Best Family Bikes

Best Family Bikes

July 28, 2017

Best Family Bikes

Best Family Bikes
Photo by @newwheel
So you’ve mastered biking with a baby... The next step after the next kid: a family bike. It takes some practice (and strength), but riding together is one of the most fun ways to get around town.Best Family Bikes

So you’ve mastered biking with a baby… The next step after the next kid: a family bike.

It takes some practice (and strength), but riding together is one of the most fun ways to get around town. Parents often consider family bikes a replacement for a car, using it for school drop-offs and commutes, to weekend outings, and everyday errands. You can handle a couple kids on board, why not add groceries?

There are different types of family bikes that grow with your growing brood, with all sorts of seating arrangements. We’ve seen everything from vintage tandems to bikes that are practically minivans on two-wheels.

The Pros:

  • This is a great investment for biking enthusiasts with more than one child. Parents say the family bonding time alone is worth the price.
  • The variety of seating configurations adapts to your family: you can have several big kids behind you, and even a baby seat mounted up front.
  • A typical commute becomes an adventure.
  • It’s a great workout.
  • Family bikes are perfect for city dwellers who don’t want a car, but need a fast way to transport kiddos and of course, their stuff.

The Cons:

  • They can be bigger and heavier than a traditional bike, making it harder to maneuver when you’re just getting started.
  • Going uphill is no easy feat.
  • The price is high (especially if you go with an electric bike or motor attachment, which many brands have in their lineup).
  • Add-on accessories to securely and comfortably ride with kids increase the price, too.

Some high-end family bikes aren’t widely available at major retailers. You may be able to order directly from the brand’s website, or they will point you to a specialty dealer in your area to purchase.

Not sure which one is right for your crew? We surveyed Babylist parents about the family bikes they love most. These are the top products they shared, plus our own research and insight.

Easy Rider

Why We Love It

No matter how old your kiddos are, there’s a way to take everyone out on this awesome bike. Comfortably seat up to three children older than four by adding Hooptie hand rails and U-Tube foot rests on the back. Thanks to the proximity of the kids’ seat to yours, conversation is easy (no yelling, yay!).

Kids under four? Xtracycles are compatible with Thule Maxi EasyFit kids seats (you just need the LT2 Yepp Adapters). Two of those seats fit in the back, or pair one big kid with one toddler who’s strapped into a seat. If you have a couple big kids and a baby, seat the older ones in the back and secure the baby in a front-mounted seat. See what we mean? Lots of options.

This bike comes in three sizes, so you can choose the right fit, based on your height. Other notable features: the frame is lightweight (made of chromoly steel) and the low step over provides stability when getting on and off with kids on board. And if you want to go electric to tackle hills and heavy loads, there are several Bosch-powered Edgerunner models.

Keep in Mind

From the hand rails to the footrests to the MagicCarpets (seat padding on the deck), accessories are add-ons and amp up the cost. This is typical of most family bikes.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Best Purchase Ever for our family! We LOVE it! I’m 8 months pregnant and still riding to and from activities with the kids. We LOVE it.” -Julia from Chicago Biking Family

Additional Specs

Weight: 43.5 pounds with pedals (size L)

Length: 83” (size L)

Max number of people: 3 children,1 adult

Load capacity: 400 pounds including the rider. Add a SideCar to carry 250 pounds more (of gear, not people!).

Workhorse

Why We Love It

Impeccably made in the Netherlands, this heavy-duty cargo bike rides with ease (despite all the people and stuff you’ve piled on!). Inspired by old Danish transport bikes, this modern ride incorporates the latest technology for multiple purposes. The WorkCycle Fr8 (pronounced “freight”) seats up to three kids and can be configured in a variety of ways to work best for your family. The long rear carrier fits one child bike seat and large panniers, or seats two kids. Up front, you can mount a child seat or their Massive Rack for gear. We also love the “kiddy saddle” add-on (with footrests!) for a child that’s old enough to hold on securely behind the handlebars. Better yet, the WorkCycle adjusts to fit practically any grown-up (especially tall people), making it the perfect bike to share.

Keep in Mind

WorkCycle also makes a fantastic tandem bicycle, the Onderwater Family Tandem, for riders who aren’t quite ready for their own wheels but want to be in on the action. Two kids can sit up front (a child saddle kit without pedals can be added behind the grown-up’s handlebars), and a child seat can also be mounted on the rear carrier.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Like how durable it is and that the kids can keep up with the adults since it’s connected.” -Michelle, on the Onderwater Family Tandem

Additional Specs:

Load capacity:

  • One parent, up to three kids and lots of groceries
  • Approximately 250 kg (or 550 lb) maximum total weight

Electric Ride

Why We Love It

The electric elBoda Boda is the cream of the crop. This awesome family bike hauls around the whole gang, plus gear, groceries, and more. Designed for transporting heavy cargo and climbing hills, the 350w eRAD mid-drive kit powers your ride up to 50 miles per charge, with a max speed of 20mph. So you can easily trek anywhere (sweat-free!) and arrive at work not looking like a hot mess. The step-thru frame is a key feature, making it simple for parents to get on and off with kiddos in tow.

Keep in Mind

The elBoda Boda is the electric version of the Boda Boda V3 cargo bike (another fan favorite). Both bikes use the same add-ons for family rides, like the adjustable Mini Monkey Bars and Soft Spot pads to safely seat older kids. You can also mount a Yepp Maxi child seat to the rear rack so big and little sibs can ride together.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s awesome! So much storage - we have the Boda Boda- and it’s great with the Yepp, plus good storage on sides.” -Jess D

Additional Specs:

Load capacity: 220 lbs. (plus the rider)

Cargo Bike for Precious Cargo

Why We Love It

Babboe Bakfiets was launched by parents who couldn’t find an ideal cargobike, so they took matters into their own hands. This Dutch company is well-known in the Netherlands and around the world for their classic two and three-wheel cargo bikes that feature a sturdy wooden container up front for toting kids and of course, cargo.

Despite its old fashioned-style, little ones are securely buckled up with a three-point safety harness and protected by a frame with shockproof powder coating. Accessories like a rain cover and sun shade can be added for comfier rides. Maneuvering this type of bike can feel like you’re steering a boat at first. But the Babboe City cargo bike is a bit smaller, slimmer, and easier to navigate than typical front cargo bikes.

Keep in Mind

Babboe has developed a MaxiCosi baby carrier that enables you to bring infants as young as two months along for the ride (+ two toddlers). While this may be the norm in the Netherlands, toting precious cargo up front may raise some eyebrows and safety concerns in the U.S.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We love being able to bike as a family and go to events. Ours is a cargo bike so we can bring her even at 51/2 months in her car seat. Best investment. Plus my husband doesn’t have to drive to the grocery store, he just takes the cargo bike.” -Jessica K.

Additional Specs for the Babboe City:

Load capacity:

  • Up to 80 kg (about 175 lbs)
  • Fits 1-2 toddlers (a second bench is optional)

Jessica Solloway is a writer and digital content strategist. From start-ups to global brands, she helps companies tell their stories online. She regularly contributes to websites including weeSpring, The Muse, Mommy Nearest, and Motherly, among others. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two little girls.

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