Teaching them to ride

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
Nomad2
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:38 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Nomad2 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 05:50 am

We didn't give our eldest son a bike to ride until he was 4. We never used balance bikes. He had his training wheels until he was 5 and one day when we were packing all the bikes in the car (and we had a lot of stuff to carry that day) we took the training wheels/stabilizers off to fit the bike in. When we got to the park we told Nathan that he might as well give it a go without them. To his credit he did and it took him all of 3 minutes to pretty much nail it.

Our youngest, Xavier, was different. This may be an interesting story for those with kids reluctant to let go of the training wheels. In terms of skill he was ready to drop the training wheels when he was still 4. However he was afraid of falling so refused. After numerous rides watching the training wheels (retracted as far as they could be) barely touch the ground except when cornering when they often caused him to lose control, I convinced him to give it a go. We tried on our street on the footpath. I gave him a little push and let go (silly me, it worked fine with Nathan) and he proceeded to stack straight away. He then stormed inside and refused to ride a bike again! Two minutes later after he calmed down I convinced him to try again but this time I'd make sure I wouldn't let him fall.

In the time it took to get him outside I decided to get him to practice falling firstly to the left straight away and putting his foot out to stop the fall. Next to the right. After a practice on each I only had to launch and let go. He really found that fun and got his confidence up. Next I told him to fall to the left but then change his mind and fall to the right, then change his mind and fall to the left...you get the idea. Funny way around the problem but it instantly worked and within a few minutes he was riding up and down the street and deliberately crashing onto the grass next to the footpath for fun. Xavier is now five and recently did a 30km ride with us!

ad6565
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby ad6565 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:33 am

I started using bicycle at the age of 3. I had to bicycles at the age 3. One single side and one double side. Then later at the age of four, my dad got me a bicycle, one with the balance. I used to find it difficult to , then initially got used to it and then within a very short span of time I could drive cycle really well. That's about it. No special training was given. Just get your child , cycle one with balance. They 'll do it all themselves. :) cheers bro!!!

Steve-XcT
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 09:35 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Steve-XcT » Mon Jan 25, 2016 14:25 pm

Nomad2 wrote:We didn't give our eldest son a bike to ride until he was 4. We never used balance bikes. He had his training wheels until he was 5 and one day when we were packing all the bikes in the car (and we had a lot of stuff to carry that day) we took the training wheels/stabilizers off to fit the bike in. When we got to the park we told Nathan that he might as well give it a go without them. To his credit he did and it took him all of 3 minutes to pretty much nail it.

Our youngest, Xavier, was different. This may be an interesting story for those with kids reluctant to let go of the training wheels. In terms of skill he was ready to drop the training wheels when he was still 4. However he was afraid of falling so refused. After numerous rides watching the training wheels (retracted as far as they could be) barely touch the ground except when cornering when they often caused him to lose control, I convinced him to give it a go. We tried on our street on the footpath. I gave him a little push and let go (silly me, it worked fine with Nathan) and he proceeded to stack straight away. He then stormed inside and refused to ride a bike again! Two minutes later after he calmed down I convinced him to try again but this time I'd make sure I wouldn't let him fall.

In the time it took to get him outside I decided to get him to practice falling firstly to the left straight away and putting his foot out to stop the fall. Next to the right. After a practice on each I only had to launch and let go. He really found that fun and got his confidence up. Next I told him to fall to the left but then change his mind and fall to the right, then change his mind and fall to the left...you get the idea. Funny way around the problem but it instantly worked and within a few minutes he was riding up and down the street and deliberately crashing onto the grass next to the footpath for fun. Xavier is now five and recently did a 30km ride with us!


I can't really see the point in OWNING a balance bike... I've only go the one but it worked like your Nathan.
He was proficient on a scooter ... happy with one leg in the air and as parents we more or less know they are up to it balance wise but do they ???

If Nathan and my Ollie represent a "good balance kid" then the total time they need seems to be 2-3 minutes... (when they make their mind up) and we allow that some kids might take longer then longer is "hours" or "a weekend"

I'd say ideally a teach your kid to ride place would use balance bikes for as long as needed but then move the kids to a real bike or if you had one you could borrow etc.. but if you spend more than a day with a "normally abled kid" on a balance bike and they haven't got it then they just aren't ready or motivated.

Obviously we like to avoid negative motivation and scaring them.... but it seems to me that ideally you only really want a balance bike for 2-60 minutes and taking the pedals off seems more sensible???

