Bicycles, Parenting/Children

How to care for a children’s bicycle properly

care for a children's bicycle properly

If you regularly maintain your child’s bike, your child will be able to ride it more safely, use it as long as possible, it will visually make a good impression, but also achieve a long service life. Similar to cars, well-groomed and maintained children’s bicycles can later be sold again more easily. Our guide makes it easy to care for a children’s bicycle properly.

Let your child look over your shoulder while you care for the bike with basic maintenance, so that they will later deal responsibly with other bicycles and independently maintain and care for them.

Care for a children’s bicycle properly: when you buy

Right after buying a children’s bike you should check the individual bike parts and settings. Check the air pressure in the bicycle tires, tighten all possible screws, make sure that the bicycle saddle is tight and the stem is firmly fixed and the handlebar does not turn when loaded. Do some brake tests while standing to better judge if the free travel is not too long. Also, check that the brake pads are evenly and properly seated on the rim while pulling the brake lever. Also, look at the lighting system, first of all, first of all for functionality, but also that they do not shine too high and do not shine into the ground. Also make sure that the reflectors in the spokes are seated correctly. You should regularly take care of the following components and if necessary adjust properly:

Care for a children’s bicycle properly: key components

1. Brakes

Pull the brake lever back. When pressing, make sure that the lever is bent or needs to be readjusted. It is crucial whether your child can reach the brake lever with his fingers without any problems. When you press the brake, you also notice whether the brake cable is well in the guide or whether you need to grease. In addition, the free travel should not be more than two centimeters. The brake lever should never be pulled through to the handlebars. Especially with the older side pull brakes good maintenance is required. 

For good braking performance, pay attention to brake pads during maintenance and care, You should replace heavily worn brake rubbers. In order for the brake cables to function smoothly, you should regularly lubricate the pivot points, swivel joints and brake cable nipples with spray oil. Do not forget the brake lever when oiling. Pull it back to the stop and apply the spray oil to the brake cable and the brake cable nipple. Also, you should oil the brake cable wherever it comes out of the outer shell. However, when greasing, avoid putting the oil on the rim and on the brake pads and staying on top of them.

2. Bicycle handlebar

When servicing the children’s bicycle , you should also check the fixation of the bicycle handlebar. If the handlebars are a bit slack and can be turned, you must tighten the screws on the stem . Align the bicycle handlebar straight, not infrequently it is turned too far to the left or right by falls of the children. Also check the welding seams of the stem for cracks. A stem in bad condition is very dangerous and should therefore be replaced immediately. Also make sure that the handles on the handlebar do not rotate when pressed, and that their ends are closed and no bare tube is visible. Also, the handles themselves should be in good condition.

3. Bicycle saddle

During maintenance , you can adjust the child’s bicycle saddle and the handlebars to the appropriate height of your child. When servicing the saddle, make sure that there is no rust where the  seat post is inserted into the frame. Always make sure that the seatpost does not protrude beyond the maximum height of the frame tube. Also check that the children’s bicycle seat is well fixed to the support and is straight and horizontal.

4. Lighting

When servicing the children’s bike, check both the direct lighting of the bike by the lighting system and the indirect lighting by means of reflectors. If the bulbs are burned out, replace them. Also replace missing reflectors and see that they are also firmly seated in the spokes. The dynamo must also rest properly on the tire. Often the cause of the failure of the lighting system is also broken cables.

5. Bicycle frame

Children often do not gently deal with their bicycles. Falls are a part of everyday life, especially at the beginning, when you get off the bike is simply thrown or the child places the bike on uneven ground so that it falls over. Therefore, you should inspect the bicycle frame for damage such as dents during maintenance . Especially, the forks should still be in parallel position to each other and not bent.

6. Bicycle tires

Children do not have the experience and therefore they drive up quickly against a curb or other objects. While waiting for the child’s bike , check that the rim is still in order and has no figure eight. Also make sure there is enough air in the bicycle tires. For children’s bicycles, we recommend an air pressure of 3.0 to 3.5 bar for the rear tire and 2.5 to 3.0 bar in the front tire. If the bicycle tires are well inflated, you will also be better able to spot cracks caused by broken glass and other sharp objects. Also, the bicycle tires should not be worn down so much that the tissue is already visible.

Care for a children’s bicycle properly: General tips for maintenance and care

If you are going to care for a children’s bicycle properly, also tighten the screws that are attached to the bicycle stand.

Part of the proper child bike care is that you regularly lubricate some screws and other components. This protects these parts against rust and allows them to be better removed during maintenance and repairs. In the following, we will explain which parts you should regularly oil and lubricate.

As far as oils and greases are concerned, you should pay particular attention to the bicycle chain . On the one hand, the chain pollutes relatively quickly, on the other hand, the rain is literally washed off the chain by rain. To avoid wear of the chainrings and pinions, you should make sure that the bicycle chain is not too dry, but also to ensure that no paste has formed by dust, dirt and grease, which acts like abrasive paste on the gears. 

To care for the bicycle chain, it is necessary to first remove heavy dirt from the pinion and chainrings. Use a water hose to loosen coarse dirt from the bicycle chain. If the chain is still very greasy, you must still clean the chain with an old cloth. Also use a grease remover and a small brush like an old toothbrush to thoroughly clean the bicycle chain. After you have cleaned the bicycle chain, the sprockets and the chainrings and have loosened excess grease, you can re-lubricate these components with fresh spray oil.

The fulcrums of the rear derailleur and the pulleys should also lubricate you for the care of the children’s bicycle . Also, wherever the shift cables go into the outer shell, you should oil.

As mentioned above, you have to oil different pivot points of the brake device over and over again.

If you care for a children’s bicycle properly and regularly, your child will have the joy of cycling and you will prevent costly repairs. Which ultimately makes you also happy!