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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Your kid's bike is too big and you're killing the fun.

    Your kid's bike is way to big and you're killing all the fun of actually riding. You're stressing the little dudes/dudettes out with pressuring them to pedal too early.

    Well not YOU specifically those other people, you're on TGR so you're dialed.

    But seriously, you're 6yr old isn't riding a stage in the Tour they don't need full leg extension to ride the local pump track. If you're kid can't firmly plant BOTH feet on the ground their going to have troubles. Not tippie toes, planted.

    Also it's okay if you're kid is still rocking a run bike when every one of your friends on IG kids are making the transition to pedals. Oh you're friends 3.5 yr old is "pedaling" sure, but I bet your 5yr old rocking his run bike like a champ vs struggling on pedals is having more fun.

    Just some observations from a weekend at the local pump track with our kids.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2010
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    Look at this miserable three year old!

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    Though I do agree: There is no reason to push s kid past what they're comfortable and capable of having fun with. And that includes getting too big a bike when they're learning in an attempt to be able to keep it longer.

    But I also don't think that 3 is an excessively early age to transition to pedals if the kid has mastered balance biking. My son was hesitant to use the pedals when he got the bike he's on in the picture and so we just let them off for a few weeks while he got used to it. And even after he learned to pedal, he still chose his balance bike for a while. Now he's off. At 3.5 he'll happily ride a few miles on flat paved ground. Obviously a pump track is a different level in terms of bike handling, but I do think 3-4 is a good time to learn to pedal (if they've balance biked), before kids start getting higher off the ground and understanding fear.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    a buddy of mine bought his daughter the smallest pedal bike but he had the shop take the pedals/crank/chain off to make it into a run bike

    when she asked for pedals he brought the bike over to my house and I put the parts back on to make it back into a pedal bike

    It might have been on the large side for a run bike but the positives were that when we put the pedals on she was already familiar with the bike, it was way cheaper/easier for dad and his daughter thot i was cool
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    a buddy of mine bought his daughter the smallest pedal bike but he had the shop take the pedals/crank/chain off to make it into a run bike

    when she asked for pedals he brought the bike over to my house and I put the parts back on to make it back into a pedal bike

    It might have been on the large side for a run bike but the positives were that when we put the pedals on she was already familiar with the bike, it was way cheaper/easier for dad and his daughter thot i was cool
    Nice. I actually took the pedals off and on that bike probably 5 times before it finally clicked for my son. He'd want them. I'd install them. He'd get nervous/frustrated and want them off. I'd take them off. I felt like I was getting good value for my pedal wrench.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    Vancouver BC
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    How soon can I have my kid on a 500mm reach enduro sled with 820mm bars? He's 18 months old.

    Seriously though, I am now looking at run bikes, buddy's kid has done really well with the Spawn Tengu with 12 inch tires from age 2-3, has a rear brake as well and some grip to the tire. Will just have it around the house/yard the next few months and see if he shows interest.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    How soon can I have my kid on a 500mm reach enduro sled with 820mm bars? He's 18 months old.

    Seriously though, I am now looking at run bikes, buddy's kid has done really well with the Spawn Tengu with 12 inch tires from age 2-3, has a rear brake as well and some grip to the tire. Will just have it around the house/yard the next few months and see if he shows interest.
    The tires and lack of brake was actually what pushed me to get my son the bike he's on in the picture above. when he was approaching his third birthday. He had a Strider with foam tires and no brake and he was becoming pretty excited to go fast without being able to stop that quickly. I'd have liked a brake (maybe even one you could add later) on his balance bike if we were doing it again. But I didn't know how into it he'd be when I got him the first Strider.

