BICYCLE ACCESSORIES FOR KIDS
By: Ernest Freeland – Owner Crofton Bike Doctor
So you’ve picked out the right bicycle for your child, now it is time to look at the proper accessories for your child’s bike to make it even safer and more fun for them to ride!
See my article: Buying a Kids Bike
Check out our Kids Bike Guide page as well.
There isn’t an accessory any more important than a helmet. What is even more important is that the helmet that your child wears fits them properly. The top of their head needs to touch the top of the helmet, it should be about halfway down their forehead and it needs to be snug like you would wear a baseball cap. Next the straps need to be properly adjusted. So many times I see children wearing improperly fit helmets. I have a position I like to call “prepared for takeoff” where the straps are loose and the helmet is up above their forehead.
Helmets are the law for children under the age of sixteen in the state of Maryland. I am a firm believer of leading by example; if you are going to require your children to wear a helmet you should too!
Think about all the different types of gloves you own for the things you do. Gloves are more about protecting your child’s hands than comfort. Sure they make your hands more comfortable while you are riding but more importantly they protect your skin! This is especially important for kids and extra important for those who are new riders. They are more likely to fall and we all know the first thing almost every human does is place their hands out to cushion their fall. Gloves are an inexpensive investment to protect your child’s hands and keep their bicycle riding fun. Many companies make gloves for children and we stock several different styles.
Elbow pads and knee pads are great items for the new rider and an almost essential item for the BMX rider of the family. We carry youth sizes to help protect the young riders of the family from scrapes and bruises as they master the art of bicycle riding.
Kids love bells and they are a great safety device for their bicycle. It is an easy way for them to let others know they are coming. Many children may have trouble announcing their presence and being loud enough to be heard. The bell is an easy and fun way to teach your child how to let others know they are there. Plus it is the law in Maryland that bicycles are equipped with a bell or horn, sirens or whistles are not acceptable.
Hydration is important for people of all ages. Where appropriate you should mount a bottle holder to your child’s bike as well. For bikes that are big enough many of them have mounts just like an adult bike. For children my personal favorite is a handlebar mounted cage. It is easier for the child to get to and also in a great location for them to remember to drink. We carry bottles and cages that are smaller sizes and easier for a child’s hand to safely handle the bottle. For younger children I recommend frequent breaks where you stop riding to drink water. It is safer and gives everyone a little break. Don’t stop too long as you’ll cool down and you’ll have to warm back up again.
These accessories will add to your child’s and your riding enjoyment. If you have any questions please feel free to stop by and we will be happy to help you!