With Christmas just days away there are many things to contemplate if you are thinking about sticking a bike under the tree this Christmas.
In an effort to make parents as aware and informed as possible this Christmas, BikeExchange.com.au Co-Founder Jason Wyatt has the following tips and recommendations for purchasing the right bike:
1.0 Research. Don’t rush into buying a bike, especially if it’s for a child
2.0 Consider a second-hand bargain. BikeExchange.com.au has all the latest bikes, as well as literally thousands of pre-loved, affordable bikes that are perfect for learners
3.0 Ensure the bike is a safe size – don’t ever buy a bike for your child to ‘grow into’. Make sure they’re not too far stretched and they can easily reach the controls. Your child must be able to quickly and easily stand over a bike to stop it suddenly
4.0 Aim for comfort. If the bike is too small or too large it will be awkward to ride and probably end up gathering dust in the garage – not the best way to spend Christmas dollars
5.0 Start on a grassy surface. Falling off a bike is all part of learning to ride, but at least this way it shouldn’t hurt as much and potentially stop them from hopping back on again
6.0 A great way to train and develop your child’s sense of balance is with a balance bike. Instead of pedalling the child propels themselves with their feet resulting in a safe way to get a true feel for cycling. Training wheels are also a way of getting a child used to balancing on two wheels. The smallest bike that you can buy for a child (12” bike) generally comes equipped with training wheels. You can however attach training wheels to larger bikes (up to 20” bikes), as long as they don’t have gears
7.0 Factor a helmet into your budget. You can’t legally ride a bike if you don’t have a helmet. Check that the helmet meets Australian standards and remember that standards change as of December 2010. Most helmets on the market meet Australian standards; however it is possible to buy helmets that do not, especially BMX style helmets. Make sure the helmet is firm-fitting yet still comfortable
8.0 Unless you know exactly what you are doing, never buy a bike from a box and assemble it yourself. This requires the expertise of a knowledgeable bike mechanic
9.0 Visit BikeExchange.com.au for more information on all of the above
10.0 Make cycling fun for your child. Support and encourage them, ensure that it is a positive experience
“It goes without saying; once the bike is purchased parents need to invest time with their children in making sure they can handle the bike comfortably and confidently. Stick to safe environments like the back yard or a local park where time can be spent familiarising oneself with the bike and getting the most out of the Christmas present. Until riding is second-nature, don’t head out into traffic,” said Wyatt.
“Parents who are themselves unsure about anything bike or riding related should not hesitate to seek advice from a reputable bike shop,” he said.