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Teaching an (older) kid to ride - technique and bike advice

Old 11-29-19, 10:18 AM
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hobbsc
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Teaching an (older) kid to ride - technique and bike advice

Hello, all! Hopefully I've found the right subforum here...


My son is 9 and likes to ride his scooter quite a bit. I ride my bike with him and the neighborhood kids from time to time but he's looking for a little independence and wants to be able to ride and keep up with them. I never learned to ride a bike until I was probably 10 or 11 and I had to learn on a crazy beater bike that was probably a little too big and definitely too heavy.


My yard is a terrible place to learn, it's near impossible to pedal around due to lots of mole hills and the like so I figured I'd drag him out to a local park. The neighborhood kids taught me how to ride so I'm not real sure how to teach him other than to toss him onto a bike and tell him to go. I'm not sure if he's too big for me to push him or hold onto the bike. He has some minor experience with training wheels when he was much younger but left the bike in favor of the scooters as that's what his pals were up to.


When I asked him what kind of riding he'd like to do or what kind of bike he'd like, he said "whatever is easiest, I just want to ride with you and the neighbors." My 20" BMX bike is slightly too large for him (and it's not set up for sitting). My other bikes are far too large for him and are specialized things (a racing mtb and a fixed gear). I considered getting him either a beater bike from a second hand shop so he can learn and then getting him a "real" bike or just grabbing a "real" bike out the gate. I'm still not sure. He's got a 25" inseam so I'm probably just going to have to get something fit for him. I'd rather not get a department store bike as they're heavy and fall apart easily.


So! With all that rambling out of the way: does anyone have tips for teaching an older kid to ride a bike and what sorts of bikes would be the best for getting started? I'm thinking something as light as I can find, upright riding position, and single speed.


Thanks!
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Old 11-29-19, 06:39 PM
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I would review this information before going out on the road. https://www.bikeleague.org/ridesmartvideos
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Old 12-03-19, 10:26 AM
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Guess the first thing to learn is balance. Start with a bike that fits and that the saddle can be lowered enough so when sitting, his feet can touch the ground. Remove the pedals. Now you can get him started on a level or slight downhill surface (I'm thinking rim brakes, not coaster since pedals are removed). He can then coast and put his feet down until he gets balancing down and won't worry about falling over, while his confidence builds that he can ride without touching down. Then reattach the pedals and off he goes!
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Old 12-03-19, 01:04 PM
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Scooters are a very good introduction to pedal biking. I'd say half the work is already done. Local park is fine but avoid grass.
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Old 12-03-19, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Guess the first thing to learn is balance. Start with a bike that fits and that the saddle can be lowered enough so when sitting, his feet can touch the ground. Remove the pedals. Now you can get him started on a level or slight downhill surface (I'm thinking rim brakes, not coaster since pedals are removed). He can then coast and put his feet down until he gets balancing down and won't worry about falling over, while his confidence builds that he can ride without touching down. Then reattach the pedals and off he goes!
+1 Great advice. I watched the videos and read the research on balance biking, since I was a late learner and the training wheels did nothing for me. 3 kids later, and after learning to transition the oldest from balance to pedal with the pedals off, balance biking is the way to go. Then teach proper start, then braking, then raise the seat for better ergonomics, and it'll be like he was born on the bike.
Pedals have 15mm flats that an open wrench can fit, make sure they're on the right side (likely marked with an R and L) so you don't cross thread, since the LH pedal uses a LH thread.
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Old 08-14-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
guess the first thing to learn is balance. Start with a bike that fits and that the saddle can be lowered enough so when sitting, his feet can touch the ground. Remove the pedals. Now you can get him started on a level or slight downhill surface (i'm thinking rim brakes, not coaster since pedals are removed). He can then coast and put his feet down until he gets balancing down and won't worry about falling over, while his confidence builds that he can ride without touching down. Then reattach the pedals and off he goes!
+1
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