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Looking for a way to get your child into cycling? An electric bike could be the answer. E-bikes are fun, easy to use, and can help your child ride further than they would on a normal bicycle. There's also a small range of e-bikes specifically designed for kids.
But how can you find the best electric bike for kids? In this guide, we'll show you the key specs you need to consider to choose the right e-bike for your child.
What is an electric bike?
Many electric bikes in Australia use a pedelec system. Pedelecs feature a battery-powered electric motor that is automatically activated when you pedal, which means you can't just sit back and expect the motor to ferry you around. In Australia, e-bike motors are not allowed to provide any assistance above 25km/h.
Electric bikes for kids feature smaller frames and geometry designed to suit children. They use smaller wheels than many adult bikes, and in many cases will have less powerful motors and lower-capacity batteries than adult e-bikes. Weight is another crucial component of a kids' electric bike, as it needs to be light enough for a child to comfortably manoeuvre and carry when needed.
However, there's only a small number of manufacturers that offer e-bikes specifically designed for kids, so choices are fairly limited.
4 options when you're comparing electric bikes for kids
Scott Roxter eRide. Available in 24-inch and 26-inch models, the Scott Roxter eRide features a Bosch drive unit and a 400Wh battery.
Orbea eMX 24. Designed especially for kids, the Orbea eMX 24 is a lightweight electric bike that allows you to select the desired level of motorised assistance via a compatible smartphone app.
Ben-e-bike Twenty E-Power. This 20-inch kids' e-bike weighs in at just over 10kg and features a brushless hub motor.
Mountain bike option
Haibike HardFour. The 24-inch HardFour e-mountain bike features a Yamaha PW-TE drive unit and is suitable for kids 140cm and up.
What to look for when comparing electric bikes for kids
There are several factors to take into account when comparing e-bikes. These include:
- Type of bike. Before you start comparing e-bikes for kids, think about what sort of riding your child will be doing. Will they be sticking to roads and bike paths, or will they be tackling off-road tracks? Answering this question will help you narrow down your choices to a handful of suitable options.
- Battery. Check the battery capacity, measured in Watt hours (Wh) — the higher this figure, the greater the range you can expect. Of course, keep in mind that there are many factors that can affect range in the real world, including the weight of the rider and the bike as well as the terrain you're tackling. It's also a good idea to check how long the battery takes to recharge.
- Motor. Check the specs sheet for details like the motor's power and torque figures, as well as the speed it is limited to. Also check whether the bike has a hub motor (generally more affordable) or mid-mount motor (generally have better weight distribution and make climbing hills easier).
- Size. Check the manufacturer's sizing chart to find the appropriate frame size for your child. To ensure that you choose the perfect size, head in-store to get your child measured for a bike.
- Weight. Next, check the specs sheet to find out how much the bike weighs. Any model you choose should be light enough for your child to push up a hill or carry up a flight of stairs if needed.
- Components. Check the specs sheet for details of the bike's suspension, gearing and tyres. Are all parts supplied by reputable manufacturers?
- Warranty. Check the length of the manufacturer's warranty, what it covers, and whether different parts of the bike have separate warranties.
- Price. Higher-priced bikes come with better-quality components, but you'll need to balance this against the knowledge that your child will outgrow their bike before too long when deciding how much you want to spend. While cheaper e-bike options may exist, including those for very young children, most models are priced in the $1,000-$5,000 range.
Check out our electric bicycle buying guide for more information.
Where to buy electric bikes for kids online
If you're ready to buy, visit one of the following sites.
Pros and cons of electric bikes for kids
- They help kids stay active. With the motorised assistance of an e-bike, there's no excuse for kids not to get outside and get active.
- They let kids ride longer distances. Electric bikes make it easier to ride longer distances, opening up plenty of opportunities for adventure.
- Great for family rides. If the kids can't keep up with Mum and Dad on family rides, getting them e-bikes will help them match your pace.
- They're fun. Let's not forget that riding an e-bike can be a whole lot of fun no matter how old you are.
- They're expensive. Even entry-level e-bikes don't come cheap, and it's worth remembering that your child will most likely outgrow the bike you buy before too long.
- Limited range available. There's only a limited range of electric bikes made specifically for children. You'll find much more choice if you opt to buy a traditional bike instead.
- They're heavy. Some e-bikes can weigh more than 15kg, so you'll need to be sure your child can comfortably control and manoeuvre the bike.
E-bikes for kids can be a whole lot of fun. They can also encourage kids to stay active, allow them to ride further, and make family rides a whole lot easier.
But they do have their downsides. Not only are there limited kids' e-bike options to choose from, but electric bikes certainly aren't cheap. Considering that your child will outgrow their bike in the future, you'll need to work out whether the purchase price is worth it.
If you decide a kids' e-bike is the way to go, let your child test-ride before you buy and make sure you take their measurements so you can choose an appropriately-sized bike.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to recharge an electric bike?
Recharge time varies depending on the battery and the charger you use. As a rough guide, many batteries will recharge in 3-5 hours.
How can I get an electric bike that's the right size for my child?
You can check the manufacturer's sizing chart to find the right frame size for your child. But to find a bike that's the perfect fit, it's best to head in-store and get your child's measurements taken by a cycling expert.
Do you need some sort of licence to ride an e-bike?
No. Provided that your e-bike doesn't exceed any power restrictions (250W for pedelecs) and satisfies all electric bicycle laws in your state, no licence is required.
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