Sleepless Parent Blog

The Smartest Way for Teaching Kids How to Ride a Bike

Your little tyke is ready to start bike riding, but you’re not sure where to start with teaching them. Deciding between training wheels on a full-sized bike, a balance bike that doesn’t have any pedals or a baby trike with three wheels can make your head spin with options. But since teaching your child the ins and outs of properly riding a bicycle is important, you’ll want to do it right.

Learning to ride a bike is an important childhood milestone  

Staying active is something parents sometimes struggle with when it comes to their kids. With so many entertainment options available through video screens and on the internet, it can be tough at times to encourage your kids to run around outside and use their bodies.

With their own pair of bikes, they’re much more likely to get active and learn essential motor skills like balance, steering, hand-eye coordination, pedaling, and a true sense of independence. 

With bikes, kids learn valuable socializing skills. This sort of goes hand in hand with getting outside more and away from addictive screens. When you’re playing outside with a bike, your kids are bound to start racing with other little bikers, making friends, and sharing their bike time with siblings and neighbors. 

A word about balance bikes

A balance bicycle is a rather new toy for kids that is revolutionizing the industry. Also known as a run bike or glider bike, it comes with a low seat, low handlebars and no pedals. This way, they help the child focus on what is arguably the most important skill needed to ride a bike – balance.

Due to their small and simple designs, many children find it easier to learn on these bikes compared to bikes with stabilizers. Tricycles and bikes with training wheels give children a false sense of achievement since it does not teach the child how to balance. Therefore, they find it difficult to make the transition into a normal bicycle when the time comes.

Normally, these bicycles come with no pedals or brakes to make it easy for your child to focus on learning how to balance and steer alone. The Xtend Bike™ however has both, and is designed to grow with your child – you will find more on that below.

Introducing the revolutionary Xtend Bike™

With no need for an elaborate introduction, simply because such a bike didn’t exist anywhere until now, the Xtend Bike™ has everything you and your child would like to have in their first bike.

The Xtend Bike™ is innovatively lightweight

The last thing you want your toddler’s new bike to be is extremely heavy. While the craftsmanship should be sturdy and nothing should be falling apart, using heavy metals and thick rubber tires are the worst things for your little one lugging around. After all, they’ll be using their little bodies to move the bike, so naturally, you want them to be able to handle the load.

So, overall, when deciding on a bike for your child, the first thing you’ll need to consider is whether or not the bike itself is lightweight. If it seems too heavy, it’s not the right choice.

Thinking just that, the Xtend Bike™ was designed out of Lite Magnesium Alloy, so that it weighs just little over 18 pounds (which is roughly the weight of a bowling ball!)

What about pedals? 

No more starting from scratch with every new bike you have to buy for your child. Kids who learn how to ride on a balance bike need to find their footing and get reacquainted with their inner balance. The Xtend Bike™ includes easily added pedals which allow your kid to learn everything on the exact same bike and by the end of it, they know how to balance well, steer properly, pedal with ease, use the brakes, and most of all, they know how much fun it is to go for a bike ride.

We’re serious about how easy it is to attach the pedals once your kid is ready, just 3 bolts without a need to disassemble any wheel or visit a bike store. When your kid is ready, you can ride the momentum and affix the pedals for the next lesson right away.

It’s called “Xtend” because the frame itself extends to match your child’s age

We’ll say that again: the Xtend Bike™ frame can be stretched and extended so that it can stay with your child longer, match different ages and body types and provide the right lesson at the right time, no matter how quickly your child grows. No other bike does that. 

It comes with an advanced disk brake system

Most learning bikes won’t feature brakes. In a world where a learning bike is a toddler tool, which could make sense.     

However, when you have a little speed demon under your roof, or when you add pedals later, brakes become a necessity and not just an accessory. 

The Xtend Bike™, being a bike that matches different ages and skill levels, comes with brakes on both handlebars to help your toddler learn this crucial skill as early as possible. 

And to do things a little better, the Xtend Bike™ includes a professional disk brake system that you’ll only find on much older bike pairs.

Footrest – do they need it?

Another decision you’ll have to make before buying their first pair of bikes is deciding whether or not your child requires a footrest.

Although it sounds like a design accessory or a bike part that’s meant to show off skills once the little rider has gained some confidence, it’s actually an important sign for you, the parent. If your child is riding their balance bike with carefree skill, picking up their feet and resting them as they glide along, that’s your sign that they’re ready for pedaling lesson. 

Now, parents know that when they kid outgrow something like a clothing item or a bed, happiness is mixed with financial concern, as a new time must be purchased to match. But with the Xtend Bike™ able to affix pedals with just 3 bolts, feet up means skill up, with no extra expense. And they’re not ready yet? The footrest can be e-affixed with just 3 bolts.

