For parents, raising a child means tending to a growing list of important decisions. Sooner or later, buying a bike is going to join that list, and you may find the choices and questions to be overwhelming and often confusing.
A child’s first bike is a rite of passage; it’s a thrilling gift for a child and a loving, memorable experience for parents. Kids develop strong bonds with their bikes -- be sure to do right by them by asking the right questions and educating yourself on the questions to ask before making that all-important purchase.
Here are just a few considerations when making your choices:
How heavy is the bike?
Think of it like this: the majority of kids' bikes in the market weigh an average of 33lbs, with the average kid riding them at only 44 lbs. That makes for a very cumbersome -- and sometimes dangerous -- riding experience for kids, because the weight of the bike is 75% of the child’s weight. Imagine riding a bike so heavy that it was 75% of your weight!
Guardian Bikes offers bikes starting at 20lbs, using higher quality, lighter aircraft grade aluminum components, making riding significantly easier for kids.
How safe are the brakes?
Although handbrakes are common on kids’ bikes in Europe, most American bikes for children still feature pedal -- or coaster -- brakes. However, hand brakes can better contribute to developing the child’s hand/eye coordination while they learn to balance a bike. When learning how to ride a bike, a child may tend to pedal backwards, which activates the brake and can cause an accident.
Guardian Bikes use handbrakes, but its a special, patented formula built specifically for child safety. Its SureStop (R) Brake System is safer, smarter and simpler than those found on traditional kids’ bikes. This system reduces stopping distance and helps prevent braking-related accidents, including head-over-handlebar and front-wheel skidding. It automatically distributes the right amount of braking power to both wheels, for smooth and controlled stops. Its single-lever system makes braking easier.
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of SureStop for kids.
How can I be sure the bike will fit my child?
One bike size does not fit all, especially for kids. This is one of the most important factors in your bike purchase decision, so you’ll want to be sure that the bike is compatible with your child’s size. A bike that is too small or too large can undermine confidence and be difficult to control, or could discourage further use.
Guardian Bikes offers a handy guide explaining bike sizing and measurements that will help determine which bike is most appropriate for your child. Click here.
Do I have to assemble the bike myself?
Most all bikes require various degrees of assembly. It’s best to be sure that the manufacturer can assemble as much of the bike as possible before delivery. However, a bike that arrives not completely assembled should not discourage you. Usually, you can find easy-to-follow instructions from the manufacturer or search for instructions online.
One of the best benefits of ordering a Guardian bike is that no mechanical background is required. You will receive a 20-inch bike 99 percent assembled (you only need to install the pedals and handlebar).
Our 24-inch bikes arrive 95 percent assembled (you install pedals, handlebars and front wheel).
All Guardian bikes are assembled and inspected by professional mechanics, based in the USA. That setup includes brakes, gears, seat posts, seats, and the front wheel (on 20-inch bikes).
Click here to watch a detailed, easy-to-follow video on the setup process.
How many speeds does the bike have?
Speeds -- or more specifically, gears -- are the number of sprockets located at the rear wheel with the number of chainrings at the front of the bike. Gears help us maintain a comfortable or practical pedalling speed, whether it be hills, flat surfaces, traffic or tight corners ; one gear cannot handle every situation.
Remember that having many speeds isn’t about having a faster bike; it’s about having an efficient bike that can adapt to new terrain. It can also help you get to high speeds without extra effort.
Our 20-inch bikes offer your choice of single speed or six speeds.
Our 24-inch bikes feature a seven-speed “mega-range,” which makes it easier to climb hills than traditional seven-speed bikes.
Does the bike come with a kickstand?
Not all bikes do. Many bikes designed for adults forego the kickstand because it adds extra weight, and it tends to rattle or collect dirt and debris.
All Guardian Bikes come with kickstands, for the sake of kids’ safety.
Do you offer a warranty or guarantee?
You’ll want to make sure that the bike is returnable for any reason, and that it can be repaired within a certain amount of time if problems arise. You also want to know the extent of a refund -- if any.
Guardian Bikes accepts returns up to 100 days after any purchase. FYI: 98 percent of our customers keep their bikes!
Click here to find out all you want to know about how Guardian Bikes can be a smart investment for your child.