All kids are very energetic. They love running, jumping, riding down the street on a scooter, roller skates or bicycle. To avoid injuries while riding, parents should carefully choose the right bike for their child. When making such purchase, parents want to be sure that their kid will be safe and sound. If you ignore the criteria for choosing, the bike might turn out to be not only inconvenient, but also dangerous for the health, which will definitely not bring any joy to the kid.
Recently I was choosing a bike for my five-years-old niece. I was surprised by the wide variety of models and impressive number of their characteristics. I read a lot of information related to this topic, and I made the final choice with the help of this post, that contains comparative table and reviews on bikes for five-years-old kids.
I have written this post on the basis of the knowledge and experiences I got. In this article I will share general recommendations of choosing bikes for children, as well as tell what you should pay attention to when buying a bike for a five-years-old child.
How to Choose Bike for Kids: General Recommendations
Perhaps, one of the most important characteristics is the diameter of the bicycle wheels. There are bikes with the following wheels size for 2-6 years-old kids on the market:
- Bikes with 12-inch wheels are suitable for children with the height from 2’10” to 3’4”.
- Bikes with 14-inch wheels are suitable for children with the height from 3’1” to 3’7”.
- Bikes with 16-inch wheels are suitable for children with the height from 3’7” to 4’0”.
You should also pay attention to such characteristics as the material of the bicycle, it’s weight, brake system, chain design, accessories. And it is necessary to pay attention to the safety issues.
The weight of the bike depends on the frame material and the number of additional accessories. If the child will carry the bike on their own, it is necessary to take this into account. Steel frames have good strength, but their main disadvantage is high weight. Aluminum frames are also strong enough, but weigh much less.
Do not skimp on the chain protection (it is protected by a special metal cover). Despite the fact that it increases the weight of the structure, it ensures safety – it prevents parts of clothing from getting in the chain.
Chain protection is also necessary as the road dust, dirt, water and sand, getting on the chain lubricant, significantly impair its performance, acting as an abrasive.
Bicycles for kids of the youngest age should be equipped with a foot brake mechanism, which allows you to brake with the sharp rotation of pedals in the opposite direction.
Bikes for older kids are usually equipped with handbrake. Preschoolers are not recommended to use it because of the lack of necessary force to compress the brake handle. Also they are not used in bikes because young kids do not have enough concentration and can simply not realize what to do at the right moment. Children’s models do not have switch of speeds for the same reason.
Bike fenders can be also useful (for protection from the dirt flying from under the wheels), as well as headlights, reflectors and bicycle helmet. Girls bicycles often have baskets attached to the fork. If desired, bicycles may be equipped with rear seats – trunks.
How to Choose a Bike for a Five-Years-Old Child
The main difference of bicycles for this age group is the wheels’ diameter. Depending on the kid’s height (in general it ranges from 3’7” to 4’2”) and length of the legs, 16-inches and 18-inches wheels can be used. They are more stable, their cushioning properties are better than those of 12-inch wheels, which easily allows the child to overcome road bumps.
Models for the tallest kids can be equipped with a front brake of manual type. The rear foot brake is mandatory – it is reliable and acts as a guarantor of safety. According to CuteLittleDarling site, the speed switch at this age is not yet relevant.
Safety wheels may still be necessary until the child feels more confident. The chain and steering wheel must be protected. You should think about additional protection for the rider – knee pads, bicycle helmet and elbow pads at this age will help protect the kid in case of falling.
It is necessary to pay attention to the material of the frame and spare parts – preference should be given to light aluminum structures, as children at this age already carry their own “iron horse”, especially through high curbs. Be sure to have a bell on the bike for extreme situations.
If you consider all the criteria when choosing a bike for the kid, it will bring them maximum joy, and you won’t have to worry that the vehicle can hurt your baby. However, apart from the correct choice, safety is also affected by the way your baby rides a bike, whether they comply with the rules on the road, whether they ride fast and so on. You should speak to your child about all these points, so that the new purchase won’t be the cause of injuries.