I think my lad will never learn to ride a bike

Home Forum Bike Forum I think my lad will never learn to ride a bike

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • I think my lad will never learn to ride a bike
  • Premier Icon tenfoot

    Keep plugging away. He’ll get there in the end.
    My two seemed hopeless, then one day it just clicked.

    i didn’t learn to ride until i was 9-10 years old.

    can now just about stay upright at 39 😉


    I learnt sometime between 4 and 5….that was 30 years ago. My brother didn’t learn till 6 or 7.

    By reading this forum you’re looking at a very biased population – loads of parents with kids with balance bikes etc etc. If they’re not interested or are struggling then why worry?

    My mates have or kids who still needed stabilisers at 6 or 7.


    Son was up and running age 4 after a couple of sessions. For his (slightly older) sister it was well past 7, not for the want of trying.

    Some kids just take longer. Keep the sessions regular and short, so you don’t lose your temper!

    Premier Icon sas78

    Wise up. Life is not a contest and girls develop faster than boys. Hopefully your passive aggressive competitive Dad streak won’t be obvious to the lad because that’d be a great way to shatter his confidence at such a young age.

    Invest some more time encouraging him, hopefully he’ll surprise you.

    Premier Icon spacey

    My two boys both got it precisely at the point where I started to think they’d never get it, maybe I stopped trying so hard at that point and just let them get on with it. The key with my second was to take them to the top of a small hill (well not even a hill to us but a decline in the park, which equated to a mountain to him), then let him go – soft grass either side but a nice Tarmac path to speed down. When I got to the bottom he was in a heap on the grass, I turned him over and the grin was massive, ear to ear, magic! He then had the motivation to want to get it sorted as he had the realisation that bike equals fun and grins. Result is he’s never far from it since that point. There is a clicking point for all of them I reckon, you just need to find it for yours.


    I’ve found the right terrain helps, downhill, grassy.

    edit: cross post, agree with above.

    1 shed

    Yes in time, Im sure he will get it. With my lad it was a long journey. Started with a 2 wheeler with stabilisers then changed to a balance bike which he was great on. Next a BMX but he couldn’t combine pedaling his balance and pedaling. So when he got on a trike and pedalled round the bike shop that was bought. Then at 91/2 he started to request “bike” meaning his BMX. He got on it and rode, never looked back. My son does have additional needs. I work in reception and I would say only 30% of the children have mastered the “wobbly bike”. Good luck to you and your boy.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Just let him carry on with the balance bike or take the cranks of his pedal bike and let him scoot around on that. All kids are different.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    My eldest was nearly 6, youngest nearly 5.

    To be fair, I was 8 before I learned, non-cycling parents, bike too big and stabilisers didn’t help.

    Premier Icon franksinatra

    His two big sisters were both riding two wheels before their fourth birthdays, he is four and a half and is not even close. He did really well on a balance bike but on his proper bike he seems to have some sort of cycling dyslexia.

    Seeing that video of the 4 year old bmx twins hasn’t helped.

    Anyone offer any hope?

    I favour the flat, straight tarmac option, but doing a lot of running along behind holding them by the back of the neck to stop them falling off. Just supporting them there when they’ve got the balance from a balance bike seemed to be enough to ‘get’ the pedalling. Grass is hard work to pedal on if you’ve got little wheels, and it’s bumpy so they have to steer more too.

    Maybe a trailer bike or tandem might let him practice pedalling? Haven’t used one myself, but it might be fun for him to feel like he was getting somewhere – and fun is everything. 🙂


    Minivader is almost 6 and is totally uninterested in bikes and won’t really try to ride. I keep plugging away at it but he will get it when he decides. So I haven’t pressed thee issue.


    My eldest struggled for ages, so we put the bike away for a couple of months and got him riding his two wheeled scooter all over the place instead.

    This helped him learn balance which quickly translated to riding his bike.


    Daughter was 5 and just got on a mates bike when they were trying to learn and just did it. Son was 6 and I thought he would never get it as he had such strops when things didn’t go his way. We did it on grass in the end so he could fall off safely during a strop, he lives it now, has no fear which is a little scary at times. Worst thing is the bending over and running behind them holding the seat, my back was wrecked.

    It will happen don’t worry, problem I have is getting them out enough now as it’s a drag finding somewhere safe for them to ride. I won’t risk them on the roads around here.


    My twin boys were totally different. One riding without stablisers at 4, the other not really even managing stablisers at 5, and only managed two wheels at 6 1/2. (He used to pedal backwards because it was easier… 😀 )

    Have you got a decent bike? What swung it for mine was an islabike – I took one bike out to the garden, went to get the stablisers off the old one to find him riding off on two wheels….

    Premier Icon franksinatra

    Wise up. Life is not a contest and girls develop faster than boys. Hopefully your passive aggressive competitive Dad streak won’t be obvious to the lad because that’d be a great way to shatter his confidence at such a young age.

    Who said anything about a contest? Idiot.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    My youngest (7 ina few weeks) has dyspraxia and as a result his coordination is a bit rubbish. He shows absolutely no interest in learning to ride a bike whatsoever. He bloody loves going on the tagalong but just gets the fear whenever I get his bike out.

