9 Must-Have Essentials for Biking with Kids

I spend a lot of time on two wheels, which inevitably means my family spends a lot of time on two wheels. I have witnessed amazing things and have had life-changing experiences on a bike. From New Belgium’s Tour de Fat to family bikepacking trips to hundreds of miles of hurt-your-cheeks-smiles-inducing singletrack. We keep moving on our bikes because, well, like Einstein so nonchalantly noted “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”. 

To keep moving, however, you need the right equipment. Bike after bike, accoutrement after accoutrement, we’ve tested our fair share of gear to keep us – and our kids – moving on (at least) two wheels. This round-up shares some of our favorite pieces of bike-centric gear and the accessories that keep us (and our kids) on the trail, whether dirt or paved.

Burley Cub X Trailer

While our four year old is definitely capable of riding his rig all day, it’s nice to have a trailer that can fit both our 20 month old and 4 year old for longer trips or overnight bikepacking excursions. The Cub X has individual recline-ready seats, very nice harnesses and incredible suspension. We have packed Burley trailers full, with kiddos and gear and spent hours (and days) on trails around southern Colorado.

Spawn Cycles Yogi 16”

This one is for the “big” kids! When our son turned four, it was obvious he needed a bike with a hand brake (coaster breaks just weren’t working well for the riding we were doing). From paved bike paths to miles of dirt trails downhill trails, the Yogie 16” is the perfect single-gear bike for our little one and rated for kids 3-5, so we’re sure to get more than a year in! It’s not too heavy and the geometry ensures our son is in enough of an aggressive stance to tackle the terrain he wants to ride without being overly stretched out from saddle to handlebars. The brakes are smooth and responsive and the bars have sufficient room for a bell and a bar bag on this rig.

Burley

Keen Kids Newport H2 

Our kids’ Newport 2 sandals have been on bike rides, creek walks, mountain hikes, river floats and more. For bike rides, they are a great multi-purpose shoe, providing great coverage from debris and traction on pedals while riding and a great water shoe for exploring the river mid-ride. Best part: they come in a range of sizes and colors to fit our youngest and oldest.

Honey Stinger Mini Waffles

While my kids could eat an entire jar of honey, I know that’s probably not the best fuel for our adventures. These Mini Waffles are the perfect size (and calorie count) for a mid-ride snack and they are delicious! They come in vanilla and standard honey (our favorite) and are a great energy boost on our rides.

Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bars

Are you more of a savory snicker? These Meat & Veggie bars come in a variety of flavors – our favorites are apple pork and turkey curry – and are also a great 100+ calories snack to help get you through a ride (or any activity, for that matter). I appreciate the limited number of ingredients and how packable they are!

Lem Scout Helmet (for Big Kids)

Lem helmets are comfortable, breathable and have built-in safety lights; what more could I ask for as a mom? While I enjoy my full-size options from them, them my son wears his Scout and loves yelling “number one!” as we ride down the trail with his rear LED lights blinking. While he’s having a blast cruising the trail, I have peace of mind knowing he’s wearing a comfortable helmet with a streamlined fit. It also happens to comply with all the safety standards that can help keep my child safe while he does what he loves most – riding his bike.

Nutcase Baby Nutty Helmet (for Little Kids)

For our youngest, the Baby Nutty is our go-to noggin protection device. Whether she’s exploring with her strider bike riding passenger via the bike seat, safety is our number one (and fun, our number 2!). Nutcase’s Galaxy Guy has a fun design on the outside, but the most important part is the MIPS underneath (as of 2020). This updated design focuses on comfort, fit, and above all, protection.

Burley Designs Dash FM

Cargo trailers are one thing, but getting your child rigged up to “ride” your bike with you is next-level fun. The Dash FM is insanely stable and our daughter comfortably rides in it for hours. It is incredibly easy and fast to install, features removable/washable seat and harness padding, and has an adjustable 5-point harness for kids up to 40lbs. I also appreciate the rear storage “pocket” and adjustable foot rests. Oh, and for the mamas out there worried about tipping over due to your child’s’ weight shifting back and forth, worry no more! After riding with this bike seat for nearly a month, I have found it to be one of the most stable bike seats I’ve ever tried.

Oveja Negra Chuckbucket

Whether our kids are crushing singletrack on single speed bikes or cruising the local bike path on a strider, one accessory is always present, the Chuckbucket. Made right here in Colorado, this bike bag can carry all the rocks, water bottles, snacks, plastic dinosaurs, binoculars, [insert random kids’ toys here] your child could ever hope to carry. It fits perfectly on just about any bar, is easy to install and features a draw cord to keep on the goodie inside.

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