The Best Kids Bike Seats for Family Touring

The Best Kids Bike Seats for Family Touring

I’m so happy you’re reading this story about the best kids bike seats for family touring!  Bike touring with kids in bike seats is such a fun way for your young family to enjoy the diverse and wonderful landscapes that NZ has to offer.  However, its not something that you can rush out and do tomorrow.  It does take planning & preparation.  Don’t be put off.  Once you have some basic knowledge and make some decisions, everything will fall into place and you and your family will be smiling while riding.

This story is going to concentrate on choosing the right seat for your family.  There are a lot of different options for carrying or towing children.  We will look at the positives & negatives (if any) of our top 3 seat choices for family touring.

Bike Touring with Kids in Bike Seats

Pencarrow Lighthouse – Wellington

The rail trail kids on carrier Hollie asleep goRide

Otago Rail Trail – NZ Cycle Trail

product solution kids bike seats women families goride

Great Taste Trail – Nelson

Bike Touring with Kids in Bike Seats

Before we dive into your seat options lets consider a couple of things

  • you will be restricted with your choice by the age of your child
  • some trails are better suited to riding with children than others.  Take a look at the surfaces you will be dealing with and the ‘on road’ sections.  You might have to miss out some sections of a trail to keep everyone safe and happy
  • this is an investment and a lifestyle choice.  Getting fit and riding regularly before you go is all a part of the experience.  The more you ride the better return for your money you will get.  The more you ride before you go the better prepared you will be for whatever occurs…
WeeHoo Turbo Reclined Trailer Bike $579 – Best age range, fully adjustable, lots of storage & optional weather protection

This seat would be our first choice for touring with kids.  It has so much going for it.  To begin with is the huge age range achieved by a fully adjustable seat and harness system.  From as young as 2yrs to a maximum of 36kg or 9yrs.  That gives you years of biking as a family.  The reclined seat design gives your child a really comfortable ride.  They can choose to assist you with pedalling or just sit back relax, eat or drink.

This is the only trailer bike on the market that gives you storage options for helping with the transport of stuff.  A couple of small rear panniers and pockets on the arm rests provide you with space.

WeeHoo give you the option to purchase a weather protection system (sold separately, $109).  This comes in the form of a sun shade or a fully enclosed rain cover making this trailer bike a great year round performer.  No other trailer bike gives you these options.

Learn more about the WeeHoo

How to Assemble a WeeHoo Turbo

Adams Trail-A-Bike $379 – Versatile use, foldable, pedal assist

When the distances are simply too big or the hills will be tough going for a child riding independently on a small bike (4 to 6yrs old).  Yet you still want to get your family out there on an adventure.  The Adams Trail-A-Bike is a great solution for family touring but will also serve you well in an urban environment negotiating busy traffic situations.  This makes the Adams a versatile investment.

The first company to provide a well designed foldable trailing bike so that it is easy to transport to and from the riding destination.  This also makes it compact enough to store with ease when you’re not using it…but I think if you brought one you would be using it a lot.

This is a great transition piece.  It enables your family to change from smaller rides with your toddler attached ‘on’ the bike (1 to 4yrs) to exploring greater distances with the help of them pedalling (4 to 6 yrs).  Then when they can power along on a 24″ bike (7yrs+), it may be time for them to ride independently.

Other considerations – family touring usually means carrying gear and this type of trailer bike takes up space where gear is commonly placed (rear carrier with panniers or a gear trailer being towed).  It offers no storage so anything that needs to come along will be on your back in a pack, on the front of your bike or the responsibility of another adult/older child in your family.  Also be aware that your child will not be harnessed into the seat, meaning they can move around/lean to get a better view.

Learn more about the Adams Trail-A-Bike

How to Assemble a Adams Trail-A-Bike…coming soon

Thule Yepp Maxi $269 to $279 – Harnessed, best interaction, lightweight

With an age range from 2 to 6 years this seat will give you great value for the money invested.  Being able to keep your child close to you on the bike means you have greater opportunities for quality interaction while riding.  They are tucked in right behind you which will also provide them with a bit of protection from air flow.

