One of the most important things you will ever do with your child is be with them, just doing something together. It doesn’t need to be expensive – it just needs to be fun and stimulating. Taking them out in the hills on your bike is one way to stimulate their mind, and also enables you to work off the pounds while you’re at it.
Until they are big enough and ugly enough to ride with you on the trails, why not consider a child bike seat? This means you as a family can just go out and enjoy the world together, seeing nature and exploring the countryside. One of the reasons I ride is that I can see just as much detail as I would walking, but cover more miles with a similar effort.
There are two forms of child bike seats – the front mounted and the rear mounted. Let’s look at two front seats and two back seats.
One of the advantages of the front mounted seat is that your little one gets to see so much more than your sweaty back! You can see them too and spot when they drift off to sleep – not so easy with a rear seat…
1. Weeride Kangaroo – Best price £69.99
Mumsnet has 30 reviews of this child bike seat and they are overwhelmingly positive. The seat is comfortable enough that many tots have fallen asleep on the ride, while it fits easily to your bike.
The only real drawback is that, as with all front mounted seats, the parent has to ride somewhat bowlegged to avoid banging their knees on the seats as they pedal.
2. Bobike Mini – best price £45.99
The reviews of this on Amazon and Mumsnet are good, if few in number. Unlike many other front mounted seats, this is doesn’t interfere with your legs so much as you pedal, so you can cycle as normal while having the little one enjoying the ride too. It is comfortable and easy to use too.
Rear mounted seats
These have been around for ages, and have evolved a lot over the years from something that was more or less a piece of plastic that sat on the rear pannier. Being behind you it isn’t so much fun for the child, and you can’t keep a close eye on them as you ride.
3. Hamax Caress – £116.99
This was reviewed as the best child cycle seat by Bike Radar. It is the top of the range seat that Hamax makes, and is designed for comfort. It can recline should your toddler want to sleep, and they will sleep soundly with the comfortable padding!
It is easy to mount and unmount from the bike frame, and if you want to take your child into a pub for lunch on the ride, it locks to the frame with a key so no one can nick it while you’re enjoying your rest!
4. OK Baby 10+ – Best price £80.99
Significantly cheaper than the Hamax rival, this seat is foldable and adjustable. When you put your bike away it folds neatly and can be stored should you have limited space at home. It has 13 adjustment positions so as your midget grows, the seat can grow with them – up to a maximum of 22kg.
As with the front mounted seats, this can hamper your ride, especially if your little one has grown toward the upper limit of this seat. Users have found that the seat can clip the pedaller’s ankles as they ride when taller children are in the seat.
When they’re toddlers you never really want them out of your sight, and with the new front mounted child bike seats these are something worth looking at over the traditional rear seats. The child enjoys the view more too.