Buying an E-Bike to Transport Kids or Grandkids

Buying an E-Bike to Transport Kids or Grandkids

Electric bikes are the newest development and easily the biggest growing market in the world of biking.  E-Bikes are popping up all over the country and all sorts of people are choosing to ride one.  We want to look at a couple of questions and help you answer them… Why would you mix electric bikes and riding with kids/grandkids?  What should you look for when buying an E-Bike to transport kids or grandkids?

An electric bike will take away any barrier or negative thoughts you may have about taking a bike from one point to another.  It deals with hills, distance, weight, fitness levels.  Basically all the things that may make biking difficult in general, but especially so when you add children or grand children to your bike.  Once these types of barriers are removed you will choose to ride more places, more often.

WHAT IS AN E-BIKE?

A battery powered bike that allows you to put in as much or as little effort as you want while riding it.  As you get bike fit you will use less motor power and be able to go further with less battery assistance.

WHAT IS THE COST?  UPFRONT & ON GOING?

Along with the huge variety in types of E-Bikes comes the huge price range.  Most people will be able to find something within their budget that will get the job done.  But as with most things that require an initial investment… the more you are prepared to pay the better quality bike you will get.  In terms of bikes that are suitable for riding with kids your starting point will be around $3000.  See the list below of recommendations as there are a few things like power and brakes that make entry level E-Bikes unsuitable for riding with the added weight of kids.

After the upfront bill the cost to run an E-Bike is so minimal!!  Charging is super cheap 20-30cents for every 100 kilometres you ride.  Batteries do have a life span and will need replaced every 2-3 years.

To follow are some images of E-Bikes supplied by Electrify NZ to give you an idea of what to begin to look at.

Magnum Navigator. Riding with Kids attached:towed.goRide

Magnum Navigator $2,999

A city or commute type of bike with good options for attaching or towing kids.

Black ATB. Riding with Kids attached:towed.goRide

Black ATB $3,599

A leisure or trail bike good for both on & off road.  Good options for attaching or towing kids.

Gepida Berig. Riding with Kids attached:towed.goRide

Gepida Berig $4,999

Great leisure trail bike.  Awesome over distance & for hills.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN E-BIKE to transport kids or grandkids:

When buying an E-Bike to transport kids or grandkids it is a good idea to have some knowledge around the features on the bike that will help you to enjoy your riding.

To follow are some recommendations around what to look for in an E-Bike that is capable of attaching kids to or towing them.  You need to know about BRAKES, POWER & GEARS…

    • step-through frames make handling the bike so much easier – getting on/off around kids seats, easier to straddle while stopping/starting. Just easier to manage.  This is especially true if you want to ride with 2 kids on one bike
    • hydraulic brakes are a must. As you add the weight of kids to your bike you will need more stopping power (stopping safely is more important than going!)  This requirement will largely eliminate entry-level E-Bikes, but you can always ask your bike shop if they can do a hydraulic brake upgrade on your chosen bike if it has mechanical brakes as standard. But add up the cost and work out whether spending just a few hundred more would get you a better solution on multiple levels
    • this point about brakes is really key if you live on or need to bike over hills with your kids attached or being towed
    • if a battery upgrade is available, get it. More weight on the bike means less range (time before the battery power runs out), so spending on an upgrade is worthwhile
    • go for power, i.e. bikes with more torque will be better for you for carrying/towing, especially when climbing hills. What you want is a bike with a high torque rating
    • most E-Bikes will have capable gearing for this sort of use; remember, you have a motor to assist you. But if you live in a very hilly place then you may want to ensure you have something more capable, with a big rear sprocket (bigger is better, for hill climbing)

 

MAKE SURE YOU TEST RIDE

Test ride the bike over a decent distance with variations in road surface and hills, etc. At least a 30min test ride, and longer if your bike shop will provide it. You have to be very comfortable and confident on the bike in order for you to carry/tow your most precious cargo. And compare different models, by riding them.  You should not have to pay or commit to buying the bike before test riding it.

What to look for during the test ride.  Mainly your comfort and safety on the bike.  You must feel confident in the way it handles and steers.  This is especially important for any downhill decent with the added weight of a child.  When you have found a bike or two that you feel good about riding…(exciting!) now consider the kids or grandkids…where could they go…what will work??

Quick Comparison of Child Position Options for E-Bikes:

Front seats (Minis) are an awesome introduction for young toddlers and give great interaction between the child & the rider.

Mid Mount seats are unharnessed – we don’t recommend the combination of E-Bike speed and an unharnessed young child, especially in traffic!  So only a consideration for off road riding.

Rear seats are a great investment over time 1-6years in a Maxi or a Junior seat will take them from 4-10years.  These seats are a popular commuting option.

Towing kids is a great way to distribute the weight and to take kids places they struggle to ride by themselves. The biggest decision to make is whether you want your child/grandchild towed on their own bike (they can then detach and ride independently) or riding a trailing 1/2 bike.  This decision will be influenced by age and the child’s capability.