Ed_P
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 16:27 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Ed_P » Fri Apr 22, 2016 14:47 pm

I would just like to say thank you very much for this thread; I am currently helping my nephew learn to ride and it has been fun to say the least but I have been running out of ideas, so this was a great help. :mrgreen:

User avatar
guitarpete247
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 19:38 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby guitarpete247 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 07:43 am

Granddaughter I bought balance bike for is soon to be 8. Her parents never used the balance bike with her, or her younger sister. So she has no idea how to balance the bike I bought her. They got them both one of those 3 wheel scooters the steer when you lean. Neither of them can steer or sit up straight on the bikes they have here at our house. I take them out whenever they come here but it is getting ridiculous. Parents.don't have the time or patience to teach them. I go over the road to the local park but don't seem to be getting anywhere as we only see them a couple of times a month on our own to take them out.
I assume you understand that we have options on your time,
And will ditch you in the harbour if we must.

Ed_P
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 16:27 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Ed_P » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:02 am

We had another outing last night and he wanted to fall off and cut his hands... :oops: oh well, maybe I am not suited to being a teacher. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Daz555
Posts: 4001
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 14:59 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Daz555 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:09 am

Steve-XcT wrote:
Nomad2 wrote:We didn't give our eldest son a bike to ride until he was 4. We never used balance bikes. He had his training wheels until he was 5 and one day when we were packing all the bikes in the car (and we had a lot of stuff to carry that day) we took the training wheels/stabilizers off to fit the bike in. When we got to the park we told Nathan that he might as well give it a go without them. To his credit he did and it took him all of 3 minutes to pretty much nail it.

Our youngest, Xavier, was different. This may be an interesting story for those with kids reluctant to let go of the training wheels. In terms of skill he was ready to drop the training wheels when he was still 4. However he was afraid of falling so refused. After numerous rides watching the training wheels (retracted as far as they could be) barely touch the ground except when cornering when they often caused him to lose control, I convinced him to give it a go. We tried on our street on the footpath. I gave him a little push and let go (silly me, it worked fine with Nathan) and he proceeded to stack straight away. He then stormed inside and refused to ride a bike again! Two minutes later after he calmed down I convinced him to try again but this time I'd make sure I wouldn't let him fall.

In the time it took to get him outside I decided to get him to practice falling firstly to the left straight away and putting his foot out to stop the fall. Next to the right. After a practice on each I only had to launch and let go. He really found that fun and got his confidence up. Next I told him to fall to the left but then change his mind and fall to the right, then change his mind and fall to the left...you get the idea. Funny way around the problem but it instantly worked and within a few minutes he was riding up and down the street and deliberately crashing onto the grass next to the footpath for fun. Xavier is now five and recently did a 30km ride with us!


I can't really see the point in OWNING a balance bike... I've only go the one but it worked like your Nathan.
He was proficient on a scooter ... happy with one leg in the air and as parents we more or less know they are up to it balance wise but do they ???

If Nathan and my Ollie represent a "good balance kid" then the total time they need seems to be 2-3 minutes... (when they make their mind up) and we allow that some kids might take longer then longer is "hours" or "a weekend"

I'd say ideally a teach your kid to ride place would use balance bikes for as long as needed but then move the kids to a real bike or if you had one you could borrow etc.. but if you spend more than a day with a "normally abled kid" on a balance bike and they haven't got it then they just aren't ready or motivated.

Obviously we like to avoid negative motivation and scaring them.... but it seems to me that ideally you only really want a balance bike for 2-60 minutes and taking the pedals off seems more sensible???

Depends on their ages. My son was on his from about 18-20 months months and my daughter from 2 years and no way would they have been ready to go on a pedal bike after just a short time on the balance bike. My kids were on balance bikes way before we even considerd scooters. Balance bikes (good ones) have a much lower seat-height than any pedal bike I've ever seen and are far far lighter.

My kids loved their balance bikes and used them until they got their first pedal bikes at 4yrs. Best thing was that the balance bikes massively extended their range when out on family walks. I think my 6yr old daughter would still use hers now from time to time if she could, but she's far to big for it now!
You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.

mikpem
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 14:00 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby mikpem » Tue May 10, 2016 16:05 pm

Balance bikes are great for teaching kids, my lad has been on one since he was 18 months old, as he comes to my bike races he was itching to get on one and you should see the video of the look on his face when his grandparents turned up with it on Christmas day, he was falling over everything to get to it.
He has since progressed from a Strider (lower seat height, very light) to an Early Rider Road Runner because he wanted a bike with daddy handlebars for racing cyclocross (he joined in a few of the the local under 8 races this year) and it encouraged him to stretch his legs and balance more. He has just got a 12" Specialized bike with pedals for his 3rd birthday and took to it like a duck to water, starting off needs a bit more practice but a quick push to give him some momentum and he's off and can come to a controlled stop.
He loves being on his bike and if it wasn't for balance bikes we would have had a very frustrated little boy.

