98

Consensus seems to be more and more this: Do not use training wheels. The most important part of cycling is not the pedaling, but balancing and steering. Steering is mostly done by leaning (therefore balance) and not by turning the handle bar. Training wheels do not help in learning to balance the bike and actively prevent leaning. Therefore it might be ...


16

Not knowing how widespread this apporach may be, I'll just contribute, what strategy my parents applied: My father bent the trainers more outward/upward - this left more room to tilt from one side to the other, or to balance in between. I figured that it would be cool (and less noisy) to try to keep both trainers off the ground. Soon afterwards, the ...


16

The accepted answer is correct: don't use training wheels. Once my kids got interested in bikes, I assembled the ones I bought for them and just left the pedals off. After a couple sessions of learning to push themselves around on flat pavement and gentle slopes, they could push off with both feet and coast while balancing. They were ready. I put the pedals ...


15

If your grandson is that young, he's likely to have trouble keeping up with you no matter what bike he's riding. It may be that it's your expectations, not his bike, that should be modified. It seems really unlikely that you could retrofit a derailleur onto his current bike. A frame that small won't have room for a wider rear-wheel assembly. Mounting rim ...


13

He is 3..... he will do what he wants to, when and how he wants. I had a lot of trouble getting my boy off trainers (We did not go don the balance bike path). After many attempts involving removing them and putting them back on, I gave up and decided when he is ready (or old enough his peers laugh at him), he will want them removed. One day he just came up ...


12

Is he extremely short? An 8-year-old is almost 9 years old, and: "26 inch mountain bikes are suited for kids that are 9-13 years old." Don't fix up the 12 incher. Head into a local bike shop and get a proper sizing.


10

The follow-me tandem lifts the front wheel of the child's cycle off the ground because that's the only way to have stable handling on corners. I made some primitive drawings to explain. Note that in these simplified drawings, the radius of the curve is exaggerated. When the two bicycles are going in a straight line, it would be fine if there were four ...


9

TL;DR: The search terms to use may be "kidback adapter," "child stoker adapter," or "child stoker kit." Googling for "tandem child bicycle crank" produced a link to Sheldon Brown's site, which had a page on tandems and children, and which had this to say: For smaller children, (or larger tandems) a "kidback"...


9

If the grips are rubbery, the streamers should push in, though some force will be needed. That tight fit is necessary as there's only friction to stop them falling out again. I certainly wouldn't cut the grips, but if you're really struggling, shaving the end of the plastic plug so it's more tapered will be all you need to do as once it's started you can ...


8

You mention four bolts, does your seatpost hitch look something like this: By design, these can cinch up pretty tight against all size seatposts, in contrast to two bolt models which need the proper size shims: However, with the four-bolt there are some caveats: Do you have a carbon or aluminum seatpost? With both, you have to be careful as it's possible ...


8

The marginal cost of cycling is extremely low (i.e. the cost for an extra bit of use), especially as kids' lessons are going to be light use (I doubt they're hurtling off kerbs, for example). Kids' bikes are also heavily built in proportion to their riders, who are weak compared to adult riders, while the chain (for example) is unchanged. Depreciation of ...


7

If you go with one of the bigger, more solid folding bikes you can use a standard child seat. With most smaller-folding bikes you'll run into weight limits even if you can get one to fit - they're often only rated for 90kg or so, which means that even a light 60kg adult and a 10kg child doesn't leave a lot of margin for "it wasn't designed for this" stresses....


7

With young children is very rare for them to have the hand strength to cause a problem with brake strength. Their hands are small and weak, giving small reach hence low level action in the brake handle. Children bikes are built using cheap components (Even the components on the best children bike rate just above BSO adult bike components) The bikes for my ...


7

You want a washer and a nut on each side. Take it down to your local bike shop or hardware store to find the right size. Any other parts that were on there were specifically on there for the stabilizers (training wheels). Training wheels usually have a retaining mechanism that stops them from twisting, but this piece isn't needed once you remove the ...


7

If you are absolutely set on converting the bike, use an internal gear hub (IGH). There are IGHs with three gears (the usual kid's first IGH), and there are IGHs with seven gears (suitable for many adults), and both of them are cheap when bought second-hand. The last IGH I bought was a seven gear with coaster brake which I got second hand for 25 Euros from ...