Front Seat for kids. 1 to 3 yrs. goRide

Front – BoBike Mini & Windscreen – good wind protection option

handlebar accessory kids bike seat shotgun goRide

Mid – Shotgun Kids MTB Seat offers a kids handlebar for better stability

Thule rear seat & toddler helmet combo.goRide

Rear – Thule Yepp Nexxt – lightweight, easily detached seat

follow me tandem and rear bike seat

Towing – Follow Me Tandem – Tow Frame – incredibly stable, best in traffic option

Attachment points and limitations;

When buying an E-Bike it is also useful to have some idea of where you want to carry or tow your kids/grandkids.  Particularly attachment points for seats or towing.  Keep in mind that weight will be your biggest issue so spread weight out and choose lightweight seats like those made by Thule, Yepp or BoBike.  The combination of this knowledge along with the type of terrain and places you want to ride to/from, will get you a good E-Bike match.

For detailed information see our stories… Towing Kids & Electric Bikes… and Kids Bike Seats (On the Bike) & Electric Bikes.  

CARGO BIKES…

Another type of bike to consider is a cargo bike.  These bikes are designed for transporting weight so are perfect for adding kids.  Depending on how far you want to travel or whether you have hills to negotiate you could consider an Electric Cargo Bike.  This type of electric bike is a considerable investment expect to pay over $5,000 for a simple model and closer to $10,000 for great quality.  Cargo bikes best match with flat, urban riding. They are a good match to car replacement, 2-3 kids, older kids.  Photo is of a Yuba Supermarche.

For more information read Using a Cargo Bike to Transport Your Family

get Ready and goRide –  Buying an E-Bike to Transport Kids

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

Related Resources:

Bike Seats for Kids – What are the Options?

Family Riding Page

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
Will Your Bike Work With an Attached Kids Bike Seat?

Will Your Bike Work With an Attached Kids Bike Seat?

There are multiple different options for riding with your young child positioned in a seat which is attached to your bike.  This kind of family riding is great fun and can be started when your child is approximately 1 year old.  However, not all seats work with all bikes…what do you need to know to make a good buying decision… will your bike work with an attached kids bike seat?

We are going to take a look at some of the things that a bike can have or be made of that restricts what can be attached to it;

  • carbon frames/road bikes
  • full suspension
  • threadless handlebar stem found on sport style bikes – mountain bikes/trail bikes
  • 29 inch wheels
  • frame size – small or x-small, x-large
  • electric bike battery placement

For towing kids please read Will your bike work for towing kids? 

TYPES OF KIDS BIKE SEAT ATTACHMENTS

Here is a quick reminder about where you can attach a kids bike seat on your bike.

FRONT MOUNT SEATS

Front mount seats – often called Mini’s – are attached at the handlebar stem of your bike.  Child age range 1-3 years.

MID MOUNT SEATS

Mid mount seats are placed over the top tube (top bar) of your bike frame.  Child age range 2-6yrs.

REAR MOUNT SEATS

Rear mount seats – often called Maxi’s – are mounted over the rear wheel of your bike.  Either on a rear bike carrier or attached to the seat post tube on your frame.  Child age range 2-6 years.

CARBON FRAMES/ROAD BIKES

Carbon frames and carbon seat posts are designed to be lightweight and are not built for strength.  You can not excessively screw or attach a kids bike seat to a carbon frame.  This is also the case for road bikes which are usually designed for speed not strength.  The diameter of road bike frames is also skinnier than standard frames, most kids bike seats need a minimum 28mm width.  Ideally adding the weight of a kid and seat needs the strength of a standard diameter steel frame.

Exception: carbon frames can be used with the following mid mount seats which attach to the top tube of you bike – Shotgun Kids Mountain Bike Seat, DoLittle Kids Seat

Tightening saddle bolts to hold in place

The Shotgun kids seat is compatible with both carbon and full suspension mountain bike frames

Do little goRide 18-20cm back top tube

DoLittle mid mount seat can be used with carbon frames

road riding helmet

Road bike frames are not a good match to kids bike seat attachment

FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE

Full suspension bikes and rear seats are not compatible.  Because the back of a full suspension mountain bike is not rigid but designed to move with impact you can not attach a rear carrier to your bike, so you can not attach rear carrier mounted seats.  The placement of your rear suspension may also interfere with a rear frame mount seat.  You need 12.5cm of clear space on the seat post tube to mount this type of seat.  For more information Will a Rear Mount seat Fit on Your Bike?

Most adults with mountain bikes will want to continue to use their mountain bike when they have kids.  Attaching mounting systems for seats that are not easily removed is not ideal if you are still riding.   Exception:  Shotgun Kids Mountain Bike Seat that can be fully removed in less than 30 seconds.

