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Old 04-16-18, 03:22 PM   #1
Shayde
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20"Bike and Training Wheels

For Christmas I bought my daughter a 20" Bike. she is 9 and very tall, but has never had a bike before so she doesn't know how to ride. She's autistic and also extremely cautious so she's sort of afraid of falling. So she can't ride the bike, she'd had it for months and I feel like a crap parent because I've been so busy I haven't done much of anything about it. We bought her training wheels to put on the bike but when they came it we could not put them on. I spoke with a local bike shop but haven't taken the bike there yet. Unfortunately, he seemed to think it was most likely that the axle was too small on the bike and there would be nothing I could do. I hate that she's had this gift for so long and not been able to use it.

Any suggestions? Anything at all? Am I really going to have to buy her a whole new bike?
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Old 04-16-18, 04:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shayde View Post
I spoke with a local bike shop but haven't taken the bike there yet. Unfortunately, he seemed to think it was most likely that the axle was too small on the bike and there would be nothing I could do.
Bicycle hub axles are replaceable and a bike shop should be able to install a longer one. I'd check with a different shop. There are also YouTube videos on how to replace an axle if you want to do it yourself.
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Old 04-16-18, 08:51 PM   #3
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You could take the crankset and chain off the bike and turn it into a large balance bike. Then once she's become comfortable using it as a push bike, add the crankset and chain back on and have her try pedaling.

Mostly likely you'll need to purchase a new bike in the near future. I'd think a tall 9 year old wouldn't properly fit most 20" bikes, and would be better served by a 24". For comparison, my normal height 5 year old can ride a 20".
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Old 04-16-18, 09:16 PM   #4
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I've heard of the push bike thing, and it seemed like a good idea, but haven't tried it with kids.

You could also try a tandem or trailer bike, just to get the kid used to riding, pedaling, and balance (without steering).

My nephew had a tough time learning. He decided the best place to learn to ride was on Mom's (his grandmother's) front lawn. Watered, green, and soft. It has the advantage of being soft for falling, but harder to pedal (and slower which is a problem).

One issue that I had was setting the seat like I would on a road bike. Make sure the seat is set low enough that the kid can get both feet on the ground.

It is always interesting to see a kid learn. It is like a light bulb that gets switched from crashing to riding EVERYWHERE.
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Old 04-18-18, 08:00 PM   #5
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We bought our daughter a balance bike as a starter bike. There are different sizes available. I was surprised how fast she learned the balance on this bike. And within a few weeks she was riding like a dare devil. When we moved her to a regular bike she basically did not need training wheels anymore. Meanwhile there are lots of used balance bikes out there for just a few $$. I would try one of these.
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