We had decided months before E’s 4th birthday that we were going to get him a bike for his present. We planned to make a big deal about it. Take him to the store. Let him try all the bikes. Pick out his helmet. A day out!

And that’s just what we did.

We headed to Toys ‘R Us…clueless. What size? What does he need? Can we get one that he can grow into? We turned to a very knowledgeable employee who shared with us some tips on picking out the perfect bike.

how to choose a bike

1. Test out the bike. Make sure your child’s feet reach the ground so that the balls of the feet touch the ground. Heels should not touch. Also, make sure they can reach the handlebars. Have your child take a test spin. While they are riding around the store, make sure they can get on and off the bike easily. Also look to see if their knees are too high when pedaling.

how to choose a bike

2. Watch the crossbar!  The store employee pointed this one since we have a boy on our hands. There should be at least a one inch space between the crossbar and your child when the stand straddling the bike.

3. Pick a proper wheel size. This is where I was completely confused! How do you know which wheel size to pick? Here’s a handy breakdown.

guide to kid's bike sizes

4. Make sure the seat is comfy! Some seats aren’t padded as well as other so make sure your child is comfortable when riding around.

5. Get a helmet! Make sure the helmet is a cycling helmet or is approved for cycling. Also, try it on! It should fit snugly and the straps should come all the way around the ears and under the chin. A brightly colored helmet will ensure that your child is seen when riding. Make sure the helmet you choose meets ANSI, Snell, or CPSC safety standards. It should say so right on the label or box.

So after riding around the store and testing out about 5 different bikes, it was time to make a decision.

how to choose a bike

His choice? He didn’t want a bike this time. “Maybe Santa will bring me one!” {Big. Bike. Fail.}

At least we know how to pick the right bike now!

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