I was given the opportunity to try out the new Burley Dash product line of children’s bike seats. There are three styles of seats the FM, X FM, and RM. Each one provides unique benefits for going on bike rides with your little one.
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The Burley Dash is Best for….
The Burley Dash is best for families looking to take small children on short bike rides. It provides a quick way to pop a seat onto your bike for a ride and then remove it easily when you’re finished.
Families who don’t have a trailer
This is an economically friendly alternative to a bike trailer and it keeps your baby really close to you. It also keeps your kid up with you, which prevents the safety concerns of someone not seeing your trailer.
Families who have kids who like to see better
Brooks loves to ride in this seat because he is up high and can see around really well. His view is pretty unobstructed and it keeps him very engaged when we’re out on bike rides.
The RM version puts your kiddo up higher than any of the other mounting styles. It could be because of the rack that I was using, but Brooks was definitely a few inches higher with the RM than the FM or X FM.
Burley Dash RM (Rack Mount)
The RM bike seat, which is the rack mounted version, is very similar to the frame mounted versions, except it attached to the bike via a clamp that goes around your pre-existing cargo rack.
The attachment points on the clamp are plastic and I get nervous about attaching my child to a bike that could be in traffic with plastic attachment points. This seat also just seemed to have a little wiggle in it no matter what I did.
It does give you the option of potentially adding panniers, if they’re the proper shape, if you need more storage during your ride. The RM is also the lightest option weighing in at only 6.4 lbs. That being said, it doesn’t allow for the weight of the rack that’s required to mount it.
Burley Dash FM (Frame Mount)
The Burley FM seat, mounts to the seat tube on your bike by a clamp mechanism that you screw on. It has a quick detachment option for when you want to take the seat off for storage. I love the fact that it is also attached with steel poles, so it feels solid and there is no wiggling the seat around.
There is also an adjustment point where you can slide the seat forwards and backwards, which is nice to be able to decide how close to keep your little one. I struggled initially finding the sweet spot where I didn’t catch my heel every time I peddled my bike, but eventually got it sorted out.
The FM is the middle of the road in regards to weight. It weighs 7.5 lbs, which is noticeable, but very manageable.
Burley Dash X FM (Frame Mount)
X FM is nearly identical to the FM, with the big difference being that it can recline to three different positions, the furthest being 20 degrees back.
I leaned my kid back to the most reclined position and he definitely seemed more comfortable than sitting upright like he does in the FM style. The 20 degree recline puts him in a very similar position as he would be in most strollers.
I rode on some semi-packed gravel roads with the seat in both the full upright and reclined position and my bike handled very differently when Brooks was reclined. When he was leaning back, it put the weight further back and I didn’t feel quite as agile.
I would imagine with a larger child, it might become a bigger issue. That being said, if you’re only doing city riding and not riding on a lot of gravel, it might not make a difference to you.
The X FM is the heaviest of the Burley line at 9.3 lbs. Its weight comes from the reclining base that it’s mounted on. The ability to lean your baby back is definitely worth the weight!
What we love about the Burley Dash
Simple on and off
The Burley Dash seats are a simple and quick way to get your little one out on a quick ride around town. The frame mounted styles felt very solid and I didn’t have any safety concerns with him riding in the seat. It is also really easy to take the seat off after you’re finished with your ride and want to put your bike on a bike rack.
All the Dash seats have a five-point harness system that buckles in the front, very similar to what you’d find on most strollers. I love that Burley attached the hip and should belt on either side, so you only have to clip it in once on each side.
Easier maneuvering opposed to a trailer
It’s so easy to maneuver your bike with this set up. I’m used to having to wrestle a bike trailer around and it is so nice to not have to manage any of that and just hop on your bike and go.
What we aren’t so crazy about the Burley Dash
Harness is a bit large
I found that the harness was a little large for my son right now and slipped off his shoulders, even with it tightened down the whole way. He’s 31” long and weighs 22 lbs, and my son is exactly 12 months, so I’m sure he’s just at the small end of the scale for this seat.
Storage could be better
All of the different models also had a very small, rigid, storage compartment behind the seat. I wish they would have made this out of mesh to provide a little more space for jackets, snacks and other kid gear.
Installation is a bit tough initially
The installation process for the frame mounted styles was a bear and it took both my husband and me to get it installed. The instructions were really vague and it took a lot of brute force to get the frame mount compressed enough to install it. That being said, once it was on, it felt like it was a permanent piece of my bike.
The RM model wiggled more than I would like
The RM (rack mounted) style always seemed to have a little wiggle in it, no matter how tight I screwed it on. I did attach it to a pretty cheap rack, but it still made me nervous. I don’t think I would be comfortable with putting my kid in this without stopping regularly to check its tightness.
I was skeptical that I’d feel comfortable riding with my baby behind me in a seat, but I’m in love with this mode of travel now.
It’s easy to maneuver my bike, quick to get Brooks strapped in, and it keeps him really close. If you’re looking for an affordable option to ride with your kid around town, this is it!
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