Learning to ride a bike becomes a core memory for many children. It’s an exciting milestone, not only for children but also for parents. It’s a skill that brings a sense of independence, especially when the stabilisers are removed. Knowing when to remove the stabilisers and understanding the right bike size is crucial in making this transition smooth.
We’ve put together this guide to help you introduce the idea of cycling without stabilisers and building your child’s confidence on a bike.
Why is it important to ditch stabilisers?
Stabilisers offer stability and balance, making them a key attribute when children are first learning to ride a bike. They help build confidence, encouraging children to continue learning. However, if used for too long, they can hinder a child’s ability to develop balancing skills.
When should I remove my child’s stabilisers?
Deciding when to remove stabilisers depends on the child’s individual progress. Typically, most children are ready to have stabilisers removed between ages 4 and 6. Look out for these signs to see if your child is ready:
- Balancing: If they can balance on their bike while coasting, with their feet off the ground, they’re likely ready.
- Confidence: Are they willing to try riding without stabilisers? If yes, then try it!
- Basic pedalling: They should be comfortable pedalling, starting and stopping on their own.
How can I make the transition to no stabilisers easier?
- Choose the right location: Find a safe, flat and open area to practice riding.
- Lower the saddle: Adjust the saddle to a height where the child’s feet can touch the ground comfortably.
- Keep it slow: Begin with short, gentle pushes and focus on balance. Take breaks if they need to!
- Encourage steering: Introduce steering and turning as they gain more confidence.
- Practice makes perfect: Regular practice will help a child to master riding without stabilisers.
How to choose the correct bike for your child?
Childrens’ bikes are measured by wheel size, rather than by frame size. Children do grow very quickly, so this will need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right bike. If the bike is too big for the child, their safety will be compromised and will most likely discourage the child from cycling. Check out our handy guide on kids bike sizing here.
Important points to consider when choosing the right bike for a child:
- Comfort and feel: Ensure your child feels comfortable on the saddle, can easily get on and off, can reach the handles and breaks, and that they can reach the pedals without stretching.
- Adjustability: Look for bike with adjustable saddles and handlebars to accommodate your child’s growth.
- Test ride: If possible, have your child test ride the bike to check comfort and fit.
Kids’ bikes for those starting off
We have a large selection of kids’ bikes, with 12-inch wheel bikes starting from £199.99. If you’re stuck on which bike is best for you child, visit your local Cycle King store and our friendly staff will assist.
Professional Spider Boys 12 Inch Wheel Kids Bike Black – £199.99 (on sale for £109.99)
The spacious large rear basket and low step frame makes it easy to operate and carry your shopping back home or if you are heading into work with a rucksack and laptop bag, you won’t have to carry it all the way on your back, thanks to the large basket at the rear.
Ammaco Rocky 14 Inch Wheel Kids Bike Green and Black – £219.99 (on sale for £129.99)
This starter bike really packs a punch! With a hi-tensile steel frame and forks, powerful V-brakes, BMX style handlebars, your child will be the coolest kid in the village! It’s worthwhile noting safety features such as enclosed chainguards, to keep those little fingers away. Stabilisers are easily removeable, whenever you are ready.
Professional Miami Miss 12 Inch Kids Bike Pink and Purple – £199.99 (on sale for £119.99)
The perfect bike for any princess! You can ensure safety and durability with this bike’s steel frame, calliper breaks and enclosed chain guard. Equipped with adjustable stabilisers, so you can raise them or remove them whenever your little lady is ready! The best part? There is a rear dolly seat to keep her favourite dolly safe at all times.
Ammaco Misty Girls 14 Wheel Kids Bike White and Purple – £219.99 (on sale for £114.99)
The Ammaco Misty girls’ bike is perfect for any little girl, keen for an adventure. It’s lightweight but built just like an adult bike, to ensure durability. With steel frames, front and rear v-brakes and adjustable stabilisers.
Riding without stabilisers can be daunting at first, for both children and parents. By understanding when to make the transition and ensuring your child’s bike is right for them, you can make the experience much more enjoyable. Remember, patience and encouragement are key in helping your child become a confident and skilled cyclist. Try to pick a flat route to keep everyone happy, bring snacks and take lots of breaks. The most important thing is to have fun cycling! Before you know it, you’ll be cycling to the school runs instead of driving.
Pop into your local Cycle King store, where your child can try out different bikes, and our friendly expert staff will be able to help you in finding the perfect bike for your child. We even have an in-store height chart! Also check out our blog on keeping your child safe on their bike for more tips and information.
Prices correct as of 18/09/2023.