August 4, 2006

    I want to take my 2-and-a-half-year-old biking with me. Which seat is safer: the new front seats, or the seats that will sit him behind me? Thanx.

Moses R.

    Last time I checked I don’t have kids, but I've talked about this with folks who do.
    First, lemme say that I’ve seen two kinds of front-mounted seats: ones that mount onto top tubes and ones that mount onto handlebars.
    Some parents like having their kids in front because not only can they talk with their kids while riding, the kids can see lots more than their parent’s backside. Also, some parents find that a top tube-mounted seat makes a bike easier to balance than a rear-mounted seat, when a parent is either riding or getting on and off the bike. Disadvantages: Some seats (and parent heights) cause parents to hit their knees on the seat.
    Parents who like rear-mounted seats like that most brands have high enough backs that kids can rest their heads, especially if they fall asleep. (Front-mounted seats I've seen don’t have this feature.) Also, some rear seats use quick-release mounts that very easily attach to and detach from a rear carrying rack, a feature that many parents want.
    Also, a rear child seat sends a message to motorists that they should take extra care—what one parent I know calls the "Oh my god there's a kid on that bike" safety factor.

Mr Bike

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