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Teaching my son to ride a bike. Advice please?

(16 Posts)
Mummy1995 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:17:23

My son is 3 1/2 and I'd really like to teach him to ride a bike. I do not own a bike, nor can afford one for myself. Although I know how to ride a bike. He has a bike which is above his age group because of his height, as he's the same size as a 5 1/2 year old.

My question is how do I teach him to pedal forwards. He just can't seem to push down on it and when my partner tries his techniques that he used on his kids, my son gets scared and stays clear of the bike until his confidence is built back up...

The techniques my partner has used are letting go of the bike on a slight gradient, pushing down on the pedals with my sons feet gently, pushing the bike around, practising pedalling.

He pedals on bikes and trikes at nursery but they are much too small for him. Any thoughts on what might possibly work as the bike is just resting in the shed unused xx

Supergran58 Sun 24-Sep-17 15:43:35

Start with a balance bike. They learn how to balance first. My 2 year old grandson can zoom around on his balance bike and then lift both feet off the ground for several seconds until the bike stops. He has learnt to pedal on trikes at nursery. I'm hoping by Christmas he will be ready to put both skills together and ride a bike with pedals.

Mol1628 Sun 24-Sep-17 15:49:26

Balance bike first. What sort of bike is it? He may be tall for his age but lots of children's bikes are very heavy and difficult to pedal and manage.

greatpumpkin Sun 24-Sep-17 15:51:45

You want him to get comfortable with balance first, before you get the pedals involved.

Put the saddle down until he can touch the ground with his feet. Then let do of the bike on a very gentle slope, let him lift and put down his feet however he wants.

When he is balancing and coasting, he can try putting his feet on the pedals and pushing them round. If it takes a while for him to get the balance, you can take the pedals off so they don't get in the way. Then put them back on when you think he's ready.

I taught my ds this way in about 45 minutes, thanks to the advice of a lovely man in the park. But he was much older than yours. If he doesn't get the hang of it or enjoy it, I'd just leave it for a few months.

BikeRunSki Sun 24-Sep-17 15:52:14

Hi. I'm involved in kids cycle coaching, so have a bit of experience. Being able to ride a pedal bike requires balance, core strength and the ability to pedal.

Balance and core strength can be developed on a balance bike, or by taking the pedals off his bike and using it as a balance bike.

Pedalling is as much an intellectual skill as a physical skill. If his mind/brain are not ready to pedal, then they are not ready, but can be helped along the way by pedalling on trikes, ride ons etc that do not also require balance. But even then, it's largely a brainy developmental step.

Once he has mastered these two, they'll marry up easily. A field with a shallow gradient is a perfect place to practice.

HSMMaCM Wed 27-Sep-17 08:17:59

I agree with removing the pedals too. DD learned to push along, then push along with her feet out to the sides, feeling the balance. Once she was confident with that, the pedals went back on. She did a bit of one foot on a pedal and one scooting, then just picked up the other foot and started riding.

She was a little older though. Don't worry if he's not ready yet.

CamperVamp Wed 27-Sep-17 08:27:33

3 is young.
Some do learn at 3 but if he is avoiding the bike you are putting too much pressure on him.
I agree: balance bike.

UnaPalomaBlanca Wed 27-Sep-17 08:48:16

Yes- definitely concentrate on the balancing before adding in the pedalling.
If they can balance the bike, they have control and can steer. The pedalling comes much more easily after that.
We did buy a balance bike but, as others have said, see about removing the pedals from his existing bike. Go to a slope that is not too steep that he whips up to top speed... but steep enough that he can freewheel down. 1 or 2 metres at a time at first, then gradually increase the distance. Doesn't take long- just a few days practice. When he is really confident add in the pedalling. One pedal push off. Then practise getting the second foot on the pedal ... and that's it!

2014newme Wed 27-Sep-17 08:50:47

Balance bike
I didn't then teach my kids to ride a pedal bike they just got on and did it

Fekko Wed 27-Sep-17 08:50:53

I know keen cyclists who taught their kids by taking the pedals off a normal bike first.

We taught ds on a normal bike on the grass - slows you down and has a soft landing!

Ohyesiam Wed 27-Sep-17 10:16:55

Get him a balance bike. Then once he get s on one with pedals you won't even have to teach him, or give him stabiliser wheels, as his body will be able to balance without him trying.

roguedad Sun 05-Nov-17 08:15:47

We tried our first kid with stabilisers and it took ages. Then we discovered balance bikes for our second. Amazing how much faster it all went. So I would also sugges balance bike or pedal removal.

Blueboo0814 Fri 10-Nov-17 08:01:01

My first little boy had a balance bike when he turned 3 and was riding a proper bike by 4 1/2. He just got on the bike and did it...
My second boy is now 3 himself and again getting very good on the balance bike first.
Balance bikes all the way!

purpleme12 Thu 16-Nov-17 00:35:59

Can I ask for advice on this too please...

My child (4) has a bike but I think like someone said above it's quite heavy so I think it's hard for her. She can pedal for a VERY short amount of time (a few circles?) But it takes effort I think cos of the eight if the bike maybe? ( Note this is with stabilisers). I think I'm going to get her a balance bike anyway but once she's got the hang of that should we keep persevering on this proper bike? Or is there a special bike that's lighter and easier for them or something??

Lifechallenges Thu 11-Jan-18 23:48:01

Balance bike at 2 = normal bike at 3.5 for my DC and most people I know. Stabilisers are not like cycling. Take pedals off normal bike ad use like balance bike

GreenTulips Thu 11-Jan-18 23:50:26

Lie he m on the floor and put his feet in your palms and get him to push

Sing 'This is the way we ride our bike ride our bike ride our bike - this is the way ....

It's fun and good practice

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