Riding is a lot of fun. However, for kids, the fun isn’t usually just summed up with the turning of each pedal stroke.
Getting them to choose their own bikes is a good place to get started on the fun cycle. But if you are looking to get and keep your kid’s interest in cycling then going a step further and accessorizing their bikes does the trick.
We have heard of stories where parents’ kids’ bike of choice was rejected. Despite the valiant efforts by parents to win the hearts of their kids to choose some types of bikes, it is always a futile pursuit. And that is where we come in. After carefully thinking, experimenting, and researching, we feel that accessorizing a kids’ bike is among the best ways to encourage kids to cycle.
Trust us, challenging your creative juices through DIY accessories or visiting a bike store for accessories to pimp your kid’s ride is one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Whether they are new to riding or are avid riders keeping them interested in the sport will take them much further in their riding journey. Not only that but it will also give them that lasting bond with their bike that most adult riders still associate with their first bikes to date.
With that said, here is a list of some of the most creative ways you can embellish your kids’ bikes for that fun and lasting effect.
1. Bike Buckets/ Baskets
If your kid is big on carrying goodies such as a snack, a drink, phone or even their favorite toy then they will be pleased with this addition to their bikes.
Bike baskets can be used for carrying treats from home but for the more adventurous type, they are usually used to carry treasures from the youngster’s riding escapades.
Kids treasure everything they find along the way on an adventure. So whether they need it or not, you won’t have to worry about finding extra space for your little rider’s special cargo.
You can even add some layers within the basket to enhance their carrying capacity. The choice is simply yours.
Usually mounted upfront, these baskets vary in shape, style, and size. Therefore no matter your kid’s preference they can be sure to find a carrier of their choice.
Alternatively, you can substitute the basket for a handlebar bag such as the Banjos Brothers Handlebar bag if the little cyclist is minimal on their cargo. You can get one as small as eight inches long and attach it to the handlebars or cockpit so they get quick and easy access to the items they need.
2. Bike Bells and Horns
The reason why kids love bike bells is an age-old debate but most seem to agree that kids love sound effects for everything they own.
From teddy bears to their own shoes, the effects of the sound are similar to those made by the ringing of bells.
Here’s the thing about bike bells; they are not only a fun-looking and fun-sounding bike auxiliary but are also a great safety mechanism.
The ringing sound is a great way to warn other bike path users and also a way for younger riders to grab the attention of their parents.
a) Bike Bells
As expected, it takes a lot more than getting any bell to get kids excited. The look is just as important as the sound.
Bells range from the cute ones to more graphic ones and other solid colors. Depending on your level of creativity you can choose to make hand-painted D.I.Y decorations for the bell or simply purchase from some of the best stores such as Nutcase bike bells which come with an assortment of fun patterns and graphics for kids such as the berry sweet bell, Lemon squeeze bell or the birds and bees bell.
Equally important, you need to find a bell that fits your kid’s bikes especially because they are usually attached to the handlebars. Therefore, you want to fix the bell and still leave room for your kid’s hands to grip.
It is easier to fix a standard bell on most low-budget bikes but for higher-end ones like the Woom then getting their very own Woom bells is a cleverer choice. This is because they have an adapter to accommodate the smaller handlebars.
b) Squeeze Horns
Alternatively, you can get squeeze horns for the same sound effect. The great thing about squeeze horns is that they usually vary in color and shape so you can get anything from a duck shape to a rabbit, a dinosaur, a chipmunk or an air horn.
As opposed to bells, they are engaged by squeezing which is usually an easier option for the youngest riders. Plus, they easily mount onto handlebars.
Whichever the case, kids will love the squeaky or ringing sound so be sure to get one for your kid.
3. Wheel Clickers, Pinwheels, and Spoke Beads
Another great and minimal way to accessorize kids’ bikes is to refurbish their wheels without doing too much to the bike’s frame.
a) Wheel Clickers
Like we said, sound effects are an ingenious way to maintain kids’ interest in cycling.
As opposed to a bell which can be noisy and even disturbing when rang continuously; wheel clickers have a negligible sound effect.
We call these gadgets the bike magicians as they are a great way to motivate timid or less-interested riders to keep moving forward.
