5 Reasons The Step-Through Frame Is Best For Cycling With A Baby
If you have a baby or toddler that is now ready to be safely transported by bicycle, you may be eager to purchase a new bike seat and start exploring your neighborhood together. Before you get started, you should rethink the way you cycle and how having a baby on board will change your experience. You may even decide you need a new bicycle to accommodate riding as a pair, and if you do, you should definitely consider a step-through frame.
Easier to Mount When You Have a Rear-mounted Child Seat
Once your baby is around 30 pounds, you will have to use either a rear-mounted child seat or a trailer if you are transporting them by bike. Rear-mounted seats can make it awkward to throw your leg over the saddle, which is required for frames that have a top tube. While you may be able to pick your leg up over the top tube, it can make the bike unstable while you are mounting.
Some parents choose to mount their diamond-frame bike first, and then put their child in the seat behind them. This works well if you have someone helping you, but can be difficult to do on your own.
A step-through frame allows you to secure your baby in a rear-mounted seat and then quickly step over the bottom tube and sit on the saddle.
Similar to mounting, dismounting when you have a baby behind you is easier and quicker with a step-through frame. This can be important if you have an emergency or if your baby becomes fussy during a ride and needs your immediate attention. You can quickly dismount, turn around, and immediately comfort your child.
Safe and Stable When Riding in Traffic
The quick dismount of a step-through bicycle may give you added confidence when riding in traffic. Also, the lack of a top tube can allow you to utilize a slightly larger frame but still put your feet flat on the ground when you are stopped at an intersection. This is important because transporting a child tends to shift the center of gravity higher, making a bike more unstable at low speeds or when it is stopped.
If you are using a diamond-frame bicycle to transport a child, you should make certain you can firmly plant your feet on the ground when you are stopped, which may mean you have to downsize your current frame.
Upright Position Allows for More Interaction With Your Child
Whether you are using a front-mounted or rear-mounted child seat, an upright riding position can be more comfortable for you and your child, which will allow more interaction while you are riding.
If you are using a front-mounted child seat, the upright riding position prevents you from hovering over your child, allowing them to see more. It also allows you to easily remove one hand from the handlebars to comfort your child or point out exciting things as you ride by.
If you are using a rear-mounted child seat, the upright riding position puts your body closer to your child, allowing them to touch your back if they feel insecure and making it easier for them to hear you as you talk to them.
Upright Handlebars Create More Space for Front-mounted Child Seats
Although you can mount cruiser-style upright handlebars on a diamond-frame bicycle, they are most common on step-through bicycles. These handlebars add extra room for a growing toddler in a front-mounted seat. They also allow space for toddlers to touch the handlebars without touching the gears and breaks.
If you decide that cycling with your child could be more fun and comfortable, then you should think about investing in a step-through bike for your trips around town. You can go to a bike shop like Sarasota Cyclery Inc to find out more about what kind of bike might work best with a baby on board.