Mountainbiking with kids – from balance bike to blue trails by the age of 5

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Mountainbiking with kids – from balance bike to blue trails by the age of 5
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Posted: Jan 20, 2021 at 7:02 Quote
my kind of snow day....! you two are awesome to watch. good that you guys get that time together.

we'd have to say that he is "MG" over here....malo ganster....on that bike..! (...that's a compliment) tup

Posted: Mar 15, 2021 at 2:42 Quote
We spent the last 2 months riding local pump track on BMX bikes because of snow and mud and the difference it made for the little one is amazing. He no longer sits on his bike at all, rides berms much better, hops on everything there is and can complete a 5 minute trail without a break or sitting down. And we found out, he can ride the chairlift for freeSmile )


Posted: Mar 16, 2021 at 6:31 Quote
I love watching this kid... good recovery there at about 1:10/1:11....

little guy pumps and jumps better than I do..... Confused

Beer

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 at 0:36 Quote
He loves riding bigger jumps and rocky/rooty sections. Chest and neck protectors are on the way..


Posted: Apr 24, 2021 at 21:09 Quote
If you end up going to Romania with him I can give you coordinates for my favorite childhood all mountain trails. Do make sure you don't have an issues with rolling off of cliffs on a couple of them... Your kid probably won't....

Mine is 5 now and gets mad if I jump higher than him so you're lucky yours is calm. Make sure to take him skiing too as the skills are very similar. This last winter it was ski or bike, just alternating between the two.

Posted: Apr 30, 2021 at 2:00 Quote
Thanks, we do plan a trip in Romania, so I'll be in touchWink He does ski as well.

Our rides are getting more demanding and he's finally willing to stop and repeat harder sections multiple times.


Posted: Apr 30, 2021 at 18:07 Quote
Check the current rules for Fagaras, Piatra Craiului and Retezat.... Then pick the one that still allows bikes as I am sure EU rules messed with that too somehow. These days the bears apparently attack people too. When I was a kid I used to eat berries 100 meters away from them and they couldn't be bothereed to try and claim the whole patch. I did run into wolves and bears regularly throughout my childhood. But, in those days they were "food" and knew their place in the pecking order.

Retezat is probably best with a non suicidal kid. Fagaras and Piatra Craiului have a lot of exposure and big drops. There are ways to avoid exposure and drops but what's the point in that?

As for the kids, I just try my best to let mine be. Sometimes he crashes repeatedly for no reason as he won't tell me what he's trying to do. Other times he asks for directions and amazes me with his learning speed. Same goes for tiring himself. Sometimes he will hop every root and log on or near the trail, hit anything that looks like a berm and pump the bike more than he pedals. Then he won't want to ride for two or three days as he is too tired from 20+ km of non stop show off...

Last summer I used to jog alongside him on the blue enduro trails he insisted he wanted to do. That gave me the freedom to help him over trickier obstacles and then be slow on purpose to make him go back and forth. Initially almost everything was an "obstacle". After 20-30 runs like that I knew where to ride up ahead, dump my bike and wait to help him through... Then make him go back and do it again and again until he no longer needed help. It does take a lot of water and snacks and an air tank to tune the bike for the longer uphill/downhill sections to help him out until his skills can overcome slippery sections with more than 7 PSI in the tires.

The one positive of the "pandemic" is my kid is 5 and riding about as well as I was riding at 10.

Posted: May 2, 2021 at 11:05 Quote
Thank you, those places look absolutely amazing!

You summed it up nicely. You have to let your kid learn through failure too. Getting up, dusting yourself off and trying again is a very valuable lesson on its own.

The pandemic "helped" us in the same way. We rode about 1200km together the last year and spent countless hours outside together.

Posted: May 2, 2021 at 14:15 Quote
Check the chain on his bike. My son's primary is due for a change very soon. This is a 6 month old chain, and not even the discount varuety. I am used to going through them that fast but not a little kid.

I am not too worried about crashes yet. He is wearing his armor because he wants to, not because I force him. I will worry a bit more when he starts taking serious air at high speeds but for now he only gets the odd bruise. Hydraulic brakes on a little bike can sometimes work against him by giving him too much confidence at speed so he needs to crash to learn his limits.

Posted: May 3, 2021 at 23:55 Quote
I checked his chain (KMC 10 spd) and it's as good as a new one after 1400km. Those tiny legs can't do much damage, if the chain is kept clean and lubed.

Mine usually crashes (multiple times) every ride and is already trying bigger jumps, so he always wears knee and elbow pads together with a full face. He always sees me wearing pads and a helmet, so there is no discussion there, he knows that's part of mountain biking, same as crashing.

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 2:35 Quote
This thread is great and the videos even more so.. !!

as a Dad of a MTB 5 year old , I can recommend to any other fathers reading the following:-


* The trax bike tow system , super simple and always there... has really changed my rides with the little one.

* chromag radar pedals, I struggled accepting the price at first, but they made such a difference...

-hermichut.

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 22:50 Quote
@hermichut we've been using towing ropes and later Trax for the last year and it indeed is a huge help. We are on our second Trax already, as the first one gave up after about 5 months (rope stuck all the way out and the stem loop was frayed and hanging by a thread. We had it replaced under warranty)

I've bought Chromag Radars for him 2 weeks ago, he'll get them as a Bday gift this weekSmile The pedals are super nice!

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 23:00 Quote
Cool ! :-)

What sort of protector jacket are you using...? I'm sort of looking for both a proper DH one , which seems easy to find, but I'll wait until closer to the bike park visit time.. but also more importantly a lighter weight / breathable back protector vest , with maybe some front / side support...

Also have the hellion 20 , again , the price is a shock .. but it's worth it... :-)

Posted: May 5, 2021 at 3:38 Quote
Could you please point me to those easy to find DH body protectors that would fit a 115cm kidSmile ? I'm having quite a hard time finding any MTB specific protectors in that size.. Same goes for DH pants, that don't const 120eur+

Currently we use POC VPD Air adult elbow pads in size Small for his knees (they work really well even for long pedaly rides and he can use them as elbow pads later), Amplifi Elbow Sleeve Grom elbow pads (XS) and I got him a Leatt Fusion 2.0 Junior Vest for torso and neck in size S. He also wears some Shot MX pants, they have saved his skin many times and are still comfortable enough for pedalling.


 
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