At what age can toddler ride a bike with training wheels? Most kids start out riding a bike with training wheels before they move on to a two-wheeler. Training wheels allow your child to learn to pedal and steer without worrying about balancing.
That said, even a bike with training wheels can be challenging to ride for some toddlers. It’ll be heavy and they may find pedalling difficult. Before you get them their first bike, make sure they are old enough to handle it.
The best first bike for toddlers is a tricycle. This is more of a toy than a serious bike that will improve their riding skills.
Tricycles are very light, making them ideal for toddlers as young as 2 years. They are also low to the ground, so young kids can scoot along as if it is a ride-on toy.
Best Age for a Bike With Training Wheels
At around two years of age, most toddlers are not ready to handle a bike even if it has training wheels. It is far too heavy and the pedals to far down for their short legs.
We recommend sticking with a trike at this age until they develop the physical capability to ride on a bigger and heavier bike.
But if your child seems capable of riding on a bike with training wheels, you can go ahead and get one for them. Kids grow at different rates after all.
But most kids are at least 3 years old before they get their first proper bike with stabilisers. At this age, they can handle a heavier bike and easily reach the pedals. It’s a great time to teach them how to pedal and steer.
Make sure you pick the right bike size. Check the bike’s minimum inside leg measurement (also called stand over height). Wheel size can be misleading since your child may be taller or shorter than average.
Learning to Ride
While a bike with training wheels is fun to ride for a toddler, keep in mind that it is not the best way for them to learn how to balance on a bike.
Most experts say training wheels actually prevent kids from learning how to balance and steer. That’s because they hold the bike upright, so kids don’t practice balancing, which sometimes requires leaning.
Your toddler may enjoy riding a bike with training wheels, but you may need to take them off if you want them to start riding proper.
There are two ways to teach them to ride a bike.
- One, you could take off the training wheels then help them learn how to balance, steer and pedal. This requires a fair amount of time and patience.
You’ll need to hold the bike in the beginning to keep them from falling.
- A second easier option is to get a balance bike. You can remove the pedals on their current bike to turn it into a balance or buy a dedicated balance bike. They are much cheaper than ordinary bikes.
A balance bike allows your toddler to learn to balance on their own. Once they are good with balancing, put the pedals back on (or buy a proper bike) so they can now learn to pedal.
Take it Slow
Don’t be in a hurry to get your child riding a bike. If they are two years, start with a tricycle. This will build their physical strength and coordination in readiness for a proper bike.
As they approach three years, you can now switch to a bike with training wheels. They are probably bored with the tricycle anyway by now.
Keep the training wheels for a few months to allow your child to familiarise themselves with the bike. You can then take off the wheels and teach your child to balance and steer. Don’t forget helmet, elbow and knee pads for a greater security.