5 Tips for Teaching Your Child To Ride From the Bike ClubSeptember 15, 2021 • Outdoor Ideas
The saying goes that once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. We asked our friends at The Bike Club to share their top tips on teaching your child how to ride a bike. It’s never too late to learn and once children are confident in the saddle, it opens up a whole new world of adventures.
At the Bike Club we believe kids deserve to be given the best chance to fall in love with being active outdoors, and that one of the best ways to give them that is through the joy and freedom of cycling. We want to make it as easy as possible for Parents to give their kids the best cycling experience by making sure they have access to lightweight, quality bikes that are the right size all the time. That’s why we created the UK’s first subscription kids bike service, where parents can exchange as their child grows.
Read on to find out our top tips for teaching your child to ride.
1) Size Matters
It can be really tempting to get a bike that your child will ‘grow into’ but this is never a good idea. If the bike is the wrong size, then it will be very difficult for your child to learn to balance properly, and they won’t be able to control or stop the bike easily. Having the right sized bike will help them quickly build confidence.
2) Keep it Light
As important as size is the weight of the bike. Just imagine how hard it would be to ride a bike that was half your bodyweight! Lightweight bikes will be much easier for kids to control when they’re first learning, and let’s face it they will be much easier for you to carry when you’re inevitably left in charge of getting everyone home.
3) Quality Counts
Good quality kids’ bikes will be designed with smaller riders specifically in mind. That means smaller brake levers for little hands, and things like pedals that are set closer into the frame where a young riders’ feet will more naturally sit. Which all adds up to a much more enjoyable experience.
4) It’s All About Balance
Despite stabilisers being the norm for most of our lives there is in fact a much better way; balance bikes are the perfect option for kids to learn the basics of balance and control before having to also contend with pedals. You’ll be astonished how quickly kids who’ve started on a balance bike can pick up pedalling.
Bonus Tip: If your child isn’t showing much interest in their balance bike then don’t worry, leave it somewhere that it’s visible and let them become comfortable with exploring it in their own time. This process is generally much sped up by older siblings or friends who are already riding around.
5) First Pedal
If your child didn’t learn on a specific balance bike then don’t worry, you can easily turn a pedal bike into a balance bike by removing the pedals and dropping the saddle down as low as it will go. Let your child use this as a balance bike until they are comfortable with scooting along with their feet raised for more than five seconds. Pop the pedals back on and set the saddle so that they can reach the floor with both feet (once they’re comfortable with stopping and starting you’ll want to raise it so they’re on their tiptoes), then remind them to push forward and down on the pedals rather than backwards!
Bonus Tip: If you’re helping your child to start off then hold them under each armpit rather than holding the bike. This will make sure that the balance of the bike is in their control and means if they really start to wobble you’ve got a good grip to quickly hold them up.
Find a quiet spot and give it a go – you’ll be out enjoying family rides in no time.