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Bike family: a beginner’s guide to cycle with larger families
Cycling is known to be a fun and enriching activity, especially for families. With the beautiful sunny weather approaching, let’s get ready for family outings by bike! It’s very common to see a parent cycling with their kid in a child seat. But what about parents with twins, triplets or with multiple siblings? While cycling with a kid sounds pretty chill, transporting 2 to 5 children requires a tiny bit more planning beforehand.
But wait! It doesn’t need to be stressful nor unaffordable. In this article, we’ll guide you through finding the right set up for your family.
Bike family: 5 reasons why you should integrate it in your life
If you’re here, it’s probably because you already know the main benefits of cycling regularly. Did you know, though, that cycling can help relieve the stress of adults and kids, which also means fewer tantrums? Let’s have a better look:
1. Cycling to boost your mood
Just like any sport, cycling releases all the good chemicals in your body that help you feel more relaxed. This is also true for kids, as it can improve their mood and help them release any tension. Even if they don’t actively move, kids can profit from the fresh air and quality time with their family.
2. It keeps you healthy and in shape
Pedalling is an activity that raises the metabolic rate, helping to keep you healthy and fit. But that’s not all! Most cities are developing an extensive network of cyclable paths that are often secluded from the main roads. Think about the pollution you & your little ones can avoid breathing.
3. An accessible activity for all the family
Most people own a bicycle or have easy access to one (like the city bikes you can rent). This means that bike strolls make a great outing idea even with extended family and friends. Plus, even your grandparents can safely come along too!
4. Learn the good habits from a young age
Cycling with your kids onboard will expose them early on to road safety. It will make them more attentive & encourage their critical thinking.
Apart from that, bike family time will also introduce an healthy activity in your habits. Your kids will grow up having a positive association with being active & the outdoors. Furthermore, this will leave an imprint for more mindful individuals. Encouraging your kids early on will have a positive impact towards a greener world. A world where bikes are more common than cars.
Sharing the moment will also help strengthen your bond and create beautiful memories.
5. Boost the confidence of the future generations
By travelling by bike, kids get to know their local area. Which can help them feel more curious and independent. This can do wonders for their development and help boost their confidence for future commutes even in solo! How come?
Bicycles provide a hands-on experience especially for inactive passengers. Contrary to motorised vehicles, by bike you’ll ride at a speed that allows a better engagement to the surroundings. Your little passengers can profit from the view and be able to memorise it with time. Additionally, by cycling you’ll have direct access to the city centre that is often too busy or even not allowed for cars (especially in Europe cars mostly drive on highways and main roads).
Cycling with twins: there are heaps of options to choose from!In order to find the right bicycle model for your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind: the number of kids you’ll ride with & their age, as well as the utilisation frequency you plan on riding. Let’s get started:
Child seats on a regular bikeYou can add maximum two child seats on a city bike. There are different types & set up options to choose from! For exemple, you can add one on the handlebar which is ideal for a baby up to 15kg/ 33 Ibs. They’re always on sight and they can be protected from bad weather with a wind-shield. The second seat could be installed on the bike frame/ saddle bar. This provides a suspension that keeps the ride super smooth for your kid. Otherwise it could be installed on the rear rack for better weight support and more flexibility (you can slide the seat on & off!). With this solution you can carry a child up to 22 kg/ 48 Ibs. To know more about bike child seats, check out this article written specifically for cycling mums. While this is the most affordable choice… it’s not really viable in the long run. Your kids will eventually outgrow the child seat and/or you won’t be able to carry their weight comfortably anymore. They’ll have to pick up their own bike or you’ll have to upgrade the model.
Child seats on a longtail bikeA longtail is a classic bike with a longer rear rack. This small modification allows a greater range of charge, as the weight is better supported by the bike. This makes it the best option for two child transportation also because the bike can evolve with their growth! For older kids, the child seats can be replaced by the ones adapted to their size. So that the bike can be used for way longer.
