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Kids’ Bikes (Two-Wheelers)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Since kids grow so fast, it's important to find a bike that is adjustable. Also, since your child will eventually grow out of it, you want one that won't break the bank. Here's what we found out about kids' bikes.

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • A combination of hand brakes and pedal brakes offer the best safety. Keep in mind that some smaller kids (who don’t have as much strength) find hand brakes too difficult operate.

  • Look for cantilever brakes. They’re sturdier than side-pull brakes because they’re attached to the frame in two places.

  • Look for aluminum rims on the wheels. They’re easier for the brakes to grab onto than chrome-plated steel rims, which can be slippery.

  • A steel frame is sturdier than aluminum, but also heavier. Something to consider if you’ll be the one lifting the bike in and out of the trunk!

  • Be sure to get the right size. There should be about one inch of space above the crossbar and your child. And remember anything too big is a safety hazard. This isn’t something you can grow into!

  • A used bike can be a good option. But make sure there is no rust on the brake cables (rust on the chain is easy to get off). And make sure the pedals spin smoothly. If they’re making any strange sounds it could indicate a problem with the bearings, which can be expensive to fix.

  • Don’t forget to budget for a helmet and a light!

Other Considerations

After all the time we spent researching and considering what to look for in a children's bike, we got a laugh out of our kid testers' final analysis. After spending weeks with the test bikes, the consensus was clear: they just wanted a bike in their favorite color! So don’t forget to consider that too.

 

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