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  1. #1
    jalopy jockey
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    Ultimate Beginer question Parental content

    Alright my 4 yr old wants to ride like Mom and Dad, he has impeccable balance on his feet and has a lot of saddle time.

    How do we transition from training wheels? We tried the ride to mom on a paved ball field while I did the traditional hold the seat business, and I let him wobble some.

    Are there any other tried and true methods others have used?

    Take him to the top of a mountain and push

  2. #2
    LRB
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    Dad just ran with me and let go and then grabbed back on before i fell and on and on until i was to fast for him then i fell a bunch and then before we knew it i was going on my own without training wheels thats what work for me any way
    LRB

    P.S. that was like 20 years ago and i havent got the chance to teach anyone myself

  3. #3
    The Martian
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    Warning: I'm not a parent and have never tried this, so take it with a few grains of salt.

    That said, I've heard of people bending the training wheels up so that they aren't touching when the kid is balanced but will still catch them if they get too far off to one side. Might work if you don't want to go the "just fall down alot" route.

  4. #4
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    I remember that the training wheels on mine when I was a little kid never touched the ground unless I was tilted to one side some. Eventually I was able to go without having the wheels touching the ground much, and shortly after that they were off. I fell down a few times at first, but was fine shortly afterwords. Go with what CougarTrek suggested, that's how I learned.

  5. #5
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trimen1000
    I remember that the training wheels on mine when I was a little kid never touched the ground unless I was tilted to one side some. Eventually I was able to go without having the wheels touching the ground much, and shortly after that they were off. I fell down a few times at first, but was fine shortly afterwords. Go with what CougarTrek suggested, that's how I learned.
    X2, that's how I learned too...little bit of what LRB said too after my Dad removed the training wheels.

  6. #6
    One Gear
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    We were given a training handle by a friend. When the training wheels are ready to come off, the handle goes on. It bolts to the rear wheels where the training wheels were and a third arm bolts to the seatpost. The handle comes back to allow me to hold the bike while they ride. Our 8 year old used it 3 years ago and now our 5 year old has it on his bike.
    http://www.readyrider.com/

  7. #7
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    My boy came to me one day and said "I'm ready to have my training wheels taken off my bike..." I was a little shocked because it was at the very beginning of Spring and I wasn't expecting him to want to ride his bike for another month - 6 weeks. So I went out in the garage, removed the wheels, helped him get on and ran with him for about 5 steps and he was on his way. Granted, he was a little older (just turned 5), but I think kids just "know" when its time.

    On the other hand, my personal experience was with a bike that my dad had just bought on sale that was too big and didn't have training wheels. I got rolling on the first heave but my trip was abruptly halted by the chrome bumper of a parked, mid 70's Ford sedan.

    R/
    D

  8. #8
    A wheelist
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    Training wheels train nothing only the reliance of leaning on one of the wheels. They don't train balance nor steering correction. The absolute best way is the "hobby horse" way - remove the pedals and make sure the kid can get their feet flat on the ground. Then the kid scooots around and soon learns to coast and make the necessary steering and body movements for balance. The kids will teach themselves very quickly and without parental interference.

    You'll get the idea.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  9. #9
    ...idios...
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    "The absolute best way is the "hobby horse" way - remove the pedals and make sure the kid can get their feet flat on the ground."

    Agreed 100%. The LIKEaBIKEs are beautiful, but there are also less expensive versions available. There's a company called Brighter Bike here in the UK doing something very similar for around 50 ($100), or even the Big S have a model for around half the price of a LIKEaBIKE (although nowhere near as nice, in my opinion).

    hotwalk.jpg

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  10. #10
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    Agreed 100%. The LIKEaBIKEs are beautiful, but there are also less expensive versions available. There's a company called Brighter Bike here in the UK doing something very similar for around 50 ($100), or even the Big S have a model for around half the price of a LIKEaBIKE (although nowhere near as nice, in my opinion).
    They'd be ideal Steve. Probably the easier/cheaper way is to remove the pedals from a suitably small bike. Better still - get a junk bike and remove the whole crank assembly and then let all the neighborhood kids learn on it. But whatever is done "training wheels" are not the way to go.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  11. #11
    ...idios...
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    ...not to mention no more neigbourhood toddler-brawls about the best way to clean and maintain a drivetrain.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  12. #12
    don't move for trees
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    I remember telling my dad I thought training wheels were dumb and dorky, so he took them off worked out nicely.
    "Get a bicycle.You will not regret it if you live." Mark Twain

  13. #13
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    ...not to mention no more neigbourhood toddler-brawls about the best way to clean and maintain a drivetrain.
    Yeah those wax crayon vs goopy mud lube battles can get nasty.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  14. #14
    Bread Man
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    I took one training whel off my sons bike within about an hour he was riding fine. This was at 3.5 yrs old
    It is better to destroy
    Than to create what is meaningless

  15. #15
    ~I Ride In Circles ~
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    My dad pushed me down a grass hill....
    ~ it's all good ~

  16. #16
    ...idios...
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    "My dad pushed me down a grass hill...."

