Bike path riding is a great way to introduce your family to the joys of spending time on a bike. These types of paths are often separated from traffic and will connect you to nature by giving you access to beautiful parts of your local community and the New Zealand environment. Bike path riding includes
- urban bike paths or cycleways
- off road trails that connect or take you to destinations often “shared” with walkers
- simple wide off road tracks
- four wheel drive tracks
- purpose built cycle trails e.g NZ Cycle Trail network
So if you want to start this kind of riding with a young family – from age 1 – what are the best kids bike seats for bike path riding (fitness/trail riding)?
The Do Little child bike seat is a mid mount seat for 2 to 6yr olds
On the Bike or Towed by 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?
For bike path riding with kids you want a seat that they will be comfortable in for extended amounts of time. The whole point of having them on the bike with you is so you can explore further and go to places they would find challenging riding on their own balance bike or bike.
If you primarily want to ride on a bike path, in a traffic free environment, we think that a front or mid mounted seat is the ideal choice. This is because they get the view you get and the interaction between the two of you will be easy.
Another great option worth your consideration is towing your child in a bike trailer or on a trailer bike. These towed options are more of an investment but come with the added advantages of increased storage, weather protection and impressive age ranges.
Yepp Mini Front Bike Seat $219 – Best interaction & you can start from age 1
Yepp Mini front mounted child bike seat
Yepp Mini attached via an A-Head adaptor to a mountain or trail bike
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.
Front attaching bike seats are designed for use on ‘town’ style bikes. Anything that puts you in a fairly upright position will work really well with this seat. But 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.
Learn more about the Yepp Mini
Do Little Child Bike Seat $155 – good age range and value
Do Little Child Bike Seat – mid mount
Do Little with older child
The Do Little is one of the best options for bike path riding if you are comfortable with your child being unharnessed from a young age. Kids will learn balance and what keeps them safe really quickly so don’t be too put off by this. The age range for a Do Little is from 2yrs up to 6 or 7 – around 1.4m tall. It will only work with kids up to this age if the rider is tall – long arms & larger bike frames create space. Or if you are using a town/upright style bike that creates a lot of space (see photo at beginning of the story).
Do Little is a New Zealand made product, it was the first company to make a mid mount bike seat without a harness and was designed when mountain biking first began to get a following in NZ. This seat works really well on bike paths because again the child gets to see everything you are seeing and can happily chat with you about whats going on.
Mid mount seats put the weight of your child really close to the centre of your bike. This works to your advantage because added weight can lead to handling problems and a sense of tipping or being unbalanced. On the more exciting undulating, curving bike paths you will have the best balance and control. This will give you and your child a feeling of safety and lead to big smiles.
Bike Path Riding Using a Do Little – 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. Also always factoring in that your child is not secured to the bike, if they start to move around this will effect your balance and steering.
You may want to lower your seat at first as you adjust to riding with a child between your arms, this is only natural. Try to return your seat to its normal height as soon as you feel comfortable. This will allow you to maintain your natural pedalling style, improves your power and also increases the gap between you and a larger older child.
WeeHoo Turbo Trailer Bike $579 – great storage, great age range, really versatile
WeeHoo Turbo Reclined Seat Trailer Bike – towed by the bike
WeeHoo harness system and storage
If you are considering towing a child on bike paths the WeeHoo is the stand out choice in this market. It has an impressive age range from 2 to 9yrs with fully adjustable harness and foot position. It comes with 8L of storage making carrying food, clothing etc a breeze.
The reclined design is unique to WeeHoo and comes with the major advantage of providing a really supported seat that has a harness. This makes using a trailer bike with younger children – in this case from 2yrs of age an option. Normally trailer bikes can only be used with an older child from 4yrs of age – and they tend to sway about a bit. This seat works really well on bike paths particularly over distance where your child can choose to assist you by pedalling, relax for a while, have a drink break or even fall asleep.
Trailer bikes put the weight of your child & gear directly behind your bike. With the ability to tow up to 9yr olds and store stuff your bike needs to have a good gear range and good, well maintained brakes. The single wheel design of this towed seat means it doesn’t have the width issues that bike trailers can have with their double wheels. It will follow the line of your bike wherever you choose to go, over whatever type of terrain.
get Ready and goRide – The Best Kids Bike Seats for Bike Path Riding
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide – On the Bike
Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide – Towed by the Bike
Biking with Babies on Board – NZ Law
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Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide