Thule Yepp Mini Review - Not Recommended - Kind of

Thule Yepp Mini Review - Not Recommended - Kind of


Well hello fellow outdoor adventure parents! Today I'll be talking about and reviewing the Thule Yepp Mini (more or less same as Yepp Mini Max) Bike Seat for babies. 

First off let's set the stage, my wife and I are expert mountain bikers and we currently have a 10 month old perfect little guy. Naturally, we searched for bike seats for him pretty early on so we could start to share our love of bikes with him, and we arrived at the Thule Yepp Mini (or Mini Maxx). This seat widely gets the best reviews at least until the offspring turn 2 years old. So we bought one (then exchanged it and got the other one). 

The Basics: This is a front mounted bike seat, suitable for babies/kids starting at about 9 months old and working until 3 years old, Thule's website says to consult your doctor if your child is under 1 year of age (I think the key thing is that they need to be able to hold their head up for however long you are going to ride for). It has a full "bucket" seat with a 5 point harness similar to a car seat, a small set of handlebars for bebe, and some foot stirrups as well. 

First impressions: The installation was easy (two bolts with an Allen wrench for a bracket that goes around your head tube. The seat then snaps into the bracket. This is nice because you can leave the seat off when you are riding sans baby instead of uninstalling the entire thing. We installed the seat on my bike (a full suspension KTM Lycan) and strapped baby in for our first ride! He seemed very comfortable in the seat, but couldn't reach the handlebars, so if you start early those are really superflous. It was really exciting to get back on a bike! and on a bike for the first time with the offspring! 

We had a great time on our first ride, even though baby fell asleep halfway through and we had to wake him up (so he could hold his head up) and turn around. Note to self: do a ride AFTER a nap to avoid this issue. We went 2 miles on a dirt bumpy fireroad for this first ride. All three of us, plus friends, and dogs, had a great time and baby REALLY liked the bumps on the way down and made super cute noises the whole on bike with family = success.

The issues: After a couple rides now (all dirt fireroads), there are two major issues in my opinion. 
1. The design of the seat/bracket on a real mountain bike does not allow room for the rider's knees. There is no way around this as the seat is tilted back because of the bracket attaches to your head tube, so the seat ends up being angled back at the same angle as your head tube. I have to ride with my knees out to the side of the seat. Besides looking super cool, this position means that within 2 miles of pedaling, my knees start hurting and we are turning around. If you rode a ton like this, I think you could do serious damage to soft tissue in your knees.
2. You lose a massive amount of turning radius because of the stirrups and your fork, like 20 degrees of rotation is what you have. I think it would be really difficult to ride single track or anything remotely technical without the ability to turn your front wheel.


Conclusion: This seat is awesome if getting on a bike with your child is the goal. I'd recommend short rides on non-technical stuff, unless you have a bike/anatomy that avoids the knee issue. I cannot recommend the seat because of the knee issues (though on a commuter or crossover bike with a different head tube angle it may be fine). I'm probably just going to ride with baby in a backpack until he's old enough to get into the Shotgun seat (much smaller profile, should be room for dad knees). 

Hope this helps, the important thing is to get outside with your kids! Shoot me a message if you have any questions! 


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