We have a small selection of proportional, ‘Child-Specific’ bike components and frames to help you self-build a new bike or improve your little riders current stead. Are they over-stretched on their bike? Does it affect their control and confidence?
Often, you can radically improve a standard, mass-produced bike. Usually, this involves shortening the ‘cockpit’ length (distance between saddle and handlebars) by fitting correctly proportioned handlebars and stem (swapping a ‘swan-neck’ seat post for an inline post also has a big effect). Bike fit is just as important for kids, as it is for adults.
Another common fault are long crank arms. If your rider’s thighs reach horizontal during the pedal-stroke, the crank arms are too long. Fitting correct length crank arms can transform a bike, with the rider producing more power, in more comfort!
Kids can’t safely use STI shifters till they are around 11 years old! It’s tragic to still see them fitted to so many kids bikes, with the riders struggling to change to an easier gear, let alone brake safely. SRAM’s incredible eTap aside (price!) the best shifters for kids are still the Microshift Short-Reach versions in 9 or 10 speed. We use these on all our custom built bikes and don’t use the 7 or 8-speed versions, as suitable cassettes and wheels become a real problem. CLICK HERE.
Short Crank Arms
Crank arm lengths are important, get it wrong and they lose pedal power and risk a knee injury from crank arms that are too long. Get it right, and they will spend many happy hours in the saddle and maximise their leg power. We now supply child-specific 110mm PCD Cranksets available in lengths of 135mm to 160mm in 5-millimeter increments. CLICK HERE.
Framesets for Cyclocross, Road & Triathlon
If you plan to build your child’s next bike, we’ve a range of low-standover Road Race, Triathlon & Cyclocross framesets. By transferring existing components from their current bike, you can move them up a frame size, re-using existing handlebars, shifters, saddle, brakes and groupset. Cyclocross or dedicated Road from just £340 – CLICK HERE.
A critical safety item, kids need the correct width to maintain control and avoid ‘spread arms’. Traditional oversized 31.8mm handlebars used on adult handlebars are too wide for a child’s narrow shoulders and small fingers, as they can’t stretch around such a wide drop bar, struggling to reach the brake and shifters, compromising control. Using compact drop, short reach 25.4mm diameter bars improves this drastically: CLICK HERE.
A short stem length (for a shorter ‘cockpit length’) improves body position, comfort and control. Avoid an over-stretched riding position resulting in less control and a child that suffers from back-pain during and after rides. We have 60mm short stems to fit our 25.4mm handlebars. CLICK HERE.
Youth-Specific Cassettes (gear-restricted events)
Bikes often need several gears to be ‘locked-off’ to meet the gear-restriction criteria set out by British Cycling for road events, resulting in less usable gears. By using a youth-specific cassette, you can match your gearing needs correctly, leaving all the gears available for your rider – just Contact Us if you need advice.
We don’t list all the child-specific bike components we can source, such as groupsets, chain-guides, tyres and wheels/rims. If we don’t supply something, we will almost certainly know who can, so just drop us an email and we will help however we can! Take a look at all our Bike Components & Accessories.