Teaching them to ride

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
User avatar
SecretSam
Posts: 4537
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:48 pm

Teaching them to ride

Postby SecretSam » Wed Apr 14, 2010 08:11 am

So - any tips? our two (twins) are 4 and a half, and have bikes (12" wheels, need something bigger really) and we're trying to teach them to ride without stabilisers. We have 'handles' for the bikes that enable us to hold them upright while they practice, but wanted to know if anyone has some top tips on how to get them up and running.

Thanks in advance.
--------------------
It's just a hill. Get over it.

fnegroni
Posts: 782
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 03:03 am
Contact:

Postby fnegroni » Wed Apr 14, 2010 08:16 am

Keep the 12 inch bikes.
Take stabilisers off, take that bar you mention off, take pedals off, *if you can* take cranks off too.
Lower the saddle to the lowest comfortable position, so their feet are flat to the floor or just slightly higher.
Then tell them to *scoot*: use their legs to propel forward.
Do not at any time *help* them balance: the sweet spot when balancing is a matter of micro adjustments that they must learn instinctively: your interference will only compromise their progress.
If they fall, it's no big deal: make sure there is plenty of room. Maybe a soft ground would be better.
In a couple of hours they'll most likely get the hang of it and will learn to balance themselves.
Practice makes perfect but, if they have already learnt to pedal, they'll be very keen so don't keep them at that stage for ever. As soon as they can balance lifting their legs while coasting down a gentle slope for a long stretch, put pedals back on and be prepared to be amazed. :-)

These are a couple of videos I took last week:
The first one was during the first scooting session after taking pedals off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB4tWn3RRZg

The second one is after three hours scooting, riding solo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dju3tFyQZKM

Mike Healey
Posts: 1004
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 21:28 pm
Contact:

Postby Mike Healey » Wed Apr 14, 2010 23:48 pm

fnegroni wrote:Keep the 12 inch bikes.
Take stabilisers off, take that bar you mention off, take pedals off, *if you can* take cranks off too.
Lower the saddle to the lowest comfortable position, so their feet are flat to the floor or just slightly higher.
Then tell them to *scoot*: use their legs to propel forward.
Do not at any time *help* them balance: the sweet spot when balancing is a matter of micro adjustments that they must learn instinctively: your interference will only compromise their progress.
If they fall, it's no big deal: make sure there is plenty of room. Maybe a soft ground would be better.
In a couple of hours they'll most likely get the hang of it and will learn to balance themselves.
Practice makes perfect but, if they have already learnt to pedal, they'll be very keen so don't keep them at that stage for ever. As soon as they can balance lifting their legs while coasting down a gentle slope for a long stretch, put pedals back on and be prepared to be amazed. :-)


+1 We teach about 50 kids a year using this method including (in last year, some with problems like autism, spergers and dyspraxia. Never failed yet.
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/

User avatar
baudman
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 09:14 am
Contact:

Postby baudman » Thu Apr 15, 2010 00:51 am

Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

User avatar
SecretSam
Posts: 4537
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:48 pm

Postby SecretSam » Thu Apr 15, 2010 08:02 am

Wow! x2:
1. pedals off is the solution - which we'd wondered about (our little boy zooms around on his scooter with one leg on it and the other in the air!)

2. My first sticky!!!!
--------------------
It's just a hill. Get over it.

User avatar
baudman
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 09:14 am
Contact:

Postby baudman » Sat Apr 17, 2010 23:36 pm

About a month ago we had the kinder semester breakup. It was bike themed. There were LOTS of scooters and runbikes, but sadly, kid's bikes with training wheels outnumbered them all.

There were also quite a few parents there, remarking on the balance of the kids with the runbikes. (Thing1 was on her runbike, but I also brought her new, stabiliser-free, pedal bike which she rode laps around the park on, once given a hand to get started. That was the only pedal bike there without stabilisers).

Anyway, I suggested the drop the saddle, remove the pedals mod to many. This is one that I spied yesterday. (I believe they are replacing it with a larger bike soon - but it's more the point of the lack of pedals than the quality of the saddle) ;)

Image

And yeah, I reckon I've seen about 4 or 5 around the kindergarten, or the surrounding park, since. And all the kids are balancing quite well now.

I'd still advocate getting a runbike however - just because they are so much lighter, and so make the riding more accessible more often.
Last edited by baudman on Fri Apr 30, 2010 02:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

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

Postby guitarpete247 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 20:19 pm

I bought one of these http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Childrens-Wooden- ... dZViewItem off ebay for grandaughter who is 2 in a month.
From what I have read the balance bikes are better than taking pedals off normal bikes as they have less steering range.
I assume you understand that we have options on your time,
And will ditch you in the harbour if we must.

User avatar
baudman
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 09:14 am
Contact:

Postby baudman » Fri Apr 30, 2010 01:19 am

guitarpete247 wrote:From what I have read the balance bikes are better than taking pedals off normal bikes as they have less steering range.


