Biking Gear Tips

Choosing Bikes for Cycling with Kids The Ultimate Gear Guide

Choosing Bikes for Cycling with Kids Ultimate Gear Guide
Written by Stuart Wickes

Choosing Bikes for Cycling with Kids
The Ultimate Gear Guide

Stuart Profile SmallWe’ve been cycling with kids since they could first hold their heads up. In fourteen years we’ve pretty much been through every possible configuration of trailer, bike seat, tag along, balance bike, solo bike and tandem that you can imagine. And in the process we’ve figured out how to bike with one, two and then three babies, toddlers, tweens and now teens.

If you’re wondering what the options are, what works best at what age or what you need to get out biking as a family, check out our ultimate gear guide to cycling with kids, packed with experience, opinions and tips drawn from 14 years experience of everyday and long distance cycling with our kids.

This is a LONG post and comes in five parts including this introduction. Scroll down to navigate around and find the bits most relevant to you.

Boy on a bike: cycling with kids

Kids love the freedom of biking… but what should you be looking for at different ages to get them out biking with you, to inspire a love of cycling and to help them progress onto cycling safely on their own?

Cycling is a skill for life

Choosing the right gear at each stage of your child’s development will not only help you introduce your kids to cycling safely but teach them skills for life and help them develop a life-long love of biking.

There are lots of options to choose from and we don’t set out to tell you what to do, rather to share what worked for us. We believe you know your child, their temperament and ability and your own riding style best and are best placed to decide what will work for you.  And we hope the information we provide here will help with that.

New or second hand?

Children’s needs change from year to year as they grow and their skills, experience and capabilities develop, and some cycling gear may only be of use to you for a season or two. This can make family cycling a potentially expensive business if you prefer to buy everything new and shiny. But it also means there’s a good second hand market where you can find previously owned gear and save yourself a fortune. If you do buy second hand do ask about the equipment before purchase – its age, previous use, any accidents – and check it over thoroughly to ensure it is fit for purpose, or if you are unsure how to do that yourself, get it checked by a bike mechanic.

Boy on bike in Dutch Tulip Field Holland

This may be where we want to get to… independent riding. But where do you start? What are the steps and stages along the way? And what bikes work best at what age?

Finding something age appropriate

This is a LONG article and covers a lot of territory so to help you navigate we’ve split it up into four parts according to the age of your kids. Use these links to find the bits most relevant to your circumstances.

Up Next: Part 1 – The Baby Years

Choosing Bikes for Cycling with Kids Part 1 Baby Years Age 0-2

Disclosure Note: This post was brought to you thanks to support from Argos. The content, views, experience and opinions remain, as ever, entirely our own.

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


    • Hi Kieran, That’s a tricky one and it depends on my perceptions of risk, environment we’re cycling in and skills and experience of the kids. Personally in an on-road situation, I put the most experienced kid at the front with strict instructions on staying with the group, going at pace of slowest and stopping and waiting at any junctions. I’ll brief the others to try and stay a few bike lengths apart and I’ll ride at the back to try and protect, manage traffic before it overtakes and warn everyone of what is coming. On a traffic free trail I may give everyone a bit more freedom. I always prefer to be at the back where I can see what’s going on ahead. If I’m in the pack then a good rear view mirror helps keep an eye on things. Hope that helps. Stuart

  • Nice Post,

    I also trained our kids for cycling, which is a skill for life as you describe. I bought a second hand bike from market and maintain it from bicycle shop that make it perfect for riding.

    So, buy a second hand bike not a bad idea.

    Thanks Stuart Wickes

  • […] The 2020 event is taking place on Saturday 15th August. The route is closed to traffic for eight hours and takes in the Strand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields, returning to the Victoria Embankment on a section of the newly opened East-West Cycle Superhighway. You can do this ride with kids of any age. Check out our post on which bikes to choose for your kids. […]

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