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transitioning from a balance bike to regular bike

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 




Ds has had a balance bike sense he was 2.5.   He turned 4 in July and we got him a regular bike for his birthday, we actually just ordered it today and it will be here next week (had to special order it, because he wanted the purple one!).  Its a 16", and ds is 37" tall so a pretty tiny guy, but we got him one that has a lower frame and its very light weight. 


He is GREAT with his balance, which is why we decided to get him a regular bike, but he has never had anything with pedals on it.   


Is there any trick to teaching kids to pedal?  When he tried it in the store he kept going backwards and forwards, which didn't work! 




Edited by leighi123 - 9/24/11 at 5:01pm
post #2 of 11

My older ds learned to ride primarily on a balance bike, then transitioned with no problem once dh put the pedals back on the bike when he was 5.5yo (it had been a real bike with the pedals removed).  At the beginning he just propelled forward by stepping, as usual, then used the pedals to keep going.  He did have practice with pedals before that, though, on tricycles, on another bike with training wheels, and the "tag-a-long" bike attachment on the back of my bike - which I think did a lot to improve his skills and confidence.  My younger son is 4.5 and has really been getting the hang of the balance bike this summer. I think I'll keep letting him practice steering and such on that this fall and introduce the pedals in the spring for him. 

post #3 of 11

For my dd it worked well that she went from tricycle to balance bike to regular bike.  The trike riding let her get the hang of pedaling.


Maybe you could borrow a trike (or let your ds use a friend's at their house) just to let him get a little practice.  It wouldn't take long at all for him to get the motion down.

post #4 of 11

My kids both went from balance to two-wheeler. The sidewalk in front of our house has a veeeery slight downward incline, which worked perfectly. I just gave them one big push, and it only took a couple tries to get it. As long as he can comfortably touch the ground, you should be fine. Have fun!

post #5 of 11

Well, we just transitioned our kiddo to a regular bike after a couple years of the strider. He's 39 inches tall (turned 4 in April) and honestly, the 16 inch bike that we got was just plain too big for him.  We ended up having to put training wheels on because he couldn't stop and start without falling over.  His feet wouldn't touch the ground.  Now, you may not have that problem if the frame is configured differently, but no amount of adjusting was going to make this bike fit.  We let him pedal around on the training wheels for a little while, then bought him a cheap 12" bike. 


The transition from the bigger bike with training wheels was a little tougher because he was used to having them.  But we just kept the seat low-ish  so he coudl put his feet down if he needed to (similar to how the run bike was set up) and helped him stop and start the first few times.  We also left it up to him to choose the bike he wanted to ride on any given day.  It took a couple weeks and a couple successful runs on the 12 inch bike before he was willing to go for it. 


I think we set him back a few months by getting a bike that was too big, but he's four and riding a two-wheeler, who cares about a couple months.  Good luck!

post #6 of 11

I would get him to try out pedaling somehow before he gets on the bike. If he can't put his feet flat on the ground I would consider borrowing or getting free a 12 or 14 inch just for transition purposes. 




post #7 of 11

i agree that a bike that is too big won't work very well.  however, if the bike is properly fitting (ie. he can touch the ground while on the seat, preferably with his feet flat), it should be fine.  dd1 went from a run bike to a pedal bike after about 6 weeks on the run bike and was completely independent with the pedal bike in under 60 minutes, including starting from a standstill and stopping; this was when she had just turned three.  we just started by holding on to the back of the seat for a few feet, then only holding on to get started, then she was off!!

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

The bike I ordered has a low frame, which is supposed to be good because shorter kids can use it, but it will also last a long time because of the same thing, the seat when adjusted all the way up has a ton of leg room.   


This is the one we got:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=62150&scid=1104&scname=Kids (purple!)


With the seat all the way down, he can touch the floor with his feet, I didn't really pay attention to how much of his feet touch though.   Right now his balance bike is set up so that his feet just barely touch the ground.  He usually kicks off and puts his feet up on the front of it!   He has no problem steering so I'm not worried about that, its just the actual pedaling.   


I'm excited to see how he does on it! 

post #9 of 11
Let us know how it goes!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 


Picking it up at the bike store: 
So it took him all of 2 tries to figure out how to ride it, we took him down to the tennis court, with all kinds of safety gear on, and I warned him he might fall but it would be ok, gave him a little push, and that was it he was off!  These videos were taken after about 15min practice on the court, and then riding 1/4 mile home, my mom's voice is in the background (and a very loud bird and bugs)
Another one:
He has ridden around the block 6 times between thursday and today, our block is a full mile around, so I guess I have to take up jogging because I'm having to run to keep up!
post #11 of 11
Wow, he's doing great! He can start on his own and everything. The bike IS a bit big for him but it doesn't seem to be holding him back at all. He's going to have so much fun.
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