The Thule Yepp Maxi rear seats that we choose to sell are the lightest on the market.  They are constructed from lightweight foam similar to what the shell of a helmet is made from.  So if you decide on the ‘on’ the bike option you will be choosing the lightest addition to your bike out of our 3 picks.  This is a great option if you the adult are new to bike touring or not an over confident, regular type of rider.  But…and this is quite a big but as they get older – NO PEDAL ASSIST.

Other considerations – family touring usually means carrying gear and a rear kids seat may be attached via a carrier.  If this is the case you can buy carrier extenders and place panniers on your bike as well as the kids bike seat.  Please watch the additional weight and only carry light items.  This type of weight loading is only recommended for steel frame bikes/touring specific bikes with strong frames.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Kids Bike Seats – What are the options?

How to do more riding with a toddler or 2

Kids Bike Seats – Match your bike to a seat?

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

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Ride More Places (2)
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The Best Front & Rear Bike Carriers for Lightweight Loads

The Best Front & Rear Bike Carriers for Lightweight Loads

Being able to get any type of load off your body and onto the bike will make your riding experience comfortable.  There are solutions out there for your gear carrying problems and when the gear is lightweight the solution shouldn’t be too complicated.  What is lightweight?  Some examples are

  • round town errands and you need a place for your handbag/wallet
  • simple one bag food shopping, takeaways, milk etc
  • commuting to work
  • taking the kids for a bike path adventure and you want to pack a lunch or have a place for jackets/jerseys
  • multi day back country trail riding where the lighter the load the easier the ride will be

So if you want to be able to do this type of riding… what are the best front or rear bike carriers for lightweight loads?

Commuting by bike. goRide

Single side panniers on a rear bike carrier

Bike Carriers

You will discover as you use your bike to ride more places, more often that the need for carrying stuff with you can interfere with how you enjoy the ride.  To stop any barriers getting in the way when you are choosing to ride your bike or not, use a bike carrier.

When attaching a bike carrier to a bike you have 2 options – front or rear.  Rear carriers are traditionally more popular as having weight at the back of your bike doesn’t interfere with your ability to steer, which front loads can do.  In saying that if you are a competent rider and your loads are going to be light, using a front carrier can be a simple, easy to use option.

We like to split bike carriers into 3 categories according to there strength and therefore there ability to carry weight.  World/long distance/across country touring requires the heavy duty, carry lots type of carrier capacity.  Mid weight carriers will see you through most reasonable carrying situations in both the town and 2 to 3 day touring environments (see The Best Rear Carrier for Town/Commute Riding).  Lightweight carriers are for simple loads and give you a great alternative to carrying things in a backpack.

Blackburn Deluxe $99 – Fully adjustable, front or rear lightweight bike carrier
Front bike rack with double attachment. goRide

Blackburn Deluxe attached to front of bike

Blackburn Deluxe Front or Rear Carrier. Side view town bike. goRide

Blackburn Deluxe attached to rear of bike

Our first choice for around town riding when you want to carry simple lightweight loads is the Blackburn Deluxe.  It’s load capacity is up to 20.5kg.  The carrier is fully adjustable – not only do the top bracket or mounting arms pivot but the width of the carrier can be changed. This carrier can be fitted to the front or rear of your bike and it is compatible with disc or non-disc brakes.  The Blackburn team believe their carrier will fit the front or rear of most bikes up to a 29″ x 2.5″ wheel circumference and width (see the sidewall of your tyre to get your wheel measurements).

One of the most important features of the Blackburn is that it comes with everything you would possibly need to attach it to a bike.  This includes P-Clamps for bike frames that do not have eyelets (screw holes in the frame that let you mount extra things like carriers, mudguards, drink bottle holders).

When carrying lightweight loads on a carrier you have a range of options.  These include double panniers (watch your weight limit), single side panniers, a trunk bag that sits on top of the carrier or even attaching baskets.  Or simply using a bungy cord to secure a bag of your own – just make sure nothing is hanging down.

