A bike is a bike, but a child is an individual with his own personality.
That makes it so difficult to buy the right bike.
I have heard people say, children up to the age of 10 need a simple bicycle with good brakes and no gears. Fashion, stylish looks, colours and gadgets should not enter your consideratiions when choosing a bike for kids. I think that is all wrong.
My 8 year old daughter goes for fashion and colours before anything else. And as far as gears were concerned, she wanted to be in front of the rest of the kids in the street, if possible with more the 21 gears., I think a parent must exercise his moderation capacity in such a situation. Knowing that a child can easily overestimate her talents when it comes to sportive riding with a complicated gear set and a stylish mountain bike frame, a parent ought to find out what she really needs. Yes, good brakes with easy grips, definitely, for her safety. And if she is not the kind of person who likes gear shifting and experimenting for the sake of technical interest, she should get a 5 gear hub system with pedal brakes, and no mountain bike frame. Next, colours can be chosen entirely to her preferences.
My 6 year old boy differs greatly. He loves gear shifting, he explores technical details and he has already much more riding experience than my daughter. Although he is younger, his riding is safer. During a family ride he goes down a steep hill without any complaints. He is more adventurous than his sister. Consequently, I bought a bike with a mountain bike frame, good brakes and a gear set with 12 gears.
For both children bikes I applied the principal of buying quality products, which was made easy because I could easily identify a few well known brands that are still being produced in the country and not abroad. Finally, I want to add another safety issue: lights. Here in Germany bicycles that are to be ridden on public streets must have generator driven head and rear lights and must be equipped with two brakes that work separately.- It goes without saying that kids should never be allowed to ride a bike without wearing a safety helmet. So buying a bike implies also buying a helmet.