Kids Road Bikes – Is your child ready to start racing?
The chances are if you are a road cycling enthusiast yourself then you will be keen to encourage your child into competitive cycling as well as training up a live in cycling buddy. Junior cycling events are becoming far more popular and the Go Ride cycling development programme is creating opportunities all over the country to get your child involved in kids road racing and competitive cycling in general.
For cycling parents who are members of clubs and regularly compete in events it is easy to find out the latest information, just through your own experience or by asking your fellow club members.
For those parents who don’t even own a bike it can be daunting trying to find out everything they need to know about kids road bikes and road racing events. We thought we’d round up as much info as we could to help you out!
Can you enter events with a standard kids bike?
All competitions vary, but most clubs will not insist on a specific bike type, your childs current bike will more than likely be fine to start off. Many clubs have bikes juniors can borrow, Google your local club, the best start would be to call them up, they will be more than happy to answer your questions no matter how basic you think they sound – always better than going off a website which may be out dated!
If your child needs a new bike it may be wise to buy a bike that can be used for both Cyclocross and Road Racing – cyclocross is fun through winter before the road racing season starts.
Which is the best kind of bike for road racing?
We’ll start with outlining the differences and advantages of buying a kids road bike if your child is enthusiastic about giving road racing a try.
Kids road bikes are lighter, they are more streamlined and aerodynamic – designed for speed on a smooth surface rather than to be a sturdy work horse.
Racer handlebars are dropped allowing the rider to assume a more aerodynamic position to increase speed.
The tyres are extra slim and the wheels have narrower but deeper rims.
The more you pay, the lighter the bike and the higher its specifications – we have some great road bikes available for children – take a look at the moda kids road bike range with bikes for kids aged 8 up.
We offer a discount of 10% for members of CTC, we also offer discounts and deals to local cycle clubs – 5% off and 5% of the value of the order goes to your club – just give us a call and we can arrange this for you.
You could also look at second hand bikes to start off, saving a sparkling new bike for when your child is a little more commited. Ringing your local club would be a good place to start here as they will often have contacts with local second hand bike shops, however you may find more specialist road bikes for juniors on sites like ebay.
It’s worth remembering that higher end bikes tend to hold their value (if properly cared for!) so whilst a road bike may seem pricey, you could recoup a large percentage of your money by selling it on once you child has outgrown it.
Where do I find road racing events?
The best way to get started is to track down your local cycling club – or the club nearest to you with junior membership available. We are working on a helpful Pinterest Board, pinning all the clubs in the UK with membership for Juniors. take a look here – Junior Cycling Clubs in the UK
How much does is cost to enter a junior cycling race?
This will vary wildly depending on the size of the competition, but usually for small local events the fee will be just a few pounds to cover costs. Higher profile events will cost more. As your child progresses and gets selected for bigger events outside of the county the costs will definitely rise, but many clubs will subsidise these expenses through fund raising. Being a part of a club can involve lots of social events to raise money for the club as a result.
What does my child need to wear for competitive cycling?
A helmet of course is essential! We would also recommend investing in some good cycle mitts to keep hands warm and protected. You can buy specialist cycling clothing and footwear to ensure your child is comfortable. The best cycling clothing is designed to be breathable and to dry quickly and most good designs have reflective panels or are hi-vis all over to ensure drivers spot you on the road. Visibility is an important factor for your childrens safety when training.
Often your local junior cycling club will offer their own special kit with their club logo. Click the links in this list below to see our kids cycle clothing range, selected from quality manufacturers – just the grown up kit but smaller!
Junior Cycling Jerseys – Long or short sleeved, breathable, quick drying and often with pockets at the rear.
Junior Cycling Jackets – To keep them warm and dry, yet still light weight.
Junior Cycling Shorts – Quick drying (sweaty shorts can make cycling very uncomfortable), padded seats and gripper hems to stop shorts riding up are all useful qualities to look out for.
Junior Cycling Tights – for when it’s colder – again these should be quick drying.
Small Cycling Gloves – We recommend investing in a good pair of cycling gloves, cold, blistered or sweaty hands are no fun. Long finger gloves for winter and short fingered mitts for summer.
Sunglasses – For summer and low winter sun to avoid squinting, protect the eyes, increases visibility – and they look cool too!
We also recommend you don’t forget:
Sun Cream – A must – do not underestimate the power of the sun on the back of your childs neck when they are riding a road bike with drop handle bars – invest in a decent block.
Water Bottle – Your club will almost certainly sell you a water bottle with their name on it – your child can carry it with pride!