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The Pros and Cons of Using Training Wheels When Learning to Ride

Training wheels are great for learning the unnatural skill of pedalling. But at the same time training wheels can be detrimental in learning to balance.

By creating the assisted balance, training wheels also create an artificial understanding of balance speed. They can also mislead the rider by simply reducing the effort it takes to ride a bicycle.

Like learning to walk, bike riding for most is a process that simply takes a while.

Most kids learn with training wheels on, and it is definitely a nice way to get going so that your child gets the "I'm a bike rider" feeling straight way.

But I am sure we all have seen plenty of kids leaning over as the training wheels inevitably

Training wheels are great for learning the unnatural skill of pedalling. But at the same time training wheels can be detrimental in learning to balance.

By creating the assisted balance, training wheels also create an artificial understanding of balance speed. They can also mislead the rider by simply reducing the effort it takes to ride a bicycle.

Like learning to walk, bike riding for most is a process that simply takes a while.

Most kids learn with training wheels on, and it is definitely a nice way to get going so that your child gets the "I'm a bike rider" feeling straight way.

But I am sure we all have seen plenty of kids leaning over as the training wheels inevitably weaken on one side or the other. Training wheels are not made with the same integrity as the bike itself.

All children accomplish milestones in their own way, in their own time.

What really matters is getting the rider up to balance speed so that trainers aren't needed, and then knowing to put the feet down when they slow down. (Seated, kids should be able to put both feet to the ground so please keeps seats low).

When is the right time to take off training wheels?

One common issue parents find with kids is they often rely heavily on training wheels, and of course the training wheels wear out. This is a natural reaction; training wheels have a level of assurance that helps raise confidence.

Another way to raise onfidence is by lowering the height of the seat. Initially us parents will think this makes the bike seem too small. That is partially true but the advantages are greater.

By lowering the seat the child sits deeper into the wheels and this help lower the medium height for balance. Plus the child will feel safer because they can easily touch the ground, they will feel more secure.

One thing to remember about training wheels is that they are for training: once the pedal action is learnt and balance speed is achieved, training wheels soon have no place.

In the real world however, every new rider goes through the learning process differently.

Confidence is King.

Do whatever it takes to keep them confident but please note training wheels often feel wobbly and precarious to a new rider, feet on the ground is much more reassuring.

Most kids who never use training wheels, get the hang of pedals within a few hours, because of their initial learning experience on a balance bike - they understand that crucial balance speed and what it should feel like.

Often in the process of learning, a child will have to go between having training wheels on, having pedals off, having pedals on, pedalling with your help, and back to trainers on, until the balance speed and confidence is found.  You can take the pedals off any bike to make it into a balance bike for learning.

A good way to introduce pedals and no training wheels is to utilise gentle down slopes that give just enough speed to balance, then when it flattens encourage your child to keep the momentum by pedalling...and often they are away.