Finally, spring has come! In such beautiful weather, you’ll want to go out on a bike, and even more so you’ll want to take your child on one of his many unforgettable trips. However, if you do not know how to comfortably and safely transport your child in a bicycle seat, we have prepared the perfect guide for you to help you get all this sorted. Shall we begin?
Bicycle seat - when to start taking your child on shared bike rides?
Are you looking for a convenient alternative to a car, but you do not know how to safely transport your child on a bicycle? Or maybe you want to take your child on a long bike trip, during which you will show them the most beautiful corners of our country? And more than that! From now on... you can do anything!
In today's post, I will introduce you to the topic of bicycle seats. See how they can help you with your daily chores and weekend pleasures. Let's go!
When can a child start riding in a bicycle seat?
There is no definite answer to the above question. After all, we must remember that each child develops at a different pace. However, there are a few tips that can tell you that your child is already ready to ride in a bicycle seat. First of all, the child should be able to stably sit by themselves. They must also be able to hold their head vertically. That is why I advise against putting the child in a bicycle seat from the child’s first, successful attempts at sitting up. It is worth calmly waiting a little longer and giving them time to get used to this new skill. There will certainly be time for cycling trips!
If you want to take a child with you on a bike trip who can not yet sit on their own, then a bicycle trailer may be a better choice. An example of such a solution is the KROSS Freedom.
How to choose a bicycle seat for your child
The right bike seat for a child is an extremely important choice! However, before we get into how to choose a child seat to provide them with the greatest comfort, it is worth first seeing how to mount it to the bike.
Bicycle seats can also be divided into two types - mounted to the seat tube and the carrier. Choosing the right one depends on whether your bike is equipped with a bike carrier or whether you plan to mount it on your bike. However, you must remember that not every car seat mounted to the trunk can match the one on the bike itself. The width of the carrier platform is important - some seats are adapted to narrower ones, and some to wider ones.
In the case of seats mounted to the seat tube, the most important thing is, as I wrote earlier, that the frame is made of aluminium or steel and has a rounded shape. Most touring and city bikes are made of such tubes, but if you plan to mount to an MTB or road bike, it is worth checking in advance whether the mounting clamp can be mounted on the frame.
First of all, I recommend adapting the bicycle seat to the bike, and not the bike to the seat. Remember that the best bike for this will be one with an aluminium or steel frame and a round seat tube. Unfortunately, if you have a carbon bike, I recommend using a bike trailer. Carbon does not like to be squeezed with too much force and installing the seat may end up damaging the bike frame.
Which bicycle seat to choose
There are many different bicycle seats available on the market, which differ in the solutions used. Individual models are also characterized by different facilities when it comes to the possibility of detaching from the bike when not needed. So, getting back to the question of how to choose a bicycle seat for a child.
The first and most important criterion should be your child’s safety. Remember that the seat should have the appropriate certificate - for Poland it is EN-14344. It means that the seat is designed for use with a classic or electric bike and allows you to carry a child weighing from 9 to 22 kilograms.
It is equally important for the seat to have seat belts. The unwritten standard is three-point belts. However, it is worth remembering that the five-point ones make it easier for the child to maintain the correct posture in the seat. Make sure that the selected model is also equipped with adjustable footrests with straps that will protect the child's legs from being hooked to the rear wheel of the bike. Some car seats also have additional reflexive elements to increase your visibility on the road. It is also worth making sure that the seat’s headrest is slightly higher. This will not only provide more comfort for the child but also support the head when needed most.
An interesting and commercially available mechanism, which is featured, for example, in KROSS Guppy bicycle seats, is the RS system. It allows the backrest to be tilted by 20 degrees, which effectively improves the child’s comfort while riding and makes it easier for them to find the most comfortable position in the seat.
Should a child ride in a helmet in a bicycle seat?
A very common question that many parents still ask themselves is whether or not a child should have a helmet while riding in a bicycle seat. And once again, the answer will not be unequivocal and is: it depends. Many experts recommend riding with a helmet. However, it should be noted that bicycle seats are very often profiled in a way that prevents comfortable riding in additional head protection. The baby's head may or may not bend forward, resulting in discomfort and strain. Putting a helmet on a child's head in a bicycle seat may therefore be associated with some difficulties in terms of taking a comfortable position while riding. However, it is worth noting that most of the safety tests that are carried out on bicycle seats do not include a helmet on the child's head.
Remember that each time this is the parent’s individual decision. Should a child wear a helmet when in a bicycle seat? It’s up to you.
Take a trip with your child
Whether you're taking your child in a bicycle seat to kindergarten or going on a bike trip, remember to familiarize them with the new experience first. A bike seat is a great addition to the bike, and will certainly allow you to experience new adventures and visit many great places! However, start with short rides that will familiarize your child with the bicycle seat. This way, you will be sure that your child will love riding as much as you!