First Ride: When to Buy Your Child a Bike
Teaching a child to ride a bike can be one of the most exciting parts of early childhood parenting, and parents often find themselves eager to share this timeless outdoor activity with their little one. However, a child’s capability to ride a bicycle depends on their coordination, physical development, and level of motor skill mastery, meaning that not all children are ready to ride at the same time.
Children need a basic level of coordination and balance to ride a bike, and so children that cannot walk steadily on their own power have not developed the motor skills necessary to ride a bike. In fact, the required skills to safely use a ride-on toy of any kind usually start manifesting themselves toward the end of year 2, and children with advanced development in this area may begin to experiment with Reid Cycles range of kid’s bikes by about age 3.
On Time Departure
The majority of children develop the skills necessary to ride a bike, such as pedalling, using a handlebar and basic steering, by approximately age 4. Many children begin to transition from three to two wheels at this time, as they have a much greater sense of confidence in their control of speed and direction. Once these children have mastered steering, braking and other bicycle basics, they can begin to move toward riding unassisted.
By age 5, almost all children will lose interest in simple riding toys and will invariably take note of the two wheeled conveyances all the older children are using. The typical 5 year old child has the balance and coordination necessary to ride a bicycle steadily, but may lack the confidence or experience to do it consistently. Parents should work to help their child through these difficulties, but be aware that children are particularly susceptible to falls and other perils in the early phases of the learning process.
Learning to ride a bike can be one of a child’s first significant memories, but they’ll need the proper equipment to get started. The size of a child’s bike should allow them to straddle the bike comfortably, with at least an inch of space between the bar and the child while both feet are planted on the ground. The bike should also allow the child to place the balls of both feet on the ground while seated and holding onto the handlebars, as oversize bikes are a common cause of injury for children learning to ride.
How old should my child be before they get their first bike?
Thanks to Reid Cycles for this great guide into when is the best time to get your little one their first bike.