They're also a hullava lot lighter!
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

CarleyB
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 07:41 am

Postby CarleyB » Mon May 31, 2010 08:46 am

Do you think it makes a difference it being lighter? Going from a light bike to pushing pedals round on a heavier bike?

johnboy183
Posts: 750
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 07:05 am

Postby johnboy183 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 20:58 pm

CarleyB - no I don't think it makes any difference if my 3 yr olds experience is anything to go by. Without wishing to hijack this thread, we've been discussing this in the "how proud am I" thread. Balance bikes are the way to go. Perhaps we should all return to hobby horse (I think that's right) bikes.

User avatar
baudman
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 09:14 am
Contact:

Postby baudman » Wed Jun 23, 2010 03:05 am

The weight of the bike is a factor in the "Daddy... can you lift my bike up this [obstacle] for me" stakes.

Thing1 still uses her Runbike as a 'commuter' (ie: when we're walking) for exactly that reason. She can pretty much ride/carry it anywhere we can walk.
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

johnboy183
Posts: 750
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 07:05 am

Postby johnboy183 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 18:39 pm

Hey baudman you make a good point which I hadn't thought of. At least in my boys case he has had no problems adapting to a pedal bike, in fact his only drawback is starting by himself. Luckily he still needs his "dear old dad" for somethings!!

KiwiMike
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:34 am

Postby KiwiMike » Mon Jun 28, 2010 16:47 pm

Download this PDF: http://bit.ly/dAzIJC

This is a brilliant method, works really well. Used it on 2 of our kids and various others.

Cheers

Mike

selena
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 20:40 pm

Postby selena » Fri Jul 09, 2010 22:07 pm

when i was i kid my brother used to teach me how to ride a bike, we always told me that when ever i bike i should always have balance and always look ahead.

User avatar
Bartimaeus
Posts: 1826
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 16:29 pm

Postby Bartimaeus » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:54 pm

My 10 year old was unable to ride until a few weeks ago - and whenever he'd tried using stabilsers it was obvious that not only did he have no concept of balance, but that the stabilisers were a hindrance in developing balance skills.

I tried taking the pedals off, lowering the seat so he could get his feet flat on the ground, and then letting him loose on a gentle downhill slope... so 'scooting' only to get moving, but with focus on steering and balance. Success :D He also had a couple of lessons with a cycle tutor to help progress to proper riding - sometimes it helps to learn lessons from a stranger.

User avatar
mykidsbike
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 14:46 pm
Contact:

No Need for stabilizers!

Postby mykidsbike » Mon Jul 26, 2010 15:05 pm

My little girsl is two and has been using her big brother's old Likeabike for many months.
I took her to the park yesterday and put her on a Likeabike CROC 14 gave her a little push and of she went - pretty much the same way as her brother had two years before.

She could steer and balance cos of the LAB and she could pedal cos she's been pedalling a tricycle round the house for ages.

This is such a simple and fun way to learn that it upsets me to see omuch older kids plodding along on stabilizers (as my kids zoom past them on their balance bikes). When will the message get out there - BALANCE FIRST! Anyway - wrote a quite blog entry about it at http://bit.ly/aNg81E

User avatar
PeteMadoc
Posts: 2498
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 23:17 pm
Contact:

Postby PeteMadoc » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:04 am

My wife and I run a kids online store and both our kids had early rider balance bikes which we sell and our eldest has an Isla bike (which you can only buy dreict from Isla)

We posted a 2 year review on our blog which you can read here

http://www.ethicalshoppingforbabies.co. ... xperience/

Our eldest Harriet took to her Isla bike no problem. It came with advice on teaching your child to ride which basically said either get them a balance bike first or take the pedals off while they learn to balance.

A balance bike is great for your children and there is no pressure on them, they just have fun. There's a few good aluminium ones on the market but I think Early Rider and Like a bike are the best, I wouldn't but the cheapy ones, I've seen them and they're cr*p.

BiggBadBri
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 23:05 pm

Postby BiggBadBri » Tue Aug 17, 2010 23:18 pm

My daughter (3) is struggling to pedal. He pushes the pedals backwards & tells me she is exercising but can't/woon't push them forwards. Any tips on how to teach to pedal?

User avatar
baudman
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 09:14 am
Contact:

Postby baudman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 02:57 am

BBB - try (borrow) a trike. And make sure what she's rolling on has low resistance. She'll get it pretty quickly.

Then - same with the bike - low rolling resistance surface... or even slightly downhill. (assuming her balance is OK, and she can actually ride... or do you have those horrid items from Beelzebub attached to the rear dropouts) ;)
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

User avatar
mykidsbike
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 14:46 pm
Contact:

Learning to pedal

Postby mykidsbike » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:37 pm

BiggBadBri
Sounds to me also that the dreaded stabilizers are involved here - otherwise I can't see how pedalling backwards could be possible. If they are, please please take them off and follow the advice on this forum. She should be able to balance by this stage, and she could gain pedalling practice from a trike

If you sit her on a bike and push her forwards, and she continues to pedal backwards, she will keep coming to a standstill. Do this a few times and I'm sure she'll cotton on. She'll suddenly be having less fun than she was having on the balance bike AND she won't be 'doing what the other kids are doing'.
For more reading on this exact subject I've just wriiten a blog article at http://bit.ly/dyq83V


Return to “Family & Kids cycling forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests