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It’s difficult to shop for the best bikes for baby seats since the market is so saturated with options. Can you install baby seats on any bike with a rear rack?
If you’ve ever been enticed by the beauty and convenience of city cruiser bikes, you’ve tried using the bikes' front basket and rear racks for hauling. But you might faintly remember that those racks weren’t the sturdiest things out there and will not accommodate a baby seat. That’s why it’s time to explore the greater outdoors and run errands with these bikes that best accommodate precious cargo.
The best bikes for baby seats are:
- Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4
- Yuba Spicy Curry
- Benno Boost 10D Performance CX
- Salsa Marrakesh Drop Bar
- Trek 520
- Ridgeback Speed
- Aventon Level
I’ve tried to avoid road bikes and mountain bikes because, from our experience, these bikes don’t make for suitable carriers–especially carriers of baby seats. The bikes that we have chosen bring their flavor to the mix and will cater to a wide variety of users. So, read on and see which bike best suits your precious-cargo carrying needs.
Although I’ve been around the proverbial block, I’m humble enough to admit that I relied on some external help. I perused some customer reviews, actual experts in each category of bikes, and my favorite dot coms that have done some proper bike testing like BikeRadar, Bicycling, Wired, and several others.
3 Best Electric Bikes To Equip Baby Seats
Having perused and reviewed hundreds–and I mean hundreds, please help–of bike reviews and tests from trusted industry authorities, we condensed our findings into these seventeen picks. You’ll realize that most of these bikes have a few things in common–they are either long tail or front loader bikes.
These two factions simply mean the bike has an extended rear rack situation (longtail) or a protruding frontend (front loader). These bikes are probably the best and safest options for modern-day storks.
However, we have also included other categories of bikes like touring bikes and hybrid bikes. Touring bikes are made to take massive loads while not throwing off the bike’s balance and sometimes come equipped with sturdy rear and front racks. You can often install an aftermarket rack if your hybrid bike doesn’t come with one.
1. Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4
The RadWagon 4 cargo bike is a no-nonsense electric hauler. Long-tail bikes usually look quite strange–this bike is no exception. The frame is closer to the ground and elongated to produce an electric bike that rests my nerves over carrying precious cargo.
Capable of carrying 350 pounds, the bike can safely transport two baby seats or one seat and many grocery bags. The 750W (the actual output capacity is lower, like many electrical bikes doing their thing and meeting local governmental regulations) motor is powerful enough for riding around town.
Still, it lacks the same robustness and responsiveness that I've come to enjoy from the competing motors like the Bosch Cargo Line. The 76.2 pounds of mass of the bike also don't help the efficiency of the 672 Wh battery and makes me wonder if the bike could go further than the 25 to 45 miles if it were made lighter.
The massive weight might also be due to the thick tubing of the frame, especially around the tail-end of the bike. I also miss the regenerative braking that I enjoyed on the earlier models from Rad Power Bikes, which this bike perplexingly doesn't have.
The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain is a solid addition to the 5-level pedal assist with magnetic cadence sensors, which I prefer for durability. There’s no torque sensor to finesse the mileage.
The 1x7 gearing doesn't struggle, and the half twist-grip throttle makes gear like a moped. The 6061 aluminum frame is sturdy, but the frameset and 22-inch wheels seem to transport bumps.
The $1,499 pricing of the bike also shows just how far electric bikes have come. I'm not to forget that these bikes could see you down almost the same amount as a fairly operable second-hand car just a few years ago.
I honestly can't complain about the final product when I consider the bike as a whole. Many of us pedelec-enthusiasts agreed that we would love to swap out the Tektro Aries MD-M300 Mechanical Disc Brakes for some hydraulic brakes but keep the 180mm rotor.
Still, the added reflectors, lights, chain guards, fenders, and other little quirks make the bike an investment well gained.
2. Yuba Spicy Curry
Yuba has managed to produce a hauler of an electric bike. When viewed from above, this longtail electric bike digs deep and channels a little bit of a Harley-Davidson spirit. It’s probably this premium imagery that makes this generous baby seat carrier so pricy ($5,199).
The Spicy Curry has a baffling 250 W mid-drive Bosch Cargo Line Cruise motor neatly integrated into the bike’s bottom bracket and a 500 Wh battery loudly flaunted on the down tube. The 250 W motor is baffling because the cheaper electric longtails like the RadWagon 4 have at least 500W.
The smaller 500 Wh battery isn’t much of an issue because it lasts pretty long (up to 60 miles on one charge) and is efficient for this specific wattage rating for the motor. Fortunately, the motor’s location makes power delivery extremely efficient.
Unlike rear or front-drive motors, the mid-drive motor balances load distribution and power output more efficiently. Also, Bosch makes great motors, so you know that the bike still delivers, even nearing its 330-pound capacity.
