My child is learning to ride his first bike and I have attached the training wheels to help him learn to balance. I have adjusted them to be slightly off the ground so he can get used to the feeling of balancing. My issue: The wheels simply won't stay in place for longer than a single ride. I notice that as my son rides and the wheels take his weight they slide up and then he risks falling on that side..

Beyond the risk of over tightening the bolts using an electric tool is there any other method of ensuring the wheels do not slip?

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    Have you seen your kid balance with the training wheels? All kids I see that use them use the bike as a trike, always on three wheels. My suggestion is not to use the wheels, it will take a few days but then you never have to adjust them anymore because your kid does not need them. – Willeke Jun 6 '18 at 19:11
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    Not an answer, but training wheels are considered an old way of teaching balance. The current best-practice is a Balance Bike (a Run Bike) and scootering about. Training wheels teach reliance on the two outrigger wheels, making the whole process take much longer. Search the site for "balance bike" and read about it yourself. – Criggie Jun 6 '18 at 19:11
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    Is it possible your fixing nuts are running out of thread? You might need a couple of strategic washers on the axle ends. – Criggie Jun 6 '18 at 19:12
  • @Criggie's right but if yours, like mine, refuses to get on a balance bike because it hasn't got pedals and isn't proper like daddy's, just do what works for you and don't worry – Chris H Jun 6 '18 at 19:24
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    Make a balance bike out of this one: Remove the pedals and lower the saddle until the youngsters toes reach the ground and a little further down. Do the same with your bike to show him (if it's possible). Make a game out of it. – Carel Jun 6 '18 at 20:34

Simple answer - do the bolts up tighter.

Bolts for training wheels are pretty hefty, it's hard to over tighten them with a hand wrench.

If you don't have a suitably long wrench that will allow you to get the torque you need, you can extend the wrench handle with a length of metal pipe. Avoid using an adjustable wrench as these can round the bolt heads off. Not everyone has a length of pipe laying around of course. Any good bike shop will tighten the bolts for free or a nominally low charge.

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    The best thing you can do is to get a proper ring spanner/wrench so that you won't round the bolts. – Carel Jun 6 '18 at 18:31
  • Or use a socket spanner – Chris H Jun 6 '18 at 19:23
  • Tried the socket wrench (spanner) but it the head on the nut pushed too far into the socket. – user38062 Jun 6 '18 at 20:25
  • @user38062 Recesses in socket wrenches are typically deeper than a nut or bolt head. That does not prevent tightening. – Argenti Apparatus Jun 6 '18 at 20:47
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    Besides being tight you must have the correct hardware. Most training wheels use a flanged nut to hold the on. This applies the load over a larger area hold them in position longer. – mikes Jun 6 '18 at 21:31

The training wheel bracket is shaped like a C. Inside the bracket should be a C shaped 'washer' which has a small tab. The tab is suppose to go in the slot the wheel axle is on. With the 'washer' in place, the bracket will try to twist but the tab will stop it. I am guessing if you do have this washer, it is not installed correctly. Your local bike shop (LBS) should be able to show you how to set the training wheels.

As mentioned, the balance bike method is also worth trying. Remove the training wheels and the bike's pedals. Then drop the seat so they can put their feet down while sitting. ta da, balance bike.

  • I'll take a look at the configuration and confirm if the washer/tab set up is correct. Great suggestion – user38062 Jun 15 '18 at 17:02

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