Choosing the best kids' bike should start with a trip to a local bike shop. It may be tempting to buy online, and this is certainly a viable option, but visiting a bike shop instead will ensure your child gets the right size bike that was assembled professionally. This is especially important because an improperly assembled bicycle can be dangerous for the child to ride. Buying at a big box store is another way to risk getting an improperly assembled bike. If you intend to buy online, visit a bike shop first to get as much information as possible about the best kids' bike for your child.
Children tend to outgrow their kids' bike fairly quickly, which means you may be tempted to buy a bicycle that is larger than your child currently needs. While this does make sense in terms of saving money, it can be dangerous for the child. Riding a bicycle that is too large can throw the child off balance and cause them to lose control of the bike, and since many children have not yet developed an efficient sense of balance, they are more at risk of injury by riding a kids' bike that is too large. Get your child properly fitted to a bicycle at a bike shop to ensure he or she stays safe while riding.
Smaller bicycles will feature training wheels, but larger bikes may not. If your child needs a kids' bike to include training wheels, ask the bike shop about installing them. They can always be removed later, and they will help the child learn how to ride on two wheels more quickly. If the smaller bike already includes training wheels, be sure to examine the quality of those training wheels carefully. Some kids' bikes will feature training wheels made from exceptionally weak metal that can bend or break, potentially leading to a fall. Be sure the training wheels are made from heavier metal that will support the weight of the bike and the child riding it.
Consider your long-term budget before you go shopping for a kids' bike. Many bike shops will feature bikes that are more expensive than bikes found online, but remember that a bike bought at a shop will be assembled correctly and will often be sold with a warranty or maintenance package. Some shops even offer free tune-ups on the bike if it is bought at the shop. Be sure to inquire about such add-ons and features.