1. Consider a balance bike! Bikes without pedals will get your child used to the principles of cycling without the fear of falling and speed up their progress when they move onto normal bicycles. There’s even Strider racing now for toddlers and it’s amazing to see the confidence they can develop. It’s this more recent thinking that has superseded the idea of stabilisers, so that your child can progress with relative ease onto a regular bike.
2. When they progress on to a regular bike remember that with moving to a larger size wheel that the bike will become 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.
3. Lighter is better, times have changed in the bicycle world, lighter bikes are significantly easier to handle these days and for parents to carry back from the school run! Whilst there is an increased cost they do retain their value significantly better than bikes of yesteryear. Look for second hand steals if you’re on a tight budget and sell yours on when your child outgrows the frame size.
4. Resist the urge to push the boundaries of the size of bike you buy your child. You wouldn’t buy them a pair of shoes 3 sizes too big for P.E. so keep to the correct size of bike for them, this will increase their confidence and therefore safety when cycling.
5. You don’t need to over-complicate things when it comes to gearing – look for models with gear changes that don’t operate by twisting the bars as small hand sometimes struggle to operate these as efficiently.
Rebecca Charlton is a TV presenter, cyclist, journalist and author. She appeared at this year’s Cycle Show which will be returning to the NEC Birmingham from 12th – 15th September 2019.