Shifting

Smooth shifting preserves the material and is effortless! It's best to let the child first switch through the different gears. The goal is to keep shifting smooth and quite. You can help your child by calling out the gear they need to be in.
  • Tip 1: Practice shifting together for the first time on a flat surface. Tell your child not to pedal for a second and show them the grip twister and then let them start pedaling again. The point of this is to let them try shifting playfully: ride fast, shift up, ride slow, shift down.
  • Tip 2: You can test how quite the shifting is in a somewhat hilly area. Before riding up a hill, the child should gain some speed; then they should lighten the pressure on the pedals, shift and then continue pedaling gently until the chain is in place.  

Tackling obstacles

Before going into any kind of traffic, kids need to safely be able to tackle small obstacles. Whether over roots in a park, bumpy paths or on a slippery surface: with just a little practice kids can overcome them without having an accident!
  • Tip 1: In order to ride over uneven surfaces, kids needs to get in the so-called basic position by first getting their pedals parallel to the ground and then, at mid-speed,by slowly standing up on the pedals with slightly bent knees. Then, with their hips centered over the bottom bracket, they need to slightly bend their elbows outward and their shoulders towards the handlebars.
  • Tip 2: To avoid getting caught on an obstacle like a curb, kids have to learn how to “glide” over it by slightly lifting up the front wheel. With weight on the pedals, it's easiest to slightly pull upward on the handlebars and shift the body weight backwards.
  • Tip 3: Even wet surfaces, leaves and gravel can be obstacles. Riding on such surfaces has to be learned at a slow pace even if it blocks the wheels. Kids should try to ride and brake in a defined zone until they can easily and precisely stop at a line.

Perfecting balance

It is more efficient to move the saddle slighly higher for long tours. This is done in small increments until a slight bend in the knee can be seen, and only the toes touch the ground. Before achieving this though, having a good sense of balance is necessary; this can be learned with the following tips.
  • Tip 1: Whether signaling at a crossing or wiping something off their face – kids need to be able to feel just as confident riding with one hand as they do with two hands. This is best to practice on a flat surface at mid-speed without pedaling. First,they should hold onto the handlebars in a relaxed position; then they should let go for a second and see what happens. After awhile they should grab the handlebars from a further distance.
  • Tip 2: Keeping balance: this can be practiced on a soft surface. The child should brake until stopped, then, without putting down their feet, continue riding. If the pedals are parallel to the ground the balance act was was not a problem, and is even fun!
  • Tip 3: Balance can be practiced playfully with two cones and small balls. Place one cone upside down with a ball on it; place the other cone further away. The goal is for the child to ride past the cone that has a ball on it, take the ball and then place it onto the second cone.