    Spawn seems like a good company. I almost bought the Yoji for my son's first pedal bike but 1. couldn't decide on the 14 vs. the 16, and 2. thought that the 72 degree HTA and rim brakes would be less forgiving for a learner who occasionally likes to ram things than a 66 degree hta and disc brakes. I'm not sure I'd make the same choice again as the brakes have been a bit finicky to keep from rubbing at times - I assume because of the horizontal dropouts and multiaxis mount. Still, the kid likes it and still has his front teeth, so so far, so good.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2008
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    Where the climate suits my clothes.
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    I have also taken pedals off and on my 4 year old's bike many times over the last year or so. Whatever he wants as long as he wants to ride and is having fun!

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    How soon can I have my kid on a 500mm reach enduro sled with 820mm bars? He's 18 months old.

    Seriously though, I am now looking at run bikes, buddy's kid has done really well with the Spawn Tengu with 12 inch tires from age 2-3, has a rear brake as well and some grip to the tire. Will just have it around the house/yard the next few months and see if he shows interest.
    t.odd jr. is 17mth and rocking one of these that a friend gave us, he's been scootin' around the house on it but is already doing stunts like riding it backwards no hands while two fisting water and milk bottles...kids these days
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  9. #9
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Look at this miserable three year old!
    Happy kiddos are the best kiddos.

    Now the kid that couldn't reach the ground and lost control and slide down the paved side ramp at the local BMX track he wasn't having fun. The Spawn with 24" wheels was way too much for him to control.

    Like I said everyone on here likely knows what they are doing. I bite my tongue and hold back my comments to the random parents at our local pumptrack/bmx track so this is mostly just me venting.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2005
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    land of the free
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    a buddy of mine bought his daughter the smallest pedal bike but he had the shop take the pedals/crank/chain off to make it into a run bike

    when she asked for pedals he brought the bike over to my house and I put the parts back on to make it back into a pedal bike

    It might have been on the large side for a run bike but the positives were that when we put the pedals on she was already familiar with the bike, it was way cheaper/easier for dad and his daughter thot i was cool
    Did the same for my kids. Got a junk bike at the dump and took of the pedals

    Kids learn way better on a push bike than they do with training wheels
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    How soon can I have my kid on a 500mm reach enduro sled with 820mm bars? He's 18 months old.

    Seriously though, I am now looking at run bikes, buddy's kid has done really well with the Spawn Tengu with 12 inch tires from age 2-3, has a rear brake as well and some grip to the tire. Will just have it around the house/yard the next few months and see if he shows interest.
    We're fans of the Strider brand bikes. I think they've done a good job of keeping them light and you can get the saddle down really low to start them off small. Both our 2.5 and 4.5 little dudes are both on the Striders (matching blue ones as the older one had a melt down when we tried to introduce a bigger run bike to him and move "his" to his little brother). As you can tell from my comments here we're in no rush to move the 4.5yr old onto something bigger.

    The downside is that as they do get more advanced on the Strider with the foam tires is they can get themselves into situations where a rubber tire might grip better and cause a couple less spills. Currently for us it's on the new Inter River pumptrack when the bigger guy tried to ride high on a berm and the foam doesn't grip as he doesn't have enough lean angle. Pretty minor though.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    How soon can I have my kid on a 500mm reach enduro sled with 820mm bars? He's 18 months old.

    .
    Too late brah. Too late.




    My youngest was 3.5 years old this summer when he transitioned from run bike to pedal bike, then back, then pedal, then back, depending on where we were. He was super stoked to ride Bar M in Moab on a run bike... until he wasn't, but that's just 3.5.

    I see a lot of kids on bikes way too big, but, whatever, if they are using them and having fun... so be it.

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregón
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    My brother got the Surestop brakes for his 4 year old’s first pedal bike.

    Any parent mags actually see a kid front brake over the bars at the local pumptrack?
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  15. #15
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    Any parent mags actually see a kid front brake over the bars at the local pumptrack?
    Nope not seen that one.

