I do not know about you, but I love cycling. I used to go to work on my bicycle (not when it rained, obviously), but the rest of the time, I used to ride my bike pretty much everyday. Ever since I was a kid, my dad put me on a bike, and I never got down, so to speak. I learned to love it at a young age, which is why I instilled this in my child as well.
I took a break for a few years because you know…baby, and I did not have the time. However, by the time my kid reached toddler size, I bought a bike child seat, and off we went. My boy loved it, and he still does, although he is a big boy now and has his bike. It still has the training wheels on, but it does not matter. I managed to teach him to love it just as I do.
We should take some lessons from countries such as the Netherlands or Denmark. They learned to use bikes safely and conveniently. As a result, they have more bikes than they have cars. The first step in instilling this in the next generation is to teach your kids from an early age that riding a bike is fun. And it all starts with a child bike seat.
The benefits of a child bike seat
As I started to ride my bicycle with my kid on his chair, I began to notice some behavioral changes. It did not happen all at once. As I was looking at him the last few days, I analyzed him a bit and decided to share the results of my so-called analysis. Maybe you can learn from me and pass on the knowledge. Keep in mind that these learnings happened over a few years.
- It is entertaining – taking your kid on a child bike seat will provide him/her with good-quality entertainment. It is free and is better for your child’s health anyway. A few hours outside in the sun (but not too hot) will do a lot of good. Your child will be laughing, smiling, and waving at people as you pass them by. My son did the same thing. He liked it when I used to speed up a little bit. It was like a mini version of a rollercoaster. Try it out yourself, and you will see. Your baby will be happy.
- You can model good biking behavior – safety should always be first. A helmet is a must, all the time. However, I am talking about the behavior you have in traffic while on a bike. As a toddler, the child learns everything by keeping a close eye on everything you do. One of the things I notice while I was with my child in a child bike seat was that he started to raise his hands whenever I was signaling. He was 2. Now he does it on his own. I did not even have to tell him to do it. He knew what to do the first time he got on his bike. I find that amazing.
- Community bonding – you probably know how people live in the suburbs. Everyone knows everybody, which is lovely most of the time. Whenever I took my son on a bike ride in the neighborhood, he used to wave at everybody, and everybody waved back. He was so happy. He got to know a lot of people. I do not know if it is a direct effect of that or not, but he is not shy. He never hides behind me when he meets new people. He knows all the neighbors. And their dogs.
All the things above represent a skill. It is something that kids need to learn from an early age. It is hard to believe that a child bike seat can have such an impact, but getting out in the world will usually have such an effect. The primary benefit of a child bike seat is that it will do precisely that. It will take your child into the world at a young age.
How to choose the best child bike seat
Let’s get to practical things, shall we? Choosing the best child bike seat is not difficult. You just need to pay attention to some of the specifications a particular product has. To help you, I made a list of the most important things you need to consider before you purchase a child bike seat. They are as follows:
- Compatibility – not all child bike seats are created equal. As a result, you need to check whether a particular product is compatible with the bike you have. If you do not check that, you may end up with a child bike seat that you have no way of mounting it.
- Type – there are several types of child bike seats. You need to choose between a front-mount child bike seat and a back-child bike seat. I find that this factor is a matter of preference, and each type has its pros and cons. I prefer the front mount child bike seat because that way your child has a better field of view. The occasional bug will get in your kid’s eye or mouth, but hey, such is life.
- Size – you need to choose the size of the child’s bike seat according to your kid’s age and weight. Some people put their kids on a bike seat as soon as they can stand on their tush. The models you see online will usually tell you that they can accommodate a child that measures a maximum of x inches and weighs x pounds/kilograms. I think you got it from here.
- Shoulder strap design – this is a crucial aspect, and you probably want to put it as number one on your list. Shoulder straps will keep your child fixed in place, thus safe. All models come with such a safety feature, but the design differs. The child bike seat I had for my son was a Y-design harness. I was delighted with it, and there were no mishaps. The shoulder straps were adjustable, which you should go for too because the child will grow. That way you can keep him/her safe over the years.
