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 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 seat that attaches to your bike frame
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
Yepp Mini attaches to your exposed handlebar stem
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.
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
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