Top-notch all around. Easy to mount, easy to adjust, and by far the best harness (shoulder straps) on the market, the Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat is a big winner. To top it off, the unique low-saddle adapter allows the RideAlong to fit on smaller bikes on which the saddle can interfere with the frame mounting bars. Read the review below!
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Parents who want a good-quality seat without paying for extra features like a reclinable seat and multi-point adjust shoulder straps.
MOUNT TYPE: Rear Rack
|Additional Mounting Info||
Mounts to 1.1" – 1.6" diameter seat tube (must be clear of wires).
|Inches Needed to Mount||
1 yr. to 48 lb.
Pros & Cons
- High-quality, durable build and components
- Extremely easy to use and easy to mount
- Reclines and has suspension for a comfy ride for sleeping babies!
- Padded shoulder straps actually stay in place
- Kids are easily able to wiggle their feet out of the footstraps
Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat Review – Results of our Test Rides
Adjustable, durable and reclinable, Thule’s RideAlong bike seat is easily one of the best designed rear-mounted bike seats on the market. In addition to being well built, it is extremely easy to use, easy to mount and is designed with several child and parent-friendly features. Mounting to the seat tube of a bike (the frame tube that runs from the seat of a bike to the crank), the RideAlong is a perfect choice for any bike that does not have cables running down the seat tube or has rear suspension. With a maximum weight of 48.5 lb., the seat is also ideal for ages 1 to 6.
Why the RideAlong?
While there are a lot of bikes seat on the market, Thule is the only seat we’ve found that is easy to use, reclines, has suspension as well as shoulder straps that securely stay in place. Over several months we tested out the seat with several different parents and kids and found that is was universally loved by all. While parents loved the ability to recline their child when asleep and parent friendly design (adjustable features are all color-coded in blue), kids loved the comfortable ride via the gentle suspension and padded shoulder pads.
As a parent, the ease at which the seat can be adjusted was a piece of cake as compared to other seats. The reclining mechanism simply requires pulling up one lever beneath the seat, which allows the other hand to hold the bike in place. The child’s straps do not need to be re-adjusted as they are not affected by the recline.
*Note: The seat length adjuster, the small blue lever below the seat, should be in the UP position when riding, NOT down. This lever allows you to adjust the seat forward and back on the seat mount, which we clearly forgot to lock back in place.**
Adjusting the shoulder straps is really easy as well. To lower the top shoulder harness, lift up and slide down the blue handle on the back of the seat until the proper height is reached. The straps should be placed so that there is little or no gap between the top of the shoulder and the bottom of the shoulder pad.
Once in place, the straps can be adjusted by pushing on the blue button on the shoulder straps. Like the recline mechanism, adjusting the shoulder straps can easily be done while holding the bike. However, if you did need to lean the bike up against a wall or fence, a plastic bumper is integrated into the seat to prevent a child’s hand from being pinched. The shoulder straps of the RideAlong also stay in place! With the backpack-style shoulder straps mounted to the rear of the seat, the straps will not slide down during a ride and cannot be pulled down by a child.
Lastly, the shoulder straps provide room for a lot of growth and the seat pad quickly reverses for additional color options.
The only feature that so far we would like to see improved is the foot straps. While easy to adjust, with a slight wiggle, our 1.5-year-old tester was easily able to removed her foot and start kicking her mom.
Will it fit my bike?
While the seat is great, if it doesn’t fit your bike it isn’t going to do you any good. According to the Thule fitting compatibility guide, the RideAlong “fits most mountain bikes with a 26″-29″ wheel size and road bikes using the 700c standard with around (27.2-40mm diameter) or oval (maximum 40x55mm) seat tube. This is found on the standard road, mountain, and hybrid style bicycles. Five inches on clearance is needed on the seat tube for the mounting bracket.” The seat is also not compatible with carbon fiber frames or square or triangularly shaped frames. Additional, we found that the mounting bracket can be a challenge to mount onto bikes with cables running down the seat tube as the bracket. The problem lies in the mount’s inability to mount to the frame without interfering with the cables. Not having another bike to mount the seat to (our others are either full suspension or carbon fiber), we made an adapter out of copper pipe and wrapped it in grip tape. We then placed it in between the frame and the mounting brackets. While our solution worked for us, if your bike does have cables running down the seat tube, we would recommend purchasing a rack-mounted seat instead.
Once the mounting bracket is installed, adhering the RideAlong to the bracket is a breeze. After placing the mounting bars through the bracket on the bottom of the seat, the bars are then simply pushed into mounting bracket until an audible click is heard. If the saddle of your bike is set low your bike’s frame, mounting the seat can be a challenge as the saddle of the bike prevents the RideAlong from being pushed far enough forward to insert the mounting bars into the mounting bracket.
Temporarily raising your saddle can help provide more room for mounting the RideAlong, but the mounting bars on the seat can make it challenging to lock down a quick-release lever. Once properly mounted, a low saddle can also interfere with the RideAlong reclining.
If raising your saddle does not alleviate the problem, Thule does make a low saddle (seat) adapter that replaces the mounting bars for a longer, angled bar. Not just for smaller-framed bikes, the adapter is perfect for any size frame that is ridden with the saddle low on the frame.
Designed for kids between one and six, the RideAlong is packed full of parent and child-friendly features. While on the more expensive end of child bike seats, the RideAlong is an investment and is worth every penny.
Thule Mini Front-Mounted Bike Seat
Want to ride with a smaller child? Check out our review of Thule’s RideAlong front-mounted bike seat.