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5 tips for keeping your child safe on their first bike

Words by Cycle King on 26/10/2021 11:08:00

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I’m sure we all remember learning to ride a bike for the first time. Now your child is begging for their first bike for Christmas and it’s your turn to guide them on their journey of learning to ride a bike for the first time. The moment they set off on their own will be full of nostalgia for you but it’s vital to set them off on the right path to keep them safe.

In this blog, we’re focusing on 5 tips for keeping your child safe on their first bike. As well as making it safer for them, it’ll also make the process a little less stressful for you.

1. Sizing

The first and most important step to ensuring your child’s safety is finding them the right bike. Don’t buy a bike expecting your child to ‘fit into it’. Ask for help from one of our in-store experts or check out our guide on ‘How to choose the right bike for your child’.

In short, a bicycle is suitable when your child can sit comfortably on the seat, their feet reach the ground, and the handlebars are no higher than their shoulders. You should also consider foot brakes as well as hand brakes to give your child even more protection. Read on to learn more about the correct options for you.

2. Bike options

Balance bikes: Balance bikes are beneficial for toddlers developing their coordination and confidence skills.

Tricycle: Great for boosting children's independence, and for people with disabilities. They are more stable than a standard bike, with the frame closer to the ground, making gathering momentum much easier.

Training wheels: We advise keeping stabilisers on for as long as it takes your child to feel comfortable when riding their bike. This will take time so be patient!

3. Brakes

One of the most important parts of learning to ride a bike is when and how to use the brakes. Our range of kids’ bikes come with brakes that are specially designed for their smaller hands. Here is a breakdown of the types of brakes we offer for children learning on their first bike:

Coaster brakes: Also known as back-pedal brakes or foot brakes, coaster brakes are on most kids’ bikes. They are simple in design and require zero maintenance. However, when they’re removed, they cannot be replaced.

Coaster brakes are most suitable when your child:

-Is familiar with coaster brakes from previous bikes.

-Has a disability that will make hand brakes difficult to use.

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Hand brakes: Useful when your child:

-Has proven coordination skills, strength and confidence when riding a bike.

-Have used hand brakes with a previous balance bike and is confident enough to use with their first pedal bike.

-Is confident when pedalling and looking to progress.  

Whatever the final verdict, make sure your child is comfortable with braking before they take to the road.

4. Rules of the road

Before any trip out, check your child knows the rules of the road and ensure your child is accompanied by a family member. This can bring many further benefits to help your child fall in love with the outdoors. Want to explore more? Click here for some great ideas for cycling with your kids.

You should also ensure all bikes are well-maintained before hitting the road to avoid any accidents or embarrassing calls to friends and family!

5. Equipment

Lastly, but certainly not least, consider the other equipment your child needs. This may include gloves, helmets, hi-vis clothing, locks and much more. You can always trust our in-store team to offer you advice or alternatively, take a look at Cycling UK for a complete list of bike riding essentials. You can also search through our vast array of equipment across our website and in-store.

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If you’re now feeling confident to take the leap on your child’s new adventure, take a look at our Cycle King Christmas Club to secure your child’s first bike ahead of the big day. Remember, our team are more than happy to provide additional advice to meet your needs. Let their cycling journey begin!
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