Category Archives for Kids Bike’s Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Biking with Your Kids

Winter is not just a season; it is a harbinger of huge changes in lifestyle. Every little habit of yours needs to be adjusted, like cycling. Cycling is fun, but cycling in winter season is vastly different from doing that in the summer. This problem worsens when you have kids along too. So, to help you out, here is your guide to winter biking with kids.

Why you should not abandon cycling

Sure, we have established that cycling is tough in winters. That is why we have written this guide to winter biking with kids for you. Well, for starters, cycling is an excellent excuse to bring you out of your home. Kids are especially bored while sitting in the home all day long, what with the winter vacations and the parks being laden with snow, so a bit of cycling will help them get some fresh air. Also, cycling is an excellent exercise and increases your body temperature, which is quite beneficial in winters. And not to mention, the fun your kids would have while riding on roads decorated with alluring snow.

What should you do?

Cycling is fun, but in such conditions, it could also be dangerous. Hence, it is quite important that you do the following in order to have an enjoyable experience:

  1. To start with, find the right clothes. The chill outside could be enough to send your kid to the hospital, so it is necessary that they are warm enough. Insulation is not the only issue; you must also make sure that they are protected against the wind. Every part of the body must be kept warm, including ears, hands and face. There is a large array of clothing that will help you- earplugs, mufflers, gloves, socks, jackets, warm mittens, boots and a lot of other stuff.
  2. Any possible guide to winter biking with kids will tell you that it is vital for the roads to be clear enough for cycling. Even if the roads are not snow-covered, make sure they are not laced with salt and ice crystals, because they are an invitation to accidents. If the cycling lane is covered with snow and your kid has to take the main lane, make sure you accompany him closely. It takes one careless driver to make an accident, so you have to be cautious.
  3. You need to make sure that your kid’s bike has proper visibility. This can be easily achieved by using front and rear headlights. Red would be the color of choice, as they provide maximum visibility. Also, your kid’s ears might be covered well enough to dampen sounds of vehicles, so make sure his eyes are protected for providing visibility of the surroundings.
  4. Start with shorter routes. The first time your kid brings the bike out in winters, he has no idea how cold it can get. So, it is better to have a smaller route from where you both could return easily if he feels he is not up to it. Talking about routes, it is also better to go for regular routes instead of the proverbial “road less traveled”. Since visibility is low and snow almost makes roads indistinguishable, it is better to follow routes you know by heart.
  5. Don’t go overboard with the clothing. While it is necessary to be warm enough, too much warmth will only cause trouble for your kid. The reason being, cycling is a physically extensive job, hence the more you ride, the warmer you get. So the word of advice would be to be slightly cold when your kid starts the journey. He will probably be warm enough in 5mins.
  6. Bring a warm drink. It doesn’t matter how cold it is, warm drink always helps in winter by providing additional warmth other than that from the clothes and the body itself. In fact, a warm drink is a perfect alternative if you don’t want to burden your child with too many clothes.
  7. Stay vigilant. Your kids might be having a great time, but such luxuries are not for you, not in this weather. Keep your eyes focused on the road, while also looking out for any approaching vehicles. Make sure your kid is riding nearer to the pavement than the main road.

What not to do

While there are things that you must do, there are also things you must definitely avoid. Some of them are:

  1. Don’t take safety lightly. Accidents in winters always hurt more, so make sure your child doesn’t have to feel that pain. In addition to the warm clothes, include all the safety gadgets like knee-guards and helmets. Clear glass or ski goggles are excellent for protecting your child’s eyes from harm.
  2. Don’t forget to teach your kids to drive straight. Even though they are not visible, salt and snow crystals might still be present on the road, decreasing the friction. In such a case, it is very easy to slide and fall during turns or unnecessary bending of the bike. Make sure your child knows that and avoids doing it.
  3. Don’t take your child out if he has only recently learned to ride a bike. Winter biking requires much more skills compared to summers and a small accident can hamper a kid’s confidence, so it is the best idea of preventing your child from riding on his own during this season. You can make them sit on the back and take them on a ride if needed.
  4. Don’t take the bike for granted. You might be able to adjust with an “okayish” bike, but don’t take that risk with your kids. Regularly oil the brakes, check the batteries of the headlights and keep the tires in shape (probably the most important bit).

