Getting them started on a balance bike is easy! First, make sure the bike is properly adjusted. Check the seat height. When sitting on the seat, both feet should be flat on the ground with knees slightly bent. Second, check the height of the handlebars. These are generally set relative to the seat height (if the seat is at its lowest setting then the handlebars should be too) however, it is also about comfort. Make sure your child can comfortably reach the handlebars.
Find somewhere safe and open. We suggest a grassed area, like a back yard or a park. A soft surface is likely to make the child feel more comfortable about possible falls. Don’t forget your helmet. Making the association between riding and wearing a helmet early will make it easier to keep them wearing it!
Get your child to climb onto the bike with both feet firmly on the ground. At first, simply encourage them to walk around. Initially they may or may not feel comfortable sitting on the seat, either sitting or standing is fine.
As they become more comfortable walking and using the handlebars, encourage them to sit. They will often naturally begin to take longer steps and propel the bike greater distances by themselves. If not, you may need to encourage them to do this. It is really important give them plenty of time to feel safe and confident.
Initially, the child may feel like they need a little extra support. It is perfectly fine for you to walk or run along next to the child as they ride. However, touch the child not the bike. Touching the bike will hinder them learning how to balance the bike themselves. If they start to tilt to one side, apply gentle pressure to that side to alert them to adjust their steering.
- Balancing on a bike
- Bike Control – Signaling and rear head check
- Cycling hazards
- Overtaking and filtering
- Riding in a straight line
- Riding up and down hills
- Riding with a group
- Riding with pedals
- Scooting and Coasting
- Steering and Turning