Learn more about the Blackburn Deluxe

How to Attach a Blackburn Front or Rear Carrier coming soon…

Thule Tour Rack $199 –  unique clamping attachment to front or rear, ideal for bike packing, lightweight tour/multi-day riding
Thule Tour Rack clamping system. goRide

Thule Tour Rack attached to rear of bike

Thule Tour Rack. Heaphy Track. goRide

Compatible with full suspension mountain bikes

The Thule Tour Rack is another lightweight front or rear carrier option that can be used for any type of riding but is really well matched to back country bike packing on mountain bikes.  This carrier is compatible with full suspension mountain bikes because of its unique clamping attachment system.  These clamps are tightened to the rear seat stays or the front forks of your bike.

The weight limit of 11kg on the rear and 10kg on the front is all you need when exploring remote country trails or for simple day rides.

The Tour Rack is a New Zealand designed product that was brought by Thule in 2017. Since them Thule has designed a range of pannier bags to be used with the rack.  These panniers have a 7kg limit on the rear, 6kg on the front and are a great addition to widen the ways to use this carrier.  However, for backcountry mountain biking, you simply need a dry bag attached with bungy cords/straps and you will have a secure, dry way of carrying minimal gear.

This carrier can be fully removed in a quick amount of time by simply unlocking the tightened clamps.  Another feature of this locking mechanism is that it makes the carrier impossible to remove from your bike without the key.  This gives you security when leaving the bike unattended.

Learn more about the Thule Tour Rack;

How to Attach a Thule Tour Rack

Using a Lightweight Bike Carrier – Safety

When you have a loaded bike you must ride within your capabilities and consider the effect of extra weight e.g. brake earlier to stop.  Also the distribution of this weight should be as even as possible so that your balance is not greatly affected.

Riding causes vibration up through your bike with some surfaces providing more vibration than others.  Vibration can loosen screws on your bike.  Please check all attachment points of your carrier regularly for any loosening.

get Inspired and goRide –  The Best Front & Rear Bike Carriers for Lightweight Loads

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Bike Carrier Buying Guide

The Best Rear Carrier for Town/Commute Riding – Mid Weight Loads

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Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

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Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

Can I just start by saying cycling is a smart investment.  It benefits the environment, the economy and all road users.  When you add to this mix a bike that is ideal for moving loads or cargo your use options open up even wider.  Now daily school runs and grocery trips can be comfortably achieved by bike.  If you are considering using a cargo bike to transport your family around town you have come to the right spot.  Read on for tips and advice about how to achieve this amazing active transport option.

YUBA cargo bike. Family transport. goRide

CARGO BIKE CHOICE

As the name implies cargo bikes are designed for taking weight so are perfect for transporting more than one child.  The set ups are either front or back, seats or boxes. Boxes can be enclosed or open. So you should be able to find something that suits your family dynamics.  Financially this is a bigger investment but with everyday use you will get your money back in saved car bills. See below for good explanations of your options and to get an idea of what brands are available in NZ.

LONG JOHN

You push the load rather than pull it.  The freight or cargo area is in front of the rider between the handlebars and the front wheel.  There is plenty of room for a large box here.  The box is placed low to the ground which means good weight distribution.  These cargo bikes come in single or double front wheel (trike) options, see more on trikes below.  Look out for boxes that are designed to carry children rather than freight – padding, rounded edges etc.  Brands like Bullitt offer alternatives to boxes – canopies or simple seats for older children.

A couple of the well known brands that are available in New Zealand are Christiania Bikes (Danish) & Radkutsche (German).  Also Yuba – see photo & Bullitt

Front loading cargo bike designed to carry children – the “Yuba Supermarche”

LONG TAIL

Just like riding a normal bike just extended at the back.  Great for adding kids on or in seats.  Adding kids here means you will have to adjust to the balance needed for weight sitting high at the back of your bike – this is a fairly easy adjustment especially for someone who rides regularly.  Step through frames are recommended and there is a huge variety of these bikes available in New Zealand.

