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Give the right kid's bike this holiday season

How to choose the right Kid's Bike

Do you remember your first bike? Perhaps you remember it waiting for you under the Christmas tree with a big shiny bow on it. If you're planning on making dreams come true for a special child in your life this holiday season, make sure you read through our tips for choosing the right kid's bike! Whether it's the first set of wheels for your toddler to learn how to balance on, or a sturdy set of wheels for your little daredevil to race down hills with, we've got bikes for kids of all ages - and all the bells, whistles, baskets, and helmets to go with them.

Size Matters

The wheel sizes you'll see on kid's bikes are 12", 16", 20" and 24". You will want to make sure that your child can stand over the top tube of the bike with both feet firmly on the ground. You want your child to feel in control of the bike - not overwhelmed by it! Because of this, we do not recommend buying a bike that is large so that your child can "grow into it." Doing this can set your child back in terms of riding skills and confidence. A correctly sized bike will be much easier for your child to handle, much safer, and consequently, a lot more fun.

If your tot is just starting out with bikes, you may want to consider beginning her on a balance bike - a bike in its simplest form. On a balance bike there's no pedals or chain, just wheels and a frame. A balance bike helps teach 2- to 5-year-olds how to coordinate steering and balance and can make the transition to a big kid bike much easier.

Braking Matters

When looking for a kid's bike, the most important mechanical parts of a bike, overall, are the brakes.  You want your child to have control of getting his bike stopped.  Kids' bikes usually have either coaster brakes (brakes on the back wheel that are engaged by pedaling backwards), or handbrakes (brakes engaged by a grip on the handlebars that pinches brake pads against the rim of the wheel) or both.  Because of children's small hand size and limited hand strength, the smallest kids’ bikes have coaster brakes.  Until a child’s hands are large and strong enough to effectively use a handbrake, they should rely on coaster brakes.  However, a bike with both brake options offers opportunities to for kids to practice the next style of braking before moving up in bike size.

Weight Matters

While most adult bikes are about 20% of the rider's weight, this ratio isn't really found on kids' bikes. Ideally, though, your child's bike should be 40% of their weight. The lighter the bike, the better for your child. The weight of a bike is often a first indicator of the quality of the bike.

Geometry Matters

A child’s body position on the bike plays a large role in how well they can ride the bike. Bikes with a longer wheelbase (distance from wheel to wheel) tend to provide more stability and control for the rider. In addtion, pay attention to the handlebar position. Tall handlebars that sweep back, often found on big-box-store bikes, limit the rider's space and prevent them from applying more force on the handlebars. For the average young rider, a mid-rise handlebar is ideal.

The Bike Shop Advantage

You may be tempted to stop by the nearest box store for a kids' bike. He'll just outgrow it fast, right? Why not get a bike for a steal? We want to caution you though - most of kids' bikes are being sold at stores where the employees aren't familiar with important information like the difference between coaster brakes and side-pull brakes and which is needed. Similarly, they may not know very much about the quality of the bikes on the showroom floor. Another problem is that often these same employees assemble the bikes - with no formal training as bike mechanics - so even a good bike may be assembled wrong. Our staff is both knowledgeable and skillfully trained. You will leave with confidence that your child is both safe and on the bike that is best suited for him. Who can put a price tag on that?

Fan Favorite Cycling Gifts

Gift Cards

Stumped as to the perfect gift for the cycling enthusiast in your life? We've surveyed our fans and come up with ten of the most popular cycling gift ideas. From stocking stuffers to tree worthy gifts, we can help you cross off your list. And if you're still wondering what the perfect gift is even after surveying our suggestions, just stop on in our store! Our staff loves to help brainstorm and find just the right gift for your loved one. We're here to take the stress out of your holiday shopping - we happen to believe gift giving should be fun!

Helmets Lights Jerseys
Gloves Locks Nutrition
Tools Bags Computers
Gift Cards

Shop Early, Save Big

Shop Early Save Big - Get a head start on your holiday shopping at Yorktown Cycles

Yorktown Cycles has everything you need (and want) for the upcoming holidays! Our everyday low prices are better than ever - and won't last long. Stop on in to check out out the bargains we've not yet publicized! Prior year bikes are on sale, as well as plenty of fall riding necessities and really cool gifts. From the bike your son or daughter has been dreaming of to really cool stocking stuffers, we can help you check off your list in no time. Accessories in particular make the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life - stop in to check out our selection of lights, bike computers, gloves, socks, bells and tools. Stumped on what to get someone? Talk to our helpful staff for some great ideas! Don't spend your holiday season stressing about shopping; get your shopping done early! Save