Preparing to Ride the Bike

1.Start with the Right Balance Bike

It’s essential to start with the right balance bike for your child. If the balance bike isn’t appropriate for your child, he may feel frustrated and lose interest in cycling.

How to choose the right balance bike for your child?  Please review the post Buying Guide to the Balance Bikes for the toddler.

In a hurry? Directly preview the result of the right bike for your child. We have organized our selection of bikes by age groups.

Best balance bike
for ages 2 to 3

Best balance bike
for ages 4 to 5

Best Balance Bike for toddler 7

Best balance bike
for ages 6 to 8

Safety Gear

You need to prepare the safety gears such as helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves for your toddler.

Before your baby gets on his bike be sure you have a safety talk with him. Explain to them that it’s necessary to wear a helmet when cycling. The helmet will protect their head if the children fall. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and won’t slip into his line of vision as he rides.

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Don’t forget shoes! It’s better to wear closed-toe shoes for your child while riding.

Setting the right seat height

It is essential to setting the right saddle (seat) height for comfort, efficiency and avoiding injury.

Set the saddle height, make sure saddle height is 1″ below your child’s inseam. When your child’s feet are flat on the ground, there should be a slight bend in the knees (see the photos below).

Set the handlebar height according to the seat height.

If the seat is at its lowest setting, set the handlebar to also be at its lowest setting, etc. Try multiple adjustments to find out the point that makes your child feel the most comfortable.

handlebar height

Kids grow quickly, so you will need to adjust the bike every couple of months to the proper fit.

All of the above is ready, choose a spacious and safe place, and let the children start the balance bike journey.

5 Stages of Mastering a Balance Bike

The child should master the following skills to learn to ride a balance bike.

  • Sit on the seat and keep steady;
  • Walk while sitting on the bike;
  • Run and Glide;
  • Slow down and Stop;
  • Steering skill;
  • Explore and adventures (Optional).

Step1, Sit on the seat and keep steady

Parents first hold the handlebars to stabilize the bike, let your child lift his legs and sit on the seat. Your child should not have to be lifted up onto the seat.

Let your child sit on the seat facing forward with both feet flat on the ground. Show them the handlebars and explain that’s where their hands put.

Gradually, the child should hold the handlebars and get on the bike by themselves.

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Many kids especially under 3 years old won’t even sit on the seat at first; this is “ok” and natural. Don’t worry, let them set the pace and keep encouraging them along the way.

If the child feels secure and comfortable sit on the seat between their legs, they will eventually start to “trust” the saddle.

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Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike

Once your child sits on the seat steady, the parents shouldn’t support the child or the bike; Let the child keep the balance bike steady by themselves for a moment. If they can do it, it means that your kids are ready to learn to the balance bike.

Step2, Walk while sitting on the bike.

Let your child sits on the bike and walks forward as they normally do. This will allow them to get comfortable with the feeling of moving forward on the bike while moving at a slow pace.

How to teach your child to stride his first step?

Lift one foot off of the ground. Extend the leg out in front of the body and place the foot down on the ground out in front. Push off the foot.

Once they stride their first step, walks forward as they normally do. Go back and forth between putting the right and left leg on the ground and pushing forward.

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The child may feel unsteady on the balance bike and even fall,Parents can hold onto your child to help stabilize them. However, do not hold the bike.  The child must be allowed to feel the bike lean from side to side to learn how to keep balance on the two wheels.

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Because of the first learning to explore a balance bike, when children aged less than 3 years stride their first step, they typically stand over the bike frame instead of sitting on the seat. Be patient and encourage your kids. To practice with your little one, let them walk and glide at their own pace.

When they feel ready, kids learn to sit on the bike’s seat and alternate using both feet to continue pushing the bike forward.

Older kids get the balance on a bike in minutes, extremely young kids may take a few weeks to walks forward smoothly.

At this stage, some child trend to looking at their feet, the parent should remind your child is looking forward instead of their feet. They need to learn to watch where they are going to steer in the right direction.

Step3, Run and Glide

Encourage your child to walk fast and run on the balance bike.

Once your child has reached a fast enough speed, about 5 mi (8.0 km), let your child try to lift both legs out in front of the body so they can hold both legs off the ground and glide forward.

Tell your child to “push, push, glide.” In the beginning, parents can walk or jog alongside your child and use the catchword “push, push, glide” to guide the child glide. This is an easy way they can repeat to them.

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Encourage your child to glide along while riding the balance bike; this comes as a natural step for most kids Once your child has gained more confidence in gliding on the balance bike, allow them to go on their own.

Step4, Slow down and Stop

Now your child can glide fast on the balance bike. If they can’t stop the balance bike in time, the child will be dangerous. It’s time to help your child learn how to decrease their speed to be able to stop.

If the bike does not have a brake, tell your child to brake with the feet. Once dangerous, Kids stop the bike with their feet naturally.