Conclusion

Winters might be troublesome, but they can be truly beautiful too. We wrote this guide to winter biking with kids in hopes that you will find it useful in enjoying with your kids. Just a few precautions, few gadgets and you and the kids are ready to have some awesome time together.

Coaster Brakes vs. Hand Brakes – the right one for Your Kids

coaster-brakes-vs-hand-brakes

Your kid’s bike is perhaps a special part of your life. For your kid, it may be just fun, but for you, it is a moment of seeing your child doing something on his/her own, the first step of the proverbial “standing on their legs”. So, special caution is needed in choosing the right bikes for your child. One question that comes in the minds of most parents is which brakes should they prefer- coaster or hand?

Coaster Brakes for Kids

Coaster brakes are fitted in the rear part of the bike and are activated by pedaling the bike backward. As soon as the pedals start moving backward, the brake pressure starts to get applied on rear wheels, increasing as you keep pedaling backward.

For a long time, parents had the perception that coaster brakes are best for kids in the age group of 2-5. The reason is that coaster brakes are quite easy to implement: you just have to pedal backward. The notion was so popular that even the US Law specifies that any bike of size 20″ or less must have coaster brakes installed in them.

Via http://rascalrides.com/

Advantages

  • Coaster brakes are perhaps a tad too easy to learn to implement. It makes sense for kids to use their legs for both accelerating and decelerating. This makes your job as parents a bit easier.
  • While applying coaster brakes, there are no sudden “jolts”, ensuring a smooth ride for your child.
  • In terrains where excessive braking is required, other alternatives like hand brakes exert too much pressure on the child. On the other hand, coaster brakes simply depend on your legs, which are the strongest part of your body.
  • Coaster brakes are independent of the weather conditions. So be it a rainy or sunny day, you can take your kid out for a stroll without worries.

Disadvantages

  • Coaster brakes depend too much on the legs. For kids who are not born with strong legs, this could be a nightmare.
  • Kids love to pedal both forward and backward. However, backpedaling is a no-go in coaster brakes, which kind of spoils the fun for your kids. Also, every bike your kid will ride in the future will require backpedaling, which means he/she would need extra time to get adjusted to them.
  • There is a lack of serious modulation in the case of coaster brakes. This leads to frequent skidding in rough terrains – a dangerous outcome.
  • The apparatus of coaster brakes contributes to the overall weight of the bike significantly. This is not at all a desirable feature as far as kids’ bikes go.
  • Since coaster brakes are connected to the pedals, dropping of the chain means that your child is suddenly left brakeless – another dangerous outcome.

Hand Brakes for Kids

Hand brakes are situated on the handles of the bike that must be pressed with the hand in case the rider wants to halt or decelerate.

Via https://momentummag.com/

Hand brakes are the most commonly used brakes in bicycles. However, kid’s bikes remained an exception in this because of the general perception that hand brakes require a significant level of coordination- something that cannot be expected from small children. However, with the passage of time, more and more parents are realizing that perhaps the higher expectation of hand brakes is a misconception. In fact, children as young as 3 years are now comfortable using hand brakes.

Advantages

  • Hand brakes give a wide scope of modulation. This minimizes the chance of skidding, as opposed to coaster brakes which work on an “On/Off” mode.
  • Hand brakes ensure that the kids get the chance to backpedal too, which is an important part of the bicycling experience and definitely a fun thing to do.
  • Since almost every teenager bicycle and motorbike have hand brakes, it is perhaps wise to learn them early on, which would save your child from the trouble of it in the future.
  • In most cases, hand brakes offer a much better braking system and power as compared to coaster brakes.