    Were you on your bike?

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  17. #17
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    I never had training wheels. Just a bike with solid rubber tires.
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

    -Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18
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    I remember the older kids in the neighborhood showing me how to build a jump with plywood and cinder blocks. I broke the training wheels off the bike on the first landing and kept going.

  19. #19
    i also unicycle
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    i might be a late bloomer, or my folks just didn't get me on bikes that early in life(relatively speaking) but the first non-trike i had was at age 5 and i bent the training wheels in about 2 hours of riding(hey i was a big kid) and so i had to learn the dad-holds-the-seat-and-runs method. didn't take that long and before long it was hard to get me off the bike. that said i now work in a shop and think that the "likeabikes" or "run bikes" is totally the way to go. any kid big enough for one 18-24 months should use one. here's some videos:
    http://www.stridersports.com/video.html
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
    bikes & beers (on my blog) http://idontrideenough.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Rod
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    Dad took me to a baseball field of sand and I fell a few times. I got up tried again and before I knew it I was riding. I have also taught my cousin how to ride like this. I didn't have a baseball field, but we had a big yard. Just find a place where they won't get hurt if they fall.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  21. #21
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    Mike T has a point you really can not teach someone to ride by teaching them to rely on things other then balance. Riding or scooting around without the training wheels will help them to learn balance. You can also incorporate this with the “hill” technique mentioned by ZoSoSwim. If you take your little one and his/her bike to a park that has a small easy grade hill, they can coast down the hill using their feet to help them balance. As they become more confident they will instinctively raise their feet for longer periods of time. Eventually they will reach the bottom of the hill with their feet improperly positioned on their pedals and will maintain their momentum by pedaling like mad while yelling “hay dad watch this”.

  22. #22
    jalopy jockey
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    I think I'll try the hill technique. The elemantary school ball feild we used last weekend has a sidewalk with a slight grade leading to it.

    He'd never go for loosing the pedals. He's been riding with them for 2 years.

  23. #23
    Why not?
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    My dad ran with me down a hill and let go...you hafta learn quick....

    Once your young one learns that falling doesnt hurt so bad he'll start to get it. Just dont freak out when he falls, Im not telling you how to raise your kid but the less you freak out the better off he is....teach him how to ride and then more or less "ignore him"

    Nothing But Glory, and Everything For It.

  24. #24
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    my dad made me run around the house to get the idea of leaning into the turn. Never used training wheels, he just followed holding the back of the seat. I think the bike was too big as I remember starting with my foot up the curb so I could reach.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  25. #25
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    i remember i was really stubborn riding bikes. i just went skateboarding instead. i learned to ride when i was 7... kind of late compared to my siblings who learned at about 3 and 4. but my experience was just riding in my garage with no more than 20 ft to roll. my dad gave up since i kept hitting the garage door. then one day my mom took me to a parking lot and i hopped on the 2 wheeler for the first time without training wheels and i did fine. it was instinctive after that.

    when i was trying to teach my girlfriend to ride, i held on to the back seat and ran next to her. i let go from time to time to let her glide for a bit. i didnt tell her when i let go tho and caught her when she started to tilt. eventually i would just run right next to her and then stand still suddenly. she realized about 10 ft later she was riding on her own. i suggest going to a big open lot and doing just that. grass might be too hard for the kid to pedal on. tell him its easier to stay balanced at higher speeds. what people tend to do is go slow because they are scared and just end up tipping over.

  26. #26
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    Training wheels have worked fine for an awfully long time. I would guess they still do. The hobby horse method seems like a great idea as well. The thing that did it for my son was when I explained that when you start to lean over, you catch yourself by turning towards the lean. He caught on almost immediately. I'm sure everyone is different. Just keep trying different things until you find what works in your childs case. The important thing is to prevent an injury that might turn the child off to bikes completely.

  27. #27
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    field

    Everyone who went to my elementary school learned on the field there. it was flat and grassy which made us much less afraid of falling and getting hurt since it was soft but still rideable. take the training wheels off and hold the seat but let go once your kid gets moving alright. this has worked for countless second and thrid graders so id give it a shot.

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