If you’re a parent who loves biking and traveling, it’s only natural that you’ll want to get your kids involved in your favorite hobbies. But whether you’re cycling with toddlers or children as old as six, you need to choose the right bike or accessory that will keep them safe and comfortable.
You have three biking options for both you and your child: cargo bikes, child seats, or trailers. Let’s take a closer look at each of them and see which one is best suited for you and your travel plans.
A cargo bike is any bike that’s built to carry either heavy loads or at least one extra rider. Front-loading cargo bikes, like the ones sold here at Ferla, feature a large basket or box in front with a wheel on either side. And like all of our models, most are equipped with a rechargeable motor to help you go farther and make it easier to move around. Ours also include two sets of seatbelts, making it easy and safe for you to cart up to two small children at once.
There are plenty of advantages to having a bike with a child trailer in front, such as the ability to keep your passengers further away from traffic. You can also keep better track of them and carry on conversations throughout your travels. And thanks to its extra wheel and low center of gravity, there’s virtually no risk of it tipping over. Not to mention that it gives your kid an amazing view while they’re riding.
Better yet, you can customize your Ferla cargo bike with any of our accessories for better safety and comfort. These include:
- A canopy to protect them from the elements
- Cushioned seats for a more comfortable ride
- A removable table with a cup holder for snack time.
- A toddler seat so even your littlest one can come along
Furthermore, you don’t just need a cargo bike for kids, as you can also use it for grocery shopping, deliveries, other errands, or even personal day trips. It may be the most expensive option of all three here, but the price is more than worth it when you consider its safe and versatile ride.
- Greater carrying capacity
- Additional safety features.
- Gives your kids a great view
- Comfort and customization
- Can also be used for errands
- High price range
- Sometimes hard to maneuver
- Difficult to store away
Child Bike Seats
If your child is young and small enough, all you’ll need for traveling is a detachable seat made just for bicycles. They’re specifically designed to be affixed to either the front or the back and have an average weight limit that’s between 35 and 40 lbs. So if you have a baby or toddler between 7 months and 3 years of age, this is your best option.
Although both front and rear seats have their advantages, rear child seats can keep your bike more stabilized and protect your child from oncoming debris. You can also ride your two-wheeled bike more easily when you don’t have extra cargo or passengers in the front. Furthermore, it’s the least expensive option here, with an average price range of $50 to $200.
Unfortunately, as with any other children’s travel seat, there is a limit to how many years you can use it. You’ll also have to make sure your bike is compatible with one or look into a long or mid-tail bike to ensure that you have room. And even though rear seats are easier to use, thanks to their lower center of gravity, it may still affect your sense of balance.
- More affordable
- Easier to ride with
- Keeps your child close
- Fewer obstacles for you.
- Only meant for toddlers
- Increased risk of bike tipping over
- Hard to keep track of your passenger
- Not meant for certain bike models
A trailer is a carriage with a wheel on each side that you attach to the back of your bicycle and pull along. They are compatible with any standard bike model and, depending on their size, are meant for children between 9 months and 6 years old. Many also have an attached screen cover that you can zip up to protect your passengers from the elements and any loose debris.
Just like cargo bikes, trailers are also very versatile in terms of storage and age limits, and many can also carry two small children at once. While not cheap, they’re also far less expensive with an average price range between $100 and $800. They each offer enough room for games and snacks and provide a ride so comfortable your kid might just fall asleep.
However, a bike trailer can be hard to store away if you don’t have enough room at home or didn’t purchase a foldable model. And its rear-positioning makes it difficult for you to keep tabs on your passengers or better engage them while riding. And with all the extra weight and length, you’ll have to be even more careful every time to slow down or come to a complete stop.
- Compatible with any bike
- Protects from the elements
- Easier to maneuver
- Wider age range
- Can’t keep track of passengers
- Can be hard to store
- Difficult to brake
Some Functions to Think About When Traveling With Children
Now that you know all the basic details about each option, let’s take a moment to discuss functionality. There are plenty of things that you need to consider when choosing between a cargo bike, bike seat, or bike trailer.
Storage Capacity: When you think about it, this applies to two very important factors: how many kids you’re traveling with, and how much storage space you have at home. Think carefully about what you’ll need to bring on each trip and where you’ll keep the bike in between rides.
Rideability: What is your experience and skill level when it comes to riding certain bikes? If you’re used to standard models, then either a trailer or a bike seat is your safest and easiest option. On the other hand, if you have experience riding different kinds of bikes, especially e-bikes, then definitely consider a cargo bike.
Longevity: How many years can you get out of this one product? A bike seat is inexpensive and works for a couple of years, but what will you do when your child outgrows it? A trailer can last you a few years longer, but even that has its age limits. Given the versatility of a cargo bike, you need to consider if the expense is worth it.
Price Tag: How much is each option going to cost you? Will you use a cargo bike often enough to justify the four-figure price? Look at your daily life, do plenty of research ahead of time, and set aside a budget for your ideal travel family bicycles.
Traveling Advice for Families
It’s important to keep your kids engaged, excited, and safe throughout their travels. Here is some extra advice that we’ve compiled for when you’re cycling with a child or two.
- Make sure that your child is wearing their helmet before you start your trip. And get helmets that not only fit right but also come in fun colors so they’ll be excited to wear them. No matter how big or small your trip is, safety should always come first.
- Go on small trips first so your kids can get used to bike riding. Go around your neighborhood block a few times as a warm-up. Use it to take them to pre-school or to get them a treat from one of your go-to neighborhood shops.
- Find ways to keep your child entertained throughout the ride. Whether it’s turning the ride into a fun game, bringing extra games along, or clipping on a Bluetooth speaker so they can listen to music, do what you can to make traveling more exciting.
- Bring anything that will make the trip easier for you and your child. This includes first aid kits, extra clothes, games equipment, and most importantly, snacks. Pack plenty of their favorite snacks and bottles of water to keep their energy and spirits up throughout the journey.
- Never travel at night with your children no matter what. There are plenty of safety hazards when it comes to riding in the dark, between limited visibility, oncoming traffic, and the possibility of wild animals. Not to mention it’s past their bedtime, and children need their routines. Always stick to their normal schedule even when you’re on the road.
With all of this in mind, you’re now more ready than ever to get the bike you need and start going on fun family trips. Because at the end of the day, making the best memories possible should be the most important thing.
Let your family bike touring adventure begin!