J has had this 12” bike for quite some time. Honestly. I think it has been since she was about 3 years old. She would ride around on it with the training wheels but would never really go for a long ride on it. I kept saying “she will never learn to ride if she won’t even stay on it longer than 5 minutes.” So I started looking at balance bikes. I knew if she could get the balance part I could remove the training wheels and she would be able to ride on her bike. The balance bikes cost around $100. We were not going to spend another $100 on another bike to sit in our garage if she decided she wasn’t going to use it.
So I decided to take the pedals off the bike we had here already. Taking the pedals off was not horrible to do. I did have to go and find a video about how to take the bearing out though. Once I got that all taken apart I could not get the chain off. This little bike must have been the only bike that did not have a link in the chain. After looking and looking for a link and not finding one, I just cut the chain off. J got on it and was a bit confused at first. I showed her how to walk on it and it did not take her long to figure it all out.
This is what her bike looked like after I took it all apart. This was October 25th.
The biggest problem was the screws sticking out of the back where the training wheels were suppose to attach. J kept hitting her ankles on them. So I cut those down so they wouldn’t hit her anymore.
She was riding up and down the street in no time. After a month she was balancing on it and pulling her feet up off the ground. She started asking me to put the pedals back on so she could ride it. LOL Yeah well since I cut the chain I couldn’t do that. I kept telling her to keep practicing.
The beginning of this month she became very insistent that she is ready for a bike with pedals. I asked my mom to bring over the extra bike she had at her house. This one still had the pedals and training wheels on it. On the 12th she brought it over. That bike was also a 12” bike. I took the training wheels off of it and J hopped right up on it. I held it by the seat and she started to pedal. It took all of a minute before she was off and riding it all on her own. I was shocked she picked it up so quickly.
I felt bad that D was at work when all this happened but I had no idea she would just take off on it. I figured she would get up there and fall a few times and have to practice at it a bit more. No way! She was gone! The biggest problem she had was making sure the pedals were in the right position to take off. She had to learn to push the pedal around with her foot or shin to be able to get her foot on it and push off. Within an hour she was getting on and off and making turns, going up and down the driveways, and really cruising along. I could also see how little this bike was for her now. LOL
So yesterday we bought her a 16” bike. I really wanted to buy her an 18” but it was just too big for her. This 16” fits her nicely. Took her a few tries to get the hang of the bigger bike but she did it and we went for a nice bike ride together.
I honestly think making the balance bike was the best thing I could have done to help her learn to ride a bike. Once she had the balance part down she was good to go. From start to finish was less than 3 months. If you have not tried a balance bike for your kiddo yet, try it! It really works!