Ahh, training wheels. They’ve been around forever. You, along with your parents, grandparents, and cavemen, most likely learned to ride a bike with training wheels and, for most, it includes painful memories.
However, it’s a new generation, and there are new ways to develop biking skills! Kids are learning to pedal at a MUCH younger age, and because they don’t need them, that means completely avoiding those dreaded training wheels.
Ditching the training wheels will make the learn-to-ride process considerably easier, and here’s why:
Training wheels don’t teach balance. It’s as simple as that.
Balance is what keeps us upright and as soon as the training wheels come off, it’s easy to go “kerplunk.” That’s because training wheels give kids a false sense of support and security. Training wheels are often unstable and never touch the ground at the same time. This causes the child riding the bike to tilt from one side to the other, while the bike holds them up. This constant imbalance is just enough to keep kids constantly uncomfortable. To develop balance, strength needs to be developed in the core and a child needs to experience the feel of leaning and steering, both of which are extremely difficult to accomplish with training wheels.
When a child is ready to transition to a pedal bike, they must go back to square one and learn balance. Pedaling is the easy part and typically takes a child just minutes to learn, while balance is a skill that can be developed throughout an entire lifetime. Ultimately, training wheels hinder progression and are a completely unnecessary step.
Have you ever failed at something so many times that eventually you have just given up? A horrible scenario would be that after you take off the training wheels, your kiddo gets frustrated with the lack of progression, and loses interest in biking altogether. Unfortunately, falling time-after-time can really freak out some children and understandably so! The chances of this happening decrease when you ditch training wheels altogether.
Steering, turning, and balancing are all skills needed to successfully ride a bike. Once all these skills are mastered, pedaling is a piece of cake. Training wheels make for an uneven and wobbly bike ride. Leaning into turns is basically impossible.
Bikes with training wheels can become quite heavy, which is known to be extremely intimidating to youngsters. The average bike with training wheels attached weighs roughly 20 lbs. Substantial weight can cause unease and hesitation while riding, which ultimately can be the cause of some serious accidents!
Also, you want your little one to be able to shred on any type of terrain with zero limitations. That isn’t possible with training wheels. Typically, bikes with training wheels need to be used on a flat, smooth surface. This means no gravel grinding, no skatepark jumping, and certainly no trail riding. Yet, another reason to ditch training wheels!
What it all boils down to is that training wheels just aren’t productive. They won’t effectively help your little shredder learn to ride a bike well, and doesn’t your tot deserve the absolute BEST? Balance bikes teach balance, coordination, confidence, and will set a child up for IMMEDIATE success!
Learn more about balance bikes here