Want to get riding with your kids? Here are a few things to think about when it comes to cycling with children.
Getting out and about with your kids is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a parent, but there are a few choices to make before you get started. Are they starting on a balance bike, or going straight to a pedal bike? Which helmet should you buy? Or are they small enough that a bike seat is a better option. Just as with a lot of things, the choices can seem almost overwhelming at first, so here Freewheel talks you through some of your options and explain what everything means.
Choosing a Children’s Bike
If your child is old enough to ride then a bike might be the best choice as it gets you both pedalling and gives the family freedom to ride where you like.
Ridgeback Bikes have a comprehensive range of kid’s bikes, all the way from the Scoot – a balance bike for anyone too young to pedal – all the way up to the Dimension 26 which is a bike perfect for riders who are almost ready to graduate to an adult size. The earliest a child could expect to get on a balance bike would be from about two years old, depending on how fast they are growing up.
If you’re after something a little different, or have a budding mountain biker on your hands, then Saracen Bikes have a kids range ready for young adrenaline junkies. Taking the name of their super popular Mantra range for adults, the Mantra kids bikes go from the 1.6 to the 2.6 and are ready for kids from just four years old all the way up to early teenagers.
Using Child Seats When Cycling With Children
Another great way to get around with kids is using a dedicated child seat attached to your own bike.
The Urban Iki front seat is suitable for children between 9 months and 3 years with a weight range of 9-13kg. Featuring a 5-point harness to make sure your child is secure, the seats have adjustable foot rests and straps and a soft, rubber, water-repellent cushion so you can use them even if the weather’s bad.
The rear seats come in two varieties: one that attaches to a rear rack and one that mounts directly to the bike frame. These have a slightly higher 22kg upper weight limit and are ready for children up to six years old but feature all the same safety functions as the front seats and the whole range has been independently safety tested to conform to all European regulations.
If you are more comfortable towing your children behind the bike then the Thule Chariot is pretty much the most luxurious cycling-based way for a child to travel. Converting seamlessly from a bike trailer to a stroller to a jogging buggy (Oh, and it has a skiing configuration too – we’re not kidding) using the Thule VersaWing system, the Chariot is extremely versatile.
The Chariot comes in single for the Chariot Lite and single or double for the Chariot Cross, meaning up to two kids can travel along behind you as you ride around. The whole thing folds down small enough to travel with easily, and uses Thule’s Click n Store system to transport the parts you need to convert from one setting to another as well as featuring cargo space for anything else you want to take with you.
Children’s Cycling Helmets
A helmet is probably the most important cycling accessory for children, whether they’re riding their own bike or just a passenger. Lazer’s helmet range caters for children of all ages while maintaining a super high safety standard.
Just as importantly, these range of helmets come in a colourful array of designs so young riders can pick their favourite style and wear their helmet with glowing pride.
Four of the childrens’ models (P’Nut, Nut’z, Lil’ Gekko and Gekko) come with an option to add MIPS – the Multi-directional Impact Protection System – that’s been proven to improve safety by reducing rotational forces from certain impacts.
Choosing the Right Clothing
Specifically tailored to the demands of bike riding, Madison Clothing knows a lot about making riding kit for professional riders and adds in the hard-wearing element that it needs to make for a comprehensive range that both gets the job done and looks good too.
There’s everything from padded shorts to Winter gloves, waterproof jackets to Summer jerseys and even kids’ mitts for anyone who wants to emulate the riders they see on TV. There is a huge collection of clothing for children as young as four years old.