    The most common thing we see is when kid is going too slow up the face of a roller to clear it, as they hit the stall point they go to put their feet down. That saddle height that was good and fine on flat ground is now too high for them to get their feet down on the incline. Boom, down goes the kid and out comes the tears.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    When my oldest out grew her ZUM-CX wood bike, I got her a Strider 14x for her 3rd birthday. I didn't put the pedals on at first thinking she was to young, but she was not happy about that, so put them on after she used it as a balance bike a little. Nice thing is the pedals are not very wide, so she could still use it as a balance bike when needed. The bike is a little heavy and at age 4 she is now going to fast on dirt for the coaster brake, but otherwise I recommend.

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  17. #17
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    can little kids really use a hand brake ?

    when My boys were young I would be walking the dog & out with them in the hood on their bikes, I never seen any other parents out, all the other kids would have bikes with all kinds of deferred maintenance,

    hand brakes that were shitty to begin with and didnt work at all

    so some times I would fix the other kids bikes but ... don't be that parent
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
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    ^^^neighbor boys use them just fine, I don't think they ever had coaster brakes and seem to recall them having them around age 3-4. Kids pick stuff up fast, double fast if another kid around the same age is doing it.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2010
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    My son doesn't have much trouble with his hand brakes now. Took him a bit to get used to using them vs. just putting his feet down, but now that he is accustomed, they work pretty well. He's still not the best at feathering them to control speed, but he's improving at that and he's good - if sometimes abrupt - at using them to stop.

    His bike came with a coaster brake installed, but also with a second wheel with a freehub and brake disc that was meant to be put on when it arrived. There are laws about all little kids bike needing to have coaster brakes, but most people who work with kids cycling think that's a bad idea given that kids tend to backpedal to balance.

  20. #20
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    I just remberr reading somewhere maybe they don't have enough hand strength ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  21. #21
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    Jan 2006
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    Carbondale
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    My daughter, who is 7 now has a hard time sometimes as she has small hands and basically has to take her hand off the bar to use it. Not a big deal on the road, big deal when riding 18 road.

  22. #22
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    Feb 2014
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    553
    Man, I feel like a failure of a bike-dad seeing how many kids are pedaling at 3. My son is a bit over 3 and has very little interest in his Strider, and doesn't "get" it. He just sort of walks it along. He likes it if I push him on it though, but I can't do it very long before my back aches.

    Any tips for how to get little ones interested (with busy life schedules)? I'm thinking I just need to make a routine of taking him to the park for a half hour - hour once a weekend and try to get him to be interested on a flat dirt road. Maybe reward him with cookies after.

  23. #23
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Man, I feel like a failure of a bike-dad seeing how many kids are pedaling at 3. My son is a bit over 3 and has very little interest in his Strider, and doesn't "get" it. He just sort of walks it along. He likes it if I push him on it though, but I can't do it very long before my back aches.

    Any tips for how to get little ones interested (with busy life schedules)? I'm thinking I just need to make a routine of taking him to the park for a half hour - hour once a weekend and try to get him to be interested on a flat dirt road. Maybe reward him with cookies after.
    My daughter learned how to balance by using very slight downhills. I'd tell her to pick her up feet up and gradually, she'd do it more and more.

    She's always enjoyed it since we started her at 1.5. Getting out there and doing it once or twice a week is key. Other friends doing it may help as well. We know several kids that aren't that into it and the common factor is that they aren't trying it that much. That, and things like scooters get in the way. Gummies/candy can definitely help. We use them for cross country skiing with great success.

  24. #24
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    Nov 2003
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    Your kid's bike is too big and you're killing the fun.

    Peer pressure is much more effective, than parental.

    I stuck an old shovel handle behind the seat, down into the chain stays. I had great control and it was way easier than running hunched over.

    Enjoy it, they grow up fast!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    I'm thinking I just need to make a routine of taking him to the park for a half hour - hour once a weekend and try to get him to be interested on a flat dirt road. Maybe reward him with cookies after.
    The park, the sidewalk in front of the house (assuming relatively flat/safe), the driveway, the garage, inside the house. Wherever and whenever possible. Keep it right with all his other toys and not somewhere out of the way where you have to get it for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    Enjoy it, they grow up fast!
    Seriously. Mine just turned 10 and my brain doesn't want to accept it.

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