Trailers and bicycle seats

Trailers and bicycle seats
Trailers and bicycle seats

A ride with son on a bicycle? The bicycle trailer is an increasingly popular choice, but there are so many choices and above all so many prices! We help you with your shopping!


Several trailer models are available on the market and it is not easy to choose, especially since the price is still high. We are talking here about 150 dollars in amount, the most beautiful models being naturally more expensive (more than a thousand dollars). There is always the possibility of buying a used item, but these trailers are so popular that they quickly disappear in yard sales or the classifieds.

Here are some criteria and comments that can help you in your choice.

In a bike trailer

  • Baby is protected from sun, wind and rain during the walk.
  • It is stable and won't tip over like on a bicycle seat.
  • With a double trailer, two children are transported.
  • Several trailers convert into strollers, which is really handy!
  • Trailers almost all have storage space


At thebreakdown. Some trailers do not have an opening at the back which prevents air from circulating, and can make baby uncomfortable. Opt for a model where the air circulates well.

The Wheels. Choose strong and bigger wheels rather than small and plastic ones.

The weight. You will have to put the trailer in the trunk of the car, move it in the shed, climb stairs with it? Even if it's just for pulling behind a bike or pushing while jogging, the weight of the trailer could be a serious drawback that will discourage you from using it.

Options. There are a host of optional parts that make using the trailer even more convenient. Baby adapter, rain cover, transformation of the trailer into a stroller, etc. If these options interest you, choose a model that allows these additions, not all trailers are adjustable.

Let's talk safety now

During the 9 years of the study conducted in the 90s, 49 injuries related to the use of a child's accessory on a bicycle were officially listed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Based on these results and because all injuries are not systematically reported to the competent authorities, it is considered more realistic to believe that 322 injuries occurred between 1990 and 1999 following the use of a bicycle trailer and 2 015 following the use of a bicycle seat forchild.

Of the 49 official injuries, 6 resulted from the use of the bicycle trailer and the remaining 43 resulted from an incident involving a bicycle seat. Even using the estimates made by the CPSC (322 vs 2015), the number of injuries involving bicycle trailers is much lower than that resulting from the use of a seat on the bicycle. CPSC did not know if the impact is less because there are far fewer trailers than seats on the streets or if trailers are actually safer than bicycle seats.

Numbers and Wounds

  • The average age of injured children is 2.4 years old
  • 51% of injured children were boys.

Bicycle trailers (6 official incidents)

  • A collision with a motor vehicle occurred in 2 cases (33%)
  • One injury (17%) occurred as a result of contact with the trailer mechanism
  • 5 of the 6 children were injured in the face or head
  • All injured children had lacerations or bruises

Bicycle seat (43 official incidents)

  • A collision with a motor vehicle occurred in 4 cases (9%)

  • 31 injuries (72%) were the result of falling off the seat

  • 9 children suffered a fracture

  • 8 injuries (19%) occurred as a result of contact with the seat or bicycle mechanism

  • 21 of the 43 children wereinjured in the face or head

  • 22 of the children suffered lacerations or bruises.

  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Bicycle trailers
    • The center of gravity is low and therefore the trailers are stable.

    • The two wheels are perpendicular to the axis of the bicycle, which helps to prevent imbalances.

    • Several models are designed with a mechanism that precisely prevents imbalances, even if the bicycle is lying down.

    • The stability of the trailer is independent of the stability of the bicycle. The trailers have integrated seat belts to hold the child securely in place.

    • Most trailers allow the child to be placed less than 30 centimeters from the ground, which limits injuries in the event of a fall.

    • Falls are possible if the child is not properly restrained by the safety straps.

    • Bike seats
      • Most bicycle seats are installed more than 60 centimeters from the ground, which increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a fall.

      • A child who is loosely attached or who moves a lot can easily fall.

      • Injuries occurred after the seat came off the bicycle.

      • It is essential to follow the installation instructions carefully to avoid this type of incident.

      • The bicycle is unstable due to the extra weight and movement of the child.

      • Severalinjuries occurred as a result of the driver losing control.

      • Only children who can sit up unassisted and whose neck is strong enough to support a hard hat should use a bicycle seat, i.e. between the ages of one and four. For bicycle trailers, wearing a helmet is also strongly recommended to protect the child in the event of an accident.

        Given the official figures, it is clear that there are far fewer injuries resulting from the use of a bicycle trailer than a bicycle seat. However, this type of equipment is booming and the numbers could change depending on the increase in its use. In any case, it is strongly recommended to follow the instructions for installation and use carefully and to remain vigilant at all times to avoid possible injuries.

        Since face and head injuries were frequent in both types of equipment, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended to keep injuries to a minimum

        Seat/trailer types

        Whether the seat is mounted at the front or rear of the bike, be aware of the increased fall hazards due to the extra weight for the rider of the bicycle to handle. The presence of the seat and a child on the bicycle destabilizes the machine (weight and movements of the child) and the driver must learn to keep his balance despite everything, which is not as obvious as it seems. It is essential to follow theinstructions for installing the seat on the bike and to learn how to install the child in it safely. Wearing a helmet is strongly recommended, for both adults and children.

        Child bike seat, front
        • Mount the seat on the bike bar in front of the cyclist and not in front
        • The bike is better balanced, communication with the child is easier and safety is increased
        • $80 to $90
        Child bike seat, rear
        • Attaches to rear bike frame
        • $60 to $70
        2-Person Bike/Jogger Trailer
        • Models for bicycle alone or can also be used for walking or running with a removable 3rd wheel at the front
        • Can comfortably accommodate two children
        • Average load capacity of 100 lbs (45.5 kg)
        • Strong and lightweight steel frame that makes the trailer maneuverable
        • From $120 to over $2,700.

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