Training Wheels are so 2000

by This is Carrie on January 27, 2010

Three neighborhood kids (including Pumpkin) have learned how to ride their “two-wheel” bikes in the last month no thanks to training wheels which, I now realize, actually hinder the “learning how to ride a bike” process.

All the kids practiced their balance on the same homemade, pedal-less, “run bike” for about a week.  Then they jumped on their pedal bikes and were flying down the street within minutes.  It’s such a simple & brilliant idea, you wonder where the (now totally ridiculous) idea of training wheels came from anyway. And now, we have to laugh how we struggled for the last 6 months taking the training wheels on and off Pumpkin’s bike each time she thought she was “ready” but wasn’t.

If you don’t want to yank the cranks and pedals off a bike, there are plenty of pre-made pedal-less run bikes on the market.  Seriously, don’t even think about letting your kids ride with training wheels any longer. Start with a Strider bike (as young as 2) and go straight to a two-wheeler when they are able to keep their balance for an extended period of time.


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KP January 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

YAY~ that was so exciting to watch. I need to get one of those bikes for sure!!!

Jessie Jo January 27, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Very cool!!

kelly jo January 28, 2010 at 3:04 am

That’s awesome! My daughter (27 months old now) has been riding her Strider since she was about 20 months. We had a warm day this week and I got her out and she’s so happy about going faster and “doing tricks” as she calls it! I swear by these bikes and my kids will never have training wheels!

Make More, Buy Less
Twitter: mudroomboston
January 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

So true! My husband and I are convinced that the reason our older son learned to ride his bike so quickly was because of his summer tooling around on a Skuut bike!

Rebecca January 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm

It makes so much sense. Balance first, then pedal. Genius!

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

It does makes so much sense. Which is now why the whole tradition of training wheels is driving me crazy! Riding a tricycle and a run bike from a young age is all they need to smoothly transition to a two-wheeler.

marianne January 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I had never heard of pedal-less bikes until a few years ago when I went to the park with my German friend and her sons, one of whom was riding one. Apparently, the Eurpoeans figured out that training wheels were lame before we did. That being said, I will probably go old school and use training wheels when my little guy is ready. …but maybe not.

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

Seriously, don’t do it. Buy him a trike and get him a run bike. It’s the only way to go…really.

Julie January 30, 2010 at 7:05 am

I always put my kids set of training wheels on crooked one side a bit higher than the other and both higher than the wheel. They get the practice of balancing but the mental security if they go to far over they will get caught. The biggest problem is convincing them they can do with without.

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

We’ve done that too, but our kids get too comfortable riding crooked, using one or the other training wheel for balance instead of learning to balance in the middle.

rebecca February 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Carrie, thank you so much for this idea. My eight year old daughter is very cautious (read: wimpy!). She’s sort of been able to ride without training wheels for a couple years, but has never been comfortable or confident without them. I took her pedals off and took her to the park a few times to try it out. Today, after about a half hour without pedals, she felt ready to try pedals. Another half hour and she was beaming! She can do it! I’m so proud and she’s so proud. What a great day. My six year old is the opposite of cautious and has been riding on two wheels for years, but my five year old . . . he’s more lilke his oldest sister. His training wheels and his pedals are coming off! THANK YOU!

olivia February 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

test comment to see if the email replies are working.

this is carrie Reply:

I love what you’re saying. Hopefully this makes it to your e-mail.

this is carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

please send this to my e-mail. I want reply comments to my e-mail.

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

I really want this reply comment via email plug in to work!

Twitter: Craftynest
April 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

Carrie, I was just browsing your blog, and this post was one that caught my attention. Genius idea! Training wheels didn’t do me any good as a child either.

Heather February 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

TOO WEIRD! I just dropped into your blog from RLAM & wham – glide bikes! I JUST ordered one last night for my 2yr old! He’s super tall (37+”) and has totally outgrown his tri-cycle without ever learning how to pedal…. but he loves to push it so I thought we’d give the pedal-free bike a chance. So glad to hear good stuff. :) Can’t wait for Costco to deliver….. hurry up!

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