Training wheels

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A training wheel
Training wheels in use, 2020

Training wheels (or stabilisers in British English and Hiberno-English) are an additional wheel or wheels mounted parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle that assist learners until they have developed a usable sense of balance on the bicycle. Typically they are used in teaching very young children to ride a bike, although versions for adults exist.

Learning to bicycle[edit]

Training wheels that prevent the bike from leaning also prevent countersteering, so that, as with a tricycle, children learn to turn the handlebars the wrong way, which must be unlearned later.[1] Sheldon Brown wrote that training wheels can become an obstacle to learning if they are adjusted incorrectly, because they prevent the bike from leaning if they are too low, and can inhibit braking if too much weight is taken off the rear wheel by training wheels that are too low.[2] Adjusting training wheels correctly, and raising them higher as the child's skill increases, avoids these problems.[2] Many modern kids' bikes, however, are not compatible with training wheels.[3] Alternatives to using training wheels include removing the pedals from a child's bike, or balance bicycles.[4][5] USA Cycling President Derek Bouchard-Hall stated in a Wall Street Journal article that balance bikes "have made training wheels obsolete."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heine, Jan (February 2011), "Cornering on a Bicycle; Master centrifugal force on curves" (PDF), Adventure Cyclist, archived from the original (Adobe PDF) on 27 September 2011, retrieved 7 June 2011
  2. ^ a b Brown, Sheldon (3 May 2010), Teaching Kids To Ride, retrieved 7 June 2011
  3. ^ "Training Wheels - 10 Common Questions". Two Wheeling Tots. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  4. ^ Athavaley, Anjali (1 September 2010), "Look Ma, No Pedals! --- Ditch the Training Wheels, New Bikes Promise a Faster Way to Learn", The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, p. D.1
  5. ^ Kolpack, Dave (7 June 2010), "South Dakota man sells training bikes for tykes", The Trentonian, Rapid City, South Dakota Associated Press{{citation}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  6. ^ Gay, Jason (25 May 2017). "Welcome to the Tour de France of Toddler Racing". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 4 December 2017.