What needs and wants of parents and children have not yet been met by existing child seats on the market? How do we create a design that is in line with the Thule brand? So, how do we create a seat that you really would want to put on your fast, sleek, great-looking bike? Important questions, since most parents consider the child seat a must, not something you would like to have.
Thule has a long tradition of providing innovative, safe, simple and attractive solutions for people with an active lifestyle, connected to the brand’s tag-line Bring your life. When they decided to design their first child bike seat, they turned to Veryday, for support with the development of a design that would exceed all expectations, especially in terms of comfort and safety. We put together a team of dedicated designers, who also happened to be sports nerds and parents of young children. A perfect match.
To rise to the challenge, the design team started off with an extensive research phase to gain in-depth knowledge and to understand user concerns when it comes to child comfort and safety. During this initial phase, one of the interesting findings was that it is common to lean the bike against a wall when placing the child in a bike seat. This habit increases the risk of trapping the child’s fingers. The designers came up with a solution using integrated protection wings that safeguard the child’s hands. The protection wings create a gap between the wall and the child’s hand, reducing the risk of it getting trapped.
To increase the overall attractiveness of this type of product, the aesthetics of bicycles were incorporated in the design language. And to increase child comfort, the designers worked with the form factors and soft padding in combination with special features like the one-handed tilt function when the child falls asleep and the built-in comfortable handles on the seat, meeting the needs of children who want to hold on to something during the ride. In addition, Thule RideAlong is the only seat on the market to offer a padded harness with no sharp edges next to the child’s neck. The padding and harness are easy to remove and are machine washable.
The team at Thule wanted us to create a truly comfortable seat, designed to fit the body even without any padding, similarly to Eames chairs.
Anna Carell, Industrial Designer Veryday
Smart features – No hassle
To make the functions even easier for parents to use, the designers worked closely with the design and development team at Thule to make all seat adjustments simple, one-handed operations, utilizing their long experience in attachment solutions. An intuitive and easy-to-use quick release bracket was developed and was made lockable for theft protection, utilizing Thule’s existing One-Key system. The easy adjustment options for the harness height and the one-handed adjustable foot straps allow for convenience and flexibility, while rests ensure that the child sits comfortably in the seat, even as it grows.
A lot of hard work, prototype construction and concept evaluations with both parents and children, always with the aim of exceeding the rigorous international child safety requirements, finally led to the development of the most convenient and easy-to-use child bike seat. Bringing the kids along on a bike ride just got easier with the introduction of the new Thule RideAlong™ Child Seat.