See also Carbon Frames, Threadless Handlebar Stems

THREADLESS HANDLEBAR STEMS 

Sport style bikes – mountain bikes, trail bikes will more than likely have a threadless handlebar stem.  This type of design does not have a lot of space for attaching things like kids bike seats at the front of the bike.  So you will need an A-Head adaptor to be able to mount a front bike seat.  Most front mount seats do not come with this adaptor.  See our solution which includes an A-Head adaptor Front Seat for Mountain Bikes

See also Carbon Frames, Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

dad & child on Shotgun kids mountain bike seat. goRide

Full Suspension mountain bike & Shotgun Kids MTB seat

A-head adaptor. Yepp Mini kids bike seat. goRide

A-Head adaptor mounted on a threadless stem

29 inch WHEELS 

Large wheels can make it challenging to mount a rear kids bike seat (find your wheel size written on the side wall of your bike tyre).  This size wheel does not work with frame mounted rear kids seat, there will not be enough clearance between the bottom of the seat and the wheel.  Carrier mount seats will only work if you can find a carrier that takes up to 25kg and is the correct size for 29inch wheels.  See our solution…  29 inch Carrier

See also Carbon Frames, XL Frames

FRAMES SIZES – XS,S & XL 

Knowing the frame size of your bike is key to determining whether a kids bike seat will work for you.  Space is a really important factor as well as gravity points for good balance – you want to avoid rear tipping which can be created by a rear seat mounted on a small frame.  Extra small and small frame sizes will struggle with any of the front, mid or rear options.   Most people with small frames will need to tow their child/children in bike trailers, on half bikes or choose to connect the adult bike to the child’s bike – tow frames/bars/ropes.

Exception: small frame bikes that put the rider in an upright body position and have sweep back handlebars create space in front of your body for front & mid mount seats.

Extra large frames are not compatible with the Do Little mid mount seat as it is a rigid design that does not allow for unusual frame shapes.

Some helpful links

See also 29 inch Wheels

Thule Mini Nexxt on town bike

Town bikes may create enough space for a Mini seat to be attached to a small frame

Do Little Retro Rider Fitting attached to a double down bike frame. goRide

The DoLittle mid mount seat may also work with small frames if the bike puts the rider in an upright body position

ELECTRIC BIKES

Hugely popular and growing market – electric bikes are a great choice for using with children as they will make the experience easier on the adult rider.  You just need to be aware of the placement of your battery and how that may affect the position of a kids bike seat.

Batteries can be incorporated into the frame down tube or seat post tube – which means they will change the diameter of the tubing significantly.  This will be an issue with mid mount seats that have a lower attachment to the down tube.  This will be an issue with rear frame mount seats that attach to the seat post tube.

Batteries can be position directly behind a seat post tube.  This will interfere with your ability to bolt any type of clamp onto the seat post tube so you will not be able to use a rear frame mount seat.

Batteries can be position on or below the rear carrier.  This will be an issue for either of the rear mount options – frame or carrier.  Frame mounted seats need a certain amount of clearance above the rear wheel to be safe.  Good quality carrier  mount seats will clamp onto the rear carrier so need room to curve under the side rails of your carrier.  Other rear carrier seats may only mount to their own carrier system which may not be compatible with your battery.

See more on attachment of mid mount seats – Shotgun or DoLittle or attachment of rear mount seat carrier or frame

See also Full Suspension, Frames Sizes

Electric Bike. Using a bike as transport. goRide

Electric bike with battery placed behind seat post tube

electric bike. bike types. goRide

Electric bike with battery over rear carrier

Brakes & Gears

When adding the weight of a seat and your child to a bike the handling and balance of the bike will change.  This may take a bit of time to adapt too.  It is a great idea to have a good range of gears because getting going and climbing hills will be harder – electric bikes help here.  Brakes will have to cope with added weight meaning you will need to brake before you normally would and be careful to use both brakes evenly.

Please check your brakes regularly as well as having a good routine of checking your whole bike… Am I safe to ride?

get Ready and goRide –  Will your bike work with an attached kids bike seat?

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?

Match your bike to a kids bike seat

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
Will Your Bike Work for Towing Kids?

Will Your Bike Work for Towing Kids?

There are multiple different options for towing young child behind your bike.  This kind of family riding is great fun and can be started when your child is approximately 1 year old.  However, not all towing options work with all bikes…what do you need to know to make a good buying decision… will your bike work for towing kids?

We are going to take a look at some of the things that a bike can have or be made of that restricts what can be attached to it for towing;

  • carbon frames/road bikes
  • full suspension
  • 29 inch wheels
  • frame size – small or x-small
  • electric bike battery placement

For kids bike seats that are “on” the adult bike please read Will your bike work with an attached kids bike seat? 

TYPES OF KIDS BIKE SEAT TOWING OPTIONS

Here is a quick reminder about how you can attach a kids bike seat for towing.

TOWING A HALF BIKE

Half bikes are attached at the seat post of your bike.  Child age range varies by type: standard seat 4-6 years, reclined seat 2-9 years.

