There are many ways to teach children to ride. However, the simplest and safest option might be the training wheels. By providing additional support, these units can help your kids learn to ride confidently without worrying about falling or causing accidents until they can develop a sense of balance.
In this post, we’ll show you some important things about installing and using training wheels before you decide to buy them for your children.
What are the training wheels?
Also known as stabilisers, training wheels are additional wheels which can be installed parallel to a bike’s rear wheel to help keep balance and prevent accidents. They are often used to teach very young children to learn to ride a bicycle, though adult versions still exist.
Most parents often consider training wheels the safest and least painful method to teach their kids riding skills. However, this is also the slowest way because it might take more time to acquire a sense of balance.
Bikes with training wheels can be a great option for families which live on very safe and quiet areas without hills. For better results, it is advisable to find a wide sidewalk or flat driveway where your kids can ride freely with minimum supervision.
Can training wheels be put on any bike?
Technically, training wheels are often available in different sizes and shapes so that you can install them on a bike. Keep in mind that there are several sizes of bicycle wheels, such as 12 inches, 16 inches, 20 inches, and 24 inches. That’s why you can only put training wheels with the right size for a smooth ride.
When shopping for training wheels in the local shop, just give the seller your bike’s wheel size, and they will provide you with a suitable set. A typical kit often includes two wheels, struts for mounting to the frame and other small components.
In some cases, you can’t install training wheels on a bike because of the rear wheels. To attach them, the axel of the bike should be long enough to accommodate the mounting hardware of the training wheels. This means that you need to replace your rear wheel for this task.
However, this can be costly, so make sure to consider carefully and weigh up the pros and cons of new rear wheels and training wheels.
Simple steps to install training wheels to a bike
What you’ll need
- A wrench
- An adjustable wrench
- Training wheels hardware, including wheels, vertical brackets, shoulder bolts, serrated washers, washers, nuts, and bracket brace plates.
Assemble the training wheels hardware in the following order: wheel, washer, nut, vertical bracket, washer, serrated washer, and nut.
Remove the washer and axle nit from the axle of your bike
Put the bracket brace plate on the axle by placing the tab onto the open space of the frame
Put assembled training wheels to the bracket brace plate, then adjust the height
Replace the axle nut and washer, then tighten securely
The following clip will show you how to attach training wheels to a bicycle:
After installing the training wheels, keep in mind to inspect these units on a regular basis to make sure that all bolts are secure and tight. This is important to prevent any accidents from occurring to your kids when they are riding. For proper maintenance and care, you just need to clean the wheels often. No oiling is necessary.
How to adjust the training wheels
If you kids feel uncomfortable and uneven when riding a bike with training wheels, you might need to lower or raise them temporarily to make them evener. To do this, you have to use a wrench and loosen all nuts which keep the training wheels into the bike frame. Adjust the wheels in the right position and then re-tighten all nuts.
Once everything has done, watch your kids ride and see if they still have difficulty. If necessary, lower the wheels slightly to provide more support. If they are rolling and rocking, keep raising the wheels gradually until your children can ride properly without these units. This will help them learn how to keep balance, thus making a smoother transition.