Goodbye, training wheels

If you’ve raised kids before and tried the training wheels method, chances are, it wasn’t actually a smooth ride (excuse the pun). That’s because when using training wheels, kids are essentially learning how to ride what feels like a tricycle, not a bicycle. 

If you’ve chosen to use a training stick instead of training wheels, you’ll accomplish the same faux confidence (and sweat a lot while pushing and running behind your child). 

The Xtend Bike™, being a balance bike with pedals is the best in terms of all the other options, as it takes away unnecessary gear and bulbs the right skill when your child is really ready for it. By the time they grow out of this bike (which takes a while), they’ll have no problem riding any bike that comes their way because they’re confident and skilled. 

Should you get a 14 inch balance bike or a 16 inch balance bike?

Now, let’s talk about the actual dimensions of some of the toddler bicycles you might be considering buying. When a bicycle is listed as being 14 inches, this refers to the wheel’s diameter. 

Two inches may not seem like much of a change, but for small toddlers, it can be a huge deal. The wheel diameter will determine how comfortable the bike size is for your child, but instead of debating which pair to buy, the Xtend Bike™ offers both options! When you opt for our Xtend Bike™ balance bike with pedals, you don’t have to worry about choosing between a 14-inch or a 16-inch bicycle – you can have both wrapped into one incredible product.

No, it doesn’t include 2 sets of wheels in different sizes, but rather by extending itself to match your growing child’s height, it buys you more time before you ‘ll need to purchase their grown kids’ bike. That’s a huge money-saver.

Keep the money in your wallet and save big with a convertible balance bike

It’s no secret that kids outgrow almost everything they own at rapid speed. From shoes to pants to underwear, it can feel like shopping for new stuff never stops when you have young children in your life. 

The same goes for toys and their bikes. In the first few years of a child’s life, they’re growing and changing exponentially. So, at smarTrike, to help keep wallets of parents everywhere as full as possible, we do our best to make functional, adjustable bicycles and tricycles that grow and change as quickly as your child does. 

Since our Xtend Bike™ is convertible, there’s no need to have a small push bike, then a bigger one, then a bike with training wheels in order to teach your child to ride a full bicycle with proper form and skills. All you need is one and the smarTrike Xtend Bike™ is certainly the winner.

Obviously, this saves a lot of money but it also saves time. Each time you need to get another bicycle to meet your child’s needs, you have to head to the store or do a bunch of online searching. You need to take measurements, assemble it once it arrives, and totally re-teach your little one how another particular bike operates. 

Is the Xtend Bike™ the right size for your child?

With any, the height of the seat should be at a level where when sitting, their feet can lay flat on the floor with knees slightly bent. If you’re at the store testing out bikes, have your child take a seat on the saddle and take a look.

If you’re buying a balance bike with pedals online, as most of us do these days, simply measure your child’s inseam and remove two inches or so to account for bent knees. The inseam measurement is the length of the inner leg. To measure the inseam, you can use a measuring tape from their inner thigh area to their heel while standing flat.

Of course, children can be squirmy so here’s another idea.

Have your child stand with their back against a wall, feet flat on the floor with a hardcover book between their legs as the binding side is pressed as high as it can go toward their groin. With the book against the wall, your child can step away and run off to play. 

With the book still in place, take a pencil and mark the spot on the wall where the binding sits. From there, you can use a normal tape measure to calculate the length from the floor to the pencil mark. And voila! You now know your child’s inseam. 

For the Xtend Bike™ to match, your child’s inseam should be at least 18.5-23 inches

The Xtend Bike™ in stages   

First stage – balancing bike for 3-year-old

Starting off with a lesson in balancing, the Xtend Bike™ balance bike comes with detachable pedals and employs one of the best methods to build your child’s confidence as a balance bike for 3-4-year-old kids. There will be no need for training wheels – all they need to learn Is how to glide and develop their motor and coordination skills.

2nd stage – it continues as a bike for 4-5 years-old

After your child has mastered how to balance and steer, then it is time for a lesson in cycling. Attach the pedals to the convertible balance bike and watch as your child rides away while learning to pedal.

Since they already know how to balance and steer, this transition process will be mostly smooth. Also, your kid can learn how to pedal without having to change bikes which boosts their confidence and is more fun. The addition of pedals transforms this balance bike from a bike meant for three-year-old kids into a bike for 4-5-year-old kids.

Extend the body to match the bike to your child’s size       

When your baby outgrows their bike, you can easily adjust the seat and handlebar heights, and extend the frame as required to make It bigger. This transforms it into a bike for 5-6-year-old kids or older. 

So what are you waiting for? The Xtend Bike™ convertible balance bike is designed to guide your child from being a complete novice to a full-on cycler. Bring it home today for the first lesson and you’ll start creating lasting memories and a sense of achievement for your baby every day as they learn how to ride a bike faster and more naturally.