Today I would like to talk with you about kid’s bikes.  Specifically, I’d like to discuss some of the concerns parents have when buying a kid’s bike from a bike shop such as ours.  A shop quality bike tends to be quite a bit more expensive than something you can pick up at a department store.  Many parents struggle with the decision to buy a higher end bike for their kids for a couple of reasons.  One of the two most common I hear is the fact that kids outgrow the bikes so quickly.  Why spend more for a bike that the kid will outgrow in just a year or two? Many parents also share that they are reluctant to buy their child a nice bike because they are afraid the kid won’t take of the bike properly.  So, why spend two or three times as much on a shop quality bike as a department store bike if the kid is going to destroy it, anyway?

Let me address the second concern first:  those who are worried that their kid will be rough on the bike and won’t take care of it.  Kids can be taught.  After all, we do send them to school.  I have two kids of my own.  If I had let them, they’d leave their bikes out in the yard in the rain, but I taught them how to put the bike away in the garage.  They do it now without even being told.  And although I do have great kids, yours are probably really good, too.  They can take care of the bike.  Give them the responsibility, and I bet they’ll live up to it.  Next point: the shop quality bike will actually hold up to their use (and abuse) better than a department store bike.  It’s designed to be ridden!

Now for the first concern: that it’s not a great value to spend a lot of money on a bike the child will outgrow in just a year or two.  And, honestly, your 9 year old is going to need a new bike in two years or less.  A lot of parents ask me to size their 9 year old on a bike that will last until their grown up.  I’m sorry, but kids just grow too much for that to really work.  They’d have to ride a bike that is too big for them to handle currently, and will still be too small when they’re grown.  So two years is about right for kids per bike.

However, it is still worth it to get a shop quality bike, for several reasons.  First, the quality.  The shop bike will work better, is made of higher quality components, and will be more enjoyable to ride.  And if it is more enjoyable to ride, you may find them out on their bike instead of playing video games (or worse, hogging YOUR phone!)

Secondly, the shop quality bike is almost always cheaper than the department store bike.  Using a Haro 24” kids bike as an example, you may be thinking, “But that bike is over 300 dollars, when the department store bike is only 120 bucks!”  Now, you need to look not at the price tag, but the total cost of your investment over the lifespan of the bike.  A shop bike, like ours, will come properly assembled.   Not so the department store bike – you really should take it to a shop and have it serviced, reassembled.  Furthermore, most shops offer free service with the bike for a period of time.  3 years here at Element Sports!  The shop quality bike won’t need service as frequently as the department store bike, either.  Shop quality bikes also come with better warranty.  Finally, when your child DOES outgrow the bike, the shop bike can be resold for much more than the department store bike.  In fact, even two years later, you can usually get about half reselling the shop bike.  That makes this the $330 Haro only $165 in the end.  If the department store bike even lasts that long, you’ll be lucky if you can resell it for 20 bucks.  Take the $120 dept store bike, spend $70 on a tune-up to get it assembled properly, and not counting further service down the line, and possibly having to buy another one because it broke beyond repair during the first year, and you are already over the cost of the shop bike.

So if you are a parent looking at getting your kid a bike, don’t be afraid to buy your kid a shop quality bike.  They will have a bike that works well, lasts as long as they need it, and saves you money in the long run.

We have all the elements for your next great adventure!

Element Sports