To help kids who are aspiring athletes parents often want to buy the best kids bikes they can get to give their child the best chance in races.
Sometimes this can mean parents are so keen to get the best they rush out and buy and the most expensive bike they can afford or a bike they see another child winning races on, or they visit one shop and go on the advice they receive there. Most importantly they have forgot that what they need is a bike that best meets their child’s requirements, age and size. In this article I will attempt to highlight the most important factors to consider when buying kids bikes. I will not tell you which kids bikes you should buy but I will suggest some quality manufactures that are worth you looking at.
What types of bikes are available
The most important thing when buying kids bikes is to decide how you will be using the bike, is it for road racing, triathlon racing, off road or riding with the family. There are many types of bike available and they all have different attributes that makes them more suitable to one discipline or another.
Before you can decide on buying kids bikes you should buy you need to decide which discipline you will be using it for most.
Road races are usual run on road or off road courses that are a hard smooth surface such as motor racing circuit. Bike most suitable for kids racing on the road are road bikes or cyclocross bikes, it should also be noted that most road racing enforce limited gears for children racing.
Cyclocross racing takes place off road on grass, gravel, dirt and mud over small lumps and bumps. Bikes most suitable are cyclocross bikes as these have tyres with tread for better grip and the correct gear ratio.
Triathlon racing generally takes place off road on grass or private roads as British Triathlon rules don’t permit kids racing on the road. Due to the amount of races that take place on grass cyclocross bikes that also have road tyres are the most suitable. Whilst you may find a road bike that can take off road tyres these don’t always have a durable enough frame for the off road riding.
Mountain bike racing are always off road with courses often going through woods with big bumps and lumps. The only choice of bike for this type of racing.
Types of bike
Road / Racing Bikes
Designed for racing on smooth hard surfaces with narrow tyres with little or no tread.
Tyres – Narrow with little or no tread
Drop Handle Bars – For a more aerodynamic position when racing
Combine Brake and Gear Levers – Enables gear changing without moving hands from the brakes
Brakes – Generally rim brakes are still standard although a few bike might have disc brakes these and generally not accepted for racing at this time
Gears – Rear Cassette 8 -11 speed – Front Chain Set 1-2 rings