Kid bicycles (or kids bikes) have long been staple of outdoor playtime for children since their mainstream adoption.
As a simple human powered, pedal driven vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, bikes for kids are the perfect for both traversal and outdoor play.
Introduced in the 19th century in Europe the first bikes consisted of giant wheels and wooden frames.
Today, they have evolved in a wide ride of variants for adult and kids alike, becoming one of the most popular forms of leisure and transportation.
In fact, the total number of bikes currently exceed the number of cars when comparing the total number and how many individual models are produced.
It’s no wonder that parents are keen to help their children learn how to ride their first kids bike.
There are so many benefits outside of keeping them entertained, but with so much choice available on the market it can be a little intimidating making the right selection.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of bikes for kids so you fully understand what you need to consider.
There are several variants of kids bikes for sale. The one right for your child can depend on multiple factors, with an important one being age.
Whether you are looking for a boys bike or a girls bike we are here to help you!
Here are some of different bikes for toddlers and kids for outdoor play and fun.
Balance bikes could also be considered toddler bikes.
They an amazing way to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of cycling.
A child can actually start riding a balance bike from as earliest age of 18-months and may be found enjoyable all the way up to kids of age five.
So, what exactly is a balance bike? Essentially, it’s a kids / toddler bike with no cranks or pedals.
They are also generally lighter and small wheeled compared to other kids bikes, making them very suitable for small hands and bodies.
As the name implies, these bikes help teach young ones a very crucial skill – how to balance.
This makes balance bikes a fantastic way to help them transition into unsupported pedal bikes when they get a little older.
Even better, a balance bike helps teach your kid on how to control movement by only using their body weight while steering.
And if you’re thinking that a standard bike with stabilisers (training wheels) may be a better option, think again!
While this is likely something you may have used to learn how to ride a bike growing up, they have their shortcomings.
Because they force the bike to hold in an upright rigid position, the child is actually learning to steer what would be more associated as a tricycle.
This can make the transition a little more troubling once the training wheels come off.
Have some adventures kids who want to take their bikes to the dirt road, then a freestyle kids BMX bike is a requirement!
One of the key differences with BMX bikes are their ability to withstand additional stress and weight caused by performing jumps and stunts.
This factors into ensuring that their frame materials, wheels and other components are optimised for strength and maneuverability.
Often, steel is the choice for BMX kids bikes as it’s resilient and reduces pressure on the body for riders. This makes the frame more studier and heavy duty but does make them slightly heavier.
However, if the BMX bike is being used predominantly for racing, the common bike material aluminum due to its lightweight nature.
And with the mention of racing comes another aspect to consider when purchasing a kids BMX bike – there are several sub-disciplines to what is considered freestyle BMXing.
Don’t worry, there is a lot of crossover, and unless you know you kids are particular intrigued of a certain discipline, a standard freestyle BMX offers the most versatility.
BMX sub-disciplines include:
Believe it or not, kids mountain bikes are becoming ever popular, especially as younger children progress to their next sized bike and want something a little more ‘adult’.
What makes mountain bikes such a great option for boys or girls is that they allow them to explore off-road locations where standard kids bikes can’t go.
Like BMX bikes, they are designed to take additional stress and strain that comes with off-road terrain, allowing the rider to comfortably navigate trails and terrain obstacles.
To aid them in this, mountain bikes for kids often use wide knobby tires that offer more substantial grip and traction on a variety of surfaces.
Another distinction is that mountain bike handlebars are usually flat, going straight out from the frame stem.
This allows for a wider grip allowing the rider to more comfortably sit upright. This is important as it provides a better viewing angles for the rider as they go up and down rugged terrain.
And of course, no mountain bike would be complete with additional gears. Bikes for younger kids usually only include a single gear to not over complicate the cycling experience.
But by the time they are ready for their first mountain bike, you will find kids bikes for sale that range from several gears to over a dozen!
Sometimes it’s better to go for simplicity, so unless your kid is a mountain bike enthusiast try to keep the total gear number down.
Knowing the parts that make up a kids bicycle is important regardless of what type you are looking at. Here is a quick breakdown of the different components.
The dominant part of any bike is its frame. Modern bikes include what could be called a diamond frame, consisting of the top, down and seat tube.
These tubes contain the other elements of the bike, such as the headset, chain and seat.
Historically, girls bikes had a frame with a top tube connected in the middle of the seat tube instead of the top.
This resulted in a lower standover height when compared to boys bikes, but also compromised the structural integrity of the frame.
The reason being that this placed a strong bending load in the seat tube and could cause the frame members to bend more easily.
However, there was a reason for this design (known also as an open frame) – it allowed the rider to mount and dismount the bike more gracefully while wearing a short skirt or dress.
Of course, today you’ll find little distinction with the frame when comparing boys bikes to girl bikes.
The common material of kids bike frames is aluminum alloy. This is due to their light weight performance.
The term drivetrain includes the bike’s pedals that rotate the cranks, held in b the axis in the bottom bracket.
The majority of kids bikes use a chain that transmits power to the rear wheel.
Depending on the age of your children and the type of cycling they want to explore (mountain, BMX etc,), you may need to consider kids bike with ranges of gears.