Disadvantages

  • The biggest disadvantage with hand brakes is the ease of using hand brakes. Since your kid’s hands may vastly differ from other kids, it is often hard to find the bike with the right handbrakes for him. Inappropriate hand brakes would imply difficulty in grasping and pulling the brakes, leading to excess stress on your child’s fragile hands. However, most manufacturers take care of this problem now while designing the bicycles.
  • Another issue with hand brakes is that they demand a tad more skill than coaster brakes. So, as a parent, it would be more difficult for you to train your child using them.
  • Handbrakes are known to be less effective in slippery roads, often leading to skidding. So perhaps not an ideal choice during the rainy season.
  • Another problem encountered with hand brakes is that children tend to grasp a handful of the brakes while using them; this leads to them having less control over the handle. This could be a potentially dangerous scenario.
  • For children with particularly soft hands, hand brakes are not an option at all. No matter how much adjustment is made, hand brakes always require a certain level of force in the hands of the rider.
  • Hand brakes require more maintenance than coaster brakes and are more prone to damage if not of excellent quality.

Verdict

Overall, we can sum up that while coaster brakes value, comfort, hand brakes aim at learning. As a parent, you are the best to judge what is best for your child. As a personal advice, I would suggest you to go for bikes that are hybrid, i.e., employ both coaster and hand brakes. Such models extract the best of both brake systems, while limiting their individual drawbacks. Although on a bit costlier side, they prove worthy in the long run.

One thing I can assure you that there are no losers as far as bicycle brakes go. Both coaster brakes and hand brakes have their own pros and cons, but none of them are so serious that you might lament choosing the wrong brake systems.  Hope your child’s riding experience give you memories for a lifetime.

How to Fit Bike Helmets for your kids?

Riding a bicycle is considered to be one of the best joyful moments in life as it can be a lot of accomplishment and confidence to your little one. During school-age, bike accidents is the second leading cause of serious injury among children.

To avoid such dangerous instances, it is necessary to undertake the concerned precautions. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of an accident by 85%. Most of the regions such as Seattle, Tacoma, and many more cities have made it mandatory to wear a helmet while cycling. But there are countries which do not follow such rules, creating a higher risk for accidents among kids. This needs to be changed.

www.todaysparent.com

Why should your children wear a helmet?

While cycling, an unpredicted fall can happen at any time and at any place. Severe bicycle accidents can cause brain injuries and can also prove to be fatal. When a child wears a perfectly fit helmet, it can reduce such deadly risks. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Children belonging to the age group of 5-14 frequently visit hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles”.

Parents should ensure that they buy new helmets as the child grows up. It is not a difficult or impossible task to wear a helmet while riding. It is essential that a helmet should fit in properly in order to offer the highest level of head protection.

How to wear a bike helmet?

 

  1. Size: When you buy a helmet, make sure it is the perfect size for your little one. Also, make sure that it does not move sideways. Today, sizing pads are easily available with the purchase of every new helmet. You can utilize these pads to get a secured fitting. You can also remove these extra pads once your child grows up. In case, if you get the universal fit rings rather than the sizing pads, alter the ring size to accommodate easily on the child’s head. Loosening of the ring can cause a poor equip, which indicates that the helmet is not perfect for your child. For the beginners, you can move out the entire top pad or use the slimmest ones. Try to line-up the side fitting pads by using thicker pads.
  2. Exact spot: The helmet should be placed in such a way that it should be below your forehead. There should be a small width, for example – one or two finger space, above your eyebrow. Your kid should be able to look above and he/she should be able to see the front rim of your bicycle helmet on their own head.
  3. Side Straps: The left and right straps should form a shape of ‘Y’ and should meet right below your ear. The side straps might be easier to adjust when you put off the helmet. In order to prevent slipping, roll the small rubber band close to the side straps. You can wear the helmet and tighten the buckle. When you look upward, the front rim should be barely visible to your eye. The chin strap should be comfortable against the chin so that when the kid opens their mouth wide, you feel the helmet pull down a little bit. You should line-up the length of the rear strap and the length of the front straps.
  4. Chin Strap: Firstly, buckle the strap placed in the chin position. Stiffen the chin strap until you feel comfortable.

At the end, comes a final check wherein you have to look after several other aspects.

