Your cycle child seat questions
I want to say a huge thankyou to everyone who sends their questions in. I look forward to interacting with our customers, and getting some good advice out there. We have been receiving some very interesting questions around the world of child seats on your bike. So below I have answered them as best I can to help everyone! A child seat for a bike is an extra seat which is mounted to your bicycle. It allows you to transport youngsters who are too young or unable to ride their own bikes.
What age can a child go on a bike seat?
There is no exact age, but you must be confident of a couple of aspects to keep it safe. The first, is that the person can hold up the weight of their own head, so newborns are a no go. The next is that they are big enough to fit the chair properly without excess room to wobble or fall out. So there is not an age, but more of a size and capability, the person has to fulfil. If you are unsure, then seek extra help, if you are still unsure after that, do not put the person in the chair. It is better safe than sorry in my opinion. On the flip side to that there are a lot of really good, safe chairs out there with size guides etc to help. So do not be afraid to use one.
Can a child's bike seat go on any bike?
In short, 90% of seats will fit 90% of bikes. The most important thing is the chair and the bike, both have all the parts required to maintain safety. This will most commonly be a vertical seat tube or top tube on your bike. Some full suspension bikes do not have this. There are a variety of seats available with different mountings so please read the packaging and instructions carefully. Also make sure that the bike itself is in good working order. Make sure the brakes work and the wheels are not going to fall off when transporting a small person. I very much recommend you do use a “universal” seat though. I love taking my children out and they really enjoy it too!
Are child bike seats safe?
Yes they are very safe here in the UK. Ultimately they are as safe as the rider. This is because if the rider doesn’t follow the highway code or use common sense, then everyone is at risk. The materials used and the way the seats are made are all of such good quality nowadays that the safety risk is minimal. I do however recommend using a trusted brand with as much padding as possible to make the small person more comfortable and reduce risk if there was an accident.
Are bike trailers safer than bike seats?
The trailers have pros and cons in regards to safety. An upside is that if they manage to fall out then the fall is less than a foot rather than 3 feet. This is worth thinking about if there was a collision etc. However, the downside is that the child is much further away from you when riding. This can be a problem if the child is hurt because it will be more difficult to hear them. Also they are a lot heavier so you are not as agile on your bicycle. This will make it harder to swerve to avoid a collision in an emergency.
Do babies need helmets on bike seats?
Similar to adults, there is no law in the UK which means your baby has to wear a helmet. I do think the answer to this boils down to common sense though. Most specialists say that anyone under 12 months is too small for a child seat in the first place. If your child is safe enough though, then a helmet is a must in my opinion. Children are very precious and a lot more delicate than us, so a helmet is crucial. Do the right thing and buy a helmet for your child which is a good fit and safe to use.