As the holiday season approaches, we start stocking up on kids bikes and bracing ourselves to try and sell kids bikes at twice and sometimes occasionally thrice the price of our department store competition. The justification for our prices are relatively simple but don't apply to all shoppers so some of you might be stunned when we suggest a department or toy store purchase for your child.
Bikes we sell for kids younger than 8 years old or shorter than 4 feet tall (height is the best measurement to know when shopping for kids bikes), will usually last for 6-8 years of actual riding. Most children will only fit these bikes for 1 or 2 years so that translates into these bikes being a hand-me-down product through 3 to 4 children, usually with the only expense of replacing skidded through rear tires provided the bike is stored reasonably and moving parts lubricated occasionally.
If you don't have any chance to pass on the bike on through your family or friends, than this purchase will be overkill especially if you child is borderline sizing, i.e. can't quite fit the 20" wheel bike but has to ride with the seat near the maximum height on a 16" wheel bike. If you meet any of those criteria then department store purchases are a better bet. If you do buy at a department store, DO NOT TRUST THE ASSEMBLY. Check every bolt, check the chain tension, check the brakes; just inspect the bike thoroughly.
If you're lucky enough to have a hand-me-down bike from a cousin or older sibling. We're happy to tune-up and prep these bikes for you. However, they often just need to be cleaned and lubricated. If you can handle the cleaning, you'll save a lot on labor if you need a bike shop to help prep the bike for the next kid. Also consider some aesthetic modifications to help personalize the bike for the next child. You can get any number of sticker packs with anything from princesses to mythical creatures at any crafts store and we can get different color tires, grips, pedals and or seats for lots of different size bikes.