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My daughter has sparkle and glitz 12 inch bike with stabilizers (training wheels). Since we purchased the bike every now and again the back wheel keeps spinning when she is pedaling. This seems to happen more when there is a bit of an incline. Any suggestions what problem could be?

  • Welcome to Bicycles @Erin. We'll need more info to be able to help. Do you mean the bike has trainer wheels? And sometimes the back wheel spins when there is uneven ground so that the back wheel is not on the ground? – andy256 Apr 11 '15 at 11:20
  • Yes, your question could be interpreted (at least) two ways: 1) Sometimes the bike gets stuck over uneven pavement and the rear wheel spins because the training wheels hold it off the ground. (Solution: Raise the training wheels slightly.) 2) Sometimes the rear hub malfunctions such that, while your daughter is pedaling forward, the sprocket that connects the chain to the rear wheel just spins, with no motion of the wheel. (Solution: Have the bike serviced at a bike shop.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 11 '15 at 12:23
  • @DanielRHicks at 1) it can be simply a tube not inflated enough. – Alexander Apr 11 '15 at 18:06
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The stabilizers are taking too much weight. This can happen if they are mounted too low, or she is leaning too much and transferring weight off the rear wheel.

The first problem is easily fixed - the bike should lean slightly to one side or the other. When its held upright with all the weight on the back wheel, the stabilizers should be about 1-2cm off the ground (Higher for rough ground).

The second is teaching her not to lean on the stabilizers. This can take some time and effort, especially with younger children. It is well worth investing time now to teach her to ride upright than later, when she has learned bad habits.

I regret using stabilizers on my boys bike. I now believe they hinder progress as the kids get used to them, and prevent them learning proper cornering (as the bike cannot lean). They probably cause as many crashes as they saved with my boys. If I did it again, I would buy a balance bike, (or remove the pedals and cranks) and get them balanced, then add the pedals.

  • I agree with not using training wheels. It might take the kid a few days more to learn basic bike riding but once he/she does, it is learned for the rest of life. Learning with training wheels often requires learning anew without them. – Willeke Apr 11 '15 at 21:09
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    +1 AMEN TO THAT! Training wheels don't help at all. My little sister started riding at age four... she "succeeded" on her first try. She had previously ridden a tricycle and a scooter, so she had the essential skills. – BSO rider Apr 11 '15 at 23:27
  • In order to help space my kids training wheels I found that some small pieces of plywood, discarded base board, or even some thin books. Just set the training wheels over them and loosen the nuts and let gravity take over. It seems to keep it just right that they can balanced the bike, yet still lean on them if need be. – BPugh May 22 '15 at 11:37

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