The Burley, a child bike trailer, was all the rage in the 90's and early 2000's, when bike trailers first came out and started replacing rear-mounted child bike seats as the most popular form of toting your kid on a bike ride. Now days there are several other brands of bike trailers to choose from, but it seems simple child bike seats might be coming back into style.
Burleys and other bike trailers, Chariot, InStep, and Croozer, to name a few, are excellent for toting older children, multiple passengers, and excess cargo (think beach bag, swim towels, picnic lunch, etc). But what if you just want to go on a simple bike ride around the lake or into town and back? Is it really necessary to have a large bike carrier which can seem heavy, bulky, and excessive at times? Child bike seats, although they seem to carry a stigma, are indeed becoming more and more popular again, especially with newer brands and models paving the way for a come back.
The I-Bert for example, is a front-mounted child seat that attaches to your bicycle's handlebar. Front-mounted child seats for bicycles have been popular in Europe and Asia for decades, but are far less common in North America. Many parents prefer front-mounted bike seats over rear-mounted versions, or even trailers. The advantages to a front-mounted bike seat are numerous and range from giving the parent better balance and easier maneuvering, as well as giving the child an unobstructed view of what's in front of him, and allowing parent and child to feel more connected during the bike ride.
Burleys and other child bike trailers are still the best option for carrying larger heavier loads, but, and I say this from personal experience, front mounted child seats (we have the I-Bert) are definitely the way to go if you are looking to truly enjoy your biking experience together with your child.
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