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Bicycle for mom and baby: all the easy and safe options for moms
Child seats have been a staple accessory for cycling with kids: easy to install, vast choice, safe and a relatively affordable option.
Not every seat is designed for the same reasons though!
It’s therefore a crucial step to understand your family needs in order to find the perfect model for you. In this article, we’ll touch briefly on the A-B-C-D of a bicycle for mom and baby, and stay tuned for some useful advice from our bike experts!
But first, you might be thinking… Are there really bikes for women? Let’s look closer into it.
Are there any differences between bikes for men and for women?
What bikes for women?
Generally, a lot of brands have “one size fits all” bikes that are suitable for men and women. Or, they actually have women bikes that are designed according to women’s different body types and needs.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to ride a bike for women if you are a woman! Some women prefer women bikes and find them to be more comfortable. Some prefer normal unisex bikes. We recommend you try the bike out to decide which of the two options is best for you.
What you should look for in a bike
In any case, there are some criterias that could make your journey more enjoyable if you are smaller than men in size:
Smaller size bikes
Smaller bikes exist, they can be smaller unisex or men bikes or actual women bikes that were designed to be smaller.
A lower frame is generally found on urban bikes (unisex and women bikes), this allows the rider to get on and off the bike easily.
Shorter crank arms:
Crank arms are what link the pedals to the bike frame. With them being shorter, the stretch is reduced when pedaling. It is therefore easier and less straining is involved.
Smaller handlebars are recommended for people who have smaller shoulders. This usually goes with a smaller reach (described below)
Shorter distance between the saddle and handlebars:
You usually find this feature on women bikes rather than unisex or men bikes. It allows a more upright position and will avoid over-straining and a bad posture.
Women bikes usually have saddles that are suitable and more comfortable for women’s needs. However, if you choose a unisex bike, as saddles are more personnal rather than universal, you could seperatly choose a saddle that is perfect for you.
And for all the mums out there that also want to travel with their children: no worries we also have some advice for you, just keep reading!
Child seats: a perfect way to have a bicycle for mom and baby
Most child seats are suitable for the transportation of young children. The actual limit isn’t necessarily the age but the weight of the kid and its ability to sit up. Regular seats are typically able to carry a weight max. of 20 kg/ 44lbs. Exceeding the recommended weight can hinder the cycling experience making it very challenging. Especially if the weight is on the rear wheel. If your kid isn’t in the recommended weight range – don’t worry! We’ll talk about other options more suitable for your child briefly. We still strongly recommend speaking to your pediatrician first.
Back to the child seats. The main difference between models is where they fit onto the bike: either at the back, at the front or in the middle.
There are two types of rear-fitting seats:
On the bike’s frame/saddle bar
The seat will offer a degree of suspension that absorbs shocks and provides a smooth ride for your little one. The weight of your child plays an important role: if too light, the child might not be comfortable as the seat could lean forwards. If too heavy, the seat might bend down towards the tyre. We recommend investing in a sturdy seat such as the Hamax Sleepy.
On the rear rack
You can easily install and remove the seat when needed just by sliding the seat on/off the rack adapter. If you are looking for a modern design that will offer great comfort and safety for your child, we recommend you check this Yepp seat out!
These two types are perfect for children from 12 months to 43 lbs/19,5kg.
However you need to be aware of two things : your child will be out of sight and these types of bikes will affect your balance the most.
And if you’re looking for baby bike seats, we advise checking out these reclinable rear seats by Thule, purposely designed for carrying babies. The reclinable feature allows your kid to comfortably drift off to sleep in complete safety thanks to five different reclining options (up to 20°) that can be easily adjusted using one hand.
These allow you to keep your kid in sight, provide a better overall balance and save the space for a second seat at the back.
Front seats are best for babies and young toddlers (generally 9 months to 3 years or under 33 lbs/14,9kg). However, your child will probably outgrow a front seat very quickly and will be more exposed to any potential danger.
This seat is mounted between the handlebars and seatpost, usually on the top tube. It is actually a saddle more than a child seat which is a perfect solution for older kids (2 to 5 years old) that know how to hold on. As it is an additional saddle, there is no harness. But don’t worry, your child will still be cradled between your arms. This is the safest solution if you want to go for a more aggressive ride such as bike rides on bumpy roads, in the countryside…
Things to keep in mind when cycling with kids on a child seat
Safety First: Foot-rests are important! Make sure that your kid’s feet are well positioned and secured in the foot-rest before departure. Dangly legs are not allowed as it can cause serious injuries if they get caught in the wheel. Also, don’t forget the helmet & the seatbelt.
Getting used to carrying kids on a bike takes a bit of practice. Especially with rear-fitting seats you might find it destabilizing at first. That’s normal! If it’s your first time riding with kids. It could be useful to take a few test rides with a heavy charge in the child seat.
Unless you have a step-through frame, you’ll need to practice getting on and off your bike with the kids on board. You’ll need to step over the tube instead of swinging your leg over the saddle. A solid kickstand can make things 100 times easier!
Lastly, if you’re struggling turning your head when kids are on board, a handlebar mirror can easily solve your problem. You’ll be able to see the traffic behind you as well as your child.
Bicycle for mom and baby? The U-Cargo can be another solution!
Our U-Cargo is an electric cargo bike developed to be the perfect family bike.
It’s a compact longtail with a large rear carrier rack that can accommodate two child seats safely and comfortably. Most of the seats available on the market are compatible with the U-Cargo: Thule, Hamax, Polisport, Decathlon and many others.
About the same size as a regular bicycle, this electric bike has a large cargo capacity while maintaining the capability of being easily stored anywhere.
If you need extra protection, the U-Cargo Family is made for you! The enhanced version of the Lite comes with additional accessories to improve parents and children’s riding experience. Such as a 360° shock-proof cabin for the kids, the Switch2Carry system that creates extra loading space for the groceries when the kids aren’t there.
The rear cabin can carry up to 2 children; this set-up is perfect for older kids that don’t need a child seat. If your kids are still young, you could easily add two child seats.
Also, both of the bikes are ladies friendly! The frame was in fact developed to be easily accessible by anyone, even with a dress! In order for that to be possible, we designed a low frame suitable for people between 4 ft. 9”/1m50 and 6 ft. 5”/2m. The handlebar and the seat are also adjustable to your own preference.
And, we almost forgot to mention that both the U-Cargo Lite & Family are equipped with an Easy-Start system that allows to start the motor without pedaling, so that you don’t have to provide the initial effort.
Keen to know more? Check out our website for more extensive information and testimonials or come say hi to our team! We’ll happily guide you through choosing the best bicycle for mom and baby for you.