 

TOWING A KIDS BIKE

Bike to bike connection points vary by type.  Tow frames connect from adult rear wheel hub to kids front wheel – age range 4-9yrs.  Tow bars connect from adult seat post to kids steering tube – age range 4-9yrs.  Tow ropes connect from adult seat to kids steering tube – age range 4+yrs.

TOWING A BIKE TRAILER

Bike trailers attach onto the rear wheel hub of the adult bike.  Age range 1-6yrs for a single trailer, 1-4yrs for a double trailer.

CARBON FRAMES/ROAD BIKES

Carbon frames and carbon seat posts are designed to be lightweight and are not built for strength.  So anything that attaches to a seat post e.g. half bikes and bike to bike tow bars are not compatible with carbon seat posts. You can not excessively screw an attachment for towing a child onto a carbon frame/post.  This is also the case for road bikes which are usually designed for speed not strength.  Ideally adding the weight of a kid and seat needs the strength of a standard diameter steel frame.

Exception: carbon frames can be used with a bike tow rope, bike tow frame or a bike trailer (hub connection point).

FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE

Full suspension bikes can be used with most towing options.  It would be a good idea to lock the rear suspension while you are using any rigid bike systems for towing.

Most adults with mountain bikes will want to continue to use their mountain bike for their own enjoyment.  Attaching mounting systems for towing that are not easily removed is not ideal if you are still planning to do your own riding.   Exception:  Tow Whee tow rope is completely removed from your bike within seconds.

See also Carbon Frames

Weehoo-Bike-Trailer-Hitch-and-Receiver. goRide

The seat post is a common attachment point – carbon seat posts can not be used for towing

Attaching Tow Whee tow rope to trailing bike. goRide

The Tow Whee has a simple loop or carabiner attachment system that is easy to completely attach and detach from both the adult and kids bike

29 inch WHEELS 

Large wheels can make it challenging to tow children (find your wheel size written on the side wall of your bike tyre).  This size wheel is a relatively new development in cycling and a lot of the designs for towing were not made to clear the top of such big wheels.  These wheels will not work with tow frames (Follow Me Tandem), tow bars (Trailgator) and some half bikes.

Exception: the trailing half bike with a reclined seat known as the WeeHoo Turbo can be used with 29 inch wheels.  The Rocket Half Bike we sell can be used with 29 inch wheels.

FRAMES SIZES – XS,S  

Knowing the frame size of your bike is key to determining whether a kids bike seat will work for you. Extra small and small frame sizes struggle with most of the “on” the bike options but tend to work with towing.   You do need some exposed seat post for the half bikes and bike to bike, tow bar towing i.e. you can not have your seat height right down low.  This may be a challenge for some shorter people.

Some helpful links showing attachment points on seat posts

  • will a reclined half bike attach to your bike
  • attaching a half bike to your adult bike… coming soon
  • tow bar connection points…. coming soon

See also 29 inch Wheels

Bike tow Frame. Follow Me Tandem. Attached to adult bike.goRide

Tow frame attached to 26inch wheel – not compatible with 29inch wheels

WeeHoo attached to seatpost side view. goRide

Reclined half bike attached to a small frame mountain bike

ELECTRIC BIKES

Hugely popular and growing market – electric bikes are a great choice for using to tow children as they will make the experience easier on the adult rider.  You just need to be aware of the placement of your battery and how that may affect your ability to tow a half bike or tow bar – a clear pathway to the seat post is needed.  Electric bikes can also have hub gear systems (mechanisms for changing gear are at the centre of your rear wheel).  These hub systems will need special adaptors for any towing system that attaches here.

Batteries can be position on or below the rear carrier.  This may be an issue for any towing system that attaches to your seat post as it will need a certain amount of clearance above the rear wheel to safely reach the seat post.  This problem is made worse by small bike frames/seat heights set low (see photo below).

Gear hubs at rear wheel centre. Bike trailers and the bike tow frame attach to your bike at the hub.  You will therefore need a special adaptor if you have a gear hub.  The bike tow frame – The Follow Me Tandem – sells these separately.

See also Full Suspension, Frames Sizes

electric bike. bike types. goRide

Electric bike with battery over rear carrier and no patheway for an attachment to go to the seat post

Brakes & Gears

When adding the weight of a seat and your child to a bike the handling and balance of the bike will change.  This may take a bit of time to adapt too.  It is a great idea to have a good range of gears because getting going and climbing hills will be harder – electric bikes help here.  Brakes will have to cope with added weight meaning you will need to brake before you normally would and be careful to use both brakes evenly.

Please check your brakes regularly as well as having a good routine of checking your whole bike… Am I safe to ride?

get Ready and goRide –  Will your bike work for towing kids?

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?

