For your child to get the most out of cycling you must choose a first bike that fits their size and skill level. If the bike you choose is too big or too small then your child will find riding it considerably harder and less comfortable.
Similarly, giving your child a pedal bike before they’ve mastered balance bikes will likely be frustrating for them. To help out, we will give you a guide to choosing the best first bike for your child whatever their age to make cycling easier and more enjoyable.
Measuring Your Child For Their First Bike
The most important factor for choosing the first bike for your child is to get the size right. It is a mistake to buy a bike that is too big for them so that they will grow into it. The last thing you want to do is have them struggling to ride an oversized bike and discourage them from riding altogether.
Here is our size chart so you can see exactly what size of bike is best for your little one based on their height and inside leg measurement:
You can also read our full kids bike size guide to get a more detailed view of choosing the best size bike for your child.
With the bike club exchange service, you will conveniently be able to exchange your current bike for a new one when your child grows out of it.
A Child’s First Balance Bike
If you are looking to introduce your young child to cycling for the first time, then a balance bike is the best option. A balance bike is a tiny bike without pedals, meaning kids have to move the bike by pushing with their feet. This will help develop your child's balance and coordination as they cannot rely on stabilisers to stay upright.
The perfect time to get your child on a balance bike is when they are between 18 months and 2 years old, however they can also be used up to 4 years of age.
For a first bike, balance bikes are a better option than a regular bike with stabilisers for several reasons. With stabilisers, children will often lean outwards when cornering which is the opposite motion to cornering with a normal bike.
Bikes with stabilisers also do not need momentum to stay upright unlike normal bikes, and when they are removed it can be stressful for the child not used to balancing the bike.
One of our most popular bikes is the Frog Tadpole. It is renowned by experts and parents alike thanks to its simple intuitive design. Coming in fantastic bright colours, they are also loved by kids too! For a first balance bike, we would highly recommend the Frog Tadpole due to its quality lightweight design.
There are other great options too. The best balance bikes are those from premium brands that specialise in kids bikes, such as Puky, Strider, and Frog because they make high-quality bikes that kids and parents love.
For more information on balance bikes, you can read our blog on the debate over balance bikes against stabilisers.
Choosing a First Pedal Bike
First pedal bikes are ideal for children between 3 and 6 years old. As well as being the perfect next step for a child that started on a balance bike, they are also great for a first-timer who is new to cycling. With no gears they are simple to ride and a natural progression from a balance bike.
When it comes to choosing a first pedal bike for your child you want something lightweight. This will make it easier for your child to manoeuvre and easier for you as a parent to carry around.
Squish 14 is a popular first pedal bike with our members and we highly recommend it. It’s characteristic lightweight, features easy-to-reach brakes and Kenda tyres, and comes with an appealing paint job.
At Bike Club we only supply the best first pedal bikes from top-quality brands. They are all lightweight and durable, with off-road tyres suitable for traversing a range of terrains.
The best first pedal bikes for children are those made by brands that specialise in kids bikes. You can view our range of first pedal bikes offered on subscription, featuring the top kids bike brands such as Frog, Woom, Squish, and more.
Specialised Bikes for Kids
If your child is old enough, you may be looking to get them a high-quality specialised bike like a road bike or a mountain bike to transition them to more advanced cycling.
First Kids Road Bike
Road bikes are built with speed and durability in mind. If your child is interested in getting into the competitive side of cycling then a road bike is an excellent starting point. With thin racing tyres and drop handlebars, all the kids road bikes we offer are from the best kids bike brands on the market.
These include the Frog Road 58 which features a lightweight aluminium frame and child-specific handlebars for maximum control.
Getting Started with a Hybrid Bike
Hybrid bikes are a popular choice for first bikes as they are versatile. Being somewhere between road bikes and mountain bikes, they are capable of handling a range of different terrains, from tarmac to hill trails.
If you want your child to have a handy all-purpose bike for getting to school or riding through the park then you can’t go wrong with a hybrid bike.
One that we recommend amongst others is the Forme Kinder 20. Coming in bright colours, the Kinder 20 is eye-catching as well as fun and easy for kids to ride due to its lightness.
We have many other premium kids hybrid bikes available as we believe a quality bike can make a world of difference. That is why we offer the best hybrid bikes for 5 to 14-year-olds on subscription. Our stock includes Frog, Woom, Forme, and more.
Choosing a First BMX Bike
BMX bikes are off-road bikes designed for racing and also used for stunts due to their small design. If your child is interested in the more adventurous and artistic side of cycling then a BMX bike will be a fantastic present.
For your child's first BMX bike, we have a range of the best BMX bikes on the market from leading brands available on subscription. The WeThePeople CRS 18 Freestyle is an exceptional choice for a first BMX bike for a teenager.
First Kids Mountain Bike
If your child prefers cycling off-road on forest trails and bumpy hill cycling routes then a proper kids mountain bike is essential. Kids mountain bikes are just as robust and hardy as their adult counterparts, with suspension and wide tyres.
A high-quality first mountain bike will be easier for your child to ride and also help them make the most of the great outdoors. Having a reliable bike that can endure harsh terrains makes a world of difference. You can browse our range of the best mountain bikes for kids today.
Best Brands for First Bikes
When your child rides their first bike, you want them to fall in love with cycling. A high-quality bike from a great brand can make all the difference. You want to give them a bike that looks great and is also comfortable to ride so that they enjoy cycling from their initial experience.
The brands that we stock make premium bikes with an understanding that children's bikes need to fit the proportions of children and have child-friendly components.
From Puky and Strider balance bikes to Frog and Forme hybrid bikes, we have a great first bike for your child to get them up and about on two wheels.
Getting a First Bike with Bike Club
With Bike Club you do not have to worry about paying a significant upfront cost for a bike that your child will inevitably outgrow.
Using our bike subscription service you can choose a brilliant first bike for your child and exchange it for a larger one when the time comes. You will gain all the benefits of access to a premium bike whilst paying a monthly fee.
You can browse our range of bikes and choose an exceptional first bike for your little one today.