Do you want to teach your kid to ride a bike but do not know how ? A bike is two-wheeled and hence can’t stand of its own. Childhood is the right time for learning to ride a bike. It is fun and great exercise for them. The process of learning to ride a bicycle has two phases. They are:
- Learning balance
- Riding a bike with pedals
Teach your kid to ride a bike: step by step:
Kids’ Age to Start Learning!
Kids between the ages of 3 and 8 years, indicating an average of 5 years, can start riding a bike. Two-year kids, too, can learn to ride a balance bike. They acquire the crucial skills and confidence required to ride a full-size bike. Kids up to the age of five can use a balance bike.
What’s a Balance Bike?
These bikes are toddler bikes. They learn the art of balancing on two-wheeled bikes. It is devoid of has gears, drive trains, and freewheels. It encourages kids to lift their legs and use their arms while moving forward. Its seat is much closer to the ground.
Preparatory Tips for the Trainer!
- Eliminate the fear and apprehension from the minds of the learners.
- Reinforce self-confidence to achieve success.
- Inspire, motivate, and appreciate for successful accomplishments.
SUITABILITY KIDS BIKE ACCORDING TO INSEAM
What is Inseam?
Inseam is the straight-line measure from your crotch to your leg. The unit applied is either inch or centimeter (CM). We use inseam for accessing the suitability of full paints and also in the suitability of buying the bicycles for the kids. The inseam of a kid is dependent upon his/her age and overall height.
Kids Bike Size by Inseam and Age:
Kids Bikes are represented by the wheel (tire) sizes of the bike
|Wheel Size||Age in Years||Inseam in Inches||Inseam in CM|
The tire size and the frame together determine the seat height of a bike. To find the fittest bike of your kid, use the inseam of your kid about the bikes ‘seat height.
Measuring a Child’s Inseam!
- Make your kid stand against a wall, with shoes on and legs slightly apart,
- Hold tightly, a hardbound book between their legs, with the spine towards the crotch.
- Raise the book gradually till the spine of the book hits their crotch firmly.
- Take the book to the level of the floor and measure from the ground up to the spine of the book, and that is the inseam of your kid.
Inseam may vary irrespective of age. Take the following three steps to measure it.
- Make your kiddo to stand straight against a wall, either bare-footed or with socks. Let them hold a book between their legs, closet to their crotch. Then mark the wall at the top of the book. Now, measure from the floor to the mark.
- The real inseam length comes along with a reputed bike.
- Choose lower of the recommended inseam to accommodate flexibility in growth.
If you allow your kiddo to ride a bigger than inseam bike, it may be frustrating and dangerous for them.
Best Brands of Kids Bikes!
The specially designed kid’s bikes. They include Woom, Frog, Prevelo, Pelo, Early Rider, Cleary, Guardian, and Spawn. The branded ones bought from brick-and-mortar shops may be a little costlier. But you get the quality, longevity, and resale-value. Various sources allow you to shop for balance bikes, which include:
- Online-Buying: You can get the ease of shopping from Amazon and good quality, too, if you research thoroughly. Backcountry is a legit online bike shop. You can Rarely select Rider, Clearly, and many more. Some reputed brands, such as Islabikes, have their websites and sell directly to customers.
- Local Shopping: Local shops may measure the inseam o your child and offer you the fittest one. You can also get after-sales service like free tune-ups. The bike is assembled before your eyes. You know the quality of every part assembled. The online bikes come pre-assembled. Referrals also help you to choose the right local shop.
Use of Helmet, a Must!
While learning to ride, there are chances of falling off, skidding, and slipping. Any of these eventualities may cause injuries to your kids’ head, eyes, lip, mouth, ear, and tongues. The proper helmet protects these delicate parts. Ensure wearing of the helmet in the following ways:
- It sits level across the kids’ mid-forehead; not more than 1” above the eyebrows. If it is not positioned this way, adjust the fit or try another one.
- Adjust the straps to rest under each ear to make V form.
- Buckle the chin strap so that your kid feels just comfortable, neither loose nor tight.
- Any flaw in the fitting may compromise with protection.
Additional Safety Gears!
Just as head, other vulnerable parts of the body of your kid are also exposed to major or minor injuries. Protect them too. Use gloves, knee pads, elbow, and shin guards and closed-toe shoes. Tuck the shoelaces out of the way and avoid using loose pant legs. Make them wear long socks and pants. This avoids smacking their ankles on the crank arms or pedals.
Bike Lessons: How To Teach Your Kid Ride A Bike?
If your kid is well-versed with a “balance bike,” it will be easier for you to go for the next step, riding. Children from the age of 18-months to the age of five years enjoy riding the balance bike. If your kid has already ridden a balance bike, you may skip this step and go in for pedaling. As an alternate process, you may adopt the following.
- Take out training wheels: Kids get acquainted with sitting on a bike and putting their legs on the pedal but pedaling. They can’t learn to balance.