  1. Does the helmet fit perfectly? If the helmet comes down from your head, make sure to replace or adjust it properly.
  2. Is your helmet placed in the right position? When you place the helmet, make sure that you could see the person in front of you. If you can’t see, then unbuckle and tighten the side straps and readjust the strap placed on the chin and test once more.
  3. Do you feel that your helmet lean forward and cover your eye? If it happens, then again re-tighten and adjust the chin strap. Before going ahead, do test it.
  4. Does your helmet move while you shake your head? To avoid such a problem, you might need to adjust the sizing pads or readjust the universal fit ring.
  5. Spin the rubber band straight down to buckle. All the four straps must go through the tiny rubber band and it should be placed close to the buckle. This can avoid the buckle from a possible slipping.

You should be careful and avoid a situation where the helmet interferes with the riders view and hearing ability. These sensors are critical for safety and control. Let’s take a look at the basic things to remember while fitting the helmet.

  1. Loosen the rear retention device
  2. Place the helmet flat onto the head
  3. Tighten the rear retention device to fit comfortably
  4. Adjust the triangle of the straps so that the joining of the straps is placed below the ears.
  5. Adjust the under-chin strap to give a comfortable feel.

You should replace the child’s helmet from time to time. You might wonder why one should do so?

  • Your child’s head can outgrow the size of the helmet.
  • Your kid has crashed the helmet.
  • The helmet has been dropped on to a sharp or concrete surface ( even a small destruction to the helmet can affect the child in an adverse way)

While cycling, the other safety considerations which need to be observed by the parents are in the following areas – extra safety gear, clothing, and adult supervision, biking at night and obeying the traffic signals.

As per a report published on a popular website, “unfortunately, poor biking lands more than a quarter-million kids a year in US Emergency departments with severe injuries”. At times parents do know the importance of wearing a helmet, but they do not understand the importance of how properly a helmet should be fit. Ensure that your kid wears the helmet before they go out for a bicycle ride. Leave the hair loose or tie in the back at the base of the neck. Bike helmets are good only for one crash. Replace the helmet immediately after the first crash and do not wait for a second one to happen.

You spread these safety instructions and save the life of a kid.

11 Tips to Buy a Best Balance Bike for Your Kids on Black Friday

Riding a bike is definitely one of the fondest memories of our childhood. As a parent, we all remember that and hence try to ensure that our child gets the same, without those cuts and bruises. A number of options are available today in the market, but Balance bikes perhaps trump them all. And this is not because of its cool looks. There are significant reasons behind it.

The popular alternatives like tricycle and training wheels hamper the learning ability of a child. It’s like learning how to drive by playing GTA. The entire focus goes on pedaling while balancing shifts to the background; which is wrong, as balancing is perhaps the most important part of riding a bike. Lack of proper balancing skills may lead to potential accidents.

A Balance bike, as the name suggests, focuses only on balancing. It is pedal-less and much safer than the aforementioned alternatives.  It is custom-made to enhance the learning curve of a child of almost every age group while being safe at the same time.

So now that we know how important balance bikes could be for you kid, let’s give you some tips to buy the best Balance bike for your kids on black Friday.

balance-black-friday-and-cyber-monday

Here are 11 tips for you

  1. Look at the bolts before bolting in:

Bolts from the most protruding parts of a bike, and hence always pose a danger of bruising your young ones. Not to mention the worn-out bolts, that could lead to infecting wounds. The solution to this is opting for recessed, rounded or covered bolts, which are always safe.

  1. The right grip on the situation:

Grips help one to hold onto the bike. While a sufficiently ridged grip will help to have a better hold on the handle, too many ridges can harm the soft hands of your kids. So, it is important to find the grip that is just right for your kid’s hands. Also, the knobby end of the grip comes handy in case of sudden halts.

  1. Find the proper frame:

Frames for balanced bikes come in 3 categories: wood, aluminum and steel. Each has its own advantage, like the aluminum frame offers a light-weight bike, while a steel frame can endure heavy weight, and wood frames are more environment-friendly and aesthetic to look at. So you should see which frame caters to your needs properly.

