Things To Consider When Buying a Pocket Bike For Your Kid

Posted by Kenneth Poon on

Gas pocket bikes are one of the hottest new rideable toys on the market today. Taking your outdoor riding experience to the next level, here are a few thing to consider if you’re looking to purchase a pocket bike for your son or daughter.

No. 1. Ensure you or your child meets the recommended minimum rider age (13+ year old) and recommended weight capacity (under 160 lbs / 72 kg) for pocket bikes. 

So you fit the recommended requirements? Now, ensure you know what a pocket bike is. These things REALLY move!

 

WHAT ARE POCKET BIKES?

Think about a full-size sports bike. Now shrink it in size. These little things really go! These mini bikes can reach speeds of 25 mph (40kph!) and are made for both adults and kids. Parents are strongly advised to to be vigilant if an underage rider is operating these minibikes. 

 

WHERE TO BUY

Get your pocket bike online or in-store. Shopping online will typically offer an easy user experience, but do your research and opt for a trusted site. Choose a bike and a brand that best suits your needs, age, and desired riding experience. For online shopping, be very sure that the site you are going to use is 100% trusted and genuine with authorization and secured payment options. One right decision can provide all customers with outstanding experience from online shopping. If you want to make your kid’s riding experience an exciting one, then you are suggested to purchase popular brand pocket bikes from a trustworthy online store now.

 

BE SAFE

Ride safe! Don't forget your helmet. It's always recommended to wear proper safety gear on any motorized devices. Always wear protective helmets, gloves and boots, riding suits are suggested for additional safety. All these items are now available in the top online stores at reasonable prices. Kids and underage riders should be supervised by adults at all times, and always follow recommended age/weight guidelines

 

KNOW WHERE YOU RIDE

Most cities will have by-laws stating what types of vehicles are street legal. Know your local legislation and know where to ride safe and legally.

 

How To Choose The Pocket Bike For Your Kid?

 

Choosing the right pocket bike from a variety of available models can be a both fun and challenging process. It’s very important to choose wisely, especially if a young rider has never ridden a pocket bike before. Every child is different and you know yours best, but typically most kids are ready to start riding pocket bikes when they are 8+ years old – or when they start being able to ride a bicycle without training wheels. Check with your manufacturor for recommended ages/weight ranges.

Although the smallest entry-bikes cost less than more “universal” kids pocket bikes, your kid will outgrow a small bike in couple of years so sometimes it make sense to invest into larger sized pocket bike. The kids pocket bikes for beginner riders tend to have low seat heights to make kids feel in control. Such introductory pocket bikes are lightweight and nimble enough to be unintimidating, yet challenging enough that young riders won’t grow out of them before getting their money’s worth.

Pay attention to bike’s weight. The lighter the pocket bike, the easier it is to ride and maneuver. The smallest pocket bikes for the youngest riders can weigh as little as 20 pounds whereas pocket bikes for kids 7 to 14 years old can weigh anything between 60 and 120 pounds. 

What we can tell you is - don't go big! Kids at that age want to be like their heroes whether it's on the playing field or the motocross track. Buying the same bike Ryan Villopoto or James Stewart rides is a mistake. Go small in both engine size (50cc is ideal for beginners) and the actual size of the bike.

 

Choose a bike that fits.

Kids need easy manageability. This includes being able to sit on the bike and reach the ground with both feet securely, and reach the handlebars and controls with ease. Upgrading to a larger bike with a manual clutch may work for some kids sooner than for others but remember not to push it.

 

Finally, test ride whatever beginner pocket bike you look at - new or used.

Your child may find the 50cc size is too small but a 100cc is too big, then you'll know to look at the 70cc and 80cc range.

