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Help! In Limbo... Stabilisers again or balance bike?

Dom McCormackDom McCormack Posts: 22
My 4 year old has grown too big for her first bike, a Trax we bought her from Halfords, so I'm thinking Christmas is a good time to get another. I think I'm coming round to the idea that, in hindsight, her first bike should've been a balance bike so the dilemma I'm facing is do I go back a step and get her a balance bike or persist with a larger bike with stabilisers?

Thanks for any advice

Dom

Posts

  • The prevailing wisdom is balance bike from the start, but she's almost certainly too big for that now.

    But personally I wouldn't worry if you missed the balance bike thing. Nothing bad will happen in reality.

    My 14 yo started on stabilisers, used them to lean outwards on corners at crazy speeds going round the park, took a while to get used to riding without.

    The 12 yo never used a balance bike or stabilisers and was off on his own almost first time.

    Both now ride regularly with good bike control.

    I would just see what she prefers and go with it. As long as she's riding it's good.
  • I would probably get a larger bike but take the pedals off. That way she has a balance bike until the time (which might be quite soon) where she wants the pedals too...

    _
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Stabilisers are the instruments of the devil and should be made illegal without a doctor's note.

    You don't say if she can already ride or if her Trax is equipped with the "IotD". I assume the latter.

    In that case, either a suitably sized bike (resist temptation to suggest I......ke), with the pedals removed and use it as a balance bike, or something like an I.....k Rothan proper balance bike.

    Over the 16+ years we've been running the Kids Saturday Bike Club we started off with the "pedals off" system until we bought some BBs. When the learners are too big for our BBs, we simply go down the pedals off balance bike route. If you do the latter, one word of advice, don't get a bike with bmx-type one piece cranks. They tend to stick out too far and can catch little legs. With a neighbour's daughter, I took the whole crank out because she was very slim with narrow hips and caught her ankles.

    Since it doesn't affect my bank balance, I'd go down the BB path, but it's not absolutely necessary.

    If you think she's reasonably well co-ordinated for her age and want to go straight on to pedalling, just one tip: never push the bike. It then goes where you're pushing it which may not be quite where she's going. A hand between the shoulder blades is fine.

    Good luck
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • Stabilisers are the instruments of the devil and should be made illegal without a doctor's note.

    Hopefully, at least mostly tongue in cheek.

    I'd tend to agree that balance bikes give probably the best start, but some carried away with this being the only true way to get kids cycling and lots of bad things will happen if they skip this stage.

    Those who instruct do a great, great job, but sometimes need to be careful not be too dogmatic.

    If it gets kids riding then in my books it's good.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Underscore wrote:
    I would probably get a larger bike but take the pedals off. That way she has a balance bike until the time (which might be quite soon) where she wants the pedals too...

    _

    This.

    It's also how I teach adults (and/or on a folding bike and flip the pedals). It may take minutes, a few hours, or a few afternoons. But if you pick your venue right, it can be quite a quick transition. Same as per balance bike... start with saddle low enough so she can be flat footed. Also, you may not be the most successful teacher. Perhaps valued friend/uncle/aunt/etc.?
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • My two started on stabilisers but were quickly encouraged / bribed to try riding without because it made them Really Big And Cool. Got them to sit stationary on the bike and lean from side to side so they were confident that they could support themselves with their feet when coming to a stop.The local park has grassy slopes of varying length and gradient and after having the pedals taken off their bikes they got into the habit of scooting & free-wheeling down the slopes to practise keeping their balance. Once they were happy with this the pedals went back on and off they went...

    One other thing, don't be surprised if she just suddenly 'gets it': my daughter showed little interest in riding her bike then one day just announced that she wanted to learn to ride without stabilisers. After a couple of short visits to the park she was off and one evening last summer she did three laps of Donington Park: watching your six year old going down the Craner Curves at 22mph is quite something :shock: :D:lol:

    Anyway - hope you sorted your dilemma.
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