Tips

The following are some usefull tips so that you might take in consideration when purchasing your childs first bike. Also, you can read some other tips regarding the
safety and maintenance of your bicycle.


Bike sizing
  • Your child should be able to straddle the top tube with both feet on the ground.
  • Adjust the reach of the handlebars so the child is comfortable and sitting upright.
  • Bikes should not be "grown into". Buy a bike that safely fits your child.
Hand vs. Pedal Brakes
  • Pedal brakes should be the child's first brakes; teach them to stop at a fixed point.
  • Small children may not be able to use hand brakes due to lack of
  • Use lever 'reach adjusters' to bring brake levers closer for smaller hands.
Training Wheels
  • Start with both training wheels on the ground; gradually move them up  every week.
  • Children should use training wheels to learn to balance.
  • If a child is unwilling to take them off, raise them so they don't touch the ground.
BMX
  • Dirt jumping requires safety gear including full-face helmet, shin pads and gloves.
  • Beginners should also consider elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards.
  • Not all bikes are strong enough to jump; check with your local bike shop.
Freestyle
  • Flatland trick riding requires safety gear; helmet, glove and shin pads are important.
  • Freestyle bikes have 'pegs' on front and rear axles that allow standing.
  • Never allow your child to transport other children on their bike.
Mountain
  • Children should wear a helmet and gloves when mountain biking.
  • Ride or walk with your child so you know the trails that they will be riding.
  • Set specific boundaries for where your child can and cannot ride.
Growing in to the bike
  • Don't buy a bike that does not fit your child; too small later is betterthan too big now.
  • Quality bikes will be easier to resell; they last longer as hand-me-downs also.
  • Make sure that your child's bike fits them by checking with your local bike shop.
Chain life
The Chain needs to be replaced more frequently than most expect. Why? It can prolong the working life of the drivetrain which if damagedcan be expensive to replace.
Suggested chain replacement:
  • Road Bike - 1000-1500 miles

  • Mountain Bike - 800-1000 miles (pending riding conditions)
Chain-rings and cassette
The Chainring and Cassette are two drivetrain components the chain comes in direct contact. If the teeth on the components are hook-shaped, bent or broken they should be replaced. In addition, a worn chain usually warrants chainring and casette replacement.
Bottom bracket and bearings
The Bottom Bracket holds the crank system within the bike frame. If the crank system has become hard to turn, develops a creaking or clunking noise, it might be time to replace it, overhauled, or have the bearings replaced.
Cables and housing
Tires & Tubes are your vital connection with the road. Look for warning signs such as dry rotting, excessive cuts & tears, punctures, or if the tread is worn leaving a flat spot. Its recommended that tubes be replaced with new tires. If a tube has been patched, it should be replaced patched. A tube should only be used to get you home.
Tires & tubes
Tires & Tubes are your vital connection with the road. Look for warning signs such as dry rotting, excessive cuts & tears, punctures, or if the tread is worn leaving a flat spot. Its recommended that tubes be replaced with new tires. If a tube has been patched, it should be replaced patched. A tube should only be used to get you home.
Brake pads
Brakes are an obvious important safety feature on any bicycle. Most brake pads have a wear indicator line or groove to help tell you when they need to be replaced. If the groove has disappeared or is nearly worn, it's time to replace them. In addition, if braking has become noisy or gritty check with a professional bicycle technician. Disc Brakes: Check for pad wear, scoring or glazing of the rotor. Rotors should be replaced if they develop a wobble or have become bent.
Bar tips and grips
Handlebar Tape and Grips help keep the bike under control. Both should be replaced if torn, have become thin, appear to be dried-out, sticky or if gel has leaked out.