The best front bike seats for toddlers and young children
Front bike seats are a lovely way to cycle with your baby or toddler because they are in a brilliant position as you ride - directly in front of you! This allows you to chat as you cycle along, pointing out everything you see during your bike ride.
It also allows you to keep an eye on what they are doing, which is more difficult if they are in a rear seat behind you.
Front bike seats are extremely common as a means of transporting small children in the Netherlands and Denmark.
As the benefits of family cycling are becoming more widely realised elsewhere, we expect to see more and more families starting to use front seats to carry their children by bicycle.
In this article we look at the different styles of front bike seats, what age child they're suitable for and the type of cycling you can do with them.
What age are front bike seats suitable from?
Your baby or toddler must be old enough to sit upright and have developed their neck muscles sufficiently to use a front bike seat.
This is usually about 9 months for those seats with a full back support, but check with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
For other seats without full back support your child needs to be much older - at least two years old.
In this article we'll look at a range of front-mounted bike seats for your baby, toddler or preschooler. Most of these kids bike seats will seat a child up to 15 kg.
We've listed a wide range of front bike seats for kids, so there's something for everyone; bike seats for regular cycling trips, for mountain biking, and for leisure rides.
Best front mounted bike seats for babies, toddlers and preschoolers
Here's our pick of the best front bike seats currently available.
Please be VERY careful of buying cheap imported front bike seats on auction sites. These may place all the weight of the child onto a flimsy piece of metal that attaches to your seat post or stem, and which doesn't meet British Safety standards.
Each seat will have restrictions on the type of bike that it is suitable for, so please check the manufacturer's instructions carefully before purchasing and using the seat.
Most front seats are not recommended for carbon fibre bikes and can be very tricky with drop handlebars.
If you're unsure if a particular seat will fit your bike we recommend you;
- Email the seat manufacturer to ask
- Speak to your local independent bike shop
- Join the Family Cycling UK Facebook Group and search the group for similar questions. If someone hasn't asked about your specific type of bike then post your own question - there's usually someone who has fitted a seat to a similar type of bike.
If you've got an older or heavier child (from about 3 years old), who you want to carry in a front seat, read our article with best front mounted bike seats for older kids.
Different types of front bike seats for babies and toddlers
Front bike seats come in different shapes and forms, suiting different ages and different types of bikes and cycling.
As a very rough guide, there are 3 types of front bike seats available:
- Head tube-mounted front bike seats
- Top tube-mounted front bike seats
- Centre-mounted front bike seats
Head tube-mounted front bike seats
The head tube-mounted bike seats are attached to the head tube (or stem tube), just below your handlebars. The seat clicks into a mount and you can usually take the seat off when you don't need it, and if you attach a mount to another bike, you can swap the seat between bikes.
This type of seat is usually a full seat that supports your little one's back, has a 3 or 5-point harness, and includes (adjustable) footrests.
This front bike seat is suitable for babies, as well as toddlers, from about 9 months until about 3 years old.
It's tricky to say exactly what bikes this type of seat will suit, as it depends on the seat you go for and the bike you own.
With a head tube-mounted seat an issue that may crop up is that there's not enough space between the bike seat and your saddle. This will depend on the combination of the geometry of your bike, your height and the seat.
|Seat name||Max weight||Mounting point||Price|
|Thule Yepp 2 Mini||15kg||Head tube||£99.99|
|Urban Iki||15kg||Head tube||£55.24|
|Hamax Caress Observer||15kg||Head tube||£76.99|
|Polisport Guppy Mini||15kg||Head tube||£39.99|
|Polisport Bilby Junior||15kg||Head tube||£36.00|
Top tube-mounted front bike seats
The top tube-mounted bike seats are attached to the tube that is between the seat post and the head tube on your bike. This seat won't work with step-through frames.
This type of seat usually only includes a saddle with footrests, but no support for your child's back. It is therefore suitable for slightly older kids, from 18 months or 3 years old (depending on the seat).
