Author Topic: Bicycle training  (Read 824 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Bicycle training
« on: March 27, 2018, 10:58:35 AM »
My son has decided he wants to learn how to ride his bike. He's 8 years old and has a bike that I think is his size.  The problem I'm having is the training wheels.  They're basically metal stems with wheels at the end that have some give to them when he puts weight in that direction.  The problem I'm running into is when he turns or goes on/off the sidewalk.  The training wheel on that side prevents him from leaning into a turn or an incline and causes him to fall over when he makes the attempt.  The training wheels are adjustable so I could elevate them slightly, but then he struggles with staying upright.  Any thoughts?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 11:06:29 AM »
I think he needs to learn now to stay upright in a straight line without relying on the training wheels before he can attempt making turns. Once he can keep his balance at the current wheel height, you can elevate them so he can practice the harder stuff. Sometimes just taking the wheels off is the best way to learn though. Lower the seat so he can touch the ground, practice coasting, and make sure he's wearing protective gear. He will fall at first but then it will click. He just needs to get the hang of it.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 11:13:47 AM »
I agree with PoutineLover.

Take the pedals and training wheels off the bike.  Let your son get used to balancing on the bike by pushing with his feet on the ground.  Once he can do that, give him some pushes so that he gets used to balancing at slightly faster speeds.

Then re-attach the pedals and get him used to pedaling while balancing.


  • Stubble
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 11:39:48 AM »
I watched the pedal head bike course in our neighbourhood, and they found a gentle grassy incline, kids would coast down it not pedalling and using their feet to break until they could keep their feet off the ground the whole way. At that point, they'd add the pedals in and they'd pedal downhill and onto the flat grass as far as they could (still with their seat low enough to use their feet to stop a fall).

I thought the grassy hill was a cool idea, it slows their descent, gives them some uneven surfaces to balance over and is a softer landing if they fall.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 12:27:33 PM »
My youngest was very adamant that the training wheels were staying on for a very long time or he would not get on the bike.  My husband decided to test this and threw the training wheels away.  We promised to hold onto the bike and help him balance, and the kid refused to even try.  After 8 months of him not touching his bike, I bought another set of training wheels.  I think we made the wrong decision - he had LOVED riding his bike before, and now, even though it's been a few years and he finally asked to take off the training wheels, he doesn't ride nearly as much as he used to.

With the training wheels, he had to learn to be careful not to steer into the grass, and to make wide turns.  That meant that quite often he had to get off the bike and push it back on the sidewalk.  That was a disruption he was prepared to tolerate.

Eventually, he figured it out and requested the training wheels come off. I think this was the result of excessive teasing by his teenage stepbrothers.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 01:09:35 PM »
Take him to a play where he has a wider, smooth surface to ride on. Kids just swerve a lot, ergo they need a lot of room.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 07:07:45 AM »
I have had great luck with my kids doing the “balance bike” method of taking the pedals and the training wheels off and getting them used to balancing. A gentle slope is a great place to practice once they’re okay on flat ground. I use the driveway apron of our alley.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Bicycle training
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2018, 08:58:42 AM »
Agree -- start with balancing and coasting.  Then add in the pedaling.  No need for training wheels.

This may sound odd but it worked for us -- Once our kids were able to coast and were starting to pedal, we put a lifejacket on them.  (We canoe quite a bit, and kids' life jackets have a nice handle right in the middle of the upper back.)  Then for the first couple times they pedaled by themselves on cement, we jogged along side them with our hands lightly touching the handle, and were able to give them a gentle correction if needed to avoid an ugly crash.  We only jogged with them a few times, and then they had it down.

The first time they fly truly solo on cement you can have them wear jeans instead of shorts (saves on skin loss) and kneepads too if you are worried.