Should You Buy A Bike Or Scooter For Your Child?

Last updated on May 5th, 2024 at 09:23 pm

A girl sitting on a pink bike. A man, probably her father, is holding onto the bike seat as he helps her to learn how to ride.

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Many kids hate walking. Buying a bike or a scooter can make getting around much more fun. But just which one is best for your child? This post compares the pros and cons of bicycles and scooters. 

Why buy a bike?

Bicycles are great for developing balance and coordination. They’re also faster than scooters – being able to cover more ground quickly could allow you to plan family cycle trips and explore new places locally together.

Most young kids start off by riding a balance bike (which has no pedals and relies on them using their feet to push it along), a tricycle or a bike with stabilisers. Once kids build confidence with these bikes, they can then move onto riding a bicycle without stabilisers. 

Teaching young kids to ride a bike without stabilisers can take a lot of patience. You should make sure that kids are ready for the challenge. Usually, once friends start riding a bike without stabilisers, you can expect kids to want to learn.

As kids get older, they may want to start trying different types of bicycle. This could include road bikes or mountain bikes. E-bikes are also becoming more popular and are less of a workout to ride as they don’t require as much force when pedalling uphill. 

A young boy standing on a scooter on a bath surrounded by trees. He smiling and clearly enjoying himself.

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Why buy a scooter?

Learning to ride a scooter is easy. As a result, many kids own a scooter before they own a bike. 

Scooters also tend to be cheaper than bikes. Of course, it depends on the model, but if you’re getting a scooter for a 5 year old, it will usually cost less than a pedal bike for a 5 year old (balance bikes can be cheaper than scooters).

Scooters are also typically lighter than bikes and take up less boot space in a car (especially fold-up scooters). As a result, many parents find them easier to transport than bikes – they may be easier to take on holidays and they’re less of a nuisance if you’re left carrying them because your little one is tired or has hurt themselves. 

Older kids can still ride scooters. Stunt scooters are very popular – they are typically much faster and can be used to do tricks. Electric scooters are also popular, although many people do not realise that they are illegal to use on public roads in the UK. 

Why not both?

Most kids are likely to enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose between a bike and a scooter. You’ll find that most young kids prefer a scooter, and that bikes become more popular as kids get older. Scooters are generally better for taking on days out and holidays as they take up less space. However, bikes are better for doing longer distances, and are much better suited if you’re planning a family bike trip and don’t want your little one trailing behind. 


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