Mar 29 , 2021
The Feva Star Seat is for mountain biking with your child in a more enjoyable and interactive way than with rear mounted child seats. But what far exceeds these benefits is the safety aspect.
When a child feels secure, they feel safe and they will more likely enjoy the experience of riding with you, so in this article we will go into detail about how the Feva Star Seat maximises security and safety for biking with your child.
British Standards are examples of good practice based on the products that are available at the time of writing, however are not compulsory. Feva Star Seat follows British Standard EN 14344 in its design, however one point suggests a child in a bicycle seat should be ‘passively restrained at the shoulders and the crotch’ and therefore the Feva Star Seat by definition, is not compatible with this particular point in the safety standard.
In fact Feva approaches safety as a priority, not just closely following the standard but also from a data driven perspective, relating to the child’s development and ‘active participation’ to achieve safety improvements on standard rear mounted bike seats.
The Feva Star Seat is not designed to allow the child to fall asleep, it is designed to immerse the child in the riding experience, in a front mounted position on the bike. For this reason the seat features a wide heavy duty webbed lap restraint strap, with additional straps to go around the heels with the feet located in the stirrups.
How does Feva Star Seat improve on child bicycle seat safety standards?
- 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.
Reducing the risk of falls through safe mount/dismount and reduced flip force
Here you can clearly see the child is out of range from the adult’s moving leg whilst mounting and dismounting their bicycle. This reduces the risk of injury to the child and increases the stability of the bike by reducing the risk of obstruction to the moving leg.
Meanwhile, with the child’s weight distributed centrally between the wheels, pushing the bicycle over uneven terrain or manoeuvring up or down curbs is more stable.
Flip force effects explained
BS EN 14344 recommendation for child bicycle seats:
When cycling uphill, the centre of gravity of the child passenger is behind the flip axis of the bicycle and the force exerted by the weight of the child has a negative impact on safety.
In a rear mounted seat, shoulder restraints prevent a child from moving to lean forward to compensate for any imbalance caused by an incline or obstacle that may be encountered while cycling.
At even slight inclines, when the weight distribution is lessened over the front wheel the flip force comes into effect.
If a cyclist is required to push the bicycle and the cyclist’s weight is not used to stabilise the bike whilst carrying a child in a rear seat, the negative flip force effect is increased. This increases the risk of injury due to loss of control and falling.
Front mounted Feva Star Seat
When cycling uphill, the effort required by a cyclist to balance a bicycle and overcome the forces of gravity and friction responsible for the flip force effect increases.
The Feva design improves safety relevant to the seat position, size and restraint system in various ways to improve weight distribution and bicycle stability:
The Feva Star Seat is positioned in front of the flip axis, reducing the risk of the rider losing control.
Without shoulder restraints, the child can also learn to move their weight further forward to compensate for the forces at play. Not only does this educate the child, but it increases the safety aspect by improving stability.
Improved communication and education in cycling skills
As you have just read, the child can learn to counter the forces of gravity whilst positioned in a front mounted bike seat. The adult has a clear line of communication with the child in this position and can encourage the child to move in accordance with the terrain.
With a forward facing seat, the child has an unobstructed view of the journey, terrain, obstacles and other riders or traffic they may approach. This boosts spatial awareness learning and improves cycling skills.
Moreover, the Feva Star Seat encourages muscular development, specific to cycling that cannot occur in a fully restrained position on the back of a bike.
Reducing the shock impact on the child’s body
Relating to injury of the lumbar region, accident safety data reveals that there is a relatively significant number ratio of injuries to children in rear mounted chair seats (9% of injuries) to injury occurring in general cycling accidents (5% of injuries). This indicates that the impact of the chair seat on a child’s body could be contributing to these injuries.
This is by no means a comment on the materials used to construct rear mounted child seats, but is rather about the seating position and capability of the child to shift for comfort when not restrained by the shoulders.
In the diagram above, you can see the weight and therefore impact in a rear mounted seat is focused on the coccyx, and not the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as in the Feva Star Seat.
The child in the front mounted seat also has the ability to reach the handlebars to distribute the forces of shock more evenly through the body.
In conclusion - The Feva Star Seat improves MTB leisure time with your child’s safety in mind
Primarily the safety benefits are the reduction in risk of falls and loss of control for the adult rider and the education of cycling skills and development of technique for the child.
If you would like to know more about the Feva Star Seat or check its compatibility with your bike, please get in touch.
If you work for an independent bike shop and would like to stock the Feva Star Seat, offering an improved MTB experience for your family shoppers, please get in touch today firstname.lastname@example.org and let us show you our special offers exclusively available to cycle industry independent retailers.