Match your bike to a kids bike seat

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
Be Comfortable on a Women’s E-Bike Seat (Saddle)

Be Comfortable on a Women’s E-Bike Seat (Saddle)

To enjoy riding an e-bike you need to be comfortable on your e-bike seat (saddle). Do you experience discomfort, numbness, feeling like you need to move a lot on your seat or do you have to stand up intermittently on the bike to relieve pressure. These are all symptoms of problems at the contact point on the bike – between your bottom and the bike seat.

What can you do to improve your bike seat comfort?

The design of bike saddles has evolved. There are many different bike seats on the market with variations on the size and shape of the saddle, the materials used, where the focus of support and cushioning is. This precision and development has resulted in a much more comfortable ride but you only get these benefits if you get the right saddle for you. We need to understand you as a rider and the type of e-biking you do so we can match YOU to the ‘perfect’ bike seat (saddle).

Work your way through the the following 5 questions and tips to understand you as a rider (Your rider profile).
  1. Are you male or female? Women’s saddles are designed differently to male saddles because our bone structure (pelvis) and soft tissue is different to males. Along with other small differences womens bike seats are wider and shorter than males seats to give our wider and shorter bone structure support where we need it.
Tip ONE  – If you are a women you will need a women’s bike seat (saddle)
  1. What is your riding position? When we sit on the bike seat we have two points that absorb the greatest pressure. At the rear your sit bones and at the front your genital area.

Awareness exercise to know your sit bones and genital area: Sit upright on a firm/hard seat. Can you feel the weight on your 2 sit bones. If you place your hands, palm up under each of the cheeks of your bottom and rock from side to side and feel the boney points on each side – these are your sit bones. Remove your hands now lean forward from the hips can you start to feel the weight being transferred to the bone structures and soft tissue at the front.

The proportion of the weight or pressure that these areas will absorb is dependent on your riding position. Different types of bikes put your body in different riding positions.  Bike seats have been designed to have the right support and cushioning in the right areas based on your riding position. From fully upright rider where the proportion of weight and pressure is absorbed at the rear of the seat to a forward bend riding position where the weight and pressure is absorbed more forward on the seat in the genital area.

To define what is YOUR riding position we need to work out your riding angle it will range between 15-90 degrees. Measure the angle between the bike seat and the length of your back – your spine. What is your riding angle or your riding position?

Tip TWO – Know the position you ride in (your riding angle) 
Variations in riding angle

Riding angle = angle between line of seat and line of back – what is yours?

15 degree riding angle

Riding angle = angle between line of seat and line of back = 30 degrees

40 degree riding angle resized

Riding angle = angle between line of seat and line of back = 40 degrees

80 degree riding angle resived

Riding angle = angle between line of seat and line of back = 80 degrees

3. Where do you ride and the type of riding you do?

  • Town riding/short commuting/riding. Rides in urban environments. Has a short  commute to work. Rides short distances for fitness.
  • Mountain biking – off road trail rider.
  • Long distance commuting/riding or touring– You commute or ride for fitness regularly and over long distances.  Do or want to do multi-day rides.
  • Road riding – rides on the road on a road bike set up.
  • Recreational riding – rides in urban areas,on the road and cycleways/ bikepath for fitness
  • Multi-environment /all-round riding – all types of riding – on and off road –  over long distances and on one bike.

The shape of the bike seat where the cushioning and support is concentrated will vary depending on the type of riding you do.  For example a town rider on a bike that has you in an upright riding position should have a more pear shaped saddle to offer maximum support and cushioning. Compare this to a more intense rider, like a road rider, who should have a T shaped saddle because this saddle is designed to give support and cushioning but avoid the risk of chafing.

Tip THREE – Know where you ride and match a bike saddle to that riding

4. How long do you ride for and how often you ride ? 

Different materials used in a bike seat (saddle) will provide cushioning and support for different lengths of time and how regularly you ride.

Tip FOUR – Know how long you ride for and how often you ride.

5. Do you have any areas of tenderness?

  • Genital tenderness or sensitivity on or off the bike. Discomfort or numbness in the genital area is not acceptable so DO NOT PUT UP WITH IT.  Cutouts solve this problem.  Generally the bigger/wider the cut out in the saddle the more relief you will gain.  Depending on the degree of sensitivity you are experiencing from slight to unbearable there is a solution out there for you.
  • Tail bone tenderness or sensitivity on or off the bike
  • Low back pain tenderness or sensitivity on or off the bike
Tip FIVE – Know your specific tenderness requirements and find the seat that matches those requirements.
Match your riding profile to the right women’s e-bike seat using our goRide resources.

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Receive goRides Personalised Women’s Bike Saddle Solution

There is a little more you can/should do!

