Help and advice
Safety: Here’s our top 3 tips and links below to some more!
- Be seen – cycle in an optimal road position, away from the kerb/gutter and out of reach of car doors. The further out you are the more options you have. Only use cycle lanes if they help. We deliver cycle sessions so you can learn about this.
- Be seen – take lights (even if you’re not expecting to use them), Sleeveless Hi Visibility vests fit over most clothes and can easily be attached over the back of bike seats and trailers. They also come in children’s sizes.
- Be aware – Check over your right shoulder frequently and when stopping/turning left check over your left shoulder for traffic coming on the inside.
Amazingly there is “theory” about different types of puncture and why they occur….to keep it simple then keep your tyres inflated within the minimum and maximum range written on the side of your tyre.
Bikes, Baby Seats, Trailers…………….
Choosing a bike is complicated enough and adding some more complexity when thinking about the requirements of your Tot(s) make it an almost impossible task to get right. Most of the time your bike type constrains your choices and hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Baby Seats come in all shapes and sizes and fix onto parts of the bike you never even knew existed. They can go on the front (attached to the frame beneath the handlebars), the crossbar or on the back either attached to the seatpost/back of the frame and/or connected to the frame near the back wheel axle.
Here’s some tips to keep your options open….
- Be able to grip the frame beneath the handlebars comfortably with your hand (this is where a clamp can go for a front seat. Same applies to the back of the frame beneath the seatpost.
- Check if your bike is suitable for panniers spare screw holes on rear forks by the drop outs are all potential sites for fixing rear seats and trailers. The more screw holes the better!
- Avoid carbon and aluminium e.g. frames, forks, seatposts. Steel or steel alloys are stronger and will cope with things being attached and pulling the frame in other directions than straight down!.
- Have a horizontal crossbar and frame comprised of a single round tube. Oval, triangular and double tube frames can sometimes cause problems.
- Can a trailer hitch bracket be attached easily to the rear axle? Things like solid nutted axles, through axles and breezer style dropouts all have amazing abilities to prevent trailers being attached. That said trailer manufacturers sometimes have alternative adaptors.
- Sometimes it is difficult to have pannier bags attached to the rack whilst a baby seat is attached so if this is important make sure you check before buying!
Cargo Bikes & Trikes & Tandems……..
Cargo Bikes & Trikes can carry between 2-4 children and can also useful for doing the shopping and other chores which involve moving bulky items about.
Tandems are another great way to transport children and the rear seat can be replaced with a double pannier rack which a baby bike seat can be fixed to whilst also being able to have pannier bags to carry other items.
For older children then a tag along can attach to the rear seatpost of a regular bike and we suggest researching exactly how the tag along attaches
We’ve experience of cargo bikes with trailers, regular bikes with a rear bike seat and a trailer to carry a small toddler and a bigger child in the trailer, bike seats on the front and back……all sorts of combinations are possible and the number of permutations too many to list!
Amazingly you can now get electric assists on bikes. Not all are the same and you’ll need to decided whether the assist is something you want to help you pull away fast from lights or something that will kick in when you’re pedalling up that all important hill. Also the size, weight and dimensions of the battery are important along with how it likes to be charged. Again, worth doing the research to figure out your requirements!
If you have any other suggestions for this page or any questions about what we’ve written please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org