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Getting rid of training wheels

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Getting rid of training wheels

Old 05-06-13, 04:56 AM
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Getting rid of training wheels

My 5 year old boy has been riding very well with his training wheels but rides heavily on the left side. We have been going on family rides for a mile or so a few times a week, but the training wheels are now holding him back. I have researched methods for moving on, but he has a lot of fears of balancing and anything more than a walking pace without them (he will fly with them but they are also keeping him from going at a comfortable pace for us which I know he could keep up with). I have tried removing his pedals and lowering the seat, but he likes to plant his feet when he starts to pick up speed even when he is balancing well, which causes him to crash. I don't want him to be afraid of riding his bike but also don't want him to rely on his training wheels. What are some other techniques that I can try to get him comfortable without them?
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Old 05-06-13, 09:00 AM
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Persevere with the pedals off/seat down programme. Having got used to the idea that the training wheels will keep him reasonable upright, he's got to re-programme his mind/nervous system to deal with the new situation.

We've often had that problem at our club and the only way he's going to get used to the idea that balancing is possible is lots of practice (not to mention encouragement). When necessary, we've marked the distance they've managed without putting their feet down and setting that as a challenge. This tends (most times) to take their mind off their fears by giving them something else to concentrate on.

Another part of our system is to use a small slope leading onto a flat pitch/area to enable them to get up to some speed and increase the distance travelled feet-off.

I may be teaching grannma to suck eggs, but try not to make a big deal out of it. Lots of short sessions can be better than several long ones

Good luck
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Old 05-09-13, 07:19 PM
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+ 1 on that advise. Needs time to unlearn the training wheel stuff. He would have gotten it fast without them.
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Old 05-13-13, 03:58 PM
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I've wondered about those springy training wheels you can sometimes find at Wal-Mart or Toys R Us. A kid we know had those on his bike, and they allowed him to lean into corners and ride on rough ground, and he supposedly was riding fine without them early (?) last summer. My son's about the same age, and thoroughly dependent on his training wheels despite scary issues like toppling on sloped sidewalks or stopping every 8 feet for potholes that make it a real bear to ride with him.

Anyway, I've been pushing the balance bike concept since late last summer. I took the pedals off the smaller of his bikes, and have been slowly trying to get him interested in balancing on that up and down the driveway.
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Old 05-15-13, 01:56 AM
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Update: my boy is now riding training wheel free! Two days of no pedals and coasting and he took right off.

1987cp everything I've read said ditch training wheels all together. I had tried a couple different methods and nothing seemed to work. I gave it a shot with no pedals just letting him walk it and coast on a flat basketball court outside at his own pace without pushing him to pick his feet up at all. Within 15 minutes or so he was coasting 15-25 feet on his own and within an hour he was coasting down the hill next to the court. The next day we went out and he was very comfortable so I went in and got the pedals to put on. With some encouraging words and a little reassurance he starred walking, coasted with feet on the pedals, then turned around walked an pedaled away! I felt like it would be years before we could get him riding on his own but just stick with it and don't look back at the training wheels.
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Old 05-15-13, 02:28 AM
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Well done!

Those little pedal-less training two-wheelers are great - a couple of weeks ago I was amazed at my how zippy my niece (20 months old) could get around on one!

Took me almost two years to learn with stabilizers/training wheels IIRC, I was about seven years old before I could ride properly.
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Old 05-20-13, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker
Well done!

Those little pedal-less training two-wheelers are great - a couple of weeks ago I was amazed at my how zippy my niece (20 months old) could get around on one!

Took me almost two years to learn with stabilizers/training wheels IIRC, I was about seven years old before I could ride properly.

The way I remember it, when I was 6 I just went out one day and removed my training wheels and never looked back. My parents remember it a little differently, though.

