Buying Your Child a Bike


  • Your child should be able to straddle the top tube with both feet on the ground
  • Adjust the reach of the handlebars so the child is comfortable and sitting upright
  • Bikes should not be ‘grown into’; buy a bike that safely fits your child

Hand vs. Pedal Brakes

  • Pedal brakes should be the child’s first brakes; teach them to stop at a fixed point
  • Small children may not be able to use hand brakes due to lack of strength and reach
  • Use lever ‘reach adjusters’ to bring brake levers closer for smaller hands


  • Dirt jumping requires safety gear including fullface helmet, shin pads and gloves
  • Beginners should also consider elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards
  • Not all bikes are strong enough to jump; check with your local bike shop


  • Flatland trick riding requires safety gear; helmet, glove and shin pads are important
  • Freestyle bikes have ‘pegs’ on front and rear axles that allow standing
  • Never allow your child to transport other children on their bike


  • Children should wear a helmet and gloves when mountain biking
  • Ride or walk with your child so you know the trails that they will be riding
  • Set specific boundaries for where your child can and cannot ride

Growing into a Bike

  • Don’t buy a bike that does not fit your child; too small later is better than too big now
  • Quality bikes will be easier to resell; they last longer as hand-me-downs also
  • Make sure that your child’s bike fits them by checking with your local bike shop