Balancing on a bike

Perhaps the most fundamental skill of riding a bike is balance. So how do you actually balance on a bike? Balancing on a bike is all about staying upright. Essentially, it’s about moving the handlebars to the left or right in response the movement of the bike. If the cyclist leans too far to the right, then they must turn the handlebars to the left to compensate. If they lean too far to the left, then the handlebars must turn to the to the right. These movements act to bring the front wheel directly underneath the rider and maintain that upright position.

However, while this sounds straightforward enough, in order to maintain balance, you must be able to recognize when your body is off-balance and identify the degree to which you need to correct. Physically, this requires a coordination of the visual (eyes), proprioceptive (sense of where the body is) and vestibular (ears). For many children with addition al needs this can prove a serious challenge.

At Cyclabilities, we have found the best way to teach a bike balance is on a balance bike. Simply put, a balance bike is a bike with no pedals, chain and crank, or training wheels, that is propelled by the rider’s feet on the ground. Doing away with the pedals allows the rider to concentrate solely on balance and steering without having to worry about pedaling. In our experience, particularly for kids that may struggle with change or face some existing challenges with co-ordination or proprioception, this singular focus makes it much easier to grasp the concept of balance and gain confidence in riding.