5 ways to break in your new bike
So, you bought your baby a sweet new Strider Bike for Christmas and they just want to ride! Hopefully you’ve already put their bike together, registered it on our website, and are ready to watch them stride down the street. While you can’t wait to see your child take off down the sidewalk, going outside isn’t an immediate option. If your weather outside is downright frightful here are 5 simple tricks to breaking in your child’s new Strider Balance Bike that don’t require bundling up and putting on your snow boots:
1. Ride on a rocking base
The Strider Rocking Base transforms your child’s bike into a whole new toy. Originally made to help development and spark the riding relationship, this toy is for babies up to 18kg (40lbs). Even little ones who are becoming proficient at riding still love this rocking toy! Toddlers that are learning to ride will still enjoy rocking as they progress to riding down the road. The rocking base is a great way to let your child enjoy their bike inside. With no blinking lights or loud noises and with a soft rubber bottom that won’t scratch floors, the rocking base is a toy every parent will love. Not only does it keep the Strider Balance Bike accessible to kids while they play inside, it looks great in a living room. The Strider Bike and rocking base has a lower profile than most other rocking toys, making it less likely for you to trip over as well as giving it a sleeker appearance. Not to mention it’s a real bike instead of a fake horse, a toy every parent and child will want to be showing off. Add on the bragging rights of having your baby learn to ride their bike before they can walk and the rocking base is nothing but awesome!
2. Ride inside
You may not be able to throw balls inside the house, but you could learn to ride a balance bike! Let your kiddo practice getting on and off their bike in the safety of their own living room. Getting used to their Strider Bike in a comfortable setting will help build their confidence in themselves and their ability on their new bike. The security they feel in their own home as well as the security they have with their feet on the ground will help take away any fear or tension they have about learning this new skill. The added benefit of carpet or a rug underneath them helps calm any fear of falling or losing their balance. However, be careful on smooth surfaced floors as they become more comfortable, although super fun to ride on, these floors can be slick for the puncture-proof tires as they turn. You won’t need much space as they practice getting on and off and walk over the bike, but if they are ready to take off you’ll want to open some space so they can safely practice without running into any coffee table corners.
3. Learn and practice skills
Learning to ride is more than just picking your feet up off the ground. Without having to face the weather outside, your little rider can practice turns, wheelies, and breaking in a small clear space in your home. You might need to help coach your little one on these tricks, but once they start they won’t want to stop! A great skill to practice is stopping with toes up. Besides keeping their little toes safe, it will also greatly help the life of their shoes! Let them move a little on the bike and direct them to stop or freeze whenever you say, „red light!” Make sure to check that their toes are pointed towards the ceiling. Another helpful skill to practice is stationary turns, have them practice carrying their bike and lifting the front wheel up to turn it in another direction or, by grabbing the back of the seat pivoting the back wheel. Don’t forget wheelies! Standing over the bike tell them to lift the handlebars up to get the front wheel off the ground, after a couple warm up tries see how high they can get the wheel then snap a photo (and share it with us)! These are excellent bike skills for toddlers that will help them when they encounter obstacles in the outdoors. Before you know it, they’ll be taking their tricks to the street.
4. Tune it up
Perfecting the fit of their new Strider Balance Bike is key to comfort as well as ability. Make sure to adjust the seat for easy striding and easy dismounts. Often, once the seat is adjusted we encourage our children to start riding; however, it’s important that you don’t ignore the handlebars. The handlebars are just as important as the seat height to create proper posture and comfort for your little rider. A good comfortable grip through the arms will encourage longer rides, which ensures your little one can go the distance. You can also use this opportunity to introduce basic bike mechanics to your child. Turn the bike upside down so that it rests on the handlebars and seat. Explain the wheel bearings and the bushings that hold the handlebars in and allow them to turn. Let them practice taking a wheel on and off and spinning it while it’s free from friction. Allowing them to inspect and play with every part of the balance bike will help develop their relationship and understanding of their bike.
5. Spiff it up
Help your child make their Strider Bike their own! Add stickers for some temporary decoration or add colored grips, wheels, a bell, a light, anything! Customizing your child’s Strider Bike will really make it their own and encourage them to take care of their balance bike. Include their helmet in the customization process and add some stickers or reflective tape to it as well. This is a great time to talk to your child about always wearing their helmet and bright clothing as well as the benefits to having and using a bell!
When you’re ready to put those little heels up and get some wheels dirty, remember to encourage your little Strider rider: be the cheerleader not the coach! No matter how long they’ve been practicing in the house, they might find some frustration on the new surfaces outside. Continue encouraging them and watch as they beam with pride as they become more and more confidant in their riding abilities.