Popular brands are Yuba, eZee & Tern

Long tail “Tern” cargo bike with lots of storage options – great for family riding

FRONT OR REAR LOAD TRIKES

Good option for people not used to riding or returning to riding.  Wide at the front or back so your footprint is bigger giving you stability.  Not an agile bike but can carry a lot.  What you gain in stability you lose in agility.  This type of cargo bike has a large loadable area and can take the weight with little effect on balance.  Large boxes with ramps can hold wheelchairs for disabled children.  If you add an electric motor it can be used for a wide range of transport & carrying tasks.

Radkutsche, eZee to buy or consider custom made with Cycle Trailers NZ Ltd

Rear cargo trike with large usable load area – great car free option for families

UTILITY

This bike has a reinforced frame that can handle added weight but not up to the capacity of a normal cargo.  Rides just like a normal bike (same shape/length/width) but is better than a normal bike for taking weight.  Harder to use with a large family/older kids unless you choose to tow seats or a trailer.  Often comes as an electric bike.

We found Moustache, Winora & Kona reinforced bikes in NZ.

Utility bikes won’t take great weight but they are better than standard bikes

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

Where do you want the kids to be & how many kids do you need to seat?  How much storage do you need – what kind of loads will you want to take?  Where will you store the bike when it’s not being used?  And the big question – how much money do you want to spend?  Cargo bikes range from around $900 to over $10,000…

Is electric for you? Electric assistance will give you the ability to go further, climb hills that would be a challenge and add weight without affecting the effort you need to put in.  Whether you get a built in motor or add one on, electric bikes give you the ability to use your bike to go more places, more often.

Yuba Mundo Cargo Long Tail. Transporting a family. goRide

Yuba Mundo Long Tail cargo bike

Radkutsche Long John cargo bike. Transporting a family. goRide

Radkutsche Long John cargo bike

get Ready and goRide –  Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

Using a Bike as Your Primary Form of Transport

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

Women and families learning
Types of Riding
Riding gear
Ride more places
Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

Can I just start by saying cycling is a smart investment.  It benefits the environment, the economy and all road users.  So trying to ride more regularly as an active form of transport for your family is a great move.  And no you don’t have to have a bike that is specifically designed for this, you can use a regular bike to transport your family.  There are many ways you can improve on and add to your existing bike to be able to choose cycling as a family transport option…

ADDING THE KIDS

Where’s the space or where do you want them to be?  You need to have a balanced bike that is safe for you to use.  A couple of options we recommend have been discussed below but there are more – Bike Seats for Kids – What are my options?

ON THE BIKE – Front or rear kids bike seats – For around town travel, in and out of traffic environments, having the kids on the bike with you as an ideal set up.  Either a front or rear option (or one of each) positions them close in a harnessed seat that can be used from the age of 1.  Read more at The Best Kids Bike Seats for Town Riding

TOWED BY THE BIKE – Bike Trailer – A double bike trailer is designed for 2 children which gives you more space but you can also get single trailers.  They are enclosed and provide great weather protection meaning you can ride in more challenging weather conditions.  The storage is fantastic with this option as well.  You will have less to worry about in terms of balance on your bike but be aware that the rear of your bike will be wider so cornering and passing objects needs to be practised.

Yepp Mini & rear cargo basket. goRide

A Yepp Mini front seat with rear carrier basket for storage.

Thule kids carrier options. Kids Bike Seats. goRide

For the larger family: Front, rear & bike trailer

CARRYING STUFF

To be able to choose your regular bike for more journeys you will need to provide yourself with the ability to carry stuff.  Think about what you are likely to carry and how best to load this onto your bike.

Panniers – these saddle bags provide a significant amount of space.  While they are normally mounted on the rear carrier you can also get front wheel carrier & pannier sets which might help with balancing load.  The down side of front panniers is loading the front wheel effects steering.  With all types of panniers try to balance out heavier loads between the two sides.

Baskets – incredibly handy for ease of access/throwing things into – water bottle, handbag, lunch box, jacket, camera, small grocery items, favourite toy, kindergarten bag.  Think of this storage area as saving your body from having to carry a backpack.  Don’t over fill or get too heavy as again weight on the handlebars effects steering.

