Making our bikes safe, comfortable and accessible - for all bodies!
If you've been following along with us at Bunch Bikes, you probably already know that inclusion is at the heart of our mission. Our goal is to make family biking more accessible for kids (and parents!) with a wide range of abilities, medical and adaptive needs.
Our policy is to provide any needed adaptive equipment at no cost to families. If we can install it safely, we'll take care of it for you! That's because we see it as our responsibility to make your bike safe and comfortable for your kids - whatever their needs.
Our inclusion program covers the cost of any of the options described below. Sometimes an insurance company or nonprofit may contribute - if not, we'll pay for it using our inclusion program budget. We will never charge families for adaptive equipment. That's part of our approach to inclusion and our commitment to your family.
We've organized the seating choices below into four categories:
- Standard Options: These are available on all our bikes for any customer, but will be provided at no cost to families with a medical or adaptive need for them.
- Custom Options: These are customizations we don't list for sale online but can provide and install as needed.
- DIY Options: These are customizations that we can't yet provide in the warehouse. However, we know that some families have made them work and we're happy to share tips and resources!
- Next Steps: How to determine which option is the right fit for your family!
These seating options are available to every Bunch family for purchase. If your child needs one of these options as an accommodation for a disability, we will provide it at no cost to you.
This is the standard seatbelt that comes installed in all our bikes by default. It features two adjustable straps that extend over the child's shoulders and then buckle at the crotch, between the child's legs.
Each seatbelt comes with a shoulder clip that should be attached just behind the child's shoulders. This keeps the straps from sliding down when kids wiggle. If your straps are sliding down, your shoulder clip may not be positioned correctly!
The sliders can be installed in "toddler" mode (see video link) which shortens the straps to fit riders as young as 2.
Some parents find that the straps still slide around on smaller children, especially when they're wearing bulky or slippery coats! Criss crossing the straps behind the child's back may prevent this issue. We can also provide a chest clip if needed - it's a bit easier to clip and unclip frequently than our shoulder clips.
The straps will extend to a maximum length of XX". On the taller rear bench, they tend to fit most kids until around age 9-10, at which point we recommend transitioning to the lap belt.
We use custom-length belts and car-style hardware to create an adjustable lap belt with a traditional buckle, similar to what you'd find in an older model car. Installing it does require drilling two extra holes in the rear panel of the bike.
We feel strongly that all passengers must wear seatbelts anytime they are riding in the bike. In the event of a crash or tip, staying secured inside the box is safest!
For this reason, we recommend the lap belt for any passenger who is too tall to fit the shoulder harness. Some younger children with sensory sensitivities also find the lap belts more comfortable.
We can install the lap belt on one side of the bench, making space for two riders per bench as usual. Or, for larger riders, we can install the lap belt in the center position, allowing the passenger to spread out and take up the whole cargo area!
Because it doesn't have a crotch strap, the lap belt alone may not provide enough support for toddlers or for riders who arch or wiggle while the bike is in motion. The lap belt in conjunction with the Ride Safe vest (see below) may be a suitable choice!
Melia Toddler Seat
The Melia toddler seat installs directly onto the passenger bench. It can be installed rear facing and slightly reclined, or forward facing and fully upright. Installation does require drilling a small extra hole in the panel as well as removing the shoulder harness and buckle.
We recommend the Melia seat for all riders until at least 18 months because it provides additional torso and head support while the bike is in motion. Many children of all abilities continue using the seat well past age 2, especially for naps.
Riders with low muscle tone may find the Melia seat helpful for as long as they can fit - even up to age 4-5! If the seat still fits, but the straps are too short, we can recommend an alternate strategy for using the Bunch shoulder harness in conjunction with the Melia seat.
Our custom designed bench cushions offer padding and a little extra support. They are typically most useful for older riders. Children under 3 can find them a little bulky and should sit directly on the wooden bench. Children over 10 and heavier children tend to strongly prefer the more "cushy" ride!
Front Door vs. Front Bench
Small steps on the outside of the panels make climbing into the Original bike similar to climbing up steps at the playground. Many children are able to climb up the side of the Original bike beginning at around age 2 or 3.
For riders who cannot climb, the bike can be outfitted with a swing-open front door that makes entry and exit easier. However, the front door is not compatible with the front bench - in a front door bike, only the rear bench remains, with seating for two passengers.
