Your child isn’t quite ready for a full two-wheel bike experience, but they’re done with balance bikes and tricycles. It’s time for a bike with training wheels. It can be hard to know where to start because your goal is to move beyond training wheels, but we’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together a list of our absolute favorite bikes with training wheels. Plus, we’ve answered a few questions you might have about how to choose. Let’s go!
Schwinn Boys’ 12-Inch Grit Bike – Best For Young Children
Our first bike is a fun orange one with training wheels and a parent bar. The parent bar helps steady and steer your child until he or she is ready to go alone. The final step would be removing the training wheels.
Besides the parent bar, the fully enclosed chain helps protect your child’s legs. The seat is adjusted quickly through the release lever. It grows with your child’s age and ability. Front and rear fenders protect the bike from dirt and grime kicked up as your child is writing.
The training wheels can take a beating and won’t bend on the first curve. They provide your child with excellent stability while they need it. A cage-mounted water bottle completes the look.
Watch Out For:
Both the parent bar and the chain guard tend to come part if you aren’t careful, so use caution.
- parent bar is the first step of your child’s biking
- chain guard is protect delicate legs
- water bottle is a nice touch
- chain guard and parent rod aren’t sturdy
JOYSTAR Kids Bike with DIY Sticker for Enclose Chain Guard – Best DIY Decorations
Our second bike is a fun DIY option for kids with a sticker set so your child can personalize it exactly.
The bike itself is a sturdy, premium steel. It should stand up to even enthusiastic kids. The training wheels are stable and won’t bend the first time your child leans on the bike. A quick release seat makes it easy for you to adjust the seat to your child’s height to help with riding.
Brakes work by pedaling backward. Even if your child isn’t quite coordinated enough to operate a hand brake, you won’t have to worry about how your child will stop. There are four reflectors to put on the handlebars and the seat post as well as the front and rear spokes.
Watch Out For:
There’s no kick stand. Once the bike has no training wheels, it’s impossible for the bike to stand up.
- comes in different sizes and it’s adjustable
- stickers are a nice touch
- easy braking system
- no kickstand
RoyalBaby Honey and Buttons Kids Bike – Best Unisex Design
The RoyalBaby has BMX features and uses TIG welded steel frame and fork. It comes with everything your child would need to do tricks once the training wheels come off.
It uses a really simple, unisex design that should please your kid regardless. The braking lever is in two pieces and should be easy for your child to maneuver. Air filled tires and no-bend training wheels give all kids a sturdy foundation for riding that feels like a real bike.
A one-piece foam saddle conforms to your child’s body and is more comfortable to ride. It adjusts quickly with a quick release handle.
The bike and its colors are reflective for safety. It’s also effortless to assemble with clear directions.
Watch Out For:
The frame is pretty heavy for younger kids. It may be too much for your child to handle if they aren’t very big themselves.
- simple design should be a crowd pleaser
- molded foam saddle is very comfortable
- no bend training wheels and sturdy tires
- it’s on the heavier end of the spectrum.
RoyalBaby BMX Freestyle Kid’s Bike – Best For Older Kids
Our next bike is a true BMX freestyle bike meant for kids. It comes 95% assembled and comes with a bell and water bottle.
The quick release seat post adjusts height quickly and easily. It has a sturdy steel frame with a one piece crank and a ball-bearing drive shaft. The chain guard protects your child’s legs, steel wheels with air-filled, rubber tires.
The front caliper brake and rear coaster brake gives your child a few options for stopping. THey can push back on the brake until they’re confident using the hand brake.
The training wheels have extra rubber to reduce noise and increase durability.
Watch Out For:
Like the other bike from this company, it weighs quite a bit. Give your child a chance to practice with the weight before you take it out somewhere tricky.
- BMX style is exciting
- comes mostly assembled
- two braking systems
- weighs a lot
Royalbaby Space Shuttle Magnesium Kid’s Bike – Best Magnesium Frame
Our last bike uses a combination of magnesium frame and steel fork for a lightweight yet durable design.
