So my son is 8 and I’ve been working on teaching him to ride. After a lot of work and practice, he is able to balance and pedal without falling down pretty well. He seems to just be having a hard time pedalling faster than one speed. He’ll eventually slow down and fall over.

I’m not sure if it’s just a fear thing or if he’s genuinely having trouble going faster. Any advice?

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    Do his legs look like they're going round fast, compared to how he runs? Is everything on the bike moving freely? When he stops, does he seem like his legs are tired, or does he have plenty of energy?
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 18:07
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    @Criggie mine grew out of a 20" at 8. There are a few bigger 20" bikes (and they're normally good quality) but a 24" being the right size isn't unreasonable for a tall kid. The point about wrong size is a good one, and even a bike the right size set up too low (so it's easierto put the feet down) can cause problems
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 7:30
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    How long has he been riding? Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 9:40
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    are his brakes rubbing? it could just be that the bike is fighting him Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 5:28
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    Would you consider adding a video of one of your son's attempts? Privacy is obviously a concern but YouTube makes it surprisingly easy to blur areas of a video. I used it to upload this video to my question about my daughter's bike a while ago. I was impressed how easy it was to do and I know nothing about video editing. You can delete the sound too if you wish, and add it as an unlisted video so only those with the link can open it.
    – pateksan
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


See if you can get a friends kid of similar size to try out the bike.

if they have the same trouble - issue looks like the bike.

Also check if your son is OK jogging with you for a while (to see if he gets tired), see if he is happy with a speedy activity similar to pedaling the bike, but without needing effort, perhaps being pushed along? (to check if it is a fear thing).

but perhaps the first step could be to ask him why he is slowing down and falling over.

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