Key features of the Britax Jockey Comfort Kids Bike Seat
- Age suitability: 9 months – 4 years (9-22kg)
- Fits: touring and sports bikes – bikes with round saddle tubes
- Features: 9 head-rest positions, reclinable back rest, sliding foot rests and a harness system with plug-in buckle
When buying a product that involves the safety of your child, it’s always good to know something of the brand’s back-story. Britax originated in the UK, but is now a multinational company with global reach. With a history of innovation in the field of automotive and child safety stretching back to the 1960s, you may already unwittingly be a beneficiary of its brainpower. The company developed the ISOFIX car seat system in partnership with car maker Volkswagen in the 1990s.
So the pedigree is reassuring, but what about the product? One of the first things I noticed on opening the Britax Jockey Comfort Kids Bike Seat was the “Made in Germany” rosette. This provenance, along with a couple of German safety certificates, provided an additional layer of reassurance.
Is it easy to fit to on the bike?
Due, presumably, to some kind of packaging mix up, all that arrived at our house along with the seat and bracket was a leaflet and a bag containing three plastic sleeves. These serve as protection for your bike’s frame when attaching the seat bracket to your seat tube (the one under your saddle). The instructions, requisite Allen key and, as far as I can tell, some additional spacers were missing. However, the instructions are downloadable, so using these, plus our own tools, a bit of common sense and some YouTube mentoring, I got the seat set up in about half an hour.
Is it easy to take off the bike once fitted?
Yes. It’s easy enough to remove the seat from the bike; a simple latch takes care of that. It’s also possible to buy a second bracket to quickly move the seat between different bikes.
Does it feel secure when your little one is in it?
Very much so. The seat itself looks and feels the part. Solid and robust to the touch, you couldn’t describe it as light. Add that to the weight of your child, and it goes without saying that even if you live in the flattest of locations, your thighs are going to get an extra workout when using this product. But that’s a good thing, right!?
You can buy the Britax Jockey Comfort Kids Seat from Buggy Baby, Bike-Discount and Precious Little One
Do you feel confident and in control when carrying your little one in this bike seat?
Six months ago I tested another child seat – a handlebar-mounted model made by Thule. At the time I had some misgivings about it, all of them related to its position on my style of bike. I always thought a rear-mounted seat would dispel some of the issues and concerns I had with the Thule Ridealong Mini.
And after a few days testing it seems I was right. Being rear-mounted the Britax Jockey Comfort Seat has virtually no effect on my steering or pedalling action. This is something which has been a big issue with the Thule given our chilly Scottish location, as it is nigh on impossible to ride out of the saddle – at least on my style of touring bike. Wind chill, getting soaked by rain and the possibility of insect attacks is also much less of an issue with a rear-mounted seat as the rider is effectively a wind break.
My Ridgeback Panorama bike’s handling is simply far more predictable and stable with 21-month-old Ava seated behind, instead of in front of me. When she was smaller I really appreciated the ability to cosset her in my arms in the Thule, but now that she understands much more, she doesn’t require so much reassurance and can communicate far better with me. I feel more confident having her behind me where I can still speak to her while giving the road my full attention.
How does the seat cope off road?
Seeking out a more demanding test of the Britax Jockey Comfort, I headed off the tarmac onto some gravelly, unpaved forest roads near my home. This, I felt, would provide a real test of stability and help identify any handling issues.
As the track began to climb I was able to ride out of the saddle rather than remaining seated. At first the weight on the back felt very unwieldy and I soon realised that keeping the bike as upright as possible – rather than leaning from side to side to get more leverage – was the only way to keep Ava from being jerked around like a rag doll. This technique requires more upper body work and while it is probably good for toning, it sure felt like hard work!
What should you be aware of?
It’s worth bearing in mind that carrying a rear-mounted child is going to be more strenuous than carrying the same weight in a couple of rear panniers, as you really do have to concentrate on minimising the strain on a child’s neck when riding uphill. Sure, if you live in Cambridge this isn’t going to be an issue, but if you’re in Edinburgh, Sheffield or Bristol for example, your bike handling skills will need to be tip top to prevent your child from seeing bike rides in the Britax Jockey Comfort as an ordeal rather than a source of delight.
Is it comfortable?
Absolutely. There are no less than nine head rest height positions as well as an option to recline the back rest. These adjustments are easily made using two simple levers on the back of the seat. Growing legs can equally be accommodated by sliding the footrests down using a pair of levers and there is an integrated guard to ensure little feet can’t get caught up in the wheel. The cushioned seat material is both reversible and washable.
What do you think of the harness – is it child-proof?
A pair of straps come over each of the child’s shoulders and meet in one buckle which is inserted to a fixing between their legs. It’s easy to buckle and can be managed with one hand. It certainly appears to be child-proof!
You might also want to check out the Thule RideAlong Mini
How many types of bikes can it be used with?
You will need to check that this product is compatible with your bike. If you have a mountain bike with full suspension, it won’t work. Equally, the frame geometry on some women’s and cruiser type bikes is such that they too will not accommodate the seat. Also something to bear in mind is that you can’t really wear a backpack when carrying a child in this seat as it will be right in their face. So if you intend, for example, to use it to take your child with you to buy groceries, you will need panniers.
Will it last the advertised three years?
I reckon so. It’s a well-made piece of kit with plenty of adjustments and designed with room for growth.
Is the product value for money and is there any re-sale value?
It depends on how much you use it. Given that it will accommodate your little one from 9 months to 4 years or (9 – 22kg) you’ll potentially get over three years use (more if you have more kids). How much to pay, it turns out, is a very interesting question. There are German online retailers undercutting their British counterparts by up £50 for the Römer branded Jockey Comfort, which appears to be exactly the same product. This price differential sees (at the time of writing) the product offered on one online German bike discount site for under £80, including VAT and shipping to the UK. At that price this product is a steal and will still have plenty of resale value, especially when compared to the current Amazon price of £129.99.
Who would the product be most useful for?
For us as a family, the Britax Jockey Comfort, opens up lots of riding options that were closed to us before, due to the impossibility of riding out of the saddle with a front-mounted carrier on the many hills around our home. Unless we move to a city, we will never be able to use it for the school run, but that would be a great option for those within pedaling distance of school, nursery, childminder etc.
Made For Mums Verdict
This is a solid, well-made and affordable child back-of-the-bike seat that’s easy to fit and use. With a little bit of practice, you’ll feel completely comfortable cycling with the Britax Jockey Comfort on board. It’s perfect for parents who want to get out and about. Now it’s up to me to get my legs and upper body into the kind of shape that will allow us to explore further afield. But given the delight these rides give little Ava, how can I refuse?
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