  1. May I have a footrest, please:

No, seriously, this is what most parents ask. A footrest serves no real purpose in a balance bike, albeit in some particular instances, like on a hilly terrain where it is not always advisable to leave the bike laying around. On the other hand, it may interfere with your child’s leg movements, increasing the risk to hit the footrest while riding. So, think carefully about whether you really want a footrest or not.

  1. Turning Limiters- Love it or hate it:

The task of Turning Limiter is to prevent the bike from going in a full revolution. This could happen if the rider loses control of the handle, and it turns around freely -resulting in a disaster if the speed is high. Definitely dangerous, right? But Balance bikes are for training, and hence are unlikely to go beyond a slow speed. Some might argue that a kid must have full access to the handle to learn its intricacies, and so that they are more familiar with bike-riding. So, it is up to you to decide.

  1. Give it a brake:

Balance bikes, by design, are meant to be stopped by the legs. This was the reason behind no pedals so that the legs could be free to maintain balance. However, a set of brakes will still be useful and safer. If you are extra-concerned about safety, you can opt for brakes. Since Balance bikes employ hand-brakes, do remember to check out if your kid can press the brakes properly while riding or not.

  1. Obesity is never good, even on a bike:

If you have driven a lot of motorbikes, you would know that weight plays an important role. The same bike may be too easy for a 5 years old, but can bring your 2-year old out of breath. So, always focus on whether the weight of the bike is suitable for your child. As a general rule, bikes must not weigh more than 30% of your child’s weight.

  1. Look at the tires:

Tires have two most important functionalities: cushion and traction. It is important to have a look at both, before buying a bike. Tires are mainly: Big Apple, Air, rubber Honeycomb, EVA foam and hard plastic. You can select the one for you, depending upon a lot of factors – like the vulnerability to sharp objects, smoothness of roads, indoors or outdoors, desired level of cushion etc.

  1. Bigger is not always better:

To have an optimum control over the bike, it is required that your kid must have a bike whose size is suitable for his/her own size. Too big a bike will be very difficult to maneuver, leading to accidents. Too small bikes would be very clumsy and uncomfortable to ride.

  1. Look upon the seat height:

This is not a major concern, but will save you some hassle in the future. There is a limit of adjustment to the seat heights, so if you grossly miscalculated what height would suit your child, you may need to replace the entire seat. Better safe than sorry.

  1. Listen to your kid:

Kids may not always be the best of judges, but it is they who will be riding the bike after all. You may look at all the best possible configurations, but if your kid isn’t comfortable with it, the bike would be worthless. So, always ask for your child’s opinion before finalizing a deal.

Conclusion:

Balance bikes are a great way to kick-start your child’s journey onto one of the best things about childhood. The things they would learn from it today are not just for now, but will help them in the future too, whether they ride a motorbike or drive a car. So, make sure they get their first ride as something made especially for them. Happy shopping!!

Benefits of Ride On Toys for Toddlers

With so many sorts of toys for toddlers, the shopping process might be quite overwhelming. As parents, we have to consider the price, safety, longevity, and age appropriateness. The best toys are the ones that are not just fun but can benefit our kids’ progress, too. Of course, we want to get our money’s worth.

One type of toy that is progressive and beneficial are ride-on toys. These are toys that children can hop onto and ride on, like a rocking horse, a trike, bike, scooters, bikes, and so on. Ride-on toys for kids have more than just physical benefits. Here’s some of them

Benefits of Ride on Toys

1. It promotes physical activity and exercise.

Many ride-on toys require the child to use legs for movement. For older children, they can strengthen their legs even more with pedaling. Steering strengthens their upper limbs.These toys encourage the child to be active without them even knowing it.

2. It hones fine and gross motor skills

Some of these sorts of toys allow children to grip, grasp, and steer. Some even have small knobs or “keys” they can turn, a joystick to maneuver, and components to open and close.

11-moths-old-baby-rides-a-toy-motorbike

3. You can teach rules

There are so many activities you can do to reinforce rules in general, as well as familiarize them with traffic rules. This develops their sense of responsibility, as well as cooperation. You can get creative, and make a traffic route to emphasize traffic signs, and encourage “responsible driving.” Eventually, as they grow older, following rules will not be so hard, especially when they learn why they exist in the first place.

