Why Training Wheels Don’t Work!
When learning to ride a bike there are two tactics you must master, pedaling and balance. Pedaling is the easier of the two and most children have no issue learning this, it’s the second one most have trouble achieving, and that is simply because a bicycle on two wheels is unstable, it will not hold itself up. This is where the concept behind training wheels came into play, to keep the bike held upright allowing the child to focus on pedaling while not tipping over. The only problem with this, take those training wheels off and you are back to square one, tipping over, which would explain why trying to learn to ride a bike without training wheels is terrifying to most kids. But, don’t fear, there is a better way to all of this, and it’s simple, we reverse it! Teach children the concept of balance before pedaling. How do we do that? Easy, with a balance bike. Balance bikes are as simple as they sound, they have no pedals, no chain, no way to propel and gain momentum other than using your feet.
Children learning to ride on a balance bike solve the balancing problem first, teaching them the toughest part of riding a bike. Once the balance and steering part is figured out, the pedaling is quickly picked up and incorporated leaving the child feeling accomplished and confident. Kids naturally interact with a balance bike because their feet can always stay on the ground, the seat is low, giving a lower point of gravity and a more secure feeling. Once the child starts to propel themselves, they learn that picking their feet up is a good way to get a “free ride” as the momentum will carry them forward, improving their core balance all while having fun!
Kids on balance bikes have the same confidence as a child on training wheels, but the confidence is justified: They really do know how to balance themselves on a bicycle. Once on a pedal bicycle, these kids only must learn how to make the pedals work. Learning to pedal while balancing is still tricky, of course, but it is far simpler than learning to balance while pedaling, make sense?
This is the whole concept behind All Kids Bike, teaching children in Kindergarten PE class how to ride a bike is achieved quickly with the use of the Strider 14x Balance Bike with pedal conversion kits. The teachers, after getting certified, conduct an 8-week curriculum that will take kids from balance bike mode to pedal mode in short order.
After witnessing the ease of teaching children how to ride a balance bike first, it only makes sense to say, “toss the training wheels”.
Most parents remember their experience of learning to ride a bike, and for most, it includes painful memories with those training wheels. It’s a new generation and a new way to teach biking skills, kids are learning to pedal at a much younger age. Just think how awesome it will be when these kids are now the parents and can easily pass on the “rite of passage” of learning to ride a bike to their children.
We recently watched a video going around on social media of Tour De France bicyclist Tejay Van Garderen as he answered questions from kids. One question was “Why don’t any of the Tour De France riders use training wheels?” Tejay answered that all the Tour De France riders have mastered riding a bike and no longer need them, and he goes on to recommend that kids should start learning to ride on a Strider Balance Bike, mentioning that his own children are learning to ride this way.
There you have it, take it from a professional rider, ditch the training wheels and start on a Strider!
— #TDF2019 on NBCSN (@NBCSNCycling) July 11, 2019