The history of bike seats is similar to that of the bicycles themselves. Baron Karl von Drais invented the first bicycle, which was two-wheeled, and you had to push it along using your feet. However, this bicycle had a wooden plank instead of a seat or a saddle. The bicycle seat wasn’t invented for another 40 years or so.

There hasn’t been a lot of research done on how safe child bike seats are, or what is the safest option when you are cycling with a child. Whether you chose to purchase a bike seat or a bike trailer, using a child helmet and a seatbelt is crucial for your child’s safety.

Additionally, child bike seats are an excellent way to keep a close watchful eye on your child. However, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when choosing the right child bike seat, such as the age and size of your child, safety features, and comfort.

In addition to that, another vital thing that you need to consider is the type of bike seat. There are two types of child bike seats, let’s discuss their features and pros and cons.

Types of Child Bike Seats

There are two kinds of child bike seats.

  • Front-mounted bike seats
  • Rear-mounted bike seats
Let’s discuss which of these bike seats is right for you.

Front-Mounted Child Bike Seats:

As the name indicates, front-mounted child bike seats are usually the right choice if your child is between the age of nine months and two years. Additionally, the weight of the child matters as well, and if the child weighs more than 33 pounds, then you might want to go for something else. Furthermore, front-mounted bike seats are commonly used in Europe and are now becoming increasingly popular in North America. 

The most significant advantage of using front-mounted child bike seats is a better passenger experience. Your little passenger can enjoy the view so much better in a front-mounted bike seat. In addition to that, it also allows you to bond with your child by regularly communicating with him. Using the front-mount bike seat enables you to anticipate weight shifts and make the maneuvering convenient. 

However, the drawback to using this type of child bike seat is an awkward sitting position for the rider. The rider has to ride bow-legged to accommodate the child seat. Additionally, if the rider has a short height, steering the bike in an awkward position would be another problem. 

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Compatibility:

The compatibility of the bike seat is vital because otherwise, what’s the point? If your bike features seat mounts on the stem below the handlebars, you should have enough space for the front-mounted bike seat. On the other hand, if the bike seat goes on the frame of the bike, on the crossbar, you need to make sure that the bike frame is large enough to accommodate the bike seat. Additionally, it will also allow you to get on and off the bike safely and conveniently.

What We Liked
  • It allows your child to enjoy the view without any interruptions.
  • You can bond with your child by talking about the view and listening to his remarks.
  • It also allows you to keep an eye on the child and keep him safe.
  • This type of child bike seat usually features a safety head/hand rest pillow that allows him to lean forward and sleep.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Front-mounted bike seats are usually only suitable for kids when they are two years old or less.
  • Using the front-mounted child bike seat makes it harder for you to get on and off the bike.
  • Bigger kids can interrupt your while steering, grab handlebars, and change gears at the wrong time, which is a security risk.
  • If you have a short height, steering the bike can be very challenging.
  • Your child is more exposed to wind, which is a safety risk in cold weather or if your child is prone to allergies.
  • If the bike seat is too big, it can hit you in the chest during a bumpy ride or when you lean forward to ride uphill.

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Front-mounted child bike seats are ideal for tall people. In addition to that, you should make sure that the bike seat is compatible with your bike model.

Rear-Mounted Child Bike Seat:

These bike seats offer more stability, cushioning, and head support to your child. The back of the bike seat extends beyond the head and also includes side support, which provides superior comfort and stability. Additionally, unlike, front-mounted bike seats, these child bike seats can accommodate older children or children who weigh up to 70 pounds. Furthermore, rear-mounted seats come in two types: rear frame mount and rear rack mount. You should go for the one that is compatible with your bike’s design. 

If your bike features eyelets for a bike rack you can choose a rear rack mount bike seat. However, if you don’t already have a bike rack, and the bike seat doesn’t come with one either, then you will need to purchase one separately to attach the seat. Additionally, if your bike has disc brakes, you will require a different type of rack. 

On the other hand, rear frame mount bike seats usually attach to the seat post of the bike, and you will also need some space for clearance. Additionally, if your bike seat is too low, it would be hard to attach a child bike seat, and you will require a low-seat adapter to use the bike seat with minimal clearance.

Furthermore, rear-mounted bike seats protect your child from the wind and debris. In addition to that, you can steer the bike without any interruptions. However, like front-mounted child bike seats, these seats make the mounting and dismounting of the rider a little hard. According to a study, one-third of the injuries involving children in bike seats occur while mounting and dismounting the bike. Additionally, another drawback of using rear-mounted bike seats is that you can’t see your child while riding.

Compatibility:

What We Liked
  • It is easier to steer and pedal the bike with rear-mounted bike seats, especially if you have a short height.
  • A lot of rear-mount bike seats have a reclining feature that allows the children to sleep comfortably.
  • Your child sits behind you, which makes him less exposed to the wind and debris.
  • Rear-mount child bike seats are usually used for a more extended period compared to front-mounted child bike seats.
What We Didn’t Like
  • You can’t look at your child, which makes you unable to communicate properly.
  • You have to turn around every time you want to check up on your child.
  • Rear-mounted bike seats don’t have a pillow to lean forward on, so it can make your sleepy child uncomfortable unless the bike seat has a reclining feature.
  • For some people, it is difficult to maneuver the bike with a rear-mounted bike seat.

Conclusion

Rear-mounted bike seats are equally beneficial for tall and short people. Therefore, the decision entirely depends on your preference and needs. For additional bike seat safety tips, just click here!

Compare The Best Child Bike Seats

In the market for a child bike seat? Check out this guide comparing the features of some of the best ones in our opinion.

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