Fitting kids on Freedom Machines
Parents have a lot of questions when it comes to selecting the right size bike for their children. We’ll share some simple tips to make the process easier and remove some of the mystery around proper bike fit!
Bike fit for young riders should consider the following: 1) Inseam 2) Rider-skill 3) Confidence. Getting the best bike fit for kids requires special considerations. Learning to ride a bike can be downright intimidating. We want the bike to fit but more importantly we want the child to feel confident controlling the bike.
Note: The chart below will provide basic fit guidelines. Visit your local bike shop for help selecting the right size Freedom Machine for your children.
#1: INSEAM AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
If the bike is too big for the riders inseam he or she will have a difficult time controlling the bike and getting their feet on the ground. This is very important for new riders of all-ages. If the bike is too small the rider will feel cramped and uncomfortable – increasing the odds he or she will not enjoy the adventure.
There are other factors to consider as well – such as reach. More often than not a child’s reach will be acceptable on a bike where the inseam has been deemed appropriate (by an individual familiar with bike fit).
#2: RIDER SKILL
It doesn’t matter how old the rider is if they’re new to cycling – being able to get their feet on the ground firmly and fast is critical. As the rider gains experience, skill, and control of the bike he or she will be less reliant on putting a foot-down. The progression generally looks like this (when standing in place over the bike):
- Beginner: Will rely on two-feet down, heel-to-toes, on the ground.
- Intermediate: Will rely on two-feet down, generally using tip-toes (heels off-ground), maybe comfortable using just one foot down (heels-off-ground).
- Advanced: Will not rely on placing feet on the ground to control the bicycle.
Confidence is a byproduct of hitting steps #1 and #2 but in all honesty could just as easily been #1 on the list. It’s important to remind parents and guardians to be patient when teaching kids how to ride a bike, or when trying to move a child from a bike he or she is comfortable one to one that is larger and “scarier”. Making a move too soon or forcing a move before the child feels confident enough could have lasting ill-effects.
Leveling-up to a new bike should be a fun and exciting time – treat this transition as much a part of the adventure as the bike rides themselves! Be patient. Don’t rush things. Maybe start visiting your local bike shop and introduce the idea of a new, bigger bike. Spin it around the local shop. Let the decision be theirs. In the long run your patience will pay off.