The Pros and Cons of Bike Seats and Trailers

/ By Jacqui Ma

It's no secret that the government is trying to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by promoting cycling. Despite these efforts, The Independent reveals that only 2% of all trips in England are completed by bike, in stark contrast to 61% of journeys made by car. Given that, it's time to do your part to push those biking numbers up. Luckily, brands like Giant and Raleigh have introduced e-bikes. These power-assisted bikes are projected to be the next big thing in cycling, as they appeal to a generation of eco-conscious citizens.

What's more, riding a bike, whether electric or traditional, has plenty of health benefits. A Telegraph feature on cycling's benefits details how getting on the saddle can improve cardiovascular health, tone muscles, and boost energy. Biking can even enhance mental wellbeing, as it releases the feel-good hormone called endorphin. It is also a means to avoid draining day-to-day commutes. An article on Time Magazine lists the negative health effects of commuting by car, which include increased anxiety and blood pressure, as well as reduced cardiovascular fitness. Commuting can also make people less satisfied with their lives. Given these reasons, we recommend that you bike as often as possible.

One of the best times to bike is when you take your kid to school. For a healthy bonding experience, ditch the car and ride your bike instead. But before you do, read our handy guide for bike seats and trailers to get a better idea as to which one you should use.

What is a front-mounted seat?

front mounted baby seat on bike

IMAGE CREDIT: @weerideuk

A front-mounted seat is one placed in the top tube, just between the handlebars and saddle.

Pros

1. You can see your child at all times.
2. You can easily anticipate weight shifts along the way, and keep you and your child from bumps along the road.
3. Your child gets an unobstructed view of the surroundings.
4. You and your child can talk with ease.

    Cons

    1. A front-mounted seat raises the center of gravity of the bike, making handling a bit more difficult, and dismounting, somewhat trickier.
    2. There might be less knee-to-pedal room.
    3. Your child might interfere with your steering.

      What is a rear-mounted seat?

      rear mounted kids bike seat

      A rear-mounted seat is one placed at the back of the bike, just behind the saddle.

      Pros

      1. Rear-mounted seats are more comfortable, as they usually have bigger head support, plus side supports.

      2. Rear-mounted seats can support children more than five stone so can be used for longer.
      3. Seat mounted on the rear make the bike easier to steer so are better for more novice cyclists.

        Cons

        1. You can’t monitor your child as frequently.
        2. Talking can be difficult.
        3. A rear-mounted one can affect your balance. In particular, it can make dismounting a bit difficult.

          What is a trailer?

          bicycle trailer for kids
          IMAGE CREDIT: @fatherandkidsonbike

          A trailer is essentially a sidecar, but one attached to your bike’s rear.

          Pros

          1. Your child won’t be at risk of falling.

          2. Trailers ensure maximum comfort. Your child can bring along their toys for the ride.

          3. You can carry more than one child in the trailer, great for twins or different aged kids.

          4. You can focus on your biking.

          5. Kids can fall asleep easily during the trip, so you can go on longer rides, even touring.

            Cons

            1. You won’t be able to keep a constant eye on your child.

            2. Communication isn’t possible.

            3. Your child will miss out on the opportunity to be engaged during the ride.

            4. It can be difficult to store, if you don't have a lot of space or a garage and you might need somewhere to leave the trailer if you are using it to drop kids off at nursery or school as you may not want to ride it onwards to work.

            5. Kids could call asleep easily during the trip 

            6. A trailer can be a more expensive investment however you may be able to find these second hand.

              Whatever you end up choosing, know that it's still better than being stuck in traffic and it can be a much quicker and more environmentally friendly way to travel around a city or town. You'll have unforgettable bonding experiences and also inspire your kids to get on their own bikes as soon as they can. 

                Written by Alyson Ciara for goodordering.com



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