On the Preschool bike, the benches are positioned along the sides, so you can have both the swing-open front door and seating for up to six passengers. The legroom is a little narrower than on the Original bike, though!
Next, let's review options that we can special order as needed. Typically we work together with parents to select which setup will work best for the child and the family.
Ride Safe Vest
We install this vest in conjunction with our lap belt. We run the shoulder straps of the vest through our seatbelt slots! The vest offers a crotch strap, a hip belt, and a chest belt, for significantly more lateral and torso support than our standard seatbelt options.
The vest comes in sizes designed to accommodate riders up to 110 lb. However, we find that the (optional) crotch strap can fit too snug on riders toward the upper end of that range because it has to run underneath our cargo bench! The crotch strap works best for riders up to 80lb, who can use a large vest with an extra-large crotch strap.
Getting kids in and out of the vest does require a bit more "fiddling" than a typical seatbelt. Kids who are impatient with the process may prefer to skip the crotch strap and use only the lap and chest belts.
One of our wonderful Bunch Bike moms has created a Nap Net that stretches behind the child's head to provide light head support. It attaches to the arch poles that come with the bike and are also used for the sun shade or rain tent.
The Nap Net is less supportive than a molded option like the Special Tomato seat below, but can be helpful to passengers who have low muscle tone or inconsistent head control, or who may benefit from being able to lean or rest their heads some of the time.
We don't officially sell this product but can provide it for children who may be able to use it for medical or adaptive reasons!
We can custom order 4 and 5 point harnesses in larger sizes to install into the bike. Doing so will typically require drilling some extra holes in the panel.
This option is a good fit for older riders who are too tall for the standard harness, but need more security than the lap belt provides. The custom harness does not provide significant lateral support but can help the passenger stay seated and steady.
Special Tomato Car Seat
This is by far our most supportive option, appropriate for riders who need full torso and head support. We install the Special Tomato Soft Touch Booster Car Seat on the firm plastic Floor Sitter base and then use LATCH clips and heavy-duty anchor bolts to secure it firmly in the bike! This option offers adjustable recline and an optional headrest as well.
The seat can be installed either forward facing or rear facing. We typically provide bolts in all four corners so that the family can reverse the seat if desired!
We are confident that this setup works well with the smaller Special Tomato car seat, suitable for riders up to 56" tall. We are not sure about the larger car seat, because it is wider than the Floor Sitter base that we use. We have not yet had the opportunity to test whether it can still be mounted safely, but this is on our research list for future!
The downside to this setup is that it requires removing both cargo benches - there is no seating left over for siblings or friends, except possibly in a Yepp seat on the rear rack!
There are a few options that we aren't able to install in our warehouse, but that we know have worked for some families.
Some families have installed an existing stroller-style wheelchair directly into the cargo area of the bike. We can provide heavy-duty eye bolts that can be used with wheelchair tie-down straps!
One family modified their Bunch Bike to carry their daughter's entire power wheelchair - loading in and out with a ramp. This build did require significant modification of the front panel. You can read more about their setup and the changes they made in this blog post!
Our bikes are purpose-built for riding with children. The benches are positioned 9" off the ground, a comfortable height for most children up to around age 12.
Some teens and adults also find the seating comfortable, especially with a seat cushion for a little added height. However, riders who are taller, heavier, or less flexible at knees and hips may find that the benches are too low for comfort.
We are not able to modify the benches at our warehouse. However, we know that some families have added in their own taller or deeper benches. The home-built bench pictured here also has a Special Tomato sitter mounted to it!
Go Kart Seat
We know of at least one family that has installed a full-sized adult Go Kart seat in the cargo area of their Bunch Bike! We do not currently have a warehouse-approved strategy for installing this seating in our bikes, but this creative parent posted detailed photos in the Bunch Bikes Club on Facebook for families that wish to try a similar approach.
The Triobike Taxi or Vanraam Chat
It's not a Bunch Bike... and it may be a little harder to find in the US... but we sometimes recommend these options for families looking to ride with an elder. The "rickshaw" style is designed for this purpose and may make it easier for an older or disabled adult to transfer in and out of the passenger area.
Does one of these options sound perfect for your child?
Or - does your rider need something completely different?
Inclusion is our priority, and we'd love to work with you to figure out the right fit for your family.
Please don't hesitate to give us a call anytime, 940-536-0597. Or you can send us more information about your needs using our inclusion portal - we'll reach out via phone or email to connect!