The holiday season is a chance for many to think about what items would help make their new year brighter. For some families, the best gift might be new cycling gear to keep them rolling smoothly in 2016. Whether you’re thinking about the ideal bike for a toddler learning to ride, or a commuter preparing for a wet winter, you should remember to use your SF Bicycle Coalition discount to save on the gear that you’re putting a bow on for your loved ones.
Wishing Big: Time for a Family Bike?
Biking with your family can be easier with appropriate gear, including front seats, back seats, tag alongs, and family or cargo bikes. You may find a front seat on your handlebars more comfortable for biking with your baby, for instance, while determining that your toddler is easier to bike around with a seat over your rear wheel.
When your little one starts getting a little less little, though, a longtail cargo or family bike can be a worthwhile investment for many families. For those that can make that investment, the payoff can be significant in replacing time on transit or money spent maintaining a vehicle.
Many shops, including our discount partners, permit would-be family bike-riders to test ride such bikes before buying. While you’re at the shop, be sure to ask about electric pedal-assist batteries, which can extend the distance you’re capable of riding, and help overcome hills.
Training Wheels: Cross Them Off Your List
If you never put ‘em on, you will never have to take ‘em off. A balance bike (also called a push bike) has no pedals. This encourages toddlers and young children learning to bike by tackling the hardest challenge first: not pedaling, but balancing. Mastering the use of pedals should follow, when your child has confidence gliding on a balance bike. More and more children are starting to bike at an early age because of the popularity of these bikes.
Pro-Tip: Great Gifts Fit
Are you thinking about surprising your child with a new bike this season? While it’s tempting to get your elementary school child a bike “to grow into,” you should resist getting a new bike that is too big. Instead, borrow a smaller bike or get a used bike while your child is learning, so they can put their feet firmly on the ground if they start to tip. On the new bike, lower the seat while your child is building the skills of stopping and turning, to prevent as many scuffed knees as possible.
Bike Gear Makes for Great Stocking Stuffers
Help your loved ones beat traffic all year long, even if they don’t have a sleigh and reindeer handy. Gloves, socks, waterproof layers, fenders and bags encourage adults and children to ride through wet weather. And don’t forget lights! Parents and children alike can use things that blink to make your days on the road merry and bright.
For kids, fun helmets, stickers, bells, horns, and bike decorations like tassels and reflective stickers can be a big hit. Your neighborhood bike shop will be happy to show you everything from fun bike ornaments to the most utilitarian additions — just ask! And be sure to flash your SF Bicycle Coalition membership card at the cash register for discounts.