Recently I bought a mountain bike for my 7-year-old nephew as his birthday present and I bought training wheels with it only to realize later that training wheels don’t fit mountain bikes for various reasons.
It was frustrating at first and then I thought is there a way for him to train on his new bike without trainers I came up with different ideas but some of them just weren’t good enough others were a little bit tough to do I even thought about welding them on the frame which was a stupid idea so it went on 2 or 3 days I decide to get help from google which was not a great idea since it was deserted there was no valuable information on it so I decided to write what I did and how I came up with different ways you can train your kids to balance themselves on the bike without training wheels.
Learning on a different bike :
The first idea that I came up with was you can have your kids learn on some other bike that has a set of training wheels and then have them switch to a mountain bike but I realize some of you may not have that option available to you so I listed other ideas as well.
So if you can manage another bike that has training wheels or allow you to put training wheels on them you can have them train on those and once they are confident enough you can switch them on their own bike.
on what kind of trainers can or cannot be installed :
There are some straight giveaways if a bike supports training wheels or not.
- If the bike uses nuts and bolts on the rear wheels
- if the bike is single cog or doesn’t have any gearing system
- if a bike has a gearing system or a drive train training wheels cannot be installed on those bikes
- training wheels can not be equipped on road bikes or mountain bikes since they both have a drive train and a through-axle.
You can check these things before planning on buying a training wheel, and make sure they are compatible or not with the bike at hand.
Method 2- removing pedals and letting your kid use it as a push bike :
The second method is to lower the seat and remove the pedals so their feet can reach the ground and the paddles do not get in the way they can get a feel of the bike build their confidence and gradually learn to keep their feet in the air and take turns and stops once they are at that stage you can install the pedals but leave the seat be down so sill they can keep their feet on the ground and once they have cleared that stage as well then they can enjoy their rides around the block and even mild trails.
Using a smaller bike :
you can use a smaller bike instead of trainer wheels smaller bikes offer better reach on the ground and they will take no time to learn on these bikes of course don’t try shortening out too much on the size the bike can be a little bit smaller than them so they can be comfortable.
That is if you have a bike that you can access like from family or friends or their sibling’s old bike point is if they are on the smaller bike they can feel more comfortable and secure and they will just learn balancing in a day or 2.
Little Exercises if the above methods don’t work :
If all of the above methods are not working for your kid and they are still having a hard time figuring balance out then you shouldn’t force them but take it to step by step.
First, get them seated and try walking with you holding the bike let them be comfortable with their feet in the air and slowly remove yourself from the side and hold the bike from the rear to try and hold so they don’t freak out on sudden changes and let them get the feel for it.
Slowly they will start warming up to it and their confidence will grow to a point they will ask you to let go at this point additional support by hand is not necessary but keep praising them for each little step they complete to build confidence in them that’s the whole goal of it once they are confident it just becomes easier for them and you.
Why mountain bikes don’t support training wheels :
Mountain bikes are steps for trails and wheels are the part that people have struggled with for a long time until they came up with thru-axles you can’t fit the training wheels with the thru-axle on mountain bikes there’s also the drive train so its inevitable. there is also the reason that companies expect kids to have learned to balance and ride smoothly on other types of bikes and I think this is the biggest part of them not installing paddles on the mountain bikes.
Average age to learn with the training wheels :
Now this is important as I mentioned above my nephew was 7 years old so he didn’t really need the training wheels that much since he already had a little balance sense for his age but if your kids are
5-6 years old you should buy a bike that can support trainer wheels and they should use trainer wheels because mentally they may still not have enough balancing ideas.
So it’s really important that when you are thinking of buying a bike for 5-6 years old make sure that the bike supports trainer wheels it will be easier for them to learn on those and much less headache for you to always be on edge thinking they will fall.
How old kids can be to ride without trainer wheels :
When kids are older than 7 years old they pretty much have developed their sense of balance so they don’t necessarily need trainer wheels but of course, they can use them if they feel at ease with them.
And as parents, you might be concerned as well and may wanna reduce the risk but as I mentioned above those methods really work and they have worked not just for me but a lot of people and kids tend to learn faster by those methods.
Are training wheels necessary to learn balance :
I think most people worry that their kids may have a hard time learning without training wheels but that’s not true kids are fast learners they need that initial push to somehow get the balance figured out then they can ride bikes even bigger than them.
Training wheels help to sort of make it easier to learn balance fast other than that using the bike as a push bike initially is just fine and from what I have seen and heard they learn with that method faster than with the training wheels on.
How much time it takes to learn to ride a bike without training wheels :
Kids are fast learners and it takes them to learn to balance themselves within 1 to 2 weeks depending on the method and age of kids it can take longer but most kids are pretty confident at this point.
How your presence affects your kid’s growth :
Well, I am sure you will be around your kids when they are trying to learn new stuff like biking in this case but just to put it out there I have noticed that kids are more confident and overall more interested when their parents or someone is around their so even if they have reached that learning curve your presence can boost that dramatically well sometimes they say that they can do it on their own but your presence and praise does move the needle a lot faster I have seen it on many many occasions.