When Are Children Ready to Ride a Bike?
The Best Age for Children to Learn to Ride a Bike
Riding a bike has many proven benefits. Learning to ride the bike is linked to better health, better moods, sharper mind, and generally a happier state for most people. The recommended hours and duration of biking for health varies. Some recommend more frequent rides that are shorter in duration, rather than a long but infrequent one.
Teaching children to ride a bike at the right age can be good for their overall health and well-being. There are many children’ bikes out in the market that are tailor-made to help kids learn how to ride the bike the proper way.
4 Benefits of Riding a Bike for Children
There are many benefits for children, here are some of them.
- Improves attention
According to studies, there is a correlation between improved attention and learning to ride a bike or riding a bike. Some studies brought forth some evidence that biking can be an alternative medication for kids who have ADHD. While this is only one study, it is definitely something that can be better analysed with further research.
- Helps boost brain power
Riding a bike regularly improves the brain’s mental function. It also improves blood flow, which can be beneficial for the brain in terms of enhancing memory and reasoning skills.
- Helps keep a healthier weight
Riding a bike can burn from 400 to 1000 calories. Aside from eating healthy, biking can help in your weight loss goals.
- Lowers the risk of diseases
Riding the bike can help reduce the risk of getting diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart attack, and some cancers.
5 Biking Skills to Develop
In teaching children how to ride a bike, there are five essential skills that you need to teach.
Balance is vital in learning how to ride a bike. Balance bikes are available for toddlers and young children. A balance bike is a two-wheeled bike without pedals and stabilisers. Children will have to use their feet to push the bike off the ground. Some say that as early as kids can already walk independently, they can already ride a balance bike. A balance bike helps kids learn balance and steering before they advance to a bicycle with pedals.
Good pedalling skills are essential for children to help them bike smoothly and safely. Make sure that they maintain the proper feet position, where the balls of their feet must rest on the pedals.
When teaching children how to ride a bike, it is equally important to teach them how to use the bicycle hand brake. You can teach them how to brake while walking alongside the bike.
You can teach and practice with your kids on how to steer a bike by letting them hold on to the handlebar on their own to get the feel of it, while you hold on to the back of his/her seat for support.
Shifting is the skill of changing from one gear to another. Because it is a complex skill, it is best to teach it when they have mastered their balancing, pedalling, and steering skills. Generally geared bikes are for more advanced riders and as a parent, you should let children ride on a single geared bike first before advancing them.
Why Your Kid Should Learn How to Ride a Bike
There are many benefits to learning how to bike at an early age. Teaching children how to ride a bike requires a lot of time, patience, and attention. Children should be able to feel that riding a bike is a fun activity and not a chore so they can learn faster. In the beginning, it is crucial to reinforce and build confidence in a child, so they can feel comfortable riding a bike.
The best age to teach children how to ride a bike is usually between the ages of 3 and 8, when they are already comfortable walking. Although different children develop differently, teaching them at an early age, usually before they turn 6, makes it easier for them to learn and master the skills faster because they are still not too cautious. Children at this age also learn well through copying or mimicking.
Children’s bikes are created in a way that makes it easier and simpler for kids to learn basic skills. When teaching children how to ride a bike, it is imperative to buy them an age-appropriate bike. The right size of bike enables your child to sit comfortably and straddle the bike while their feet are resting flat on the ground. When seated, make sure that their knees do not touch the handlebars, and they should not be stretched straight. Bikes for younger children usually have coaster brakes instead of hand brakes as most younger children are still not strong enough to grip a hand brake.
What Bicycle Should You Get Your Child?
There are many types of bicycles for kids. Here are some of them.
For younger kids:
- Balance bike
- Bicycle Trailer
- Trailer Cycle
- Small wheelers
- Bicycle with training wheels
For older and more advanced kids:
- Cruiser Bikes
- Mountain Bikes
- BMX Bikes
- Road Bikes
The newer types of bicycles, such as the balance bike, can enable a toddler as young as two years old to learn how to ride a bike. Toddlers as young as 12 months can learn how to get used to riding by training them how to sit properly on a child bike seat.
Older kids who are already used to the balance bike can move on to the trailer bike. Also known as a trailer cycle, a trailer bike is a one or two-wheeled bicycle trailer that can carry one or more children. It has a pedal, a saddle, and a handlebar and has its wheel attached to an adult bike.
Shop for a Bike for Your Little One Today
Regardless of what age you choose to teach your child how to ride a bike, it is essential to teach them about safety. Teach them the relevant road signs and to follow them at all times. Make sure that your child wears a helmet at all times and make sure that their bike is the right size for them.
If you want to buy the best, highest quality and most affordable bike for your kids, choose a bike shop offers the best bicycles and bicycle equipment. Check out Stead Cycles and our collection of kid-friendly bikes.