I saw some cute purpose-built balance bikes at a Trek dealer on Saturday. They were maybe $170 on sale (ouch!), but that is at least cheaper than the ones from specialty toy manufacturers. I set our 10 month old on one and pushed her around a little just for the fun of it, even though her feet were nowhere near the floor.
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Old 05-20-13, 03:58 PM
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They don't have to be $170. My son has the 12" Mini Glider. The company also makes 16" versions too. Neither of which cost $170, they are less.
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Old 05-20-13, 04:20 PM
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backyard on the grass take the trainers off and let him go, he will crash , he will get back up and tackle it! nothing has changed since I was a kid 50 yrs ago we try it we fall we get up dust ourselves off and do it till we get it. get some bandaids next time you are out
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Old 05-20-13, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Purpleorchid
They don't have to be $170. My son has the 12" Mini Glider. The company also makes 16" versions too. Neither of which cost $170, they are less.
I bought a smallish bike from Craigslist. Dropped the seat. Removed the pedals. No need for straight-up gliding bike.
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Old 05-20-13, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by craigrrr
backyard on the grass take the trainers off and let him go, he will crash , he will get back up and tackle it! nothing has changed since I was a kid 50 yrs ago we try it we fall we get up dust ourselves off and do it till we get it. get some bandaids next time you are out
Lots have changed. There is simply no need for that method anymore. It's not about not letting kids be tough, there is simply an easier, faster, less fearful way to teach kids to ride.

There are plenty other obstacles in life they will need the band-aids for...
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Old 05-20-13, 07:29 PM
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[QUOTE=TourDeHood;15647695]Lots have changed. There is simply no need for that method anymore. It's not about not letting kids be tough, there is simply an easier, faster, less fearful way to teach kids to ride.

I guess we all have our own way of growing up and rearing a child. But I do not see anything that changed btw. scrape a knee it bleeds it scabs ,it's done. Nothing has changed about that, But I am interested in knowing what exactly has changed?
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Old 05-21-13, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by craigrrr
backyard on the grass take the trainers off and let him go, he will crash , he will get back up and tackle it! nothing has changed since I was a kid 50 yrs ago we try it we fall we get up dust ourselves off and do it till we get it. get some bandaids next time you are out
You must have a nice yard of grass! I recently tried to ride my bike across my backyard after giving it a mini tuneup and the grass was so lumpy and difficult to ride at a kids pace, I gave up, got off and walked it the rest of the 20 ft to the bike's storage place (it was a mountain bike too LOL).
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Old 05-21-13, 06:54 PM
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haha nah, nutsedge and burmuda and some St. Augustine , hard grass thick grass and some bare spots, but good to learn on.
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Old 05-22-13, 03:26 AM
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I went to the local soccer field, removed the trineres amd pushed her a few times. Didn't crash once but she did hit her shins a few times with the pedals. The next day she rode the local park 7km with obe fall which she rolled out of. kids are tougher than they look.
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Old 05-22-13, 12:21 PM
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[QUOTE
I guess we all have our own way of growing up and rearing a child. But I do not see anything that changed btw. scrape a knee it bleeds it scabs ,it's done. Nothing has changed about that, But I am interested in knowing what exactly has changed?[/QUOTE]

We are talking about two different things here and it is important to clarify which is which. The first is which is the most effective and efficient way to teach a child to ride a bike. The second is the lessons learned through the old ways of learning to ride a bike. Two different discussions.

What has changed? Lots in the world. Using a piece of wood or a knife was the goto way to open a bottle before the advent of the bottle opener. My mom was used to using a manual can opener but switched when an easier quicker way. There was nothing really "wrong" with a fax for communication and documents, but email and attachments proved to be more efficient.

Should we continue to use floppy disks because there was nothing "wrong" with them? No. Because there are more efficient and effective ways of storing data.

Just because something worked for the time does not mean it remains the best or most efficient way of doing something.

What is the goal here?

If the goal is to teach a child a lesson through hardships (i.e. scrape your knee and get right back up) then there are multitude of ways to teach those lessons. It does not have to be done through teaching her/him how to ride a bike.

If the goal is teaching a kid to ride a bike, then the glide-to-coast-to-pedal way is more effective and efficient. Not because it's "safer", but because its just better.

Last edited by TourDeHood; 05-22-13 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-23-13, 01:28 PM
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To each his own
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