7

My guess is the bars are not solid. The likely cause is a plastic plug in the bar end. The plug was installed then the grip covers the the cap and the bars. The plastic in the end cap tends to be much stiffer than the plastic the grip is made of. If you drill a hole the same size as the grip has the plastic screw on the tassel won't fit in the hole because ...


6

I hacked the seat in our burley trailer to recline by decoupling the seat top from the frame tube it ran through (required disassembling the trailer), and suspending the seat top instead from some climbing webbing which could be tightened or loosened with a typical adjustable nylon clip. I did that so the kid could recline a bit more and sleep more easily. I ...


6

Sounds to me like the bearings in the rear wheel are unhappy. So normally on a kids bike, they use cheaper cup and cone bearings which have a cone nut and a locknut on each side. Note the lock nuts and cone nuts in the above cutaway are merged into one part. So the locknut and cone nut should be pressed up against each other and therefore unable to move. ...


6

That’s a Rollfast Skoot, probably late 60s or early 70s. If you were hoping it’s valuable, in its current condition it’s probably not worth very much. There’s a nearly identical but fully restored one on eBay right now. Keep an eye on that and see if it sells for asking price or not. Then you can decide if you want to put the time and money into restoring ...


6

Awwww :) I think if you're only drilling into the ends and not into the span of handlebars, it should not be a big problem. But it would be easier to mod the tassels to fit the bike than modding the bike to fit the tassels. Cut the bit you are supposed to stick into the tube off and glue them to the ends, or to the handles themselves. If you still want to ...


5

When my daughter was around three, we started out with the trailer bike and then graduated to a tandem with the pedals adapted. She had been on training wheels on her own little bike since she was two and was doing just fine; being on the trailer bike gave her an opportunity to go places, to feel like a big kid and to develop an appreciation for what ...


5

Even if you decide to buy the seat now, presumably there'd be an issue as she grows? And by the sounds of things, it won't be long before she passes the upper limit. So I'd look at other options, which as I see it, are: a trailer one of those things where they're sitting on their own saddle, over their own wheel, but are actually being towed by you or ...


5

Here is a good reference for California's bicycle laws. Lafayette's laws are here. I found nothing prohibiting riding on sidewalks, and nothing specifically mentioning riding in the direction of the crosswalk. However both the state and city codes require bicyclists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.


5

They grow so fast it really doesn't matter, but if the kid looks too low then they are, so go up a bit. Rider should be able to stand over the seat with both feet on the ground. While some balance bikes have bike seats with clamps like this, they're in the minority for cost and weight reasons. This wooden frame is far more common and much lighter for the ...


5

Hamax certainly make a dedicated cover, though when I had a Hamax seat I used a cover from another brand (Raleigh I think). Both keep the child's face uncovered. My worry with that design is that with plastic sheet in front of the face you really need a sufficiently sturdy support to hold it clear of the mouth and nose, even if the child falls asleep and the ...


5

If you go to a hardware supply in the personal protective equipment area there is a clear face shield that goes around the top of the head and pivots up. I suggest attaching that to the kids helmet. They are shatter proof, lightweight, and inexpensive ($7)


4

You should only need to replace the sprocket, nothing else. If you put on a smaller sprocket to get higher gearing/slower pedalling you need a smaller sprocket, not a larger one. You may need to remove a chain link. Those parts should be standard, the same as on an adult bike, and any bike shop should be able to make the switch. Coaster brakes are common in ...


4

As others stated, for sitting in a bicycle seat the child should be able to hold their head (9~12mo). But in a Bakfiets (e.g. Babboe) you may transport even newborns in a Maxi-Cosi, with much care of course. (source of image^^) (source of image^^) ThisMomBikes has a nice and long blog post about biking with babies.


4

However you proceed, get a bike that fits the child. None of this "(s)he'll grow into it." Our then 4 yr old son had a bike and he was somewhat wobbly on it and I took great pains to supervise closely when he rode. One day we borrowed a neighbor's small bike (no training wheels), smaller than I'd ever seen before. It fit our son beautifully. And to our ...


4

Discussions of parenting is always dangerous, but what is the hurry? Children don't understand work motifs (i.e., do A, so you can accomplish B) and seem to learn best in play motifs (or that is at least what my partner keeps hammering into my thick scull). I am in the opposite position, I wish my 3-year-old would rider her strider bike more as we used to ...


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