Recreational & Family - When did you take the training wheels off?
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04-30-04, 07:09 AM
I'm about to take my 6-yr old daughter's off as she is going pretty good, and in the process raised my just 4-yr old's training wheels quite a bit and am encouraging him to learn. I just raised them after only one summer with them down all the way - I just don't want to waist his (or my) time if 4 is typically too young for that kind of balance.
Yes, I KNOW it depends on the kid, but I'm just curious to when most kids have the physical ability to ride without training wheels :)
He's got a good sense of balance, so I think I'm going to keep him practicing.
You mean after 46 years I'm just now finding out that I was supposed to take my training wheels off? :-)
Seriously though, I didn't keep my son's on very long. Once he had the concept of riding, off they came. I think he was 5 when I took them off. But you are right in understanding that it all depends on the child and their comfort in changes like that.
Our youngest was 7 when he actually started trying to ride a bike. He suffered from gross motor delay. We took the training wheels off after the first week when he fell and bent the dickens out of them. 2 days later and a hundred falls he was riding without them fairly well. Now he is almost 11 and is a pretty good MTB'r and a great stoker on our tandem. :)
Overall, I think each child is different. You'll have to use your judgement to evaluate when the time is right.
04-30-04, 08:52 PM
I bought my son a bike for Christmas this past year (5 mos. ago) and by New Year's Day I took the training wheels off! He turned 4 mid-April, so I don't think 4 is too young. Heck, I was at our local BMX track and there was a 3 year old racing AND jumping!
Here's what I did. I went and bought him some rollerbladding knee pads and elbow pads. The real ones, not the kiddie ones. The ones with the hard plastic caps that skaters use. They came in a Youth size! Wal-mart @ $12.00.
I also went and bought him some gloves to protect his hands when he fell.
We had a helmet for him already for when he would ride in the baby seat on the back of my bike.
I suited him up and told him we were taking the training wheels off. He was reluctant, so I did what I felt I needed to do. I pushed him down! I then picked him up and asked him, "Did that hurt?", he of course said, "NO!" I told him that would be worse than falling off his bike.
I then took him to a grassy field that had a slight downward slope. I proceeded to push/chase him all afternoon (like 2 hrs). By the end of the day he was pedaling and riding about 200 to 300 yards by himself.
The next day, he was riding around the parking lot!
Granted, I was on vacation and we went bike riding EVERY day from Christmas till I had to go back to work on the 2nd (or was it the 3rd?).
It was tough to push him down, but I just gave him a little push and I knew he was tough enough to take it, just a bit of trepidation of taking the training wheels off!
I'll find a picture and post it!
04-30-04, 10:52 PM
i'd say that early 5 is par for northern climates where we don't ride year 'round. even earlier in the southern parts. but it really depends. my oldest was almost 8, my middle at early 5 and my 1 year old still likes the burley.
05-01-04, 01:16 AM
My kids were about 4 when they started cycling without training wheels. I rollerblade (I know that is a sin.) and so I would skate behind/beside and let go, and grab back on, etc. The riding was easy, it was the stopping that was a problem.
05-03-04, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the replies guys and gals. I took my 6 (actually 5-1/2 yrs old) daughter's training wheels off this weekend and she's doing great. Didn't fall at all the first day(1/2 hr) without them beleive it or not, and fell a couple of times the second day right after take off, but I also have her all geared up with the good knee, elbow pads, helmet and gloves too and I instruct her to stay moving slow for now.
I'm going to keep my son's raised quite a bit, as I can see he'll get the hang of it I think. The problem with my 4 yr old little fella: He also figured out it doesn't hurt to fall with the gear on, so even with his training wheels on evertime he turns the bike he likes to wipe out on purpose :)
I told him, "Big Man, you can fall on purpose, and on the pads when wiping out on purpose, but DON'T YOU DARE smack that new $40 Trek helmet!!!!" :eek:
I tried taking off my 6 year-old daughter's training wheels a couple of weeks ago. Although she loves riding her bike, she was reluctant to go with two wheels. I forced her to give it a try. After about 30 seconds of me holding on to her while she pedaled, she cried and refused to continue. Now, she doesn't want to get back on her bike even with the training wheels. I think I pushed her too soon. I saw others on this thread getting knee and elbow pads which is a great idea. Any other suggestions on how I can get her back on?
05-03-04, 09:54 AM
My kids never learned to ride with training wheels on, they became too dependent on them for balance and they were constantly bending them. Took the training wheels off and once they relalized if they leaned they would fall over they both learned in one days time.
I read somewhere a suggestion that training wheels created a dependence and that the better way to teach a child to learn to ride a bike was to take the pedals off and lower the seat so they could push themselves along while learning to balance the bike. Seems much more logical than training wheels, and although I didn't take the pedals off, that is how they learned, by pushing along and balancing.
Can confirm that taking the pedals off works. it enables them to concentrate on blancing and steering and not co-ordinating pedalling as well. They need to be able to reach the ground comfortably, by the way.
At our Kids Club, we take the pedals off and set them rolling down a shallow grass slope onto a rolled grit soccer pitch. As they become more confident, we move them further along the slope where it increases in gradient so that they can go faster/further. We then get them to try and steer round a bottle/cone.
Once they can do that: pedals back on and away they go. Quickest to learn was a 3-year old - in 5 minutes. An 11-year old with dyspraxia took 2 sessions but still learned.
We've never used pads, by the way.
05-03-04, 03:59 PM
I took the trainer wheels off my son's bike before he rode it for the first time. I figure kids should be on a trike until they are big enough for 2 wheels. For the first ride I took the pedals off and had the saddle low enough for him to reach the ground with both feet. It took about 10 mins going down a slight incline, to give him enough confidence for me to put the pedals back on. That bike was for his 4th birthday. My daughter was slightly younger when she learnt to ride, and did a 20 mile bikeathon when she was 4 1/2.
The steering on a 2 wheeler is different from a 3 wheeler. countersteering has to be learned by wobbling the handlebars while pushing with feet on the ground.
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