Frame & Saddle Bags – while they can’t carry a huge amount, frame & saddle bags can be handy for simple journeys.  They come in a great array of shapes to fit within/on top of your frame – you will need a top tube for mounting most of these types of bags. They are convenient for tucking away layers that are coming off in good weather, carrying tools/pump, your phone/keys, snacks.  Good quality waterproof ones will last you a lifetime.

Towing – consider whether this is an option for your family.  If you choose to tow the children in a bike trailer you will always have the option of using this for loading as well.  You can get trailers with buckets designed for carrying loads.  Check out the light weight trailers made by this amazing New Zealand business Cycle Trailers NZ.

Light Weight Bucket Bike Trailer. goRide

Light weight trailer for bigger or heavier loads

Yepp Maxi with panniers on carrier extender. goRide

Yepp rear child seat with panniers attached via a carrier extender

BIKE CHOICE

Be aware that steel framed bikes are the better choice when deciding to add loads/weight because of their strength.

Gears – with any added weight on a bike you will discover that getting going is a little more challenging and climbing becomes difficult more quickly.  A good gear range will help with this.  So make sure your bike is prepared for this.  Does it have a small cog at the front and a wide range in the rear cogs.  If you’re not to sure about gears, read some of our stories starting with Understanding Bike Gears…. or go and talk to someone with knowledge

Brakes – with any added weight on a bike you will discover that stopping is a little more challenging and controlling your speed on a descent requires more concentration.  Good well maintained brakes will help with this.  Make sure you regularly check your brakes.

Add Electric – with any added weight on a bike you will discover that distances and hills become more of a challenge.  This may be fine, you could be up for a challenge but if this kind of challenge makes you choose not to ride it’s a problem.  Consider buying an e-bike or adding an electric battery to your existing bike.  This assistance for your pedalling will allow you to have a much more enjoyable experience on your bike and will lead to you using it for more trips.  E-Bikes can also come with internal gear systems which mean less maintenance.

See our story… Buying an E-Bike to Transport Kids or Grandkids

Town & bike path E-Bike with front basket

SAFETY

Adding weight to your bike requires adjustments to how you ride.  Please practice for the first time in a safe environment.

When you have gained some understanding of which bike and what type of carrying set up is best, it will be time to either buy a bike or sort out your currant one.  When you’re doing all this stuff please keep safety in mind

  • where possible get good quality which will last the repetitive daily use that you want to get out of it
  • visibility in traffic will be an important part of your everyday life – wear bright colours and get a great set of rechargeable lights
  • keep your loads balanced and well secured, expect to have to adjust your riding and get used to riding with weight
  • again good quality helmets that will last through the high usage, protect you in the environment you are riding in and if toddlers are involved, work in kids seats – toddler helmet
  • you must have checking systems in place…Am I Safe to Ride in Town or Ride with Kids
  • make good safe route choices.  The direct way may not always be best especially if high traffic volume applies when you are well loaded
get Inspired and goRide –  Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Using a Bike as Your Primary Form of Transport

Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

Kids Bike Seats – Match your Bike to a Seat

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

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Women and families learning
Types of Riding
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Ride more places
Using a Bike as Your Primary Form of Transport

Using a Bike as Your Primary Form of Transport

Can I just start by saying cycling is a smart investment.  It benefits the environment, the economy and all road users.  Add to this the health benefits of exercise and the mental health benefits of being more engaged and aware of your surroundings.  So how can you do a bit more each day?  What things can you change to improve your current transport options?  How could you use a bike as your primary form of transport?

 

Cargo, electric, good old regular town bike…whats the ideal?  What will work for YOU? Are you going car ‘lite’ or want to dive into being car ‘free’.  Will this be short term while the kids are young, just for town commuting or a long term lifestyle change?  What kind of loads can you imagine wanting to carry?  These are all BIG questions that may be easier to answer with a bit more understanding of what different kinds of bikes can achieve.

