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  1. #1
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    Strider or Pedal bike w/ training wheels??

    My daughter is turning 5 this summer and is really starting to show some interest in biking (although not as much as her 2 year old brother!)

    We have a small strider style bike that we got for her as a 3-year-old, but she didn't like riding it much then and now she has pretty much out-grown it.

    She's riding a tricycle around the driveway and getting much more comfortable on a scooter, so it's time to get her a "big kid bike".

    But what to get??

    I like the idea behind learning balance on the strider bike and transferring that skill over to a 2 wheel pedal bike, but I'm thinking that the traditional training-wheel thing may foster more independence right away... although it doesn't really teach balance as well, does it?


    Do you have biking kids? How did you teach them?

    I suppose another option is to buy the pedal bike and pull the crank until she's ready for it.. thus killing both birds with one stone?
    Last edited by JayPowHound; 04-27-2015 at 07:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    I do not have 5 year old but watching my 3.5 year old on a Strider (she'll get a pedal bike pretty soon) and then the neighborhood kids who have moved on from a Strider vs. tricycle I'd get the pedal bike and pull the cranks as long as she can effectively stride herself around.

  3. #3
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    both our kids (now 5 and 3) rode the strider pretty heavily early on and therefore there was a pretty quick transition to a pedal bike (w/ limited training wheel rides). I'd maybe go w/ the last option you mentioned since it will be something "new" for her but also still help w/ the balance she needs to get started.

  4. #4
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    Training wheels do foster independence, and you can also raise and lower them so that they provide less or more support as needed. Having taught 2 kids to ride, I would go proper size bike with training wheels, then no training wheels no cranks, then add pedals. And find a BIG empty parking lot, or smooth grassy field.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    Strider or Pedal bike w/ training wheels??

    I went with both a real bike with training wheels and a cheap wally world bike and pulled the crank as a makeshift strider bike - kind of sucked because seat didn't go as low as a real strider and they kept whacking their ankles on the rear wheel axle nuts.
    Both my kids preferred the trainer wheel bike and graduated to losing the trainers pretty darn quickly (and i mean like two or three sessions of me running behind them). Problem is not starting and keeping going it is braking and stopping in control once they don't have the training wheels.

    The theory of learning to balance on a strider first sounds good but IMHO is very overblown because kids are pretty darn good at figuring stuff like that out. The very real downside of a strider that I observed is they then tend to take their feet off the pedals and sit on the seat to "save themselves" in situations where they'd be much better on the pedals with butt off the seat.

    Honestly at 5 I think I'd probably go straight to real bike with no trainer wheels.
    Last edited by dcpnz; 04-27-2015 at 08:59 AM.

  6. #6
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    Strider, this way they learn to balance early, and you dont have a second learning curve when you remove the training wheels.

    Imo, riding a bike w training wheels didn't accomplish any thing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
    although it doesn't really teach balance as well, does it?
    More so proper bike handling since they can't lean into corners. Hard crashes from getting tipped over to the outside are common.


    Quote Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
    I suppose another option is to buy the pedal bike and pull the crank until she's ready for it.. thus killing both birds with one stone?
    Often the seat won't go low enough for this to work, so check that before you buy. If she were younger I'd say strider no question, but at 5 it's more of a toss-up. Will she ride the strider she has now even though she's too big for it? If she would ride that for even a little bit she'd pick up balancing/leaning pretty fast and could then make a quick transition to pedals.

  8. #8
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    Sorry, didn't notice the age. Pedal bike then, but maybe skip the training wheels?

  9. #9
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    Second the pedal bike, no training wheels. My daughter used training wheels after her strider and had a tough time getting rid of them. Son went straight from strider to pedal and the transition was much smoother. Course, the kids are very different.
    Training wheels or not, you're running next to them for awhile. Might as well skip the second transition.

  10. #10
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    3rd'ed for trad bike and pull the cranks off

  11. #11
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    Nobody can give you the "right" answer as each kid is different and all methods work. My kid was on a strider for a long time, but she has had trouble transitioning to the pedal bike and wants training wheels, so we're in the middle of the process. If your kiddo never tried a strider, I'd just go straight to the pedal bike. Whether to use training wheels depends in part on your kid and what she wants.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  12. #12
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    Oct 2006
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    My 4 year old has had a balance bike for 2 years and does really well on it. She got a pedal bike for Xmas. We took the training wheels off before giving it to her. It took her about 1 hour to learn to pedal the bike and after about 2 weeks she was able to mount, dismount, start and stop with out daddy helping or leaning on the curb. She has started riding dirt roads and flat buff trails, the first try was on the pedal bike. But she has done much better on the balance bike than the pedal bike since then. She feels more comfortable at this point on dirt with the balance bike.

  13. #13
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    What Danno said. All kids will eventually ride a bike without a worry; the pace to get there will vary. If she's 5, she can tell you what she wants. Go with that and let her have fun. She's too big for the Strider bike, so if she wants training wheels, let her have them. I've seen kids start without training wheels at 4 and be fine, and I've seen kids have training wheels until after they were 6 and also be fine. It's like wearing a pull-up at night. All kids eventually learn to sleep without wetting the bed; it's just a question of whether the parent gives a shit when his/her friend brags that their child is out of pull-ups at 4. Personally, I'd rather have my kid in a pull-up until he's 6 than wake up at 3:00 am to change wet sheets.

    My own experience: my oldest is nearly 7. He had a hand-me-down Strider at 2 and didn't give a shit about it until he was 3. Then he rode it everywhere. At 4, we gave hime a 16" Walmart bike that he took off riding without training wheels. Only problem was that he needed us to give him a push to start.

    I also have twins who just turned 5. They've always watched their older brother with envy, so they jumped on their Strider bikes at 2 and got pretty good by the time they turned 3 and spent their third year on those mostly. Someone also gave us hand-me-down 12" bikes early which we just stashed in our basement. But seeing their brother ride around, the twins started clamoring/whining to ride the pedal bikes while they were 3. So they pedaled on those 12" ones with training wheels. That was painful because they went much slower than they could go on the Strider bikes and little cracks in the pavement would stop them dead in their tracks. Shortly after their 4th birthdays, we dumped the Strider bikes and removed the training wheels on the 12" bikes and they were fine. The 12" ones were far better from the parents perspective because no push start was needed. This year, the 16" Walmart specials are back in action with the twins and the 7-year old is on his second year with his first bike with gears.

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