What to Look For
The best bikes for children are determined by age-appropriateness and safety features. Children need age-appropriate bikes that will help their motor skills development and provide the proper support for safety. Typically, the older the child the larger the bike is, so the best brand bikes are more lightweight, making it easier for children to maneuver.The wheels should also be the appropriate size for the bike for better steering, which is important for safety. The best brands of bikes for kids have pedal brakes that allow the child to stop with his foot instead of applying pressure to the handles. In any case, brakes should be in easy reach of the rider.
Training wheels are another important feature. Find a bike that has removable training wheels that can be removed once the child no longer needs them. The best brands are also colorful and gender-themed.
One common problem with children's bikes is weight. This problem is more typical with smaller bikes such a tricycles, which are usually made from steel. Heavier bikes can make it harder for the child to maneuver and can even cause the bike to tip over when turning tight corners. This problem can be found in even the most expensive bikes, so pay special attention to the weight of the bike despite the brand reputation. Another problem is that children's bikes can be dangerous if not handled properly. Riders must have protective gear such as helmets and knee and elbow pads. There is always the possibility that the child may fall off the bike, and if the proper gear in not worn it can lead to serious injuries.
Where to Buy
The best place to buy a good brand children's bike is at a bike shop. Department stores may carry quality name-brand bikes; however, at a bicycle store the buyer will have much more variety and access to knowledgeable employees who can help you find what you are looking for.
Bikes for children range in price depending on type and style. Top-brand bikes will likely be more expensive, ranging from $100 to $400, than other bikes, especially if you are purchasing from a bike or specialty shop. Department stores tend to have better bike prices, but you may sacrifice quality.