A quality and comfortable child bike seat that's easy to install, but if a child stretches against the ankle straps there could be a clearance issue with the adult's feet.
The Beto Baby Bicycle Seat is a rack-mounted child seat that fits on the rear of an adult bicycle. Once the rack is installed, the seat can easily be mounted or removed from the rack with a quick release knob requiring no tools. The seat features a 3-point harness, enclosed foot wells, ankle straps, a handlebar for the child to hold, and a removable pad set. The seat has a 40-pound weight limit.
The rack installs on an adult bicycle very easily. The only tools required are an allen wrench, screw driver, and pliers. I did not have to make any modifications when mounting the rack. All hardware fit easily. An individual with even the most basic tool skills should have no challenge installing the rack. Note that for the rack to install easily it is best if the adult bicycle has rear upper and rear lower mounting eyelets. If your bicycle does not have eyelets you would need to use clamps to install the rack.
The only decision you have to make while installing the rack is how far forward or back to position the rack on the mounting rails. I suggest installing the rack in the way that the rack is further back from the frame of the bicycle (more on this later.) You can adjust the rack placement later as you experiment with the seat position.
Once the rack is installed, the seat simply slides onto the rack from the back and is secured with a bolt attached to a plastic knob. No tools are required to attach the seat to the rack. The process is less than 60 seconds after you have done it the first couple times. I have found one or two reviews with some complaints about attaching the seat. I do not understand the problem the reviewer mentioned. You simply slide the seat on the rack, line up the bolt, and turn the plastic knob until tightened. I find the design to be clever, simple, and effective.
Once installed, the frame and seat are securely attached to the bicycle. The seat does not feel loose even over bumps or rough terrain.
Getting ready to ride
After placing your child in the seat, the safety harness is pulled over the child’s head and fastened into the clip between the child’s legs. The safety harness, however, is not wide enough to fit over a helmet. At least in my experience, the helmet cannot be placed on the child’s head until after the safety harness is attached. This is my first complaint with the Beto. If the bike takes a spill while securing the child in the harness, the child will not be wearing a helmet. Is this acceptable? In theory, the bicycle should be on a safe, level, distraction-free area when securing the child on the seat. So there shouldn’t be a spill when securing the child. But it would be better if the harness was designed in a way that it fit over the child’s helmet.
After securing the harness and putting the bike helmet on the child, the ankle straps can be wrapped around the child’s legs. The ankle straps are somewhat effective, but even when attached securely it is possible for the child to wiggle her legs enough vertically to push her feet a little bit outside of the footwells. This is my second complaint with the Beto. Depending on the size of the bicycle frame and the size of the adult’s shoe, there might be only a little clearance between the child’s feet and the adult’s feet while pedaling. If the child pushes her feet down or through the ankle straps, the child can bump her toes against the adult’s shoes. This is why I recommend mounting the rack as far back on the rails as possible. The more room you have between the child’s feet and the adult’s feet while pedaling, the less chance you’ll have a clearance problem. In my experience, if the child is not stretching/pulling at the ankle straps, I have no clearance issues. If the child is pulling at the ankle straps, there could be contact between the feet while pedaling.
Quality, features, and price
The Beto feels solid and well made. I suspect it would last through many years of use and multiple owners.
There are hidden compartments under the seat padding. Some might find these compartments cool, but I’ve never used them. You cannot access the compartments when the child is in the seat, so I didn’t find them handy, but others might like them.
The padding is attached to the seat with Velcro®-type hook-and-loop strips. This makes it easy to remove the padding for cleaning. The only construction quality issue I encountered with the Beto is the backing on the strips became detached from the seat. I think there was not enough stickiness on the side of the strips that attaches to the seat. I easily fixed this problem by putting a little glue on the back of the strips. I’ve had no problem since making this simple correction.
One of the best features of this seat is the ability to quickly remove the seat from the rack when you want to go biking without the child. I think it would be very inconvenient to have a seat that didn’t have this feature. The seat weighs a lot more than the rack. So the ability to easily remove the seat and leave the rack in place is fantastic.
At the time of this writing, the Beto seat (with rack) costs $85 at Amazon.com. (This model has now been replaced with a “Deluxe” model, which has a head rest). That seems to be at the lower end of the price scale. So even if you only use this seat for a year or two, you are likely to get your money’s worth out of it.
This is where the Beto really shines in my opinion. Our daughter started using the seat at about 18 months and is still happily using it today at almost three years old. The seat seems to be very comfortable because we have gone for rides up to 26 miles in one day and our passenger is happy and content. She is so comfortable that she sometimes falls asleep in the seat. The padding seems to be adequate for a long ride and the seat design works well. Our daughter also likes the little padded handle grips. She holds onto the grips most of the time while we are riding. The grips aren’t needed for safety – the harness keeps the child in the seat – but I think most kids want something to hold onto while in the seat.
- Attractive price
- Quality construction
- Easy installation
- Quick release seat is very convenient if you want to bike without the child
- Comfortable for the child
- Handgrips give the child something to hold onto
- The safety harness is not wide enough to fit over a helmet so you need to remove helmet while securing or releasing the child.
- If the child wiggles her feet or stretches against the ankle straps there could be a clearance issue between the adult’s feet and child’s feet while pedaling.
- This is hardly a complaint because the fix is so easy, but the Velcro®-type strips that attach the seat to the padding did not stay attached to our seat so we had to add some glue to the backing.
Who should consider this seat?
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive and easy to install child bike seat, I recommend you consider the Beto Standard Baby Bicycle Seat. In my opinion and experience, this seat is a good option for children ages 15 months to about three and a half years old. It may also work well for children a little younger or older than this age range depending on the child’s size.
There are several rear mounted child bike seats at a similar price point to the Beto. One popular option is the Bellili Pepe carrier. One advantage of the Bellili is its 50-pound passenger rating. However, the Beto seat has an integrated handle bar for the child to hold, which the Bellili does not. In our experience our toddler loves holding the handlebar, so that makes the Beto a better model for us.
Another model is the Schwinn Deluxe Child Carrier. This child bike seat mounts directly onto the frame and is rated to carry a 40-pound passenger as well. Other reviews commented that the seat mount is not universal to all bicycle frames. The Schwinn also has a smaller foot rest area that could be a problem for larger children. Finally, the Schwinn uses a cross bar instead of handlebars. The cross bar is very close to the child’s chest which might not be as comfortable because her arms would be a little more cramped while holding the bar.
Submitted by Joseph Laubach as an entry to our Win a Weehoo Contest, December 2013
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: February 9, 2017
FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation or product was provided for this review. For many, but not all reviews, products are provided by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate the review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is an affiliate of Amazon.com.