How safe is a front mounted child’s bike seat? The scientific facts…

How safe is a front mounted child’s bike seat? The scientific facts…

Feb 28 , 2023

Feva Marketing

As a parent who loves to cycle, it feels wonderful when you can finally introduce your child to the joy of riding. You’re right though, to question the safety of a front mounted bike seat for your child, especially if this is your first adventure into cycling with children, or your comparing one with a rear fitted seat or trailer.

Let’s look at the science behind the safety of front mounted child

The biology of front mounted bike seat safety

Any bike seat has its limitations and the first concern for safety is how old your child is. They should be very stable when sitting and usually around 18 months old. The Feva Star Seat also suggests a maximum weight of 22kg, but different seats will have different limitations.

Let the muscles support the body, not the plastic

Some children’s bike seats and trailers offer enough body support to allow the child to fall asleep. However, a front mounted bike seat, in particular a platform style is not designed for a sleeping child. It is designed so that their muscles and bones keep them supported, allowing them to naturally build strength and mobility rather than slumping into the seat and at the mercy of the bumps on the ride.

And while their awake, they’re engaging with you, enjoying the ride, and that’s the point right?

The physics of front mounted bike seat safety


Reducing flip force

Flip force demonstrated when using a Feva Star Seat front mounted children's bike seat

Whilst mounting and dismounting the bike with the child in situ on the front mounted bike seat, you can clearly see the child is out of range of the leg as it moves rearward. As the adult maneuverers in this way, the weight distribution shifts.

With the child mounted on the front of the bike, the weight remains central, between the wheels, thus preventing the front of the bike from becoming too light and uncontrollable when going over uneven terrain or kerbs.

Improving mechanics

Diagram of the load created when using a Feva Star Seat, mounted on the front of an adult bike

Mountain biking and trail riding isn’t always downhill, and when you’re required to cycle uphill the effort required to keep the bike balanced and keep your legs pumping increases. Gravity has a greater effect on the rear of the bike on an incline, and if your child’s weight is focused in this area in a rear bike seat, the effort of the rider to shift the weight to the front and keep pedalling is increased even more so.

If the child is front mounted in the bike seat, they can aid the mechanics by simply being there, or even learning to lean into the hill, thus allowing your legs to pump up and down with less effort, but greatly increased safety.

The social sciences of front mounted bike seats

The Feva Star Seat is designed specifically for mountain bikes and trail riding but is suitable for the vast majority of frames and rides. All the while, your child is very close to you making communication and engagement greater. You can teach them about your surroundings, etiquette, road safety, trail safety and how to fall in love with the wind in your face as your bike glides (or bumps) along!

If you’d like to read more about British Safety Standards and the Feva Star Seat, or go into greater detail about forces and balance, please read the blog, ‘Riding Safely with Feva Star Seat’, where you’ll find information such as,

  • Reduced risk of falling with improved control of bicycle and child – the main cause of injuries
  • Improved communication with increased cyclist awareness of child behaviour
  • Improved child cycling skills and awareness
  • Increased spatial awareness for child, through cycling with an unobstructed forward vision
  • Development of concentration, balance and muscles required for cycling
  • Reduced physical shock to the lumbar region of the child’s back.

Thank you for reading, and happy trails!