- Take out the pedals and lower the seat: Kids can sit upright, slightly bending the knees putting their feet flat on the ground. This makes ease and steady at balancing. You can remove the pedal by using a pedal wrench.
- Inflate the bike tires properly: While the bicycle roll smoothly, your kid will be coasting to watch the tires inflating to the correct position.
Ideal Places for Teaching!
A large paved area, free of traffic, is the ideal place. The ground needs to be even flat and smooth without any hindering objects. You can find these on the tennis ground or a basketball court. Don’t select a narrow driveway lest the kid should be apprehensive of straying out off the pavement. The grassy area may hinder the speed.
Start-up for Riding without Pedals!
Practice Getting On and off the bike
Ask your kid to hold the handle firmly, lean one side of the bicycle towards him. As the standing height of the bicycle is reduced, he can quickly get onto it. In the same position, ask him to get off the bicycle. Doing these repeatedly for several times, make the kid comfortable with it.
Scoot and Glide
Make the kid sit on a bicycle without pedal, hold the handlebar firmly and walk forward and backward. Alternatively, instead of shuffling his feet, he may be asked to take long steps with one leg at a time. He may then be asked to do the same thing in a long-running style. Finally, he may be asked to push off by using both legs.
It is pertinent that the kids sit upright and look forward instead of looking down at his feet. Being prompted and encouraged by scooting and coasting, the child usually tends to look forward. Yet, to make it habit with him, you should walk backward in front of him and holding up different numbers or showing fingers, ask him to shout out the numbers while he scoots towards you.
After the kid is good at scooting and coasting, teach him how to glide by doing it yourself, ask him to increase the distance of his feet off the ground, and learn gliding in the ways.
- Hot lava: Mark two lines of 10 ft apart and draw flames of hot lava. Ask the kids to cross it with speed. They will pick up their feet when they glide over the flame. You can repeat the process,
- Timed guide: Ask the kids to glide with one foot for ten seconds and gradually increase the time.
- Looping Turns: This is explained in the video recording.
Read our complete guide about the Most Popular Balance Bike with Pedals
Steering and Gliding Games!
Natural Obstacles: Put a few orange-colored cones in a pattern on the pave and as your kid to steer between them by maneuvering the handlebar.
Follow the Leader: You take the lead on your bicycle and ask your kid to follow you. Go slow and easy and make big turns frequently.
Ride with Pedals
When your kid can move without applying any power with his feet up, ask him to turn and look ahead while riding. Then, connect the pedal to the bike. At this stage, keep the seat in a lowered position so that the kid can put both his feet on the ground to halt.
Make the kid to sit on the bike. Hold the handlebar while facing him. Ask him to look at you and practice to put his feet on the pedals. Tell him to put his feet on the pedals, when you say “Hot Lava.” He must look forward and not at the pedal. You may hold him tightly so that he does not fall.
Slowing Down and Stopping
Before starting, let the kid feel the pressure required by the brake to work. If the bike has coaster brakes, you should hold the bike, while the kid is practicing by gently pressing the coaster brake. For hard brakes, let the kid walk alongside the bike firmly holding the handgrips and a couple of fingers on the brakes.
Starting with Handles
To start from a stopped position, the child should sit on the bike in a balanced position. Let him stand with one leg on the ground and the other on the pedal raised to the position of 2’O clock. By putting more pressure on the front pedal, the bike gets its momentum.
In the second method, let the kid start with one foot on a pedal, slightly leaning the bike towards him. Let him use the other foot to scoot. A scooter step generates the speed going, and then he finds the second pedal. You can teach them either the extended stride scoot technique or the hopping technique.
Unless you find your kid almost falling off the bike, avoid giving support to the bike. Self-confidence is most important in balancing a bike for independent pedaling. Once he gets your support, he may look for it further. In that case, make him practice more of balancing before making his pedal.
Steering and Turning
A stronghold on the handlebar and the skill of maneuvering takes to the stage of turning. Make large circles or figure 8 and ask the kid to steer and turn over the marked lines. Initially, you may start with larger areas and curtail them to shorter ones. You can make it a game by setting up a line of cones or bean bags and make the kid navigate across them.
Games for Practice of Pedaling and Braking!
- Green Light indicates to start, and Red Light indicates to stop. Setting these two lights differently, encourage the kid for faster stops.
- Keep a safety cone around ten to twenty feet ahead on the pave and let the child go their pedaling and stop just before the cone, without hitting it.
After the teaching of the lesson, your kid acquires the skills of balancing, steering, and balancing. He is self-motivated to train himself to fine-tune his acquired skill. That makes him a champ.
He can commute to school. He may even aspire to participate in a kiddy cycle race. Your responsibility does not end there. If, during the period of training, your kid has gained his inseam, buy a new branded one for him. It will be most enjoyable if he accompanies you on his bike for family outings.