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Old 05-24-11, 08:16 AM   #1
Rafy
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Training wheels ?

Hi, sorry if this has been asked before, but I searched and did not find the answers to my questions.

Ok, I have 5 year old twins that ride their bike still with training wheels. Our neighbors kids around the same age also ride their bike with training wheels except one who is 4 1/2 and he's starting to learn without TW.

One of my twins told me the other day to take out his training wheels. I still feel they need more time with them before I take them out.

So my questions are:

What is the average age that kids start to learn how to ride without training wheels?

How should this process be? suddenly one day take them out? or wait for them to ask? I will know when the time is correct?

I will apreciate any information

Excuse my bad english writing

Thank you
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Old 05-24-11, 09:20 AM   #2
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Here's what I would do...

Take off the the training wheels, pedals and cranks off the bike. Lower the seat until they can push the bike along with their feet. As they get better at scooting along with their feet, slowly raise the seat. Let them practise a bit at the new height for a bit. Then raise again. Repeat this until they are just on their tip - toes as they scoot along. Once they get to this point, put the pedals and cranks back on the bike & watch them go!

This is the fastest and safest way to teach anyone how to balance a bike. (In my humble opinion).
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Old 05-24-11, 10:28 AM   #3
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I don't know if there is an average age. I have had my kids learn between 3.5 and 8.5. I guess you could average that to 6. I think when they learn is based on their personality and capabilities. Some are more cautious than others, some have better balance than others. They seem to get there when they are ready.

My favorite way to help them is with the method bendemroski wrote of above. If you search on run bike, walk bike or push bike, you will find some results that talk about this technique. The kids have alot more independence and control over their rate of learning. It separates having to learn to pedal, steer and balance at the same time into steering and balance. If they want they can do only the steering and use their feet. Eventually they get to playing games of seeing how far they can go without touching their feet which teaches the balance. When balance is no longer being thought about, they are pretty much ready for pedals.
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Old 05-24-11, 11:14 AM   #4
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Anyone who's interested can learn - my daughter took it on at 3 - so I'd say if he's asking, it's time. The technique I used: find a gentle downhill in a grassy park (so the kid doesn't have to think much about pedaling), and send them down - with the parent running along, touching the bike only if necessary to keep it upright as the kid tries to steer. The need for parental intervention fades over a few runs, and pretty soon you get to tell the kid they made the whole run on their own.
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Old 05-29-11, 08:12 AM   #5
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An alternate to taking pedals off a bike is to try them out on a little scooter. My three year old daughter had training wheels on her little bike, with no indication that they weren't needed. She wanted to try the "big kids' scooter," so I decided to let her try and wipe out and come to her own conclusion that it wasn't a great idea. Don't you suppose the little bugger coasted down the driveway twice with perfect balance? I took the training wheels off her bike and she got on and took off right away. Her five year old brother had learned to ride on his own just a week earlier.
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Old 05-29-11, 08:56 AM   #6
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Other posters +1. We teach between 40 and 50 kids a year (2 last Saturday) to ride and we use the same method.

By the way, how does anyone contact the adminstrators? I've looked in the FAQs and can't find how. I ask, because isn't it about time this subject became a sticky?
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Old 05-29-11, 09:48 AM   #7
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If he asked I'd take them off. My second son asked to have them removed at 6, he was riding very well without the TW by afternoon. And this isn't the son I'd peg for sticking to something and learning so fast, so don't predict the results! My eldest son also learned around 6, but it took him a LOOONG time - mainly due to confidence issues. I did try the no-pedals with him, and it helped. Anyway, after whining most of the summer he one day hopped on his bike and rode flawlessly to the neighbor's house. (Basically I would have predicted my eldest to learn fast and my middle to whine, when the reverse was true.) My youngest son just turned 5, and wants to learn this summer. We'll give it a try as soon as the rain lets up, starting with removing the pedals and making a run bike.
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Old 05-29-11, 09:56 AM   #8
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My oldest still has them on his bike, but we made the mistake of his first bike when he was younger not having bakes, if peddled backwards, he went backwards. He is still unlearning that. The younger boy though, he knows the bike goes forward, and not even at three he is better on the $20 walmart special than his brother ever was. After 10 weeks of rain, I'll be glad to see what the older one can do, I don't expect him to be using the TW for very long.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:15 PM   #9
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Forgot to mention, we have some wooden strider bikes and a couple of mini bikes with pedals permanently off for them to practice on. Many learn on their own bikes, however, using the pedals off technique.

A couple more tips:
1. Never push the bike - you may not be pushing it quite where they're steering it. Put hand on back to help them get going if necessary.
2. Get them into the habit of the "pedal up" start position with the pedal level with the downtube so that they can learn to push off strongly

Oh, all right, three tips

3. Get them into the habit of looking well ahead from the beginning. This helps them to steer straight (ish)

4. (Yes, I know - stop being picky ) Many kids bikes, as we all know, are ridiculously heavy, which is why, in the early days, they may need a push to get started. If the difficulty continues, get your local bike shop to put a larger rear sprocket on until their strength/co-ordination improves to the point where they are spinning their little legs off and you can then reinstall the original.

Once they've really got hold of the cycling bug (or vice versa), don't blame any of us when what you've done really sinks in. Keeping their growing bodies in new bikes will be entirely due to your foolish desire to see them riding a bike.

Good luck
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Old 05-29-11, 04:11 PM   #10
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Run bikes FTW! My son is 3 years old and rides his KaZAM run bike like a champ:



Check out the video on the KaZAM website of some kids riding their bikes. Other run bikes are available from Strider, Adams, Norco, Opus, Giant, and others. Department stores have started catching on and are now offering their own versions as well. The two kids trailing my son in the above pic are riding these bikes that were purchased at a sporting goods store. Either that or you could follow the excellent suggestion posted above by bendembroski.
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Old 05-31-11, 12:52 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your replies !!

I took off the training wheels and pedals. They both are learning to balance and I think this is a good step. They enjoy very much the no wheels trip.

Once they have mastered this step I'll upload some pics.

Keep you all updated

Thank you !!
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