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Tips for Buying a Bike

Posted on February 11, 2010 @ 9:56 AM in Cycling


This is my first attempt at writing a blog so I thought I would begin by writing a little this month on some things to think when buying a bicycle.

When buying a bike it is very important that it is the correct size. When buying for children we can be tempted to buy one a little bigger so that the child “can grow into it”. This is something I would probably have been guilty of when my children were small, hoping the bike would last longer but now I realise why we should not do this.

 If we buy a bike which is too big it can be dangerous as:

  • The child may not be able to touch the ground when standing over the bar, or sitting on the seat
  • The bike may be too heavy for the child
  • They must be able to reach all the controls and turn the handlebars
  • If a bike is too big the child will not be able to control it

When  you go to buy a bike you will find they are sold in wheel sizes and this in turn is related to the age of the child.

 For example:

  • 12”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  21/2  and 4
  • 14”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  2 and 5
  • 16”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  5and 7
  • 20”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  7-and 9
  • 24”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  9-11
  • 26”  wheel would be suitable for a child aged between  11 upwards

Bicycles with 26” wheels are classed as adult bikes.

When we buy a bike in adult sizes we must remember that the higher the bike is from the ground, the longer it will be from the saddle to the handlebars. This can be measured in inches or centimetres, so again it important to stand beside the bike, sit on the saddle and see if you can reach the handlebars and controls. The saddle on the bike will be adjustable from approximately  4-10”.

There are no rules to say you must buy a particular bike for a particular age, but if possible bring the child and let them try out the bike in the shop, letting them stand over the bar to see if their feet reach the ground and sit on the saddle to see if their toes touch the ground.

A little news now about what is happening with cycling in schools. Here we have what are called WOW and COW days in our green schools. You may be familiar with these schools as they proudly fly a large green flag outside their school and rightly so as everyone has worked extremely hard to win it.

What is WOW or a COW day? You might ask, well a WOW day is where as many teachers children and parents walk to school on Wednesdays, and yes you have guessed it a COW day is where as many as possibly cycle on Wednesdays. This is a big success and if you were to visit one of these schools on a Wednesday you might think the school was closed there are so few cars about. Raphoe Central School will be celebrating one year of walking and cycling to school on the 23rd February where everyone will meet in town and walk or cycle to the school. Eamonn Brown road safety officer with Donegal Co.Co. will officially open the new bike shed and local councillors who supported the cycle training will also attend.

Look out for more tips from Mary on cycling safety – in the next blog she will be writing about Helmets.

For more information on Pedal Right and its services please click here.

Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly  Proprietor of Pedal Right

Mary is the proprietor of Pedal Right, a cycling school which teaches children and adults how to cycle safely. She is a mother and a grandmother who always had an interest in cycling. A few years ago she was made redundant and had the opportunity to train as a cycling instructor. Since then she has been travelling around the North West of Ireland working mainly in schools teaching children how to cycle safely.

She also spends alot of her time walking with her miniature Jack Russell around the lovely beaches in Buncrana and the surrounding countryside.

6 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by rahul on December 4, 2010 @ 5:43 AM

nice tips to buying a bike,its so useful to all bike lovers,

Posted by Van Insurance Comparison on March 29, 2011 @ 2:52 PM

Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful. Thanks for the information.

Posted by spele on May 2, 2011 @ 11:38 PM

nice tips to buying a bike,its so useful to all bike lovers,

Posted by Cammie on June 6, 2011 @ 2:55 AM

Walking in the presence of giants here. Cool thniking all around!

Posted by ray ban sunglasses on July 5, 2011 @ 8:08 AM

Thanks for this article. It's just what I was searching for. I am always interested in this subject. Will bookmark it.

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