Learning to ride is an unforgettable experience. All at once, the world becomes a place of freedom, wonder, and adventure. You never forget that feeling, and you never forget who taught you how to ride. Teaching your child to ride a bike should be a special experience. With the right knowledge, the right tools, and the right approach, you can build a memory that you and your little ripper will look back on forever. This is everything you need to help your little one make a smooth transition from training wheels to a two-wheeler.
What you'll need:
A great kids' bike
As parents, we all want the same thing for our kids: a bike that provides safety, comfort, reliability, and ease of use without breaking the bank. There are some specific things you should look for in choosing a bike for your little one. Not sure where to start? This is the right place.How to choose a kids' bike
A pedal wrench, as the name implies, is used to remove the pedals of your child’s bike. (You’ll see why that’s important below.) Pedals on kids’ bikes have 15mm axles, and pedal wrenches are thin so they can fit between the crank and pedal platform. Remember: the left pedal loosens clockwise and the right pedal loosens counter-clockwise on most bikes.Shop pedal wrenches
Step 1: Preparing the bike
First, remove the training wheels – you may need a standard adjustable wrench depending on what type of training wheels they are. Once they’ve come off, you’ll want to grab the pedal wrench we mentioned earlier and remove the pedals (just for now) so your child can focus on balance. Remember: the “righty-tighty” rule applies only to the driveside (or right) pedal. The non-driveside (or left) pedal is reverse threaded. Loosen the left pedal clockwise, and loosen the right pedal counter-clockwise. Once you’ve removed the pedals, lower the seat so your child’s feet touch the ground when sitting on the bike. A lower seat provides more confidence when trying to balance.
Step 2: Scoot!
Now that the pedals are removed and the seat is lowered, your child is ready to scoot. They can start by “walking” along with the bike. As they gain confidence, they’ll start to push off more with their feet and glide to balance. Location is important here: unless your child’s bike has handlebar brakes, removing the pedals also took away their ability to brake. This is why it’s especially important to stay on level ground. The best place is a flat, paved, secluded path with grass on either side. If your child begins to lose balance or confidence, they can steer toward softer ground. Grass stains are far better than tipping over on pavement. Remember, the faster your child can scoot, the easier it will be to balance. When your child looks comfortable balancing, put the pedals back on and get ready to ride.
Step 3: Time to try the pedals
Once you’ve reinstalled the pedals using the pedal wrench, your child is ready for their first real ride. This will take a bit of practice and patience, so make sure you’re in a crash-ready zone. Give your kid a gentle push and encourage them to pedal quickly as you run alongside them. Speed = balance. Above all, remember to stay positive. There may be a few falls and it may take a few attempts, but the two of you will be riding together soon enough. If we have one final piece of advice, it’s to take it all in. You only get to share this experience once, and there’s part of this first ride in every ride your kid will take for the rest of their lives. Enjoy!