3. Benno Boost 10D Performance CX
The Benno Boost 10D Performance CX is everything you can want in an electric bike. Not only can you load up to two baby seats on its long tail, but you can haul upwards of 440 pounds up some devastating hills without the motor batting an eye.
The Benno Boost has a couple of versions, but the 10D Performance CX is the hybrid of the family's standard and sports versions.
All the different versions come standard with 24 x 2.4-inch tires that make riding most terrains a joy, but the tires don't quite make up for the rigid suspension of the bike over long commutes.
The bike also has some excellent adjustability for different-sized riders but requires tools instead of quick-release levers like on bikes like the Tern GSD.
The 250W mid-drive Bosch Performance CX motor on the Benno Boost is currently one of the best motors powering e-bikes. It can do a cool 20 mph (28 mph with the assisted speed functionality) and keep the same power output level even on some pretty steep hills while fully loaded.
I found the 10-speed Shimano gearing more than enough for most conditions that you will be putting the bike through. The 11-42t Shimano 10S cassette is chunky but is still incredibly agile, and the Shimano Deore Derailleur works harmoniously with it.
The Deore SL Shifters don't get choked up when you need them most, and I have to say that I almost broke my diet with how buttery smooth the whole shifting ordeal was (we have fun here).
The one-piece aluminum pedals complete this bike's devasting $4,199 introductory sticker price. I said basic price because you have to pay a bit more for some necessary stuff to make sure you get riding straight away.
The bike doesn't come with a rear-wheel guard, and you need one if you are going to be mounting baby seats. There's also an iffy thing about the kickstand.
You have to make sure that you accessorize the bike with a dual kickstand instead of just accepting the single kickstand you might be thrown your way. The single kickstand is an absolute joke for a 65-pound bike. The price did leave a soar patch in my taste buds for sure.
However, I figured that if I'm already throwing my life savings into the bike, I might opt for the dual battery setup over the 500wh single battery. Although completely unnecessary for my needs since the single battery does do a comfortable 25 to 75-mile range.
Needless to say that I scrolled down to add the extra battery and nearly fainted that I would now be coughing up over $5,000; I stuck with the single battery.
The mostly 6061 aluminum bike can effortlessly secure two Yepp baby seats. I’m a sucker for some quality hydraulic brakes, and this bike's Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are straight quality.
Best Touring Bikes For Baby Seats
Most touring bikes have strong racks and plenty of mounting points. The bikes are also designed to remain balanced when hauling extensive cross-country holdings. These bikes will not only support baby seats but will do so without veering too much away from visuals you are familiar with on a hybrid bike.
The bonus when it comes to touring bikes is their versatility and reliability. You can carry groceries and a baby seat with relative ease. These bikes also make decent daily commuters if you constantly need to haul things.
4. Salsa Marrakesh Drop Bar
The Salsa Marrakesh has changed since its inception in 2015 with flat bars. The current rendition is a stauncher and a slightly more versatile drop-bar version. You can see just from the alternator dropout of the bike that the Marrakesh is made for trekking.
The compatibility to swap between different tire sizes gives the bike more versatility than most bikes.
Although the bike comes with the snappier 700x38c Panaracer Pasela PT folding tires, you can swap those for some forgiving Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 700x50c to comfortably take you and your little one on some gnarlier gravel routes.
You can also make the over 29-pound bike lighter by converting it into a single-speed since the rear dropout situation allows it.
The Chromoly steel frame is solid and appears to dampen the vibrations and bumps from traveling up the frameset, but that’s also because it's not a lightweight bike.
The bike’s rear rack can carry a baby seat when you fit it correctly because it is made to haul heavy luggage cross-country.
I delighted in the various mounting options for a front rack and multiple water bottle mounts. Although the bike isn’t made with carrying a baby in mind, being evident from the lack of a kickstand, fenders, and other safety features, the $1,499 price is a bargain for a bike this upgradeable to warrant a proper slot on our list.
I found minimal issues with the Shimano Deore/ Alivio groupset because everyone said the bike performs like a champ. Gearing isn’t something spectacular that stood out, but it is something that didn’t cause any hassles.
5. Trek 520
With over three decades of cycling history, you can't go wrong with Trek 520. This $1,829.99 full-fledged tourer is worth every single dollar and probably more.
The bike is brimming with carrying racks because it's engineered to cater to cyclists that love long miles but don't want to give up on the comfort of their city hybrid bike.
Unlike other touring bikes, the 520's geometry allows for a more upright posture so that you can enjoy the bike more like a commuter.
The rear and front racks can carry some serious weight (about 50 pounds divided between the front and rear). The total carrying capacity of the bike is about 275 pounds, so that you can play around with the weight.
There are also mounts for fenders to help protect the baby seat, especially if you ride some roads that are a bit shingly.
At over 31.4 pounds, the 520 isn't a light machine, but it is made reliable enough to last you more years, especially with Trek's lifetime warranty on any malfunction that might bother you riding bliss.
