Where To Shop For Your Child's New Bike
There's more to bike buying than finding the cheapest price
Where To Shop For Your Child's New Bike
Thinking of buying your child a new bicycle? One of your first choices, and not necessarily an easy one, will be where to shop. It can be a challenge because there are a myriad of stores that carry two-wheelers, from specialty retailers, to giant department stores, to backyard garage operations.
Where you buy, however, has everything to do with what you get. You see, bicycles aren't like toasters or suitcases. Bikes are shipped broken down in boxes and they must be assembled and tuned. There are many types, too, and you shouldn't buy unless you have a good idea what your child will like. Measurements and adjustments are required to ensure the frame is the correct size and that the seat and handlebars are properly positioned. And, every new bicycle requires a minor tune-up after several weeks of use.
What's more, kids can be hard on bikes, riding them over rough terrain and sharing them with their friends. A quality two-wheeler, carefully assembled and fitted, will be the safest, most durable and fun bicycle to ride.
That's why we strongly recommend shopping at a good specialty bicycle store in your area. Here you'll find competent salespeople and expert mechanics who'll ensure that you get the right bike and a quality machine. Look for a store that's clean, has helpful personnel, offers a good selection, and an on-site repair department.
Here are the top advantages of buying from a bicycle store:
Bicycle retailers offer a wide selection of bikes for different kids and uses. This means there's a great chance for one-stop shopping. Or, if the bike you want isn't in stock, you can order and get it quickly. Also, the people at the shop are experts ready to answer all your questions. If the new bike is to be a surprise, the shop will even help you keep it hidden.
Bicycles come in different sizes. And they're very adjustable. Shop experts will help you find the right frame size and then dial in the fit by positioning the seat and handlebars to your child’s dimensions (this can happen after you've surprised your child with the bike, too). This ensures optimum comfort and complete control for safe rides.
You might be surprised to learn that bicycles are not completely assembled at the factory. They come disassembled and in a box, and the shop spends about an hour assembling, tuning and testing the bike (at no additional charge to you). What's more, the shop technicians are happy to make adjustments and provide advice should you need assistance during a purchase or after a sale.
All bicycles require maintenance. And, the most important service is the first tune-up, which is due after your child has ridden their new bike for a few weeks. During this time, the new cables stretch, spokes loosen and adjustments change. For the new bike to ride right and last as long as possible, bicycle retailers provide a free tune-up where all systems are checked (a $30 to $60 value, depending upon the work required).
Bicycle retailers stand behind every bike they sell. If something goes wrong, bring it in and they'll be happy to deal with it. In the rare event of a breakdown, there's also a manufacturer's warranty protecting your purchase.
Bicycles purchased at bike shops last longer and hold their resale value better, which is a nice feature when it comes time to purchase the next size. Instead of discarding the bicycle, you'll be able to pass it down to another child or sell it and make money towards the new machine.
Cycling's more fun when they have the right gear to go along with that new bike. Bicycle stores are loaded with top-quality accessories and equipment such as helmets, locks, pumps, hydration systems, computers, and plenty of other goodies designed to help your children enjoy riding. Plus, the shop has the expertise to help you make the best selection.
Finally, perhaps the best reason to buy from a bicycle store is that they're staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic cyclists who love to share their expertise. As you and your child get into cycling, there's a lot to learn and having a helpful friend at the shop is the best way to get the advice you need.