4. It ignites creativity

Ride-on toys have a lot of room for a child to be creative. The child can pretend to be a policeman, or a fireman, or even pretend to be a “daddy” driving the car.  He or she can also pretend to drive to the beach or a friend’s house, or through a drive through. The list goes on! Creative children are critical thinkers and problem solvers because they aren’t placed in a “box.”

kid-riding-a-retro-bicycle

5. You can widen vocabulary

Teach words like lever, pedals, break, emergency, etc. You can teach more words according to how your child is pretending. For instance, if he says he’s riding a race car, you can teach words like speed, safety, etc. You can also talk about the concept of fast and slow.

6. It fosters independent play

Though children, especially the younger ones, should be supervised, ride-on-toys foster independent play. Children learn to move on their own. A sense of independence is good for self-esteem and intrinsic motivation. A strong sense of independence can also build confidence within the child. Through independent play, a child a can explore and recognize their own thoughts and emotions.

7. Spatial Awareness

This refers to a child’s understanding of space between the objects in their surroundings. You can further hone this by giving an obstacle course. This skill also helps them to pay attention to details.

8. Develop Sense of Balance

Operating or playing with ride-on-toys can significantly improve a child’s sense of balance. They can learn to distribute their weight in such a way that keeps them upright. Some of the ride-on toys that promote balance are scooters, trikes, bike, and practice bikes (the ones with no pedals).

When they do fall, you can always encourage them to get back up. This fosters resilience in a child.

9. Encourages exploration and adventure

While many ride-on toys can be played indoors. But they’re also a great excuse to be outdoors (provided it’s safe, of course!). Being outdoors instills a love for exploration and nature. It can teach them to appreciate their surroundings, nature, and the world.

Exploring encourages a child to think. The outdoors can promote for a child to ask questions, find answers, makes solutions, and decisions.

10. Group Play

kids-riding-bikes-in-a-park

Ride-on toys aren’t limited to independent play. Together, children can explore, pretend, and play. They can also learn things together, and learn from each other.

A ride-on toy is a great way for children to make friends and develop socio-emotional skills. If there’s only one toy, they can learn to share, take turns, and wait. They also learn to be sensitive to each other’s feelings.

Children can learn so much from each other. Empathizing, emotions, leadership, teamwork, among others, are just some of the many things they can learn. Of course, you might need to supervise them, especially if they are younger.

Tips for parents when buying ride-on toys

There are a lot of ride-on toys in the market, but what should a parent look for? Here are some things to consider before buying a ride-on toy:

1. Age Appropriateness

Most toys have age recommendations provided by the manufacturer. However, your gauge should be based on your observations of your child. For instance, can he or she sit up? Fortunately, many ride-on toys have back support to prevent younger children from falling backward.

consider-before-buying-a-ride-on-toy

2. Safety Considerations

Safety is on top of the priority list when buying a ride-on toy. Are the screws tight? Are there parts that are choke hazards? Most toys have age and weight suggestions or limits.

How much weight can the toy carry? As we mentioned earlier, the younger the child is, the more supervision you should give. Another way you can provide safety is having an enclosed space for them to “drive” around.

3. Maintenance and Warranty

Good toys should be easy to handle and easy to maintain as well. This might seem trivial, but consider the types of screws that put the toys together. Is it compatible with the screwdriver or other tools you have? You want a toy that’s durable but also something you can try to maintain on your own.

For electronic ones for older kids, what are the safety features? Does it heat up after some time? How fast can it go? Consider these things to help you decide about electronic ride-on toys.

Conclusion

Ride-on toys are great toys for a well-rounded development in your kid. It has benefits for most of the aspects of development: intellectual, physical, social, and emotional. You can see it in the way a child plays. It sparks a lot of creativity too! It’s also very progressive – rocking chairs for the younger kids all the way to bikes and even some driving for the older ones.

Author Bio
Thomas Roberge is a founder of RepairDaily.com.This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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