Back to School Basics

When you’re doing your back-to-school shopping for the 2017/2018 school year, don’t forget your bike-to-school essentials!


Saturday Morning Group Ride Higher Gear Wilmette bike bicycle paceline kids


Specialized Hotrock Higher GearCore Curriculum

Is it time for a New Bike?

Kids grow up quickly. Too quickly, we know. Last year’s perfect bike might not be the right fit for this year. Or maybe it is. Stop on by Higher Gear and let our friendly experts help you determine whether your kid’s bike can be adjusted to fit properly or whether it’s time to size up. (Don’t forget to bring both the kid and the bike for sizing!)

Your child’s bike or a hand-me-down bike might be just fine with a few adjustments, new tires and tubes and a tune-up. We can make that assessment when you bring the bike in to our shop and we can schedule your bike tune-up.

Call ahead to schedule your back to school tune-up >>


For those who’ve done some growing, Higher Gear offers a selection of high quality bicycles to get you to school in style. Even our smallest Specialized kids bikes are built out of aluminum so it’s easier for little kids to handle and you don’t have to worry about a bike rusting before handing it down to a younger sibling. Even the Linus Lil’ Dutchi is made with thinner and lighter Chromemolly tubing so it’s easier for kids to handle.


Specialized Hotrock 2017 Higher Gear Wilmette kid bike bicycle

Linus Bikes Lil Dutchi kids childrens 20 16 bike bicycle







For junior high and high school students, we have a variety of bikes to please. For the more adventurous, we have bikes to get you through those dirt path shortcuts. For the studious, we have bikes that can be fitted with racks and bags for carrying heavy books. Ask our knowledgeable staff which bikes can be fitted with fenders to keep clothing clean or racks to carry heavy book loads.


Specialized Sirrus Disc 2017 Higher Gear Wilmette

Specialized Vita Elite Womens 2017 Higher Gear Wilmette








Endura Kids Xtract Gel Short Hummvee Ray Jersey Higher Gear Wilmette kids cycling shorts apparelMandatory Lessons

It’s time for a new Helmet. <– That is not a question!

Chances are, even if last year’s helmet still fits, it’s time for it to be replaced. For helmets to protect a noggin (yours or your child’s), it needs to fit properly.

And even a properly fitting helmet needs to be replaced after a crash or after a few years. Dropping a helmet over and over again compromises its integrity. A few drops on the sidewalk, tossing it a couple times into the garage, leaving it out in the yard to get exposed to sunlight for days at a time… All these add up to a helmet that’s less than 100%. When it comes to your child’s head, less than 100% is not acceptable. A healthy brain is priceless, so who is going to quibble over a child’s helmet that’s $50 or less?

Shop Higher Gear online now for kids helmets >>

Check out the Specialized Kids Shuffle Helmet >>



Linus Mixte 2017 teal Higher Gear Wilmette customer


Extra Credit

Now that you have the essentials, what about the rest?

Higher Gear Joy Sherrick Maureen Fagan Womens Clinic Flat Tire FixBike tires don’t inflate themselves – and tubes lose air overnight. You’re welcome to stop by and pump up your tires in our shop, but if you have a kid who rides to school daily, it’s probably time to invest in a bike pump. Choose one, like the Specialized Air Tool, with a built-in pressure gauge and a SwitchHitter head that automatically adapts to fit Presta and Schrader valves for hassle-free tire inflation.

Shop Higher Gear online now for bike pumps >>


It’s an imperfect world: lock your bike up! We carry a selection of lightweight and easy-to-use locks. We also offer true “combo” locks – where a key can be used when the combination is forgotten or a combination can be used when the key is lost. (See? We’ve got you covered!)

Shop Higher Gear online now for bike locks >>


Bags?  ✔️    Shop Higher Gear online now for racks and bags >>
Lights?  ✔️    Shop Higher Gear online now for bike lights >>
Bells?  ✔️    Shop Higher Gear online now for bike bells >>


Everything you need for biking to school?  ✔️    Shop Higher Gear online now for all your bike-to-school needs >>


Glencoe Grand Prix Pro Cycling Bike Race Racing Kids Race


Your Homework

Come in to Higher Gear to see our full selection of back-to-school bikes. While you’re in, don’t forget the rest of the items on your bike-to-school list! Our friendly experts are available to help you find the right style, size and color of bike as well as all the accessories you’ll need to get to school safely. If you’re not sure what you need or you don’t see what you want, don’t be afraid to ask. (You don’t even have to raise your hand!)


Phew! With your back-to-school shopping done and school registration completed, it’s time to slow down! Please SLOW DOWN and consider a Safe Route to School!

Learn about Safe Routes >>







Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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