The handlebars are another important feature of every balance bike, and as well as the usual functions of grip and steering, the handlebars will usually be able to be adjusted to various heights and will also be one of the main safety functions on the bike.
We have already discovered how important it is to make sure that you buy a bike with the correct seat height in our Balance Bike Saddle Height Guide. It is equally important to consider the height of the handlebars so that the rider can sit comfortably and is not reaching too high or stooping too low over the front of the bike.
We have found that metal balance bikes are more likely to have adjustable handlebars than wooden balance bikes, and the range will usually be a few centimetres so that the bike can grow with your child.
The Puky LR1 Learner bike has a seat that can be adjusted from 29cm – 40cm, so this is one of our recommended balance bikes for 2 year old as it is an ideal first balance bike. The bike is also designed so that the handlebars can also be adjusted when you are ready to move the saddle up – so the rider maintains the same comfortable position.
The handlebars on wooden balance bikes tend to be less adjustable, although the handlebars on the top of the range Early Rider wooden bikes are manufactured from a very luxurious foam and are easy grip for the rider. The handlebars may be fixed on less expensive wooden balance bikes.
The safety aspect of balance bike handlebars is provided by the knobby rubber ends that are usually found on most bikes. These will stop a wayward child scraping their hands against hedges, trees and walls – and they should also provide some protection in the event of a fall.
So, although you may not think about handlebars too much when you are looking for the best balance bike, they are an important part of the bike and play a major factor in providing a comfortable ride.