Some of these open-style seats are particularly suitable for mountain biking families. These seats usually come without a harness, so your child is not strapped in.
|Seat name||Max weight||Mounting point||Price|
|Shotgun 2.0 MTB seat||27kg||Top tube||£145|
|Shotgun Pro MTB seat||27kg||Top tube||£200|
|Shotgun MTB seat||22kg||Top tube||£75|
|Oxford Little Explorer||22kg||Top tube||£35|
Centre-mounted front bike seats
The centre-mounted seats come attached to a bar that you fit between the seat post and the head-tube of your bike. This type of seat is usually a full seat with harness and footrests.
It is lovely to have your child this close to your body, but it may result in not having enough space to get on and off your saddle, or to pedal comfortably.
This seat is suitable for babies and toddlers, from around 9 months old.
|Seat name||Max weight||Mounting point||Price|
|Weeride Safe||15kg||Between seat post and top tube||£93.49|
|Weeride Safe Deluxe||15kg||Between seat post and top tube||£110.49|
Best head-tube mounted front bike seats
Bike seats mounted on the head-tube are perfect for babies and toddlers, from 9 months until 3 years old.
Make sure you look out for your specific needs, such as compatibility with a windscreen or being able to swap the seat between bikes.
The Thule Yepp 2 Mini is a light, and easy to use front bike seat. It gives your baby or toddler a full view of the road (or cycle path) and because it is made out of water-repellent materials, stays dry and easy to clean (great during those potty training months!).
There's also a handlebar for your child to hold on to.
The Thule Yepp bike seat range also includes the roomier back seat, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi. So, if you have kids of different ages, you can have one of each!
The Yepp 2 Mini front seat is suitable for carrying children on the front of your bike from 9 months up to a maximum weight of 15 kg (approx 3 years).
It is mounted onto your bike's handlebar stem using the adapter supplied.
This seat fits normal stems with a diameter of 20-28 mm (0.78-1.1 inches) and ahead stems with a diameter of 28.6 mm (1.125 inches).
It's easy to fix the Thule Yepp 2 Mini front bike seat into place. There's a nifty little lock at the bottom of the seat to deter theft.
It's also very easy to detach it. This is useful if you don't have your child with you, or if you need to leave the seat at nursery for someone else to do the pick up (additional Yepp 2 Mini mounts are available for this purpose).
As you'd expect, there is a 5-point harness with an easy-to-use buckle, which also has soft shoulder pads to protect against chaffing.
The footrests are adjustable and have straps.
Other head tube-mounted front bike seats to consider
Polisport Guppy Mini and Bilby Junior front bike seats
Some of the cheapest front bike seats available are from Polisport.
These are a popular brand on the continent and offer a no-frills, cost-effective way of transporting your child. It may not be the most luxurious ride, but if you're just popping them to the nursery, or doing a quick ride to the park or shops, then you're needs are going to very different to someone heading out for hours on end across various terrains.
The Guppy Mini and the Bilby Junior have slightly different specifications (the Bilby comes with front support bar) but they're both suitable for children from 9 to 15 kg. An optional windscreen is available which can be really helpful on cold or windy days.
The Polisport Guppy Mini is a stem mounted version that comes with two sets of different brackets allowing it to be mounted to stem tubes of 28-40mm or 22-40mm.
The Bilby Junior bike seat is also suitable for children from 9 to 15kg and comes with a front support bar, which may come in handy when your little one falls asleep.
The Bilby Junior has a 3-point harness and fits the same sizes head tubes as the Guppy Mini.
Go to the Polisport website, to check whether the seat will fit your bike.
Best top tube-mounted front bike seats
Bike seats mounted on the top-tube are a great solution for slightly older kids, from 2 or 3 years old.
They are particularly suited for shorter trips, or more adventurous ones such as mountain biking.
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended seat
Once your child reaches the age of two, they're old enough for a Shotgun front bike seat, which is designed to get off road and enjoy mountain biking together.
