone for other modes of transport. For example, today in shops you can meet a children’s bicycle in the shape of a car. It usually has 4 wheels. Seating is the same as in the car – the back is thrown back, and the legs – forward. With the help of a steering wheel identical to a car, and pedals, all 4 wheels are set in motion.
Also there are children’s bicycles in the shape of a tractor, which can have 3 and 4 wheels. The child’s seating in most models is vertical. Often, a trailer is added to the bicycle in the shape of a tractor, which clings to the rear and can transport even the second child.
A bike in the shape of a motorcycle looks like a standard bicycle the most. It can be three or two-wheeled. All components and the principle of operation of the traditional bicycle are preserved. The effect of the motorcycle is only due to the plastic frame. These models are usually designed for children under 6 years.