Products like Spokester, for instance, are a great way to add a motorcycle exhaust sound effect onto bikes.
The click or exhaust sound has never failed us and your kid will definitely love it too.
b) Spokes Beads
Although most popular in the 90s, spoke beads are making a great comeback!
These beads come in fun shapes and colors and some are even reflective. They don’t make noise but they sure do look cool!
Kids love watching the spinning of colorful pinwheels and guess what? You can create the optical illusion of a rocket by simply using paper, tape and shiny material if you please.
The pinwheel impression will definitely make your kid the coolest one on the block.
The amazing thing about pinwheels is that they don’t just go on spokes. You can also attach handlebar pinwheels for the same fun spinning effect!
4. Dolly Seat
Of course, you’ve heard of child bike seats but have you thought of ever creating dolly seats?
You can bring your child’s favorite doll along with them as they ride by attaching a dolly seat at the front of the bike where their mini-me can be propped.
5. Decals/ Stickers
While most of the aforementioned bike accessories are great, they don’t have as much of a customized effect as decals do.
Bike decals range from name tags to numbers and even graphics depending on your kid’s choice.
By using stickers, you easily can personalize the frame of the bike. Some of these stickers are reflective and while they can’t be traded for bike lights they do a great job at enhancing the conspicuity of riders on the road.
DIY duct tapes can also be used to cover the bike in fun colorful stripes.
If you are looking for that cool and personalized effect then opt for this bike accessory.
6. Protective Gear (Helmets, gloves, shin guards, knee and elbow pads)
While protective gear may not sound like an accessory based on the protective role they serve, they can be an accessory to the bike when the gear matches the bike.
They are a great way to achieve that rad-look for young riders and are convenient because you do not have any special craft skills to pair them with your kid’s bike.
Other than protecting little ones from scrapes and bruises as they ride, protective gear gives riders (especially timid ones) the confidence to go out as they know they have bike ‘armor’.
A seat belt is to a car as a helmet is to a bike.
The brighter and more graphical or animated they are, the higher the chances of young riders wearing helmets.
Again, Nutcase products have such a broad range of cool graphics for their helmets so your kid will definitely not lack something that suits their taste.
Just be sure to also check for breathability, comfort, and strength of the material used to make the helmet before settling on one for your kiddo.
b) Knee/ Elbow Pads
Most kids in their early learning stages are prone to falling off as they are yet to grasp the concept of balance.
Hence the need for knee and elbow pads to serve as a buffer from the shock or impact of falling. For the youngest and more aggressive riders, between 18 months and 5 years, Strider pads are a great purchase.
They are not only ergonomically designed but are also well-padded and have a tough exterior for cushioning the impact.
Still, on that probability of falling for young and aggressive riders; gloves serve as the first defense mechanism against injuries to the palm as kids usually fall hands first.
An ideal example would be the Giro DND Junior ii gloves which have a breathable mesh, simple hook, and closure system, conveniently padded and are even touch screen compatible.
d) Shin Guards
The last complimentary protective gear is shin guards. Much like gloves and pads, they need to be comfortable and padded in order to properly serve that safety role.
Trust us, getting your kids into a safety habit through these gear will save them from a lot of tears.
7. Handlebar Streamers
Here’s another fun way to embellish your kids' bike!
All you need is ribbons, scissors, and a simple tie to attach your streamers to the bike’s handlebars.
Streamers are by far one of the most fun ways to accessorize a bike. This is because you have more freedom with them to choose whatever color and pattern your kid desires.
Plus they don’t take too much of your time to create. Alternatively, though, you can purchase streamers from popular bike stores such as Schwinn.
Just make sure to choose your kids' favorite colors and you will be good to go.
8. Bike Lights
Light up your kid’s world by incorporating bike lights to various segments of their bike and they will love you for it.
a) Frame Lights
This is a mostly DIY type of accessorizing where you improvise lights and tie them around the bike’s frame. Because they are battery-operated, the battery pack also goes around the frame.
The great thing about these lights is that you can choose a variety of colors depending on your child’s favorite one.
b) Head Lights
Sometimes kids can all get lost in the world of cycling and end up riding away into the dark. Headlights are a perfect way to light their way back home.
c) Tail/ Rear Lights
Like headlights, these too help light the way and also increase their visibility when riding at night.