    So we just stick to the tagalong. No rush. 🙂


    Wow… he cant ride a bike at 4 1/2… what’s wrong with you..sorry, him?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Could you get him put into care?
    Maybe you could swap him for one that can ride?

    Kids must be worth a bit of cash on the blackmarket? you could sell him and use the cash to get one that works better. 😉

    Premier Icon darrenspink

    Crap weather and short days doesn’t help. Summer soon and lots of chance to practice.


    1) 10 minute sessions – any longer and he’ll get bored and you stressed.
    2) Find a long flat kerb on a traffic-free road.
    3) Have him scoot with outer pedal down and inner foot on kerb.
    4) Repeat in opposite direction
    5) Explain that to balance a bike you turn into the fall
    6) Have him pedal at walking pace with you holding one end of the bar and gently steering into the fall.
    7) Move hand to rear of saddle as he steers
    8) Let go…

    I’ve taught many, many children with this method. It has never failed. Just take it in 10 minute chunks. For a four year old, 10 minutes can be an eternity!


    I didn’t learn until I was 12 years old, I won the U18s East on England Mountain Bike champs 5 years later.

    There’s some hope.


    Don’t fret he’ll get there in his own time. My daughter is coming up to 5 and she’s only just getting the hang of riding with stabilisers. To be fair she’s only had a few goes on the bike. It’s very hilly by us, so she can’t just go outside and practice – we have to drive somewhere flat. Couldn’t have started any earlier, she is small for her age and has only just got the strength to get a pedal action going (that’s the SS/10 inch wheel combo for you!).

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Pah. My oldest wouldn’t ride her balance bike ever, it was too wobbly. She rode a pedal bike with stabilisers on it all over the place, and as I kept surreptitiously raising them she got better at riding. Managed to persuade her to ride without a few weeks before her 5th birthday and she did it no bother. Until after about 10 mins she forgot to brake, hit the car and faceplanted. Now she’s refusing again.

    Her younger sister was on the balance bike at 18 months and 6 months later was scooting about properly feet up. Kids develop differently, don’t expect the same schedule from them! Similar story with other physical tasks – youngest has always been more physically capable. Took oldest one far longer to learn stuff like two footed jumping etc.

    Premier Icon sas78

    Who said anything about a contest? Idiot

    Duh, you! Right at the very top there when you compared your wee fella’s progress to:
    1. His Sisters; and,
    2. The bmx kids.

    Then to top that you moronically stated he might have ‘cycling dyslexia’ (which is pretty offensive in more than one way).


    My eldest didn’t learn to ride until she was 6. I did it with a bike with stabilisers. She fell off a couple of times early on and she just became too scared. One day she just decided she wanted the stabilisers off and she just got on and rode down the road. I couldn’t believe it. I got my youngest on a cheap balance bike and she was up and running on a proper bike in a matter of weeks and was riding at 3yrs.

    My eldest (now 30) learned to ride at about 4 yrs old with stabilisers, which weren’t on for long. His younger brother learned the same way but not till he was about 7, the youngest now pisses all over me & his brother.
    Stop flapping, he’ll do it when he’s ready & not before.

    Premier Icon augustuswindsock

    Apparently Chris hoy didn’t start until he was 7, it was only when he saw a mates kid brother pedalling at 5 that he thought he better get his finger out!

    Mrs Toast

    I learned to ride without stabilisers when I was 11, but I was only allowed to ride in the garden and on the pavement outside our house, so I never really rode. Didn’t really learn to ride a bike properly (using gears, riding one handed to indicate, riding on the road, shifting weight) until I was 27…

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Mibbe he’ll have other hobbies. Bike riding isn’t compulsory. How is he at flower arranging?

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    If it helps my middle daughter was riding at 2 years 10 months.. all at her own insistence to be like her older sister. Eldest was riding on her 4th birthday.
    Youngest (14 months) is already trying to climb on any bike she sees to copy her sisters.
    It will be a sad day when they are more interested in boys and makeup.

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    My boy got it at about 4 in an afternoon running around an (empty) kids playground. My daughter took longer. Would concur with the “find a very gradually sloping path” ideas above. Found one and spent half an hour running behind her holding the saddle and then started to take my hand off the saddle (but still running behind her) so that she didn’t realise she was actually doing it on her own (therefore no pressure on her).

    Once she’d got it without realising, I just stopped running and watched her riding off into the distance. Her face when she realised what she’d done was an absolute picture..

    Good luck, try not to put too much pressure on the lad.

    Take the pedals off, and let him push the bike around on a path/road whatever. I’ve seen kids with no cycling ability at all pick it up pretty quickly this way.


    What’s the rush, he will do it when he is ready.

    Jnr FD went from balance bike to pedal just after 3 but that was more because he was attached on a tag a long which meant he got to practice pedaling behind me.


    Struggled with balance bikes. Did the holding the seat thing with major freakouts whenever I tried to let go. Bought a Balance buddy and ran along behind for half an hour at a time for a few evenings, cracked it.


    The thing to look forward to is that he’ll probably end up a better cyclist than you’d expect. It’ll be one of those ‘oh he was crap at an early age and couldn’t get it but now he’s british champ, who’d have thought!’

    Let him fanny about with Lego in the meantime.

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

The topic ‘I think my lad will never learn to ride a bike’ is closed to new replies.