Once you have the perfect saddle it is important that you fit the saddle correctly and work to find what we call at goRide your Bike Seat ‘Sweet Spot’. Being comfortable at this contact point with the bike is vital for your enjoyment of riding. DO NOT settle for a seat that is not designed for YOU or one you have not fitted correctly. For the ultimate in comfort match your riding to the ‘perfect’ padded biking pant and you may also benefit from a Natural Chamois Cream

get Ready and goRide –  Be comfortable on a Women’s e-Bike Seat (Saddle)

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

Related Resources:

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
Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice

Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice

Yet again, as we are discovering with so many riding related things, there is so much choice… women’s riding clothing, specifically designed for moderate to high intensity exercise, can come in all sorts of options which is great if you know what you’re looking for. Come with me on a journey that will take a look at Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice for exercise so you can better understand what you should be looking for and why it’s a good choice.  If you’re riding is easy or low intensity, there is no need for special clothes.  Just allow movement and be comfortable…see What to wear on a bike?

What Should the Fabric in Womens Riding Clothing do?

Control Moisture. You are dealing with two elements here 1. Sweat/heat being trapped creates condensation on the inside of your clothing so allow this mositure to get out so that it is not absorbed  2. Rain – stopping moisture from getting in and being absorbed.

Why do you need to control moisture? Once your clothing is wet, in warm conditions, it will lead to chaffing, and in cold conditions, it will lead to hypothermia. The combination of wet clothing & wind is dangerous and riding creates a draft without any help from the actual weather conditions.  Find out more… Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

Allow Movement. Clothing should stretch and be non restricting. Places that this movement is needed are generally joints so across your shoulders, elbows, hips, butt, knees…

Fabric choice. Women's riding clothing. goRide

Synthetic T-Shirts are good for heat control in summer

Womens Riding Clothing - fabric choice. goRide

Merino tops are ideal for winter riding

Holster Hi Rise. Terry Capri. goRide

Lycra 3/4 pants with a relaxed style fit

Terms you will come across…Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice
  • Wicking – allows moisture to move through the fabric weave, pulling it off your skin onto the surface of the fabric to evaporate which is cooling. These types of fabrics have a direction of pull so don’t wear them inside out!
  • Breathable – a bit of a contradiction as it prevents water from entering while allowing moisture usually in the form of body heat out.  See our story on Breathable Jackets
  • Lycra – lycra is a brand name for the generic term spandex and can also be called elastane. Weaved into a fabric it allows stretch and holding of shape. Our Women’s Padded Bike Pants Buying Guide will help you see the range of choices.
  • Fast drying – as the name suggests dries at a rapid rate, usually found in base layer garments. Nike coined the term “Dri-fit”
  • Anti-microbial – also called odour resistant, this is a treatment applied to the fabric to prevent the build up of bacteria that leads to smell
  • Water resistant – repels water to a certain degree
  • Waterproof – does not allow water to pass through the fabric.  See our story on Waterproof Jackets
NATURAL

Bamboo – wicking, soft, durable, naturally anti-microbial

Merino – wicking, breathable, warm, naturally anti-microbial

“IF YOU REMEMBER ONLY ONE THING ABOUT NATURAL FIBRES, IT SHOULD BE THAT COTTON IS A TERRIBLE CHOICE FOR MODERATE TO HEAVY EXERCISE”

Avoid cotton in your base layers (next to your skin), even in your socks. Why? Cotton is hydrophilic which means it is really good at absorbing water and is not quick drying. It can hold up to 25x its own weight in water. This leads to chaffing in the heat and hypothermia in the cold…

goRide’s Neck & Head Warmers have a layer of merino fabric

SYNTHETIC

Nylon, polyester, lycra create combinations that can be…

wicking, breathable, fast drying, odour resistant when treated, stretch, durable

Expect blends, manufacturers create exceptional fabrics by choosing two or more fibres for their performance benefits… So as much as you can match your level of exertion to the fabric features.

Kids goUnders are made from Supplex which is a stretchy polyamide fabric

Outer layer. Women's riding clothing. goRide

OUTER LAYER

Wind proof, water proof, water resistant, seam sealed, breathable, reflective, bright

Includes rain jackets, fleece, puffers, waterproof trousers

Mid layer. Women's riding clothing. goRide

MID LAYER

Breathable, warmth, anti-microbial, easy to remove – zips/openings

Includes fleece/micro fleece/merino jackets, long sleeve, high necks, hoodies, leggings, shorts, arm & leg warmers

Padded riding underwear made by goRide

BASE LAYER

Wicking, soft, anti-microbial, stretch, light weight

Includes sports bras, underwear, singlets, t-shirt, cycle shorts/underwear, socks, gloves, beanies

Tips for Cleaning Women’s Riding Clothing
  • some of these fabrics are water repelling so not easy to clean which leads to smelly exercise gear…pre-soaking is the answer. Either with a anti-microbial detergent or 1 cup of vinegar in a bucket or wash tub of water
  • do not use fabric softener on any technical activewear fabric
  • wash inside out in cold to warm water on a gentle machine cycle
  • avoid tumble drying on a high heat as this weakens the lycra in your fabric
  • look for technical fabric that is fast drying, colour/fade resistant & anti-wrinkle
get Ready and goRide –  Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice

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

Related Resources:

What to Wear on a Bike

Bike in Everyday or Recreational Clothes

Why wear Padded Bike Pants?

Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

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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Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?

Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?

Getting a first or new helmet for your child can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many choices on the market so it’s hard to know if you’re making a good one.  Let us help you with this simple story.  ‘Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?’ compares different helmets so you can make the right choice and know what to look for as they grow.  Have a read of the six options below and consider what is the right solution for your family.

  • Toddler/First Helmet
  • Kids/Youth Helmet
  • Multi Sport Helmet
  • Kids Traffic Riding Helmet
  • Kids/Youth Mountain Biking Helmet (add a rear light for on road use)
  • Youth All Round Helmet (including Mountain Biking)

HEAD GROWTH

Keep the following information about head growth in mind and never buy a helmet that your child can grow into. Firstly, a child must be able to sit up independently and wear a helmet to ride on a bike.  This can happen anywhere from 9 months onwards.  For more on this topic see Biking with Babies on Board.  The average head size for a 1 year old is 46cm.

A kids head grows and changes.  Each child will have different rates of growth and times when they are growing.  So you can’t just guess size, you need to get a helmet that fits them now, not something they can grow into.  Once you have the correct size helmet you need to fit it correctly to your child’s head shape.  Most 6 yr olds have a fully grown head (this is an average your child may be different), from here on their face structure will grow and change but you will notice very little difference in their head circumference.

What this means for helmet buying is that children as young as 6yrs old can fit into adult size helmets. Please be aware of the weight of an adult helmet on a kids head – go as lightweight as possible if you choose to do this.  “Youth” helmets tend to be an adults size small with kids graphics on them, cheaper components to keep the price down & lighter in weight.

Find the right kids/youth bike helmet solution and make sure their helmet fits then head for the great outdoors…Oh yeah if they won’t wear a helmet or refuse to keep it on then no riding. They are simply not ready to go for a bike ride so try again in a few weeks time.

TODDLER/FIRST HELMET

Age Range – approximately 1yr to 4yrs  Size Range – 45 to 49cm (x-small) & 49 to 53cm (small)

MUST have features: Lightweight – really important in this age range especially for 1-2yr olds, full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) and easy to use adjustable fit system.

GREAT to have features: Pinch guard on chin strap, ponytail compatible, bright colours for visibility, good ventilation

We Recommend…Giro Scamp 

The Scamp is the best toddler/first helmet we could find in the market because it is extremely lightweight, 251grams, and starts from a head circumference of 45cm.  It has fully adjustable straps as well as offering a rear dial fit system – helping you to manage a growing head.  It mimics the shape of a child’s head coming down low and flat at the back of the head.

Bright appealing colours and graphics help with a toddler wanting to wear a helmet and also add to visibility in traffic

Low and flat at the back of the head means great head coverage and ideal for wearing in kids bike seats & using on balance bikes

Easy to use fit adjustment systems are really important for kids helmets to get a secure & stable fit every time they put their helmet on

KIDS/YOUTH HELMET – Recreation

Age Range – approximately 3yr to 12yrs  Size Range – 47 to 54cm (child) & 50 to 57cm (youth)

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) this age range is riding independently and will crash more often than any other time in their lives.  In mold construction will give a helmet the ability to absorb knocks, strength and durability. Lightweight and easy to use adjustable fit system so the helmet is secure and stable on their heads.

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & sweat absorption, pinch guard on chin strap for the kids, bright colours for visibility in traffic.

Kids bike helmet buying guide
We Recommend…Bell SideTrack Kids & Youth 

The Sidetrack is the best kids/youth helmet we could find in the market because it has such a great shape and an easy to use adjustable dial system to get a secure fit every time they ride.  It mimics the shape of a child’s head coming down low and flat at the back of the head.  All this makes it a great helmet for when they first begin to ride a bike and to take them off road exploring with the family.

Bright appealing colours and graphics help with visibility in any environment

The Bell has great head coverage making it ideal for kids learning to ride and riding in new places

The Bell fit system is called Ergo Dial and is a simple rotating dial found at the back lower edge of the helmet

MULTI-SPORT HELMET

Age Range – approximately 2yr to 12yrs  Size Range – 48 to 52cm (small) & 52 to 56cm (medium)

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including ear/temple protection.  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts. Certification for use in the sports you are participating in – snow, water, skate, biking

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & sweat absorption, pinch guard on chin strap for the kids, varying pad shapes and sizes to enhance secure fit and as lightweight as you can find but also provide insulation in cold weather.  A single hand chin buckle release is awesome when dealing with snow gloves.

