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What are Adult Training Wheels?

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  • Written By: Soo Owens
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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Adult training wheels are bicycle accessories designed for people who never learned to ride a bicycle as children or who have a disability that impairs their balance. They may find riding an adult-sized, two-wheel bike too difficult and require the support of an extra pair of wheels. A rider can attach them to his or her bike, regardless of its size. Certain models are intended for full-time use, although most of these wheels are temporary fixtures.

An adult is likely to experience more difficulty learning to ride a bike than a child because of the adult's higher center of gravity. Adult training wheels aid the rider in much the same way as training wheels for children, and they follow the same basic design. These training wheels are constructed from sturdy metal to ensure that the rider's weight does not cause any structural damage. A rider can attach the training wheels to almost any adult-sized bike. When the training wheels are no longer needed, they can be removed.

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There are some notable design elements that distinguish adult training wheels from a children's set. Adult bikes feature more advanced capabilities, with gears and speeds that can be changed to suit different situations. The rear axle is often where the gears are connected, so it cannot be used to mount adult training wheels. The wheels are attached, instead, to the back of the bike's frame. They are also more widely spaced than children's training wheels, extending farther out on both sides to create greater stability.

To prompt the rider to yield more control over the bike, adult training wheels do not touch the ground at all times. The wheels sit slightly above the bottom of the bicycle's rear wheel. This forces the rider to become accustomed to balancing his or her bike while moving.

Training wheels for adults are not just intended for first time riders. Adult training wheels can also help individuals who have disabilities that affect their balance or adults who are simply impaired by fear. With the added support of these wheels, they can learn to enjoy riding a bike without worrying about their stability.

Wheels that are specifically designed to accommodate people who need sturdier and more long-term support are called stabilizer wheels. Stabilizers are intended for permanent attachment to a bike and offer better support than regular, detachable training wheels. Some models are even crafted for use while riding on more rigorous terrain, such as in mountain biking.

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shell4life
Post 6

My twenty-year-old cousin suffers from Meniere’s disease. It messes with the fluid flow in her inner ear. She has episodes of severe vertigo. Everything starts to spin and she cannot stand on her own. These attacks are random and sporadic.

She learned to ride a bike as a child, but now, it is dangerous for her. So, she tried out some adult training wheels. With those attached to her bike, she feels better about riding down the road.

Once, she had an episode while riding. On a regular bike, she would have fallen off into the street, but the support the wheels provided gave her time to stop the bike and dismount in the ditch.

orangey03
Post 5

My mother was overprotective of me as a child, so I never got the opportunity to learn to ride a bike. When I went away to college, everyone had bikes, and I wanted to ride with my friends.

I bought a bike and had some adult training wheels mounted to it. Though they did force me to work on my balance, they provided enough support so that I did not fall down. However, I became very dependent on them.

I decided to get some permanent stabilizer wheels. I just felt safer with the added support, and none of my friends gave me grief about it.

fingered
Post 4

@JessicaLynn - I'd imagine it's not that common to see an adult bicycle with training wheels, but it sounds like a very useful thing in any case. People or older kids/teens with physical disabilities would no doubt find it helpful either for training or general biking. It's nice that even with a handicap, they can still get find ways to get around and be active just like anybody else.

LTimmins
Post 3

@ceilingcat - It's never too late to learn! Actually adult training wheels are a great idea for people who never learned to ride a bike as a kid. Kids are generally more adventurous and daring when learning a new physical activity while adults always have that fear of getting hurt. Perhaps your friend could start off with the training wheels in a cul-de-sac or some other quiet area where there is no traffic to cause any distractions.

ceilingcat
Post 2

@JessicaLynn - I think adult training wheels are a good idea too. I have a friend who never learned to ride a bike as a child and I think these could really help her. She wants to learn but at the same time she's too scared.

I'm going to suggest training wheels to her, but I'm not sure if she'll go for it. I guess the only thing I can do is try!

JessicaLynn
Post 1

I actually saw someone riding a bike with adult training wheels the other day! I was kind of surprised because I've never seen anything like that before.

However, I think it's a good idea. I remember learning to ride a bike when I was a kid, and it wasn't easy. I don't think I could have learned without the training wheels!

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