Front mount seats do not fit ALL types of bikes. Work out if a front seat will fit on your bike.
Thule, Yepp & BoBike all make Minis which are a front mount kids bike seat (meaning your child and the bike seat are between you and the handlebars).
A front bike seat is attached and mounted to your bike at the handlebar stem by one of 2 adaptors (mounting brackets).
- Standard Adaptor (mounting bracket) sold with every Front Seat – Thule, Yepp or BoBike
- A-Head Adaptor (mounting bracket) only sold with the Front Seat for Mountain Bikes Combo (Yepp Mini)
To work out which adaptor will work on your bike you need to understanding the SPACE that is available or can be made available on the handlebar stem of your bike and the width or diameter of your stem
You also need to work out if you have room for a front seat and still be able to safely ride by understanding the SPACE between you & the handlebars
Please work through both points to understand if a Front Bike Seat is the right solution for your family.
Detailed information about BoBike attachment is still being created – the process is the same as for Thule & Yepp seats but the measurements are different. A standard BoBike adaptor requires 35mm of space. For a BoBike video that introduces the Mini go HERE
For details and video Thule & Yepp Front Seats…How to Attach A Front Mount Kids Seat
Not sure about working out space… choose to
Receive goRide’s personalised kids bike seat recommendation for your family. Use our Solution Finder. (For New Zealand residents only).
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What SPACE is available on your handlebar stem?
A handlebar stem is the vertical part of your bike that is found just under your handlebars. There are a huge variety of handlebar stems out there so you must understand what YOUR handlebar stem looks like to buy the correct type of Front Mount Kids Seat.
Front mount seats are made to fit onto handlebar stems 20 to 28mm in diameter. A lot of modern mountain bikes have 31.8mm or wider handlebar stems. These are too wide for the mounting systems to safely fit on so do not work with Front seats. If you don’t know your handlebar stem width… search on Google entering the full name of your bike (brand, model and year it was made) & use the word specifications.
Front Mount Seats sit on adaptors that clamp onto your 20 to 28mm handlebar stem. The adaptors are rectangular so to identify if you have enough space you need to work out if the rectangles will fit on YOUR handlebar stem.
For the A-Head Adaptor to fit you need an uninterrupted rectangle of 5mm (h) x 85mm (l)
For the Standard Adaptor to fit you need an uninterrupted rectangle of 21 mm or more (h) x 70mm (l)
If the height of your rectangle is less than 5mm and you have a threadless stem (see below) the only way to gain space is to buy a stem extender or a completely new stem. Please consult a bike mechanic to see whether this is an option for your bike.
A-HEAD adaptor attached to a threadless handlebar stem (a spacer has been removed to expose 5mm of space).
STANDARD adaptor attached to a quill/threaded handlebar stem (the space available was greater than 21mm).
Diameter of the stem must be between 20 to 28mm to attach the adaptor.
Find out which stem you have – threadless or quill handlebar stem. Then measure it!
- A Threadless handlebar stem – this type of stem is newer (more modern) and predominately found on ‘sport’ bikes. This stem clamps around the steerer tube. The only way to expose space on this type of handlebar stem is to remove spacers. (Spacers are generally 5mm or 10mm in height and look like rings wrapping around the stem).
Note: if you have spacers above the clamp you can re-organise the position of the clamp and spacers so that there is more exposed handlebar stem below the clamp.
For how to remove spacers: see How to attach a Front Mount Seat
This type of stem is commonly found on mountain bikes, sports or hybrid type bikes.
FOR A THREADLESS STEM
Measure the height of the rectangle that is available if you remove one or more spacers. Can you remove spacers to create a rectangle of either:
- 21mm (h) x 70mm (l) for the STANDARD ADAPTOR OR
- 5mm (h) x 85mm (l) for the A-HEAD ADAPTOR
This photo shows a spacer can be removed to create a rectangle with a height of 5mm to allow an uninterrupted rectangle (5mm x 85mm) for attachment of the A-Head Adaptor.
This stem also has a spacer (red) above the clamp. As mentioned above – the clamp and spacers can be re-organised on the stem to allow more space below the clamp for an adaptor to be attached.
A-Head Adaptor = Front Mount Seat for Mountain Bikes = The Thule Yepp Mini
Standard Adaptor = Front Mount Kids Seat = The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
- A Quill (also known as threaded) handlebar stem – you are looking for an older style stem on an older style bike. The stem will insert down into the steerer tube and be held in place by a nut & bolt. These types of stems are easily raised or lowered to vary height.
This type of stem is commonly found on town, urban, cargo bikes
FOR A QUILL STEM
Measure the height of the rectangle that is available or can be created (by loosening the nut to raise the handlebar stem). DO YOU HAVE A RECTANGLE OF 21mm (h) x 70mm (l) for the STANDARD ADAPTOR
This photo shows that this quill stem has a rectangle with a height of 21mm to allow an uninterrupted rectangle (21mm x 70mm) for attachment of the Standard Adaptor.
As this is a quill stem, it could be lengthened to more than 21mm if there was not enough space available.
Important: Most handlebar stems have a “minimum insertion” mark that shows how high they may safely be set. If you can see this mark, the stem is too high meaning you need more of the stem down in the tube. If your stem doesn’t have such a mark, a good rule of thumb is that there should be at least 2 inches/50 mm of stem inside the tube.
Standard Adaptor = Front Mount Kids Seat = The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
You should now know which adaptor you need and therefore which Front Seat you will be considering buying – Thule Yepp or Thule Nexxt?
Do you have enough SPACE between you & the handlebars for a Front Mount Kids Seat?
The space you need is different depending on the adaptor used. Did you need an A-Head or Standard Adaptor?
Using the A-Head Adaptor – Front Seat for Mountain Bikes – Yepp Mini
When the Yepp Mini is mounted on an A-Head adaptor you will need 43cm+ of space between your chest and the handlebars when seated on your bike seat/saddle. The A-Head adaptor mounts a front seat in a more reclined position therefore you require more space.
Yepp Mini mounted onto A-HEAD adaptor
Using the Standard Adaptor – Front Mount Kids Bike Seat – Thule Mini Nexxt
When the Thule Mini Nexxt is mounted on using the standard adaptor you will need 28cm+ of space between your chest and the handlebars when seated on the seat/saddle of your bike.
Thule Mini Nexxt mounted onto STANDARD adaptor
YOUR RIDING POSITION
Do you have enough SPACE? The amount of space that you will have available depends on your riding position and the size of your bike frame. Are you upright or in a lean forward riding position?
Leaning forward position
As your body position moves forward you have less space available for the Yepp Mini. Generally mountain styled bikes position the rider at a 65 to 45 degree angle to the bike seat.
How much space do you have between your chest and the handlebars? Do you have enough? (Remember the space you need will depend on the adaptor used).
Frame Size is IMPORTANT!
If this is your riding position – to have enough space you will most likely need a bike frame that is medium in size or bigger. That is a frame size of at least 42-43cm or 16 inches or more (medium frames suit a rider of 168-178cm in height).
To measure the size of your bike frame place your tape measure between the centre of the crank, up to the top of your seat tube (do not measure any of your seat post).
Generally riding town style bikes…think cruisers, retro or cargo bikes where the rider is sitting at an 85 to 90 degree angle to the bike seat. This straight back creates lots of room between you & the handlebars.
How much space do you have between your chest and the handlebars? Do you have enough space? (Remember the space you need will depend on the adaptor used).