As parents, we become masters of balance. We need to balance housework and playtime, as well as hobbies and family time. When it comes to family time, one of the most effective ways is to take the kids out. Usually, one of the effective ways to travel is by bike.
But when children are under 5 years old, they are obviously not suitable for independent riding, so some tools are needed to assist in traveling. There are three common ways to ride with children: front-mounted child seats, back-mounted child seats, and bike trailers.
They have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Front-mounted child seat
It is attached to the top tube of the bicycle and placed in front of the rider. If the child is under 3 years old, then this kind of seat can be used.
- Able to have a conversation with children
- Allows children to be close to their own body, so that parents and children feel safe at the same time
- When pedaling, the knees are likely to hit the seat, especially when pedaling uphill
- In the event of a bicycle rollover or cash, it can’t provide much protection for children
Front-Mounted Child Seat
Back-mounted child seat
It is similar to the front-mounted child seat, but has a wider range of applications that can be used by children under 5 years old.
- Easier to handle the bike and pedal
- Don’t worry about obstructing parent’s vision behind
- Unable to communicate clearly with children
- Will not provide much protection for children in the event of a collision
Back-mounted child seat
This is the preferred travel plan for children. Not only can children be more comfortable, but the rider can also control the bicycle more easily.
- Able to hold an amount of weight, usually two-seater bike trailers can hold more than 100 pounds.
- In the event of a crash, it can provide more protection for children.
- Some bike trailers can be converted into strollers, saving space and cost.
- Bike trailers are much wider than bicycles, so you need to get used to it for a while.
- Communication with children will be more difficult.
- Try not to get close to the car, because the bike trailer is not obvious. If approaching the car cannot be avoided, use flags and flashing lights to the bike trailer to help improve visibility.
Which one to choose?
Bike trailers are definitely the best choice. There are three main reasons:
Bike trailers are definitely the safest of these three modes of travel. Although at first glance, the child seat installation method is simple and convenient, and because it is close to the rider, it is very safe. But in fact, in the event of a crash, the bike trailer can give children more protection.
In addition, the height of the bike trailer from the ground is lower, only 3 feet, but the height of the bicycle seat from the ground is usually 6 feet. If the rider accidentally falls, the bike trailer is obviously safer.
Comfort is also one of the elements that cannot be ignored in travel. When sitting in a bike seat, their range of movement is limited, and if they extend their legs or arms, it is likely to cause a fall. But sitting in a bike trailer does not need to consider this. Children have a wider range of activities and will not cause trouble to the rider. They can also play with toys or eat snacks to make their travel more interesting.
In addition, bicycle trailers can isolate children from the outside world and protect them from wind and rain.
Using a bike seat will make it difficult to ride a bicycle. Because the weight of the child is on the bicycle frame, and the weight is not evenly distributed, it may cause the bicycle to roll over.
But if you use a bike trailer, you don’t need to consider these, because you can ride like a normal bicycle, and even if you encounter an uphill, you can freely stand up from the saddle and control the bicycle.
More importantly, many bike trailers can be converted into strollers or joggers, further enhancing the usability of the trailer.
No matter which way you choose to travel with the child, please don’t forget to bring the child a helmet!