A guide to child bike seats
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Front seats usually attach to the top tube, a bar fixed above it, or a bracket on the head tube. Some are moulded plastic seats, like smaller versions of rear seats, while others – aimed at older children who can hold on themselves – are just little saddles and footrests bolted to the bike.
- Front seat have the advantage that your child can see more and can talk to you more easily.
- In the event of a fall, or if you brake suddenly your child can end up acting as your airbag.
- You may end up pedalling awkwardly with your knees out, but balance is actually better, particularly over bumps.
- Your child is slightly more exposed to wind chill.
- Those little saddles that bolt to the top tube aren’t recommended for anything other than short journeys. A tired child could slip sideways or let a foot dangle into the front wheel, with dangerous results.
If you do want a front-fitting seat, Dutch company Bobike make ones suitable for 1-2 year olds that can be fitted with a windscreen. This greatly helps to protect against wind chill and rain.
For children aged up to four or so, the Weeride Kangaroo is a better choice because it’s designed for a heavier passenger.
For more information on CTC's view on front child seats, read CTC Senior Technical Officer and Engineer Chris Juden's blog on front child seats.