There’s an electric bike for everyone. Yes, even for parents who want to go on a ride with their child.
As e-bikes skyrocket in popularity, manufacturers are rapidly pushing out different models designed for different needs. And if you’re a parent who wants to haul their little munchkin around, an electric bike with a child seat might be something you’re after.
To give you a hand, I’ve compiled a list of the best electric bikes with child seats and answered some questions to help you make an informed decision.
At What Age Can a Child Ride in an Electric Bike Seat?
According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should wait till your child is at least 12 months old.
This is because babies younger than 12 months might not have yet developed the neck strength required to support the weight of a helmet (Source). They also will not be able to prevent their head from bobbing around when riding over a bumpy path.
Although when searching for an electric bike with a child seat, you’ll quickly notice that most of the seats designed for your little nugget are rated as safe for infants as young as 9 months old. However, in my opinion, a safety rating is just a technicality.
I would suggest you to err on the side of caution and wait until your child is at least 12 months old. However, if you’re itching to start riding with your child sooner, you should look at other options for hauling babies — such as bike trailers.
Is It Legal To Carry Your Child in a Bike Seat on An Electric Bike?
In some states, 12 months is the minimum age your baby has to be before you can carry him around in a child seat on an electric bike, whereas in other states the minimum requirement is 9 months. Some areas also require all kids to wear a helmet.
When it comes to laws regarding electric transport vehicles, most of the states are still playing catch up. What is allowed in one state might be illegal in the other. These laws are also constantly changing. What might be legal today might not be allowed after a few months.
So before purchasing an electric bike with a child seat, to ride around on with your baby, make sure you go through the laws of your area. Although these laws are not often enforced, it’s best you exercise caution and stay on the safe side.
What Are The Different Types of Child Seats for Electric Bikes?
When looking for an electric bike with a child seat, you’ll be faced with two options. The front mounted child seat and the rear mounted child seat. Depending on your requirements, you might prefer one over the other.
Front Mounted Child Seat
The front mounted child seat is either attached to the top tube or to the stem of your electric bike by a small bracket.
If you will be going on a lot of off road adventures with your baby — or just riding on uneven paths — an electric bike with a front mounted child seat might be the perfect option for you.
Riding an electric bike with a front mounted child seat will also offer a more engaging riding experience for your little nugget. Your child would not only be able to see the path ahead, feel the wind hit his face, but will also be able to easily interact with you. You’ll also feel safer having your baby in between your arms.
Additionally, riding an electric bike with a child seat mounted in the front feels much more stable. This is because the weight of the rider is where it’s meant to be – in the center.
However, depending on how big your child is, you’ll find yourself riding with your knees pushed out. Thus, making long rides slightly uncomfortable.
Rear Mounted Child Seat
A rear mounted child seat — as the name suggests — is a seat that is mounted to the back of your electric bike. They’re usually clamped around the seat post of your e-bike or attached to the rear rack.
An electric bike with a rear mounted child seat is much better for longer commutes; since you can comfortably ride without pushing your knees out — which is the downside of an e-bike with a child seat in the front.
They’re also great for riding in windy weather conditions since your body blocks the cold wind from directly hitting your child. And you don’t have to worry about bugs getting in your little ones’ eyes either.
However, compared to front mounted child seat e-bikes, they don’t keep your baby as engaged. Since your body blocks their vision, they can’t really feel or see much of what’s going on. In fact, you’d quite often find your little one asleep in the child seat when you look over your shoulder.
Additionally, rear mounted seats also add a lot of weight to the back of your electric bike. This can potentially upset the balance of your e-bike, and can even result in the front wheel sliding out on loose terrain. Therefore, electric bikes with child seats mounted in the rear are not a good fit for off roaders.
Which Electric Bike Child Seat Should You Get?
If your baby is 2 years old or younger, an electric bike with a front mounted child seat will be a more enjoyable experience for both you, and your child. But if your little munchkin is 2.5 years or older, you’ll find a rear mounted child seat more comfortable.
Additionally, for off roading and shorter commutes, you’ll feel safer having your child in between your arms. And so, going for a front seat will be a better option. However, for longer commutes on paved roads, an electric bike with a child seat at the back will offer a more pleasant ride.
Longevity is another thing you should keep in mind when deciding on an electric bike with a child seat. Your toddler will quickly outgrow front mounted seats because they’re smaller in size. So, if you only want to make a single purchase, go for a rear seat electric bike.
Can You Carry Two Kids on An Electric Bike with a Child Seat?
To put it simply, yes. It’s definitely doable.
By fitting both a front mounted child seat and a rear mounted child seat to your electric bike, you can haul both your kids around at once. The younger one can go in the front seat whilst the older one sits in the rear seat.
Although you would not feel the added weight while riding — due to the motor of your e-bike powering you forward — you will definitely find maneuvering your child seat electric bike difficult.
So if you are new to riding electric bikes, practice with only one of your munchkins first, before adding the second. And only go out on the road after you’ve got the hang of it. You should also install a kickstand on your electric bike; this will allow you to easily load your kids.
What is the Maximum Weight for an Electric Bike Child Seat?
On average, a 24 month old child weighs around 26 pounds according to the World Health Organization. This means you won’t run into problems hauling your baby around in an electric bike with a front mounted child seat till the age of 2.
On the other hand, a rear mounted child seat can bear more weight; usually around 45 pounds. This means as your child gets heavier with age, you’d have to switch from a front seat to a rear seat.
What Other Features Should You Consider When Getting a Child Seat Electric Bike?
I’ve already covered the most important things you need to keep in mind when getting an electric bike with a child seat. However, there are a couple of other tiny features you can also take into account before making a decision.
Ensuring that your electric bike child seat comes with shoulder straps is very important. Especially for rear mounted baby seats. You can tightly strap your little one in his place and not worry about him falling off.
If you want something more comfortable for your baby, you should get child seats with padded shoulder straps. Not only are they a more comfortable option, but they’re also more secure, and tend to stay in place better.
By getting an electric bike with a reclining child seat, you don’t have to worry about your baby being uncomfortable if he falls asleep. This is especially important if you’d be going on long commutes with your child.
However, you’ll only find this option on high-end, rear mounted child seat electric bikes.
Adjustable Footrests with Straps
Another feature you might find important are adjustable footrests with straps. They not only give your toddler a secure place to rest their feet on, but also prevent them from kicking and swinging. After all, you wouldn’t want to be kicked in the back by your baby while you’re riding.