Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Kids into Cycling

Learning to ride a bike is something that every child should experience. Not only is it an extremely fun past time, it is a very handy skill to carry into maturity while also promoting a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Teaching your kids to ride a bike can be a bit tricky, but with some simple steps you’ll have them on their way to cycling superstars in no time. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your kids on two wheels:

Know How to Buy a Children’s Bike

Getting the size right is important, bikes that are too big or too small will be a poor fit making learning how to ride a bike extremely difficult. You need to ensure that you have the right sized bike for your child – if you’re not sure what you need to look for then take them with you when you go to buy a bike. Every reputable bike shop knows how to measure a child for a bike and will ensure they get the perfect fit.

children learning how to ride a bike

Buying your bike online? The first thing you should know is that choosing a bike for a child is less about frame size and more about wheel size. Here’s a rough idea of what wheel size your child needs on their bike in relation to their age and height:

Wheel Size






85-100 cm




95-110 cm




110-120 cm




120-135 cm




135-145 cm




145+ cm


Start Them Young

Everyone has to start somewhere, but starting them riding bikes when they’re younger means that they’ll improve very quickly. Start your child off with a balance bike then move them up to training wheels and finally a full blown bike. Not only will this early learning give them a better sense of balance, it will also mean that things like steering are natural to them.

Support and Encourage Them

kids learning how to ride a bike

Nobody picks up riding a bike straight of the bat, and it is normal for kids to become frustrated by their lack of progress. Make sure that you’re there encouraging them and being positive. Dish out plenty of positive reinforcement and give them gentle advice on what they can improve so that they can go further next time.

How to Teach a Child to Pedal a Bike

If you start your children off young with balance bikes, then they’ll have the motion of being on a bike right but pedalling will still be a difficulty. Often they won’t quite grasp the concept of pedalling as a way of going forward on a bike, there are several things you can do here to improve their ability:

  • Demonstrate – show your child how the pedals move and that they propel the back wheel, hold up the bike and let them turn the pedals themselves by hand. Next show them on your own bike how pedalling makes you go forward, then let them try to do the same on their bike.
  • Add Stabilisers – as balance isn’t a problem, giving a bit of support to make sure that your child isn’t falling over with each pedal stroke is important. Once they get the hand of the movement, you can remove the stabilisers and they will learn to combine the skills of balance and pedalling.

Plenty of Practice

Learning to ride a bike is a trick process and your child will need a lot of time on a bike before they have properly mastered this skill. Try to allocate an entire day or several hours a week to help teach your child to ride a bike. The more time you dedicate to this, the faster you child will learn to master the ability to ride a bike – however, if your child becomes frustrated it is probably best to call it a day rather than try to push them harder.

Choose the Right Location

Another very important part of teaching your child to ride a bike is finding the right place to learn. You want to find a large, flat surface without traffic or many other obstacles. It’s often best to find a grassy area to cushion any falls, however you’ll want to ensure that the grass is short and the ground is firm as this can make cycling very difficult.

Hold On

Balance may not come straight away, even if your child has been on a balance bike from an early age. One of the best ways to teach them the position they need to be in is to hold them there while they pedal forward. Your job at this point is not to push them or hold them up entirely, but merely provide some support so that they can balance themselves with a little help. Gradually ease up on the force you’re using to hold them until they can ride their bike entirely without your assistance.

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