FAQ: What's the best way to transport my children?
We often have parents asking us how they can carry their children by bike. This is a topic that’s dear to our hearts (given our personal experience of transporting our little ones). Most kids love being on a bike, and for many families this presents a practical and healthy alternative to a second car. With this in mind, we have written this very brief overview of the options that are available. There is, of course, plenty more that can be written on this topic, and we are always happy to chat to you about it.
Kids’ bike seats are an easy choice - you can in most cases fit a kids’ bike seat to your existing bike. There are a several types and brands available. We stock Thule Yepp bicycle safety seats. Thule is a Swedish company with an obsessive focus on safety that makes beautiful and practical seats.
There are two types of kids’ bike seats. A front seat is attached at the front of your bike, so that your child is between your arms. The rear seat is mounted behind you. Your choice is often going to be dictated by the weight of your child. As a rule, front seats are for smaller kids, and rear seats are for bigger kids.
Front seats made by Thule are suitable for kids aged from nine months (or when they can sit up by themselves) to three years (subject to a limit of 15kg). This is the Yepp Mini range. The seat attaches to the bike’s steerer or stem with a quick-release bracket. This makes it easy to detach the seat when you are not using it.
Rear seats made by Thule are suitable for kids up to 6 years or 22kg. This is the Yepp Maxi range. The seat is attached to the bike’s rear luggage rack. Some bikes come with luggage racks that are already compatible (have a look at the Yuba Spicy Curry in our shop as an example); other luggage racks can be fitted with a Yepp adapter. For bikes without a luggage rack, there is a quick-release bracket that attaches to the bike’s seat-tube.
If you want some permanent carrying capacity, consider a dedicated cargo bike. There are two types: long tails, and front boxes. Our range includes Yuba, Bullitt, Riese & Müller, Benno and Tern.
A long tail cargo bike looks like a normal sturdy bike with an elongated rear end (as an example, have a look at the Yuba Spicy Curry). These bikes have impressive carrying capacity, and a big range of modular accessories. You can fit a kids’ bike seat (see the section on kids’ bike seats above) together with other load-carrying items like running boards or heavy duty baskets. The bikes are built strong to handle the extra weight, and have some clever tricks (the Yuba Spicy Curry, for example, has a smaller rear wheel for a lower centre of gravity and more strength). In the world of cargo-bikes, the stand-out advantage of the long-tail is that it both robust and rides exactly like a normal bike.
A front box cargo bike will have a large cargo compartment in the front that can be outfitted with manufacturer-specific kids’ seats and belts (and there’ll still be plenty of space for groceries!). We carry a range of two-wheeled front loaders (have a look at our Riese & Müller range) as they are much more agile then their three wheeled counterparts. The steering set-up on these bikes can make it into quite a different animal to handle, and less confident cyclists will need some time to get used to this. Once you get the hang of it though, they're great full and hugely practical for a range of different situations!
A bike trailer can be a good compromise in place of a dedicated cargo bike - use your normal bike and attach the trailer when it is needed. We can get trailers from Swedish brand Thule. Ingeniously, these trailers can be converted to a stroller by swapping the trailer arm for a front wheel.
Some additional thoughts
First and foremost, be safe with your precious cargo.
Secondly, consider how the additional weight will affect your biking, especially if your ride involves hills. Electric pedal-assist will make a big difference. There are many e-bike options available in our shop. As always, we would be happy to chat.