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Owning a bike is a major event in a child's life. For many, it's the day he or she has dreamed of for quite some time. The child you're buying for likely even knows exactly which bike he or she wants–or even thinks he or she "needs." But what truly is best for your child? Here are some different kinds of bikes and things to consider.

• Single-speed middleweight. This is the bike that's most recommended for young children. The bike has one speed, and goes only as fast as the child can pedal. These bikes have brakes that allow the child to coast.
• High-rise bike. These bikes have smaller wheels, a short base for the wheels and high handlebars. The high-rise bikes typically have a wider seat which is more comfortable for many young riders.
• Mountain bike. These bikes are some of the heaviest and strongest on the market. They come in multi-speed forms, and are able to handle off-road riding. They have wider tires, hand brakes, and upright handlebars.
• BMX bike. These bikes have frames modified by size, and special BMX-style wheels. These are typically used in BMX competitions and have competition handlebars and seats.
• Multi-speed lightweight bike. These bikes come in speeds ranging from three, five, 10, 15, and 18. They are meant for long-distance cycling, climbing hills and racing. They come with brakes on the handlebars, and may demand occasional maintenance.

How do you know which is right for your child?

Which bike is best for your child mainly depends on which bike fits your child's needs. If you have a young child, or if it's your child's first bike, perhaps a single-speed middleweight or a high-rise bike is best. For older children and more experienced cyclists, you need to consider what the bike will be used mainly for before you make your decision.