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Home > Learn > Why Training Wheels Don't Work

Learn to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels

Most of us reading this article had training wheels on our bikes when we were kids. Some may remember those training wheels being put on a bike that was much too big for us which in effect made us have to climb onto the bike like it was a horse. Once on this bike, we could barely reach the pedals and then had the uneasy feeling of rocking back and forth as the bike teetered between the trainings on each side of the bike. They didn’t help in learning to ride a bike, it helped get us perched on top of bike and then focused on pedaling.

Learning how to ride a bike is something that most kids go through at one point in their lives. The old time tested way of learning to ride a bike using training wheels is actually the hardest. Even though many of us reading this article were taught using this method, there is an easier way.

Let's look and see what the easier way is for learning to ride the bike without training wheels.

  • Balance Bikes. Balance Bikes that have two wheels but no pedals or training wheels are a great starting tool for teaching kids to ride bikes without training wheels. These allow the child to learn turning and balancing skills needed for riding a bike. Balance bikes such as these look like regular bikes, but with improved frame geometry and low seat heights. The child can walk the bikes while standing over them. This allows them to get the feel of balancing the bike before having to pedal one. Then they can learn to glide on the bikes with lifting their feet off the ground and sitting on the seat of the scooter.
  • What Age is a Child Old enough to Learn to Ride a Bike? The age at which a child is ready to learn how to ride a bike varies, but you will know he or she is ready when he or she can glide on a scooter for a distance, without using his or her feet without falling. The age can range from 3 to 6 years old, so don't be dismayed, if your child takes a bit more time than the kid next door did.
  • Transition to a Regular Bike. Transition your child to a regular bike, once he or she has mastered gliding on the balance bike, as explained earlier. A small bike with wheels of 12 inches is typically the ideal starter bike. The child's feet should comfortably reach the pedals, when he or she is seating on the seat. However, at first, leave the pedals off the bike and let her or him get the feeling for the bike, as its weight could be a bit different from the balance bike. Let the child play with it as a balance bike for a few days on a flat area with no hills or obstacles. This will let him or her learn to steer it. Then when he or she feels comfortable, put the pedals onto the bike. Your child should ride the bike on the same flat, unobstructed area. It may take the child several tries to get the hang of pedaling and balancing the bike. You may want to stay close by to catch your child, if he or she falls. However, all of a sudden your child will go off away from you balancing the bike perfectly.