Balance is Essential

Adjust the Bike to Fit Your Child

Riding a bike that doesn’t fit well is no fun and makes learning a challenge. For your child’s success and safety please take time to review these sizing recommendations to ensure you have the proper seat height, handlebar reach, and helmet fit before starting to teach how to pedal.

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    Proper Fit is Essential

    Seat height: This is the most crucial adjustment when fitting the bike to your child. Ensure your child’s inseam falls into the seat height range of the Strider Bike. Typically, adjust the seat so it sits approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) below your child’s inseam.

    To open the quick release clamp on the seatpost, open the lever with one hand, and slide the seat to the appropriate position with the other. To tighten a quick release clamp, press down firmly with the palm of your hand to close it. Adjust the seat of the bike so both of the child’s feet are flat on the ground and there is a slight bend in the knees.

    When your child is comfortably seated on the bike with their shoes on, there should be a slight bend in the knees.

    Proper Fit is Essential

    Handlebar height and reach: Next, set the handlebar height with respect to the seat. If the seat is at its lowest setting, set the handlebar to also be at its lowest setting, etc. Try multiple adjustments to find out what makes your child feel the most confident.

    The Strider 14x allows for handlebar adjustment reach as well as height. When your child is sitting comfortably on the bike their reach should be a distance where there is only a slight bend to the elbows.

    On both the seatpost and handlebar, there are minimum insertion marks. For your child’s safety, insert the posts into the frame far enough so the dashed lines do not show (see diagrams above).

    On both the seatpost and handlebar, there are minimum insertion marks. For your child’s safety, insert the posts into the frame far enough so the dashed lines do not show (see diagrams above).

  • Pro Tip
    Does your child have the tendency to hit the frame of the Strider Bike while running? Try lowering the seat to allow more leg clearance. If necessary, you can also remove the footrests on the 14x.

Practice Balance

Practice Balance First

Learning to ride the 14x as a balance bike first is the most important part of the transition to pedaling.

Even if your child started on a Strider 12, it’s still a good idea for them to practice balancing, striding, and gliding with the 14x. The weight and feel of the 14x are going to be slightly different than the bike they’re transitioning from.

Attaching the 14x pedal kit too soon can be very overwhelming and discouraging.

Ready for Pedals

Signs Your Kiddo is Ready for Pedals

How do you know your child is ready to transition to pedaling? Look for the signs below before installing the pedal kit onto your child’s Strider 14x:

  1. Your child can support all their weight on the seat.
  2. They are able to gain momentum by running with the bike.
  3. They can balance with feet up for extended periods.
  4. They are able to avoid obstacles in their path.
  5. They can lean through turns with feet off the ground.
  6. They are able to find and use the footrests while riding.
  7. They can control their speed.
  8. They are able to stop safely with only their feet.

After you transition your child’s Strider 14x to a pedal bike do not be discouraged if they aren’t ready and want to go back to balance-bike mode. Remember to let your child set the pace for progress!

  • Pro Tip
    It’s more important to have your child gain the confidence and skills necessary to evolve into pedals at their own pace than to advance too quickly.

Prioritize Safety

Prioritize Safety

Team Strider is serious about riding safety. We believe practicing safe riding at an early age builds the foundation for safe riding practices that last a lifetime. That’s why we offer everything your little rider needs to get rolling.

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    Seat: Proper fit is essential. To start, keep the seat height the same as it was when your child was using the 14x as a balance bike. This is where your child is comfortable, and it will help them maintain control and stability while learning the pedaling process.

    Helmet: The helmet should be worn low in front, slightly above the eyebrows to protect the forehead. The helmet should fit snugly, but not uncomfortably tight. Adjust the crown of the helmet so it doesn’t move while the child rides.

    The chin strap should be worn well back against the throat, not on the point of the chin. If a child opens their mouth wide the helmet should pull down on their head.

    Proper Fit is Essential

    To check the basic fit, hold the helmet with both hands and twist it gently to the left and to the right. If the helmet fits properly, the skin on the forehead will move as the helmet moves. To check the strap tension, hold the helmet with both hands and try to remove it by rolling the helmet forward and backward.

    Pads: To prevent injuries from falling, we highly recommend your child wear elbow pads and knee pads for extra protection.

Safety Checklist:

  1. Make sure the seat, handlebars, and wheels are secure.
  2. Check the tires to make sure they have the right amount of pressure.
  3. Regularly check and lubricate the chain.
  4. Check the brakes to be sure they work well.
  5. It’s important for kids to know that a bicycle is a big responsibility.
  6. Don’t forget the helmet and shoes!

Ignore the Pedals

Ignore the Pedals

If you tell your child to ignore the pedals and stride like they already know how—it will make the pedaling process easy in the next step!

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    The Strider 14x has narrow “stride-around” pedals so your child can get used to the feel of a pedal bike without having to pedal at all. This means kids can skip the banged-up shins and frustrations that come with learning to ride on a typical pedal bike. Let your child gain momentum and balance the same way they did when using the 14x as a balance bike and have them use the pedals as footrests.
  • Pro Tip
    Only open the Easy-Ride Pedal Kit once your child is comfortable learning how to balance. We know how exciting having a pedal bike is, but if your child isn’t 100% confident, then it might delay their progress.

Encourage Pedaling

Encourage Pedaling

This is probably the first time your child has ever attempted pedaling. Walking and running are the natural means of propulsion to a child, so using a circular motion to propel the bike with the pedals is a new concept.

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    Demonstrate how it works. If you want to show them how the pedals turn in circles try having your child get off the bike, lift the seat with one hand and with your other hand turn the pedal slowly to show them how it makes the wheel turn. You can also get your bike out and let your child watch you pedal.

    Pretend together. If your child is still not quite getting the hang of the pedaling motion, try laying on your back with your child with your feet facing each other. Bend your knees and have your child place their feet on yours. Together, you can pretend you’re pedaling in the air. Keep practicing by trying out different speeds and by starting and stopping.

    Give it time. Usually letting the child experiment with the pedals on their own is enough to allow them to figure things out with time.

    Let your child set the pace. They have the perfect tool for the job they are trying to accomplish. Avoid the urge to hold the bike up for the child. Positive reinforcement is a must and they will eventually get the hang of it. Some kids need a little reminder to watch where they are going, especially with the distraction of the added pedals.

    Ignore occasional struggles and focus on fun!

hit-the-brakes

Now Hit the Brakes

It’s important to learn how to stop safely. Your child will instinctively stop by using his or her feet while they are first learning to ride because that is what they are accustomed to with their balance bike. Stopping with their feet is fine at first. The seat is still low enough that they can easily put both feet on the ground at any time.

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    If your 14x didn’t come equipped with handlebar brakes, try the cues “push back with your heel” (you may need to show them where their heel is), or even show them using your hand to pedal like you did previously. Cues like “pedal backwards” can be confusing and counterproductive.

    Braking will work differently depending on where you purchased your Strider 14x whether it’s in the United States or internationally. If your 14x Sport comes with handlebar brakes, try having your child walk for a few steps and squeeze the brake handles. Try walking, squeezing and stopping. This will give your child a feel for how the brakes affect the bike, as well as introduce a new mechanic with their hands.

    Do not raise the seat until the child can stop safely using the brakes.
  • Pro Tip
    You are your child’s best supporter. This process should be fun. Not stressful. Keep up the positive reinforcement for any progress they make.

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