Accessories for regular bikesThis solution is the most cost-effective and convenient of all. An accessory can easily be added at the front or back of your regular bike. They often come with a great range of options & they’re fully reversible- if you plan on riding by yourself, you can just remove it! Because it’s only an add-on, we’re talking about really low prices compared to a full cargo bike. So even families on a tight budget can consider this option. The most common accessory on the market is a bike trailer, you can look for double ones to sit your twins or siblings comfortably. It’s a simple system that tows your little ones. To know more about bike trailers, have a look at this article by Rascal Rides.
Transport your little one with this dynamic front accessory
For intermediate riders that love fluidity in their rides and want to carry a child, without having them outgrow the model in a few years- you should have a look at the Kid Kit.
Created for daily usage in urban areas, this accessory upgrades your regular bike into a compact cargo bike. It can be used from 2 y.o and can comfortably sit a child of max 1.20m/3’9” or 35 kg/77Ibs.
Because the accessory is more spacious than a child seat, it will allow better flexibility with the growth of your kid. Plus, If you have a kid of 5 y.o and a toddler, for example, you could place the older one in the module and the youngest in a child seat.
The great feature of this add-on is the front set up that allows you to always have your little one on sight. You’ll be able to communicate and make sure they’re always safe and content.
Despite being a front accessory, you won’t loose any manoeuvrability. This add-on is designed for great dynamics thanks to the tilting wheel system- you basically don’t feel the bulkiness of the accessory during turns. Your kid, though, will stay still and protected.
Transport 2 kids on a sturdy two wheel cargo bikeCargo bikes can be fantastic vehicles for the hauling of two children. Contrary to the other options named above, cargo bikes are the most spacious and can carry an outstanding amount of freight comfortably. Cargo bikes can come with two or three wheels. A three-wheeler is a cargo bike with two front wheels that brings better stability and weight support to the bike (plus your kids are always on sight!). On the other hand, two wheelers cargo bikes are a great choice for twins because they’re light, compact and easy to manoeuvre in busy streets.
The U-Cargo Family is the perfect 2-wheel cargo bike to transport twins or siblings!
Equipped with a roomy and cosy rear cabin, the little ones can enjoy the ride in a fully safe, 360° shock-proof module. The metal cabin is protected with a water repellent textile so that your kids can stay dry and warm, even in bad weather.
For toddlers, it’s possible to install two child seats for regular bikes. For older kids, you can simply use the included child seat – built with two comfy cushions and, of course, safety belts. The total payload of the rear module is max 80 kg/ 176 Ibs, so even teenagers are allowed on the bike!
Furthermore, this family bike was designed to be accessible for everyone. We made sure that the kids can easily hop on and off the bike, thanks to the sturdy footboards. Combined with the stable central kickstand that will keep the bike in place despite the sudden movements. Also keeping the parents in mind, the bike frame was designed low so that anyone can effortlessly sit on the bike – even when wearing a dress!
Cycling with three to five kids: it’s not a mission impossible
- Accessories for regular bikes: You can still opt for an accessory and profit of its convenience by pairing it with another solution. For example: for three kids, you can seat two in a trailer and have one on the bike, in a child seat.
If you have a partner or ride often with a friend, you can seat up to 4 kids by adding a trailer each to your bikes. Smart right?
- Two-wheel cargo bike: depending on the age of your kids, some two-wheelers or longtails can fit up to 4 kids. For example, some longtails have a rear rack that is long enough to sit three little ones; while the youngest can be sat on the handlebar with a baby seat. It should be mentioned though that the more weight added to the bike the more the rider might struggle (especially if the bike is not powered)
- Three-wheel cargo bikes: Similarly to the two-wheel cargo bike, the three-wheel one is very comfortable and spacious, but it can carry even larger weights. Thanks to the third wheel, the freights are better supported. This means that you can carry up to 4 kids on the same bike.
If you’d like to know more about riding with kids and discover how to make it a pleasant experience for everyone, have a look at this article that covers the A-Z of how to cycle with infants.
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about cycling with larger families. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about cycling with kids on the Kid Kit or U-Cargo Family!