Learn to Ride Guide: Your Child's First Balance Bike

If the idea of teaching your child to ride a kids' bike without training wheels sounds stressful, you're not alone. But did you know there's a bike teaching method where your little one might never even need training wheels? Balance bikes can be a major game-changer for kids learning how to ride a two-wheeler.

There are two ways you can begin your child's bicycle learning journey; this article will talk about how to learn using a balance bicycle. If you are looking to learn how to teach your child using a more traditional bike with training wheels head over to our guide to teaching your child to ride a bike with training wheels.

Beginning with Balance Bikes

Why choose a balance bike?

A balance bike (like the Koen or Elm from Schwinn) can help a child gain coordination and balance skills. These skills build their confidence and also transfer over pretty smoothly when learning how to ride a "big kid" bike. 

What ages are best for starting with a balance bike?

Children as young as 18-months to 3 years old are in the perfect age range to start their bicycle journey on a balance bike. 

How does a child learn with a balance bike?

A child will learn to ride a balance bike in a way that is natural for them. That being said, there are some things you can encourage that will make learning easier:

  • Stand and Walk: Have your child stand and walk while holding on to the handlebars. At this point, the child will not be sitting on the saddle.
  • Sit and Walk: Next, you can encourage them to sit and walk. This teaches a child how to maintain balance while in a position most similar to a "traditional" kids bike.
  • Glide: Soon your child will gain the confidence to sit, run, and then put their feet up so they can glide.

After your child has mastered the last step and is comfortable you will be able to transition them directly to a pedal bike and may be able to forego training wheels completely.