Parenting: When to lose the training wheels

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - September 3, 2012

How do you know your child is ready, and what is the best way to make that transition?

Seven-year-old Ben Edlitz has mastered riding his Spiderman bike, and he's more than happy to brag a little.

"It took me two days to ride my bike without training wheels," he told Action News.

Lee Rogers of South Street's Bicycle Therapy says there's no special age at which children can lose the training wheels. Parents need to look for signs that their children have enough balance and control on the bike.

Rodgers says first make sure your child's bike is the right size. Your child should be able to stand with both feet flat on the ground and still have at least an inch of clearance between the top tube and their inseam.

Then, when you take off the training wheels, also take off the pedals. That way your child can first learn to glide.

By pushing your child from his or her shoulders you can keep your hands close in case your child starts falling.

Once he or she has mastered gliding, put the pedals on and have your child follow you while you 1run just an arm's distance way.

Another option is to make your child's first bike a "glider bike", one that doesn't have pedals at all

Home video shows 3-year-old Dylan Ickes already developing good balance.

His little sister, Delany, learned the same way. She was happily pedaling on her bike without training wheels by age 3 1/2. Read more Parenting Perspective blogs by visiting the Parenting Channel on

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