Jonas is nearly 6 and when it came to birthday presents, my wife Claire and I began discussing the prospect of buying him his first brand new bike.  He has so far had a combination of hand-me-downs and second-hand bikes from his older cousins.  It is far easier said than done, what does a 6 year old actually need? 

I began doing my research online, so it seems there are not that many 18” wheel bikes with gears.  You have to go to 20” to get gears, but 20” means he is on the tippiest of tippy toes and probably not going to fit him for a while.  

He is 118 cms, but 125 then you get into the 20” wheel range. It is an agonising distance, JUST 7 cm’s. I did fleetingly look online at child size 11 platform shoes.  



That thought lasted moments so then it was back to the decision, does he really need gears?   Can he manage 13 miles with just one?  I think back to my own youth and I think I was about 8 before I got my first racer, before that it was BMX all the way. 

Price is also an issue, £70-£300’s it is such a massive range.  It is impossible to justify spending the top end of that, and so we had a quick look at Halford’s and there seem to be a couple of bikes in the £100-£120 range. With mudguard, lights and a new helmet the investment is going to be between £140-£160. 

I think it is probably worth it though, he often rides his bike to school and if he had a better bike then we would probably go more places.  His current dirt squirt rides like an oil tanker, dodgy steering and brakes you have to squeeze within an inch of its life to make the cable twitch, let alone make the pads engage and slow down.  Sometimes I see him thinking about slowing down the moment he kicks off. 



We made the pilgrimage to Halfords to have a look at their range.  Jonas liked the 20” bike because it had gears and it was red.  Claire preferred the blue bike because it fitted him, but it didn’t have gears.  I was with Jonas, but I think sense prevailed. The voice of reason decreed that 7cm’s was probably at least a year away.  We came away without a bike.  It’s weeks to the big day and we, armed with the knowledge of two freshmen after the first lecture of the year, are now taking this very seriously. 

Who knew it was ever going to be so difficult to pick a kids bike? 


Seth and Jonas will be taking part in the Great Manchester Cycle 13 miles distance. Follow him @Sethb45