Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage for many children. It's a big moment that starts a whole lifetime of fun and excitement!
However, choosing the right bike for your child can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time doing it. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of first pedal bikes, what they are, and how they can benefit your child when learning how to ride a bike.
What is a First Pedal Bike?
A first pedal bike is a small bike designed specifically for young children who are learning to ride. These bikes have pedals and a drivetrain, just like an adult bike, but they are much smaller and lighter, making them easier for children to handle.
They come in a variety of styles and are ideal for children who are aged 3 to 6 years old. Most importantly, they're designed to keep things simple and fun for your child.
Why Choose a First Pedal Bike?
Choosing a first pedal bike for your child offers several benefits. Here are just a few:
Learning to ride a bike can be a daunting task for young children. A first pedal bike is perfect for helping build their confidence by providing a safe and stable platform to practice on.
Riding a bike requires coordination between the hands, feet, and eyes. A first pedal bike helps develop these skills by providing a fun and engaging way to practice.
Balance is a crucial skill when a child is learning to ride a bike. Most likely they will have already developed this skill when riding a balance bike. Once they graduate to their first pedal bike, they'll be able to further improve their balance.
Increases Physical Activity
Riding a bike is a great way to get outside and get some exercise. Choosing a first pedal bike encourages children to be active and spend time outdoors.
First Pedal Bike Brands
There are several quality bike brands available on the market today; especially when it comes to first pedal bikes. Here is a brief overview of them:
One of the most popular kids' bike brands in the UK, Frog children's bikes was created out of the need for quality, lightweight and affordable bikes.
There are a number of Frog pedal bikes available to choose from including the popular Frog 40, Frog 43, and Frog 44.
The Forme kids' bike brand has existed for some time now and is a well-known brand amongst families in the UK.
The Forme Cubley range is a great option for a kid's first pedal bike and comes in a variety of styles based on wheel sizes: 14, 16 and 18 inches.
A European brand from Austria, Woom is an up-and-coming childrens' bike brand that also focuses on creating the very best lightweight bikes.
Woom has a couple of stylish toddler pedal bikes available including the Woom 2 and the Woom 3.
A bike brand from Spain, Orbea has a number of kids' bikes in its range including pedal bikes.
One of the more popular pedal bikes for 3 year olds and older is the Orbea MX 16. A premium kids bike built to ride like a mini mountain bike. It's lightweight and uses smaller brake levers, saddles, and flat pedals ensuring a comfortable ride.
Similar to Forme, Squish pedal bikes come in a variety of wheel sizes including 14, 16, and 18 inches and are all incredibly lightweight.
Available in a variety of colours, the Squish range is a great option for those children transitioning from a balance bike.
Choosing the right size bike for your child is essential to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable riding experience. There are a few things to keep in mind when measuring your child for a bike:
Measure Your Child
Measure your child's inseam and use that measurement to determine the appropriate bike size. Most bike manufacturers provide size charts to help you make this determination.
Check the Fit
Once you've selected a bike, make sure it fits your child properly. The seat should be at a height that allows your child to touch the ground with both feet when seated. The handlebars should be at a comfortable height and distance from the seat.
The goal here is to ensure that your child is feeling comfortable at all times as soon as they start pedalling.
Some bikes come with adjustable seats and handlebars, which can be a great option if you want a bike that will grow with your child.
Avoid Buying a Bike That Is Too Large
While it may be tempting to buy a bike that your child can grow into, it's important to choose a bike that is the right size for them now.
A bike that is too large can be difficult for a child to control and can negatively impact their riding position.
If your child does get to a point where they outgrow their bike, our bike Exchange service will allow you to upgrade them to the next bike that is suited for their age and size.
Tips for Teaching Your Child to Ride
Teaching your child to ride a bike can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few tips to help make the process easier:
Start with Balance
If your child is using a balance bike, encourage them to focus on balance first before introducing pedalling. Once they've mastered balance, they can transition to a bike with pedals.
Use a Safe Area
Choose a safe area to practice, such as a park or an empty parking lot. Avoid busy streets or areas with heavy traffic.
Begin by having your child walk their bike and then progress to coasting. Once they are comfortable coasting, they can start pedalling.
Learning to ride a bike takes time and practice. Be patient with your child and encourage them to keep trying.
Also, keep in mind there might be times when they simply don't want to ride at all. That's okay! We wrote a handy blog on what to do when this happens.
Maintenance and Safety Tips
Maintaining your child's first pedal bike is important to ensure it stays safe and enjoyable to ride. Here are a few maintenance and safety tips to keep in mind:
Check the Tires
Check the tires regularly to make sure they are properly inflated and in good condition. Replace any worn or damaged tires immediately.
Adjust the Brakes
Make sure the brakes are functioning properly and adjust them as needed. Your child should be able to stop the bike easily with the brakes.
Inspect the Chain
Check the chain regularly to make sure it is clean and lubricated. A dry or rusty chain can cause the bike to malfunction.
Wear Safety Gear
Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads to protect them in the event of a fall. While falls are going to happen from time to time, it's always a good idea to make sure your child is protected at all times to reduce any injury or harm.
In fact, a study conducted back in 2017 by Safe Kids Worldwide reported that 86% of parents ensured their child wore a helmet when they were wearing one too.
Choosing the right first pedal bike for your child can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. By understanding the benefits of a first pedal bike, the different brands available, and how to choose the right size, we hope this guide has given you the confidence to choose the ideal pedal bike for your child.