 

Things to be Taken Into Consideration

 

Bikes, like kids, come in all shapes and sizes.  Some bikes are better for petite or timid kids, while other are better for taller or more aggressive riders.  As a result, there is no such thing as “the best” bike, but there are bikes that are best for various types of kids or budgets.  Over the years we have tested out and review close to 100 different bikes and found that there isn’t one best place to buy a bike either.  Bikes from bike shops are generally heavy and lack higher-end components, big-box-store bikes are simply toys masquerading as bikes and online bike shops offer the best selection and designs, but don’t allow you to try them out in person.  Whether shopping online or in a store, here’s what to look for when shopping for a bike. To see how various bikes compare in these categories, be sure to check out our pedal bike comparison charts.  Lastly, please note that these suggestions are for traditional kids bikes, not road, BMX or downhill mountain bikes.

 

Budget

More expensive bikes are almost always going to perform better than cheaper bikes, BUT as long as it is safe, any bike is better than no bike.  Buy the best bike you can afford.  Do not be discouraged if you can’t afford the top rated bikes , but also be patient with your child when learning to ride on a less than an ideal bike.  

 

Child’s ability

A child’s first pocket bike needs to fit differently than their subsequent bikes. A child transitioning on how to use one needs to be able to stop the bike with their feet like they are accustomed to.  Their inseam should be very close equal to the minimum seat height on the bike.  Kids who are have mastered a hand brake on their balance bike may be able to ride a bike whose minimum seat height is 1″ to 1.5″ taller than their inseam as they don’t need to rely solely on their feet to stop.  Timid or less coordinated kids, however, are always better off starting on a bike in which they can place their full foot on the ground.  Having room between the seat and the handlebars also allows them to naturally lean in to run.

More aggressive or eager riders, regardless of their balance bike experience, generally don’t have a problem riding a bike with a minimum seat height 1″ to 1.5″ taller than their inseam, BUT never put a child on a bike that they cannot stop!  Kids transitioning from balance bike cannot rely on a coaster brake (back pedal brake) to stop until they have mastered pedaling, which can take time.

 

Seat (Saddle) Height

Bike seats are called saddles, but for simplification, we will refer to them as seats.  The minimum seat height of a bike as compared to your child’s inseam is essential in determining if a bike is a good fit for your child. 

When purchasing a bike, especially a 20″ or 24″ kids bike when their inseam is always less than the minimum seat height, it is also important to take note of a bike’s standover height.  The standover height is the height required to stand over the top tube of the bike (the top tube of the frame that connects the front of the frame to the back). When standing over the bike (not on the seat) there should be an inch or two of clearance.  The gap helps prevent injury if the child slips forward off the seat during a fall.  Most top tubes of kids bikes are slanted downwards for this reason.  For really aggressive riders, it also allows for more clearance when leaning into a turn.

 

Weight

Most adults ride bikes which are about 20% of their total weight, while kids bikes are usually around 50% of their weight.  Ideally, a child’s bike should be less than 40% of their weight, but is often not possible.  Weight, however, should never to looked at individually.  Many big-box-store bikes are similar in weight to higher-end bikes, but they also have a much shorter wheelbase and weigh less due to their small frames and lack of hand brakes.  Decreasing the weight on a child’s bike is certainly no afterthought, so higher-end kid’s bike companies proudly display their bike’s weights, while most major bike companies refrain from publishing them.

Buy the best bike you can within your budget.  There is no perfect bike and different children will perform better on different bikes. Focus on fit and weight first, as a company who took the time to make a lightweight bike more than likely also focused on proper geometry, brakes, and gearing ratios

 

Buy and Use Safety Gears

The one thing you definitely want your child to emulate about their heroes is all the gear they wear. Helmet, chest protection, boots, knee braces, gloves and goggles are necessary investments to your child's pocket bike riding adventures.

Approach pocket bike riding gear for your child the same way you approached buying the bike with the exception of buying used. We'd recommend new gear unless you're comfortable using a hand-me-down from a family member or close friend who you trust. Even a small crash can damage and impair the quality of gear - especially a helmet.

 

NOTE: This is an independently written article and it does not reflect the view or recommendations of Rosso Motors.


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