Teaching your child how to ride a bike is an incredible milestone! But it can also be stressful for both the parent and the child.
There are two ways you can begin your child's bicycle learning journey; this article will talk about how to learn using a bicycle with training wheels. If you are looking to learn how to teach your child using a balance bike, head over to our guide to teaching your child to ride a balance bike.
Taking the Training Wheels Off
Most kids learn how to ride a two-wheeler between the ages of 3 and 8 (though one thing to note, severe injuries occur less frequently when kids learn between ages 6 and 7). This age range is good to keep in mind, but don't feel like your child is "behind" if they're not ready to master this skill. Learning to ride a kids' bike is scary!
Before completely removing their training wheels, you can also raise them slightly to encourage more balance.
1. Remove Training Wheels
When your child is ready to remove the training wheels, go ahead and take them off. Then, lower the seat so it’s low enough for your child to place their feet flat on the ground when sitting atop their bike this will allow your child a feeling of confidence as they practice finding their balance.
2. Find a Slope
Find a very soft slope of about 30 yards. Ideally, the slope turns into a slight uphill or flattens out to slow things down. We’re also looking for grass that’s long enough to cushion a fall but short enough to keep things moving.
3. Safety First
Ensure that all shoelaces are tucked in and that you strap on a bike helmet.
4. Discover Balance on Two Wheels
Getting the art of balance down is a critical first step. Start halfway up the hill and hold the bike while your child climbs on. Now, let go of the bike and have your child lift their feet so they coast down the hill. Again, we’re working on balance, so no pedaling. Avoid holding onto the bike. Instead, tell them to put their foot down when they feel unbalanced.
Keep working on coasting until they are comfortable — make it a fun game and count the seconds until they put their foot down. And remember, there’s no need to rush to the next step. You might be here for a few days or weeks.
6. It's Time to Pedal
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal. This time, have your child place their feet on the pedals and coast. Try a few runs, just coasting, and then have them start to pedal. Once they feel comfortable, raise the seat and go to a flat space to try starting from a stop. A cul-de-sac or a loop in a park is perfect for practicing turning.
There’s no right age to teach a child to ride a bike. Consider instead their interest in learning, how coordinated they are and their size. Children who are ready can usually skip, hop on one foot, and walk along a brick garden wall, parking-lot block or curb.
With Schwinn SmartStart Technology, our kids' bikes are designed to comfortably fit your child. From the Koen 12" to the Elm 12" and more, it's easy to find a kids' bike that's perfect for your child — whether they're enjoying training wheels or ready to ride with the big kids!