First Non-balance Bike

Postby sjb on Mon 5/Dec/16 2:51pm

just bought my daughter (turned 4 last week) a 16" for xmas and just wonder about opinions on set up?

its got front and back brake - do i take one brake of to keep it less complicated while learning? thought lose the front as less can go wrong locking a back brake.

don't bother with the training wheels? shes confident on the balance bike and i've heard it causes regression if you use them as long as im prepared for the running around holding the saddle.
sjb
Member for: 9 years 1 month

Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby Velocipedestrian on Mon 5/Dec/16 2:58pm

Don't even let her see the trainer wheels.
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Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby Conners on Mon 5/Dec/16 3:07pm

sjb wrote:don't bother with the training wheels? shes confident on the balance bike and i've heard it causes regression if you use them as long as im prepared for the running around holding the saddle.

Bin the trainer wheels. In my experience the transition from balance bike to pedal bike took less than 15 mins of seat holding. That is the beauty of the balance bike - they already have the balance sorted, its only the pedalling they need to learn.

As for brakes, was backpedal only in this case - but for the first few weeks you will find that they only complicate things so I wouldn't even worry about trying to teach that part. Just make sure you're on flat ground :D With rim brakes though I would think about remiving the front brake for a while, locking the front never ends up as a happy story.

Interestingly I threw our nearly 5 year old onto the 20" mountain bike that we have waiting for her (hand me down) yesterday. Her legs are still more than 2" too short to reach the ground, but she could ride it really easily (seat slams to a really low height relative to the pedals).
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Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby WH on Mon 5/Dec/16 10:33pm

If you're concerned, adjust the front brake so that it works but can't lock the front wheel up.

Having said that your main issue is likely to be fingers not being long enough to reach the levers, and even when adjusted so that she can, A) there'll be so little lever pull that it'll be next to impossible to move the pads far enough to lock the wheels, and B) 4/5 year-olds aren't known for their gnarly forearms, so I'd be amazed if she's able to brake hard enough to lock the wheels.

I'd lose the pedal brake though, they're good in the short term but generally larger bikes don't have them so if they haven't learned to brake using 'proper' brakes it can be hard to transition later (when they're cockier and going faster and need to be instinctive on the brakes!)
WH
Member for: 9 years 5 months

Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby wolffman1 on Tue 6/Dec/16 4:51pm

Keep them all on, as wh said they don't have the hand strength to use the hand brakes at this point. My middle kid was 6 when she transitioned to the next bike in the fleet that only had hand brakes and she was actually strong enough to use them. Easy transition for her away from the pedal brake.
The 4 year old got on the bike with pedal and hand brakes and she can only really use the pedal brake.

Besides, How else are they going to learn to do skidz???
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Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby Velocipedestrian on Tue 6/Dec/16 6:51pm

wolffman1 wrote:Besides, How else are they going to learn to do skidz???

Early training for the Klunker race.
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Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby sjb on Thu 8/Dec/16 10:47pm

Built it up tonight. first bike I have ever'Built' up. the contrast between it and my bike is amazing. Brought back memories of attempting to fix my bike as a kid. thankfully i remembered the lessons learnt back then and its looking awesome.

Gone with both brakes-she can learn and no trading wheels. Brakes don't feel like they need much pull to engaged but do need a reasonable pull to lock wheels so I'm sure she will be fine.

In any case the bearings in the back hub or chain friction, not sure what it is, i slackened the chain a bit from where it was, will pull her up quicker than it should if free wheeling although it felt pretty smooth with me riding it around the patio tonight.
sjb
Member for: 9 years 1 month

Re: First Non-balance Bike

Postby WH on Thu 8/Dec/16 11:31pm

When I disconnected the hub brake from my (4-yr-old) son's bike it felt the same, there was some active resistance when pealing backwards, which he quite liked. Something to do with the mechanism in the hub, even though I'd removed the pads. He was happy though, previously he'd accidentally pedalled backwards while crossing a quiet road (as you do when you're four), locked up the rear wheel and fell on the floor. Being in the road he panicked big-time, and wanted the pedal brake gone from that day on. Been happy with 'finger brakes' ever since.
WH
Member for: 9 years 5 months

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