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Your child’s first bicycle?
It matters.

By Honza Hanzlík

Every parent knows this. Your child goes from the stroller to a plastic go-cart. From the go-cart to a pushbike and as soon they’ve barely learnt to balance, they want to pedal. But what should it be? There are two mantras for selection of an appropriate bicycle: size and brakes. And your child would certainly add: a good colour.

Size matters

The most important step in the selection of children’s bicycles is the correct size. A common mistake is to purchase a larger frame in good faith that the child will “grow into it”. If the child doesn’t know how to handle the driving techniques, they should definitely stay with the feet on the earth. Or at least to be able to reach it from the bike. The problem with incorrectly selecting the size of bicycle is also the unnatural sitting position it creates. The child is too stretched or the handlebars are too high. Your little darling is then ruining its posture and moreover looks on their bike like a Gummy bear soaked overnight in water.

Photo: Profimedia.cz

Therefore everything depends on the size of the two wheels. Standard manufacture sizes are 12 to 26 inches and it shouldn’t be a problem to choose the right size for your child. The wheel size is usually related to the brakes, which are suitable for the given model.

Think about brakes

The smallest bicycles use solid gear transfer or reverse pedal brake. These models are used for introduction to the new movement. Reverse pedal brake creates in children a reflex to react to danger by jumping on the pedals. Some people argue that it is not a problem to teach a young cyclist to use freewheeling techniques. The main problem is to then learn to use the brakes.

Photo: Profimedia.cz

This is related to the emphasis on easy operation (squeezing) of the front “push” brake and it’s easy adjustability. A psychologist will tell you that a traumatic experience while learning to cycle can deter a child from wanting to continue. A  fall over the handlebars and licking the asphalt would certainly be one of these experiences. You must be prepared for any falls and bumps and have a strategy just in case. During training it is therefore recommended to have patience and a maximum consideration to maturity, well-being and abilities of  your child.

Photo: Profimedia.cz

One bike, more sizes

The whole problem may be solved for us by an Irish serviceman Simon Evans. He also went through the ordeal of repeated selection of bikes for his super-fast growing children. So frustrated with this he simply invented a bike for children whose size is variable and can be freely adjusted. Its name is ‘Little Big Bike’ and can be used for children from two to seven years old. In the first phase it is possible to turn the rear of the bike also with the handlebar, so that a higher seating position is created. It is also possible to lift the handlebar. Once your child is ready for pedaling, there is no problem to add a plug-in central part with a pedal mechanism.

Whichever bike you choose, it will probably stay in your children’s memories for the rest of their lives – so choose wisely.