Bicycle Training Wheels
Bicycle Training Wheels
Pat Hines (Traffic Safety Educator & Executive Director, SafeMoves) gives expert video advice on: How old should a child be before riding a bicycle with training wheels?; How do I safely teach my child to ride a bicycle without training wheels? and more...
What are "bicycle training wheels"?
Bicycle training wheels are an important element to your kid's bike if they're just learning how to ride. So your bicycle, it could be a sixteen-inch bike, it could be a twenty-inch bike, and they're little tiny wheels that go on the back axle that you can put on yourself or you can have a bike shop put on for you. But it give the child the sense that they can ride a two-wheeler, but they've got some helper wheels in the back that help keep balance. And they're very important to check. Make sure that you tighten those bolts and make sure they have contact with the ground. You don't want to have one bike wheel higher than the other so the child feels they're going to tip. It'll make them really nervous and real hesitant about riding a bicycle. So make sure they're evenly touching the ground when your child rides. They're just smaller little wheels that go on the back, and I call them 'helper wheels'.
How old should a child be before riding a bicycle with training wheels?
The age a parent needs to consider to put on training wheels is any age that a child needs help. A child as young as two, three, and four can ride a bike with training wheels. I've seen children who are ten and eleven who need training wheels. There is not a real age that you can put training wheels on a bike. It is what your child is comfortable doing, and it's really important that you make an older child not feel silly about riding a bike with training wheels. They'll only need them for a while, and it's just like beginner drivers id, when learning how to drive a car. Training wheels are just giving some extra help until they learn their balance, so it's really important to talk to your child and let them know what training wheels are, and if they're comfortable riding with training wheels, put them on the bike so your child can enjoy riding bicycles safely.
When should I take the training wheels off my child's bicycle?
Training wheels can stay on your bike as long as your child feels they need them. And then what you can do to get them used to riding a two-wheeler is to take one of the training wheels off. Let them know you're taking one training wheel off and if they feel like they're going to fall, they can lean to the right or whatever side that training wheel is. So it's a little extra safety measure. And then you can start raising the little training wheel so it's higher and higher off the ground. So they know the training wheel is there, but they're not using it. But it goes back to where your child is. Is your child ready to take the training wheels off? Don't force a child to ride a bike without training wheels if they're not ready. It'll make them not like bicycle riding, they won't trust you and they won't feel safe. So talk to your child. Leave the training wheels on as long as they want, and take training wheels off when they're ready to take them off.