I want to start this product review with one sentence. Do not underestimate how much a decent bike will help your kid to learn to ride a bike.

When Miss 4 decided she was ready to ride a “big girls bike” we started her off on an old (very old) bike of her older sisters. It was a bit rusty, one of the handles was coming off a bit BUT we figured it would do the job for her to learn the basics of riding unassisted.
Erm….it didn’t. If anything it actually made it harder, the wheels were stiff and we just didn’t really get her started on the right foot (or pedal) I’m glad we didn’t persist for too much longer and realised we were going to have to get her a better bike to give her the best chance to learn to ride.

When we first started Kids in Adelaide one of our very first product reviews was a ByK Bike, from now 11 year old James. So we already knew these bikes were great and luckily for us the ByK team were happy to give us one of their E-350 models to get Ziggy up and riding.

The ByK E-350 is suitable for riders aged 3-6 who are between 95-117 cms tall. So it’s a great starting point to first learn to ride, and then last long enough for them to get a good couple of years out of before it’s time to upgrade. It’s available in single speed, 3 speed internal geared and mountain model and also in a range of colours so you can really choose the bike that is going to suit your child. It also comes with training wheels if you want to use them.

We chose Vivid Purple. Which looks awesome but apart from the cool colours WHY does a good bike make such a difference for kids learning to ride?

Here’s a few main differences we found immediately after using her new bike.

The weight.
The ByK E-350 weighs in at just over 8kgs. It’s easy for her to move and pedal and also makes it manageable for her to pick it up and restart after the many try try try agains we had for the first couple of weeks learning. This bike is A LOT lighter than the first bike we tried and so much easier for her to push off on her own and handle once she’s off and riding.

The wheels
Also MUCH lighter than the older bike, these made pedalling much easier for her little legs and were much easier for her to get rolling from a stop start. They are longer and lower to the ground

The brakes
There are two brakes on the ByK E-350. A small easy to use front brake as well as a rear coast brake for simple and safe foot braking, you can’t have too many stopping options when learning to ride!

The overall design
ByK bikes have more knee room and an ergonomic riding triangle between pedals, seat and handlebar. This makes balancing a lot easier and she just looks comfortable in the riding position. Not cramped up, not having to stretch to reach. The seat is also really comfy and the wheels are light, quiet, smooth and easy to pedal. You can tell this is a bike designed specifically for children, not just a mini version of an adults bike.

So after we got the bike bit sorted it was time to get riding. She’s a confident kid, but being 4 is also prone to a good frustration tanty so we went in knowing what to expect. Yep there were quite a few stacks, a couple of crashes and a tanty or two BUT to be honest I am so happy with her progress. After only 2 weeks, and about 4 sessions she’s now up and riding on her own, practicing her stopping and also getting the hang of a self start. She also thinks she’s the coolest kid at the park with her bright purple “big girls” bike so there’s plenty of enthusiasm for more practicing!

If you’re kids are ready to start to learn to ride a bike, here’s my top tips based on our experience thus far;

1. Get a good bike – it doesn’t have to be brand new but just make it the best bike you can afford. Even if you have to delay it for a few months to save some extra $$ for a better bike I would absolutely recommend that. Old, heavy, rusty bikes are first of all so hard to learn on but more importantly are unsafe and you don’t want these first riding experiences to end badly. Also please make sure you have a good helmet that fits properly – this is a non negotiable.

2. Practice for short periods of time, but regularly. Depending on the age of your child, the concentration and frustration levels might not last too long so we found it much better to go for a few half an hour sessions rather than a big block of time where she would get tired and frustrated. At the start we found 30 minutes the sweet spot.

3. Take snacks and water. I feel like “take snacks” is in the top five list for every kid related task but honestly nothing resets my 4 year old like a bite of a bickie and sip of water. Regular breaks, especially after a few stacks is important to remember.

4. Long pants (not too baggy) over shorts. There’s going to be stacks (probably lots to start with) and pants might be that really simple thing that help prevent too many skinned knees and keep them trying again.

5. Start on grass.….but nice short cut grass so it’s not too hard to pedal. We found a great patch of short cut semi hard grass at our local park. It was the perfect place for those first few rides as the soft fall meant she wasn’t scared to fall but when she did, it didn’t hurt. (also great to have a light bike so that when she fell it wasn’t 10+ kgs falling on top of her! Also if you can find a small grassy slope it’s a great spot to practice just balancing without pedalling and getting used the the feeling of riding.

6. Are you the right person for the job? Learning to ride a bike can be frustrating…….REALLY frustrating. Both for rider and for teacher. So if you find yourself getting cranky and impatient with the process, maybe tap out and let the other parent, older sibling, aunty, uncle or someone else have a go. Take regular breaks, stay positive and lead by example with a can do attitude. If at first you don’t succeed…….. and all that.

We assembled our ByK at home easily thanks to the easy to follow instructions and YouTube videos, or there are Australia wide ByK stockists where you can purchase one pre built. click here to find an Adelaide stockist

There’s loads of helpful information on the ByK website to help you choose the best bike for your child. To find out more and shop online (with super speedy delivery) visit
www.bykbikes.com.au


I received my Funky Monkey Bars free of charge for the purposes of this review however as for all reviews from Kids in Adelaide the above is honest and in my own words

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