The tires have magnesium rims and durable treaded tires. A single speed system with one piece crankshaft and ball-bearing bottom bracket mimic adult bikes in a child version. It has both a hand brake and a coaster brake system give your child two different options for learning how to stop.
It has a one-piece foam saddle, and no-slip resin pedals help your child stay stable and secure. The training wheels are also magnesium and won’t bend at the first curve. THe kickstand keeps everything up once training wheels are off.
Watch Out For:
Like all bikes from this line, this one is a little heavy though the magnesium frame alleviates that weight a little bit. Make sure you check the package for all the pieces and that you choose a size that specifically comes with training wheels (be careful when choosing colors not to make a switch).
- magnesium frame and wheels are lightweight and resists rust
- two braking options
- comes with kickstand
- still heavy despite magnesium frame
Choosing a bike with training wheels might leave you with some questions. Let’s answer them.
Are Training Wheels The Wrong Choice?
Absolutely not. Training wheels should have a little bit of wobble to them so that the rear tire has plenty of traction. Your child learns to rely on them less and less over time, eventually gaining enough confidence to take them off.
Some children start with balance bikes, and this is a viable alternative. It’s not necessary to graduate from balance bike to training wheels. Think of them as two paths to the same goal. Both are excellent choices and both will help your child practice essential gross motor skills for a regular bike.
How Do I Choose A Bike?
Make sure the bike fits your child’s height and has at least two inches to adjust up for when your child grows. The training wheels should fit with just a little bit of wobble so that the back tire gets plenty of grip.
Make sure the body of the bike isn’t so heavy that it’s difficult to maneuver. It’s also great for the bike to have two different types of braking system, hand and coaster so there’s a back up. Children who don’t have the hand coordination for hand brakes can just push back on the pedals to come to a stop. Eventually, they master the hand brake.
You should also consider the types of things your child likes. If your child loves the bike itself, he or she is more likely to get on and practice instead of you having to force him or her to get out and do things. The decorations certainly aren’t the most important, but they are necessary for motivation.
The bike should be comfortable for your child as well. Choose a comfortable seat that’s easily adjustable and make sure your child can put his or her feet down lightly so that the balance is right.
How Do I Adjust The Wheels?
You can raise or lower the wheels by tightening the nut. Some can even be bent slightly to move away from the ground. Start with the training wheels really low to the ground and slowly move them up as your child gets better at balance and coordination.
How Do I Switch Away From Training Wheels?
You’ll generally know when your child has enough confidence to remove the wheels. You can slowly bend the training wheels back further and further until they have to rely on their balance for it to work.
Another option is to have them ride bikes with other children who don’t have training wheels. Children are famous for being influenced by others so that might inspire them to work on their balance.
If your child is having a lot of fun riding with training wheels and seems really reluctant to move them, that’s ok. Just adjust them so the child has to use balance and then let them have fun. If you push your child before he or she is ready, it may ruin the love of riding altogether. It’s best to follow your child’s lead for the most part.
How Do I Care For The Bike?
Don’t leave your bike exposed to the elements because much of your bike’s deterioration can come from exposure alone. Chains should be protected to prevent rust and keep the pedals running smoothly by inspecting for dirt and other debris.
Check the overall integrity of the bike to make sure everything seems safe and in working order before and after your child rides. Bikes are meant to be durable, but sometimes even the most durable bike can give way under enthusiastic riding. The handle bars should never be loose and the seat should be in just the right position each time.
Training wheels and balance bikes are two different methods to making sure your child gets the right kin of practice before riding a real bike. They can give your child plenty of confidence and allow them to practice valuable gross motor skills like balance and hand coordination. If your child is itching to get out there but just doesn’t quite have the right skills, it won’t be long before he or she is riding all by themselves without training wheels at all.
The bike you choose should be able to grow with your child’s body and his or her skills. As long as you find something with a range of adjustments, investing in a bike for your child, even with training wheels, is an awesome addition to childhood.
How did you learn to ride a bike? Was it with training wheels, a balance bike, or someone just giving you one good push? Let us know in the comments below!