Owning a mountain bike is one of the most requested things by teenage sons. However, many parents do not entertain the idea as most guys tend to use their bikes to perform stunts that can be dangerous. But, parents should take it as a growth phase that will teach the children endurance, especially on rough terrains.
As a parent, it is an instinct for you to start thinking about your child’s safety when riding a mountain bike. So here are safety tips you can follow to help ease your mind.
10 Tips Parents Should Apply When Getting a Mountain Bike for Their Teenage Son
As your son grows up, he will start picking up new hobbies, and biking is one thing boys begin from a young age. As they grow older, let them advance to riding a mountain bike as they are sturdy and can traverse rough terrain.
Pick the Right Bike Size
Finding the right bike size for your kids is a step toward assurance of comfortability and ease of maneuvering around with it. As such, consider the height of your teenager when making the purchase. He should be able to almost wholly stretch his legs while seated to reach the pedals in their down position.
Also, the distance between his crotch and the crossbar should be between 7.5 and 10 centimeters when standing astride the bar with his feet flat on each side. This space is crucial if he ever needs to hop from the seat unexpectedly.
If you are not fully satisfied with the full bike size, you can make sure the bike’s seat and handlebars are adjustable.
Find an Appropriate Helmet
Finding your son the right-sized helmet is crucial as it guarantees better safety. Research shows that wearing a helmet reduces the chances of brain-related injuries by 45%.
A good-sized helmet should not wiggle around your teenager’s head, should be at an ideal height of one inch above the eyebrows, and when they glance up, they should be able to see the helmet’s edge. If possible, look into helmets with airbag features, a visor, and extra padding. It may be expensive, but it will come in handy.
Buy Them a Fluorescent Jacket
Teach your teenager always to wear a safety fluorescent jacket, especially when riding along heavy traffic roads. This jacket will enable other road users to see them and reduce the chances of an accident. If they get lost at night, it will be easier for them to be seen since the jackets also offer night-time reflection.
Invest in Bike Safety Gear
When purchasing a mountain bike for your child, also invest in safety accessories that come with it. Here is the full-body armor for optimal protection;
- Cycling gloves ensure a secure hold and improved control of the bike.
- Elbow and knee guards to keep the joints cushioned and well-protected in case of fall accidents. Protective goggles to guard against blinding sunlight and to maintain visibility during windy or hazy conditions.
- Reflectors offer increased visibility during the evening and overnight excursions.
- Well gripped boots help your child keep their feet to the pedals, reducing chances of slippage. Do not let your child ride his mountain bike with flip-flops, sandals, or cleats.
Always Inspect the Bike Before They Go on a Ride
Since you will not be with your child during their ride, always assess the bike before going on any trail. During the assessment, check if the tires’ air pressure is good. If not so, inflate them.
- Check if the drivetrain is in excellent shape: the pedals, chain, cranks, cogs, and derailleurs. Always check if the chain is well greased and tight.
- Check if the handlebars turn the wheels when the bike needs to be steered
- Check if the brakes are functioning correctly.
Teach Them the Importance of Signaling
Ensure your teenager is well-versed with different arm signals used while on the road. Hand signals are typically used when changing direction or lanes. The left arm signal is used when making left turns. Look behind you and hold out your left hand. While doing this, slowly move forward.
Making right turns. Bend your elbow and slowly move forward while holding your arm in an “L” form.
Making a stop. Bend your elbow and point your arm down in the shape of an inverted “L.”
The right arm signal is used when making right turns. Hold your right arm up as you slowly make the turn.
Make Sure Rear-View Mirrors Are Installed on the Handlebars
The mirror can protect you from potential damage and keeps you on course and out of the path of oncoming traffic. You may quickly check the coast with a quick glimpse in a riding mirror before moving.
Purchase a Repair Kit for Them
Repair kits are essential accessories for mountain bikes. A patch kit is usable when you experience a flat tire or a puncture. You must carry the kit when riding a trail in the mountains or a sparsely populated area with no nearby help.
The kit comprises self-adhesive rubber patches, spare tubes, a pump, screwdrivers, chain lube, and grease.
Insist That They Carry Their Phones and ID
God forbid your teenager runs into any problem, but if he does, he can reach you through the cell phone. He can also be identified using the ID. Therefore, sensitize them to keep their identification and phone safe, so they don’t get lost. Also, insist that the phone should not be used when riding as it drifts attention, causing accidents.
10.Encourage Your Teenager to Ride Together With a Buddy
It will be fun and helpful if one of them runs into a problem. For example, if your child has a fall incident and gets injured, his friend will be able to help him out.
It is less scary for parents to let their teens go on their mountain bikes if they diligently follow these safety tips. Parents should always insist on bike safety for their teens as it offers them protection and peace of mind. You will have to trust your child on this as you cannot always be hovering around them.
What are the cycling safety tips you insist on your children? Let us know in the comment section.