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- How to choose your cycling accessories?
- How to choose your cycling equipement?
How to choose the right bike baby seat?
Bike baby seats offer a great option for both young families without access to a car or for those who prefer not to drive wherever possible. More convenient than public transport, much quicker than walking, they provide an environmentally friendly way of transporting your children around. Here is a guide to the main options on the market.
RACK MOUNTED SEATS
Rack mounted seats are a rear seat option, and can be easily and quickly connected to the majority of pannier racks. Rack mounted seats are therefore a highlyversatile option, whenever you need to go for a solo ride, you can quickly remove the seat and off you go!
BRACKET FITTED SEATS
The most common and popular form of bike baby seats, like rack mounted seats they are a rear seat option but rather than attaching to a pannier rack they attach to thedown tube of the frame using a bracket. This means that bracket fitted seats can be fitted to a wider range of bikes.
However, attaching and removing this bracket will be a longer job than for rack mounted seats, meaning that they are slightly less versatile option.
FRONT MOUNTED SEATS
Front mounted seats offer both benefits and drawbacks when compared to rear mounted seats. Your child will be in your field of vision at all times, in contrast to rear mounted options, providing extra reassurance.
However, placing the seat in front of you means that your child is fully exposed to the elements; where as with rear mounted seats your body will provide some shelter for your child.
Whether it will be possible to fit a front mounted seat is dependent on the steering tube length, check the seat manufacturer's recommendation along with the length of the steering tube to see whether it will be possible to fit a front mounted seat to your bike.
For selected ranges of bikes, it is not possible to fit any of the above to the bike. These ranges include full suspension bikes, carbon frame bikes, folding bikes and small women's frame bikes. If it is not possible to fit any of these varieties of seats to your bike, the alternative option is to transport your children using a tow trailer.
Some tow trailers cater for two children, and the protective covers shelter your children from the elements.
Always ensure that the seat/trailer that you choose meets the require European Safety Standards. Also, ensure that you check the upper weight limit of the seat is appropriate for your child.
Visibility is important too, especially during the winter months. Remember that any high-visibility jacket you wear will be largely obscured to cars approaching from behind when using a rear mounted seat. A number of seats will offer reflective areas as standard to solve this issue, whilst reflective stickers can be added to those that do not incorporate this as standard.
Ensuring your bike is fitted with a robust kickstand is important to ensure that the bike remains stable when at rest and freeing up both hands to attend to your child.
Well-fitting helmets for both parent and child are also highly advisable.