big thumbs up for the bobike mini

little man taking five

little man taking five

I Cycled from Dorking where we live to Reigate the next big-ish town along the railway line. I had my one year old on my bike in the Bobike mini bike seat.

The head line is: If you like cycling and you want to head out on your bike with a child then yes buy a bike seat: they are great fun.

A lot of our friends have ask me about the bike seat. Ours is a hand me down from a Dutch friend. So had I done the research i might not have got this one. but my basic message is not to agonise over witch one you get. Any bike seat is better than no bike seat. A problem with bikes-stuff in general is that there is a beguiling amount of choice most of which is superficial.

At the end of the day it is a plastic lawn chair that bolts to the frame of your bike. They are all going to be pretty much the same. That having been said, a friend of ours is currently in the research phase of getting a bike seat and I was happy to confirm that it would have been better to get one that could recline so the baby can sleep in it while you are on the move.

I see that Halford’s do a reclining one for £75 that has a ‘sleeping position’. I think that is excellent value. We keep being asked if we would recommend the front bike seat or if a rear one is good enough. I love having the little man up front. But i expect that I wouldn’t have bought the front bike seat. I would have done what most people on my Facebook feed who have bought one recently did and put them straight on the back. the front seat can take them untill they are 15kgs.

The advantage of having them on the front is:

That for the first few journeys I was able to tell myself that i was able to ‘make sure’ he was ok a bit more easily. My guess is that if he was crying i would here him straight away.

Our seat does not have a sleeping position. We can not trust Isaac to not fall asleep. As he is upfront. I can see when he has dropped off straight away and pull over for his nap. When I head out. I take an ama wrap with me.  It drops straight in the my bag takes up very little room and doubles as an extremely flamboyant scarf. Dorking to Reigate is a 44min ride but that didn’t take into account a 50mins nap on a bench at a rugby club on route.

When we pick up speed going down hill, Isaac whoops and throws his hands in the air, because he is upfront i get to see that and can enjoy it with him which i think makes a trip on the bike more of a ride and less like he is just cargo.

Its also hard to put a price on it: sometimes when we have been going along for a while I will feel this little hand rest on mine and my heart just melts.

I have plans to get him a massive bell so that when he wants he can ring it.

He enjoys waving at people we pass on the way and they seem to enjoy it as well. I think much of that would have been missed by me if he wasn’t upfront. So although I understand not wanting to pay out twice the front bike seat is more fun for the adult. but i bet the back one is also lots of fun.

When we do have another kid I fully intend to have front and rear bike seats on my bike so we can have family outings.

The other thing I like about the bike seat is that it is still possible to bundle ever thing on a train. That doubles the distance you can do, on the way home you don’t have to worry about a long ride back.  Now i think about it. I think the optimal configuration is two bike seats. one on the front one on the back. So I get the fun of having him on the front and when he drops off an empty reclining seat on the back for him to sleep in on the move.

Now i just need to work out how to sell such an extravagant idea to my wife!