Stabilisers don't work on Kids Bikes

Why Stabilisers don’t work!

Stabilisers on a kids bike hinder a child from learning to balance

It is a big statement considering how many kids’ bikes come fitted for young children. For 2022, it is time to ditch them! Disclaimer: Our kids started on a bike with stabilisers, and it simply didn’t help them learn to ride a bike. This made us start our kids bicycle company back in 2009, so we are a little biased.

The Skills needed to ride a bike.

When learning to ride a pedal bike, there are two fundamental skills you must master; pedalling and balance. Traditionally the kids’ bike industry used two extra small wheels fitted to the rear wheel to support the bike upright whilst the child learned to use the pedals.

Reasons to avoid training wheels!

  • They don’t teach a child to balance.
    A bicycle with two wheels is unstable. It will not hold itself up. This is where the concept of fitting two small extra wheels came from. To keep the bike held upright, allowing the child to focus on pedalling whilst not tipping over. Of course, you are back to square one when you take the support away—tipping over.
  • Bikes become too heavy and hard to move along.
    A pedal bike needs pedals, cranks, a chain, chain-guard etc. These all add a lot of weight, so starter bikes are heavy. Far too heavy in proportion to the child using them. They add cost, look ugly and are impossible to carry home from nursery or if your child doesn’t want to ride.
  • Kids Stabilisers teach bad habits.
    To balance, a child needs to feel the shift in the bike as it falls to one side and learn to counteract it. A rider will change their position to bring the bike back up-right. Kids Stabilisers don’t allow this as they support the cycle instead. Worse, the rider has typically to lean in the wrong direction to counteract the support wheels tilting the bike at an angle, as pavements are rarely horizontal.
  • Bikes fitted with stabilisers make the ride slow are no fun!
    Check out any park, and you see always see some child pedalling a heavy bike with training wheels around the paths. They can’t go quickly, they can’t go over grass, and they certainly can’t go off-road. Skatepark and cycle trails through woods are out. It’s not a lot of fun; hence they get fed up and won’t go long distances on family bike rides.
  • Once you remove them, you still have to learn to balance.
    One minute the child is supported upright on a bike. Then you remove the supports, but as no balance has yet been learnt, inevitably, the child still can’t ride. Crashes, frustration, and wobbles all lead to a lack of confidence and reluctance to cycle.

Sustrans did a study that showed that only 2% of children cycle to school. Government-funded programmes such as Bikeability are improving the situation, with Primary school-aged children getting taught road safety. However, to be ready to join in with this, the child needs to be riding a pedal bike beforehand. We are firm believers that starting on a balance bike allows kids to learn to ride far easier than using stabilisers. By starting children younger, we can encourage kids to use cycling as a method of transportation.

Stabilisers don't work on Kids Bikes

Stabilisers act as a support and keep the bike upright

However, the child riding never truly learns the skill of balancing until they are removed.

By learning with feet safely on the ground, and simply grasping the handlebars and walking the bike along, the child learns the skills needed to ride a bike.

A better way. Teach balance first, pedalling later.

Turning two pedals is easy. However, if you can get the more complex skill of learning to balance nailed first when you then fit pedals, they will cycle off.

How do we do that? Easy, with a balance bike. Balance bikes are as simple as they sound; they have no pedals, no chain, no way to propel and gain momentum other than using your feet.

Children learning to ride on a balance bike solve the balancing problem first. Kids naturally interact with a balance bike because their feet can always stay on the ground, the seat is low, giving a lower point of gravity and a more secure feeling. We cover this in detail in our Bike Size Guide

Most parents remember their experience of learning to ride a bike, and for most, it includes painful memories with those heavy unstable bikes. It’s a new generation and a new way to teach kids, but it works. Balance bike vs a bike with stabilisers.. and the winner is…the Balance Bike

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No-Pedal Bike without stabilisers

Rookie 12

Learn to ride and never need stabilisers
For Riders 18 months to 5 years old
Rookie 14

Rookie 14

Convertible Balance Bikes
For Riders aged 3 upwards

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Don't just take our word for it

  • Kazzi
    6 months ago

    Can't get over the quality of this bike, for the price its phenomenal. All the essential features have been carefully considered and included. I especially like the footrests and reach adjustment the bars and stem enable. Height adjustment is easy and the seat post has measurements too which is really helpful. It's so light a 2-year-old can lift it easily. It was so quick and easy to assemble my 7yo built it with minimal guidance. It's a really good looking bike with good quality robust components. I absolutely love it!

