This biking gear for families post contains affiliate links. We only share products that we love!
Riding bikes together as a family is a great way to encourage and demonstrate a love of exercise and the outdoors. It can be a bonding experience that builds lasting memories and inspires a lifelong love of bike riding. Doing it safely with children requires a little research and a bit of patience. Having the right gear makes all the difference. Here are some tips and information to help you find the best biking gear for your family:
Tips for choosing the Best Biking Gear for Families
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that visits to the emergency room for kids between the ages of 5 and 14 happen more frequently with bike riding accidents than with any other sport. Teach children to wear helmets while they are young and they will do it naturally as they grow older. Trying to introduce a helmet later in life is a bit more difficult. Helmets are inexpensive and they are incredibly effective at minimizing injury. In some cases, life threatening head injuries can occur if you pass on the helmet, making this perhaps the most important piece of biking gear for families.
Choose the Right Type of Bike
Obviously, a bike is the most necessary piece of biking gear for families! You can’t ride without one! Think about the right type of bike for your needs. Will the family be riding on paved surfaces or off road? This makes a huge difference in the type of bike that should be purchased. Road bikes are intended for paved surfaces and can be distinguished from other bikes by their thin tires and lightweight frame. The seating position has the rider bent over the handle bars. This bike is good for long distances at faster speeds.
Mountain bikes are meant for rugged trails and as such have wider tires and a hardier frame. They cannot go as fast as road bikes but can take the beating of rugged terrain. Riders sit higher and more vertical on mountain bikes. This can be beneficial for those with back problems as well.
Choose the Right Size
Before heading to the bike store, it is important to have a few measurements taken. The height of the person and their inseam will be used to determine the size bike they need. There are many videos and charts available online to help find the right size bike.
When traveling with little ones too young to pedal their own bikes, a bike trailer can be one of the best types of biking gear for families. Most trailers can accommodate 2 kids with a combined total weight limit of 100 pounds. Most are equipped with plastic shields and mesh that allow the child to watch the passing surroundings or take a nap while the rest of the family gets a workout.
As the child grows, parents may want to break them into the world of cycling with a trailer bike. This allows the child to get accustomed to balancing, pedaling, and sometimes even shifting gears. Some models even allow for a child to be shifting while leaving the parent in control of the speed, braking and steering elements. When they are ready to break out on their own, use the bike size charts to select the right size bicycle.
Other Biking Gear for families
Rear view mirrors can help children keep an eye on what’s behind them but can also be a distraction at a young age. Parents should use discretion when deciding to use mirrors. Reflectors are usually supplied on most bikes but reflective clothing can help make small children and adults more visible. This is especially important if the ride will extend into dusk or evening hours. Clip on water bottles can help keep everyone hydrated during the outing. A first aid kit is a good idea and only needs to be carried by one member of the family. Knee and elbow pads are also important for helping prevent scrapes from falls.
Biking gear for families is really not that complicated, but you certainly can’t overlook certain aspects. A helmet and safety gear is a must for all riders, so be sure to at least invest in these items before taking to the open road as a family. By using the right biking gear and following basic biking safety tips, you and your family will have a great time with the family fitness activity.