Kids' bikes

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A balance bike
A balance bike is ideal for very young children
Bicycles - and tricycles - are of course available in children's sizes. But how do you choose the right one for your child? And how much should you spend to get one that will last?

To start at the very beginning, the first 'bike' you rode probably had three wheels rather than two, with pedals fixed to the front one. Or if you were lucky, you might have whizzed around the garden on a grown-up looking tricycle with proper pedal cranks and a chain drive to the rear axle.

An ideal first actual bike on the other hand, has no pedals at all! It's best to learn to balance and steer without the added complication of pedalling, so either get your youngster a purpose made balance bike, or don't fit either the pedals or the stabilisers to that first bike. Stabilisers only delay the acquisition of real cycling skills. Once the balance, steering and braking are under control, then pedals can be fitted.

As children grow capable of using a bike not just as a plaything but to really go places, you may notice how the hideous weight and quality of these cheap little bikes discourages any effort in that direction. If you want your child to enjoy using a bike for travel and transport, it's worth spending a reasonable amount of money on something that isn't  heavier than yours! Amongst the  brands that are widely known for good quality children's bikes are: Islabikes, Ridgeback, Trek and Specialized.

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