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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Fun day riding w kids

    My 4 1/2 year old just graduated from a balance bike to a 16in bike w pedals. We busted out the tandem and passed the balance bike on to the 3 1/2 yr old. Now the 3 1/2 yr old wants a bike w pedals. How young is too young for a bike w/o training wheels?
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    Last edited by angewrite; 07-02-14 at 08:01 PM.

  2. #2
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    OK That's really cute.
    --Don't Panic.

  3. #3
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Take the pedals off of a bike and give it to a 3 1/2 year old. As soon as can balance with it, throw the pedals on. Would not be the only 3 1/2 year old riding a 2 wheeled pedal bike.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    We know a little guy who just learned to pedal at 3 years 2 months (following the example of his big brother) on a 12" bike.

    After riding on his balance bike since age 2, my son had the balancing skills to ride a bike at 3, so Santa got him a 12" Hot Rock for Christmas last year. We would have him try it out every month or so and he would go about 20 feet and then lose interest and stop pedaling, until about two weeks ago, when we spent a week working with him for 15-20 minutes each night. In the last two weeks, he has gone from riding a few feet to riding 4 miles in one go this past Tuesday (at 3 years 10 months)! His bike handling skills are superb--I've been really impressed with how he is able to negotiate obstacles and tight turns. What he lacks at this point are: (1) good coaster braking skills, but we're getting him a 16" bike hand brakes and coaster brakes for his 4th birthday, so I'm not hugely concerned about that and (these I chalk up at least in part to his young age) (2) an ability to perceive danger and respond accordingly; and (3) similarly, to gauge distances. For instance, I'll tell him he needs to brake up ahead at the intersection and he will brake immediately, and then have to restart for 15 feet, but I don't dare wait until just before the intersection, because I'm afraid he won't be able to respond and stop in time. So that's something we're working on. His sister, who learned to ride a year later, has always been good at looking out ahead and planning her actions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    We've taught a couple of 3 year olds in the last month or so, so go for it. Depending on your budget and at the risk of sounding like an agent for the Islabike brand, check out their Portland website, High quality, lightweight children's bikes from Islabikes. We've got a bunch of them from every size from 14" wheels up and they're great.

  6. #6
    High Plains Luddite
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    Two weeks before my son's fourth birthday, I took off his training wheels and pushed him down a gentle but long grassy hill. This was so he could just coast downhill and think about balancing and not worrying about pedaling at the same time. He looked like an old pro after about fifteen minutes.

    The hard part for kids doesn't seem to be balancing as much as learning to stop the bike without falling down. Grass helps with that, as it's softer than falling on pavement.

    Once they figure out how to put a foot down when stopping to prevent tipping over and then how to get started again without a push or a hill to roll down, they'll have it for life.

  7. #7
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    Congrats Squeeze, to you and your son. One small point. I wonder if there could be an auto-correct on this site which replaces the phrase "training wheels" with "utterly useless device which prevents children from learning to ride and which should be made illegal"

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