Considerations When Biking with Kids

kid in trailer

For Yourself, Consider A Bike With Flat Handlebars

Whether you're using a child seat, a trailer cycle or a trailer to take your kids along, you'll probably want to do so on a bicycle equipped with flat handlebars. These are higher and wider than dropped bars and provide more control against the destabilizing forces of the additional weight you're carrying. You feel this the most with a trailer cycle. If Junior squirms around a lot, it can be quite difficult to steer a straight course.

Set Some Rules

If you're having trouble controlling the bike because of a rambunctious child in the seat behind you, consider setting some rules. Usually, if you tell him that he can't ride unless he rides safely, he'll get the point quickly and behave. Or try bribery: Promise a treat at ride's end if all safety rules are obeyed. Trailers are much more forgiving in such situations. Kids can even play a favorite card game or amuse themselves with other safe-to-travel-with playthings inside the confines of a bike trailer.

Child seat Precautions

One common mistake when using child seats is relying on a kickstand to support the bicycle and your child. While this might occasionally work, it's a dangerous habit because the kickstand is designed only to support the bike's weight. Add the heft of the child seat and passenger and the machine is more likely to fall over than to stand up, which can result in serious injury. Remove your child from the seat at stops unless you're holding the bicycle upright.

Keep in mind that the weight limit for child seats is approximately 40 pounds. When children get this big, it's time to remove the child seat and consider a trailer or trailer cycle.

Trailer Tips

Pulling a bicycle trailer requires practice and planning. Keep the additional width of the trailer in mind as you plan routes to avoid roads and paths that may be too narrow. And, unless you're a strong cyclist, consider what hills and headwinds you might encounter because these are a much bigger challenge when you're toting papoose and caboose.

One of the great things about bicycle trailers is excellent resale value. When your young'uns are too big to ride in the trailer, run a classified ad in the local newspaper and you'll sell it quickly for a good price.

Training Wheels Are Okay

A lot of parents wonder if training wheels are a good way for kids to learn to ride their first two-wheeler. We've had excellent luck with them. Proper installation (we're experts) and sturdy training wheels (ours are super-tough) ensure easy handling, optimum safety, and a positive learning experience.Young children should be able to straddle the bike and rest both feet flat on the ground.

Bike-Buying Considerations

When buying a bike for your child, don't make the mistake of purchasing one that's sized too large. That's a common tendency because it's natural to want the machine to last as long as possible for your growing youngster. The problem is, if the bike's too big, it's going to be scary and dangerous to ride, which could turn your kid off to biking altogether. We're experts in bike fit and we can help you pick out a bike that's safe and that will provide a great first biking experience. And, don't worry about Halfpint outgrowing the bike. Our bikes are sturdy enough to last through several children. If you don't have a sibling, niece or nephew to pass the bike on to, ask us about your best options for selling the bike.