How to take children by bike

Data from the second edition of the research "Bicycle Ecosystem"made by Banca Ifis, were over 3.2 million bicycles manufactured in Italy in 2021, making Italy the number one European country for bicycle production and a leader in smart mobility. A constant increase, deriving also and above all, from the Mobility Bonus issued by the government in 2019.

An example of sustainable and green traffic are the multifunctional bicycles, of which the cargo bike are among the main exponents. The BICYCLE SAFETY is an issue that closely affects every cyclist, especially on busy roads. This concept applies even more so to those who use cargo bikes, for family needs such as shopping and how to take children by bike.

In this sense, the use of conventional bicycles to transport one's children is strictly forbidden and punishable according to the rules of the Highway Code. Below are some paragraphs regulating the circulation of velocipedes on the road.

how to take children by bike

The image above helps us to introduce theArticle 182 paragraph 2 of the Highway Code. Here are the regulations:

"Cyclists must have free use of arms and hands and hold the handlebars with at least one hand; they must at all times be able to see freely in front of them, on both sides, and carry out the necessary manoeuvres as freely, readily and easily as possible'.

The paragraph 5 of the aforementioned article, on the other hand, focuses on the transport of persons:

forbidden carry other people on the velocipede unless the velocipede is specially built and equipped. However, an adult driver is permitted to transport a child up to eight years of ageproperly secured with equipment'..

Having explained the previous articles of the CoS, let us clarify, specifically, what the equipment suitable for transporting children by bicycle.

Transporting children safely: what the bike should look like

Again referring to the Highway Code, specifically theArticle 225 of the implementing regulation, let's see in detail what the bicycle to be used to transport children must look like, what equipment to have and what rules to observe:

L'equipment suitable for transporting a child up to 8 years of age on a bicycle must be installed in the following ways: 

  1. Between the handlebar of the velocipede and the driver, only for transporting children up to 15 kg;
  2. Behind the driver, for transporting children of any mass, up to eight years of age. Before fitting the equipment, the solidity and stability of the parts of the velocipede involved in the fitting must be checked.

What items fall under 'suitable equipment'? Homologated child seat consisting of seat with backrest, armrests, bicycle attachment system and child safety system. 

The seat must be prepared for installation, so that when transporting the child, the size limits are not exceeded fixed for velocipedes (1.30 metres wide, 3 metres long and 2.20 metres high).

The child safety system consists of shoulder straps or a restraint belt and a foot protection structure. This can be part of the seat or mounted directly on the bike.

The fastening system must ensure maximum anchorage of the seat to the velocipede.

How to take children by bike: cargo bikes

Cargo bikes, which have always been used in northern Europe, are beginning to be increasingly appreciated and used in Italy as well. 

Like classic bikes, in city centres they provide agility in traffic, access to city centres and agile parking. What differs is their load capacity. They are perfect for going shopping, going to work or taking one's children to school. 

A detail, which is not insignificant, is that on cargo bikes it is it is also possible to transport more than one child (up to 3 children plus the adult driver) as well as the possibility of transporting a child older than 8 years or even an adult.


Bringing children up classic bicyclestherefore leads to an infringement of the Highway Code precisely because non were built and equipped for the purpose of transporting children. Unlike cargo bikes.

Cargo bike which must also comply with traffic regulations. According to the Highway Code, in fact, they are velocipedes which, like all vehicles in this category, may not exceed 1.30 metres wide, 3 metres long and 2.20 metres high. In addition, you can circulate in maximum 4 persons (adult driver + 3 children as mentioned above) with a variable load limit because it is linked to the type approval of that specific model.

It has always been common to see people on the road transporting their children, sometimes more than one, and even those over 8 years old, on classic bikes, on approved child seats but installed on the carrier whose load capacity does not exceed 6 kg. 

A punishable behaviour according to the Highway Code but, beyond any possible sanction, a behaviour dangerous to one's child's life. For this reason, more and more people now rely on purpose-built bicycles with specific characteristics. 

Safety first!

Le cargo bike ensure reliable circulation thanks to a frame completely different from that of classic bikes. A frame designed and built for the safe transport of both rider and load. It is more robust but at the same time balanced and capable of carrying heavy loads without losing balance. Just think how it is possible to involve up to three children or teenagers and adults as 'passengers'.

One aspect that nicely frames the difference between the cargo bike and the classic bike is the cost of the said frame. For the former, the minimum cost is 500 eurofor the latter, on the other hand, it touches 50 euro. In short, if you are still wondering how to take children on a bike ride in a totally safe way, we should have answered all your doubts. And there's more.

In their creation, cargo bikes were shaped according to the two cornerstones that every parent and person carrying their children or heavy weights seeks: safety and balance. In this sense, the suitable size of the step between the wheels (the distance between the centre of one wheel and the other) is specially designed to ensure correct stability.  

Free assistance from Donno Bikes

If you are curious and want to find out which cargo bike may be right for you, at Donno Bikes, we have plenty of models and convenient payment methods in our catalogue. Entrust yourself to a consultation with one of our experts, totally free of charge, who will help you choose your bike and answer all your doubts!

For further information and clarification, please contact us at 3757060406.

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