Is your preschooler ready to start riding a bike yet? If not, figure she will be soon -- either a bike with training wheels or a big two-wheeler. But before she can in either case, you'll have to do a little assembly work. Performance Bicycle, the nation’s largest bike retailer, is an expert source for the best safety tips and gear. They have put together some helpful tips for building kid’s bikes to ensure your children are safe, and you don’t have to stress over putting together their dream bike!
For All Kinds of Kids’ Bikes:
- Make sure you have a container of grease for the threads of the pedals, stem and seat post. This will insure that these parts fit better.
- Make sure that the right-threaded pedal is attached on the right side of the bike and the left-threaded pedal is attached on the left side of the bike. Use a pedal wrench to ensure that the pedals are tightly attached.
- The handlebars are designed to sweep back toward the rider and should be parallel to the ground. Make sure that the handlebar is tight by straddling the bike and attempting to twist the handlebar. The handlebar should be tight enough so that an abrupt turn doesn’t move/twist it.
- Make sure that all nuts are snug. Small bolts are used because that is all that is needed to secure the parts.
For Single-Speed Kids’ Bikes
- Check chain tension by making sure there is at least ¼ inch of play at the tightest point.
For Multi-Speed Kids’ Bikes
- Check the adjustment of the rear derailleur stops by pedaling the rear wheel while pushing the rear derailleur with your thumb towards and away from the rear wheel.
- Make sure you understand how the quick release skewers work. They should be flipped open, not rotated to loosen and remove the wheel. They should be flipped closed and tightened until you feel resistance at the halfway point.
- Check the brakes by making sure that the brake pads strike the surface fully.
- In the easiest gear, make sure that the limit screws are set so that the chain clears on the inside. In the hardest gear, make sure that the limit screws are set so that the chain clears on the outside.
When Will My Preschooler Be Ready to Ride a Bike?
Generally, between the ages of 3 and 6 are a good time for kids to start to learn to ride a bike with training wheels and then eventually just the two wheels, but with everything, this is simply a range. Some children will be able to do it sooner and others not until they are older. The most important things to remember when teaching a child on how to ride is to make sure that she is having fun every step of the way and to keep your patience. For some children, learning to ride a bicycle is something they pick up immediately, while others need a few outings in order to master it.
In every case, safety is the key. Make sure your little one is properly outfitted in a helmet and other protective gear that is designed to keep her safe. When she's first learning to ride, make sure the area you've chosen is large enough, is smooth and paved and is in a place where there is little to no car traffic. Before you set out, review the rules of the road.
Most important of all -- have fun!
Source for bicycle assembly tips and instruction: Performance Bicycle