stabiliser bikes for children
Before balance bikes became fashionable, a normal child’s bike equipped with stabilisers was pretty much the only option for teaching your little one to ride.
Stabilisers do exactly as the name suggests; they provide the level of balance needed to keep the bike and child upright, and comprise of two additional small wheels that attach to the rear of the bike.
stabiliser bikes for children - description
Stabilisers tend to be ready-fitted to most children’s bikes with 12” wheels, with a smaller selection of 14” and 16” wheeled versions available. Pedals are fitted to this type of bike to get moving, and the chain is usually covered by a guard to provide some protection and avoid trousers getting snagged in the chain. Braking is by means of levers on the handlebars, set up in a similar way to an adult bike.
They are available in a wide range of styles to suit all tastes and budgets, with many bikes painted and stickered up to reflect the latest and most popular cartoon, film and book characters.
Stabiliser bikes for tend to be aimed at children between the ages of two and four; however some manufacturers produce items suitable from 18 months. Sizing does vary and so ensure the one you purchase is the correct size for your child.
why buy a stabiliser bike?
A children’s bicycle with stabilisers allows the child to climb on and get riding very quickly. They get to pedal from a young age and therefore feel very grown up.
things to consider when buying a stabiliser bike
The addition of stabilisers can provide a false sense of security, with confidence exceeding ability. Taking corners at too high a speed and toppling over being a prime example.
You may find that braking on some models is not to the standard you would expect to find on an adult bike. Bear this in mind and consider where you are going to ride, and the type of obstacles that may be encountered.
Check how heavy it is and whether it will be suitable for your child to pedal around, especially if you live in a hilly area.
It can take a while for your little one to learn to pedal, so be prepared for a sore back from pushing them around - or invest in a handle.
what are they constructed from?
The majority of models on the market are made from metal (steel), but some alloy framed bikes are manufactured which should be lighter than steel framed versions.
do you need accessories?
A secure fitting helmet is a wise investment as little ones are prone to falling off, and a helmet will help to reduce the number of nasty bumps and scrapes.
If your little one is riding their bike in low light conditions (especially during autumn and winter) you might want to consider a luminous tabard to improve their visibility and alert drivers to their presence.
will the bike grow with your child?
Most stabiliser bikes have a standard seat and post arrangement enabling changes in height to be performed quickly and easily. Handlebars can often be lowered or raised to take account of child size, and get them comfortable for the fun ahead. Check manufacturers guidance to confirm what can or cannot be adjusted.
ready to ditch the stabilisers?
Sustrans produce a useful resource sheet on how to get your child riding without the aid of stabilisers
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