Just under half of UK parents (49%) don’t know what type of bike their child needs, a survey from Islabikes has found.
Just under one-tenth (9%) admitted to not measuring their youngster and instead buying a larger-sized bike that they can simply ‘grow into’ while learning to ride.
The company surveyed 2,200 UK parents of children aged between four and six who have started their cycling journey or can already cycle by themselves.
On the other hand, 26% were aware of what a ‘First Pedal’ bike is and stated that their child learned to ride on one. When those parents were asked how long it took for their child to become confident when cycling, the average time was found to be 45 minutes.
The remainder (74%), whose child learned to ride on a standard child’s bike, took twice as long, approximately 90 minutes to two hours.
Parents who bought a ‘First Pedal’ bike for their child were asked why and what they felt the main benefits of the design were. The top responses revealed to be: it’s scaled down perfectly for the size of their child (82%), it doesn’t have gears to complicate the riding experience (69%), it is lightweight and easy to carry (67%), the brakes are easy to operate (58%), and the frame design enables an upright riding position (41%).
Tim Goodall, managing director of Islabikes, said: “Choosing the right bike for your child needn’t be difficult, but it’s clear to see that many parents are still unsure where to start. If you feel stuck, don’t just guess the size and type of bike they’ll need, or go bigger because you think they’ll grow into it.
“This’ll ultimately constrict your little one’s ability to move freely and use the pedals and handlebars properly, inevitably leading to more accidents and taking them longer to learn to ride as a result.
“Some of the key benefits of a ‘First Pedal’ bike have been highlighted in this research, but the real difference between it and a standard child’s bike is that they’re designed to get your child off to the best start possible by being lightweight and every part of the bike designed for a small child.
“Our First Pedal bikes are holistically designed – to accommodate a bulky chainguard, which children are likely to catch their fingers in, we’ve added a Chainglider without changing the frame of the bike, as this would’ve made it harder to ride.
“We’ve also incorporated a narrow Q factor, which helps to limit wobbles, a micro-reach brake lever and small diameter handlebars and grips, so that the child can reach the brakes and stop their bike.”