If you notice that your child is slouching when they ride their bike, the problem might be the height of the handlebars. Maybe the bike is new and still needs some adjustments or your kid has grown taller and the bike needs a few changes to keep up.
Handlebars that are set too low will force them to bend their back to reach them.
Unless they are practising their riding form in preparation for the Tour de France, this position will hurt their back and make cycling uncomfortable. It also puts more weight on their hands and wrist, which is unsafe especially when riding on a bumpy road or trail.
You also don’t want the handlebars too high as that could cause them to lean backwards, causing back strain and affecting their balance.
Adjusting handlebars on a kids bike is easy. All you need is an Allen wrench or an adjustable wrench depending on how the handlebars are secured onto the stem. Read on to learn more on how to raise handlebars on kids bike.
Loosen The Handlebars
Check the top of the stem, right at the centre of the handlebars, for a nut. If the nut is protruding, you’ll need an adjustable rent. If it is a sunken bolt with a hexagonal socket, you’ll need an Allen wrench, also called an Allen key.
Loosen the bolt or nut until it feels loose. Do not loosen it all the way as that could take the stem right off the bike and you’ll have a hard time putting it back.
With the nut loosened, hold the handlebars and pull upwards. Straddle the front wheel and press on it with your legs to make it easier to lift the handlebars.
Instead of just lifting straight up, use a combination of lifting and left and right half-rotations to loosen the handlebars and raise them.
How High Should The Handlebars Be?
To choose the right handlebar height, first make sure the saddle is the right height. Your child should be able to touch the ground with both feet when sitting on the saddle.
If you are sure the saddle is positioned properly, raise the handlebars until they are slightly below or level with the height of the saddle.
Tighten the nut to secure the handlebars in the new position. Check if the bike bell position is ok, and ask your child to get on the bike and ride around to test the new handlebars height.
Note: Look for the minimum insertion line on the handlebars. Make sure this line remains inside the stem when you adjust the handlebars.