STARTING TIPS FOR TEACHING NEW RIDERS USING GYROWHEEL
Please see your bike’s user manual for additional suggestions.
The following suggestions are not exhaustive and are for informational purposes
only. You are solely responsible for using good judgment when riding a bike and
for following all local bike riding regulations.
- Be safe.
- Do not ride at night.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Check on local bicycle laws before the bike is ridden.
- Read this User Manual and your bike’s user manual completely and check all local
regulations governing bike riding.
- We strongly recommend that all riders wear a helmet when sitting on and operating
a bike. Follow the user manual that accompanies the rider’s helmet to ensure proper
- Check local bike laws before the bike is ridden.
- Do not ride at night.
- Bikes should have reflectors installed.
- New riders should wear sturdy footwear. We recommend that persons teaching a new
rider wear comfortable street shoes, such as sneakers. Riders and people teaching
the rider should not wear loose clothing that may catch in handlebars, brakes or
- Ensure that the bike is the correct size for the rider.
MAXIMUM RIDER WEIGHT
88 lbs. max
100 lbs. max
Note: Suggested age and height range are approximate. Do not make the mistake of buying a first bike for your child that he or she can "grow into."
- Adjust the seat height appropriately. An experienced rider should be able to put
both sets of toes on the ground ('tippy-toe' style) while straddling the bike seat.
For new riders, we recommend lowering the seat so that both feet are comfortably
flat-footed on the ground while straddling the bike seat. A slight bend in the knee
- For riders that are beginners, you may want to remove the pedals from the child’s
bike and allow the rider to push along the ground with his/her feet to scoot the
bike. See below for more details.
- Riding environment is important! Choose a location free of obstacles and distractions,
including siblings, pets and road hazards. Ideally the ground should have a very
slight downhill slant, though flat ground works well too. Be sure the area is free
of bumps, gravel and loose debris. Soft ground is ok as long it is not too soft,
loose, or uneven.
- Allow the rider to gain comfort and confidence by simply sitting on the bike seat
and holding onto the handle bars. Encourage the rider to push along the ground with
his/her feet to scoot the bike around like a seated scooter. This exercise is meant
to build confidence and balance. It can be practiced with Gyrowheel powered on or
off, depending on the child’s confidence and balance. Allow the rider to practice
scooting until he/she is very comfortable pushing off the ground with his/her feet
and is able to pick his/her feet up from time to time. NOTE: This exercise is most
effective if the bike’s pedals have been temporarily removed.
- Ensure that the pedals are securely attached to the bike.
- Assuming the bike has foot brakes, be sure that the rider understands that pedaling
forward will make the bike move forward and that pedaling backward will slow or
stop the bike.
- Find a good starting location. An open area with a slight decline is ideal, though
flat ground works well too. Check for and remove any debris, obstacles or road hazards.
- Follow the directions in the How to Operate Gyrowheel section of the User Manual
to turn on your Gyrowheel. Wait until the light becomes solid green, indicating
that Gyrowheel’s disk is up to speed and ready for use.
- Align the pedals so that each is the same distance from the ground (rather than
one being significantly higher or lower, as that position is more difficult to start
- Have the rider mount the bike, hold the handlebars, and put his/her foot on the
pedal farthest forward. The other foot should remain on the ground before starting
- Support the rider by standing beside and slightly behind the rider, with your hands
on the rider’s back. We recommend supporting the rider under one or both underarms,
around the shoulder blades, initially.
- Encourage the rider to start pedaling and assist as needed during the initial takeoff,
moving with the bike for support. Each trial should be a bit better, and as the
rider gets the hang of riding, you can release your supporting hand(s) from the
Note: Some riders can start riding with Gyrowheel without any assistance. If the
rider is confident to start without support, we encourage this approach.
- Verbally encourage and repeat “look ahead,” “look up,” “keep pedaling,” and “keep
your hands in front of you” when the rider is moving. These are critical ingredients
to successful initial attempts. Vocal encouragement and patience is essential during
this phase of riding. Compliment the rider for doing a good job.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- If the rider has experience on a bike with training wheels, the rider has learned
some bad habits that hinder proper riding technique. Specifically, training wheels
encourage riders to lean away from the turn direction of the bike and allow the
rider to permanently lean to one side, relying on the training wheel rather than
the rider's own stability – to keep the bike upright (if tilted). If you notice
these signs, encourage the rider to sit up straight and not lean. Gyrowheel is usually
quite effective in helping riders unlearn poor riding technique.
- Some riders, particularly those who have tried unsuccessfully to remove training
wheels in the past, have a tendency to put a foot down at the slightest tip of the
bike. This action needs to be unlearned as well. Encourage these riders to “keep
pedaling” and to “look up and ahead.” Discourage riders from putting
a foot down excessively.
- When the rider gets tired or discouraged, take a break and relax. However, we recommend
trying again soon. It is important to end a session on a positive note and reinforce
the rider’s success after the session, but it is also important that new riders
get adequate time to rest and absorb what they learn. We recommend snacks and lots
of high fives!