Traditional training wheels are still popular, we get that. But the decline in popularity has been accelerating for the past 20 years. Awareness of the alternative solution (balance bikes) is still relatively low, or dismissed by the masses that prefer to wait until late in childhood to buy their kids first bike. The selection is pretty attractive. A 12" pedal bike is easily found for $50, and the proud parent who brings one home is oblivious to it's excessive weight, low quality and unsafe geometry. Its often economically impossible to buy a $100-300 balance bike, we get that too. Sometimes we need to look at the experience being provided when deciding between a $50 piece of junk and a $150 educational product that pays dividends for a lifetime. All of this to say, let's review the reasons why training wheels suck.
1. Weight: The typical children's bike with 12" tires and training wheels weighs nearly 30 pounds. Would a 160 pound adult want to ride a 160 pound bike? Sounds dangerous! Balance bikes typically weigh only 7 to 10 pounds.
2. Cornering: To ride a bike around a corner, a cyclist must lean in the direction of the turn. As we can see from the picture, any attempt to hold the bike perpendicular to the ground while cornering would be a failure. It is impossible to correctly corner with training wheels.
3. Bad habits: It IS possible to execute a turn with training wheels. Unfortunately, your child will have to lean left to turn right and lean right to turn left. Doing the opposite of what is supposed to come naturally is not recommended. This is a primary cause of crashes right after the "training wheels" are removed.
4. Safety: See No 3 above! It's more important to know how to balance and corner on a bike than it is to put force onto the pedals (that's the easy part). A balance bike has no pedals, so feet are instinctively used as stabilizers. With training wheels, there's no need to use feet for stability, making it unnecessary to ever put a foot down- another dangerous bad habit that needs to be un-learned.
5. Speed: Not only will a child on a balance bike easily pass a child on training wheels (how embarrassing!), their motor skills and balance will develop light-years faster too. Faster success is better for a child, especially when it boosts their self confidence. The training wheels are wasting your child's time and energy, and cheating them out of learning balance correctly - not to mention being slow and a lot less fun.
Why buy from Tikes Bikes?
For an enhanced buying experience with an industry leading company specializing in balance bikes, we offer a comprehensive premium selection of balance bikes, helmets and accessories.
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