- Additional features – usually I go for the more, the merrier. Child bike seats come with all kinds of extras, you can go for a model that has an adjustable footrest or a reclinable seat. Headrest vs. no headrest. Handlebar or not. You can even go for a model that has a suspension system.
What are the best child bike seats?
The online world is filled with countless models from several manufacturers. Making a choice may seem confusing, but as long as you use the information I provided above, you should make your decision easier. If you need another opinion, you could read some child bike seat reviews online to see what other parents bought and if they are satisfied. It cannot hurt. Meanwhile, take a look at the products below.
CyclingDeal Rear Baby Bike Seat
The model from CyclingDeal gives you a sense of security just by looking at it. It seems sturdy, well-constructed, and able to keep your child safe while riding your bike. It has a reliable and good-looking design, and your child will be very comfortable in it. People who have already bought it are delighted, and I am sure you will be too if you decide on this model.
The CyclingDeal child bike seat features a universal quick-release bracket that will make mounting and unmounting quick and easy. It is compatible with most bike frames (27.2-40 mm diameter round frames), but if you have a dual suspension bike, you need to look for another model. This model was designed and tested for children who weigh under 40 pounds no matter the age.
As for safety, the CyclingDeal child bike seat is equipped with an adjustable shoulder harness, and the footrest and the foot straps are also adjustable for your child’s comfort and safety. The height of the seat backrest is also adjustable so that your child will sit comfortably as he or she grows. The design of the seat is a wrap-around cocoon for maximum protection. The recessed area provides some additional room for your kid’s helmet, and at the same time, it will prevent your child from slumping forward.
Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat
Just like the previous child bike seat, this is a model that you can install on the rear of your bike. The mounting and dismounting can be achieved in seconds thanks to its universal quick-release bracket. It is compatible with most bikes that have 27.2-40 mm in diameter for round frames and 40 x 55 mm for oval frames.
Thule RideAlong has integrated protection wings that safeguard your child’s hands when you lean the bike against a wall. The 3-point adjustable harness will keep him or her safe at all times. The product was tested on children ages 9 months to 6 years old. The maximum weight capacity is 48.5 pounds. While taking an infant on a child bike seat is possible, if your child is under 1 year old, it is best to ask a pediatrician if you should.
One of the best things about the Thule RideAlong is that it features a DualBeam suspension system it absorbs the road shock and your child will enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride. Since the footrests and the foot straps are single-hand adjustable, your child will fit in this seat until he or she reaches 6 years old.
Pep Perego Orion Front Mount Child Seat
Since the previous two products are rear-mount child bike seats, I thought that you may be interested in a front-mount child bike seat for a change. The Pep Perego Orion is one of the best in this category, and I think your child will enjoy it. It comes in beautiful bright colors, but the features are not disappointing either.
The seat can be installed on most bikes that have a frame from 32 mm to 52 mm. The one-click installation system will make mounting and unmounting a piece of cake. You will complete the process in just a minute with no hassle. Even so, the unit is stable on your bike, so you do not have to worry it will come off.
The Pep Perego Orion was designed for children starting from 12 months, but as soon as your child weighs over 33 pounds, you can no longer use it. It features adjustable footrests, and the 3-point harness can be adjusted as your child grows. While the seat is made of durable plastic, the backrest is padded for more comfort. The handlebar will is a bonus addition, and your child can hang on it while you two are riding the bike.
To be honest, I like all three seats, but if I had to choose one, I would go with the Pep Perego Orion Front Mount Child Seat. Not that I do not like the other two, but the Pep Perego Orion is a front-mount child bike seat, which means that your child will be able to see more than from the back. I think it is one of the best child bike seats you can find in this price range.
Buying a child bike seat is an excellent idea. Both you and your child take a rife and have some fun. You can bond as a family since you will be spending some time together, and the happiness will be visible on your kid’s face. One of the products above will help you achieve that, and no matter which one you choose, I am sure that you will be happy with your decision.