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How To Teach a Kid To Ride a Bike - Complete Guide

Posted on
May 31, 2021
Read time
4 mins

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Riding a bike can be a daunting activity, especially if it’s your little one’s first time riding on their first set of wheels. Whether it’s taking their first ride on a balance bike or taking off those training wheels, we’ve put together a simple way to help your kids ride confidently on their kid's bike and some commonly asked questions when you may need to be answered before you get teaching.


At what age can you teach a child to ride a bike?

Children can start riding a bike from the age of 2, or when they are comfortable walking. It’s also important that your child is mentally ready and able to follow basic directions. If this is not yet the case, we suggest holding off until they are both physically and mentally ready.

It also helps if you can see that your kid is keen to learn. This can be influenced by older siblings or watching other kids enjoy themselves riding their bikes.


How long should it take to teach your child to ride a bike?

There’s no definitive time for a child to learn to ride a bike as many factors come into play. Some kids can learn in a few hours whilst others may need a few weeks. It’s important to be patient with your child when teaching. Keeping a positive attitude can help move the learning period smoothly

Now that we’ve got those questions out of the way, let’s jump straight into some tips to get your kids riding!

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Tips to help you teach your kid to ride a bike

Teaching your kids how to ride a bike can be made much easier with these tips:

  • Ensure all safety gear is worn - Helmet, knee pads and elbow pads
  • Make sure the bike is the right size
  • Choose an open and safe area they will be comfortable with
  • Consider whether a bike with training wheels or a balance bike will be better
  • Don’t put too much pressure on the child - stay positive and realistic
  • Don’t run alongside the bike


Ensure all bike safety gear is worn

Safety should be your number one priority when teaching your kid to ride a bike and ensuring they wear all the correct safety gear is essential. Make sure their bike helmet complies with Australian Standard and fits comfortably on your child’s head - not too big, not too small.

Most helmets for kids will have 2 points of adjustment, one at the rear of the helmet to help the helmet fit around their head and the other a strap that joins from ear to ear, under the chin. Make sure it’s not too tight, but tight enough so it doesn’t fit loosely.

Other safety equipment to consider are elbow and knee pads. This will protect their joints that are most vulnerable when falling.

Making sure your child is wearing all the right safety gear will give your child and yourself peace of mind when teaching them to ride a bike.

Read more about bike safety for children here


Make sure the bike is the right size

Similar to safety gear, ensuring the bike is the right size for your child is very important. If the bike is the wrong size, they will have a whole lot of trouble balancing and taking their first pedal.

Wheel Size Rider Age Rider Height
12 inch bikes 2-4 years 90-102cm
16 inch bikes 3-6 years 99-117cm
20 inch bikes 6-9 years 114-132cm
24 inch bikes 8-11 years 130-150cm

Learn more about choosing the right kid's bike size here

Choose an open and safe area

When learning to ride a bike, it’s important that you try to avoid areas with a lot of potential hazards, that’s why it’s a good idea not to start them off on the streets, even if it’s a quiet one. Choose your driveway, a park, or an empty basketball court. Safe, open spaces can help your kids feel at ease and can give them more room for error.


What type of bike should you teach a kid to ride on?

Bikes with training wheels have been classic for young learners, but more people have found that balance bikes have been much more effective in teaching kids how to ride a bike. This is because it teaches them the essential skill when riding a bike, which is balancing. Training wheels tend to stop this learning method altogether as it stops the child from processing what needs to be balanced when swaying from side to side. Balance bikes are also a favourite choice because you can teach kids to ride a bike at a much younger age, due to the small frame and lightweight.

If your kids are a bit older, a balance bike might not be the best option for them. Check out our 14" and 16" bikes


Don’t put too much pressure on the child

Teaching your kid how to ride a bike can often be frustrating, but you need to remember that all kids learn at their own pace, and getting annoyed, frustrated or angry at them won’t help them learn any faster. Instead, you need to be understanding and encouraging. If they’re having a hard time, maybe it’s time to call it a day and try again another time.


Don’t run alongside the bike

It’s common for parents to hold onto the bike and push their kids along. As fun as that may be for you and your child, it doesn’t teach them how to learn the foundations of riding a bike as you essentially take control of the bike. Instead, walk alongside your child and try not to hold onto the bike, just be there as a guide or if they’re about to fall.

And ready, set, go! We hope those tips make it easier for you to teach your kids to ride their bikes.
Remember to check out our range of bikes and bike accessories. We’ve got all your essentials to make sure your kid enjoys their first ride, whether it's a balance bike or a bike with training wheels.

Victor Volynski
Article by
Victor Volynski
Content marketer with expertise in innovative play equipment, Vic is always following the latest trends and developments in this area and trying to find the best options for maximum fun! Vic is also an ex-gymnast with 20 years of experience and holds a science degree, making him an authority on trampolines, monkey bars, and swing sets.
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