Here’s an infographic that shows you all kinds of ways to transport kids on bikes! With so many people making the wise decision to go car-free these days, there is a pressing need to know how to transport kids on bikes. This post shows how to choose between front-mounted bike seats for kids; rear-mounted bike seats for kids; bike trailers for kids; tag-along bikes for kids; tow bars for kids’ bikes; longtail cargo bikes for transporting kids; bucket-style cargo bikes; and electric bucket-style cargo bikes. With so many choices to safely transport kids on bikes, maybe we will one day escape our dependence on cars!
First, here’s a video on how to transport kids on bikes:
To read much more about safely transporting babies and children on bikes, see this in-depth post with videos: 7 of the Best and Safest Baby and Child Bike Seats, with Reviews and Videos.
Next, here’s an infographic that sums up the primary options on how to transport kids on bikes:
So, there are definitely a whole lot of options out there to carry your kids on bikes. I am seeing more and more people transporting kids on bikes, and it’s a heart warming and inspiring sight to me! If you have the skills, you can actually custom make a device to take your kids on bike rides, as Stam did for his son Sean:
If you don’t have that level of skill, don’t despair: there are many options out there! This chart shows our picks for the 7 best child bike seats available.
Chart Comparing 7 of the Best Child Bike Seats
|Rear mounted, attaches to seat post||Best for children who are at least 18 months old. Rated for children from 9 months to 6 years old, up to 48.5 lb (22 kg)||5 different reclining options; adjustable footrests; height adjustable, padded safety harness with child proof safety buckle; springs; reversible, washable seat cover; quick release bracket||$267.56|
|Rear mounted, attaches to seat post||Best for children who are at least 18 months old. Rated to carry children up to 40 pounds (18 kg)||Complies with the most stringent European safety requirements and has won multiple design awards. Includes 5-point harness, adjustable footrests, shoulder pads; theft-proof; rated as “the Cadillac of bike seats”||Price not available|
|Front mounted, attaches to headset||Suitable for children from about 12 months, once they can comfortably hold their heads up for extended periods. Tested for children aged 9 months to 3 years old; rated for up to 33 lb (15 kg)||Easy mounting; soft and shock-absorbing seat; adjustable 5-point harness; comfort handle bar for child’s hands; adjustable foot rests and straps means that it can grow with your child||Price not available|
|Front mounted, attaches to headset and seat post and the headset||Suitable for children from about 12 months, once they can comfortably hold their heads up for extended periods. Rated to carry children up to 40 pounds||Very thick seat and back padding; adjustable footrests; plush headrest in the front for nap time.||$68.51|
|Trailer; attaches to seat post||Can carry up to 2 children; rated for up to 100 pounds (45 kg)||Exceeds ASTM standards for safety and durability; lightweight; hammock-style seat; 5-point harness; windows have UPF 30 sun protection; full internal roll cage; bright colors; reflective elements; safety flag||Price not available|
|Separate mini-bike that attaches to seat post of your post||Recommended for children aged 4 to 9; rated for up to 75 pounds. Weighs 24 pounds||Allows child to help with the pedaling and learn some cycling skills||Price not available|
|Bicycle that is especially designed to carry cargo - in this case, children||Suitable for children over one year old. Exact suitability depends on which one you choose - be advised by the manufacturers' recommendations||Features will vary depending on which one you buy; some carry children in the front, others at the back; option of getting an electric cargo bike||Check with your local bike shop|
Front Mounted Bike Seats to Transport Your Kids on Bikes
These are a common way to transport kids, and it gives you as the parent complete control, plus the ability to keep a constant eye on your child, and reassure her or him as well. Therefore, it is ideal for very young kids.
A great option is the Yepp Mini, which is highly rated, easy to mount, and very comfortable. It includes a handlebar for your child’s hands, as shown in the photo above.
Rear Mounted Bike Seats to Transport Your Kids on Bikes
Some people feel safer having their kids tucked behind them, not up front. If that is you, there are many options available. A great option is the Yepp Maxi, which complies with the most stringent European safety requirements and is certified by the Dutch TNO Institute. It won these awards: Baby Innovation Award Winner 2011, Reddot Design Award Winner 2009, Good Industrial Design Winner 2009 and 2010, Dutch Design Award 2009, Fiets Innovative Award 2009. It attaches to your seat post and includes a 5-point harness, adjustable footrests, and shoulder pads for comfort.
Bike Trailers to Transport Your Kids
I see many more parents transporting their kids with bikes on all the new separate bike lanes that have been built in Vancouver over the last decade, thanks to Vision Vancouver and thousands of hard-working cycling activists. A very common way to do this is with a trailer, as in these photos.
For example, the Burley Bee Child Trailer is one of the most trusted products on the market. I used to own one myself, when my kids were little, and it lasted forever. It is one of the lowest priced, ASTM-certified child trailers, and is lightweight. A new innovation are tinted side and rear windows with integrated UPF 30 for sun protection. It weighs just 20.5 lb, yet enables you to carry up to two children. Safety features include a full internal roll cage, and a 5-point safety harness.
Tag-Along Bikes so that Your Kids Can Pedal Safely Behind You
These contraptions are variously called tag-along bikes, bike trailers, and other things. Bottom line is that you can use them to really get your kids into cycling safely, and go out on really fun outings. They are pedaling too, but you get to stay in control! The tag-along bike option means that your kids get to do some bicycling. This WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer is extremely popular and highly rated by users.
Some parents graduate their kids to a tandem bike. Essentially these are similar to the option of tag-along bikes above, but they enable you to share the control with your kids, rather than you being in complete control.
As your kids grow older, you will of course want to get them riding their own bikes. Here’s a post all about how to teach your children to ride bikes. As explained in that post, the ideal place to start is with a strider or balance bike, as shown in the photo below.
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