DECATHLON's cycling brand offers handy tips to help with your cycling practice.
If you’re starting from scratch, you should choose your kids’ bike with their age and height in mind. Then, think about how they’ll use it – with you in the city, on adventure holidays, or at the skate park, perhaps?
1. THE AGE
Whether it's a balance bike , one with stabilisers , or your child's first mountain bike , there's a bike for every age. And starting them early is the best way to build confidence and inspire a lifelong love of cycling.
Children can start learning to ride a tricycle or balance bike (which is just a bike without wheels) from the age of two.
In order to learn to ride ‘like a grown-up’, kids between the ages of three and five can use bikes with stabilisers (12 and 14 inches) and balance bikes that can then be converted once they’re ready.
2. THE HEIGHT
Besides your child's age, size is a major factor when choosing his/her bike. Kids need to feel at ease on their bike so it’s important that you don’t start them off with a bigger bike in the hope of getting more years out of it. Bike sizes are given in inches (from 10 to 24) and correspond with the diameter of the wheels.
Here’s a guide to the type and size of bike your budding cyclist will need, depending on their height:
Between 85cm and 1m: 10-inch bike (tricycles and balance bikes)
Between 90cm and 1.05m: 12 and 14-inch bikes (balance bikes that turn into real bikes)
Between 1.05m and 1.20m: 16-inch bike
Between 1.20m and 1.35m: 20-inch bike
Between 1.35m and 1.55m: 24-inch bike
From the age of six, kids start using their bikes differently, so you’ll need to start looking at more specific designs like hybrid, mountain or BMX bikes .
There are different kinds of hybrid bike available depending on whether your child cycles in cities or in the countryside, and they boast features such as a low step through, accessories such as a basket or pannier, and a comfy saddle and mudguards for long journeys and potentially muddy terrain.
However, if most of your kid’s rides will be on slightly rougher terrain, you should consider a mountain bike.
For messing around in the park and practicing tricks, opt for a BMX.
If a child is between sizes, choose the bigger size. But make sure that they can still touch the ground with their toes!