There's nothing better than going on a cycling adventure with your family, seeing the sights and getting the best out of the fresh air. Sometimes it can be difficult to know the best way to travel with young kids safely, especially when you have two children. Having them cycling as well as yourself can seem tricky - but we've rounded up the best kids' bikes so you can enjoy rides as a family together if you want to go a bit quicker with more control of who goes where. This is where a double child bike trailer can come in handy.
With two seats for young children and toddlers, you can get lightweight, durable, weatherproof bike trailers to make your life easy. All you need to do is attach it to your adult bike, and away you go.
These can be especially handy if your tot doesn't know how to ride a bike or you'd rather they were on the back of your bike; we've had a look at the best child bike seats. If you don't need a double-seated bike trailer, you can also get a single-seated bike trailer for one child. Investing in a twin bike trailer might be better if you have a child but want to carry more baggage or if you want more space for your child.
What age should my child be for a double-child bike trailer?
Toddlers and children are suitable for a double child bike trailer when they can hold their heads up unassisted. This is usually from nine months but can be up to 12 months, so you should be able to tell with your child. A double-child bike trailer is not suitable for a newborn baby.
On the other hand, most trailers have maximum weights and possible heights they can take on, so there is no limit to what age a child can be for a bike trailer, but you should be aware of your child's weight before investing in a trailer. The max weight for some of the following trailers can go up to 40kg.
All bike trailers range in their features, so be sure to check any bike trailer's specifications before investing.
What to look for when buying a double bike trailer?
First, check how the bike trailer will attach to your bike. This might also be one of the hardest to spot. Usually, they clamp on to one of your rear stays on your bike or attach to your rear wheel thru-axel or quick-release skewer.
Look out for a five-point safety harness, if possible. These are the most secure; they'll have a strap over each shoulder, either side of the waist and between the legs to keep your keeps buckled in. Of course, this has its disadvantage in limiting how much your kids can move if they're reaching forward for a snack, for example, but it is the safest.
Most bike trailers come with a bug shield, which is handy for keeping your kids shielded from flying insects and other things that might get flicked up by your wheels. A rain cover is also very desirable because not only will it keep the rain and road spray off your kids who are sitting behind your rear wheel, but it'll also keep the wind off too.
Some other little touches to look for is a nice big tyre. The bigger the tyre, yes, there will be more friction on the road causing you to pedal harder, but they'll also be more comfortable over the bumps. You'll also be thanked by the kids, in some form, if you have a supportive base for the kid's feet, saving them from feeling any speed bumps.
Try before you buy
It's possible to rent bike trailers. A good place to do this is at the popular family holiday location, Centre Parcs. Here you can hire bikes and trailers. If you are ever going, trying one here might change your opinion of them. There are also other locations around the UK where you can rent a like trailer for day trips, etc. Best to get hands-on with these things and see if they work for you.
How much should I spend on a bike trailer?
This, of course, is relative. How much you can afford is often very different to how much they cost. Look for one which has what you need it for and get whichever you can afford. These can be costly pieces of kit, so consider safety, visibility, how much they weigh, how much you can pedal, and what's important to you. It's often what one person considered the 'best' might not be the best for you.
Looking more like something from the Dakar rally, this little trailer will hold both kids while
- Added comfort with back padding
- Hard bottom for protection over bumps
- It cannot be used as a pram
The Halfords Double Child's Bike Trailer is a great way for kids to join in with family bike
- Easy to assemble
- It can be used off the bike
- three-point safety harness
- Not suitable for thru-axels
Made from 400D material, meaning it's waterproof, it also protects against the sun's UV rays which
- Big shield
- Flag lets you be seen
- Cannot use it as a pushchair
This from Halfords carries a big weight, up to 45kg, and it converts to a stroller, so you can
- Converts to a stroller
- Five-point padded harness
- Adjustable handlebar
- 19kg means this is heavy on itst's own!
Hamax describes this as a lightweight trailer, and they'd be correct. It comes in at 13kg, which
- Rear storage compartment
- Foot-operated parking brake
- Large storage areas inside the trailer
- Getting more expensive,e but it is a 2-in-1 and lightweight
Scandi brand Thule (if you're wondering how to pronounce it, it's too-lay) is probably best known
- Multi-sports workss as a stroller, too
- Very well respected brand
- Very high price
How to choose the right cycling helmet for my little one?
Getting the helmet choice right can be tricky. The correct balance between price, protection and how long it'll be on your child's head. Happily, we've had a good look around and picked out a list of the best kids' bike helmets.
We're seeing a lot of technology, such as Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), trickle down from adult helmets into range-topping kids helmets. In truth, in our opinion, any helmet is better than none for kids in the early years of bike riding, as falling off bikes can be a frequent thing.
But did you know helmets have an expiry date? Yep, this should be printed on the inside of the helmet. This is because, over time, the protective liner can deteriorate, and the glue holding it all together can too. If your child falls and hits their helmet on the ground, inspect it thoroughly and don't hesitate to replace it. You're looking for cracks or splits in the protective layer. If you see these, the helmet is effectively useless as it will not have the protection it had when you bought it.
Frequently asked questions
Why does my child have to be a certain age for bike trailers?
Children before the age of one still have a lot of soft bones, and their brains are developing at a rapid rate. Small bumps in the road to us can be exaggerated for babies, keeping them safe from sharp jolts and bumps.
Is your bike more or less stable with a trailer?
This all depends on your speed. At normal speeds about town and at slow speeds, you'll feel a bit more stability due to the trailer wheels. However, if you're freewheeling downhills, depending on your weight and the trailer's weight, you may find it going faster than you and pushing you downhill, making you l, feeling more unstable.
How much can a bike trailer hold?
Each bike trailer has an upper weight limit, including kids, so be careful if you're doing a big shop with the kids in the back. Not only will space be limited, but if you exceed the weight limit. You may find you can hold more than the upper weight limit, but this starts damage to bearings and other moveable parts on the trailer. Plus, you'll be the one having to pedal it around.