Purchasing those first bikes for kids can be one of the most wonderful times in your parenting life. Suddenly, your little one is independent enough to balance and cruise around the driveway. 

 

As an Amazon Affiliate, I may receive a small commission on anything that you purchase from the links on this page, at no extra cost to you. 

It is honestly one of my favorite seasons of parenting thus far, and I hope you get the chance to experience it as well. 

Grab some water and buckle up that helmet strap, because we are about to discuss everything you need to know about first bikes for kids…

Important Things to consider

As a mom of 4, I have tried every bike under the sun to help my kids truly love bicycling. Here are a few things to consider when you are choosing first bikes for kids.

silloette of parent and child giving a high five. They are outdoors and standing next to their bikes. The sun is setting in the background.

Age of child

The age of your child will determine what they are able to physically do. A 2 year old, for example, won’t have the gross motor skills required to pedal a bicycle and keep balance.

Weight of the Bike

When your kid needs to lift their bike over something like a curb or their own body, kids need to be able to handle the weight of their bike. Instead of a heavy bake that seems sturdy, opt for one with light weight.

Minimum seat height

An important factor in buying a bike is to purchase a size that they can grow into. This means buying a bike that fits your child at the minimum seat height. That way as they grow this next year, the bike will be able to grow with them.

Cost

Kids don’t necessarily need an expensive bike to help them learn, but having one that fits their height and weight is important. Using a bicycle that doesn’t fit your body can be uncomfortable and dangerous. 

(Keep reading to learn about some budget-friendly options)

Brakes

What sort of break do you want your kids to use? Most bikes come with either a coaster brake or hand brakes. For toddlers, it is a better idea to use a coaster break for their first pedal bike until their hands get stronger.

Kids skill level

Make sure you consider your kids skill level when choosing their first bike. If they are constantly tripping over their feet, then perhaps a pedal bike might require more developed fine motor skills than your child has. 

One thing is for sure, having your kids own their own bikes is definitely worth it. Keep reading to learn the benefits of bike riding for kids…

Benefits to Bike Riding for Kids

Benefits to a Balance Bike as the first bikes for kids. Blue cartoon bike on side.

When your kids are finally old enough to ride a bike, there are so many wonderful things that go along with that. Not only are they gaining more independence, but they are able to develop some wonderful skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. 

  1. Get them outside
  2. Burn lots of energy
  3. Develop muscle and stamina
  4. Establish a strong center of gravity
  5. Lots of fun that the entire family can enjoy

First Bikes for Kids

There is something special about getting a new bike.

As a mom of 4, I have been through a lot of kids bikes- especially smaller bikes. As kids are learning how to ride, finding the right bike for your toddler is important.

After all, you can’t have them riding adult bikes- since they might not have the height to ride a bigger bike.

Here are the best options for the first bike for your kids…

Best Balance Bike

The newest type of bike to hit the bike scene is a balance bike for young children. This type of bike has no pedals and focuses on using the child’s feet to push them forward. 

The idea behind this bike is that your child can skip training wheels entirely since their balance is already learned. This is a great way for young riders to establish their center of balance.

The biggest complaint with a balance bike is that when kids use a pedal bike, they don’t have any concept of how to pedal. Another complaint 

For me, a balance bike has been a welcomed addition to my toddler’s outside play. Once the seat was adjusted, my son was able to jump on and go. 

Since we have so many kids (four is a lot!), we chose to get a balance bike that will last several years- the Strider. 

Reasons I love the Strider as a first bike for kids: 

Having a quality balance bike that will last all of your children’s early years is a quality investment

  • Thousands of 5 star reviews on Amazon.
  • This is the original balance bike- that means that this balance bike has been tested and perfected over and over again. I like that. 
  • The seat and handlebar can be adjusted without any tools.
  • Balance bikes are so user friendly that most kids can figure it out pretty quickly.
  • They burn a lot of energy, which is great for active toddlers looking for new ways to move.

Reasons to stay clear of a balance bike:

While I loved using a balance bike for my toddlers, there are a few negatives to consider before making your purchase.

1) Older children will struggle when they get their first pedal bike. Since all they have known is to focus on balance, learning to pedal can be challenging.

2) Without traditional breaks, a balance bike can cause a lot of wear and tear on a child’s shoes.

3) My son is in the 98th percentile. At 2 he was the same height as his sister who was almost 5. These bikes are traditionally 12 inch bikes, so if you have big kids then it can be a challenge to find ones that fit. 

Best Road Bikes for Kids

If you are looking for more of a traditional bike, consider one that comes with pedals and training wheels. 

These Bikes are great for kids that are just learning how to ride a bike or need that next step up after using a balance bike. 

Freestyle Kids Bike

When my kids were around 3 and 4, I loved having this bike around. Not only was it easy to operate, but it helped my kids develop a solid foundation in bike riding. 

 

RoyalBaby Freestyle kids bike has over 10,000 5 star reviews and is the perfect bike for kids that want to ride traditional road bikes. Wheel size for this bike comes in sizes between 12-20 inches so you can find the right size for your child. 

Comes with removable training wheels, so whether you want this bike to be the first official bike for your kids or following the balance bike, this is a great option for your kids to grow into. 

Best BMX Bike

In the world of biking, Schwinn is one of the top brands for anyone looking to add bicycles into their life and make the best bike- even for younger children.

Known as a BMX bike, this bike is perfect for short distances like a family bike ride to the park. With smooth tires and one gear, this bike can go a short distance at a consistent speed. 

If you also have older children, this bike is perfect for your little one that just wants to keep up with their siblings. Since you can get this 12-inch bike, it’s perfect for even 3 year olds to start riding.  

Best Mountain Bikes

While mountain bikes are traditionally a heavy bike, you might live in a place where a mountain bike with a rear brake is best.

I loved this Segway Mountain Bike for my kids. It was durable, safe and perfect for exploring the trails on our 5 acres. 

One reason to love a mountain bike for your kid is the durable steel frame and tough tires. If your child will ride their bike on a gravel driveway, then this might be one of the best kids’ bikes for you.

Best Budget Option

Sometimes, all you need is a few cheap bikes to help burn some energy before dinnertime, and that is completely all right.

If you are looking for a way to save money, finding a second hand bike might be the best option for you. 

Places to look for a kids’ bike second hand: 

  • Ask your friends with older kids- they probably have a few collecting dust
  • Local Thrift Store
  • Facebook Marketplace

Just make sure you check the wheel bike and disc brakes before you let your kid test it out.

Safety Gear

It goes without saying that riding a bicycle can be extremely dangerous. Make sure your little one has constant supervision while they are riding as well as the proper attire on. 

Watch out for long shoelaces getting caught in the wheel or bare feet getting scraped on the pavement when they haven’t mastered the brakes. 

As for safety equipment, it is essential that your child is wearing a helmet every single time they are riding their bike (source). Luckily, there are some fun bike helmets that encourage helmet wearing like mohawks or cat ears.

First Bikes For Kids

Getting a quality bicycle for your kids is an important part of growing up. In fact, it can help create a lifelong love for bicycling and encourage healthy habits that will last. 

 

 

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