Getting Your Child a Bike

Cycling is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy as a family, plus it enables you to spend time outdoors. If your child is ready for their first bike, or if they’ve outgrown their current one and are needing something bigger, here are some things to think about when getting your child a bike. There are also some tips on bike security, as once your child is comfortable on their bike, you don’t want to find that it's been stolen the next time you go to use it.

When buying a bike you need to get one that is the right size for your child. This will help them to feel confident on the bike, so riding is an enjoyable experience. Avoid the temptation to buy the next size up so they ‘can grow into it’ as they’ll struggle to control the bike and they’ll feel less inclined to use it. The wheel size of the big generally relates to the child’s height:
Height (cm)
Wheel size (inches)
85 - 90
90 - 100
110 - 110
110 - 115
115 - 120
120 - 135
135 - 145
145 plus

If your child is between sizes, wait a few months until they’ve grown and then get them remeasured.
For children, it’s best to avoid buying a bike with lots of extras, particularly for young children. These add extra weight to the bike, which makes it difficult to control and steer. These extras also make the bike more expensive to buy and fix.
A general rule is that for children who are under five years, they do not need gears. If you do get a geared bike, ensure the gears are easy to change. Plus, choose a bike with soft touch brakes, as children don’t tend to have the strength in their fingers to pull the brakes all the way back.
Safety whilst riding
Before you take your child out on their new bike, make sure they’re fully protected. Ensure the helmet is the correct size and that it fist securely on your child’s head and that it doesn’t move around too much. If your child is still riding with stabilisers, ensure they are fitted correctly and touch the ground, so your child doesn’t rock side to side when riding.
Bike safety tips
One of the first things you should do when you get a new bike is to register it with a bike registration scheme. BikeRegister is the UK’s national cycle database, and you can claim for a free marking kit on their website. It’s also a good idea to buy a sturdy bike lock, ideally a U-lock. Finally, think about storing your bikes somewhere which is out of sight, like a garage or shed. And, if you can, buy a secure bike storage unit, like a wall-mounted rack.
Now that you know what you need to consider when getting your child a bike, the next thing to do is to go out and get one so you enjoy more cycling adventures as a family.

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