Child bike seats are a cheap option for parents that would love to bike with their baby once he/she is at least a year old. Front mounted child bike seat and the rear mounted are the types available for purchase; and both types have their pros and cons which are to be considered before making a purchase. Needless to say, it is very important to always wear a helmet, follow instructions guiding the installation as well as age, weight and height limits for whichever type of bike seat you want to purchase.

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Front Mounted Child Bike Seat

For aver long time now, Front mounted child bike seats have been in use and they are gaining more popularity in North America. The keybenefit of a front mounted seat is better passenger experience, and the major disadvantage of certain models is the uncomfortable and awkward steering and stance while riding (rider will have to be riding bow-legged so as to accommodate the front seat).

Special Note: If the bike seat mounts on your stem, you need to have sufficient space for the mount.

If the seat sits on the bike frame which is on the cross bar, you have to make sure the frame is large enough to accommodate the front child seat, and allow you get on and off the bike safely. To be on the safe side, you should try the front mounted child beak seat with your bike before you buy.

For the above stated reasons, other child bike seat reviews also agree that this type of bike seat is best for taller cyclists who would want to converse with their child easily and to keep an eye on them at the same time.

Front Mount Seat Pros

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    Your child will have an unobstructed view
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    When your child wants to sleep, there is a safety head/hand rest pillow he/she can lean forward on
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    You can easily talk to and watch your child easily. This way, you can be sure your child isn’t unbuckling himself (there might be no such thing in the case of babies, but of much concern with older children)

Front Mount Seat Cons

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    Virtually all kind of front mount seats are designed to be safe enough until your child is around 24 months, as opposed to 5-7 years old with most rear mount seats
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    Your child has more exposure to wind
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    Getting on and off a bike could be difficult if a front mounted child bike seat is on it.
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    If your child is in front of you, steering could be difficult if you aren’t a tall cyclist or if your child is relatively tall (it will be difficult to reach around your child)
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    Your child may grab the handlebars or even change the gears at different times
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    The seat can’t be reclined to sleep, but there is a way about it i.e. your child will have to lean forward on a hand/head rest (this depends on the model you want
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    It is possible for some higher seat backs to hit you on the chest on a bumpy terrain

Quick tip: if you want to purchase a front mounted child bike seat, you should try to borrow one and try it out first. There are three things you must make sure of when trying a front mounted seat out:

  1. Ensure the seat can be used installed on the bike easily
  2. Make sure your vision, chest, arms, and legs are unobstructed
  3. Make sure turning can be done properly without any difficulty.

If you are purchasing online, make an effort to confirm the compatibility of the bike seat and your bike with the manufacturer. Below are some of the best front mounted child bike seats for sale online.

Rear Mounted Child Bike Seats

In the case of rear mounted child bike seats, there are two types which are – rear rack mount and rear frame mount. You should know- not all bike seats work with all bikes, therefore, what you need to do is to confirm whether the bike seat attaches properly to your seat post or back rack.

Rear Rack Mount Seats

For a bike rack, your bike needs to have eyelets. There will also be a need to purchase a bike rack for the rear rack seat to attach to if you currently don’t have one, or if the seat you purchased doesn’t come with one.

N.B. a different kind of rack is required if you have disc brakes

Best Rear Rack Mount Seats

  1. Bellelli Pepe Bicycle Baby Carrier
  2. Topeak Baby Seat II 26in Non-Disc Rack Bicycle Baby Seat

Rear Frame Mount Seats

This type of rear mounted bike seat will attach to your seat post and need few inches of clearance. On Amazon, you can purchase theThule RideAlong Child Bike Seat; which is the best kid bike seat for sale online (A.K.A the Cadillac of Bike Seats) or the Hamax Frame Mount Carrier.

If the child bike seat prices are to be considered, cheaper alternative rear mount seats are the Dieffe GP Baby Carrier with Rear Rack Mount and the ubiquitous Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier Seat which is perfect for short rides, but not for long rides because the seat doesn’t recline when the child wants to nap.

Rear Mount Seat Pros

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    Most rear mount seats recline to allow the child have a more comfortable sleep.
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    Getting on and off the bike with the child seat behind is easier, than when it’s in front of you. Petite riders will have a more comfortable steer with the seat behind; they won’t have to reach around the seat and child.
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    Most rear mount seats can serve you for a few years longer than the front seat alternatives.

Rear Mount Seat Cons

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    There is no way to monitor the child without having to turn around
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    It’s difficult to chat with your child when it’s noisy/windy
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    Some riders find it difficult to balance with a rear mounted child bike seat
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    There is no pillow for your child to lean forward on, but should be able to lean back if you get a seat that reclines

What to Look For in a Child Bike Seat

The importance of easy installation of a child bike seat and its compatibility with your bike can’t be over emphasized. Some other important features include a quick-release bracket for times when you are cycling without your kid and you don’t want the additional weight, and a lock to prevent the seat from getting stolen.

Some other considerations include:

Size And Age Of Child

Front mounted bike seats are smaller than the rear mounted seats. Front mounts are the most suitable for kids that weigh 33 pounds or between 9 months to 3 years old. The older or larger your child gets, the more personal space they take from you, hence, it is best for taller or larger kids to ride in the rear.

Harness

A seat with a 5-point harness is preferable to a 3-point harness that a kid could slide out of. Ensure the straps are in place and that they are done up correctly all the time. Many child bike seat models have child-proof buckles too.

Weight Of The Seat

The less the weight of the seat, the less you carry. However, a really light- weighted may have less impact resistance and can be less comfortable as well. You should check the kind of materials used in the seat and make sure the cushions are comfortable enough for your child.

Height And Weight Maximums

Height and Weight MaximumsThis will affect the life-span of your child bike seat. Majority of the front mounted bike seatsor the rear mount are good until the child weighs about 40 pound (though this varies between manufacturers).

Front Mount Seat Accessories to Consider

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    Wind screen
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    Hand rests on front mount child seat provides something else for your child to hold aside from your handlebars and shifters.
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    Rain cover

Rear Mount Seat Accessories to Consider

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    Rain cover
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    A rear mount seat that reclines makes napping more comfortable for the little one

Safety Tips

Truth be told, bike trailers provide much protection than child bike seats, and falls from about 3 ft. can lead to severe injuries. If you prefer to use a child back seat, ride on paths designated for bikes, always wear a helmet and DON’T exceed the speed limit.

Conclusion

In the end, you should purchase a bike seat that is compatible with your bike, that meets your needs and you can afford. Some of the best child back seat includes ThuleYepp Maxi, IBert Seat, Thule YeppNexxt Mini, Thule RideAlong Mini, Hamax Caress, Hamax Caress Carrier, BoBike Mini City, Topeak Baby Sitter, Mac Ride.

Thule RideAlong ($250) and the Peg Perego Orion ($80) have the highest and lowestchild bike seat price from the aforementioned types of back seat.

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