Video: Learning ride a bike aged 2


Just before M's second birthday we saw a balance bike for sale on a Facebook group so we snapped it up as we really look forward to cycling trips when the kids are older. She took to it well, though was slow for quite some time. Even to this day she is not a speed demon on the balance bike.


After about four months she was managing to glide, with both feet sticking out to the side. What amazed me was that she managed to do this when going up a slight hill. At this stage she started to get interested in kids who were using pedal bikes. I told her that she could not get a pedal bike until she could lift her legs off the ground regularly. Queue this happening ALL the time. So I started to research bikes. 

We went to a second hand bike shop and she was instantly taken by big girl bikes but they are just so heavy that she did not have the strength to pedal them.

We bought one for £5 so she could get used to the feel of it and she was so keen to get going. Problem was she couldn't pedal. 

We tried her on her Smart Trike but her legs were not long enough and, to be honest, I couldn't see how that would teach her to be on a bike as she had her legs stretched forward and not down as you would on a bike.

I then saw someone selling a Vtech Ride and Learn Giraffe bike (no longer for sale) and thought this was an ideal way to learn to pedal. I bought it and within 3 tried of being on it she was managing to pedal. 


So, aged 2.5 years old, she asked again to go on her pedal bike. It was still far too heavy so I looked into bikes again and we decided to get an Islabikes Cnoc 14 small just before the price went up. We measured her and it seemed to fit her, was the lightest bike we could find and we figured that is we got the red bike we could hand it down children before reselling (it holds its value well). We worked out that we would probably spend as much for three bikes, that might not get used as they were heavy, and then would get some money back so would actually save money by buying such an expensive bike.


Once it arrived we tried M on it but to be honest our backs were breaking trying to hold her steady so I once again looked online for help. I did not fancy stabilisers as this went against all the balance bike learning she had had. We wondered, and almost ordered a Bike Balance Buddy but I was worried it might damage the bike and so when I saw the Biky Biky vest and so we ordered one. I was not sure how well it would work but it got good reviews.


This arrived and we went out again. What a difference on our backs! Great. We had a few quick sessions on the bike and I could feel the difference in M's ability to balance. Then at just two years and six months she managed a few meters on her own.

Sadly we then got busy. We went on holiday and then hubby broke his kneecap so I was unable to take M out again. Then just last week we took the bike out again and at two years and 11 months she managed. Not just a few meters but long distances. Not even three and on the third go of being confident on her bike she has covered a couple of miles in one session.

Now just to work on how to use the breaks!


Tips on how to learn a bike

  • Balance bike - as early as possible and encourage them to lift legs when they are confident to do so.
  • Practice pedalling - we found the Vtech Ride and Learn Giraffe Bike was the best but a trike would work too.
  • Buy the lightest bike you can - The Islabike was the one for us but we very nearly ordered a Frog 43 bikes (we only never because I had hoped the shop might have one in stock to take home that day but they didn't so we were as well to just order the Islabike). I looked at the weights of bikes in Halfords and they were often double to weight of the Islabike.
  • Get a Biky Biky Vest - The vest allows you to support your child whilst at the same time allowing them to feels the bike's balance too. It saves the adults back and is so handy. Even with M being able to cycle now we still use it as she is not the best at going uphills and so you can push her up instead of letting her get off and walk.
  • Take it in stages - sometimes having a break allows the child to process the activity and means they don't get bored. 
  • Lots of praise - this goes without saying really. It works. Cheer, dance sing.
  • Take a step back - hovering over your child can be so tempting (yep did it) but taking a step back and letting them go away from you is the best thing for both you can your child.
  • Enjoy it!
Living Arrows

Country Kids


Training Mummy

Training Mummy is a 30 something mum to two beautiful children - a girl born February 2014 and a boy born in October 2015.

19 comments :

  1. Oh how lovely, I thought ours was early learning at 3 years 11 months but this is amazing - well done! #LivingArrows

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  2. Oh wow!! You must be so proud. What an amazing achievement!! She looks so happy and confident too! x

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    1. So very proud and boy does it make going for a walk so much faster!

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  3. Under 3 that is impressive, she must have great natural balance and reasonabl leg strength needed for the forward motion. All of mine were about a year older when they managed it. As you say balance bikes are a great first step, I dont think they were invented when mine were young, though we have a "fleet" of them here on the farm now in our under 5's ride on playground. Love your little video, running behind a bike brings back so many memories.

    Thank you for joining me for #CountryKids

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    1. Yeah we were surprised that she managed so well and she absolutely loves it. Gets up in the morning and asked "to pedal". Her balance bike certainly helped and now her 15 month old brother is keen to get in on the action but his legs are too short.

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  4. My eldest will be 4 in the spring and has no interest in the balance bike we bought her last year. I have no idea how we'll get to pedal a push bike! Your daughter looks to be doing fantastic #countrykids

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    1. Ah there is no rush and she is still so very young yet.

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  5. She looks so dinky on her bike, what a clever girl. My son learnt very young and just as he was getting it, his school offered a free two day course to his whole year 1 class for learning to ride bikes and that's it he's been off riding on his own, even keeping up with me on a long bike ride trail.
    My husband works in Halfords building bikes so I think Josh was always going to be into riding bikes

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    1. Awww what great timing for your son to learn! She struggles with anything that isn't flatish so will be a while until we can go out for bike rides.

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  6. Wow! That is impressive. I'd never heard of those vests before but they sound fab. Toby is three and a half - we got him a balance bike for his third birthday but he's only now starting to take an interest in it. #LivingArrows

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    1. The vest is so handy I am so glad we bought it. I worried that it might have been a waste of money but love it.

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  7. Oh wow, 2 and a half is impressive! There are some really excellent tips here! My 3 year old has just got a pedal bike but it is so so heavy I am regretting my decision. I know it goes against all balance bike training to put stabilisers on but she just couldn't get the pedals to go round without a little balance assistance. That vest sounds brilliant and I think it is exactly what we need! #countrykids

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    1. Yeah thats why we researched bikes as M just could not turn the pedals on any of the ones from Halfords. I was shocked at how much difference there was in weights of bikes and price but thankfully they have good resell value. Get the vest it is such a great product.

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  8. WOW so very clever and such a young age too - well done #countrykids

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  9. That is very impressive - well done to M for learning to ride a bike! I like the sound of the VTech Ride and Learn Giraffe Bike - what a brilliant idea for helping children learn to pedal. I've seen several good reviews of the Islabikes. My eldest still finds it a struggle to pedal her bike and I think it's because it's just too heavy for her. The vest sounds like a good idea for helping support them when they're learning too :-) #countrykids

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  10. Well done on learning to ride a bike and I do think practising pedals away from a bike is a good thing to do. My boy learnt to balance on his balance bike and learnt to pedal on an old bike we had at home in the house. So that when he got is big boy bike with pedals he could easily put this two skills together. Children love the freedom a bike can bring - hope you all have many happy bike rides to come. There's nothing we love more than going on family bike rides!
    #CountryKids

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  11. That's brilliant! We did the balance bike followed by Islabike route too :) The Islabikes are brilliant - my husband is a keen cyclist, so they were his first choice for the kids bikes. #countrykids

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  12. How fantastic! Our little dude had a balance bike and it was the best thing to help learn. #countrykids

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