stationary bike stand 

Is An Indoor Bicycle Trainer Appropriate for Children to Use?

My daughter wishes to mimic everything that I do, from sweeping the floor to baking bread. She often wants to take a walk on the treadmill, equipment that I’m not comfortable allowing my 3-year-old to use. What about an indoor bicycle trainer? 

Well, I’m sure you would agree that a tricycle would never fit onto an indoor bicycle trainer. But what about for older children? Are stationary bike stands safe for children to use? If so, what considerations should you keep in mind? 

Can children use indoor bicycle trainers? 

The quick answer is yes. 

Kurt Kinetic produces a small wheel adapter that r aises the level of the resistance unit in any of that brand’s bike trainers by up to 3 inches. This makes the indoor bicycle trainers fit tires with 16-inch outside diameters. For about 30 bucks, the adapter accommodates not only kids’ bikes, but also most BMX and recumbent bikes.  

Convergence Tech, Inc. created the Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bike Power Generator, an indoor bike trainer that generates up to 300 watts of power. This $400 invention claims it can power small, household appliances and can adjust to fit any bike size, including children-sized bicycles. I would not expect much power to be produced from a child pedaling on this stationary bike stand since the official website plainly says the power depends on “rider’s strength.” But your kid could burn some pent up energy with this device. 

How can you make your indoor bicycle trainer safe for your child to use? 

First, make sure it is age appropriate. Obviously, my 3-year-old’s trike cannot fit on a bike trainer, nor can any toddler or preschool age child handle this type of equipment. Children should definitely be off training wheels and have moved onto a big kid’s bike. Generally speaking, by age 9 a child would be ready to try a bike trainer. 

Second, you should purchase a stationary bike stand that is easy to use. Stay away from rollers since these are designed for experienced cyclists and do not attach to a bike. They require expert balance. If the bike trainer is specifically for your child, get the least expensive type of indoor bicycle trainer designed for beginners. That is a wind resistance trainer. 

Even though the wind trainers are noisy and sometimes weak, they do provide a realistic experience, similar to an outdoor ride. If you stick to trusted brands, like Kurt Kinetic and CycleOps, you will see solid performance. 

How does bike riding benefit children? 

Bike riding helps children to learn balance, leg movement, coordination and muscle control. Children that are involved in physical activity have stronger bone and muscle structures and are less likely to develop obesity and Type 2 diabetes. According to Kid’s Health, 1 in 3 children in the United States are considered obese or overweight, and according to the CDC, more than 150,000 children have diabetes. 

The American Heart Association recommends that children do 60 minutes of physical activity each day. This activity will keep your child from being part of the previous statistics. An indoor bicycle trainer can encourage your child to get the exercise needed to stay healthy

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