Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike! – We totally agree, however we think that it is even more enjoyable to ride your bike with your family. The sooner you teach your children to ride a bike, the sooner you can enjoy fun family bike rides. Learn how to teach your child to ride a bike really quickly with this simple method.
Did you know there is an easy way to teach kids to ride a bike?
It doesn’t have to be full of bumps, bruises and tantrums – follow our simple tips and you’ll have your son or daughter riding a bike independently from as soon as they are big enough to reach the pedals.
We believe that stabilisers actually make learning to ride independently MORE DIFFICULT! So don’t bother waste your money on them! Find out why stabilisers are useless here if you don’t believe us.
Learn on a bike that fits them
What size bike does your child need? Are they ready for a pedal bike or would a balance bike be best until their legs grow a little. Take a look at our bike sizing guide if you need help deciding which size bike your child needs and whether they are ready for a pedal bike.
Your child needs to be able to put their feet flat on the floor – this makes learning easier. When they can ride their bike independently with ease, you can raise the seat a little so they get more power in each pedal stroke.
Pick the right location
Choose a dry day. Find a gentle slope, preferably on short grass in your garden or local park. Ask friends and family where they taught their kids, there is usually a great spot nearby.
Take the right kit with you
A Helmet is ESSENTIAL! See our kids’ cycling helmet sizing guide here, safety is really important!
Cycle Mitts / Gloves – your child shouldn’t fall off with this method, but it can give them extra confidence.
Solid shoes – no sandals or crocs when you’re learning to ride, they can slip off the pedals.
Refreshments – have a drink for you both and a little snack in case you need to take a break and recharge the batteries.
Remove the Pedals!
Temporarily remove the pedals (you’ll just need a spanner) so your child can use their new bike as a balance bike. This will help them get used to the weight of the bike without the pedals banging into their ankles and also the geometry of the bike which will be different from their balance bike if they have had one before.
Encourage your child to push the bike along, slowly increasing the time they can keep their feet off the floor by taking gradually larger strides. If you have a bike – show them how on your own bike. Do this until your child can raise both legs, balancing by themselves, as they coast down a gentle slope.
Put the Pedals Back On
Try replacing just one pedal at first and then repeat the coasting excercise. This will enable your child to see how the pedal works and the effect it has when he pushes off. He will still be able to get a foot down clear of a spinning pedal so it builds his confidence more gradually than putting on both at once.
The Power Pedal is where they take the first push of the pedal and learn how how it thrusts them forward. Once your child seems to have grasped the ‘power pedal’ position with one pedal on it’s time to put both pedals back on.
A Gentle Push
The next step is where you come in and have to do some work! You will need to help steady your child as they start to pedal. Don’t just skip to this stage – it is so much easier once the child has got familiar with coasting on the bike and they really will learn faster in the long run.
Hold the back of the seat or gently support their back, do not take all the weight. Let them get used to pedalling while you help them stay upright. Start to let go for a few seconds at a time and let them know with lots of encouragement. Gradually let go for longer – stay close by to help give them confidence.
Be Patient… keep trying!
Not every child will be cycling within an hour of starting. Try to enjoy it and make it a fun occasion – having two adults available can help as you can take it in turns to run along side.
Watch our video to see how it’s done!
The easy way to teach your child to ride a bike quickly! – This video goes through all the steps above showing you exactly how it should be done. The little boy in this video was cycling within an hour. Less than two years on he’s now cycling to school and recently completed a 12 mile bike ride with his Mum on the same Orbea Grow bike!