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2012 Mountain Bike Gift Guide: Children's Edition

Gifts for the young adventurers on your list

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If you love mountain biking, chances are you’d like to instill some of that love into the next generation. What better way to get your favorite whippersnappers interested in the sport you love than to bestow upon them the gear that goes with it? They’re never too young to experience the joy of riding a bike—whether they’re in control or riding shotgun. Take some inspiration from this list of children’s bicycling products and watch a smile light up their face the only way two wheels can.

1. iBert safe-T-seat

Excited by the thought of one day shredding the gnar with your mini-me, or perhaps just excited to get back on a bike after several sleepless months, you might opt to mount a children’s bike seat to your steed. Most of you are likely familiar with the image that situates the child at the rear of the bike so that they’re facing the rider’s, um, rear. Yes? Well, the iBert safe-T-seat isn’t your typical children’s bike seat. It mounts between your arms and behind your handlebars, providing your future Rebecca Rusch with an optimal position to check out the lovely landscape. A padded steering wheel offers your tyke some interactive fun and the front-mounted seat allows the two of you to better interact. iBert says the safe-T-seat offers a better center of gravity and increased mobility for the rider, allowing them to comfortably ride on singletrack and narrow bike lanes. Made in the USA. MSRP $110. Fits most 1- to 4-year-olds who weigh up to 38 pounds.

2. STRIDER ST-3 No-Pedal Balance Bike

For children who want to have a bit more control over their bike ride, STRIDER offers preschool-aged tots a bike that’s scientifically proven to increase balance skills. A study conducted at the University of South Dakota’s Division of Kinesiology and Sport Science followed 3- to 5-year-old children over a four-week period and concluded that those who used a STRIDER No-Pedal Balance Bike increased their balance and functional fitness. Dr. Andrew Shim, department chair of the University of South Dakota Division of Kinesiology and Sport Science, said in a press release: “According to our data collected from the study, the STRIDER bike product really does increase balance in 3- to 5-year-old riders. Ultimately, this increase in balance may eliminate the need for training wheels and tricycles.” The pedal-less bikes are created to encourage children as young as 18 months to ride on two wheels at a very early age, while considerably improving their gross motor skill development. Ideal for children aged 18 months to 5 years. MSRP: $99 - $130

3. Nutcase’s Little Nutty Multi-Sport Helmet

ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) F2040 certified safe for all recreational snow sports and CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) safety certified for cycling, Nutcase’s Little Nutty multi-sport helmets are perfect for the little adventurers in your life. Simply swap out the fleece liner and ear pads to use the helmet on a cycling adventure, and add them back in when the two of you want to play in the snow. The helmet features two front “intake” vents and 2 rear “exhaust” vents, as well as five top-mounted vents. An adjustable spin dial lets you dial in the perfect fit. Additional features include a strap in the back to hold goggles in place, steel mesh screens to protect against snow, a magnetic no-pinch buckle closure and reflective logos on all sides. Nutcase’s Little Nutty helmets are size XS, and fit heads 46cm - 52cm or 18" - 20.5. MSRP: $60

4. The Wrist ID Slim from Road ID

The day will come. As your little one becomes not so little anymore, he or she will want to venture off on bike rides without your company. With the Wrist ID Slim from Road ID, you can rest assured that you will be called and medical records will be accessed in the event something goes wrong on the trail. As the name suggests, this form of ID bracelet from Road ID is the smallest in the lineup and ideal for children. It offers a silicone band that can be laser engraved with emergency contact information and comes in seven colors. Available in four sizes, XS – Large. MSRP: $15.99

5. CLIF Kid Zbar, Zbar Crispy, and Zfruit

You know you rely on your energy bars to give you that extra boost mid-ride. But what happens when your child needs a pick-me-up? Stuff your tyke’s stocking with a handful of USDA-certified organic CLIF Kid Zbars, Zbar Crispys, and Zfruits—healthy snacks that are specifically created for children’s growing bodies and active lives. CLIF Kid snacks are not only delicious (I dare you not to steal a bite of a “Chocolate Brownie” Zbar.), they’re the ideal shape and portion size. Mmmm. MSRP: $5 for a 6-bar box of Zbars, $11 for a 12-bar box of Crispy and $14 for an 18-bar box of Zfruit.

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