There are a host of LED bike lights choices so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one.
If you’ve got a speed demon and you want to increase their safety as they ride consider getting reflective strips for their bikes.
These help alert other road users of their presence especially if riding at night. Reflectors can be attached to the bike’s frame or wheels as you please
A good example is a lightning bolt reflector which attaches to the wheel spokes. This gadget mimics the shape of lighting, moves as fast as the wheel turns and will definitely earn you cool points from your kid.
10. EyeGlass Mirror
While we are still on that safety discussion, attaching eyeglass mirrors to the helmet’s visor or riders’ eyewear is another great way to incorporate protection by enabling your child to peer into the traffic behind them before making a move.
This accessory saves them from having to bend their necks to look back and might even save them from unforeseen accidents.
11. Chalk Trail
Want to motivate your artsy child to keep moving? Just attach a chalk trail to the bike’s tire and have them create art as they move.
Here’s the trick; the bike has to move so that the chalk can draw on the ground so not only is it a creative accessory for art-lovers but also a great way to motivate kids to ride.
However, you need to be careful with where they ride with this one. We’re sure the neighbors won’t appreciate waking up to chalk trails on their sidewalk.
12. Riding Shoes, Tees, and Wristbands
All these are great riding gear that complements the bike.
If your kid is a teenager then they will most probably appreciate their favorite rock band’s jersey to pair with their bike. A matching wristband will also add to their coolness
As for the riding shoes, get ones that are flat, grippy, easy to slip on and off with a cool outward appearance such as the Five Ten Freerider VCS mountain bike shoes. The best part about these riding shoes is that they are comfortable and stylish enough to be worn both on and off the bike trail so you don’t need to worry about a change of shoes.
Just be sure to add a mudguard to the bike to keep them and their clothes protected from the mud.
13. Water Bottle Holder
Usually mounted on the lower side of the top tube, water bottle holders are a great addition to any rider’s life.
Just pair them with a fun and graphic stainless steel water bottle and you will be sure that your child will remain hydrated when the sun is out.
14. Hydration Pack
If your kid’s bike doesn’t have enough space to add a water bottle holder or if they are fond of long adventurous rides then a hydration pack is the perfect solution.
A great example of such a kids' hydration pack is the Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E which stores up to 50 ounces of water that is drawn using a hose that attaches to the backpack’s frame. It has a breathable mesh to prevent the rider’s back from overheating, a safety whistle to alert parents of their kids' whereabouts and a reflective strip to increase their conspicuity.
These packs are great as they can be used to carry other riding accompaniments such as snacks, rain jackets, phones, and a handy tool. Two birds, one stone!
15. Bike Cones
The only thing that is more fun than riding is playing riding games.
While bike cones may not seem like a necessary addition to your bike catalog, the amount of fun promised by them will be worth it.
For starters, they are a great learning tool for learning how to swerve. Secondly, they present a great challenge for riders who have graduated from balance bikes and are learning their way around pedal bikes.
So if your little rider loves to race and compete then consider these little cones as riding obstacles.
If your kid leans more towards the adventurous or aggressive rider side then getting them a ramp will be a great decision.
Although they can cost a lot they are worth the investment as they are usually sturdy and extremely durable.
The ones with a flat center are usually better for younger riders as the flat top serves as a resting place after walking up. Additionally, the wider the ramp the better it is as it allows kids to perform their stunts effectively.
Plus, they can also double for skateboarding so if your kid is multi-sports talented then they will glee with joy with such as a gift.
A kid-favorite is the Landwave 4-sided pyramid skateboard kit which can be stacked for all kinds of challenging jumps to add to the little rider or skater’s fun.
17. Bike Strap/ Carrier/ Bag
This is more of an accessory for parents rather than for kids. Slaving around with a balance bike on your hands can be tiresome. But the kids do not want to hear none of the “It is hectic” stories.
If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you ought to consider a balance bike strap. Besides a bike, the balance bike can also come handy when carrying water bottles, helmets, knee and elbow pads, and even some snacks.
We all know how annoying and tiring carrying your toddler’s balance bike can get. So if that is a problem for you then consider getting a bike strap that you can hang to your shoulder.