BIKE CHOICE

Why Cargo?  Well as the name would suggest these bikes are all about carrying loads.  So they are perfect for the person who needs space on their bike for groceries, kids, work gear etc.  While cargo bikes are not speedy or great over long distances they are perfect for around town, urban style, preferably flat riding.  There will be a cargo bike solution out there for you – read more at Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family, each class of cargo bike is discussed in this story.  Also be aware that most cargo bikes will have an electric version making them an e-cargo bike.  Electric bikes are perfect as a car replacement, to use to travel over distances that you may not feel comfortable doing on a normal bike or when you have to deal with hills.

Cargo bike with front cargo basket

Why Electric?  An electric assist battery can be added to an existing regular bike or built into an e-bike.  This gives you the ability to make biking easier as the energy required to complete a pedal stroke is not solely coming from you.  When you add weight to a bike, which will be a common occurrence if you are trying to reduce the use of your car, electric assist can be really helpful.  Yes it will be more of an investment but your enjoyment of the ride and the range of uses for the bike will increase dramatically.   You will be able to ride further and carry greater weight while still enjoying the experience of being on a bike.

Town bike with electric battery on rear carrier & front basket

Why a Regular Bike?  Perhaps you need to or just want to use a normal regular kind of bike for your transport.  This can be done quite easily but you will have to have good carrying ability if you are going to make this work.  As much as possible add options to the frame of your bike to get loads off your back.  Consider panniers over the rear or front wheel and a handlebar basket is ideal on the front.  When your load is going to be bigger could or would you use a bike trailer?  Also remember there are many regular style bikes that come with electric pedal assistance or you can have this fitted at a later date.

Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

Adding panniers is an easy way to give yourself storage

ADDING THE KIDS – Where to put them?

Front, back, towed – where is the space?  Keep the bike balanced, as the kids grow how will this work?  For more on this topic read our Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide or take a look at the really popular story – Bike Seats For Kids – What are my Options?

Long tail cargo bike. Bike as transport. goRide

Long tail cargo bikes are ideal for rear kids bike seats

WeeHoo Turbo with weather cover sun shade. goRide

A bike trailer gives you good storage options as well as being fun for your passenger

Riding in town with child bike seats. goRide

It is possible to ride with more than one child attached to a normal bike

SAFETY

When you have gained some understanding of which bike and what type of carrying set up is best, it will be time to either buy a bike or sort out your currant one.  When you’re doing all this stuff please keep safety in mind

  • where possible get good quality which will last the repetitive daily use that you want to get out of it
  • visibility in traffic will be an important part of your everyday life – wear bright colours and get a great set of rechargeable lights
  • keep your loads balanced and well secured, expect to have to adjust your riding and get used to riding with weight
  • again good quality helmets that will last through the high usage, protect you in the environment you are riding in and if toddlers are involved, work in kids seats
  • you must have checking systems in place…Am I Safe to Ride in Town or Ride with Kids
  • make good safe route choices.  The direct way may not always be best especially if high traffic volume applies when you are well loaded
get Inspired and goRide – Using a Bike as Your Primary Form of Transport

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

Using a Regular Bike to Transport Your Family

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

Women and families learning
Types of Riding
Riding gear
Ride more places
The Best Kids Bike Seats for Town Riding

The Best Kids Bike Seats for Town Riding

Using a bike for transport is a really engaging way to move your family around a town or city.  Arriving anywhere by bike gives you a sense of being a part of the environment rather than watching it go by.  Town riding includes

  • a short commute to or from work
  • cycling to playgroup/kindergarten/school
  • biking to playgrounds/parks/the beach
  • using your bike for trips to the library/shops/cafes
  • arriving at events/meetings/appointments

So if you want to start this kind of riding with a young family – from 1yr – what are the best kids bike seats for town riding?

