iBert Safe-T Child Bicycle Seat Review

ibert review

The iBert bike seat is hands-down my favorite child-related piece of cycling gear.   We have used our iBert continuously for the last 2 ½ years, and continue to push the limits of it with my 28-pound 3 year old. Here’s what we love about it, and a couple things that could be improved.


Review in a Nutshell

Pros:

  • The position at the front of the bike makes it easy to talk with and interact with your child.
  • Possible to use off-road (for parents who are into that sort of thing).
  • Easy to mount and install.
  • Does a good job of protecting child in the event of a tip-over.
  • Plastic material is easy to keep clean.
  • Affordable in comparison to many other child carriers.
  • Lots of fun!

Cons:

  • Not as safe as a bike trailer.
  • Shoulder straps tend to fall off.
  • Not safe for sleepy babies.

Price & Where to Buy:


Detailed Review of the iBert Safe-T Child Bicycle Seat

Front-mounted.

The iBert is mounted to the steering tube on the front of the bike. This forward position means that you can see and talk to your child the whole time you bike. We sing songs, talk about the things we see, and tell jokes.

Not only is it nice for the parent, it’s nice for the little person too because they can see where they are going and feel involved in the whole biking process. Compared to the trailer, P rarely complains in the iBert and can go for long distances. In the trailer, he quickly gets bored and I think it’s because he doesn’t involved.

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Photo by jinglejammer/CCBY 2.0

Kid-Approved.

In addition to being a part of the action, little kids also love the iBert because of the design. It is a comfortable little bucket seat; their legs are protected and supported in the leg slots and the back is high enough to provide plenty of support. The front “steering wheel” provides a place for little hands and good entertainment for the ride. My son has always been happy to go for a ride in the iBert.

Good for Mountain Biking.

Mountain biking with the iBert seat

Mountain biking with the iBert seat

Ok, so this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but for parents who feel comfortable taking their young child mountain biking, the iBert is your best option. It easily mounts to a mountain bike, provides plenty of leg room even when climbing, and is light enough to be nimble on singletrack.

Now that P is getting a little big for the iBert, we’ve transitioned on many of our rides to the Weehoo, but sure miss using the iBert for our outings. Unlike the Weehoo, or other trailers, the iBert protects kids from dirt/rocks and provides for a smooth ride. The fact that you don’t have to worry about any kind of turning radius is nice too

Safe.

There are always risks when riding with a child in a bike seat. Critics of front child-seats will tell you that they are inherently unstable and your little one risks a serious fall in the seat. For this reason, I generally tell parents who aren’t confident riders to use a trailer instead. That said, if you are a skilled rider and are willing to accept some risk, you will love the iBert.

Truth be told, we have had a couple minor tip-overs with the iBert—primarily mountain biking. My son has never been hurt. He’s never even cried. The seat has always provided good protection.

The seat comes with shoulders straps to hold the child in. We didn’t feel like they were secure or snug enough, so we’ve modified the straps with a plastic band. This holds our little guy securely. The front bar also clicks into place and offers some additional safety. After LOTS of use, we’ve also had to place some screws to hold it into place.

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Affordable.

Compared to our $600 Chariot trailer, the iBert is cheap. It retails for $109.95, and because it’s durable, you can often find a like-new iBert on Craigslist. Even compared to other front and rear mounted seats on the market, the iBert is a great value.

Durable.

We’ve given our iBert a run for its money. We’ve taken it in our carry-on luggage on vacations, we’ve mountain biked with it in 5 states, we’ve left it out on our patio in the heat and the rain and the snow. With the exception of a little grime, and a few modifications that I already mentioned, the thing is still in great shape.

The plastic material is easy to wash down with water and soap, and it has never shown any signs of cracking or other wear. I’m sure when we are done with it, the seat will go to another child for several more years of use.

Easy to mount and install.

Of the 8 bicycles Blair and I have, only one doesn’t work with the iBert and that’s because the steering tube is too short. The iBert works on most bikes (road, mountain, or commuter) as long as the steering tube is at least 3/4″.

A “T-bar” attaches to the steering tube in just a few minutes with an allen wrench, and then the seat slides easily to the bar and secures with a pin. I am not particularly mechanically inclined, and even I can manage this really easily. Here a video where you can see it being installed.

Cons

iBert Seat

Fast asleep in the iBert.

There aren’t many cons to this child seat and most of them I’ve already mentioned. The straps, in my opinion, could be better. After lots of use, we’ve had to screw the bar back in place.

There’s also the fact that child seats aren’t quite as safe as a trailer and you do have to worry about balance issues. These risks aren’t enough to stop me from using the iBert, but it is something to consider. The other thing that can affect safety is a sleepy child. This isn’t a concern specific to the iBert, but rather with biking with young kids in general. When P was really little he could last about 30 minutes in the iBert before he would drift off. At that point, his head would flop over, unsupported. This isn’t safe and we would have to wake him or try to prop his head up while we quickly biked home.

Specifications/Details

  • Appropriate for children ages 1-4 and up to 38 pounds and 42 inches tall. In my experience, most kids get too tall or heavy for this seat by 3 ½ or so.
  • Comes in pink or green.
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 26.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Retails at $109.95

Bottom-Line

We started my son in the iBert around his first birthday and have been used in constantly ever since. I have nothing but fantastic things to say about it, and would recommend it to anybody who wants to bike with their young child and who feels comfortable with using a bike seat.

The iBert is an absolute blast for both parent and child, is more affordable, lighter, and easier to transport than a trailer, and is made right here in the USA. The seat will make lasting family memories possible.

Price & Where to Buy:

Note: I have no association with iBert, and purchased this product on my own. 

Kristen

Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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2 Responses

  1. Liz Heller says:

    Thanks so much for this enthusiast review and including your experience with tip overs – not life threatening necessarily! Could you offer some tips on
    (1) balancing bike while putting child in seat and (2) getting on/off bike with child in ibert and (3) balancing during stops since harder to stand between ibert and saddle. I feel like I need a high saddle to see over child but then will not be able to reach toes to the ground when stopped. Did you have this issue? Finally (4) have you ridden in city traffic with this set up? Any comments?

  2. Kristen says:

    Hi Liz, All great questions. (1) A good kickstand is helpful. So is leaning the bike against a wall or bikerack. (2) This is more challenging than without the ibert installed obviously. I would definitely leave your saddle at the same height it is normally at. You will need to be able to reach the ground. I’ve not had any issues with need to raise my saddle to see over my son. (3) Again, this is more challenging that without the ibert installed. When possible, I like to stop next to curb that I can put one foot on it. I would suggest doing a couple rides when you first get the seat without your child in it so you get the feel for it first. (4) Yes, all the time. I do try to take safe roads / backstreets as much as possible. I actually prefer riding with the iBert in busy traffic to a trailer though, since your child is right up with you, and you’re not taking up a bigger footprint than you would be normally. Hope that all helps!