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Choosing a family bike to transport your children safely everyday
Bicycles are the way to the future! Whether you are just curious or already a former cyclist, cycling daily is becoming quite popular. But when it comes to transporting your children, safety is a must. No worries there are heaps of options available out there, for example the family bike!
These solutions are often just as good or even better than driving a car. The right alternative for you will mostly depend on the distance, your child’s age, their weight, and their balance.
Keep reading if you want to know more!
Some precautions you should take according to the child’s age
In order to transport your child safely (and comfortably), there are some important notions to consider before riding a family bike.
- You can transport a baby as soon as they can hold their head up, i.e. around 6 months old with a baby helmet.
- A helmet is strongly advised for children. No laws in the UK state that a helmet is mandatory however in Slovakia and Sweden for example it is mandatory up to 15 years old. If you want to know if wearing a helmet is mandatory in your country check the Student News website.
- You can carry your kid in a front bike seat positioned on the handlebars up to 3 years old, which allows you to always have them in sight and facilitate the communication
- The seat must be properly secured and with a belt
- It is possible to get your equipment installed by a professional
Finding the right type of family bike to suit your daily needs
On a classic family bike or an electric one:
- Front seat: designed for children under 15 kg or 33 lbs, from 6 months to 3 years old.
- Back seat: for children between 15/33 and 22/49 kg/lbs or between 3 and 6 years old. It is installed either by being attached to the luggage rack or the seat post (for bikes without luggage rack)
- Junior back seat: for children under 32 kg or up to 10 years old, it can only be attached to the luggage rack and comes with footrests.
These 3 solutions have integrated footrests, so that your child does not touch moving parts of the bike.
Some parents are less comfortable with these solutions and have difficulty transporting their children on a long trip. It is important to take into account that the lower the bike’s center of gravity, the more stable the bike is, even if the child moves around. Unlike a baby carrier where you would have to adapt to the possible sudden movements of the child.
Family bike: the best solution for transporting your children
This solution is highly recommended for families as it is considered more stable and comfortable for urban trips. You can sometimes transport up to three children easily. Other than children, you can transport other types of loads, like shopping or your pets! Read more about the U-Cargo, our family bike!
Of course, for large families or people living in hilly area, electric assistance is a good solution to help you transport everyone! Many subsidies exist for the purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle.
With a family bike:
- On a longtail (extended classic bike): you can carry up to 3 children and add child seats, handrails, cushions…
- On a two-wheeled bicycle: up to 3 children can be transported (80 to 100 kilos of load), these bicycles are equipped with safety belts. A front and rear seat can be added to extend the capacity of the tandem carrier to 5 children.
- On a three-wheeled bike, (two wheels at the front or back with a loading box): this is the most stable bike, there is no risk of falling when transporting children on it. If your child is less than 1.55 m/5 ft tall, with less balance, the three-wheeled bike is the most suitable solution. It allows more capacity to transport loads: up to 4 children, and the possibility to add a child seat at the front and at the back which allows to transport up to 6 children in complete safety!
These bikes have a slight learning curve, but are suitable for families, safer and more comfortable.
The different accessories you should have to ride a family bike
A lot of accessories exist to improve cycling with children: water-proof and wind-proof protection, sun protection (sun shield), accessories for comfort (such as cushions, support seats, neck support), safety accessories (footrest, baby seat up to 18 months…). All of which makes a family bike ideal for everyday journeys.
If you love your current bike and you don’t want to change it, there are solutions such as the AddBike+ which allows you to transform very easily and quickly your classic bike into a cargo bike. You can add the Carry’Box Kid which has been certified to be safe and comfortable for 1 child.
In a nutshell,
There are many solutions to safely transport your children and replace the daily use of the car. Nothing better than for them to see the scenery! It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best.