Yepp Maxi Frame Mounted kids bike seat. goRide

Yepp Maxi rear mounted child bike seat for 1 to 6yr olds

“On” the Bike

The kids bike seat market is expanding with every season so there is a lot of choice and options around where you can place your child when riding with them.  From towing trailers to simple top tube seats there is something to please everyone.  For a full overview see Bike Seats for Kids – What are my options?  When you first start to ride through traffic with a young toddler we believe it is a great idea to have them harnessed on the bike with you.  So that they are nice and close making it easy for you to talk with them.   You will know that they are safe and the closer they are to you the safer they will feel.  This makes rear & front mounting child bike seats the best choice for town riding.

Yepp Maxi Rear Bike Seat $249 to $279 – Great age range, value for money
Yepp Maxi seatpost 4cm space above wheel

Yepp Maxi seat that attaches to your bike frame

Yepp-Maxi-Rear-Child-Seat

Around town fun on the Yepp Maxi.

A rear mounted seat with good adjustable footrests and shoulder straps can be used through a great age range.  We are talking from around 1 to 6 years old.  This makes a rear seat by far the best value for money as you can use it for twice as long as a front mounted seat.

Most bike types are compatible with a rear mounted seat. This gives your family the ability to have more than one attachment adaptor meaning different members of the family can go riding with the child.

Rear mounts still give you good options for carrying other things as handlebar baskets can be used.  Most good rear seats like the Yepp, will come with adaptors for mounting panniers if you have a rear carrier.

A great feature of the Yepp Maxi is its colour, adding bright colours to your riding set up increases your visibility in traffic.  This means drivers are more likely to spot you as they approach.  The Yepp Maxi also has 3 rear reflectors which again increase your visibility especially in poor light conditions – weather, time of the day.

Not only can rear seats be used around town but you will find them being used on easy off road trails and also for family bike touring.  Being seated right in behind your body gives your child really good protection from air flow.  In colder climates this can allow you to use the seat for more of the year.

Yepp Mini Front Bike Seat $219 – Best interaction
Will the Yepp Mini Fit on Your Bike? goRide

Yepp Mini attaches to your exposed handlebar stem

Yepp Mini being adjusted

Footrest & shoulder harness adjustment is important for good fit

Front mounted seats are a great way to introduce your toddler to riding on a bike.  The placement of your child right between your arms gives them a sense of safety and gives you the best interaction possible.  As you ride along they will see everything you see and you can chat about where you are going and what’s passing by.

A front seat has the smallest of age ranges out of all the child bike seats – from 1 to 3 years old.  However, we believe that you will use & enjoy this seat more than others – again this is about the interaction that is possible.

Having a kids bike seat mounted at the front of your bike leaves you with options at the rear.  So depending on your family, or future family, this gives you space for attaching or towing another child.  It also allows for good storage options in panniers or on a carrier.  Riding around town doing simple chores/messages may mean you need this kind of space.  Cargo bikes are a great round town option for family riding and front bike seats are designed for use on these styles of bikes.  Along with crusier/retro bikes anything that puts you in a fairly upright position will work really well with this seat.

Good quality front sets, like the Yepp Mini, will have adaptor options.  This means you can use the Mini with more than one style of bike.  For example, it can be attached to a mountain bike or trail bike using an A-Head adaptor.  This gives you even more options for use and enjoyment – easy off road trails and family bike touring.

Town Riding With a Kid Bike Seat – Safety

When you have a passenger you must ride within your capabilities and consider the effect of extra weight e.g. brake earlier to stop.  Practicing in a safe environment is always recommended before you head out into traffic so you can get used to how your bike responds with your toddler “on” it.

Safety routines for checking before every ride are really important.  So make sure you check the child seat is attached correctly & check your bike (30sec pre-ride safety check).  That all harnesses are closed and anything that could dangle down is removed or fastened.  Helmets are compulsory in NZ for passengers on a bike.  Make sure that the helmet is correctly fitted and the right size (watch our helmet video found in this story).

get Inspired and goRide –  The Best Kids Bike Seats for Town Riding

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Kids Bike Seat – Match Your Bike to a Seat

Kids Bike Seats – How to do more riding with a toddler or 2

Kids Bike Seats – Safety & Care

The Best Kids Bike Seat for Mountain Biking

The Best Kids Bike Seat for Bike Path Riding

 

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