Risks are inherent with transporting an infant or child on a bicycle, but once the infant can hold up its head with a helmet on it, it can be placed in an infant bike seat, aAccording to ibike.org. The best child bike seats should be safe as well as comfortable.
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Kettler, a German bike manufacturer, offers three styles of child carriers, all rear-mounted. BicycleTrailers.com picks the Kettler Flipper child bike seat as their staff pick and users give it rave reviews.
One of the best features might be the Flipper's versatility. It does not require a frame mounted rack--the universal mount fits most bike frames. The Flipper's one-point mounting system allows simple removal of the seat with one pull pin. The natural suspension minimizes the jolting effects of bumpy roads.
Other impressive features include adjustable headrest and footrests to accommodate growing children and a reclining backrest for more comfortable riding. The Flipper's safety features include a lap crossbar and a five-point harness. Drawbacks include minimal diagram-only instructions and incompatibility on some bike models. As of 2010, the Flipper retailed for about $199.
Garnering high praise at BicycleTrailers.com, the iBert child bike seat is one of the rare front-mounted seats offered in North America. More popular in Europe and Asia, the front-mount allows easier loading and unloading of the child, better balance and visual monitoring. Putting the child in the front of the bike also allows for easier conversation with the child.
The iBert features a three-point safety harness and a patented stinger assembly that allows for quick installation on any bike. While the iBert does not meet ASTM standards for rear-mount bike seats, it does meet the British Standard, the BS EN 14344. As of 2010, iBert is petitioning the ASTM to revise the standard to accommodate both front- and rear-mount seats.
The iBert could be purchased online and at bike stores nationwide in 2010 for about $99.
Co-Pilot offers two designs: the Limo and the Taxi. As the names suggest, the Limo offers a more comfortable ride while the Taxi has fewer luxury features. The Limo features a reclining seat and a 3/4-inch gel pad that keeps little ones more comfortable on long rides. The Limo also features a grab bar that provides something for children to hold onto while adding security to the three-point safety harness.
The rear-mounted Limo can be attached to almost any bike using the included luggage rack and the footwells are adjustable to accommodate children of differing heights. As of 2010, the Limo could be purchased online for about $135.