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Getting active as a family is a wonderful bonding activity that is both fun and healthy for everyone! We have put together a full guide of gear from bikes to baby seats to accessories that will get you on the road to a family biking tradition, in style.
At Daily Mom, we love to encourage (and engage in!) family activities that are good for our children’s development. Families that bike together have the opportunity to enjoy many benefits.
- Family Bonding
- Strengthened Balance
- Burning Calories
- Building Muscles
- Strengthening the Heart and Lungs
- Building Endurance
- Developing Large Motor Skills
Even knowing all about the amazing benefits, it’s hard to get started. There is a lot of gear to look at and so many options it’ll make your head spin. Daily Mom to the rescue! We put together a comprehensive list of everything your family needs to get started biking together. We found some of the best rated, most innovative and extremely fashionable biking accessories on the market today.
Helmets for the Whole Family
Stationed in the center of the creative universe, Portland, OR you will find Nutcase Helmet Company. They feature a wide range of helmets for street sports, snow sports, and even water and moto sports. If you are looking for modern designs and sturdy construction these are the helmets for you. Sizes for everyone from toddlers through adults are available.
Nutcase has some amazing features built into their helmets. The logos on the front, back and sides are reflective for safe dawn-dusk riding. Nutcase helmets are also CPSC Certified so moms like us can rest assured that our kids are safe.
- Every bike helmet comes with 3 sets of inner pads to get the fit just right.
- The spin dial on the back of your helmet adjusts the fit perfectly so you won’t have to worry that this summer’s helmet won’t fit next summer.
- Magnetic clasp closures assures that no little chins will be pinched when it’s time for a ride.
- Proper air flow keeps your head cool and comfortable even during hot summer afternoons.
The toughest part of getting into biking as a family for the first time in your life is understanding the difference between all the options out there. Getting a bike should be simple: visit a store, pick out a color, buy.
However, the truth is picking out a bike is somewhat similar to picking out a car: there are features to consider, prices to negotiate, comfort and fit to try out and finally quality of construction, materials and safety regulations to educate yourself. Here is a quick low down on what to look for in a bike if you’re new to this.
There are several types of bikes: standard single speed bikes like Electra Cruiser 1, BMX bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, tandem bikes, cruisers. If you’re looking to take up biking as a family activity, road bikes for the more active type or cruisers for leisure biking are your best options.
While it is tempting to buy a cheap bike on sale at a local big box store, it is much wiser in the long run to visit a local bike shop, like Bike Route, and select a bike that will last you for many years to come, as well as guarantee your safety, comfort, fit and quality of the components. The cheap bikes you see at big stores might look cute, but they will last you a fraction of the time a real quality bike will and you will end up spending more money trying to get it fixed or replacing it every year. Most importantly, putting your and your child’s ( if you are planning on having your baby ride with you, or looking to buy a kid’s bike) safety at risk with questionable quality components is never worth the savings.
Our favorite bike brand is Electra Bikes. We love a company with an attitude and a character here at Daily Mom and Electra is right up there with the best of them. A bike company that took comfort, style and functionality to the next level. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a bike, you will definitely find it in one of their bike collections: Townie (pictured), Verse, Ticino, Amsterdam and Cruiser.
The biggest reason why we love Electra is their amazing Flat Foot Technology. As a maker for some of the best comfort bikes, they have come up with a bike design that allows the rider to sit up straight with arms in a relaxed position and plant your feet flat on the ground, as opposed to most bikes where you have to balance on your tip toes when stopped. This becomes crucial in a family biking situation where you have an infant/toddler riding with you in a bike seat. Unless you are a very experienced rider who has logged miles of bike use with a child seat, such weight on a bike will throw off your balance a bit. Flat foot technology helps you be more in control of your bike and your child. We feel that is the most important feature of a bike when it comes to young families.
Electra Bikes are the ultimate bikes for the style seekers due to the sheer number of looks and choices, as well as their fun and extensive collection of accessories, like bells, lights, flowers, cup holders, bags, mirrors and more. You can accessorize you bike to look as unique as you and your family are with the help of their products. As photography-obsessed moms, our favorite accessory is this camera mount that allows you to hook up your camera and record your journey to make it truly unforgettable.
Child Bike Carriers
A less traditional option for a child carrier, yet just as safe and arguably more comfortable for you and interesting for your baby is a front mounted seat, like Yepp Mini. Instead of mounting a child bike seat at the back of the bike where your baby can’t see what’s going on, with Yepp Mini you can put them front and center and enjoy the trip together while narrating and pointing out plants and animals on your leisure ride. This seat is especially helpful for parents with high spirited children who require being in the thick of the action, always moving, always stimulated as it gives them more to look at while riding comfortably with a parent.
