Babies and children will not cruise the streets with bikes but they can still have a share the experience of biking. This is where you’ll need a child bike seat as it allows the baby to stay in either the back or front while you ride. This means you and your baby can always share in the comforts and benefits of bike riding.
Child bicycle seats are the safest and commonest ways of riding on a bike with babies. They’re affordable and perfect for almost all bike type or child’s size. In this buying guide, we’ll look at some of the top 10 child bicycle seats available and also provide you with the things to consider when shopping for them.
The reviews will offer you all the help you can get to buy the Best child bike seat for your family.
The following are the 3 baby bike seat types and their features.
Front Mounted – They’re mounted on either the bike’s front tube or handlebars. Mostly, these seats are smaller than rear rack seats and best for children within the age bracket of 1 to 3. Since it’s on the front, the child will have a good view of the environment and easily interact with you.
Rear Frame – These seats mount on the bike’s rear frame allowing the baby to recline with ease. They’re very good for suspension or shock absorption but difficult to mount on most bikes.
Rear Rack – As the name implies, they’re mounted on the rack at the back of the bike. So if your bike didn’t come with a rack, you got to buy one. They lack the option to recline neither do they offer suspension.
So, if you’re yet to know the right seat to buy for your toddler, it’s time you looked at our recommendations below.
How Did We Pick the Best?
We spent 30 hours on research to pick out the most popular products on the market. After selecting the top 20 models, we spent 2 months testing them. But due to our limited time, we had to engage some community-based volunteers for help. By now, we’d got enough information about these products and how they fare over another.
Also, we consulted with parents and caregivers to ascertain their knowledge of these products. That’s not all, we checked on Amazon and other e-shops for their ratings by the various users. From the different reviews from the consumers’, we could figure out the greatest expectations.
So, with the data from web research, consumer ratings, personal experiences, and volunteers’ tests, we could rank the products by their mounting option, type, and features. Out of the 20 models we’d tested, we were able to select the 10 best bike seats for babies which you’ll never regret buying.
What to Consider While Buying Child Bike Seat?
It’s important to spend some time to decide if the seat you’re buying is the best for your kids. Below are the basic things to consider when placing your order.
Frame Mount vs Rack Mount
You can either mount the baby seat to the frame via the seat post or the bike’s rear rack. If you’re opting for the rear rack mount, it’s important to check its strength to support the baby’s weight.
While most bike types can support baby seats, others don’t. Most baby seats can only be mounted on round bike frames of a given diameter. For this reason, you’ll need to check the compatibility of your bike with the baby seat before buying.
Size of Your Frame – The larger the frame the easier you can mount a rear seat. Seat-post mounted baby bike seats don’t fit in bicycles with smaller frames making the rack mounted seats the perfect option.
Frame material – Best bikes for installing baby seats are those with aluminum and steel frames since they’re strong and durable.
Cable routing – you’ll not choose a frame mounting option if your bike has some wirings on the seat tube.
Ability to Recline – Seats that can recline improves the baby’s safety during sleep by providing support to the head and neck.
Locking and Quick Release – It’s important to choose seats that are easy to mount and unmount. Some of them come with quick-release features that allow you to clamp them without using tools. With this, you can easily remove them when going on a lonely ride. Also, getting a seat with an anti-lock feature will protect it from being stolen with ease.
Brake Type – If your bike is using a disc brake, then you’ll need a specialized baby seat instead of the regular ones which often interferes with such braking system.
Eyelets – The presence of eyelets on the bicycle makes installation of the rear-mounted baby seat easier. So, if your bike doesn’t come with an eyelet, you’ve got to buy a frame-mounted baby bicycle carrier.
Child Weight Limits – Most bike seats will indicate the maximum age of the child while others specify the rated child weight. The combination of these pieces of information will help you to choose the best bike seat for your child. Besides, it’s important to buy a seat that’s a little above your child’s present age and weight so she’ll grow in it.
Seat Weight – This is another important factor to consider when shopping for a suitable baby bike seat. Most babies are heavy which is the best reason to opt for a lighter seat to reduce the entire weight on the bike.
Suspension – This feature is very essential even though it’s not available in all the seats on the market. They come handy when riding on difficult terrain for cushioning the impact from the road on the child.
Shoulder Straps – A seat that doesn’t come with shoulder straps isn’t worth it. Besides, the straps should have easy to use buckles and also be able to secure the child. Some of the models have adjustable and flexible straps.
Our Top 10 Product List
These seats are listed by their features to simplify your buying decision. So, whatever you need, we’re certain you’ll find your ideal product here.
Keeping your child safe during the ride should be your greatest priority. Adhering to safety precautions will save you from accidents which could cause severe harm. However, here are the safety tips to follow when riding with your child.
Use Helmet – Ensure that you and the child wear the proper helmet to prevent head injuries or death.
Stick to the bike path – It’s safer to use the sidewalk if possible when riding with a child. Yet, you can ride on the right to flow with the traffic.
Think ahead – You’re no longer alone when riding with the child. So, you’ll need to be proactive in thoughts remembering you’ve got a minor with you to think and act for. It’s important to stick to road rules and signals to avoid problems.
Stay Visible – This is very important if you’re riding in the night or early morning hours. You need to wear colorful and flashy clothes to enhance your visibility. Besides, always use reflectors on the baby carrier.
Inspect the seat – Try to check if the seat is secured to the bike before hitting the road. Ensure that the safety lock is always engaged when the baby is in it.
Use the right seat – Each of the seats are rated by the child’s weight, height, and age. So, it’s important to use a seat that is perfect for the child. Besides, don’t ride if your child is below or more than the recommended age for the seat.
Secure the harnesses – Keep your baby secure in the straps and never leave the child alone in the seat.
Riding along with a child is a great adventure that creates a family bond while enhancing the baby’s mental growth and development. Child bicycle seats have become the easiest and safest way to give your child a good biking experience. These seats are available in different mounting methods and specs for you to buy depending on your preference.
You might opt for a rear-mounted baby bike seat like the Schwinn Deluxe which has vented seats to reduce wind drags. Another important model that is worth considering is the Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat with hand wings to keep the child safe when leaning the bike against a wall. Also, it can recline up to 20° for better child comfort during sleep.
Buying the Best child bike seat can be fun but it’s better and safer to adhere to the safety rules for riding with a child. Ensure that you make enough research to know the best seat to buy. However, we’re confident that this buying guide will lead you to choose the model that suits your needs.