Buying a bicycle is super exciting, yet it can be a difficult and stressful task too. From determining a budget, fit, style, model or color, the process can be overwhelming. Read these tips on how to choose the right bicycle for your child to simplify things and keep it fun.
Know your intentions. To gain more value from the purchase, think ahead to siblings who may use the bicycle at a later time. Try to make a gender neutral bicycle purchase and color it with gender specific accessories (bell, basket, etc.). This will give you more value and use down the road.
Preview the bicycle assortment before you bring the kids. Kids are drawn to bicycles that may look “cool” or “fun” but are not necessarily the bicycle that’s best for them. Pre-pick models and have them held in an area for your arrival with kids. It makes the process less complicated for everyone and directs them to the choices you want for them.
Know your geometry. If a bicycle does not fit properly it will potentially be unsafe, uncomfortable and unridden. Try to select a few different geometry styles within the correct size bicycle (there are charts based on the rider’s height and inseam). A particular geometry may work better for your rider.
Make fit a priority. If children are learning to ride 2-wheelers, their feet should be flat on the ground when sitting on the seat. Adjust the seat position to achieve this or pick a different geometry or size bicycle. For a trained rider, the balls/tip-toes of their feet should touch the ground when sitting on the seat. Make sure the bicycle can grow with the child. Expect to get 2-3 years from a properly fitted bicycle.
Work within your budget. Make a sensible choice when it comes to price. Generally, higher end bicycles come with lighter weight materials or more efficient components. Your child will have fun and ride just fine on whatever you buy, but think ahead to the hand-me-down option. Generally, higher end bicycles will last longer, not rust or break down as easily. It may be worthwhile to consider investing up front in a better bicycle.
“Local bike shops tend to have higher end bicycles with higher price points. But don’t let that fool you about value. Local bike shops tend to be assets in providing more personalized service, proper fitting, professional assembly, tune-ups and maintenance included in the price,” said Steve Finkelstein, founder of Professor Pedals, a service that offers private bicycle riding lessons on Long Island.
“Use the internet to shop and do research. There are many helpful websites,” added Finkelstein.
Visit ProfessorPedals.com for information about bicycle riding and safety. As a bonus, any student of Professor Pedals can receive 10% off any new bicycle purchase at Brands Cycle & Fitness in Wantagh.
By Steve Finkelstein of Professor Pedals in Syosset, NY