Buying a kids bike in the times of coronavirus

Hey all–

I’m looking to get a new bike for my 7-year-old, but I am a bit stuck on how to do it in a world where there’s no easy way to test-ride the bikes. I’ve called a couple of shops, and they’re very clear that their showrooms are closed. Any thoughts?

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Hi @keviniano! Thanks for being here.

Hmm. That’s a tough one. I think you just have to think more about what type of biking your kid will do and then take a leap of faith on a reputable brand… Keeping in mind that as long as you get the sizing generally right you can adjust everything once you get it home. This is assuming that most companies will deliver bikes right now, which I’m sure they will.

This article is really useful in helping you figure out which type of bike should you get your child, but then again the pandemic is still on going and if you’ll ask me I think this is not the right time to purchase one.

Thanks @Jonathan_Maus and @jbuenavides. I think we’ll be holding off until showrooms open. It’s just a bummer since it’s a bad time to try out bikes but a great time to ride. The REI link is a good head start to minimize the hunting time.

I have a 16" lavender Novara if you’ve got a child that doesn’t mind a lavender bike and it’s particularly tall. It’s in fantastic shape. You can have it if you want to pick up? I can wipe it down, you can come to yard, try it out, etc. after it’s sanitized.

Have you checked out yet? That site is amazing when it comes to details and comparisons, and does a good job of characterizing what bikes are good for what kind of riders and gives height and inseam recommendations that I have found spot-on. Quality kids’ bikes have come a long, long way. Interestingly, with a few notable exceptions like Norco and Raleigh, by and large bike shop kids’ bikes aren’t usually the best choices – companies that build bikes for kids and only for kids have been really really thoughtful in their designs.
Most 7-year-olds are going to be on a 20 inch (wheel size) bike unless they are particularly tall and can handle a 24 inch.
Kids 20 Inch Bikes: 12 Best Bikes for 6 and 7 Year Olds
Most of the online-only companies have a test ride period where bikes can be returned, but every bike I have bought on the advice of TWT has been a winner. We have (had) a 14in Islabike, a 16in Priority Start, a 20in Guardian, and a 24in Raleigh Cadent in the stable so I feel like we’ve really had a pretty broad representative sample. They aren’t cheap, but they hold their value well – we’ve been able to sell the ones we’re done with for almost as much as we bought them for to fund the next step up.
Just to warn you, kids’ bikes are in short supply right now. Pandemic problems!