This gear can accompany your kid’s neighborhood ride and you can even carry snacks and drinks within.
An example of a bike strap/bag is the Woom Strap or Woom Bag.
18. Bike and Saddle Cover
These are great ways to keep the bike protected from the elements.
Bike covers ensure that the bike’s shelf life increases by preventing rusting especially when the bike gets in contact with rain.
If you have an aluminum-framed bike that is not as prone to rusting then a saddle cover works great to keep the seat dry.
Every parent knows how mounting their child or cargo onto the bike can be challenging and even dangerous without a kickstand. As for kid’s, mounting onto their own bikes isn’t usually as challenging as making it stand when in parking mode.
Hence the need for kickstands, to ease the transition from riding mode to parking mode. And if you have any cargo to offload then the kickstands help hold the bike secure as you do so.
20. Training Wheels
Although not necessary since the invention of the more effective balance bikes, parents can still choose to add training wheels to their kids’ bikes.
They are a great learning tool for kids and although not as effective as balance bikes, will still help teach your kid how to ride their bike.
21. Fitness/ Activity Tracker
If your mission is to inspire your kid to get and remain active then pairing their bikes with an activity tracker is a great way to do so.
Next to their riding gear should be an activity tracker such as the Fitbit Ace 2 or the Givofit Junior which serves as a reminder for the kids to remain active through activity tracking for every 60 minutes and the issuing of rewards in their respective apps.
Some activity trackers even have Disney or Marvel-inspired themes so your kid has a variety of options to choose from.
22. License Plates
Bike license plates give a unique appearance of the bike. Not only that but they are also a great way to identify one’s bike, especially when riding in a group and parking together.
You can get a customized plate name or simply have the rider’s actual name for easier identification.
23. Bluetooth Speakers
If your kid is a fan of music then accentuating their bikes with Bluetooth speakers will be a dream come true for them.
Just get a wireless one with lengthy battery life and is compatible with smartphones and tablets to allow them to listen to music as they ride.
24. Bike Locks
A responsibility that is usually bestowed upon every bike owner is to always keep their bikes protected especially when riding around town.
Thus unlike other accessories to a bike, bike locks are usually the most necessary ones.
Cable locks are great locks for bikes as not only are they secure but most just need a four-digit combo to unlock rather than a key that might easily get lost.
If your kid is a bit older and at that stage where they like riding adventures then this will work perfectly for them.
25. Wild Child Upgrades
Sometimes the whole bike needs a change.
For balance bike owners, if you want to upgrade our kid’s bike then Wild Child Upgrades are a great way to accessorize the bike by adding new and fun functions to the bike.
This can range from high-end wheels sets to Daddylab quill stems, flat handlebars, colorful grips, rodeo seats and a customized color choice for that personalized effect.
This aftermarket balance bike upgrade might just be what your kids need for their bikes.
There are a lot of creative ways to accessorize kid’s bikes. Some are easier than most while others are more affordable.
It could be a kids ‘balance bike a 12” bike for kids or even a size 14-inch kids bike, there is not a single bike in the world that cannot be customized. With these wonderful methods of beautifying kids’ bikes, you are sure your kids will be on their bikes most of their free time.
And the fact that they cost a little, makes it even worth a try compared to the cost of spending an entire day on a screen. If you love it, accessorize it!
But all the same, the list is endless so you have no excuse to have your child missing out on these accessories. We have the cool and trendy ways to accessorize kids’ bikes, it is all on you to choose your poison!
Choose your combination and join the fun train!
Related articles (Must read for a Parent Serious with their Kids’ Cycling Life)
How to choose the best bike helmets for kids: Get informed on how to choose kids’ bike helmets. The article also reviews some top bike helmets for kids.
How to train a kid how to ride without training wheel: This resource has some of the best insights that will help you train your child how to ride faster, quick, and safely.
Reasons why balance bikes are the best option for toddlers: We uncover some reasons why balance bikes should be your child’s first bike.
Best Balance bike Buying Guide: Get to understand what to look for when buying your child a balance bike.
How to choose the best hydration packs for kid cyclists: Understand what aspects to consider when purchasing a hydration pack for your child.