Unlike adults learning to ride the bicycle for the first time, children will eventually outgrow their bikes even if you make it a point to upgrade the bicycle accessories as the child’s skills improve. So, is there a difference in the type of bicycle an adult beginner needs from a young beginner?
When choosing your child’s first bike at the bicycle shop in Singapore, you need to take note of these factors.
1. Bike Size. The first thing to consider is finding the right bike size for your child’s age and height, not only because he/she will have a hard time handling a large bike, but more importantly, choosing the wrong size could lead to accidents. While trying the bicycle is the surest way to determine if it’s the right size for your child, there is also a formula that you can follow when looking for a new bike at the bicycle shop.
• Seat Height. This category is the most accurate way to tell if the child is using the right bike size. Although there are recommendations of bike sizes in bicycle shops for certain ages, the height of the child should be the determining factor. The height of the handlebar versus minimum seat height also differ among brands, that is why it’s better to let the kid try the bike before purchasing.
• Bike Pedal. Children will need special pedals for their first bicycle, especially if they are still learning how to balance or are not yet used to using the brakes. The attendant at any bicycle shop in Singapore might recommend models with pedals that match the minimum seat height to make it easier for the child to use his/her feet when stopping the bike.
• Standover Height. This refers to the height required by the bicycle rider to stand over the bike. For children, a minimum of 1 to 2 inches of clearance between the inseam and the top tube is required to avoid any injuries.
• Tire Size. This refers to the diameter of the bicycle tires, but looking for the right size can be tricky because not all brands recommend the same tire size for children. Depending on your child’s height, you can start with a 12-inch tire or a 14-inch tire. Most brands recommend the 12-inch tire for kids 4 years and younger, while the largest tires at 2 inches are recommended for kids 7 to 10 years. This should only serve as a guide, however.
2. Bike Weight. Although ideally, a child’s bike should weigh less than 40% of his/her body weight, most bikes are essentially heavy. The trick is to find the lightest bicycle at the bicycle shop with a quality and sturdy frame and complete bicycle accessories, such as handbrakes.
3. Bike Width. This refers to the distance between the edges of the inside of the pedals or the Q-factor. When trying out bicycles at the bicycle shop in Singapore, look for models that will allow your child to create efficient pedal stroke without having to splay his/her legs too far apart.
4. Bike Accessories. If your child is still new to the hobby, make sure to purchase bicycle accessories that will help prevent any injuries, such as; coaster brakes, hand brakes, reflectors, training wheels for beginners or specialty handbrakes. You should also include safety bicycle accessories such as a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.