Learning to ride a bike is one of those defining childhood moments that stays with you forever, and there’s nothing more rewarding that passing that skill on to your children. So, if you’re planning on giving the gift of joy that comes with a Bike Club membership read on to find out exactly what you need to be looking for in a First Pedal bike.
WHAT IS A FIRST PEDAL BIKE
Whilst at first glance the term ‘First Pedal’ is pretty self-explanatory as your child’s first bike with pedals when it comes to shopping for one it can be useful to be aware of the slightly tighter definition that exists. Unlike adult bikes, most kids bikes are referred to by their wheel size rather than their frame size. First Pedal tends to refer to bikes that have a 14”-16” wheel size and are suitable for children with an inside leg measurement of between approximately 40cm – 50cm.
First Pedal bikes are generally single speed, which means they don’t have complicated gears to get used to. They are designed to be as simple to use and as robust as possible – they are expected to contend with enthusiastic 3–5-year-olds after all.
These bikes are the ideal next step on from a balance bike once your child has mastered the art of balance. That said they will also have the ability to easily fit stabilisers as there are no gears to get in the way. Whether your child has learned to ride on a balance bike or is starting out with stabilisers it can be worth starting them off by taking the pedals off and dropping the seatpost down, this will effectively turn the pedal bike into a balance bike and let them get used to their new steed. As soon as they’re comfortable with the bike you can add the pedals in and raise the saddle again.
Most children, in our experience, will end up pedalling backwards at first – it is easier after all. Just give them the queue to push down and forward on the pedals and they’ll soon get the idea.
TOP TIPS for choosing your bike
- Choosing a Lightweight bike is without a doubt the most important factor (after getting the right size of course). Your little ones will find it so much easier to learn to pedal and control their bike when it doesn’t weigh twice what they do! The Forme Cubley 14 is one of the lightest bikes in the world at that price point, weighing just 6.12Kg.
- Durability is also going to be vital when choosing your bike. Children aren’t exactly known for treating their possessions with respect and bikes are certainly no exception. Expect the bike to have to put up with being thrown down onto hard ground on an almost daily basis. Thankfully at Bike Club we only stock the most durable brands around as we expect to be able to refurbish them and give them a life with a new family.
- Chainguards can be a useful element to look out for on your first pedal bike. They cover the whole drivetrain, meaning that little fingers and bits of clothing are less likely to get caught. The downside of them is that they can make fitting stabilisers tricky if you’re planning on using them and does mean that lubricating your chain can be a challenge. So, if you prefer to keep your chain running smoothly or you plan on using stabilisers these might not be the ones for you.
- Once your little one is off and pedalling, they are going to find their way onto plenty of rough and muddy terrain. Which means a good set off Off-Road tyres are a must when looking at first pedal bikes.
- Little hands get on much better with small grips and brake levers that are designed specifically for them. That means opting for a brand that takes kids seriously, which thankfully you’ll find plenty of at Bike Club.
Now you know what to look for, there’s no better gift this Christmas than a first pedal bike so why not take a look at our range here.