Saturday, February 12, 2011

Updated: My Son Learned To Ride A Bike In less than 2 Hours!

My son LoLo will be turning 4 in March and has always been very coordinated.  We got him a 14 inch bike when he was almost 3 and he has been riding it great with training wheels ever since.  Then when he saw an older kid at school riding a bike in the Trike-A-Thon without training wheels he begged for us to take his off as well.  So we did...and it didn't go well!  His bike was just too high for him to put his feet down in time when he lost his balance, and he couldn't seem to manage the weight of it to keep it balanced.

We decided to look into getting a balance bike to help him learn (since we read a lot of reviews from parents stating their child "learned to ride in one hour").  We looked online and were going to order the one above (it had great reviews, and is very lightweight), but then decided we might be better off buying a cheap 12 inch lightweight bike off of Craigslist.

My husband and father took off the pedals, the crank, and the chain so that there was nothing left except the frame, wheels, and handlebars.  We made sure that he was able to rest his feet flat on the ground while seated, before we began teaching him how to ride it.  We put on his helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves (which he said he needed), and he was finally ready to go...and we were ready to let him.  We put him out in the driveway told his to push along with his feet, then pick up his feet and coast.  By the third lap around the driveway he was coasting down the slope with his feet up, banking on a turn, and walking back up to the top!  We couldn't believe it.

We also couldn't believe we hadn't thought of it earlier!

So now the next step...putting the pedals back on his bike.  I think that now he has mastered the balancing part, and already was able to do the pedals and steering, that hopefully he can put it all together.

Check back soon for an update and I'll let you know how it went :)

*UPDATE:
So in our crazy life we basically have twins (though 12.5 months apart, they act just like them), and you can't get one something without the other! Ugh...so my hubby today bought another bike, but this time decided to get a real balance bike rather than converting one.  Here is what we got:

This bike has amazing reviews, and we really like the looks and design of it.  Here are the specific things we like:
  • very light (my almost 3-year old can lift it easily)
  • very low to the ground (about 10 inch bike, but can adjust seat much higher)
  • handlebars can turn just like on a real bike (be careful, this is not true of all balance bikes)
  • super bright color (LaLa picked out orange of all colors...and turns out I love it much to my surprise)
Things we don't like:
  • the tires are rubber tires not air tires (not a big deal, but worth knowing)
  • footrest is too small, only can place heels and then they still hit the rear wheel
Overall, we like the bike a lot.  The price was pretty good at $99, and our daughter can ride it great by pushing with her feet.  We think it was a good investment given that we have two learning to ride, and another learning in a few years!

10 comments:

  1. I also want to do the balance bike & was contemplating doing the same thing with taking the pedals off... I am interested to know if the taking off & putting on the pedals was difficult?
    So excited & proud of him!!!

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  2. That is such a great idea for a balance bike. I am sure you just saved us a lot of money. Thanks for the follow.

    Amie

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  3. Good for your son, that is fantastic. Moments like these are precious:)

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  4. @Michelle,
    The hubby said it was very easy to remove the pedals and crank (I learned that is the piece that holds the pedals on) with a crescent wrench. The chain was a little harder and needed a punch (which not all tool kits have). He took it down to our local bike shop, and they took off the chain in less than 1 minute (and didn't charge).
    Good luck!
    -MomsLifeMadeEasy

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  5. Hi! I've never seen this bike! Cool! But both my little guys are riding so (yeah!) I don't have to buy it! ;) We started them on the littlest bikes we could find (garage sales, Goodwill) so their feet could touch the ground and they could learn to lean & balance when the training wheels came off. Good luck! Following you!

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  6. Where were these when I was little? *lol*

    Found you through your post at Mom Bloggers. Feel free to visit and follow me anytime at Back Porchervations.

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  7. Update:
    I read recently that the wooden balance bike in my post has "limited steering mobility to prevent jack-knifing." This might also mean your little one might not be able to turn like on a real bike.

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  8. I am new follower – Thank-you for following my blog...I have a blog candy to giveaway - I invite you all to enter!

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  9. Great idea to first remove the pedals/chain...we'll try that too!

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  10. I can't wait for Alex to learn : )
    Following from MBC!
    ~Melissa
    http://www.mnmrheinlander.blogspot.com

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