Biking is fun for everyone! Not only is it a wonderful way to get around, it provides you with your daily dosage of exertion and activity as well. So while bicycles have principally been a means of transport for a long time now, that is no longer the case. Bikes keep you fit. Bikes can add adventure to your day. Bicycles also keep the surroundings cleaner. And for the more self righteous ones - bikes make you feel like you are doing the world a favor!
What to look at:
So you've decided to buy a bicycle, now the first thing you've got ask yourself is:
* Who's going to be using it?
* What it will be used for?
* How much are you willing to spend on it?
Your reason for buying a bike
Among many bike lovers, while most choose to bike casually, either to school, university or even work; some more adventurous ones have also been a part of stunt biking groups, professional biking clubs or mountain biking associations. Biking is a great hobby and with so many options to choose from, you can decide how best you associate with this great invention! However, before you jump to any of that, you do need a bike. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing a bike either for your kids or for yourself.
Purchasing a bike for your toddler
So you've decided to initiate your toddler to the wonderful world of cycling; now the right time to get your toddler a two wheel bike is when they have reached age 3. By this age, kids have properly developed motor skills as well as a sense of balance and self sufficiency. Buying a bike for your child requires some research. Just knowing the brand and the color preference is not enough. The bike needs to be comfortable enough for the child to ride, especially if the child is starting out learning to ride a bike.
Bike sizes are classified via the size of the wheel. There are recommended wheel sizes for all age groups. When purchasing a bike for your child, pick the bike with the correct wheel size of 12 or 14 inches. Take your child with you for bike shopping. Make sure her legs reach the floor. When riding a bike, this will give the child more self confidence. Also make sure you purchase a pair of detachable side wheels for training her so she can learn to balance. Another important thing to keep in mind is to purchase a bike that is light in weight. Since you toddler is learning to ride, chances are she might fall a few times. And a heavy bike will worsen the experience. So while it is a bit more expensive, it is worth the investment. And while you are at it, don't forget to purchase a bike helmet!
Bikes for kids in their pre-teens and teens
By the time your kids are in pre-teens or in their teens, they will have mastered the art of riding a bike and would have long outgrown the toddler bike. Now is the time for something different! Since they are a bit grown up, they will want more say in the purchase decision. It is best to get to know what it is they are looking for. Now, remember, kids might want the world, but you are working with a budget. So make sure your child is aware of it before hand so he can do his bit of research as well within that budget.
In this age group, most kids will use the bike to go to school and for after school activities like meeting friends, taking part in local racing competitions etc. Consider the ergonomics of the bicycle. Make sure the handle bars are not too close to the seat as it will exhaust your child quite easily. And ensure that the seats are comfortable. The ideal wheel size for a pre-teenager's bike is 18-22 inches. Make sure bikes for your young teen have coaster breaks for additional safety. Teenagers can use the same bike size used by adults, which is a standard 24 inches. Take your children with you so they can test ride the bikes before finally choosing one which fits their requirements and your budget. Also, don't forget to accessorize. Items like extra headlights, water-bottle, reflectors, mirrors, radio etc. will personalize the bike for your child.
Considerations when purchasing a bike for adults
The ideal bike size for adults is 26 inches. When purchasing such a bike, ask yourself a couple of basic questions. Is the bike for casual riding or exercising or for a special hobby like mountain biking or for sports? You can opt for a single gear or multi-gear bike giving you the convenience of varying speed limits, based on where you are riding it. These days road bikes offer speed ranges of 12 to 21, to choose from. Another important thing to look for is adjustable seats and handle-bars.
Before you make a final purchase, test ride a couple of bikes since unlike kids, you are not likely to outgrow the bike you purchase. This also means you should go for something that is not just sturdy but also light.
Today, there are different brands with various models of bikes catering to all these specific requirements. Based on your requirement, choose the right bike for your needs.
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