If you were your son, choosing a cycle would be simple. You would walk into the nearest toy store, pick out the coolest and flashiest-looking set of wheels, break your piggy bank to take out the money and ride out the front door. Luckily for everyone involved ÔÇô youÔÇÖre not your son. You are an adult and must concern yourself with adult-minded things like your son's safety and health.

So, when choosing a cycle for your son, focus on safety. Consider various factors, but ensuring the cycle fits properly is the most important. How do you know if a cycle is the right fit for your son? Here's what you need to know when picking the best cycle for boys.

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  1. KidsÔÇÖ Cycle Size Charts

Start with a cycle size chart to find the right size for your son's cycle. You can find these charts easily at offline and online bike stores or toy stores ÔÇô anywhere they sell cycles. However, you don't need to go to the store; we've got you covered here:

ÔÇŹKidsÔÇÖ Cycle Size Chart - Height

ÔÇŹThe standard sizing chart focuses on your sonÔÇÖs height, not the cycleÔÇÖs.

KidsÔÇÖ Cycle Size Chart - Inseam Length

Another way to pick the right size is by looking at your son's leg length.

  1. Cycle Sizes, Types, and Features

Boys' cycles have sizes based on wheel diameter (12, 16, 20, and 24 inches), unlike adult cycles, which use frame size and seat height. Adult ranger cycle wheels usually start at 26 inches. Not all brands offer all sizes; some may have 14- or 18-inch wheel options.Listed below are some of the types of cycles commonly available for boys:

  • Balance Cycles (2-4 years)

As per the International Bicycle Fund, most boys try a two-wheeler around age three, often starting with a 12-inch wheel balance cycle. These cycles, without pedals, let your son push along with their feet for movement and stop by putting their feet down. Balance cycles help build confidence, independence, and balance in toddlers. They're a popular choice instead of tricycles or bikes with training wheels.

  • Small-wheeler Cycles (3-5 years)

Small wheelers are the basic first pedal cycles. They're simple, lacking features of bigger cycles like handbrakes and freewheel hubs. As a transition from a balance bike or tricycle, simplicity is key. Look for models with coaster brakes, requiring less coordination. Small wheelers often come with 14-inch wheels, though you can also find some with 12- or 16-inch wheels. Just remember, the key is finding the right fit.

  • Middle-wheeler Cycles (4-6 years)

These cycles are often called "middle wheelers," although you might not see that term while shopping. They're usually described by wheel size, with 16 inches being common. Middle-wheelers may have hand brakes and sometimes gears. Some have a freewheel hub allowing backward pedalling. Look for steel or aluminium frames. Boys gain more speed with these cycles, so make sure your son has the coordination for balance, steering, and using hand brakes.

  • 20-inch Wheel Cycles (5-9 years)

With 20-inch models, you'll find hand brakes, gear sets,┬á and suspension systems more often. Different types like "mountain bikeÔÇŁ, "road bikeÔÇŁ, and "cruiser" start appearing, showing specialisation. This means you and your son need to consider the type of riding ÔÇô on or off-road, jumping, racing, etc. A good cycle can be pricey, so consider his needs to avoid getting a bike that doesn't fit.

  • BMX Cycles

In the 20-inch category, there's another cycle style your son might ask for ÔÇô the BMX bike. Originating from motocross, they were initially for dirt racing with jumps and turns. These big tyre cycles are popular for their durability and cool looks. BMX bikes typically have one gear, lightweight frames, and knobby tyres. They often come with 20-inch wheels, but you can also find them in different sizes. A BMX cycle could be good if your son is into rugged riding.

  • 24-inch Wheel Cycles (7 and up)

Think of 24-inch wheel bikes as a step towards adult bikes with features like multiple gears and front suspension. You'll find road bikes, basic cruisers, mountain bikes, and BMX models in this category. Some may have advanced features like hub brakes. Remember, more features often mean higher prices and more potential issues, so simpler is usually better. But at this stage, your kid might have more choices.

  1. Measuring Your Son

Now, you need to measure your son's height and inseam:

  • Height

To measure your son's height, ask him to stand against the wall without shoes, feet slightly apart. Then, use a measuring tape or yardstick to measure from the ground to the top of his head. Record the measurement in inches or centimetres.

  • Inseam

To measure your son's inseam, have them stand against the wall without shoes, feet slightly apart. Put a book between their legs against the wall, spine up, and slide it up to where it meets their crotch. After they move away, mark where the book's spine meets the wall with a pencil. Measure from the ground to the pencil mark and record the result in inches or centimetres.

The Bottom Line

You've measured your son and looked at the charts. Ready to buy a cycle? Few things beat the joy of surprising your little one with a shiny new bicycle on New Year's or their birthday. It's a gift that will make them eager to rush outside and proudly show it to the entire neighbourhood. So, consider the above points before purchasing a cycle for your son that suits him perfectly.

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May 25, 2024

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