Although the bike comes standard with 700x38c Bontrager H1 Hard-Case Ultimate tires, it can take up to 29 x 2-inch tires if you don't include fenders.
The stock tires are already smooth and comfortable but adding bigger tires would complement the Chromoly frame, further smoothing out your rides.
There's even a newer added safety feature that Trek calls ThruSkew, an upgraded thru-axle on the front tire. The ThruSkew still allows convenient access to the tire without taking apart the whole front mechanics to change a flat tire.
You can also avoid the entire tire-changing ordeal by installing tubeless tires since the Bontrager Affinity Disc rims come tubeless ready.
Please don't make the same mistake that I made and turn your nose from the TRP Spyre C 2.0 mechanical disc brakes. Although these mechanical disc brakes require more hand muscling, they are super reliable even when contending with mud.
Trek improves its 520 touring lines with every model, and this current model is no exception. One of the most significant changes in their Shimano Alivio T4060, 48/36/26 chain-set that can hit some pretty low notes.
The use of Shimano parts also makes part replacements more affordable although. There are also a few kickstand options like a rear-mount Greenfield, Clickstand, or some center-mount double-legged kickstands.
Just make sure that the bottom bracket and chainstay situation allow enough space for the kickstand installation and if the kickstand can support the weight.
2 Best Hybrid Bikes For Baby Seats
Hybrid bikes suffer a great injustice in America for being afforded such low market saturation. These bikes combine all the best bits from mountain and road bikes into a capable steed that’ll satisfy most of your riding endeavors.
These bikes are also built sturdy enough to endure the rigors of rougher offroad riding while keeping the speed of a road bike. They often come equipped with solid panniers and fenders; if they don’t, you can effortlessly customize them to include these.
6. Ridgeback Speed
At just under $700, the Ridgeback Speed knows how to carry cargo. The stock rack should be capable of holding the combined weight of a baby seat and the baby in that seat. The bike is also quite forgiving in adding aftermarket stuff, like a solid kickstand.
Although you don't often see the Speed on American streets, it is somewhat a staple in Britain. It's also helpful that the bike comes with preinstalled mudguards, but the 700x42 Vee Zilent tires are a bit too thick because they scrape against the guards.
The big tires provide more comfort than you would believe possible with a budget bike. There's also a lovely 21 gear spread that accompanies the decent drivetrain. The addition of the Shimano Tourney front and rear derailleur makes shifting effortless. However, the wide gearing range is also why it makes noise while riding. Just think of it as white noise, but it is annoying when that noise team's up with the wheels rubbing on the mudguards.
The bike does weigh a bit too much (around 35 pounds) to be considered an efficient road bike, and the combination of the weight and somewhat sluggish tires makes ascents not an entirely pleasant ordeal.
The alloy material used on the frame also doesn't seem like the most durable material and has rusting vibes. If you can forgive the use of v-brakes, then these Promax TX-117 rim brakes are surprisingly capable.
There's enough stopping power even when going down a slight downhill. The more upright riding position helps you stay vigilant while riding and allows for a reduced back pain situation.
7. Aventon Level
I wanted to add the Cube Travel SL in place of the Aventon Level, but the Travel SL’s belt kept slipping for reviewers, and that’s not sexy at all. Also not safe. So here I am with another smoking electric bike entry, but this time it’s hybrid-specific and an intrepid trail-blazer.
This bike has a motor that’s said to deliver 750 W for peak performance and sustains an output of 500W, and in terms of power output, that does seem to check out.
I found it quite helpful to be able to choose between throttle on-demand or throttle after pedal. However, it’s a big bummer that the company didn’t give a choice to the customer.
It would have been lovely to use the backlit LCD and toggle between the two options. The display is bright enough for different lighting conditions.
For $1,799, I would expect the bike to at least have all the entry-level add-ons that most electric bikes come with as standard. The bike doesn’t have a preinstalled head and tail light like most electric bikes I’ve reviewed and ridden.
Some people aren’t bothered by that because they already have to replace the stock lamps with brighter and more durable aftermarket lamps. But, like with the throttle, I like having the options and deciding for myself.
I also found it quite inconvenient not to have a percentage-based battery level indicator instead of spitballing using the LED system.
The 672 Wh battery is removable from the down tube that it snuggly fits in. Removing the battery and charging it next to your desk is a big plus in my books. The integrated battery doesn’t do much to help the colossal 62-pounds of the bike.
However, I believe every pound went to a good cause because this 8-speed is packed with some decent components.
The frame is well utilized to hide wires and the battery from the hydraulic disc brakes operating on 180 m rotors to the generous front suspension.
The bike also has the bonus of seeming like an ordinary hybrid bike from afar. Still, once you get close, you quickly notice that the beefy 6061 double-butted aluminum is hiding some Tesla shenanigans. The 40-mile-plus range isn’t bad either.