Your shredder is zipping around on a pedal bike by now, with or without gears, urban cruising or maybe even bikepacking into the wilderness for some overnight adventures. You are proud of their accomplishments and willingness to work hard and want to support their continued growth! Here is a range of ideas suitable for many budgets:
It is so tricky to find riding gloves for Little Rippers. The closest that I had found that were
a doable fit were way-too-big XS 3/4 length gloves from MEC for my youngest when she wanted a pair at age 2. (The MEC gloves are designed for children to youth… not toddlers.) While they have proven to be decent gloves for both kids, they do not provide full-finger protection for the kids that like to give ‘er.
For smaller sizes and/or better coverage, I recommend ZippyRooz. We have just been introduced to them. Their sizing starts at aged 1-2 years old and they come in super cute patterns! We are in the process of testing out the full finger version and so far both of my kids love the fit and feel (and, this mom loves that the recommended sizing was spot-on for both of my kids). FYI, their full finger gloves provide great grip and full skin coverage to help protect against scrapes; the 3/4 length gloves have more padding.
Front and rear lights
Lights are essential if you are out at dawn, dusk, or night with your kids. We love lights that you can mount to a helmet because they are easy to bring inside to recharge (and the batteries don’t die quickly from being stored outside in the cold). We only buy USB rechargeable or battery-free lights; we try very hard to not use any disposable batteries in our household to reduce our environmental impact and operating costs. We have had good luck with these two inexpensive products:
And, I have just learned about these (and someone in our house will be getting a pair for Christmas this year!):
- Reelight SL100 Battery Free Lightset, talk about awesome, no batteries to charge and always mounted (so you don’t curse not having lights on your way home, later than expected)
While I don’t think that we should blame the victim of an incident with a car for not being visible enough, I do try to make myself as visible as possible. I really like helmet mounted lights for this reason as you can move your head to shine a light at another road or pathway user, if necessary. Our 6 year old wears a red light on the back of her helmet whether she is riding solo or on the back of the longtail en route to school.
An awesome helmet
Believe it or not, kids grow out of kid-sized helmets fairly quickly and move into small adult helmets before you know it! My kids are on the cusp of this happening. We recently moved them out of Giro Scamp helmets into Bern Nina/Nino helmets and we are all pretty in love. I especially love that they are multi-sport and have a winter liner. The girls both love the minky winter liner.
My only advice about gifting a helmet is that you want it to fit, an ill-fitting helmet is not safe. Could be a good shopping trip allowing for some one-on-one time with your kid who needs a new helmet.
My eldest loves to listen to audiobooks and she still spends a bit of time on a bike (in our CETMA). I usually let the kids just have my iPhone in the bike, but sometimes the volume isn’t the greatest and other times my youngest gets ahold of my phone and does things on it. And, when it’s cold, my battery will die left out in the cold; it needs my warm pocket. So, enter a fun and small bluetooth music maker, like Boombotix! I am looking forward to trying one of these out this year (after Christmas…).
Lightweight bikes make all the difference. Look for Frog Bikes, Islabikes, or a lightweight race style BMX bike (the kind with thin tires). Kids don’t necessarily need gears, with the right ratio of chain ring and rear cog they can still climb hills like little monkeys on a single speed. Bonus, if you keep them gear free for longer, the bike stays lighter (and you save some serious coin)!
Our 6 year old moved up to a Frog bike this year for her birthday and she’s loved it.
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