Topeak makes bike accessories, lots of them and they have been for a long time. Dealing with their product over the years, their stuff is good quality, well thought out and lasts the distance, I recently got the chance to fit up their BabySeat 2 (II) and have to say, it’s a very nice seat that uses a great quality rack and uses a nifty suspension system for child comfort.
The BabySeat 2 uses a dedicated rack which is included when it’s purchased, a word of warning here though, it must use the Topeak rack to attach as the seat will not mount to any other racks which means you might have to buy a second rack for multiple bikes.
Topeak BabySeat 2 Review and Specs
- Rear mounted seat with rack supplied
- Age Range – 9 Months to 48.5 Pounds
- Washable seat padding
- Quick release, adjustable footrests
- 3 point safety harness
- Large, wrap-around plastic body
- In-built suspension system for child comfort
- Quick release bracket system
- Disc and non-disc rack versions available
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Topeak BabySeat 2 Installation and Rack
Included in the box there’s a clear and easy to follow manual, this makes the fitting procedure far easier if you have never attached a child seat to a bike, in fact, the manual is one of the more comprehensive ones I have come across!
The Included rack is a well made, aluminum unit with no moving parts so you will have to make sure you pick the right style of rack for your bike. In this case, it was a non-disc since the disc brake is tucked out of the way on this particular frame. If your disc caliper sits above the frame there is a disc carrier available which has the extra clearance built-in.
The first step was to screw the bottom rack eyelets to the frame just tight enough to hold the carrier level this gives a good idea of how much extension you will need to get from the frame rack mounts up to the rack. Making sure the carrier is level is the key to give the maximum comfort and stability for your child and allowing the seat to sit and work in the way it was designed.
Attach the extensions loosely to the dedicated holes in the rack then flex them down to meet the frame. In some cases, to get the rack to sit far enough away from your saddle and to level it off you may need an extra set of extensions (depending on the size of your bike)
Once the rack is fitted, the seat hooks into the lip of the rack then you simply slide the big yellow plate across which locks the seat and suspension assembly into place.
Child Comfort, Design and Suspension
The BabySeat 2 is quite a large seat compared to other models on the market, it uses wings at the side for shoulder stability and is fully contoured which allows your child to sit naturally. The body’s edges are rounded over so they can rest their arms without any sharp edges digging in but also the rolled edges help stiffen the body of the seat additionally.
The footwells are fully height adjustable, at the back, there is a quick release lever to do this so you don’t need any tools. The velcro foot straps can be finicky to set up so just leave this till last until you have your hands free after strapping them in, there’s plenty of length to cover bigger feet, although I did find the foot rest platform to be quite short although it didn’t end up being a problem.
The ride of the BabySeat 2 is actually very good, thanks to the large, in-built springs in the seat base(underneath the bright red rubber boots) Sometimes rear-mounted child seats can be bumpier than front versions since some models rest directly on the rear racks, having a form of suspension keeps the ride smoother and helps minimize jolts and unexpected bumps, which might wake your toddler up if they are a sleepy biker.
The large yellow seat pad used inside the seat wraps around the shoulder supports and hugs your child firmly but comfortably. The pad is removable and machine washable as well.
Over the front, there is a hinged hand hold/safety bar which uses a high-density foam tube covered over with the black velcro cover. This gives your child something to hang onto when moving which is safe and it also adds an extra degree of stiffness to the body of the seat. For loading and unloading, it quickly hinges up and down so you’re not threading their little legs down into the seat.
Belts and Adjustment
The BabySeat 2 uses a 3 point harness which is extremely simple. It’s definitely not as fancy as other models but there is plenty of height and length adjustment to help you fine tune the fit for different sizes of child and different clothing thicknesses.
Adjusting the height of the shoulder straps is achieved by pushing the clips forward out of the seat, selecting the according hole and pushing the buckle back through. This can be done without removing the seat cushion.
Topeak BabySeat 2 Pro’s and Con’s
- Wraparound design gives great stability for children
- The inbuilt suspension system adds an extra level of comfort
- Taking the seat on and off is no-hassle thanks to the quick release, slide out plate
- Great quality rack which will last a long time
- Simple seatbelt set-up and adjustment
- The seat sits further forward so may interfere with riding position on smaller framed bikes
- Suspension system makes the seat ride high, which with a heavier toddler can make the bike unstable
Overall I was really impressed with the BabySeat 2, the included rack is all tubular alloy, the other feature is they use a channel which allows you to slide other accessories onto the rack without the need for straps or bungees, great if you wanted to bike to work since they do a slide-on trunk bag.
The sturdy slide-in plate is unique and there’s simply no way the seat could possibly come undone. It’s super quick to take on and off as well which is a bonus. Keep in mind if you ride a smaller framed bike, the seat rides close towards the saddle and your legs and you may end up requiring an extra set of extensions to reach the frame.
The comfort, safety and build quality is all top-notch so the Topeak BabySeat 2 is a well thought out and constructed seat which will make getting out with your youngsters fun.