First bike thoughts?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
groberts
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First bike thoughts?

Postby groberts » 15 Jul 2019, 11:37am

My soon to be 3-year old granddaughter is interested in learning to cycle.

1. Any recommendations on the best bike / type of bike to start out with + do children still begin with stabilisers?

2. Any thoughts on the best pathway to learning at this age?

Thanks, Graham

dsmithave
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby dsmithave » 15 Jul 2019, 12:20pm

Well, I only have one kid but he learnt after 3 bikes.

Balance bike seems much better. Islabike seems great, light so you can carry it or they can push uphill.

We finally succeeded properly with a very old discarded Raleigh with the cranks removed. Then I pur the cranks back when he wanted to pedal.

We found most kids bikes are free, but many of them aren't even worth that much.

Enjoy

sylvestermorgan
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby sylvestermorgan » 15 Jul 2019, 12:20pm

Definitely NOT a bike with stabilisers, because they do not learn the effects of leaning and balance, so when the stabilisers eventually come off they basically have to learn to ride all over again. Balance (or scoot) bikes are the way to go and you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good one. They are 2 wheeled bikes with no pedals so they learn to scoot around on their feet, how to lean the bike to corner, and then how to glide (feet off the floor). Once they've got balance sorted then pedalling comes really quickly. They need to be as light as possible to make them fun, something like a Chico Bullet (£30 or so from Amazon and others) is perfect (there's not much more benefit in buying the really exepnsive "names" in this area). My boy has a Chico and is a little speed demon on it.

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Paulatic
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Paulatic » 15 Jul 2019, 1:31pm

+1
Results from balance bikes appear to beat stabilisers hands down.
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Mike Sales
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Mike Sales » 15 Jul 2019, 1:40pm

Paulatic wrote:+1
Results from balance bikes appear to beat stabilisers hands down.


Stabilisers prevent leaning inwards which is how a bike gets round corners. The rider has to lean outwards, on the outer stabiliser, like a warped tricycle. You can see children doing this, contorting their body to cope.
This habit has to be unlearned when the stabilisers are removed, and the inward lean of the cyclist learned.
It is simpler and faster to cut out the stabiliser phase.
There was a flexible stabiliser invented and marketed, to try to avoid this problem. I never heard whether they worked.

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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jul 2019, 2:19pm

My kids learnt on a balance bike. I got a catalogue one from John Lewis. It was a decent bike. I got one with one brake, which I think was good because they learned to use the brake instead of their feet. The one we had came with plastic rims, so setting up the brake was fiddly, but, IMO worthwhile.

the Islabikes ones hold their value better, but I was out of work at the time that we needed one, so the money for an Islabikes simply wasn't feasible.
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Bonefishblues
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Jul 2019, 2:29pm

What those people said. As light as you can get it.

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SimonCelsa
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby SimonCelsa » 15 Jul 2019, 4:44pm

I managed to get 4 kids cycling through a combination of balance bikes, stabilizers and scooters.

I think it's peer 'pressure' which really facilitates learning, 'if he/she can do it then so can I !!'

My major stumbling block is the wife, she just cannot get the knack and I get a crooked back trying.

skyhawk
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby skyhawk » 15 Jul 2019, 5:06pm

Well as a single father all three of my sons learned the same way as I did, on a bike with stabilizers, in fact Dawes bikes, then they were removed, to me these new idea balance bikes are pointless, you may learn balance but that doesn't teach the co-ordination of steering/balance/pedals and gears
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Jul 2019, 5:07pm

SimonCelsa wrote:
My major stumbling block is the wife, she just cannot get the knack and I get a crooked back trying.

Must. Resist. Inappropriate. Comment :o

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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Jul 2019, 5:10pm

skyhawk wrote:Well as a single father all three of my sons learned the same way as I did, on a bike with stabilizers, in fact Dawes bikes, then they were removed, to me these new idea balance bikes are pointless, you may learn balance but that doesn't teach the co-ordination of steering/balance/pedals and gears

OTOH my daughter learned on a balance, then on an Isla without pedals for about 20 mins, and then simply pedalled away. Once there's balance, the rest was just there. So no, absolutely not pointless for us (oh and I had stabilisers as a kid, and simply couldn't learn until they were taken off)

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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby groberts » 16 Jul 2019, 12:42pm

Thanks for all the thoughts, which I've passed on to Mum and, I think, it'll be a balance bike for now.

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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Jul 2019, 12:56pm

skyhawk wrote:Well as a single father all three of my sons learned the same way as I did, on a bike with stabilizers, in fact Dawes bikes, then they were removed, to me these new idea balance bikes are pointless, you may learn balance but that doesn't teach the co-ordination of steering/balance/pedals and gears

My kids learnt balance, steering, and braking on the balance bike, and pedalling on the back of the tandem. between those, it took my oldest about 5 minutes to learn to ride her first pedal bike. Littlest took a bit longer.
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TrevA
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Re: First bike thoughts?

Postby TrevA » 17 Jul 2019, 4:27pm

My kids both learnt by lowering the saddle on their pedal bike, taking the pedals off and letting them coast down a gentle grass bank, until they learn how to balance - it took about 15 mins. Then put the pedals back on and let them roll down the hill again and they can start pedalling when they get to the bottom. My son also rode a bike with stabilisers from the age of 2 and learned to ride a bike properly at about 3 and a half.

As regards which brand of bike - I would say an Islabike or a Frog bike. Both quite expensive to buy but hold their value well and can be passed on to younger siblings or sold on when outgrown.