Parenting / 13 December, 2022 / Ellie Thompson
If you’re shopping for a children’s bike this Christmas, and want to know who makes the best bikes for kids, spoiler alert, it’s British brand, Raleigh.
No kid ever forgets their first bike, but with so many easily accessible products on the market these days, it’s important to do your research to avoid falling for poorly made products. With over 135 years of experience, Raleigh are the experts at creating and making the best quality bikes for kids, no matter what the age of your child.
Raleigh have been making bikes since 1887. They’re a brand with integrity and values, and more street cred than you can poke a stick at. They’ve created some of the most iconic rides – from Centros to Choppers and Hoppas to the launch of the Burner series which shifted over a million units to become the must-have bike of the 80s. I have my very own fond memories as the proud (second) owner of the legendary yellow and blue Mk1 Tuff Burner, handed down to me by my older brother, and I love how they’ve bought it back for the ultimate nostalgia purchase, and even made a balance bike version!
Raleigh is quite frankly, a rite of passage when it comes to having an awesome childhood. They’ve imagined and reimagined the cycling world more times than we can count, expertly crafting bikes for tots to teens to give your kiddo everything they need to discover the joys of cycling.
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Raleigh’s collection of kids’ bikes are designed with safety at the forefront, while of course, still looking super cool and cute for the kids. They’re a brand that pays attention to the little details which can make a big difference – like anti-slip pedals, and geometry to encourage younger kids to look up and forward. They’re also the experts at tidying the cables away for a sleek finish.
When it comes to catering for the very smallest of cyclists – we’re talking 18 months plus, we recommend investing in a Raleigh balance bike, which will make a fantastic Christmas present to park next to the tree. Balance bikes are small, lightweight pedal-free bikes carefully adapted to little hands and bodies, making them ideal for first-time riders. The great thing about balance bikes is the simplicity of their design – there are no moving parts to catch little figures.
A balance bike will get your child used to the principles of cycling without the fear of falling and will speed up their progress when they move onto a normal bicycle. The balance bike has superseded the idea of stabilisers; the idea is that a balance bike will allow your child to progress onto a regular bike with relative ease.
Raleigh’s Pop bikes are ready for years of family rides, with easy-to-remove stabilisers on the smaller models. The lightweight aluminum Raleigh Pop is jam-packed with retro charm and style. Pop is a cracking starter bike for boys and girls, and would make the perfect gift for kids aged 4+ this Christmas.
The Pop offers exceptional build quality and is designed for younger kids needing support, making it the perfect choice for a first bike. The Pop is available with stabilisers, to help build your child’s confidence, so they can quickly conquer the basics of cycling while looking completely awesome at the same time.
For the prettiest bike you’ll ever see, Raleigh’s super-cute Molli is great for enticing youngsters into the world of cycling and is the obvious choice for any little princess.
The Molli is inspired by Raleigh’s grown-up models and comes complete with a gorgeous wicker basket and a cuddly toy dog to accompany them on every adventure.
Built with a lightweight aluminum frame, its easy-to-manoeuvre design encourages an upright riding position ideal for first-time riders.
With high-rise handlebars, non-slip pedals, adjustable brake levers for little fingers, and front and rear mudguards to keep them clean and dry, they’ll be racing around the block in no time.
When your child is ready to progress onto a regular bike, remember that moving to a larger wheel will make the bike longer. Whilst your child might be able to reach the floor on a larger model they may not be able to reach the handlebars and most importantly the brakes or gears. It’s important to look at this fit so that they remain confident.
Resist the urge to push the boundaries of the size of the bike you buy your child. You wouldn’t buy them a pair of shoes three sizes too big for P.E. so keep to the correct bike size for them, to help increase their confidence and in turn, safety when cycling.
Lighter is better, times have changed in the bicycle world! Lighter bikes are much easier to handle, especially for parents to carry back from the school run! Whilst there is an increased cost, lightweight bikes do retain their value significantly better than bikes of yesteryear. Raleigh’s Pop features a robust yet lightweight aluminium frame, and their resistant tyres are chunky enough for the biggest adventure, yet speedy enough to make the school run fun.
We love this idea because it’s the easiest to do. Pick up an oversized gift bow and make a giant gift tag using cardboard and leftover wrapping paper.
If you’re looking to cheat, we’re totally with you. You can wrap your bike in seconds with a jumbo bicycle sack. Check out this great option on Amazon.
Buy yourself a festive tablecloth and wrap it around the bike. Unlike wrapping paper which has the habit of tearing, a tablecloth is flexible and so much easier to use! You’re welcome!
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