Most kids can start their cycling adventure as young as 18 months, but there are different types of bike’s suited to different age groups. Knowing what type of bike they need is just part of getting your child ready to ride.
There are a number of healthy benefits and positive impacts that come with teaching your child to ride a bike.
According to the Australian Guidelines for Health, children between 5 and 12 should spend at least one hour a day doing moderate to vigorous physical exercise. Riding a bike is a low impact (there’s no tackling etc) and functional activity that will be useful for them for the rest of their lives.
No matter your age, anyone can ride a bike. Cycling is a great way for the family to explore, learn and stay healthy together, and teaching your child to ride can lay the groundwork for teaching them other things in life as well.
Teaching your kid to ride early will give them a love for it even as they get older. Skipping the car in favour of the bike is not only good for the body, it’s good for the environment as well.
Choosing the right bicycle for your child is important, and there are several factors to consider. How old your child is when they start, how fast they develop physically, and how quickly they adapt to the different stages or riding, will determine the type of bicycle they need. Generally, the stages of riding are:
To pick the perfect bicycle, Bicycle Network recommends considering the following:
Wheel diameter is often used to describe the size of different children’s bikes. As a rule of thumb, different wheel diameters correspond to different age ranges. Of course, your little one might be more comfortable with something larger or smaller, so use the tips above and this size guide to help figure out which bike is best for your child.
Suitable for children aged between 2 and 4 years of age, or with an inseam of 35-42 centimeters. Most bikes in the 12 inch wheel size come with training wheels, a back brake and are single speed (no gears).
Recommended for kids between the ages of 4 and 6, with an inseam of 40-50 centimeters. Most 14 inch bikes have rear coaster brakes and a hand brake. Great for learning how to stop under various conditions.
Generally recommended for children between the ages of 5 and 8, or with an inseam of 45-55 centimeters. Most 16 inch wheel bikes come equipped with rear coaster brakes or two handle mounted hand brakes, one for the rear wheel and one for the front.
Bikes of this wheel size generally suit children between 7 and 10 years of ages, or with a 55-63 centimeter inseam. May include rear coaster brakes, multi speed gears and hand brakes.
For kids 9 and up, or with an inseam between 60 and 72 centimeters, 24 inch diameter bikes have most of the features you’ll find in a full sized adult bike.
Pedal cars are the ultimate playtime mobility toy for children aged between 1 and 4 years. Sporting either three or four wheels, they are usually shaped like popular vehicles (sports cars, fire engines and planes) making them fun to play with while giving young kids a perfectly safe introduction to balancing and movement on wheels. Hip Kids stocks a number of Pedal cars including:
All Hip Kids pedal cars come with a fail safe 1 year structural warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. See the full range of pedal cars here.
Balance bikes help children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years learn how to balance and steer a bicycle without using pedals, and should be considered as a precursor for riding a pedal powered bike. Kids move around by pushing their feet along the ground. As they grow and learn, you’ll see them becoming more confident on their balance bikes. Kids can be encouraged to lift their feet up and coast, further developing their balancing and steering abilities.
Anywhere from 18 months to 4 years is a suitable age for a child to start on a balance bike, though obviously a parent or guardian is always going to know what’s best for their child. When teaching your child to ride on a balance bike, remember to keep it fun, be patient with their learning, and take regular breaks when they need to. Some balance bikes double as pedal bikes, and can see some kids through to 7 or 8 years of age.
Hip Kids have a number of great balance bikes in a variety of colours.
For children that start their bike riding early, the 2 in 1 Wooden Trike & Balance Bike converts from a three wheeled tricycle to a two wheeler, and is ideal for kids 18 months and up.
Our Kids Wooden Balance Bike comes in a variety of colours. It can be customised with your child’s name, and features a handle mounted front bag for storing toys, a water bottle and snacks.
For kids looking to progress to a pedal bike, the Kids 2 in 1 Steel Balance Bike can be fitted with training wheels and pedals so your child has a familiar bicycle that can grow with them as they get better at riding.
Whenever someone of any age hops on a bike there's an inherent risk of accident. Protecting your child’s head is just as important as protecting our own heads when riding a full sized adult bike. When your child starts to learn to ride a bike, a helmet should be the first priority.
It can be tough knowing if your child is ready to ride a bike. As they progress, it’s natural to worry about increased risks. Here’s some tips for helping your child get better at riding and give you peace of mind.
Ultimately, no one knows your child like you do. While patience is key to building their confidence as a rider, the best time for your child to start riding a bike is when you are ready to teach them.