How to Teach Your Kid to Ride a Bike
In this blog we endeavour to teach you how to teach your kid how to learn to ride a bike…
We hope your child is happy with their new bike and is raring to go. If it’s your son or daughter's first time riding a bike, you may be wondering about the best method to teach cycling, so they can get off to a racing start.
In this quick guide, we will instruct you how to teach a child to ride a bike in 4 easy steps, so your little one can soon be riding with confidence without your help.
Before we begin!
Before you get started make sure you have all the essentials:
- Child - The most important part!
- Bike - One of our top quality bikes is a great choice for teaching any child. We only stock brand leaders in kids bikes.
- Helmet - Safety first; a few tumbles will be inevitable during the learning process, make sure your child is protected with a helmet to avoid any injuries.
- Can do attitude - Teaching a child to ride a bike will of course require clear communication on your part and a dose of patience and perseverance from both of you.
Step 1 - Choosing the Right Location
When it comes to first riding a bike, flat is good. A slight downhill slope is better to help build some momentum, but not too steep or they can easily lose control.
You also want a firm surface such as tarmac or concrete instead of something unpredictable like grass or gravel which will be harder to balance on.
Step 2 - Choosing the Best Bike to Learn On
The right size of bike is crucial. To find the right size, measure the inside leg of your child. You can then enter the measurement on the interactive bike finder on our website.
We highly recommend the use of a balance bike before a pedal bike to help them learn the basics. These bikes will teach them the hardest part of cycling from the get go: balance.
We advise against using a bike with stabilisers, as these can instil bad habits that later need to be unlearned.
Once they have mastered a balance bike it is time for a pedal bike. Make sure to get one that fits, where they can reach the brakes comfortably and the ground with their feet.
One tip is to start them on a new pedal bike without pedals and initially use it like a balance bike. Once they can glide confidently for 5 seconds, it’s time for the pedals.
Step 3 - Learning to Pedal and Steer
To get them pedalling when learning to ride, the best way to help your child start is to hold them under the arms, not the actual bike. This way you can help them balance without throwing them off, and can lift them up to avoid falls.
Hold them gently whilst they build forward momentum, then gradually let go as they become more confident. Don’t just let go and hope for the best!
Be patient and give them the safety net and reassurance they need, without doing it all for them.
There will be some falls but this is part of the process, and how you deal with falls is more important than the tumbles themselves.
Step 4 - Learning to Brake
By now they should be confidently balancing, pedalling, and steering. Now is the time to introduce them to braking, starting, and stopping.
To start, get the pedal of the dominant foot up at a 45 degree angle, and have them push off with the other foot. To determine the dominant foot, give them a small push and see which foot they use to steady themselves.
When it comes to stopping, teach them to pull the brakes gently rather than slamming them. Otherwise they may go flying over the handlebars! Start with the back brake before the front brake.
That’s all there is to it. Before you know it they will be speeding off with confidence.
4 Top Tips when Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike
1 - Falling off is inevitable and part of the learning process. Be positive and reassuring.
2 - Make sure your child is equipped with a helmet and shoes with good grip.
3 - Don’t rush anything. Let them learn in their own time.
4 - Make sure you have a bike in good condition, with pumped up tyres and working brakes.
Time to Put Theory Into Practice
By following these steps your child will hopefully learn to ride a bike whilst having lots of fun. We hope you enjoy teaching your little one to ride and give them a great first experience learning to cycle that will keep them coming back for more.
Don’t forget you can exchange your bike for free every 18 months (or 12 months for balance bikes) so that your child has a perfectly sized bike as they grow and develop!
Frequently Asked Question about Teaching a Child How to Ride a Bike
What age is ideal for teaching a child to ride a bike?
A good age to start teaching your child to ride a bike with pedals is usually around 3 to 5 years old. At this age, kids are developing the necessary motor skills and coordination. However, every child is different, so it's essential to gauge their readiness and enthusiasm. They can start on balance bikes from around 18 months.
What type of bike is best for beginners?
A balance bike is an excellent choice for beginners. These bikes have no pedals, allowing kids to focus on balance and steering. They can easily transition to a pedal bike once they've mastered balance.
How can I help my child overcome the fear of falling?
Fear of falling is common when learning to ride. To help your child overcome it, start with a helmet and protective gear for safety. Begin on a smooth, flat surface, like a driveway, and encourage them to go at their own pace. Offer plenty of positive reinforcement and support.