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Young Kids and Bikes (parenting question)

in the trees

Turbo Monkey
May 19, 2003
1,210
1
NH
I need some advice from some parents who've already gone thru teaching their kids how to ride a bike. My twins will be 2yrs old this January and I'd like to get them bikes to have for next spring. My question is whether I should go with a tricycle first or jump right into a small sized bike w/ training wheels (which admittedly, they may be a little too young for come next spring esp. with coaster brakes). Any advice? What route have you guys gone?

toby
 

mack

Turbo Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
3,675
0
Colorado
Hard to tell. I work at a rental shop, and see lots of parents going about it the wrong way. I have put training wheels on a bike for an 8 year old boy before. :rolleyes: And i have also taken off a set of training wheels for 2 sets of twins, ages 3 and 4.

I would go training wheels first, allot of kids dont want to leave the tricycle and become scared of the 'training wheel bike'. I got that allot, "do you have any trikes for rent? Because my kid wont go on the little kids bike."
Even if your kids cant ride the training wheel bike, get them on it and just push them along.
 

ummbikes

Don't mess with the Santas
Apr 16, 2002
1,794
0
Napavine, Warshington
I started all three of my daughters on little training wheel bikes. Less of a shock when they are ready to ride with out the training wheels.

About the time the girls destroyed their training wheels from over use they were ready to be removed.
 

Kopiklokoli

Monkey
Jul 31, 2004
151
0
Nor Cal, of course
Well if you ask my mother she would probably tell you not to let them ride bikes because the kids end up getting hurt and causing parents extreme mental anguish.
-As the kid who causes mental anguish I would say let them ride.
 

splat

Nam I am
Both My Kids We got them Bike with 16 inch wheels when they were about 3 , never had a Tricycle, (they did have a little plastic 3 wheeled scooter) we took off my Sone Training wheels when he was 4 because he was trying to ride bridges with it , and if he went off teh side teh training wheels would flip him. he did not want to lose the traing wheels but we told him He couldn't do bridges with training wheels on anymore , so the training wheels went. My daughter ( thew older one ) was almost 7 before she decided to get rid of the training wheels.
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
Forget the training wheels...

For my Daughter I took off the pedals and lowered the seat so she could scooter the bike around the driveway and learn to balance the bike. Once she had that down I put the pedals back on. She learned in a weekend.

If a child turns a bike sharply at speed the training wheels will catch and pitch the kid over onto the street.

BMW is marketing a kids bike where the whole BB/crank assembly is removable. When the kid is ready you just bolt the drivetrain back on the bike.

Mike
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
I'd second Dartman's approach. If you can avoid creating a dependency on training wheels, that's the way to go.

Now, this little number is pricey, but just think of how many kids (yours, your nieces, nephews, grandkids...) could get to use it

http://www.likeabikeusa.com/

geargrrl
 

Tenchiro

Attention K Mart Shoppers
Jul 19, 2002
5,407
0
New England
Being that I have no kids I don't have any perspective there, but as a little kid I can tell you that I was terrified when my dad took the training wheels off. So I suggest going to no pedal route.




That was last week BTW... :(
 

ummbikes

Don't mess with the Santas
Apr 16, 2002
1,794
0
Napavine, Warshington
I can see the merit in the no training wheel approach.

The reason I still use training wheels is it allows my kid to practice without me hovering over her. I also live in a small town, at the end of my street, and there are many older kids who are gracious about watching out for the little kids. So these solo rides are really more about not having a parent over coaching.

My oldest was five when she was goaded into riding sans training wheels by her cousin.

The middle daughter requested hers be removed when the neighbor kid (who was 8) had his removed. She was 4.

And the baby, a four year old, is still "using" her training wheels, even though they barely touch the ground when she rides. I'll guess they will be gone before spring.

I also made a point to not freak out when they skinned their knees and elbows.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
i'd have to vouch for the training wheel approach. it gives the kid time to learn how to pedal and to build the necessary muscles. i let my son ride w/ training wheels and just kept moving them higher until he got to a point where the training wheels were no longer touching the ground when he rode.

and most of you know where it's gone from there :D
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
Of course we need to recognize that every kid is different, even siblings. What works for one may not work well for another. You're gonna have to make the call about your own kid.