Made out of a soft, shock absorbent and water resistant material, the seat is very comfortable for the child and is easy to clean with a wet rag. It has all the safety features of a child bike seat, including a 5 point harness and a secure installation with a stem adapter (supplied) or a threadless handlebar adapter (purchased separately). It also carries a 2 year warranty for any manufacturing defects and is compliant with the most stringent European safety requirements and American ASTM standards.
It can be used with a child starting from 9 month of age (though it’s recommended that you wait a full year until putting your infant into any bike seat) and will hold a child until their 3rd birthday or until they reach about 33 lbs (15 kg).
To make your and your child’s ride even more comfortable, Yepp offers accessories such as a windscreen to protect from flies and sleeping support that give your child head support when he falls asleep during the ride.
Yepp Mini comes in several different colors to match your and your child’s personality and bike color, our favorite of which is bright shiny pink and clean crisp white.
While this is a relatively new way of carrying children on your bike for US, it is fairly popular in Europe and, as parents to very aware and high energy babies, we are absolutely in love with this new way to enjoy our bike rides as a family.
The Teddy Bike Seat by Kettler makes biking as a family easy. Everything you need to install the seat is included, no need to purchase separate installation sets. As long as you have a screwdriver and a little time the seat is ready! The mounting system is virtually universal, coming with the equipment needed to fit bikes of different shapes and sizes. The Teddy is a Natural Suspension System, meaning the seat is not mounted to the bike frame but rather at a single point under the bike seat.
We love the fun design of the Teddy seat by Kettler. The fun colors and simple racing scheme will have your little one looking the part when enjoying a ride.
A Balance Bike for Your Toddler
If you think that your 2 year old is too young to ride a bike, think again. Enter the world of balance bikes, an ingenious invention that not only allows small children to ride a two-wheeled no pedal bike, but lets them learn about balance while getting ready for the big league of kid bike riding. Toddlers can start riding a balance bike as early as 18 months (until 5 years of age), first walking alongside it, then slowly putting their weight on the bike seat and finally gaining enough confidence to take their feet of the ground and go.
If you don’t believe us, consult YouTube and its numerous videos of tiny tots riding balance bikes and rocking at it.
Strider Bikes, our favorite brand of balance bikes, makes high quality adorable bikes in different colors to match your family’s and your toddler’s style. These bikes are no joke: they are sturdy yet lightweight, well made, smooth to ride and easy to assemble. They resemble real adult bikes in quality, just really small and lacking pedals.
Strider isn’t just a cool and shiny toy. It teaches your child balance, coordination and develops confidence in his abilities. It helps your tiniest member feel like they are a part of the family when biking . It’s a first step to becoming a confident bike rider.
Pre-schooler’s First Bike
Choosing a bike for your pre-schooler can be an intimidating task. For children who don’t start their bike riding adventures with a balance bike, this decision can be even more important. Kids learn a great deal of balance skills and confidence on their first bike. Electra kids bicycles are the perfect start when your children are ready to step up from the balance bike and into the real deal. Electra bikes are made with their patented flat foot technology. This means that while seated properly on your child’s Electra bike, they can safely and comfortably place both their feet flat on the ground. This amazing technology will help your preschooler gain confidence to ride their bike, making it a fun and rewarding activity.
Not only are Electra Kids bikes made with safety and comfort in mind, they are the most stylish kids bikes around. Say goodbye to those licensed character theme bikes they sell in big box stores and say hello to gorgeous, timeless colors and classic lines instead.
Electra carries kids bikes in both 16 inch and 20 inch heights. The 16 inch version comes with detachable training wheels for even the youngest of riders. The 20 inch version features the amazing flat foot technology that sets Electra apart from the competitors. Each bike has kid size saddles, grips and handlebars to accommodate your pint size biker. The adjustable frame design assures your child will be able to keep their bike through many growth spurts.
Bike Bags and Baskets
We can’t talk about style without talking about accessories! Baskets, bags and seat covers are not only add function to your bike, but add a big splash of style as well. Basil, a bike company from the Netherlands, offers a unique selection of bike accessories that are both classy and fashionable. Baskets made of wire, wicker or metal in a variety of colors can attach to the front or back of your bike depending on your preference and needs. We love the sweet little flowers that can attach to your basket for added flair!
Aside from looking simply adorable, a basket on your bike gives you the ability to take your bike to the post office, pick up your mail and stick it in the basket for the ride home. You can place a bag of produce from the farmers market easily there as you ride off into the summer breeze. Have a baby seat on the back of your bike? Pack up a tiny picnic, place it in your basket, and ride to the park together! You will use your bike much more often with a handy basket in tow!
Basil also offers gear to protect your ride from the elements. They design covers for your bike baskets and seats that are as pretty as they are functional. Choose a bright floral print for a pop of pattern and color – bikes deserve to accessorize too!