Shopping Advice (scroll down past the advice to the products if you like)
Age Recommendation - These bikes will suit riders from about 4 years old up to about 7 years old.
Brakes - All 16" bikes come with a rear pedal brake plus one hand brake fitted to either front or rear. The reason for the handbrake is as an alternative to the pedal brake in case the chain comes off. Its also good practice for children before they start riding a bigger bike which may have only handbrakes.
Handlebar Clamps - 4-bolt handlebar clamps are the same as on the bigger BMX bikes, and necessary for particularly rough young riders. Single bolt clamps on some cheaper bikes are OK for most riders though.
Number of Spokes - The better 16" bikes will have 28 spokes per wheel rather than as few as 16 on some. More spokes will mean a stronger and more durable wheel, but the difference is not critical for most riders, it's more important how tight the spokes are - on any bike a wheels strength and durability are largely determined by the correct tensioning of the spokes.
Handlebar bags and baskets - Popular with young girls, they can carry a sandwich, a drink or a teddy bear companion.
Doll seats - Dolls and bears can travel in style in these, held safely in place with a seat belt. However, they're not very strong, so don't expect them to last as long as the bike.
Tyre Size - Tyres will usually be either 1.75" wide or 2.125" wide. The 2.125" is a wider tyre, more suited to riding on poor surfaces, and more durable if the bike is ridden a lot. We won't mention skidding of course.
Pedal Bearings - Many small bikes come without ball bearings in the pedals (the plastic pedal body runs directly on the steel axle). This in not a great problem, but pedals will last longer and work better if they have proper ball bearings.
Reinforced Trainer Wheels - 16" bikes come standard with trainer wheels. These can vary significantly in strength, but none are designed to be used long term. Try to get your child riding without them as soon as possible. Many trainer wheel arms are reinforced, but if the extra layer of steel only braces the angle and does not go under the axle nut, it will be ineffective. (They'll always try to bend under the nut first as that's where leverage is greatest.)
You don't need Trainer Wheels? - Good! No one can ride properly until they're taken off the bike anyway. We'll keep the trainer wheels from the bike and fit a quality steel kickstand instead, at no extra charge.
Serviceable Bearings - All bikes we sell have adjustable and replaceable bearings, but you might come across cheap bikes elsewhere which don't. Avoid them, as these bikes are not serviceable and will last only a short time.