Getting to ride anywhere with your toddler or children in a bike seat is so much fun. Exploring your neighbourhood or local bike trails by bike is just great for everyones mood and energy. As your family grows the options do to.

Have a read of the information we have gathered from years of experience working with each type of attached or towed bike seat and begin the process of choosing what is best for your family.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
tow rope

There are a huge amount of options when it comes to riding with your children from a very young age.  This story gives you a quick overview of all the products that can be currently found in the NZ market.  We have split them into two sections.  Attached to the adult bike and Towed by the adult bike.

 

Attached Solutions:

There are three places a kids bike seat can be attached to an adults bike…

  • Front Mount Seats – often called Minis
  • Mid Mount Seats – often have no harness
  • Rear Mount Seats – often called Maxis for 1-6yr olds or Juniors for 4-10yr olds

Towed Solutions:

There is quite a variation in towing solutions in terms of the age or ability of your child…

  • Bike to Bike Connectors – Kids Riding Their Own Bike – Tow Rope, Tow Bar, Tow Frame
  • Trailing Half Bikes – standard or reclined seat
  • Enclosed Bike Trailers – recreation, off road, multi sport – single or double seat

 

Attached Solutions:

Front Mount Seats 1-3yr Olds

This seat sits right behind the handlebars so the child is in between your arms. Kids love this as they can see where they are going. This seat provides the best interaction between you and your child as they are right in front of you and you can see what they are doing.

It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!!

Best Bike Match = town/cargo bikes.  Any type of step through bike frame that puts the adult rider in an upright body position.  Will work with other types of medium to large frames.  Read more about this in our Buying Guide, link below.

Max weight is 17kg, generally children 1 to 3yrs, child must be able to sit unsupported to be put in this seat, height up to 110cm.  The limiting factor to beginning to ride witha child under 1yr of age is the helmet.  The smallest helmet on the market has a 45cm head circumference.

The biggest issue is space… Do you think you will be able to reach your handlebars around this seat?

FRONT KIDS SEAT BUYING GUIDE – Read through all our advice and thoughts on front seats in our Buying Guide.  Compare front seats and begin to understand if this is a good option for your family

FRONT SEATS – frequently asked questions.  Read through the questions we get asked the most about front seats.

RIDING SAFELY WITH A FRONT SEAT –  This story helps you to understand what safety elements you need to think about when riding with a child on your bike attached at the front.

Mid Mount Seats 2-6yr Olds

This mid mount system is attached directly to your bikes top tube or via a bar/adaptor that creates a top tube.  It gives great interaction and good protection in between your arms.  Most mid mount seats have no harness (exception WeeRide).  These no harness systems are great for kids who have ridden balance bikes from a young age.  Mid mount seats are also a good match to bike path/trail riding.

It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the back of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!

Best Bike Match = all bikes.  We are lucky here in NZ as we have two companies specialising in designing these types of seats.  DoLittle where first on the scene and their mid mount seat suits a lot of bikes (there are some exceptions).  Shotgun have chosen to focus on mountain bikes so are the best option for this type of bike.

Max weight is 25-30kg, generally children 2 to 5-6yrs, child must be fairly good with balance to begin riding with them. 

The biggest issue is space… Do you think you will be able to reach your handlebars around this seat?

MID MOUNT SEAT BUYING GUIDE – Read through all our advice and thoughts on mid seats in our Buying Guide.  Compare mid seats and begin to understand if this is a good option for your family. 

MID MOUNT SEATS – frequently asked questions.  Read through the questions we get asked the most about mid mounting seats.  

RIDING SAFELY WITH A MID SEAT –  This story helps you to understand what safety elements you need to think about when riding with a child on your bike attached at the mid. 

Rear Mount Seats 1-6yr Olds, Junior Seat 4-10yr Olds

This type of seat fits above the rear wheel of your bike attached to the carrier or frame of your bike. A great commute riding option. Helmet shape is important so it doesn’t hit the back of the seat. Generally the more you pay the lighter the seat will be and the better the harness system will be.

It’s also a good multi child option as it leaves the front of the bike for more children – if your riding is up to it!

Best Bike Match = most bikes exception full suspension mountain bikes.

Rear Maxi Seats: Max weight is 22kg, generally children 1 to 6yrs so make sure your seat has adjustable shoulder and footrest heights so that as they grow the seat still works.

Junior Seats: Max weight is 35kg, generally children 4 to 10yrs, the harness is a simple lap belt

The biggest issue is weight to the rear of your bike… You will need to practice riding with the extra weight high at the rear of the bike.

REAR MOUNT SEAT BUYING GUIDE – Read through all our advice and thoughts on rear seats in our Buying Guide.  Compare rear seats and begin to understand if this is a good option for your family. 

