Many parents often ride their children on bike seats from the 6 months of age. Others may consider that age isn’t a big deal. However, in each country there are strict rules that establish the right age for children to start using bike seats.
So, if you don’t want to break the law because of the lack of knowledge, you should start learning from now. Today, we’ll explain you all you need to know about the age limit for baby bike seats, including some height and weight restrictions.
When can a baby ride on a bike seat?
To start using a bike seat, it’s recommended that the child is at least 9 months old. At that age, children can support their necks and heads on their own. Their muscles and bones are strong enough to prevent injuries.
Young children often fall asleep in their bike seats during long trips. When this happens, the child’s head may end up suspended forward, moving from side to side. If the child’s neck is still too fragile, injuries can be serious and even fatal.
So, it’s recommended to opt for a reclining baby bike seat. If the child’s head remains leaning back, the helmet will be retained inside the helmet pocket. So, the head will stay fixed in the same position, preventing sudden movements in the neck.
In some countries, the rules are even stricter, requiring the child to have a minimum age of 1 year to use a bike seat.
What is the minimum height allowed to use a baby bike seat?
There’s no minimum height allowed for a child to use a bike seat. In fact, you can find different sizes of bike seats that fit the height of your children.
Some models have an adjustable back, also allowing you to adjust the height of the shoulder straps. For example, in some models you can vary between 10-14 inches tall. Before buying any model, it’s convenient to measure your child’s back length with a measuring tape. Then choose a model that offers a higher back height.
Also, it’s convenient that the seat has adjustable footrests. That way, the child’s feet will be well supported at different growth stages. On models with wider variation ranges, you can adjust the height of the footrests between 4.5-10 inches.
A seat front is designed to support a maximum weight of 33 lbs. If a higher load is applied to the seat, the mounting bracket could break. On the other hand, rear-mounted seats can support a maximum weight of 48 lbs.
Rear-mounted bike seats supported on racks are much more stable and secure because of their multiple points of support. Thanks to this feature, the load is better distributed over the frame and wheels.
Bicycles with the suspension system provide extra support and reduce the destructive effects of vibration. When there’s vibration and excessive weight, there will be higher chances for the bike seat to break.
What is the age limit for using a bike seat?
Usually, when the child is more than 5 years old, he/she has already reached the permissible weight and height limit to use a bike seat. For 5 year old children, it’s more convenient to opt for other options, such as trailers, tow bars and tag-along bikes.
Tag-along bikes are bicycle bodies with a single wheel attached to an adult bike. The smaller bike is connected to the base seat of the bigger bike using a rigid bar. Certainly, it’s a safe and fun way to give your children their first cycling lessons.
On the other hand, tow bars allow you to connect two bicycles of different sizes. This option is much cheaper and more convenient than a tag-along bike, especially if you already have two different bikes.
Usually, the bar is located between the handle base of the rear bike and the seat post of the front bike.
However, if the comfort of your children is your biggest concern, it’s better to opt for a child bike trailer. Trailers are safer than bike seats because the child is only 6 inches from the ground, reducing the impact in case of accidents.
In addition, they can support weights greater than 80 lbs, allowing you to ride 2 children in the same trailer.
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As you can see, the minimum recommended age to start using baby bike seats is 9 months. However, it’s convenient that you take a look at the laws of your country that regulate these matters. Baby seats aren’t suitable for all ages. So, if you’re going to buy a new baby bike seat, it’s recommended that you know the height and weight of your child before to avoid mistakes.
If possible, take your children with you to the store to try the product first before buying it. Make sure to choose a reclining model, which includes helmet pockets, arm rests and suspension. That way, your child will be more comfortable and enjoy the trip even more.
Now that you know all about baby bike seats age, it’s up to you to make the most appropriate decision according to your requirements.