Designed to easily fit onto virtually every size mountain bike frame, the Shotgun is really popular with parents wanting to introduce their children to the joys of off road cycling from an early age.
It doesn't have the same levels of safety restraints as seats designed for younger children. Your child needs to be able to sit up totally unaided, and certainly not fall asleep the moment you start riding.
We've tested the original version of the Shotgun front seat and you can read our review - 3 year old Rosie and her dad loved it!
Kids Ride Shotgun released an updated version of the original seat in 2023, with several improvements including a quick release fittings and two footpeg positions to allow for shorter and taller kids than the original.
Shotgun Pro MTB bike seat
The Shotgun Pro seat is an evolution on the original Shotgun bike seat, featuring zero frame contact.
There are also Pro Handlebars to match the Pro Seat. These provide an easy and secure setup for your toddler, that also keeps them away from your brake levers and dropper post controls whilst you shred the trails together.
Being quick release means you can easily swap over onto another bike so both mum and dad can get time with their Sprog (and alone!)
Oxford Little Explorer top tube bike seat
The Oxford Little Explorer is one of the simplest kids front bike seats on the market.
This is a seat aimed at the older end of the age range, where your child isn’t going to fall asleep and wants to feel close to the action.
It’s simple to get your child up and into and is ideal for short, sharp rides out. It’s also easy to cycle with when the child isn’t in the seat, so good for dropping off at nursery or preschool and continuing your journey.
Safety features are limited but include a two-point belt that fastens around the waist and non-adjustable foot straps.
Please note that this seat differs from some of the other cheap imported bike seats at a similar price, as it fastens to the top tube (crossbar) and not the seat post or stem. For this reason, it's not suitable for step-through frames (or if you have a very small frame size).
The best thing about this seat is that you really get to cuddle your child as you cycle along - and for this reason the Little Explorer's predecessor, the Oxford Leco has been a firm favourite of ours.
See our article about having to give up using the Leco once our son got too big.
Best centre-mounted front bike seats
A centre-mounted seat is best for babies and small toddlers.
This seat might suit your bike, but make sure you check if there's enough space for you to get on and off your bike and pedal comfortably.
Weeride front bike seats
The Weeride Safe is a front bike seat that is different from most other front seats because it is mounted in the centre of your bike. The seat goes on a bar that sits between the seat post and head tube.
Going frame or stem mounted is a matter of personal preference. Parents with short arms and small frames (or pregnancy bumps) will probably gravitate to a stem mounted seat, and they are popular around town options.
Some parents find a stem mounted seat can affect balance or steering (particularly off-road) as the weight is over the front of the bike. In this case, some parents favour a frame-mounted seat where the weight is more towards the centre of the bike.
The Weeride Safe includes: higher sides for increased child stability added strap underneath the bar for extra stability, 2 movement thumbscrew, and 2 movement buckle release for enhanced safety; additional straps on foot holders; increased seat size.
Weeride Deluxe bike seats
The Weeride Safe and Deluxe both come with a headrest, which will come in handy when your little ones undoubtedly will fall asleep when out on a bike ride.
The Deluxe model is similar to the standard model, but with thicker padding on the headrest and the seat.
Because of the thicker padding, the Weeride Deluxe is recommended for toddlers under 18 months.
Before you go...
Front Bike seats are a great way to transport smaller children, but it's also worth considering your longer term options (as these kids keep on growing!)
If you're using your bike for daily transport (rather than mountain biking) then it's worth thinking about cargo bikes.
Cargo bikes do require a higher investment than a bike seat, but may well be the right solution for your family - either now or in the future. Read all about cargo bikes.
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Other articles you might be interested in:
- The best front mounted bike seats for older kids
- Best electric longtail cargo bikes to carry kids
- The best rear bike seats for toddlers and small children
- How to start cycling with a small child in a bike seat, cargo bike or trailer
- Keeping warm on a bike seat – great ideas to keep the cold at bay
- The best balance bikes as recommended by parents
- Best bikes for a 1 year old
- Kids Ride Shotgun launch improved mountain bike seat