Cycling with children can be great fun for all the family. Between our top tips and all the available options, you can ride with children of all ages and abilities.
Carrying and towing children
Child seats - children need to be strong enough to
support their own head to be carried in a child seat. This is usually
around nine to 12 months. If your child is very young, you can carry
them in a smaller front seat so you can see them as you ride. Other
child seats are fitted to the back of a bike and should only be used for
children up to five-years-old. Be sure to check the maker's recommended
Trailers - you can carry more
than one child with you on your bike by using a single or double
trailer. Trailers are suitable for children up to five-years-old.
- this single-wheeled bike attaches to your bike and lets your child
ride safely while attached to you. Tag-alongs are suitable for children
from four to nine-years-old.
Tow bar - convert your child's bike into a tag-along
using a tow bar. The front wheel is lifted off the ground, allowing
your child to pedal without having to steer.
Cargo bikes - these are available in two or three-wheeled versions and have a sturdy, large box area in front of the rider which can be adapted to carry more than one child.
Riding with children
Children usually learn to ride a bike
between three and six years. When buying your child his or her first
bike, choose one that fits them, rather than one they can grow into.
There are many ways to help your child build confidence:
- Balance bikes are like normal bikes but without the pedals. Your
child learns to balance, steer and gain confidence on two wheels while
being able to place their feet on the ground. Consider a balance bike
with a hand brake
- Tricycles or trikes have pedals so your child can get around on
their own. They have excellent balance and stability, and are suitable
for children from ten months to five-years-old Stabilisers are the easiest way to learn because they give rear bike
support. Children can learn to pedal, steer and brake on their own,
without needing to balance
- Stabilisers should be removed as soon as
possible so your child doesn't learn bad habits like leaning while
Try one of our leisure routes for an ideal family outing on bikes.
When riding with children, ride in a line with an adult at each end.
If there's only one adult, he or she should be at the rear to keep an
eye on the children in front. The adult at the rear can also ride
further out in the road to make sure the children are safe
- A proper fitting helmet is essential. It should not slip from side
to side or front to back. Ask your retailer to demonstrate that the
helmet meets safety standards
- Dress children warmly when carrying them in child seats or trailers. They won't be pedalling so they won't warm up like you
Read more about cycling safety.