This bike has been great for our now 6 year old to learn on. Yes the training wheels were flimsy, but otherwise it's very solid. The seat raises fine, but I can't see any way to raise the handles. Is there any way, or are there different handlebars that will fit, or should I just get him a 20?
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The handlebars on the Co-op Cycles REV 16 are originally placed at their highest setting, so you will not be able to raise them anymore. They are intentionally set lower than the equivalent of an adult's bike because it allows for better control while kids are riding.
It is hard to say whether it is time for your son to start riding a REV 20 without seeing him with the bike in person. If you live near an REI store, you could stop by and ask for suggestions from the bike techs there. Additionally, the Expert Advice article How to Choose Kids' Bikes has a chart for sizing that might be helpful with the decision.
Hopefully this helps!
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