You can take up to four tots in the transport box of a cargo bike; that's large-family-compliant! Carrying children on bicycles can be an environmentally friendly alternative to the transport by car, but you also have to get used to it. Prior to buying, it is recommended that you do a test ride ideally with the kids. Our overview shows how diverse the transport of children by bicycle can be:
The child seat: After all, one in ten cyclists in Germany takes a child with them several times a month by choosing in most cases the classic child seat, which is used for half of all child transports (50 per cent). This is the result of the representative “Fahrrad Monitor 2021” survey conducted by the Sinus Institute on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The result is hardly surprising, because bicycle seats are the lowest price option: “With a good 100 euros you are in,” says Dirk Zedler of the bicycle testing institute Zedler in Ludwigsburg.
When buying one, you should make sure that the backrest is high enough and that it has side bolsters. “Children tend to fall asleep during the ride,” says Zedler. The described design would provide a safe head reast. The most important criteria for safety are regulated by the so-called “DIN EN 14344 standard.” As a rule, the seats are equipped with bolsters and five-point belts. Thanks to adjustable footrests with foot straps, small children's feet do not come into contact with the spokes. The products are mainly designed for children between nine and 22 kilograms.
Zedler, the expert, sees however two disadvantages in handling. “The most dangerous moment is when you put the child on or take the child off the bike.” If the bicycle is only secured with a normal kickstand, it can quickly tip over due to the extra weight. As the centre of gravity moves upwards, the riding characteristics also change considerably: “The ride is more wobbly and less stable.”
In the trailer at bumper level
Also, mum or dad cannot see their child in the back. A rear-view mirror can help. When the seat is attached to the seat tube, the frame swings along and offers suspension comfort. He advises however against solutions that are permanently attached to the luggage carrier: “The child gets every impact hard as a rock.” Occasionally, you can also find seats for front mounting in the shops, but there the children are exposed to the wind and also to greater traffic risks.
The child trailer: For a longer bike tour, the trailer is a good choice. There is more space, the juniors can make themselves comfortable. Important safety requirements are bundled in the “DIN EN 15918 standard”; in this case as well, prospective buyers should make sure that the product meets their requirements. This is visible for consumers by a kind of type plate that manufacturers usually attach to the product. In doubt, this is to be checked with the manufacturer, says Dirk Zedler. “For child seats, the GS mark is occasionally used in addition, which typically imposes even higher requirements.”
Read the entire German article online.
Author: Stefan Weißenborn