GingerDan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 21:26 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby GingerDan » Fri Jul 22, 2016 18:47 pm

It's all been said in the tread i feel.
My two boys started on balance bike made by Early rider, and went on to the early rider Belter, and then the early rider belter 20" trail. No stabilisers.

Golden rule. No helmet - no bike.

bryant2400
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 16:25 pm

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby bryant2400 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 15:58 pm

I'm one of those that think balance bikes are great for teaching kids how to ride a bike. My son loved riding his. If anyone is interested you should check this article out. http://www.kidsbikeguru.com/teach-kid-to-ride-bike/ The whole site has been very helpful for me.

Huismans
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 03:19 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Huismans » Mon Oct 24, 2016 05:45 am

I learned with my Dad pushing me down an incline in an alleyway. Lol. Lots of bruises but I learned eventually.

That's not the best way to do it though.

Personally though? First post is best post in this regard

PatricaGonzales
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 05:56 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby PatricaGonzales » Mon Nov 07, 2016 09:51 am

Good tips.

thecycleclinic
Posts: 6756
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 23:53 pm
Contact:

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby thecycleclinic » Mon Nov 07, 2016 22:39 pm

I got my daughter a bike with stabiliser when she was 2 1/4. She rode that till it fell apart. I got her a Isla bike for her 4th bithday. Again with stabiisers but her bike control was clearly not good enough to remove them. When she started school in september I ride with her every day to school My wife rides her home in the afternoon. within a month it was clear her bike control was good enough to remove her stabilisers. It took a less than a week of daily practice (10 minutes) with all the falls done in the first couple of days on grass. By the end of week she was riding without falling on pavement. Last week she was back too school after half term and she rides without issue. There are no falls.

Balance bikes are therefore not essential. I did get my daughter one but the village we lived in was hilly and it was not useful. She will be 5 in december. The Isla bike was picked because the 16" wheeled model was 6kg.
http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.

thecycleclinic
Posts: 6756
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 23:53 pm
Contact:

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby thecycleclinic » Mon Nov 07, 2016 22:44 pm

I got my daughter a bike with stabiliser when she was 2 1/4. She rode that till it fell apart. I got her a Isla bike for her 4th bithday. Again with stabiisers but her bike control was clearly not good enough to remove them. When she started school in september I ride with her every day to school My wife rides her home in the afternoon. within a month it was clear her bike control was good enough to remove her stabilisers. It took a less than a week of daily practice (10 minutes) with all the falls done in the first couple of days on grass. By the end of week she was riding without falling on pavement. Last week she was back too school after half term and she rides without issue. There are no falls.

Balance bikes are therefore not essential. I did get my daughter one but the village we lived in was hilly and it was not useful. She will be 5 in december. The Isla bike was picked because the 16" wheeled model was 6kg.

They can pick it up pretty quickly.
http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.

User avatar
Tashman
Posts: 2666
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 09:56 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Tashman » Tue Nov 15, 2016 15:08 pm

My eldest we bough a bike with stabilisers as that's what we remembersed as kids, my youngest we went for the balance bike option. The youngest "got it" so much quicker as she relied on her natural instinct rather than the support of the bike. The balance bike is now on it's 4th owner after being passed around 3 families :)

Norskie
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 07:48 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Norskie » Fri Jan 06, 2017 20:28 pm

Great post. Just wanted to say thank you for all the shared knowledge.
I will just work on my patience a bit more and let my 2 year old carry on with his balance bike a bit longer. He is on it at every opportunity but walks with his legs and only occasionally push and lift them both up.
I'll wait until I see both legs up in the air more before getting him a pedal bike :-)

everymorning
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 09:36 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby everymorning » Thu Feb 09, 2017 08:39 am

We have two boys. When the first of them would learn to ride a bike, he was pretty nervous and uncertain. He could not trample by himself so that he had enough speed to stabilize the movement. I always had to be there and push on. As soon as I took my hand away from his back he fell or stopped. Then one day, I took him to a little downhill. It leaned so much, that he could roll by himself, but not so much damfakta that the speed became too high. On the other hand, 20 yards away it was a little uphill. So when he rolled 10 yards down it went up and he stopped himself. This very day he learned to ride a bike. When his little swots brother tree years learn to ride a bike, we tried the same thing with the same good results.
Last edited by everymorning on Thu Apr 27, 2017 16:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 3922
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 08:54 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Tangled Metal » Sun Mar 19, 2017 20:16 pm

Finally got round to taking the stabilizers off our lad's bike. He's had access to scooters, balance bike and a trike. He could use all of them but never did tyre scooting along on the balance bike.

We knew he had balance from 3 years when we got his bike with stabilizers. He tried it without while camping because the stabilizers were too hard to pedal on grass. He pedalled for almost 5 full revolutions before putting his foot down. The second time he fell. After that he lost interest. That was at 3.5 years. He's now 4.25 years and we're trying again. He refused all that time.

