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Kids bike, convert to fixed gear.

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Kids bike, convert to fixed gear.

Old 01-09-21, 05:28 PM
  #1  
rosefarts
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Kids bike, convert to fixed gear.

Just got my 3 year old a Specialized Hotrock.

Basic little kids bike. Of course it has a coaster brake. The trouble is that with a little guy, just figuring it out, on super short crank arms, that sometimes he doesn't get the concept of pedaling forward. Or pedaling at all when I'm pushing him.

I think if I could convert it to fixed gear for a week or two, that would be enough to reinforce the concept of pedaling. Once he figures that out, I'd want to change it back.

Is this possible without buying a new 12" wheel?
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Old 01-09-21, 05:45 PM
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Gresp15C
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Just my thought, give it time. At some point it will click. This problem doesn't need a technological solution.
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Old 01-09-21, 06:31 PM
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My kids rode tricycles when they were 3.
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Old 01-09-21, 06:53 PM
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Try taking the pedals off altogether first. Lower the seat so he can move forward by pushing with his feet a bit, then lifting his feet to coast. Once he's comfortable with that, tell him he can go even faster and farther by pushing the pedals while his feet are in the air. Then sit back and soak up his joy,
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Old 01-09-21, 09:00 PM
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rosefarts
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I've seen lots of kids ride with no training wheels when they were 3. Not necessarily a benchmark I'm going for but it's certainly not too young to start him.

Here's my thought process.

He likes the trike but the cranks are so little that it's actually really hard to ride. It's not intuitive and he falls over anyway.

He has a Strider gramps got him last year. He hates it. No reason why, he just sometimes gets it in his head that he doesn't like something.

So far, he loves the bike but we're struggling a bit with the pedaling. I think we've got some warm weather forecast, so maybe we can practice more soon.

It really does seem like a flip flop hub in 12" would be ideal for little learners.
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Old 01-09-21, 09:05 PM
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As someone with three kids that ride track I'm going to go with it being a bad idea. I pushed a little too much with the first kid on getting the kids to try and ride when she was that age. If they want to be on a bike at 3 be happy with it but don't expect much of anything, it'll take a while to get it down but that's just a part of the learning curve. The problem with a fix set up is that it forces the kid to keep pedaling and if they even think of stopping it will try to throw them off and knock them out of control even at slow speeds. Either way you'll need to build the wheel.
I've got a 5yo on a 16" fixie but that's from him wanting to ride at the track with his siblings, he could ride fairly well ahead of time, and he still struggles with it even if someone holds the bike for him.
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Old 01-10-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
...The problem with a fix set up is that it forces the kid to keep pedaling and if they even think of stopping it will try to throw them off and knock them out of control even at slow speeds.
This would be my concern as well, or getting his foot tangled with an unstoppable pedal.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:04 AM
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rosefarts
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
This would be my concern as well, or getting his foot tangled with an unstoppable pedal.
We're only talking about using this to understand the mechanics of pedaling forward in the driveway. At less than walking speed.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:04 AM
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Radio Flyer used to sell a little 10" fixed gear that all four of my kids rode when they were little after the tricycles. Pretty sure I never took the training wheels off that one. Now it looks like radio flyer just sells balance bikes. I assume people stopped buying bikes that small with pedals. One of my kids rode that little fixie down a big hill and couldn't stop because it didn't have brakes. Luckily there was big grassy area at the bottom so she just rode into that and came to a relatively safe crashing stop. One of the many examples of my poor parenting skills and probably another reason why they don't sell that bike anymore.
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Old 01-12-21, 05:04 AM
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I began on a trike as well, so learned the pedalling bit without falling over. When I got my first bicycle my dad pushed me a few feet and I was away. Then he sold or gave away the trike - which was pretty much this: https://tricyclemuseum.wordpress.com...%99s-tricycle/

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Old 01-12-21, 12:17 PM
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I am assuming it has training wheels. IMHO based on my kid: just let him ride and don't push him. He will figure it out really fast. trying to do single speed is over complicating it. He will figure it our fast, if he hasn't already. next thing you know he will be bringing you a wrench and demanding that you take the trainin wheels off (and if you don't have training wheel put them on )
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Old 01-12-21, 02:27 PM
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He is three just give him time and he will likely figure it out. Kids learn things pretty quickly but they are also learning a lot at that age so expecting them to get everything you are throwing at them right away is tough. I love fixed gears, I do but I don't know that it is the solution in this case.
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Old 01-13-21, 12:11 AM
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Probably not germane to the discussion, but my experience with kids is no training wheels, no pedals at first. Just kicking with the feet on the ground. They make bikes without cranks for this purpose. I always thought that training wheels were a hazard when my kids were little, so we went the other way.

Kids have a blast with that. It's safe and easy.

Remember, the only goal is not to get a little kid to ride a big boy bike as early as possible. Its that the kid has so much fun they want to do it.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:12 AM
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rosefarts
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Probably not germane to the discussion, but my experience with kids is no training wheels, no pedals at first. Just kicking with the feet on the ground. They make bikes without cranks for this purpose. I always thought that training wheels were a hazard when my kids were little, so we went the other way.

Kids have a blast with that. It's safe and easy.

Remember, the only goal is not to get a little kid to ride a big boy bike as early as possible. Its that the kid has so much fun they want to do it.
As previously mentioned. I have an extremely strong willed child. He's decided that he hates the Strider. That is simply not an option. Stop bringing it up, it doesn't help.
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Old 01-13-21, 11:42 AM
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A fixed gear bike for a tot who has not mastered balance and pedalling?

BAD IDEA

This sounds like a plan to injure the child - if not through the inevitable crash then it will damage his knees. .
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Old 01-13-21, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
As previously mentioned. I have an extremely strong willed child. He's decided that he hates the Strider. That is simply not an option. Stop bringing it up, it doesn't help.
Sorry, I hadn't noticed that he hates the strider.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:40 PM
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Sounds like the kid needs an electric assist bike.
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Old 01-13-21, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
As previously mentioned. I have an extremely strong willed child. He's decided that he hates the Strider. That is simply not an option. Stop bringing it up, it doesn't help.
Bought my daughter a strider, wouldn't even consider the thing. Next in line wants to be just like sis, if she has pedals and a chain he damn well better as well. Final kid was just a chore to get to do anything but since the others had new bikes he had to have a new bike which we didn't have a used one for him to use besides the strider. Sis' 12" had been a 4x hand me down in pink with foam tires and didn't hold up which middle kid had skipped the size. So the strider was sold for 25.00 at the local bmx track without being ridden by mine.
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