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  1. #1
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    Ditching the training wheels (or skipping them)

    My daughter is rocking the balance bike, and is very very interested in riding the 12" hand-me-down that's waiting for her. We've done some riding around, with an adult holding on to the handlebars, and she's started to get the pedaling down so that she's not constantly hitting the coaster brakes. So all is good. Except my back hurts, and there's no subtle way I can suddenly drop the handlebars. Plus she's not practicing steering.

    So I'm thinking of getting something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Balance-Buddy-...dp/B000MISWIW/
    Has anyone tried it?

  2. #2
    Lula Mae = 15 lbs. bike_boy's Avatar
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    Or, I hear some folks have had sucess with this pedal-less bike:
    (when considering skipping training wheels to help in moving to a pedal bike)

    http://www.mystriderbike.com/
    My SO: Laugh now bike_boy, for tomorrow you will pay !!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
    nobody wins anything thinking they're going to lose! (except the lottery)

  3. #3
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    That's the balance bike she's currently rocking, actually. But she still needs to learn to pedal and to start and stop. My guess is we're looking at just a couple of weeks of transition here, but I'm not sure. She's determined, but also very little.

  4. #4
    Lula Mae = 15 lbs. bike_boy's Avatar
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    oops, I should have read your initial post more clearly per balance bike...sorry !!
    My SO: Laugh now bike_boy, for tomorrow you will pay !!
    Me: Ah, 20 seconds of glory; a lifetime of pain !!


    Quote Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
    nobody wins anything thinking they're going to lose! (except the lottery)

  5. #5
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    We've used the Balance Buddy (I think ours went onder a different name though) for our last two kids and it's worked well for us. For heavier kids it can be a challenge to keep up and keep them balanced, but far better than the handlebar/seat grab technique. I recommend you get one

  6. #6
    Resident smartass. Fargo Wolf's Avatar
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    Take the pedals off the hand-me down bike and let her push herself around on that. In this way, she can learn to balance on the bike w/o assistance, yet, at the same time, still have the ability to put both feet down at the same time if required. it also familiarizes her with said bike's handling. When she is really scooting around with the pedals off and it's more than obvious that she's mastered balancing, put the pedals back on. It shouldn't take too long for her to get the hang of pedaling.

  7. #7
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    Training wheels are the instrument of the devil and should be declared illegal under whatever is your equivalent of the Trades Description Act. They are unfit for purpose and do knack all for "training" them

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike_boy View Post
    Or, I hear some folks have had sucess with this pedal-less bike:
    (when considering skipping training wheels to help in moving to a pedal bike)
    http://www.mystriderbike.com/
    I taught two kids plus an adult relative with a variation of this: I took the pedals off the bike and lowered the seat so they could put their feet flat on the ground, then found a GENTLE hill, just enough to roll, and let them coast down it. When they could go 50 yards or so,we put the pedals on and used them as footrests, then progressed to pedaling. My daughter was riding in 15 minutes at age 4 or 5. My son took a couple of sessions, and a 40-something neighbor who'd never had a bike was riding with her daughter in two or three days.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
    Take the pedals off the hand-me down bike and let her push herself around on that. In this way, she can learn to balance on the bike w/o assistance, yet, at the same time, still have the ability to put both feet down at the same time if required. it also familiarizes her with said bike's handling. When she is really scooting around with the pedals off and it's more than obvious that she's mastered balancing, put the pedals back on. It shouldn't take too long for her to get the hang of pedaling.
    +1 If she can already scoot around (and necessarily steer) on her balance bike, then doing the same on the slightly larger hand-me down bike should be a very quick transition. And it'll get her used to steering on that bike and how it feels without anyone holding onto either the seat or handlebars. At that point I've found it to be an easy step to put the pedals back on (still with a seat that's too low for efficiency) and let the child learn the pedaling motion. Raising the seat to a more reasonable height can then be done gradually as the child gains confidence.

  10. #10
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    Can someone, for goodness sake, get "training wheels/teach your kid to ride" set up as a sticky?

  11. #11
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    And she's off! Training wheels and handles off. She still needs some help getting started, but I think she'll progress very quickly from here, and will be biking to school in no time at all (or in spring, depending on the weather here in the midwest).

    She's 2.5, for what it's worth. Balance bikes are amazing preparation for riding.

  12. #12
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    Congratulations - altho' you may learn you have created a monster. If she continues to have problems setting off, you might want to see if you can fit a rear cog with more teeth. We teach them starting with the usual "pedal up" and "big push commands with the emphasis on "push"

    Altho' we usually find that they get hold of starting pretty quickly. On the other hand, the youngest ones we've taught have been 3 and up.

    Good luck

  13. #13
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    I think it'll be a very short-term problem. My son learned the week he turned three, and there was also a short transition period with starting. Her second outing was already much better than the first. She mastered a balance bike, and then had a handle on the back of a 12" specialized, and then we took the handle off when she could go for awhile with no-one holding on.

  14. #14
    Senior Member conradpdx's Avatar
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    I'm not fan of training wheels (don't do anything) or balance bikes (why bother they're bikes with no pedals). I bought my kids bikes and removed the pedals, and like said above once they got coasting 50' or so on there own found a nice slightly downhill grass hill and made them go down that with pedals. Kids were all riding within an hour of adding the pedals back. And within two weeks of adding pedals to my daughters bike. She and I did a Portland parkways of 8 miles, was a little too much for her, but she loved it.

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