Balance bike turning limiters are another factor to consider when you are looking for the best balance bike, so are they really necessary?
The main function of a turning limiter is to restrict the angle that the front wheel and handlebars can turn and prevent them from performing a full revolution.
If a turning limiter is fitted to your bike, then the child will probably not be able to turn much beyond 30 degrees in each direction. This provides a safety aspect to the bike, as it prevents the handlebars being turned fully to the right or left by an inexperienced rider, which would probably result in the rider taking a tumble over the handlebars.
Turning limiters are supposed to minimise injuries if a fall does occur and they prevent the brake cables becoming twisted (if your balance bike has brakes – don’t miss our guide to balance bike brakes).
However, the main purpose of your child learning to ride on a balance bike is to get them ready for a proper pedal bike once they have mastered steering and balance. If the bike is fitted with a turning limiter, then they are not going to be used to the full steering range when they grow out of their balance bike.
Some balance bike experts have also claimed that the presence of a turning limiter will prevent the handlebars from lying flat to the ground in the event of a fall – which could make injuries more likely.
So although some bikes do come equipped with a turning limiter, this can restrict the child’s ability to steer and there are probably more important factors to consider when you are deciding upon the best balance bike.