Maybe you have heard the term “balance bikes” “running bikes” or “kick bikes” and wondered what they are. They are the easiest way to teach your child to ride a bicycle. Best of all they are fun for the kids. At the store we carry Strider Bikes.
Most children are ready in the 18 to 24 month age range but if your child can walk they are ready for a balance bike. In the beginning the child just straddles the Strider holds onto the handlebar and begins to walk around with the Strider. With a wheel in the front and a wheel in the rear they are safe and stable. I call this the Fred Flintstone stage. Many families have their children use them around their house to get started. As the child gains confidence on the Strider they will begin to experiment with sitting on the saddle a little more and running with the Strider. Now the fun factor is increasing and their confidence is building. At some point they naturally will pick their feet up and realize they can coast. If they are unsure at all, all they have to do is put their feet back down.
One method used to help the child learn to pick up their feet and coast is to find a small incline such as a driveway or a bike path that allows the child to coast down the hill with a little bit of speed. This will help them learn to balance. During this process they are learning balance and agility and developing their core muscles. Once they have mastered balance they can easily and quickly learn to pedal a bicycle. Before you know it the child is cruising around on their strider like it is an extension of themselves.
Training wheels are not the best tools to teach your child to ride. In fact they don’t do much to teach balance and they greatly affect the way the bike handles. Have you ever seen what happens when a child turns the front wheel to quickly? The bike typically tumbles over spilling the rider off of it. Striders now come in several different sizes to accommodate riders of all sizes.
Growing in popularity are Strider races for your child. Chesapeake BMX in Severn, MD holds weekly Strider races in season and we are proud to sponsor them. Learn more here.
If you have any questions please let us know.
Strider has this great video that gives an overview and offers a great demonstration on how families are using their Striders. Click here if the video doesn’t show below.