Transitioning to Pedals

First, don’t rush pedaling. Striding and practicing balance is fun! Even if your child appears to be striding like a pro, moving to a pedal bike too soon can derail progress and discourage your child. A pedal bike weighs significatnly more — sometimes two to three times the weight of a STRIDER — and handling that extra weight can be very frustrating to a child. Let them practice, play, and perfect their balance and bike handling skills while having fun on their STRIDER bike. Be confident that the time spent on a balance bike will help make the transition to a pedal bike easy when the time comes!

Second, NEVER use training wheels! If you feel your child is ready to pedal, we recommend finding the simplest, lightest pedal bike possible. Avoid “bells and whistles” as they all add weight and distraction. We also recommend that pedal bikes have a freewheel hub and a hand brake. Do not buy a bike for your child to “grow into.” A bike that is too large won’t fit properly, will be too heavy, will be unsafe, and will ultimately discourage your child. With the seat at its lowest setting your child should be able to touch the ground flat footed. Remember, training wheels are NOT a solution to a bike that is too large.

Third, keep it fun! Putting kids on a pedal bike too soon will limit where they can go. It is much harder to ride a pedal bike on grass, dirt, or over obstacles than it is on a STRIDER. Keep in mind how important fun and adventure are to a kid. The lightweight, simple STRIDER has a “fun factor” simply not available on a heavy pedal bike at a young age. We recommend having both the STRIDER Bike and the pedal bike available to the child so they can choose which they prefer on a given day. We recommend this overlap for at least a year. At some point as children get taller, stronger, more skilled, and more confident, they will complete the transition to a pedal bike.