We Recommend…Egg Helmets & Skin $179.00

Multi sport helmets give you the ability to use one helmet across a range of activities your family enjoys.  There are not many of these helmets on the market that are specifically designed for children but we found Egg Helmets.  They are certified for snow, water, skate and biking.  The protection they offer is top of the line with a patented multi impact base helmet. The elastic Skins which are simply attached over the base helmet provide what every kid wants colour & fun.  The helmet has an amazing chin strap, that fits into the side of the helmet rather than joining in the middle.  It is released by pushing a button on either side of the helmet.

Fun removable “Skins” allows you to change your look

Multi sport helmets offer a good return on your investment as you use them all year for all your activities

The Egg offers a full head coverage, extremely tough yet lightweight helmet.  Good fit is achieved through the pads

KIDS TRAFFIC RIDING HELMET

Age Range – 2 to 8yrs  Size Range – 46 to 51cm (x-small), 51 to 56cm (small)

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head).  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.

GREAT to have features: Rear light vent & bright colour.  The helmet is acting as a visibility aid, drawing driver attention with the rear light on flashing mode.

kids traffic helmet
We Recommend… Cratoni Maxster Pro 

If you are choosing to let your child ride use their bike as transport or you choose to tow your child through traffic their helmet should provide them with added safety.  The Cratoni Maxster Pro has that ability.  Not only does it have a great fit system & full head coverage including temporal protection, it has a rear dial light.  This light is great for use in traffic and will always be with them whenever they put their helmet on their head.

kids grip & kids bell

Great head coverage and durable design are both necessary safety features for wherever they ride

kids traffic helmet

Appealing bright colours

KIDS/YOUTH MOUNTAIN BIKING HELMET

Age Range – approximately 6yr to 12yrs  Size Range – 50 to 57cm (one size)

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including MIPS (multi directional impact) protection.  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing.  Visor removability.  Ability to add a rear vent light for on road/in traffic riding.

We Recommend… Giro Tremor 

As your child steps up to the challenge that is mountain biking so should their helmet step up in its ability to protect their head and the features it offers.  The Giro Tremor does just that.  It has the best dial fit system we could find in a kids helmet along with the added protection of MIPS technology.  The internal pads are made from the same fast drying, sweat wicking fabric as adult Giro helmets.  Eighteen vents & 5 airflow channels throughout the full head coverage design allows for great air movement and keeps the helmet lightweight (306gms).  It also has an optional rear vent light to assist with visibility in traffic – school commute riding, activities/sports practices.

MIPS offers another element of impact protection to increase their safety while riding technical tracks

Roc-Loc Sport fit system is top of the line for achieving a secure & stable position for your helmet

ALL ROUND/ MOUNTAIN BIKING HELMET

Age Range – approximately 10yr+  Size Range – Small 51 to 55cm, Medium 55 to 59cm, Large 59 to 63cm

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including MIPS (multi directional impact) protection.  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners, density/quality of foam.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing.  Visor removability, google compatibility, bright colour options to increase visibility in traffic. 

We Recommend…Giro Cartelle (Girls) or Giro Chronicle (Boys) 

When your teenager chooses to ride a bike all over town during the week and spends time off road in the weekends you want a helmet that is up to the task of being well used.  The Giro Cartelle & Chronicle (adult helmets) deliver on all the features we ask you to find in a performance helmet.  They have a Roc Loc 5 dial system that includes vertical adjustment this means you can get as good a fit as possible no matter the shape of their head & hair!   Three sizes also helps with getting a helmet to fit their head correctly.  MIPS is another element of protection from impacts at angles.  This will help when preteens/teens start exploring intermediate and advanced off road tracks.

MIPS offers another element of impact protection to increase their safety while riding technical tracks

Roc-Loc 5 fit system allows for vertical adjustment as well as horizontal tightening

GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HELMET…

As you may have gathered from reading the information above it is not enough just to get the right size helmet for your child or teenager you must also take the time to fit the helmet to their head shape.  This involves getting it low, level, secure & stable…

PLEASE READ How to Size & Fit a Kids Bike Helmet

 

WHEN TO REPLACE A HELMET
  • when it becomes too small – refer above it needs to fit down onto the head, maximum 2 fingers above eyebrows
  • after any type of crash or impact.  If the helmet has done its job it will have absorbed the force of the incident so if they say they hardly knocked their head or didn’t feel it bump, it doesn’t mean the helmet is safe to use again
  • the more it’s used the more it will deteriorate. Every time it is dropped or bumped or absorbs vibrations it is reducing its ability to protect them! A rough guide line for well used kids helmets is 3-4 years
INSPECTION & SAFETY
  • regularly inspect for damage, wear & tear, cracks, splitting, dents, the shell separating from the liner, breakage in the MIPS, fraying straps, broken buckles
  • never remove a MIPS from the helmet
  • replace the pads to ensure good fit over time
  • store in a safe place out of direct sunlight
WASHING
  • gently with warm soapy water.  Pads can be removed and placed in a washing machine but do not put in a tumble drier
  • do not put helmet in the dish washer (can’t believe I just wrote that bit of advice but there you go)

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