Tips for Teaching Children How To Ride A Bike

It has probably been a considerably long time since you were taught how to ride a bike. You were nervous, excited and curious. You remember the feeling of achievement when you could steer the bike and brake without falling. You remember the skills, but you may not recall how you were taught. FirstBIKE knows the top tips for teaching bike riding to your little one, so you can focus on enjoying the special experience.

1. Start with a balance biketeach bike riding

Balance bikes have no pedals or stabilisers and are much lighter than pedal bikes. On balance bikes children use their feet to balance and propel themselves along. One of the biggest advantages of this method is that children as young as 2 learn to balance on their own without explanation, coaching or unnecessary stress.

2. Get the right safety gear

Bike safety is paramount. Teaching bike safety is just as important as teaching the physical skill of bike riding. Equip your child with bike safety essentials. These include:

  • helmet,
  • closed-toe shoes,
  • brightly coloured clothing for high visibility.

3. Start on the flat and work your way up

Begin teaching how to ride a balance bike in a flat and quiet area. Most playgrounds offer flat paths which are ideal for learning on. FirstBIKE stocks a range of balance bikes which suit different terrains such as paved areas, concrete, or off-road. Start by encouraging your child to walk around flat areas with the balance bike between their legs. This will help them to understand the proportions of the bike.

4. Teach them to use a break

When your child feels comfortable enough, allow them to sit on the balance bike and push or roll slowly. From here, they can be taught to grip the hand brakes to slow themselves down. To teach brake timing, ask your child to stop on chalk-drawn lines using the hand brakes.

5. Look for bike safety features like a ‘steering limiter’

Bikes with handlebars that limit the steering angle, a “steering limiter,” help little ones keep direction and prevent rough falls Using bikes with steering limiters gives them the confidence and freedom to safely explore. Models with sharp edges or extruding screws should also be avoided.

6. Choose a bike with an adjustable seat

On balance bikes, children immediately benefit from the security of having their feet on the ground, so it is important that the seat is easily adjustable to their height. When the child sits on the bike, both feet should be firmly planted on the ground – not just the toes – with knees slightly bent. This way, the child is able to properly push off, slow down and stabilise.

7. Transfer to a pedal bike when the time is right

Around the age of 4 or 5 depending on their height and skill; children can smoothly transfer to a pedal bike without ever needing stabilisers. From a balance bike, such as FirstBIKE, children learn how to balance and use a hand brake. The only skill they still need to learn is pedaling, however, at the age of 4 or 5, it is a natural transition.

To learn about the benefits of balance bikes, read our related blog post.

Credit to FirstBIKE UK.

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