Children's exercise bikes come in a variety of styles, built for a variety of purposes. Unlike bikes built for adults, children's bikes are generally smaller in size and offer different safety features than adult bikes. Choosing an exercise bike for your child will depend on a number of factors including the purpose of the bike and the expected growth of your child.
Types of Children's Exercise Bikes
The traditional bicycle is the most common form of children's exercise bike - these bikes are built for outdoor locomotion and help improve children's cardiovascular health, muscular fitness and overall balance. If you want your child to ride a bike to school or around the neighborhood for fun, choose a traditional bicycle that fits your child's height. She should be able to easily mount and dismount the bike and her knees should be able to fully extend while pedaling. Keep in mind that if your child is still growing, you may want to purchase a less-expensive model so that you will feel comfortable replacing it when she outgrows the bike.
Fitness equipment manufacturers have begun developing traditional fitness equipment, like stationary bikes, that are designed for child-size frames. These stationary bikes come in either an upright or a recumbent form, with a lower seat, a shorter rotational circumference of the pedal system and a smaller distance between the seat and handle bars. Some children's exercise bikes are miniature versions of the adult systems, including everything from computerized monitors to pre-programmed workouts, while other bikes are simply tools that teach children to develop a fitness habit without all the extra bells and whistles. Many stationary bikes for kids also come in child-friendly colors like red, yellow or blue.
In addition to traditional bicycles and exercise bikes, you can also find exer-gaming or virtual bikes for kids. Some of these bikes interface with external video game systems like the Playstation, Wii or Xbox to encourage fitness while playing video games, and other bikes provide a built-in gaming system. In either case, the faster or harder your child pedals while playing, the better he'll perform in the game.
Benefits of Exercise Bikes
Children need regular exercise and activity in order to remain healthy through childhood and into adulthood. Bikes have been a long-time favorite of children because they provide a sense of accomplishment, fun and independence that allows them to travel the neighborhood with ease. As the American society becomes more sedentary and parents become more nervous about allowing children to play outside without supervision, indoor exercise bikes can provide children the same level of fun and exercise that traditionally were experienced outdoors.
Purchasing Children's Bikes
Depending on the type of exercise bike you want to purchase, you can either buy your bike in a big-box store like Wal-Mart or Target, or you can make your purchase online. Consider some of the following options:
- Gopher Cardio Kids Junior Complete Circuit
- Expresso Upright Youth Bike
- Walmart Bikes
- Target Bikes
When purchasing a bike for your child, make sure you check the warranty and return information. You want to make sure that if your child doesn't feel comfortable on the equipment or is too tall or short for the bike, you have the opportunity to return the equipment without penalty.