Ferndale Bike Shop Recommends Top Family Biking Gear

Gear up for family biking adventures with expert product recommendations for a safe and fun ride.

Some bike gear, like glittery streamers or colorful spokes, might feel essential to kids, but truly essential biking gear can be the difference between a safe ride and a dangerous one. 

With the correct gear, knowledge and training, biking with little ones doesn’t have to feel scary, says Ted Sliwinski, the owner of the Ferndale location of Metropolis Cycles which opened last year.

For families looking to get into biking, Sliwinski has some basic advice: “Just be alert and aware and don’t put yourself in a scenario where you feel scared or out of place.” 

For those looking to bike with kids this summer, read on for Sliwinski’s top gear picks for family biking. 

Helmets 

Family Biking Gear
Photo credit: Nutcase Helmets

“Helmets, helmets, helmets,” Sliwinski says. “Can I say helmets again?” As soon as a child is large enough to fit into a helmet and has enough core and neck strength, they should wear a properly fitted helmet while on any form of bike. 

Lights

Family Biking Gear
Photo credit: Serfas

Adding visibility to make sure bikers are easier to spot by drivers is always a good idea. Even in the daytime, Sliwinski recommends using a running flasher and at the very least, a rear light. 

Baby seat

Family Biking Gear
Photo credit: Burley

The baby seat, alongside the trailer and cargo bike, is one of the three main options when it comes to riding with little ones too small to bike on their own. “We like sticking with the Burley brand ones because they make the most models,” says Sliwinski. The seats typically safely fit a child up to 40 pounds. 

Bike trailer

Family Biking Gear
Photo credit: Burley

“Trailers generally hold around 60-75 pounds and can fit two children, plus tons of cargo capacity, so you can throw a diaper bag right in there,” he says. Burley is another major brand for bike trailers that he recommends. 

Cargo bikes

Family Biking Gear
Photo credit: Radwagon

“Cargo bikes are quite an investment, so it’s nice, but it’s not as accessible,” he says. Sliwinski says the e-cargo bikes have more seating options for kids and the weight capacity is far larger than the other two options for kid carrying. “It’s working great for some customers, like a friend who drops his daughter off at daycare then rides it to work,” he says.

Bike racks

While not totally necessary, holding things like sunscreen, diaper bags and water can get tricky when biking with a low profile like the baby seat. Adding bike racks or baskets to a bike makes transporting “kids stuff” easier, Sliwinski says. 

Emergency repair kit

“Having a flat fix kit and a little pump, that’s a great idea,” he says. Plus, any local bike shop can help choose the correct items to work with your bike. “We also plan to host a flat fix road maintenance clinic [at Metropolis Cycles in Ferndale] so that people have the basic knowledge to fix a flat, put the chain back on–the necessary stuff to get you home.” 


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Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn is a freelance journalist, copy editor and proud Detroiter. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s journalism school and of the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. Amanda is a lover of translated contemporary fiction, wines from Jura and her dog, Lottie.

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