Bikes that have gears allow the rider to cycle up steep inclines easier by using a lower gear frequency.
When a bike is using a lower gear, every turn of the pedal leads to few rotations of the back wheel.
This is particularly useful when riding uphill or against the wind, as it allows the energy required in moving the same distance to be disturbed over additional pedal turns and thus, reducing fatigue.
Handlebars connected to the front stem of the bike frame control the steering.
In kids push bikes, upright handlebars are the most common type as there is little need for drop handlebars (useful for adult cyclists riding in a crouched position).
As mentioned, kids mountain bikes may feature a straight or riser handlebars allowing for a wider vision with the rider sitting upright.
Handlebars often include a braking system with the use of levers. Hand operated, when force is applied to these levers, friction is applied to pads that slows wheel motion.
Bicycle wheels (and the tire attached) are important parts of any bike.
A bike’s wheels can vary greatly depending on their intended purpose. For example, kids mountain bikes will use wheels suited for off-road activity, while traditional kids push bikes use wheels that roll fast over smoother surfaces.
The size of wheels (in diameter) is also often used to categorize different sizes of bikes for kids.
Balance bikes have wheel sizes that generally are 30cm or less. These bikes are designed for toddlers up to the age of 2.
Standard bikes with a wheel size of 30cm are often used for kids between the ages of 2 to 4.
Wheels that are 40cm in size (often known as a 40cm bike or 16 inch bike) are often suitable for younger children between ages 4 to 6.
A kids 50cm bike contain larger wheels and are better for kids up to the age of 9.
There are several variations of brakes that can be found on a bike.
Most kids push bikes use rim brakes that slows momentum by applying friction pads against the wheel rims.
Another is disc brakes, that uses pads acting on a rotor attached to the wheel hub to slow momentum. These are often found on mountain bikes.
As per Australia law, all kids bikes must utilise at least two breaking systems. Usually this is in the form of one of the mentioned handlebar brakes above and a back-pedal break that’s also referred as coaster brakes.
In an age where children are often stuck in front of a screen, cycling can be an enticing prospect to not only have fun, but to get outside and be active.
Considered low impact but providing a wealth of benefits, cycling for kids can easily become one of their favourite past times.
Some of the key benefits of cycling include:
One of the best ways to work out leg muscles is cycling. While it is great exercise for legs it also builds muscles strength for the entire body.
And thanks to the low-impact nature of cycling, it’s not something that’s going to be hard on young bodies.
In fact, due to the nature of cycling it becomes easy to increase heart rate and overall cardiovascular stamina. This means cycling is a perfect way to keep weight down and to keep children staying fit and healthy.
While learning how to cycle is a steppingstone, once your child can ride independently you can expect a boost to self-confidence.
It gives them a new sense of freedom and the ability to explore the environment on their own terms, helping them become more comfortable away from home.
Riding a bike is also a fantastic way to help kids relieve their stress. An afternoon bike ride after a busy day at school can help them calm down, recharge themselves and release endorphins.
Like other forms of outdoor play, cycling provides opportunities for children to socialise while riding together.
The local skate park is a good source for new friendships to be formed, as children can have fun impressing each other with tricks and stunts.
Allowing your kids to come cycling alongside you also provides bonding opportunities.
This can be in the form of teaching them how to ride a bike in the first place - the perfect activity to spend time together.
It can also let them form happy memories of the times the family went on cycling adventures.
While riding a bike is a fun-filled activity, safety should be a crucial element.
Just like other play equipment such as trampolines or backyard swing sets, it’s still important that proper safety precautions are taken to minimise any potential accidents.
You can help make certain your kids are safe by following the below tips.
Wearing a well-fitted bike helmet should be a non-negotiable when your kids go cycling.
A bike helmet helps protect the face, head and most importantly the brain if your child falls over.
Almost check the following:
It can be a good idea for kids to wear bright clothes when cycling so they are more visible.
Avoid loose clothing such as baggy shorts and pants that may get caught into bike chain or gears.
Have them wear proper footwear such a sandshoes or sneakers and avoid thongs, sandals or bare feet.
Knee and elbow pads can offer additional protection and may help build confidence if your child fears scraps and cuts.
Make sure ear or headphones aren’t use as music can be very distracting and lead to incidents with other cyclists and pedestrians.
Where to Ride
If your kids are going to go riding without supervision make certain you have a conversation about where they can and cannot ride.
This can include:
For older kids who may be wanting to ride in the street it is crucial that they understand the road rules. Initially accompanying them is a wise decision to help them adjust to the different challenges riding in the street.
Make sure they understand:
Finally, regular servicing and maintenance of kids bicycles is important so that it functions at its optimal best and won’t contribute to accidents.
Vuly Play’s kids bikes are made of the highest quality and built to last. Complying with all safety standards our bikes are sure to put a smile on your child’s face.
Whether you are looking for a boys bike or a girls bike, Vuly has got models for all family, ages and budgets. And we are so confident in the quality of our products, we offer industry-leading warranties on bike frames and parts.
Looking for other fun transportation? Don't forget to view our kids scooter range.