Tag Archives: bicycle

Children bicycle shopping

We first bought a 12″ bicycle for Z when he turned 3. It was his birthday present then.

Two years later, on his fifth birthday, he had outgrown the bicycle by a wide margin. The tiny 12″ bicycle had seemed so humongous on him.

Zach was standing at 113cm when we thought of changing the bicycle. I wanted an 18″ bicycle but it was an odd and rarely found size. 16″ would be just nice for him but I foresaw that it probably would be a year before he outgrew it. Hence, the next option was 20″. Most 20″ bicycles were for children above 120cm. It was not advisable to get a bicycle with a frame that was too big for them to handle because there would be a higher possibility of accidents.

We had a few recommendations and checked out various shops.

1. East Coast, Big Splash
2. Giant Hypermarket
3. Bike shop diagonally opposite
4. Treknology at Bukit Merah
5. Bikehaus
6. Surfing online
– Bike Discount
– Decathlon
7. A shop along middle road selling retro looking bicycle
8. Wheeler’s Yard
9. Read up on foldable bikes such as Dahon and Java

I would have loved to visit more bicycle shops but they were usually only opened till 7 and closed on Sundays.

Choosing a bicycle was a very personal choice because it depended on the built, ability and confidence of the child.

The only factors which stood consistent were the comfort, the stability and solidness of the bicycle body as well as how the bicycle glided. As I wanted a 20″ bicycle, I was also looking at the lowest, possible height of the seat from the ground. It should be 50-52cm for Z’s height.

Most of the 20″ bicycles were too tall for Z. He was petrified about suspending at high ground while having to control the bicycle. We considered a 16″ bicycle. It came with training wheels which we did not need and we had to top up for the kick stand. The bicycle frame was fabulous but I really felt that Z would outgrow it in a year’s time.

I read somewhere online that Puky was the Mercedes of children bikes. Locally, it retailed at $960! If I shipped from Germany, it would be 350€ and I would have to assemble myself. The bike seat was 57cm from ground. The model was recommended for a child with minimal height of 120cm.

We eventually ended up with a Trek bike. I was impressed with the selection, the sturdy built of the bike and the well thought design. There were 2 mudguards for the front and back wheel. There was a metal handle bar to assist us to lift the bicycle without exerting unnecessary force on the bike seat. There were a lot of reflectors. Most importantly, for a 20″ rim, the bike seat could be lowered to 50-52cm from the ground. It meant that Z could tiptoe whilst on the bike.

The version with single handbrake and back pedal brake, without mudguards, was $299. The version with dual handbrakes and mudguards was $315. We opted for the latter and also picked up a bell at $8, a set of knee/elbow guards with hand glove for $25 (a lot cheaper than the Micro guards that we got for X and that did not include the hand gloves) and a digital bicycle lock for $19.

The final bonus was that it could fit into our car boot. Yay to no bicycle rack for the time being!

Rims of the new versus the old2015/01/img_0570.jpg

The Trek bicycle from Treknology2015/01/img_0569.jpg

The main entrance of the showroom2015/01/img_0568.jpg

An array of bicycles for children2015/01/img_0566.jpg

The boy with his belated 5th year old birthday present and the knee/elbow guards from the Treknology store2015/01/img_0699.jpg

More information on Trek bikes here.

Skate or Kick scooters

I had never really put much thought into skate scooters. I found out the official name should probably be kick scooters instead. Mr H had always been against the idea of this toy. Had our auntie not suggest to buy for Z’s 3rd birthday, our poor boys would never have been able to try this gadget.

It was only recently that X was into kick scooters did I do my research properly. Of course, having 3 kick scooters in our possession allowed us to compare the pros and cons of each kick scooter. I had to say I was really surprised by the vast difference in quality.

Honestly, when you asked kids to test drive kick scooters, there were many blind spots which we could not see because some of them did not even know how to use the gadget as of the point of purchase.

A 3-wheel kick scooter was definitely more stable than a 2-wheel kick scooter. When we first purchased a 3-wheel kick scooter in 2012, we went to Toysrus. We were presented with a tri-scooter (1 wheel in front and 2 wheels at the back) in Lightning Mcqueen design $69 and Y-gliders $89-$129. Of the two, the former handle was more stable but had a higher step. We did not think much of this gadget and picked the cheaper option. We thought the former would be more relevant in aiding Z to learn cycling as it followed the same steering concept. It was also more stable and cheaper.

Later on, did we realise that the step was too high even for a 3-year old Z, the gliding was not smooth and on the basis that he kept clinging on to the handle for support, the kick scooter kept toppling over.

Recently, we took out the 2-wheel kick scooter for 4.5 year old Z. It had been his 3-year old birthday gift. It had a full metal body and felt very solid. It was definitely a smoother ride over the previous. It was on a random window shopping trip and the boys were playing at ELC when I realised that 1.5 year old X had managed to step on a Micro mini kick scooter by himself. That was when I realised that he had caught on the kick scooter fever. Given that Toysrus and ELC were so near each other, we managed to compare both brands. Within the same category, Y-glider (for 3-5 years’ old) was going at $129.95 while a Micro Mini (for 2-5 years’ old) was at $130.

Similarly, we asked Z to test out Y-glider XL (for 5-9 years’ old) at $149.95 and Micro Maxi (for 5-9 years’ old) at $205.

We found that the handle bar was a lot more stable for Micro than for Y-glider. It was especially apparently when Z tried the Y-glider XL and we could hear the creaking.

Micro also offered several 2-wheel kick scooter models, hence, we got him to try the Micro Sprite at ELC. We discovered the difference was also at the handle. The one we currently owned tend to loosen and rattle when Z used the kick scooter for more than 15min at high speed.

Micro, being a Swiss brand, really offered high quality kick scooters. Hence, we would probably upgrade Z to a Micro Sprite. You could find the entire range of Micro kick scooters here. It was a price-controlled brand and the only place I found to offer the lowest price was a German website called Bike Discount. However, the price difference was only $30-$40 and buying locally offered 2 years’ warranty.

I would also take more care in selecting a bicycle for him in future. I found this useful write up on how to select a bicycle in general. I probably would check out the listed stores when Z was ready.