Show your child how to decrease the number of steps, so they take to slow to a stop.

The right way to stop is their whole feet flat on the ground instead of dragging their toes to stop. Dragging toes to stop will wear out the shoes. Stop with their feet flat on the ground will allow them to stop more quickly and extend the life of their shoes.

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If the bike has brakes and your toddler is over 3 years old, encourage them to stop with handle brakes.

Walk alongside your child, demonstrate how to squeeze the brake to stop the bike. when the bike stop, allow your child to try to squeeze the brake. Tried several times,they are generally capable of using a hand brake.

Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike

If your child is under 3 years old, they don’t have the hand/eye coordination to use a hand brake, directly stop with foot and ignore handlebar brakes for now.

If your child is old enough, they can use their hand brake in conjunction with their feet for faster, safer stopping.

Remind your child that if they feel they are going too fast, they need to slow down. Tell your child that they can lightly drag their feet on the ground or squeeze the brake to help reduce their speed.

Step5, Steering skill

Once your child has mastered the skills of sliding, we can start letting them learn turn skills. Start with a large, simple cornering.

These are the steps involved in making a left-hand turn (right turns involved the opposite directions, of course):

  • 1. Entering the cornering from the outside
  • 2.If we turn to the left, move the left foot forward and lift slightly, the right foot is lifted at the backward. Make the body to lean to the left side slightly.
  • 3. Turn the handlebar left.
  • 4. When you have turned enough, bring the bike back upright.
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The following two small games will make learning to turn more interesting:

1.Set up some roadblocks on the road,then let your child practice turning.

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2. Make a mark on the road 3m away from the bike and encourage the children to ride the bicycle over the mark. This game helps your child recognize the road ahead and can accurately grasp the direction. As your child becomes more proficient, you can also make a mark at 5m, 10m or even further.

6. Explore and adventures

Master the first five steps; your child has learned to ride a balance bike. An eager, athletic 3-year-old have enough walking balance and coordination, they can learn to ride a balance bike within a few days. A timid 3-year-old may take weeks to learn the ride.

Extremely young children need more help initially; they make take months even a year to truly master their bike. Every kid is different, let them set the pace and keep encouraging them along the way. Eventually, they all learn to ride a balance bike.

As they become more proficient in balancing cars, they can develop more skills in balance bikes such as bike jumps, single-track trail riding and pump tracks.

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The child also can use the balance bike to adventures; they can essentially go anywhere and do anything on a balance bike. 

Precautions

Get serious about safety
Before your baby gets on his bike, parents should have a safety talk with the child. Cover the importance of always wearing a helmet, riding on the sidewalk, follow safety rules, etc.

Be a cheerleader more than a coach
Encourage your child to ride the balance bike and give them praise for any amount of time they spend on their bike. Parents should be a cheerleader to cheer for the child more than a coach to tell the child what to do. Wish you and your child have the most enjoyable experience possible when learning to ride their balance Bike.

Let the child set the pace.
Some kids are cautious, if they can’t feel secure, they won’t strider their step. Don’t rush your kid, Let them set the pace and keep encouraging them along the way. Don’t push them to do things they are not ready to do. Otherwise, they may just rebel against the whole idea of riding. Let the child set the pace, it will be a safer and more enjoyable ride.

Support the child not the bike
When your child is about to fall, parents should support the child not the bike. The child must be allowed to feel the bike lean from side to side to learn how to keep balance on the two wheels.

If a child shows no interest in a balance bike, what should the parents do?

The balance bike isn’t steady by itself and it’s more difficult to learn to ride than tricycles, scooters, or bikes with training wheels.

As a result, at the beginning, the children often show no interest in a balance bike.

They may ‘walk’ the bike for few feet, then put the bike aside and don’t play. many parents are confused by this problem.

Here are few ways to build your child interest in a balance bike.

See other children riding their balance bikes
A number of parents have told us that it was helpful for their child to see other children riding their balance bikes. Children want to participate, especially when they see other children have so much fun.
You can take your child to watch other children riding their balance bike and play with them. By watching other kids happily ride their bikes all around them, they will start to realize that bikes are really fun which will motivate them to learn the balance bike.

Make the balance bike as a part of the daily routine
if you go shopping or to the playground, you can go for walks with your child, with him using or pushing the balance bike. Showed the child how to ride and encourage him to ride. This takes a while, but at some point, it will click for him that he could ride the bike about as fast as you walk.

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Cheer for your child and provide some encouragement
Every time they push it, pick it up, play with it or ride the bike, it is progress! Cheer for your child in time and provide some encouragement, When the child is affirmed, they will be more pleasant to ride a balance bike.

Add some small games to ride which will help the child to build the excitement for riding and make the entire ride more interesting.
In the end, if your child is really not interested in balance bike, do not try to force it. Be patient, and he will learn it eventually.

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