Mike
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
16,327
3,593
Nowhere Man!
Dartman said:
Forget the training wheels...

"I took off the pedals and lowered the seat so she could scooter the bike around the driveway and learn to balance the bike. Once she had that down I put the pedals back on. She learned in a weekend."

I taught a 57yo women to ride with this method. I believe I can teach anyone to ride this way.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,673
446
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
We were having the same debate and still haven't decided on the best route. So far, we've picked out a cool retro tricycle and a 10/12" 2 wheeler with training wheels...the up side is that she isn't even born yet so we have a little time :p
 

in the trees

Turbo Monkey
May 19, 2003
1,210
1
NH
Thanks fro all the advice guys - good stuff. Right now I'm thinking we'll skip the tricycle and go right to small bikes with training wheels. Good thing the kids have an uncle who works in a bike shop. Now . . . what brand should they ride? :thumb: Thanks again for the help.

toby
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
49,689
3,484
In a van.... down by the river
TreeSaw said:
We were having the same debate and still haven't decided on the best route. So far, we've picked out a cool retro tricycle and a 10/12" 2 wheeler with training wheels...the up side is that she isn't even born yet so we have a little time :p
I'd offer some more advice - get cheap ones. Get 'em used if you can. The kids will outgrow that stuff so fast that before you know it they'll need a bigger one. We got a trike for a quarter, the first 12" bike for $25, and the second 12" bike for $5.

Now I need to start looking for 16" bikes........ :think:
 

Clark Kent

Monkey
Oct 1, 2001
325
0
Mpls
Henry started off on a little Schwinn tiger with training wheels when he was 3. NEVER heard of anyone developing a "dependance" on traininng wheels. Guees thats why ya dont see adults or teens on them :rolleyes: Regardless of when you go to a two wheel bike, dont let some asshat talk you into a ride that has a top tube that is to high. "They can grow into it" only makes sense if you are not endangering their long term health....
The scoot idea that JD sounds good too, but one nice thing about training wheels is that they are not only learning about balance, but bike handling skills at the same time..... The training wheels were good for Hank.
 

Fshflys

Monkey
Jun 29, 2005
139
1
I also like Dartman's approach, sounds valid. Mine learned on 12" w/training wheels. When I took the training wheels off for the first one at 4, I ran around the cul de sac holding onto the back seat until he could manage on his own. Gave me one heck of a back ache. For the second, at age 3 1/2, I stuck a broom stick in the triangle just below the seat post & held him upright till he got it, worked much better. I've seen devices that you can buy that do the same thing so if your bro works in a bike shop, you may want to go that route. Big thing is, they have to be able to pedal fast enough to keep upright & KEEP THE FRONT WHEEL STRAIGHT. Second son rode Downtown trail at Mammoth Mtn a week after his 4th Bday on the 12". He placed 2nd in JrX, 16 & Under Downhill this year.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,673
446
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
SkaredShtles said:
I'd offer some more advice - get cheap ones. Get 'em used if you can. The kids will outgrow that stuff so fast that before you know it they'll need a bigger one. We got a trike for a quarter, the first 12" bike for $25, and the second 12" bike for $5.

Now I need to start looking for 16" bikes........ :think:
A most excellent suggestion!!!
 

McGRP01

beer and bikes
Feb 6, 2003
7,797
0
Portland, OR
Definately, I've got both of my daughter's bikes (12" & 16") used for less than $5 a piece. (Of course I threw them in the stand and gave them the once-over before she threw a leg over them.) I think once she makes the jump to 20", I'll spend the money and get her a decent ride though. :)
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
49,689
3,484
In a van.... down by the river
McGRP01 said:
Definately, I've got both of my daughter's bikes (12" & 16") used for less than $5 a piece. (Of course I threw them in the stand and gave them the once-over before she threw a leg over them.) I think once she makes the jump to 20", I'll spend the money and get her a decent ride though. :)
Hehehehehe. I'm waiting until they hit 26"-ers. And even then they'll be getting used ones. No reason they should have better than their Daddy. :D