2 (almost 3) year old pedaling backwards- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2 (almost 3) year old pedaling backwards

    Tried tossing my youngest on our 14" Yoji over the weekend, but ran into the issue that he's consistently trying to pedal backwards.

    I'm realizing that he's picked up bad habits of not always pedaling in the right direction from the rocking bike I built a while back.

    He does OK on a balance bike, but it seems like figuring out how to pedal forward properly could be an issue.

    Any tips?


    So far the ideas I've come up:
    • Modify his rocking bike to only allow the cranks to turn in one direction (haven't figured out how that would work)
    • Get a cheap bike with a coaster brake and training wheels so he can figure out the pedaling part (hesitant to do this in case he gets attached to it)
    • Just wait and hope he figures it out eventually, since he's not even 3 yet and he's already ahead of where his brother was at this age.

  2. #2
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    Go with option 3 and wait.
    No need to rush them along...embrace it and enjoy.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  3. #3
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    2 (almost 3) year old pedaling backwards

    Just wait. My littlest was doing that consistently. Right up until he figured it out. 6 months later hes on a Trek 20 Superfly following his brother down the trail.

    Dont force it.

    And DO NOT do training wheels unless you want him stuck on those for a frustratingly long amount of time.


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  4. #4
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    That's probably the most likely option -- unless anyone knows of a cheap square taper BSA bottom bracket that only turns in 1 direction...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshfly View Post
    And DO NOT do training wheels unless you want him stuck on those for a frustratingly long amount of time.
    I really don't want to go down the route of buying one, but I do wonder whether or not it would do harm / good to try sitting him on a 12" with training wheels and a coaster brake at Walmart or a thrift store just to demonstrate to him more clearly that forward = go / backwards = not going.

  6. #6
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    I did option two with both my kids.

  7. #7
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    Get a Big Wheel

  8. #8
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    What I did for what its worth ...
    My son was truly awesome on the pump track at aged just 2 on his 12" balance bike - so much so that I figured he can avoid university and get an instagram show off account (err...) but like his dad he couldnt do 2 things at once and pedalling his first bike was not happening. So I put his 14" wheeler islabike on my turbo trainer with no resistance and a little cack handing bodging and showed him how to pedal to make the wheel go round and make it noisy. Low and behold within 5 mins he had that figured. Five mins later he put balance with pedaling together in his head and we cycled merrily off into the sunset. He still prefers his balance bike on the pump track sadly. No red bull sponsored 3 year old in my house ..

  9. #9
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    I taught my kid to pedal on a tricycle, at age 2.
    Took a while. He didn't like the trike, he wanted to be on the balance bike instead.

    I had to pull him with a rope, and the fixed gear would rotate his legs. It seemed he would never get it, hahaha, we parents get so worked up!

  10. #10
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    My kids went able to walk - > glider. Regularly took them on short mtb trails on their glider which they rode for years. When it was time to swap to pedal bike they had no clue and couldn't even get around the driveway. Put them on tricycle and big wheels in front of the house and it all sorted itself out rather quickly. Just no training wheels. Ever.

  11. #11
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    Neither of my kids had balance bikes, both had raining wheels with a coaster brake. However, both had Razor scooters which they learned to balance on, and both got off training wheels very quickly. I believe balancing on the Razor scooter was the reason they got off the training wheels quick.

  12. #12
    Shut up and ride
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    3) wait

  13. #13
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    It's not that training wheels are either good or bad at teaching a kid how to ride it's that they are a good way to have a massive high side wreck.

  14. #14
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    How about a tow behind trailer bike to hook up to your bike? Sometimes they are really cheap used.

  15. #15
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    Inadvertently came across a possible solution at an estate sale this morning - a used Activecycle for $10 (basically a motorized pedeler used for physical therapy):
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...2&id=703273331

    His legs are a little short and the q factor is pretty wide, but from a very enthusiastic test run this evening it looks like I should be able to strap his feet in, put on something to watch, and let him build muscle memory while he's distracted.

  16. #16
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    Gotta laugh at the bike-geek training wheel hysteria.

    My kid learned on them and was riding stuff that many adult riders won't attempt while in elementary school. Long term negative effects are apparently developing balance like some sort of circus act.


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    Seriously, there's nothing wrong with rocking training wheels for a while, particularly if you want to concentrate on isolating the mechanics of pedaling and braking.

    Kids are just as likely to get "stuck" on scoot-bikes; if read around this forum you'll find plenty of examples.

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