Training wheels attached to back of a learner's bike frame may well keep the rider upright and in the seat for much of the long journey toward two-wheeled independence, but they can also lead to bad habits and poor form. While re-inventing the wheel often carries negative connotations, the arrival of the Gyrowheel in 2009 put a new positive spin on learning to ride. The gyroscopic balance and stability aid is now about to enter the next stage in its evolution with the release of the 3-in-1 Gyrobike in Europe.
Legend has it that the idea for the 3-in-1 Gyrobike came to Robert Bodill while watching a dad struggle to teach his daughter to ride a bike in a local park. His research led him to the Gyrowheel and onward to the training bike you see here. The Gyrobike offers a helping hand through three critical stages in the learning process.
The first step in the process is to scoot along on two wheels minus the pedals and chain in a similar fashion to BMW's Kidsbike. Once the learner feels comfortable and confident, it's time to crank it up a notch and get pedaling, having first made sure that the ever watchful parent has slotted a Gyrowheel in the front forks.
As the name suggests, the Gyrowheel features a battery-powered spinning disk where the spokes of a wheel are usually found. A process known as gyroscopic precession helps keep the bike and rider upright without the need for those nasty, noisy training wheels attached to the frame of the would-be bicycle riders of old. The degree of influence that the Gyrowheel has on the stability of the bike can be reduced three times before it's swapped out for the bike's standard wheel when the rider gains enough confidence and skill to go solo.
The Gyrobike is aimed at kids between 3 and 6 years old and comes in red, pink, green and blue. It's currently shown as being available in Europe from August 30 for £229 (US$362).
Take a look at the following video introduction of the 3-in-1 Gyrobike learning system:
Source: Gyrobike Europe
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