The features of a good, safe child bike seat
With a child bike seat, you can take your little one with you on your bike. Kids’ bike seats are available for children from the age of nine months who can already sit on their own. Depending on the child’s height, weight and age, there are various different child bike seats for the front and rear of the bike.
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Mounting a kids’ bike seat on the front of the bicycle
Some kids’ bike seats are mounted on the front of the bicycle. Manufacturers offer various fastening systems for this purpose, which can be mounted on the bicycle quickly and easily. Children who can already sit by themselves (usually from the age of 9 months), and up to a weight of 15 kg, can be transported in a bike child carrier attached to the front of the bicycle.
But be warned that stability is affected by the load at the front – it can take some getting used to. The weight and movements of your child influence riding performance. We recommend that you practice riding on a safe, relatively quiet stretch of road. If your child can sit in the front, he or she will have a good view and will be able to see much more of the environment and the traffic.
Another plus is that you don’t have to turn around or lean back to talk to your child, so you’ll be less distracted. And you’re in constant contact with your child during the ride, making it much easier to communicate, which is especially important at a very young age. Small children might be afraid or react adversely to situations in road traffic, but you’re there to reassure them.
To protect the child from wind and weather, most seats for the front of the bike are equipped with a windscreen. A good child seat should also be equipped with a cushion, fastening straps and footrests.
Cargo bikes are also becoming more and more popular. In fact, they’re on their way to being an integral part of city life. Cargo bikes are not only a great way to transport shopping – they also provide an ideal way of transporting kids! You can use one to carry several children at a time – they can sit safely in the front. Cargo bikes with an electric motor are now also available.
Mounting a children’s bike seat at the rear of the bicycle
Children weighing more than 15 kg should be transported in a children’s bike seat attached to the rear of the bicycle. These seats are much larger and are able to bear more weight, which means that you can use them for longer.
Once the child reaches a certain weight, the load at the front of the bicycle has too great an influence on stability and steering performance, making it unsafe in road traffic.
One advantage of a seat for the rear of the bicycle is that the backrest is a lot higher, and the cyclist retains a better range of vision. Ensure that the seat has footrests, so that your child’s feet don’t get caught in the spokes.
Child seats for the rear of the bike are mounted either on the luggage carrier – with a luggage carrier adapter – on the saddle tube of the frame, or on the saddle post.
Manufacturers have developed appropriate brackets, allowing you to mount the seat very quickly. This system ensures that the seat doesn’t rest directly on the luggage carrier, which provides a certain amount of shock absorption.
Another advantage of a rear child seat is that it protects your child from wind and rain. However, it’s important that your child sits still in the bicycle seat, because too much movement can result in a pendulum movement in the wheel, which could even lead to a fall. To ensure safety in road traffic, you need to practise riding with this type of child seat.
Choosing a good, safe bike seat for your child
A child bike seat should not only be quick and easy to attach to the bicycle, it should also fulfil all the necessary safety requirements. It should be comfortable and suitable for everyday use, and it should not affect the stability of the bicycle too much.
If you decide on a seat for the front of the bike, it should definitely be equipped with a windscreen to protect the child from flying stones, dirt, wind and weather. The three- or five-point seatbelt on the children’s bike seat should be easy to adjust, and the child should not be able to open it under any circumstances.
The footrest is particularly important – it not only supports the child, but also ensures that their feet don’t end up in the bicycle spokes. Also bear in mind that your child must wear a children’s cycling helmet at all times when being transported on a bicycle.
What does the law require?
According to the law, child bike seats must meet certain minimum requirements, and children may only be transported in child seats up to the age of seven. In order to transport a child on a bicycle, the cyclist must be at least 16 years old. Furthermore, the child’s feet must be appropriately secured so that they can’t get caught in the spokes.
The child seat must comply with the DIN EN 14344 standard, for children weighing between 9 and 22 kg. Carrying children on the luggage carrier is not permitted. The Road Traffic Ordinance explicitly stipulates that the transport of children on a bicycle is only permitted in “special seats”.