Children’s Bike – Cheap or Expensive?

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Vitus Kid’s Bike

Should you buy a cheap or expensive children’s bike? Expensive kid’s bikes are a tough sell for most parents. Kids grow really fast, and they change their interests from day to day. For £120, you can get them something that pedals around until they grow out of it. This is what most children end up with. It’s hard to blame any parent for this, especially when you consider the other costs that come along with bringing up children.

Some parents do see the value in spending a little more though because buying a cheap children’s bike isn’t always cost-effective. A more expensive kid’s bike will have better parts and a smoother ride and that’s not always obvious to people because they all have two wheels, a saddle and handlebars! “Good parts” isn’t a good enough selling point for most parents but certainly the weight of the bike should be. Let’s say you weigh 160 pounds. How would you fare on a bike that weighs 130 pounds? How well could you stop it, or manoeuver it? That’s just how a heavy some cheap bikes would feel like to a 6 year old. Even if they have the strength to pedal and climb hills with it, for the pleasure of riding and handling the bike, you should also consider the brakes and gears. A more expensive children’s bike will give you lighter weight due to the aluminium frame as opposed to steel, better suspension, gears, brakes, handling and performance. Generally, it would also be more reliable.

Yes, children learn really quickly to shift gears and the like but their hands aren’t very strong. A well designed kid’s bike will not only be to scale with their weight, but also use parts that are refined enough for little hands. They need to feel confident to ride at pace but also must be in control for safety.

From hard shifting, to crashes, to direct impacts on the chainrings, bikes should hold up to exactly the kind of abuse you could expect from kids. Nobody expects you to get a £3000 carbon race bike for your child but getting a better bike with kid-friendly components will ensure that they get a fun and enjoyable introduction to biking.

At the very least, do it for yourself. After all, the faster and more confidently they ride, the more fun it’ll be for you to follow them!