3 Different Bike Child Seats You Should Know

3 Different Bike Child Seats You Should Know

Riding with a child from a young age is one of the best ways to introduce them to a life long love of cycling. Until they're capable of travelling a fair distance on their own, having them on board with you is a great way to get you all on your bike and the best child bike seats will allow you to do just that.

You can start your child's cycling journey when they're really young with one of the best balance bikes, before they get up to speed and pedalling one of the best kids' bikes under their own steam. There are 3 different types of kid’s bike seats - rear mounted, front mounted and middel mounted. Which type of seat you should choose depends on the age of your child, your style of riding, as well as the compatibility of your bike. Here we listed some tips on how to select a suitable baby seat so that you have the chance to enjoy the parent-child time.

 

Rear Mounted Child Bike Seats

Rear mounted child bike Seat is a bike seat mounted over the rear wheel behind the rider. It is the most common bike child seat. And according to the different installation positions, it is usually divided into the following three sub-categories.

  Cantilevered Rear Child Seat

Cantilevered seats use a big plastic bracket with two holes in it bolted to the seat tube. Into this slots a two-pronged rack that supports the seat. There’s some give in the rack, which offers a degree of springy suspension. This may not flex enough under smaller children, leaving them tipped slightly forwards. Larger children and/or long-term use may flex it too far, bending it down towards the rear tyre or mudguard. Typically the more you pay, the sturdier the seat will be. 

 

  Rack Mounted Rear Child Seat

Rear Rack – Mounts to a rack at the rear of a bike. Many lack the great suspension of rear frame seats but are best if you’re already using a rack, want to use panniers, or your bike frame is not suitable for a frame-mounted seat.

For rear rack mount seats, your bike must have eyelets for a bike rack. You will also need to purchase a bike rack for the seat to attach to if you don’t already have one, or if the seat does not come with one. If you have disc brakes, you will require a different kind of rack.

 

  Anchor Point Rear Child Seat

This is the last type of rear child seat. Usually, the anchor point rear child seat needs two anchor points, one is located on the bike seat post to prevent the seat from sliding, and the other is on the seat stay, which can provide stronger support. The anchor point rear child seat can be said the combination of cantilevered and rack mounted rear child seat, it can provide more support than cantilevered rear child seat and does not require holes to insert the bracket. Its disadvantage is that the installation is slightly more troublesome, but the quick release system makes disassembly still easy.

 

Now, let us summarize the common pros and cons of all rear seats. 

Rear Mount Pros:

It is easier to pedal and get on/off your bike with the child seat behind you than in front of you (especially if you’re on the petite side). Petite riders will find it easier to steer with the seat behind them since they don’t have to reach around the child and seat.
Many rear mount seats recline to allow baby a more comfortable sleep.
Your child is less exposed to wind.
Most rear mount seats can be used a few years longer than front mount seats.


Rear Mount Cons:


It’s harder to chat with your child when it’s windy/noisy.
You cannot look at your child without turning around.
You child does not have a pillow to lean forward on (but if you get a reclining seat, you can lean her back).
Some people find it harder to balance with a rear mount seat (but my husband had no issue with ours). Again, try before you buy!

 

Mid-Mounted Child Bike Seats

Mid-mounted child bike seat is a bike seat situated in front of the rider but mounted over the crossbar. Mid-mount seats are suitable for ages 2 to 5, are free of harnesses, and place kids in between the adult rider and the handlebars. These types of seats are typically used for mountain biking, as they help the adult rider maintain their center of balance while also allowing their littles to come along for a trail ride.

Here are the pros of the mid-mounted child bike seat:

Allow you to take care of your child and communicate with him easier.
Your child can have a wider view and better practice riding from the perspective of a rider.

The cons are: Child seats will make it difficult for you to get on and off the bike.
Kids are more susceptible to wind, and strong light is also a problem when riding at night. The age of the child is preferably over two years old.

 

Front Mounted Child Bike Seats

Front mounted child bike seat is a bike seat mounted on the front handlebars or attached to the top tube, a bar fixed above it or a bracket on the head tube. Some are moulded plastic seats, like smaller versions of rear seats, while others – aimed at older children who can hold on themselves – are just little saddles and footrests bolted to the bike.

It has long been used in Europe and are becoming more popular in North America. The main benefit is better passenger experience, while the main drawbacks of some models are awkward riding stance (riding bow legged to accommodate the seat) and awkward steering (particularly for shorter riders). For these reasons, we would recommend front-mount child bike seats to taller cyclists who want to easily converse with their little ones and keep an eye on them.


Pros

Front seat have the advantage that your child has an unobstructed view.
You are able to communicate with your child more easily, and ensure she’s not unbuckling herself (not a concern with babies, but could be with older children).
You can explain traffic and what's up ahead easily.
You can have two seats on one bike.
Balance is actually better, particularly over bumps.
It's a bit easier to get on and off the bike.
Your child won't be able to pull on the back of your clothes/hair.
Your child has a safety hand/head rest pillow to learn forward on when she wants to sleep.

 

Cons

In the event of a fall, or if you brake suddenly you may move forward towards your child.
You may end up pedalling awkwardly with your knees out, but balance is actually better, particularly over bumps.
Your child is slightly more exposed to wind chill.
Those little saddles that bolt to the top tube aren’t recommended for anything other than short journeys. A tired child could slip sideways or let a foot dangle into the front wheel.

Add all the weight to the front of the bike, often directly on the steering, something that could be dangerous under heavy braking.

 

Conclusion


Ultimately, you have to choose a bike seat that meets your budget and needs, and is compatible with your bike. Although we owned a bike trailer, we liked the child bike seat for short rides around the neighborhood. It made for one less thing to lock up and the seat was a lot lighter than our trailer! If we didn’t have a bike trailer, we would’ve spent more on seats that recline since the kids always fell asleep on long bike rides. Try before you buy to make your the seat fits your bike and that your child is comfortable. Not all seats are equal. Please do remember to wear a bike helmet for your kids and yourself!


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