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 weight limit.

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.

Tag-alongs - 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 turning

Try one of our leisure routes for an ideal family outing on bikes.

Safety tips

  • 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.