  • Liz Chambers
    5 months ago

    What a fabulous little bike. Bought for my niece as a Christmas present. She is 16 months and absolutely loves it. The bike arrived well packaged, instructions were clear and an absolute bargain for the quality. Thank you so much!

  • Hayley
    4 months ago

    My 3 year old loves his Kidvelo Rookie 12. This is his 1st bike and he's taken to it like a duck to water. He is so confident with it and obviously feels safe. The bike is very fairly priced, it was delivered quickly, its lightweight, easy to put together, and the quality is fantastic. My little one loves the chunky wheels and the bell too. I would definitely recommend this bike to anyone who is looking for their child's first bike.

  • Susan Abbott
    3 months ago

    I have recently purchased the Kidvelo Rookie 12 bike for my 3 year old granddaughter. The first thing to note is the website was very easy to use, delivery was quick and within an advised 1 hour time slot.

    The bike was packaged well and was simple to assemble, completed in under 10 minutes with all the tools required provided in the box. The first thing my granddaughter noticed was how bright the colour was, she loved it. After adjusting the seat height to suit she felt comfortable on the bike and couldn’t wait to get started. We took her to the local park and she where she just understood naturally how to use the bike and required limited guidance. Seeing her on the bike after just a few trips out I believe she will get much enjoyment out of using it and set her up perfectly for moving onto the next step.

  • James Kennedy
    1 month ago

    I don’t normally leave reviews, but I’m so impressed with our recent purchase of a Kidvelo bike that I thought this product was worthy of one. The first thing we noticed was the build quality of the product. It’s well made and really sturdy when put together. The black wheels and tyres look great and my little one loves the bright pink colour! I only wish I’d have known about this bike sooner as I would have bought one for my son, who seems to enjoy going on his little sisters bike more than his own! Thanks to all at Kidvelo for making a little girl really happy!

  • Ellie Gentleman
    1 month ago

    Highly recommended Kidvelo Bikes Uk.
    We have the Rookie12 for our little boy. The bike feels super sturdy but lightweight for me to carry around where ever we are going! Super easy to put together my little man even got involved helping me put it together.
    My little one likes the extra features of the foot rest for going down little hills this also really helps with his balance for when he’s ready for the next size bike up.
    As a parent all the extra features with the handle bars and seat as they grow with him so I’m not having a buy a new one weekly is brilliant! “he don’t stop growing “😀
    Also the communication with Kidvelo Bikes Uk was Fantastic and all my questions answered.

  • Nick Jeggo
    3 weeks ago

    A Revelation!
    I work as a cycle instructor delivering Bikeability, Learn to Ride and led rides in the Town Park. I'm also the British Cycling Go-Ride lead at my cycling club. The club has been using a Rookie 12 to help keep younger siblings happy while brothers and sisters attend our sessions.
    The bike has been amazing, a revelation in fact. First of all, it's incredibly light, something that everyone comments upon. In fact, when the bike arrived we wondered if the box was empty!
    The steering has proper bearings, as do the hubs, so everything runs really freely. The MTB type handlebar stem is adjustable and the handlebars are shaped so that the reach can be tailored to the rider. The tyres are proper 12" pneumatic with Schrader (car type) valves and the relatively smooth tread pattern means there's the perfect combination of low rolling resistance and grip. There's a choice of 4 colours, but we have the bright green. You certainly can't miss it!
    I've come across lots of balance bikes, but this one stands way above anything else I've seen. You may find some of the features on other bikes, but the rookie 12 has them all in a brilliantly designed combination.
    Buy quality, your kids will thank you for it!

  • SheLovesBarney
    2 week ago

    I bought a Kidvelo Rookie 12 for my cousin. It’s incredibly light and the quality is fantastic. Delivery was free and the bike arrived the next day. Well packaged and easy to assemble. I totally recommend this bike for kids just starting out.

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