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Introduce Your Child to Freewheeling Fun with Kids Bikes and Tricycles

Remember what it felt like to get your first two-wheeler bike as a kid? The rush of triumph as you rode for the first time without training wheels, the thrill of the cool air as it caressed your face, and the feeling that you could keep riding forever – it's something every kid should experience. And with the right kid's bike, they can. 

How to Choose the Right Bike for Your Child 

Kids can start learning to ride even as young as 3 years old. In order to maximize the fun and minimize any fuss along the way, here are some factors to consider: 

Types of Starter Bikes 

When it's time for your little one to start learning to ride, there are plenty of options to choose from. A tricycle or kids bike with training wheels can help your child master pedaling and steering without worrying about balancing. Or you can take a different approach with a balance bike, which teaches balancing and steering while allowing your kid to keep their feet on the ground. 

After your kid has mastered a two-wheeler, you can browse through a variety of bike types for their next set of wheels. These can include kids cruiser bikes (for regular riding on flat surfaces), mountain bikes, offroad bikes, and more. 

Choose the Right Bike Height 

The next factor to consider is the bike's height. Most bikes are classified by their tire size, but the most important dimension for your kid's very first pedal bike is seat height. You'll want to choose a bicycle that allows the child to stop the bike with their feet, because that's what they'll be doing as they practice. This means your child should be able to place their entire foot (not just the tippy toes) on the ground, so let your kid straddle prospective bikes to make sure this can happen. (If you're shopping online, measure your child's inseam to get a sense of the right seat height.) 

As your kid grows in size and ability and moves on to other bikes, you should look for models that allow for a few centimetres of clearance between the child's groin and the bike's top tube (the horizontal tube that connects the front and back of the frame). 

All kids are different, so make sure to base your buying decision on the height of the seat or top tube, as mentioned above, rather than going by the broad, imprecise measurements of a height chart. 

Other Important Bike Factors 

Brakes: Kids bikes tend to have either coaster (a.k.a. back-pedal) or hand brakes. Coaster brakes are better for beginners because kids will naturally backpedal when they want to stop. As they grow older and gain better hand strength and hand-eye coordination they can move up to hand brakes, which are more efficient and intuitive. 

Weight: It's best to get the lightest bike that fits your child's size. Keep in mind that, in general, the lighter the bike, the higher the price. 

Gears: Most beginner bikes only have a single gear, but as your kid moves up the bike ecosystem they can eventually ride bikes with gears, which give them more control over speed and riding up inclines.