Are There Any Benefits to Training Wheels on Kids’ Bikes?

Oct 5, 2022

Lately, we’ve had a few parents reaching out to ask us if there are any benefits to using training wheels on kids’ bikes. The answer is yes! In this article, we’ll be walking you through all the benefits of training wheels, as well as providing you with some other tips for helping your child learn how to ride a bike.

Before we get into this though, what exactly are training wheels? Training wheels (also known as stabilisers) are essentially an extra set of wheels that can be attached to the back of your child’s bike near the rear wheels. These provide some extra support and help with balance whilst your child is first learning to ride.

The main benefit of training wheels is that they help to keep your child balanced as they master some of the key skills needed for riding a bike – for example, moving their feet in the pedalling motion and keeping their feet on the pedals whilst the bike is moving.

Using training wheels will ensure that your child has the opportunity to practice these important skills from day one of learning to ride – even whilst they’re trying to master some of the harder stuff, like balancing and steering.

It is for this reason that we personally prefer using training wheels over other types of learning aids, such as balance bikes. Balance bikes are just like regular pedal bikes, only they have no pedals. Instead, to ride a balance bike, the child keeps their feet on their ground, and simply runs along to get the bike to move.

Although some parents like to start their kids off on balance bikes so they can learn to balance first, we do not encourage this. Although it is true that balance is a fundamental skill when it comes to riding a bike, pedalling is equally as important. By using a balance bike, your child will be deprived of the opportunity to learn this skill until much later, when they get into the saddle of their first “big bike”.

By comparison, if your child learns to ride on a pedal bike with training wheels, they will have the opportunity to practice their pedalling from the very first time they get into the saddle. This means that by the time you remove the pedals from their bike, they will have already learned to pedal, so that they have one less thing to focus on as they work on their balance and steering.

There are a few things that you should bear in mind if you are going to be using training wheels. First of all, you need to ensure that they are installed in such a way that the rear wheel of the bike is still able to make full contact with the ground. If the training wheels are installed correctly, they should allow the bike to lean over slightly on each side, with the rear wheel retaining full contact with the ground at all times.

Secondly, if you are going to be using training wheels, these should never be removed “cold turkey”, as this can be overwhelming for children when they are learning to ride. Instead, gradually raise the training wheels up over time to make your child less dependent for the wheels, and train and prepare them for when the training wheels come off.

Finally, we also recommend using a bike assistance handle at the same time as training wheels. Assistance handles are great for small children who are learning to ride a bike, because not only will they reassure your little one as they continue to grow their confidence, they also help:

  • Put an end to crashes, tears, and grazed knees by keeping your child’s bike on course
  • Control the speed they are riding at
  • Give them a hand braking on steep downward hills
  • Provide that extra push where needed
  • Do the hard work for them when they get too tired to ride home

Best of all, they’re super easy to install. All you need to do is clip your bike assistance handle onto the back of your kids’ bike, and hold on!

You can shop our range of bike assistance handles here. We also have a range of other resources available on our website to help your child to learn to ride, which you can find here. In particular, you might find this blog post on Tips for Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike useful.