Guide to carrying your child on a bike

The Guardian’s Peter Walker recently posted an excellent video of bike carriers in action. I wanted to share the video here and roundup some of the options mentioned that are available to cyclists.

You can wait until your kids are old enough to hop on their own little tyke bike, or you can start earlier with some seriously cool carriers now on the market. The carriers run the gamut from front and rear-attached seats to trailers, inexpensive to downright pricey and utilitarian or sleek.

Which carrier will be the best for carting around your little ones?

WeeRide child seat

WeeRide Front Mounted Childseat

This front mounted child safety seat is not only adorable, but it’s suitable for kids from 9 months to 4 years so you can take your tyke out as soon as he can sit up on his own. The WeeRide comes with a handy little lectern if the warm London sun gets to be too much and a nap is in order, plus a 5-point safety harness and adjustable foot rests to keep this cargo safe.

Unlike traditional child cycle seats this one gives kids a great view of the scenery—not just your back—so they can get used to how the world looks from the seat of a bicycle. Unfortunately it could be more comfortable for the cyclists as your arms and legs have to jut out more than normal, but it does keep your arms around the little one so they feel safe.

Seat your child on your bike

Hamax Rear Mounted Seat

If you enjoy long distance rides and want to share that love with the kiddies, the Hamax rear mounted child cycle seat has a cushioned seat and back rest along with a shoulder harness and foot restraints. This seat is ideal for kids between the ages of 4 to 5 years and some options even recline for a brief respite from the overwhelming scenery.

One thing you should know is that putting the Hamax seat on your bike will require a few moments of adjustment to the additional weight, but experienced cyclists will acclimate easily. The view may not be the greatest for your child, but you’ll be comfortable and you won’t need a babysitter!

Burley Trailer

Whether you have twins or you simply want to take your kids on a leisurely bike ride through the city, you’ll need a carrier with space and the Burley Trailer has it in spades. Even those with just one child will find the Burley offers additional storage space without increasing the load the bicycle has to bear.

Great for children up to 6 years old, the Burley Trailer comes with safety harnesses for two and a mesh cover so keep kids dry in the rain and cool in the hot summer sun. Get accustomed to carting this trailer someplace safe because you’ll need to get used to tugging something on the back of your cycle.

Nihola Cargo Bike

The Nihola cargo bike is like an updated version of the basic red wagon. This lightweight carrier attaches to the front of the bike, allowing you to cart around two kids up to 100kg on the bench seat and even fit a baby carrier in the front. In terms of rider and cyclist comfort, this carrier does it. The kids get a great view of the scenery and the cyclist is comfortable with the carrier out of their cycle zone.

Hase Pino (Half Recumbent)

This carrier allows you to put your kid up front and put them in charge of half the cycling job. They cycle in front in a recumbent position so you can see the road ahead and you steer and cycle in the back. Use the recumbent seat to teach children aged 3 and up how to cycle until they’re ready for a cycle of their very own.

Take a look at these bikes in action and see if any of them piques your interest!

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

8 Responses to Guide to carrying your child on a bike

  1. Thomas Derstroff 30/07/2013 at 6:07 pm #

    One vote for the WeeRide.

    The “frog-legged” riding position is an issue over long distances, however for a short nursery run or trip to the shops this is perfect. The seat can be quickly detached from the bar by means of one screw, so you can continue to work with your knees straightened. I did not find the arms being affected.

    The front position feels (not sure it is safer than a back seat) safe, with your arms wrapped around the passenger, who gets a great view. Similarly, you are close, for a running commentary of the scenery, and also see when he/ she starts taking off the gloves or other mischief. I find the handling of the bicycle is not affected, probably since the extra weight sits centrally between both wheels.

    The fit is very snug, with foot rests and a five-point harness being adjustable to grow along. We have used it from an of age of 11 months, and plan to use it well past two years of age, the instructions suggest four years.

    We’ve not used the pad to rest the head on, I believe this only comes into play over longer distances. Still feasible for a leisurely Sunday ride where the distance covered is secondary.

    On the competition: back seats are fine, though appear to affect the balance of the bicycle. I would love a trailer, but not for use in London. Not safe in traffic. End of. For the cargo bike and the recumbent hybrid. Great in theory, but not before London has adjusted to the presence of cyclists, and provides the space to store and park them.

  2. bostonbybike 31/07/2013 at 1:38 am #

    What you forgot to mention here (the video mentions it briefly) is that the biggest problem with transporting little children on bicycle is that they fall asleep easily.

    This is the problem I had:

    This makes all child seats pretty much useless in my opinion (for very young kids, that is) and the best solution is unfortunately the most expensive one – a trailer.

    • Alan Moore 31/07/2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Oh I dunno – most of the ‘car seat’ type ones will hold a sleeping kid; the WeeRide has that board in front of them specifically for napping on!

      Doesn’t work so well with my favoured setup: the Leco top tube seat, sans straps and back rest. But my daughter is old enough now for it not to be a problem.

      We are going on a cycling holiday in Holland next month though – planning to try out a trailer. Should be interesting.

  3. Christian Musgrave 31/07/2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I find that the FollowMe tandem is the best product for transporting children.

    It’s very simple to set up, provides a much more stable connection, and can be hitched / unhitched in no time.

  4. Anon 31/07/2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Interestingly a colleague suggested fitting a child seat to my bike (I’m relatively new to cycling on the road and have a thing with cars sitting practically on my back wheel) as she found cars tend to back off and give you more room if they think there’s a child on board.

  5. Jon 07/08/2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Bobike seats are often neglected in these discussions – no idea why as they are superb. The Bobike Mini is a much better design than a weeride which involves attaching a hulking great girder across your top tube.

  6. yakamoz 27/08/2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Actually, children falling asleep on the bike is not an issue! My kids fell asleep by putting their face down on the weeride pad, from about 9 months, and often slept there. It is a little slow riding, as you have to be careful not to turn or brake suddenly so their head doesn’t loll around too much, but otherwise fine. Likewise the hamax.
    Not sure about cars backing off to give you room, though, not my experience in London. I just try to make damn sure they can see me.

  7. Tony B. Goodson 06/01/2016 at 3:48 am #

    Bicycles should go in the same direction as the traffic flow, not against it. Ride in a straight line and use hand signals so drivers don’t have to second guess what you are about to do. Riding defensively also means using both your eyes and ears. You want to be able to hear a car coming behind you. Listening to music with a headset and riding is not riding defensively. Be alert to opening car doors, potholes, large cracks, or railroad tracks and anything that might cause you to lose control. Always look before turning, and watch for left or right turning traffic. Yield to traffic and pedestrians. Wear clothes that make you appear more visible.

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