Buying a Kid's bike
At Bike Force Docklands we are keen to get kids out and riding bikes. One of the store goals is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. With the influence of the internet and video games, kids are often indoors glued to the screen rather than being outdoors.
A bike provides kids with freedom and confidence. Introducing cycling to kids offers many benefits including muscle development, using fine motor skills, refining navigation skills, being active and having fun outdoors!
We have reviewed many brands of kid's bikes and have decided to stock and recommend Cannondale & Malvern Star brands for kids. This is because we believe they offer the best riding experience for your child.
Kids bikes are not all the same
When purchasing a kids bike, it is important to get a bike which will make the riding experience fun and as easy as possible. The lighter the bike, the better. There are many brands of kids bikes available. Cheaper bikes that are mass produced for toy stores or department stores are constructed with steel and will rust on contact to moisture. They are also very heavy and can be up to 80% weight of the child or heavier. This extra weight would make learning how to ride more difficult, steering the bike and accelerating would require extra work, not to mention picking up the bike when it falls down.
Cannondale and Malvern Star bikes have a light alloy frame and components which keeps the weight as low as possible. An alloy frame also means it won't rust.
How to size up a bike for a child
As a general guide, when your child is sitting on the bike; they should be able to comfortably hold the handlebars and place the balls of both feet firmly on the ground.
When standing; the clearance from the crossbar (between their legs) should be at least 3 cm on a road bike and 5-10 cm for a BMX or mountain bike.
When riding, your child should be able to pedal with plenty of space from their knees to the handlebars.
Durability of the bike is important
Quality kids bikes are well built with sturdy components and need little maintenance to run. Cheaper brands often replace the steel bearings found in hubs, steering tube, and the crank with plastic components that can deform with time or when older members ride them. A good kids bike can last and run smooth for many years.
Not all brands are equal. We stock brands that make kids bikes with the same attention to detail as for adult bikes. Cannondale and Malvern Star are our chosen brands for kids.
Cannondale Kids Bikes - Cannondale is a leading premium American cycling brand. They have a large research and development team, and put a lot of thought into their designs. Cannondale not only makes kids bikes, but also mountain bikes, cross bikes and road bikes. The Cannondale brand is associated with quality in the bike world.
The Cannondale kids bikes are made from a ultra light aluminium alloy frame which has life time warranty. The bikes have lower range gear ratios and this makes it easier to start pedaling and easier to climb hills. Cannondale kids bikes have a very low stand-over height, so you can purchase a bigger size sooner and have extra time on the existing bike before moving to a new size.
We keep a range of Cannondale kids bikes and adult bikes in store. If we don't have the model or specification you are after, once we size you up, we can order it in!
Malvern Star Kids Bikes - Malvern Star is a well know Australian bike manufacturer based in Melbourne. We keep only the Livewire 20i and Attitude 24i in store, both with internal hubs and rear hub protectors which are easy to maintain. These sturdy kids bikes have a simple three gear system and offer great value for money. If we don't stock the model you are after, we can order it in for you!
Types of Kids Bikes
Balance bikes (have no pedals) are recommended from 18 months+ depending on the child. They assist with the development of balance and steering skills. Kids propel themselves along by pushing the ground with their feet. Once they are confident and gain speed, they are encourage to lift their feet to coast and develop their balance skills.
Single speed bikes with back-pedal brakes are recommended for kids 4-8 years old depending on the child. The back-pedal (coaster) brakes are recommended for young children whose hands are not strong enough to operate hand brakes effectively. They often have a secondary hand brake that the child can learn to use over time before progressing to a bike with only handbrakes.
Multi speed bikes are recommended for 6 years and older, depending on the child. Multi speed (geared) bikes generally have two hand brakes and no back-pedal brake. These are for kids who are beginning to ride further distances or in hilly areas.