It’s a huge moment for any child (and their bike-mad parent) to learn to ride on their own, without any control surfaces or assistance. Children’s bike specialist and business leader Isla Rowntree teach us the right way to encourage children to ride for the first time.
Best Guide for Buying:
- Guide to buy second-hand bikes for kids.
- Safety Guidelines for Biking On Balance Bike.
- Ultimate Guide To Buy The Best Balance Bikes For Kids.
Learn top skills to ride a bike
- Balancing in a bike.
- Braking – first with coaster brakes, then with hand brakes
- Shifting/ Changing Gears.
1. Check Bike Setup, Clothing and Helmet For Safety
Start making sure you’ve got size bike for your child is pretty obvious, and you’ll probably realize that if it’s too big, your child will lose confidence quickly, and relying on training wheels can often create more instability than you think, and reduce confidence even more.
- Rest on the seat and let the rollers of both feet rest on the ground.
- Slide down the top bar for a decent clearance with both feet flat on the deck.
- Reach the handlebars with a small curve in the arms when seated on the bench. When there are handbrakes, the child will be able to understand them and apply enough strength to avoid the wheel.
2. Balance Speed with Pedals
Imagine getting the pedals off to see what it is like to steer the wheel, but have the comfort of bringing the foot on the ground immediately to avoid. Let the kid ‘roll’ and then ‘ride’ the wheel. At first, they do not even want to sit on the seat and then straddle the top bar of the wheel, so if they feel relaxed, they may eventually sit down and start running their legs harder to achieve a steady speed of walking. Ask them to avoid taking ‘giant’ footsteps.
Having no brakes can be a lot of fun for a lot of kids and what they need to get to the park or the stores next to their walking parent/adult carer.
3. Steer bike with your own adventure
Not much needs to be mentioned here-driving is wobble at first, but it doesn’t take long for kids to get the best of it. Especially on a ByK bike that has custom-designed V-handlebars and a lower frame such that the numbers are placed as compared to the body and not as high as many other children’s bikes.
4. Select a safe area to learn
It goes without saying that children will need to be in a safe area away from cars, other bicycle commuters, and other children who might be playing balls nearby or running across your path. Choose grassy fields, ideally with low slopes. Once they ‘re confident about braking, having that little bit of momentum on the slope will make it possible for the child to focus on steering and get those feet on the pedals in time without just falling over! Going down a very small grassy slope will also allow the child to feel ‘balancing’ very early. If your kid has a bike, go ahead and show them how to sit on the saddle with their legs up in the air and roll down the slope, putting your legs on the ground at the bottom. The bikes are hard built.
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5. Check the seat height
As your child begins to ride more confidently, consider if the height of the seat is still correct-you may have had it slightly lower for a period of learning to ride, but maybe it could be heightened to be an optimum position for a comfortable ride.
Pick the Proper Bike
Kids’ bicycle needs to improve considerably as they study, evolve, and build their skills. And, while one bike could be the perfect match for your 6-year-old, another, the bigger bike would be the perfect fit for your 8-year-old.
Some of the guidelines on choosing the proper bike for your kid:
- Age 0-6: Cycle seats or bikes are the best way to expose the kid to road riding. So long so they grow up past infancy, they will typically exit the truck and travel comfortably with you on a fixed bike seat.
- Age 3-6: When a child hits toddlerhood, they may start trying to do their own thing independently. Plus, they will often become too tall for a bike seat until they hit the age of 6. A balance bike will help your child focus on steering and balancing so that they can safely switch to riding a training bike with pedals and breaks.
- Age 6-7: The first “true” bike will have six or seven gears. Look for a light bike that suits your child well to make sure they appreciate the trip and are healthy.
- Age 8+: By now, your child’s bike will have 21 gears to make it simpler for them to negotiate more challenging, hilly courses.
Teach your Kid to ride a bike
- The ideal times to educate your kid are between four and six years of age.
- It’s expected to take 45 minutes.
- Begin helping them to move, i.e. don’t just concentrate on pedaling yet.
- Pick up someplace open and flat to start with, ideally not trees, as they may make it harder to create momentum.
- Set the correct height of the saddle
- Don’t grip the handlebar, let the wheel travel freely.
- Hold on the child from behind, not the bike
Support Your Kid
Parents always tend to hold the bike to improve the balance. This technique actually hinders the process of balance learning. The child should learn to balance the bike himself if you provide support on either of the sides, the child thinks it as a safe spot to ride and the bike will not tip over like this but actually it is the parent holding the bike that is providing the stability. When a child is allowed to ride alone, he will find that the bike will tip over if he leans towards either of the sides.
Another important thing is some children don’t like to sit on the seat. Many parents try to correct this but there is a science behind this, actually, when initially riding the bike, the child always fear to fall off and trusts his feet for the balance every time, as he will ride the bike for some time child will start to trust the bicycle and saddle and then later he will ride while sitting on the seat rather than walking on his feet.
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Younger children need more support as they are still learning the balance, children of ages 3 and above sometimes require a longer period of time to learn, they also require constant help from the parents, it is very important for the parent to constantly support the child but it also has to be kept in mind that the child also learns and tries to balance or ride on their own. Young toddlers can easily develop a fear of falling or injury again parents have to maintain a constant motivation to encourage the child to ride the bike.
Your child’s bike helmet should fit tightly, not wobble. There should be only two finger widths of space between your child’s eyebrows and the brim, and the straps should be tightened so that you can fit only two fingers between the strap and the chin. Knee and elbow pads are great accessories for beginners as well.