REAR MOUNT SEATS – frequently asked questions.  Read through the questions we get asked the most about rear mounting seats.

RIDING SAFELY WITH A REAR SEAT –  This story helps you to understand what safety elements you need to think about when riding with a child on your bike attached at the rear.

Towed Solutions:

Bike to Bike Connectors – Kids riding their own bike 4yrs+

Connecting a lead bike and a trailing bike can be so worthwhile in a number of circumstances.  Ideal for hill climbing, distances, keeping up with older siblings or in hard weather conditions e.g. wind or rain.  You will need a good gear range and good fitness to able to deal with the resistance of the weight of the bike and child you are towing. This type of towing really opens up your family riding options in terms of the places/distances you can choose to go. 

Tow Ropes – Incredibly simple to use and because of the good design the experience will be smooth (not jerky as the pull comes on) and enjoyable.  A great match to mountain biking and multi day/tour style riding with the family.  

Tow Bars – Great for short periods of assistance, good for encouraging or improving your child’s riding ability.

Tow Frames – Best in terms of stability, this low hub to hub connection is ideal for commute riding in traffic.

Best Bike Match = these bike to bike connections will work with most bikes, there are some exceptions so please see our individual ‘Will It Fit ‘advice for a specific product.

Max weights are again dependant on the product being looked at.  The biggest limiting factor will be the ability of you the adult to pull weight along for sustained periods of riding, particularly if uphill.   If using these towing options with an E-Bike please be aware of the danger of speed and keep to recommendations.  Most children are around 4 – 5 years old before they can safely ride their own bike.

The biggest issue is your child understanding how they should ride when being towed… Leaning and swaying can be an issue (Tow Bar) and your child must stay behind you (Tow Rope)

TOWING KIDS WHO RIDE THEIR OWN BIKE BUYING GUIDE – Read through all our advice and thoughts on bike to bike connectors in our Buying Guide.  Compare tow ropes, tow bars, tow frames and begin to understand if this is a good option for your family. 

These stories help you to understand what safety elements you need to think about when towing a child behind your bike.

Riding safely with a TOW ROPE 

Riding safely with a TOW BAR  

Riding safely with a TOW FRAME 

Bike Trailers 1-6yr Olds Single, 1-4yr Olds Double

A common towing option bike trailers offer great protection from the weather.  Because they are big and close to the ground cars tend to go around them when riding in traffic. Use flags and bright colours to help the cars with this. Trailers can carry more than one child plus nappies, groceries etc and can function as more than one thing bike, stroller & jog options.  They are also great for tour riding over multi days.

Interaction with a child or children in a trailer is not great.  Consider storage and whether you need to transport the trailer in your car – will it fold down easily and not be too heavy to lift?

Best Bike Match = bike trailers will work with most bikes, there are some exceptions so please see our individual ‘Will It Fit ‘advice for a specific product. You will need low gears to get up even minor hills and good brakes.

Max weights are dependant on the size of the trailer single max weight is 36kg , double max weight is 45kg.

The biggest limiting factor will be the ability of you the adult to pull weight along for sustained periods of riding, particularly if uphill.  If using these towing options with an E-Bike please be aware of the danger of speed and keep to recommendations.

 

BIKE TRAILER BUYING GUIDE – Read through all our advice and thoughts on bike trailers in our Buying Guide.  Compare trailers and begin to understand if this is a good option for your family. 

BIKE TRAILERS – frequently asked questions.  Read through the questions we get asked the most about bike trailers.  

RIDE SAFELY WITH A BIKE TRAILER – This story helps you to understand what safety elements you need to think about when towing a child behind your bike. 

Trailing Half Bikes – Standard 4-9yrs, Reclined 2-9yrs

Both Trailing half bike options are not available in NZ at time of writing.  We are working to solve this issue, please get in contact if you have questions about them, hopefully they will be an option in 2022.

Half bikes are best used when having your child ride independently is not a requirement.  So they are a good match to commute riding or long distance touring (the reclined seat has amazing storage).  This half bike system allows your child to pedal forward or coast – they don’t have control of the brakes or steering and can choose whether to assist or not.

Best Bike Match = work with most bikes, exceptions carbon seat posts. They attach at your seat post and are compatible with most adult bikes.

Max weight 36kg, a standard half bike suits 4-9year olds and a reclined can be used from 2yrs of age due to its harnessed seat.

The biggest limiting factor with towing is usually weight but with your child being able to assist with pedalling you will find you can manage greater distances.

RECLINED HALF BIKE – these bikes are currently not available in NZ, we are working on solving this issue… please contact us if you have questions about them.

STANDARD HALF BIKE – these bikes are currently not available in NZ, we are working on solving this issue… please contact us if you have questions about them.

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