If your child is getting too big for their balance bike, it's probably time to upgrade to a pedal bike.
But where do you start?
The good news is that this blog will discuss everything you need to know about buying your first kid's pedal bike. We'll also include some examples of some that are available to you.
But first of all...
What is a First Pedal Bike?
At first, the term "first pedal" seems self-explanatory as your child's initial bike with pedals. However, when shopping for one, it's helpful to be aware of the specific definition that applies.
Unlike adult bikes, most kid's bikes are referred to by their wheel size rather than their frame size. First Pedal bikes are usually 14"-16" wheels, suitable for children with an inside leg measurement of 40cm - 50cm.
First Pedal bikes are generally single-speed, which means they don’t have complicated gears to get used to.
They are designed to be user-friendly and durable, considering they will be used by energetic 3–6-year-olds.
These bikes are the ideal next step from a balance bike once your child has mastered the art of balance. However, they can easily accommodate stabilizers since there are no gears to hinder the process.
For children who have ridden balance bikes or are using stabilizers, try removing the pedals and lowering the seat post.
As soon as they’re comfortable with the bike you can add the pedals in and raise the saddle again.
Most children, in our experience, will end up pedalling backwards at first – it is easier after all. Just give them the queue to push down and forward on the pedals and they’ll soon get the idea.
Top Tips For Choosing Your First Pedal Bike
Choosing a lightweight bike is without a doubt the most important factor (after getting the right size of course). When the bike doesn't weigh more than your little ones, they'll find it much easier to learn to pedal and control.
When it comes to lightweight bikes, the Frog 40 stands out as an excellent choice for its 14-inch wheel size, making it one of the best first pedal bikes.
Durability is also going to be vital when choosing your bike. Children aren’t exactly known for treating their possessions with care and bikes are certainly no exception.
Expect the bike to have to put up with being thrown down onto the hard ground on an almost daily basis. Fortunately, we only stock the most durable kid's bike brands to ensure that they can withstand any potential damage.
One such example of this is the Woom 2 which is easily one of our most durable kids bikes.
Chain guards can be a useful element to look out for on your first pedal bike. They cover the whole drivetrain, meaning that little fingers and bits of clothing are less likely to get caught. They can make fitting stabilizers difficult and chain lubrication challenging.
If you prioritize a smooth chain or plan on using stabilizers (not recommended), these bikes may not be right for you.
Once your child starts pedalling, they'll explore various rough and muddy terrains. This means a good set of off-road tyres is a must when looking at first pedal bikes.
Little hands get on much better with small grips and brake levers that are designed specifically for them. That means opting for a brand that takes kids seriously, which thankfully you’ll find plenty of at Bike Club.
Frequently Asked Questions About First Pedal Bikes
What age should a kid get a pedal bike?
The ideal age for a child to get a pedal bike is anywhere between 3 and 6 years old. Since every child is unique, we suggest getting them a pedal bike when they feel prepared to ride one.
Should I choose a lightweight bike for my child's first pedal bike?
For smaller riders and kids in general, we would recommend getting a lightweight bike to begin with. After upgrading from a balance bike, ensure they can easily control the pedal bike as they learn to ride with pedals.
Opting for a lightweight frame rather than a heavy bike will greatly benefit their confidence and enjoyment of riding.
How do I choose the right seat height and handlebar position for my child's comfort and safety?
You want to make sure they can sit comfortably on the bike and that both feet are planted on the ground. If they can't do that, adjust the seat height for a comfortable riding position.
Just like the seat position, ensure the handlebars are at a height that allows easy bike control for your child.
How do you measure a child for a first pedal bike?
Measuring your child for their first pedal bike, or any childrens bike for that matter, involves measuring their inside leg and height.
To find out how to measure your child for their bike, take a look at our handy kids bike size guide.
And there you have it! We hope you now understand what to consider when buying your child's first pedal bike. There are certainly a wide range of pedal bikes available for your child that we guarantee they will enjoy.
Bike Club offers a range of high-quality first pedal bikes for 3 year olds to 6 year olds, featuring top brands like Forme, Frog, Woom, and Squish.
When they outgrow their pedal bike, we have a variety of hybrid, road, BMX, and mountain bikes available to keep their cycling passion alive.