Today we went to a gently sloped tarmac path with grass either side to fall on. It took about 5 runs before he got it. The way we did it was my partner held him steady and gently let go so he didn't notice. Very important that last bit because a push meant he put his foot down straight away. The only issue is that as soon as he realizes he's on his own he takes his feet off the pedals in case he falls.

IMHO the hardest thing is giving him confidence. Encouragement helps a lot. Also i think it helps if you're not tall. I'm tall and bending over while running i found he never got stability. I am convinced i introduced instability not him because my much shorter partner never had this issue. As much as us dads want to be the one to teach our kids to ride in our case it's the mother that got him further on.

Another thing that helped. We didn't have pedal spanners with us so he was initially using the bike as a balance bike. The seat hadn't been lifted so was a bit lower than it needed to be for his height. That helped because he was able to run with legs further out to avoid pedals. I've noticed he has more confidence on both balance and pedal bike if the seat is lower in relation to his height than you would normally think is best. I've known adult learners who found that out too.

Steve-XcT
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 09:35 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Steve-XcT » Mon Mar 20, 2017 14:42 pm

Daz555 wrote:Depends on their ages. My son was on his from about 18-20 months months and my daughter from 2 years and no way would they have been ready to go on a pedal bike after just a short time on the balance bike.

My kids were on balance bikes way before we even considerd scooters. Balance bikes (good ones) have a much lower seat-height than any pedal bike I've ever seen and are far far lighter.

But not an advantage over a scooter in teaching kids to ride...
I've nothing against balance bikes... I'm simply saying they don't have a purpose in learning to ride that's any different to a scooter or playing flamingos or training wheels or any other way to develop balance.

As a toy they are fine (I don't mean toy in a bad way... we are talking about toddlers) ... but so are scooters... and training wheels and scooters are not some invention of the devil to prevent kids learning to ride. If they fit your life and kids have fun then great... but they are not needed.

My kids loved their balance bikes and used them until they got their first pedal bikes at 4yrs. Best thing was that the balance bikes massively extended their range when out on family walks. I think my 6yr old daughter would still use hers now from time to time if she could, but she's far to big for it now!


Yes but to point out scooters also extend the range but also are easier to carry ... (round supermarkets, while carrying kid etc.) ... but it's not good/bad...

Up until 5 my kid had no interest in bikes... that was because his friends all had scooters... but when he went to school he suddenly developed an interest... and he asked for a "real bike"...
I don't think it took him more than 2 minutes .. literally I took the stabilisers off gave him a push and that was it..
So lets say he'd had a balance bike .. would it have taken 1 minute? 15 seconds etc.?? (I'm being a bit sarcastic just to make the point that saving 1 min and 59 seconds of learning wouldn't have been significant.)

By far the most significant thing was he had chosen to want to ride without stabilisers... and he didn't have any negative fears from previous attempts etc.

When a kid is ready its a matter of minutes if they have balance and no fear from failed attempts.

We turned up to an local race Saturday... Given this was hosted by a serious cycling club and attended by other serious cycling clubs I'd bet half the kids or more like 80% did the balance bike thing "this is the only way"... but aged 6-7 it has no affect at all on their riding but it didn't help a learned on a balance bike kid to win.

Slowbike
Posts: 8231
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 09:26 am

Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Slowbike » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:58 am

Steve-XcT wrote:As a toy they are fine (I don't mean toy in a bad way... we are talking about toddlers) ... but so are scooters... and training wheels and scooters are not some invention of the devil to prevent kids learning to ride. If they fit your life and kids have fun then great... but they are not needed.
<snip>
When a kid is ready its a matter of minutes if they have balance and no fear from failed attempts.
<snip>
We turned up to an local race Saturday... Given this was hosted by a serious cycling club and attended by other serious cycling clubs I'd bet half the kids or more like 80% did the balance bike thing "this is the only way"... but aged 6-7 it has no affect at all on their riding but it didn't help a learned on a balance bike kid to win.


No - a balance bike isn't NEEDED - but it can help develop balance.

When a kid is ready (to ride without stabalisers) - but this is partly the point - knowing how to balance means the kid just learns to pedal whilst on the bike - rather than having to learn stability too - so the point of being ready comes earlier in their cycling experience. But that's going to vary depending on the child and their attitude to risk.

Of course a balance bike isn't going to make them anymore likely to be the next Pro rider..

FFS - it's not a competition - it's about the kid having fun - some kids won't "get" a balance bike - some kids won't be without it.

My boy - at 2 - is now "riding" his balance bike - and loves riding with us and when he's ready, we'll get him a bike with pedals - no stabalisers.


Return to “Family & Kids cycling forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests