Durable, comfortable, and easy to mount. We love that the Thule Yepp Mini provides much more airflow than competitors, but its shoulder straps are hard to adjust. Read the review below for all the pros and cons on this front-mounted child bike seat.
Thule Yepp Mini
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Families in hot climates. The Yepp provides much more airflow than competitors.
MOUNT TYPE: Front frame
AGE RANGE: 9 mo. to 33 lbs.
- Made of “Crocs”-like foam material, seats are durable, comfortable, easy to wash, and well-ventilated
- Rubberized shoulder pads prevent the straps from sliding down a child’s arm
- Lots of safety features like foot straps and a two-handed safety buckle
- U-shaped handlebar provides a sense of safety for child
- Initial shoulder strap set-up and further adjustments are difficult
- No recessed helmet pocket to prevent the seat from pushing up on a child’s helmet
Thule Yepp Mini Review – Results of our Test Rides
A Dutch company, with almost 80 years of experience building and designing bike seats, GMG (Yepp’s parent company) truly understands the needs of parents and kids on bikes. (Note: Yepp was acquired by Thule in 2016) Since Yepp’s introduction in 2009, their modern design and use of unique materials have won multiple awards across Europe and the US. Made of “Crocs”-like foam material, their Mini and Maxi seats are durable, comfortable, come in 10 different colors and have received high praises from parents. The Mini is a front mounted seat, designed to fit children starting at the age of 9 months and a max rider weight of 33 lbs. It can be installed on both threaded and thread less headsets (see What to Look for in a Child’s Bike Seat for help determining what type of bike you have). The Maxi is a rear-mounted seat, designed for kids starting at the age of 9 months and has a max rider weight of 48 lbs. and can be mounted to a bike rack or the bike frame.
Compared to other front-mounted bike seats on the market, the Yepp excels not only in safety but in durability and usability as well. To help keep your child secure, rubberized shoulder pads prevent the straps from sliding down a child’s arm, foot straps keep the child’s feet and legs out of danger and the two-handed safety buckle prevents a child from un-buckling their straps. Various accessories are also available to extend the Mini’s usability such as the sleep roll (shown below).
Having used and loved front-mounted bike seats, the BoBike City in particular, the Yepp certainly didn’t disappoint. While the installation wasn’t as quick and easy as we would have liked (more details below), we were able to mount it ourselves in less than 30 minutes. Once the seat was properly secured, our 22-month-old (27 lbs.) happily jumped on board for a ride, but due to the rubberized shoulder pads interfering with the adjustment slider on the straps, adjusting the straps took some time. After the first initial adjustment however, making small adjustments to the straps was quick and easy. During our rides, our son particularly seemed to enjoy the U-shaped handlebar on the seat. In addition to providing him a sense of security (or at least is seemed :)), it also allowed him to place his hands in a more natural horizontal position during rides, versus the horizontal position he was accustomed to on his BoBike City.
As a rider, the Yepp provided a comfortable ride for me as well. Being 5’10” and riding a large framed bike, riding with the Mini did not require me to bow out my legs, but for those riding on smaller frames, space may become an issue. As a rule of thumb, front-mounted bike seats take up about 10″ of space between the stem (where handlebars mount to the bike) and saddle of the bike. If your top tube or the distance between your handlebars and seat tube, is less than 20″ you may have difficulty riding with a front-mounted seat.
Yepp Mini vs. BoBike Mini City
Having ridden with the BoBike Mini City for the past year, several differences between the two became apparent during our rides. While the bike seats look and essentially function the same, there are certainly pros and cons to each. Starting with the seat, the durable foam material of the Yepp made for easy washing, while the holes in the back allowed for air circulation, preventing sweaty backs on hot days. The BoBike Mini City however, offers slightly more coverage along the sides of the seat as well as a recessed helmet pocket to prevent the seat from pushing up on a young child’s helmet during a ride.
Overall, we found the differences in shoulder straps to be the major difference between the two. While we loved the secure fit of the sturdy straps of the BoBike Mini City when our son was younger, at 22-months the straps become too tight for him and without a way to adjust them, they quickly became uncomfortable. On the Yepp however, the flexible shoulder straps provided a secure fit without the uncomfortable fit experienced by the BoBike Mini City. Like the BoBike Mini City, the foot rests and straps were not as useful as we would have liked. Having small feet (size 5.5), he was easily able to pull his foot out of his shoes during rides on both seats (as shown by his blue socks in the BoBike Mini pictures above). Lastly, we much preferred the built-in locking mechanism of the Yepp (shown below) versus the small cable lock offered by the BoBike.
Will it fit my bike?
The Yepp Mini comes with a standard mount that requires about 2″ of space on the steer tube of your bike (see What to Look for When Purchasing a Child’s Bike Seat). With 2″ of clearance, the standard mount will fit on a threadless or threaded headset but may require the removal of spacers on a threadless setup. While mounting the bracket is not too challenging, it does require removing the handlebars, so if you are not familiar with bikes, do not have a set of Allen wrenches, or a handy husband, having a bike shop mount the bracket is recommended.
Yepp Threadless Adapter
If you have less than 2″ of clearance on your steer tube, an adapter is available for threadless headsets. Like the standard mount, installing the adapter does require the removal of the handlebars. Although a rough step-by-step is given below, for those not accustomed to the care and maintenance of bikes, having the adapter installed by a bike shop is recommended.
While we prefer the sturdy straps of the BoBike Mini for the youngest toddlers, the Yepp Mini is our hands-down favorite in terms of overall fit, longevity of use and durability.