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Can you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? That feeling when your dad let go of the seat and you shouted at the top of your lungs: “I can do this!”
You might also remember the dodgy hand-me-down bike you learned on. Ropey brakes, clunky gears and bald tyres – ring any bells? Fortunately for kids nowadays there are loads of great bikes designed specifically for them, thoughtfully put together to provide them with a bike that can grow as they do. They’re also sturdy enough to handle the odd tumble and, should you want to pass them on to younger siblings, stand the test of time a lot better than your old clunker.
Get the balance
Kids just love to explore their world. From around 18 months until about four years old a balance bike is an ideal way for them to toddle about while learning the ropes of riding, getting used to the feeling of a bike without the added complication of pedals. The Specialized Hotwalk does away with any of that pesky braking business too, and with airless tyres, there’s little to stop your little hero having the time of their lives down the local pump track.
Frog make cool bikes that are tough enough to handle the rough and tumble of child’s play. They attach a single rear brake that, while not essential on balance bikes, starts kids on the road to understanding how a full-sized bike will operate. Frog also recognise that some children are older and a bit bigger before they first learn to ride, so their Tadpole Plus balance bike keeps that in mind.
Some people prefer a more conventional bike – i.e. with pedals and a drivetrain – with stabilisers for their children. These allow your kids to ride a little further and faster without the risk of a grazed knee. They’re the perfect bike for your little ripper to get out on the trail, with tough components and a sturdy frame that will stand up to years of use. The stabilisers can be removed once they’ve mastered the art of balance so they are a good long-term choice too.
They grow up fast!
Kids endlessly amaze us with how fast they learn new skills, and before you know it they’ll need a bike that can take them further and also keep up with their growth spurts.
Clearly, youngsters grow at different rates, so it’s best to pop in to see us before choosing what size bike you should go for, but for kids aged between five and around 12, most parents choose 14” or 16” bikes – the size refers to the wheel diameter.
With nice touches like chain guards to keep their clothes clean (and inquisitive fingers safe) these bikes are well thought out and will allow your adventurous little ones to push their boundaries while introducing them to the all-important ideas of pedalling, gears and brakes. These are the bikes we wish we had when we were young!
As your kids grow into little adults they’re going to need a bike that’s built for them. For teenagers wanting to explore more and more, a 20” or 24” bike is ideal. They’re not yet ready for a full-sized bike – it can be tempting to push them too early onto a bike that’s too big for them – and we've got a great range in stock, everything from cool mountain bikes for the weekend to sassy bikes to show off on the school run.
Teach your kids to ride properly and they, like all of us, will be hooked before you know it. By the time they’re fully grown (and it will happen in a flash, believe us!) they’ll be proficient riders, ready to pass on their passion to the next generation. A word of warning though – treat your kids to a cool new bike and lazy Sunday mornings will be a thing of the past!