Evans Cycles
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In the wake of a successful 2012 comes a tide of new and inspired young riders looking to get on their bikes and join the peloton – some to get fit, some to compete, and some just to get to school. The world of cycling could seem confusing to someone new to the sport, but this doesn’t have to be the case, and there are loads of ways young people can explore life on two wheels.

Whether it’s a first bike, or a step up to the next level, you want to make sure you make the right choice. We stock bikes for toddlers just beginning to get rolling, right through to some great models for young people feeling a bit more serious about their ride. The choice is huge, with some great mountain bikes for children, and full suspension models available for 11 year olds upwards. Road bikes from Dawes and Moda come with 24” and 650c (26”) wheels, which are just like the bikes they make for adults but suitable for children from 9 to 15 years old. An often overlooked area for younger riders is women’s bikes – these tend to have a smaller size range than a typical men’s bike, down to 44cm on the road and 13” for MTBs, therefore offering the perfect stepping stone onto full size wheels and upgradeable components for a growing athlete. We’ve even got youth track bikes for those who’ve been truly inspired…

Young people looking to find likeminded peers to ride with won’t be disappointed in the options available to them.

A great port of call for advice and motivation is a local club. British Cycling provide a list of clubs on their website, and many clubs now have sessions specific for young people and will welcome new riders with open arms. At Evans Cycles we also host our own RideIt! events – these are fully way marked routes, both on and off-road, and under 16s ride free with a fee paying adult.

Go-Ride is a cycling development programme run by the national body British Cycling which provides cycle training in a range of disciplines from BMX to Road and MTBing. Leading on from this, Go-Ride Racing aims to get youngsters into competition, teaching them the ropes and explaining the racing lingo.

 
There are loads of cycle-specific playgrounds to get started on. The UK has about 20 velodromes, the largest being in London, Manchester, Newport and Calshot. There are also small tracks you can test out, such as Preston Park velodrome in Brighton, which is thought to be the oldest cycle track in the UK. There are loads of different events you can take part in on the track, where riders compete solo, in groups, and over a range of distances. British Cycling provide an overview of the disciplines here.
 
For riders making their first steps into road racing, there are some great specially designed road race circuits, like Cyclopark in Kent and Hillingdon just outside London. These circuits are dotted all over the country, so to see lists of all races; the best place to start is the British Cycling calendar. You can learn invaluable road racing skills from simply getting on your bike and riding in a group, and club weekend rides and circuit training are good ways of picking up new skills. For more on this, check the British Cycling Get Into Road Racing Guide.

Mountain Bikers will want to get aquainted with the local trails, and the Forestry Commission provide a great list of the specifically designed centres across the country, and you can search for a centre near you. Centres grade trails by difficulty, so if you’re new start on an easier levels, and then work towards some of the harder circuits as you build up your level of experience.

 

If you’re looking to get into mountain bike racing, there are a number of options. Downhill racing is a competition to get from the top to the bottom and is the ultimate test of nerve, 4-Cross includes natural and man made obstacles, whilst cross-country racing relies more on endurance and fitness. For more info on racing on knobbly tyres, check out this guide.

With the world’s attention on BMX right now there couldn’t be a better time to get in to the sport, and it really couldn’t be easier. All you need is your bike and a little creativity. There are skateparks, racetracks and street plazas all over the country, but even something as simple as a curb can provide a practice venue, or you can get down the woods and build some jumps (just make sure you’re allowed to do so). If you want to try racing, check the British Cycling calendar, and they also provide a great explanation of how the rankings work.
 
For BMX riders, we’ve got our own Evans Cycles BMX page, where we share hints and tips on riding, as well as updates from the racing scene. The facebook page is a place where riders can chat to each other, share pictures of their own rides, and some of the Evans staff have even uploaded a couple of snaps of their own. If you’ve got questions, feel free to post them on our page, and our team will do their best to help you out. For common questions, you can also take a look at the British Cycling BMX frequently asked questions page
Learning to ride safely on the road is important, and Bikeability courses are a great way to increase confidence and gain useful skills. The courses are supported by the Department for Transport, Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families, so they come well recommended.
 
A helmet is an absolute necessity, and we stock helmets starting from under £20. We’ve got some with cool designs, some serious road lids, and even a full face option for the avid downhill rider.
 
To make sure young riders are visible, we stock a range of high viz kit. Arm and ankle bands help to make sure riders stand out on the roads and we’ve got some great options from £7.99. We’ve got safety vests and backpack covers which are great for riding to and from school.
 
For riders getting into some tough mountain biking, we do have a range of children’s body armour, designed to pad out and protect the body when tackling extreme riding.

We’ve got a range of children’s clothing, which includes jerseys and shorts as well as backpacks and gloves meant to fit smaller bodies. For older children, it is worth bearing in mind that adults shoes go down to size 40 (size 6 to 6.5 UK) for men and size 36 (size 3 to 3.5) for women, and smaller sized adult jerseys and shorts are certainly worth trying.

We’ve got videos and blog posts that might give you some more information, so have a look through what we’ve got...

 
This story was last updated on 26/03/2014

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