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  1. #1
    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    How old to start kids on bikes

    I've been devouring some good biking info from Sheldon Brown's site, and he's of the opinion that the earlier the better for youngsters to start bike riding--even saying that at 2 1/2 the kid will be ready!

    My son is 4 and my daughter will be 3 in a month, and I thought it would make the perfect Christmas gift to get them both a bicycle. I just don't want to rush them and have them fall and be scared of it. I'm pretty sure my son can handle it, but it will be a travesty to my daughter if I don't get her a bike as well. She wants to do everything he does (and does a great job at it too!)

    Anyone actually do this in practice and have luck with it?
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

  2. #2
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    If she wants to do everything that he wants to do, then a fall won't scare her, she will just look up at him and jump up to show off...... or at least thats the way I was. I was the younger brother and I always "HAD" to do everything that my older brother did, and that their was enough motivation to just get up and go after a fall.

    Also, I started riding about the same time I started swimming, which was around 2.
    infinitesimal - The amount of actual performance improvement gained from most cycling expenditures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    AMish hardtail = An all-black bike with no rear-suspension that is intended to be ridden on farms. It also has the ability to bunnyhop over piles of horse poop. Most also have bashguards because showing up to church with a pant leg that got ripped up by your chain is frowned upon.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
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    I personally believe the earlier the better. Fond memories of cycling as a youth will keep her doing it as an adult!



    These pedalless bikes are simply wonderful! You can watch You tube also to see kids riding with pure safety having their legs on the ground most of the time for security at the start, gliding with proficiency within a matter of a week!!!
    Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

  4. #4
    Senior Member robberry's Avatar
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    Do they ride tricycles/big wheels now?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    Once they can pedal a tricycle and balance a kick-scooter, I'd say it's time for a first bike.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  6. #6
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    One of my earliest memories was on a tricycle. I must have been somewhere around two years of age. Rode my first bicycle at the age of five.

    - Slim

  7. #7
    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robberry View Post
    Do they ride tricycles/big wheels now?
    My son does like a champ, my daughter's doing ok on it but still seems unsure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
    Once they can pedal a tricycle and balance a kick-scooter, I'd say it's time for a first bike.
    So do you think a kick scooter is a better gift for now? I haven't tried them on that.
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
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    Once again, these are great starter bikes!
    Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

  9. #9
    Bill
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    My now 5 1/2 year old grandson began riding at around 3 1/2. (At 3 on his BD couldn't figure how to pedal yet). His folks had gotten him a scooter bike but he didnt take to it. They are both bikers and very encouraging to him. We bought him a conventional $10 garage sale kids bike with training wheels and the time must have been right for him - he took off! At 4 he was racing at the BMX track and has actually won some. At 5 1/5 (this past summer) he began riding the downhill tracks at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park including some of the black runs. Now he holds his own at Valmont Bike Park on the Pump Track, Dual Slalom run, Slopestyle and the Dirt Jumps.

    I'm not sayin it's typical cuz I think it depends on a lot of factors - but it is possible with the right conditions etc.

    Not a proud grandpa or the like but here he is. http://mikeandtalisha.blogspot.com/
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  10. #10
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    I'm fifteen now and I learnt how to ride 2 wheels (not 4 =D) when I was 3 so good age =]. I was also encouraged to take the trainers off because I always wanted to ride on the grass lol... good memories...

  11. #11
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    My daughter first started trying a bit before she was 2. She wasn't real good but she was enthusiastic in small doses. She is now 2 and a half and she can tear it up. She has training wheels, but they are set an inch or so off the ground. We are working on braking with some success, and she has a hard time realizing that she needs to cross bumps at a right angle with some momentum, but we are working on that too. I kinda figure if she rides for a half an hour we maybe spend 5 minutes working on stuff and the rest of the time she is just tearing it up without any interference from me. That way she is mostly just playing, but she makes a little bit of progress on the things she needs to be competent at to ride safely.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    My two grown sons and two grandsons both started at the earliest possible age on a "strider bike". As a result they never needed training wheels (which should be properly called un-training wheels).
    Rick T
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  13. #13
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    Balance bikes are the way to go. I belong to the Church of Training Wheels are Evil and am a registered Minister of same.

    We have 3 of our own and they're in regular use when parents turn up with would-be byke tykes. As soon as they get the hang of keeping their feet off the ground for any distance and steering whilst doing so, they're ready for the real thing. I think we've taught about 35/40 kids so far this year and most have been in the 3 to 6 age bracket.

    Go for it. Of course, you, or your plastic, will regret it for, one hopes, many delightful cycling years to come. Good luck

  14. #14
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    I've heard that if you start your kids too young, they will get "burned out", and lose interest in bicycling, later.

    Myself, I didn't get a bicycle till I was seven.

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I wanted a bike as soon as my older brother got one. By age 5 1/2 I could no longer contain myself and borrowed a friends bicycle and taught myself to ride it in an afternoon.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
    Blissketeer HokuLoa's Avatar
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    Hey, don't sweat the falling/scared stuff. Kids are generally really resilient and the falling/try again builds character and problem solving skills. If you're really worried start them on grass with a gradual, short hill for some momentum. As early as possible is my vote....

  17. #17
    Bill
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    This 5 year old started on those 'evil' training wheels cuz when he started riding he couldn' master the so called balance bikes. Must be a ******.
    http://mikeandtalisha.blogspot.com/2...mmer-2011.html
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    there are also training bikes with a handle for the parent to steady the bike, too.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-17-11 at 09:23 AM.

  19. #19
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    i made the transition from my big wheel to a two-wheeler when i was 5.

    and yes, training wheels are a bad idea. all i needed was a few good falls and i learned how to balance myself really damn fast. if there's no fear of falling, there's no impetus forcing you to learn how to balance for yourself.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 10-17-11 at 01:24 PM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  20. #20
    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    I think we're going with the Strider bikes--even if Sheldon Brown hates them . I would just go for broke with the full on bike, but I don't want to discourage my daughter if she has issues--there's a fine line between life lessons and pushing too hard. I can always put the bikes up on Craig's list when they graduate from them.

    Thanks all, helpful as usual!
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

  21. #21
    Blissketeer HokuLoa's Avatar
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    Good luck and let us know how your future cycling champs are rolling!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
    So do you think a kick scooter is a better gift for now? I haven't tried them on that.
    I don't have kids of my own yet, but I'd say a kick scooter is a good start. It will teach the basics of balancing naturally- as they get better at balancing they'll spend less time with a foot down. Once that stage has been reached, they effectively know how to balance a bicycle- it's then a matter of combining balancing and pedalling.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  23. #23
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    Get a regular bike and remove the cranks and pedals. I did that for my kids and they were riding by the end of the day. They scooted around for the better part of the day and learned to balance quickly. The next day, I put back the crank and pedals back and they were riding on their own.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    That's another viable option. Simply lowering the saddle and removing the pedals (the cranks can probably stay put) turns a regular bicycle into a pedalless one.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  25. #25
    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    Well duh, that's an awesome idea! Not to mention the fact that the bikes are actually cheaper than the Striders!
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

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