A guide to Cycling with young children

Cycling with young children can be an amazing way of getting your family out and about.

But with so many options available for children of different ages, what are the best ways to help you get out on your bike with a young child?

Cycling with children: 0 – 6 Years

Before a child can support their own head it is not advisable to transport them on bicycle, there are however child trailers which convert into strollers available for very young children. There are child trailers available that transform from trailers to prams which, can be used as a pram until your child is ready to be carried by bike.

When your child is able to support their own head, normally 6 to 9 months old, you’ll be able to carry them with you on your bike. There are various options available for transporting your child at this early stage, they include;

  • Front mounted child seats
  • Rear mounted child seats
  • Trailers
  • Cargo bikes

Cycling with children: 4 – 10 Years

Although all children grow and develop differently, usually at around 4 years old your child will rapidly growing and might of out grown some forms of child transportation suitable for smaller children. There are still methods which allow you and your child to enjoy riding together at your pace. They include;

  • Rear mounted child seats
  • Child trailers
  • Trailer bike
  • Cargo bikes

Front mounted child seats

When your child is approximately 6 to 9 months or 9 kilos you can use a front mounted child seat. There are various options and attachments available for front child seats, contact or visit us to discuss the latest technology.

When your child reaches approximately 3 years or 15 kilos / 33 pounds they will no longer be suitable for front mounted child seats.

We also stock a variety of helmets suitable for all ages and head sizes.

Pros

  • Makes setting off and removing your child easier with the weight at the front
  • Helps to share the riding experience with the rider
  • Makes conversation easier

Cons

  • Heavy loads on the front of your bike may affect the steering and the balance
  • Excited / wiggling children will affect the bikes handling
  • Front child seats tend to be smaller so less room for your child to get comfortable

Rear mounted child seats

Rear mounted child seats are the most common form of carrying children on a bike with a range of products available.

When your child is approximately 6 to 9 months or 9 kilos and can support their own head you can use a rear mounted child seat. If your child is still very young, or prone to falling asleep a reclining child seat is advisable, this will help ensure their head is supported by the seat instead of leaning forward or sideways.

There are various ways rear child seats are mounted onto your bicycle, the most common fittings will see the seat fitted onto a rear pannier rack or the seat will clip into a bracket fitted onto the bikes seat tube.

When your child reaches approximately 6 years old or approximately 18-22 kilos / 40 pounds they may no longer be suitable for rear mounted child seats. This will depend on the child seat, full details will be provided when you choose your child seat.

Pros

  • Fits most bikes and are easy to remove or swap between bikes
  • Quickest and easiest way to carry children by bike
  • Reclining seats offer support for sleeping children and padded seats offer comfort

Cons

  • With the child seat situated fairly high your bikes centre of gravity will be raised, this can lead to changes in the way your bike normally handles
  • Excited / wiggling children will affect the bikes handling
  • Can be tricky to maintain conversations
  • Depending on the size of your bike may limit rucksack space

Child Trailers

Child trailers are fast becoming the favoured method for transporting children by bike; some trailers (depending on budget and manufacturer) can be converted from a bike trailer, to a push chair, to a push chair with jogging or skiing capacity. As some of these trailers can be used as push chairs (with relevant accessories) you are able to start using the trailer / pushchair when your child is very young. (Approximately 14 weeks old depending on trailer and your child’s development) When buying or enquiring about the best trailer for you we will of course be happy to offer our advice.

In addition to being able to use your trailer with child from a very young age, child trailers are robust and are designed to last for many years. Most Trailers will comfortably tow up to 45kg.

We also stock accessories available for child trailers, including additional hitches (what attaches the trailer to the bike), child slings (for very small babies), stroller and jogging kits and a variety of helmets suitable for all ages and head sizes.

Pros

  • Can carry two children at once
  • Some trailers convert into push chairs allowing for your trailer to be used with your child from day 1
  • Can be used in addition to child seats
  • Centre of gravity is not affected
  • Most trailers are waterproof
  • Most trailers include generous storage facilities

Cons

  • Unlike the passengers the trailers can get wet and dirty
  • Can be tricky to maintain conversations.

Trailer Bike

A trailer bike is the rear end of a child’s bike that attaches onto another bike (including tandems). This allows your child to pedal, or freewheel their bike whilst being connected to the parent’s bike.

There are a variety of trailers bikes available with various fittings, we’ve found that some of the trailer bikes that attach onto the seat post of the adult bike sometimes leads to the child’s trailer bike leaning sideways and spoiling the enjoyment of the ride and compromising the child’s safety.

We recommend and stock the Roland Add+Bike trailer bike, these bikes attach to a very specific rear pannier rack.
We also stock child seats which can be fitted onto the rack.

Pros

  • Allows older children to be ride and be towed on longer journeys.
  • Children can pedal as much or as little as they like whilst being towed.
  • Helps children to develop their riding skills
  • Additional Add + Bike can be fitted to other Add + Bike to tow 2 children

Cons

  • Children can pedal as much or as little as they like whilst being towed!

Cargo Bikes

During recent times a number of manufacturers produce specific child carrying bikes, and we do offer some options, however we prefer the trailer option over this type of bike purely because we don’t feel you need a specific bike for this type of commute and existing options are more practical.

Our Brands

We stock a range of quality bikes from some of the biggest names in cycling.

  • Brompton Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Burley Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Carry Freedom Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Claud Butler Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Croozer Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Dawes Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Gazelle Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Kona Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Micro Scooters Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Pashley Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • PUKY Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Roland Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford
  • Squish Cycling Products for Sale in Oxford

Other Services

As well as sales and repairs, we offer a range of other services for cyclists around Oxford.