At SDJ Sports we appreciate that if you are new to cycling the sport can appear to be confusing with so many different styles of riding, racing, bicycles and not forgetting the all important riding accessories, clothing and equipment!
Child seats enable the whole family to get out on a bike ride. Most brands recommend fitting for 12 months and above. Child seats for bikes have various fittings. The most popular fitting style for a child seat is on the frame of the bike below the saddle. This is one of the strongest tubes on your bike and can easily support the 49 lb weight limit that most child seats top out at. The fitting bracket remains on the bike at all times but you are able to remove the child seat and metal bars when required for going out on your bike without the kids.
The majority of child seats for bikes fit over the rear wheel and are supported by a metal bar however there some that fit on the crossbar between you, the rider, and the handlebars. Most quality brands offer this fitting type but beware of the ones that offer little protection for your child. These cheaper versions may also scratch your frame.
At SDJ Sports we have personal experience with both styles and feel each has its place in the market. For longer more frequent rides we recommend the rear mounting style. These are generally made of a dual skin plastic, some of which can recline, and all have a good quality harness and padding for your child. Hamax, Avenir and Ok Baby are probably the best known child seats for bikes. These brands also make other products in the kids' world like potties and baby baths so they know how safe the product has to be. All of these seats have a back to them and usually some seat and back padding so the child can lean back. Many also have a moulded section at the top of the back support so your child can wear a helmet in them. Many children's helmets have a flat back to them for use within a child seat.
The crossbar fitting child seats for bikes are more popular with older children. This is because the child needs to be aware that they need to hold onto the handle bars and in essence sit on a saddle and not in a seat as they would on the rear. Not as many of these are sold as children like to ride their own bikes as they get older but these do come in handy when it is raining on the school run. There are again a couple of brands that are known for their front fitting child seats. These are Hamax, Oxford and Ok Baby. Again all brands that have been around for years and all are made to a good standard.
So now you have no excuses to not get out on that family bike ride as there is a child seat to fit nearly every style of bike out there!