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  1. #1
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    Cycling with kids - front and rear mounted child seats. Any parents?

    I snapped up a used Yepp Mini which I bolted onto my commuter Scott Sub Evo... I installed it and was rather disappointed to quickly learn that:
    a) the back of the seat, even without the baby digs into my sternum.
    b) I could barely get off the bike and had to tilt sideways and balance on tip toes, or jump off backwards (platform pedals).
    c) the clamp requires 1.3/4" spacer stack just to install. the alternate "ahead stem" clamp workaround is ugly, does not allow for use of the wind/rain shield and places the seat even further towards the rider.
    d) it was impossible to pedal without hitting my knees against the seat, I had to pedal clown style with legs splayed out.
    I went upstairs and did some research and it appears that front mounted seats are meant for dutch step through cruiser with curved bars, and relatively steep seat tube angles. It just didn't fit on my large frame Scott.

    I wanted the front mounted seat so I can hear her enjoy, giggle and not have to wonder what's going on behind me, but it looks like that's off the table. Perhaps for the better as the front seats top out at 30 pounds and I can see her growing past that this coming fall, no sense in all this setup for one summer.

    I'm looking at the Thule Ride Along series. Either the Ride Along or the Yepp Next (recently acquired by Thule). The major different between all of these is RACK versus FRAME mount. Does anybody have any experience with these particular units or rear rack mounted seats? I have a Racktime rack on the Scott Sub, but the frame mounted seems like a sturdier solution.

    Any wisdom?Cycling with kids - front and rear mounted child seats. Any parents?-20180208_214445%5B1%5D.jpg



    frame mount:
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/child...along-_-100107
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/child...axi-_-12020234

    rack mount:
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/child...axi-_-12080202
    Last edited by 9W9W; 1 Week Ago at 10:12 AM.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

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  2. #2
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    How about a trailer? IMHO, kid seats on bikes fore or aft are way too dangerous for the kid. Imagine what would happen if the bike were to fall over with kid in their seat. Aft seats are slightly better than fore seats, but no fun when all they can see or do is stare at your backside. In a trailer, kids can see, albeit from a lower vantage point, eat, play, sleep or eat as they desire. Many years ago, I towed my little ones thousands of miles before they were old enough to be riding their own bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHankey View Post
    How about a trailer? IMHO, kid seats on bikes fore or aft are way too dangerous for the kid. Imagine what would happen if the bike were to fall over with kid in their seat. Aft seats are slightly better than fore seats, but no fun when all they can see or do is stare at your backside. In a trailer, kids can see, albeit from a lower vantage point, eat, play, sleep or eat as they desire. Many years ago, I towed my little ones thousands of miles before they were old enough to be riding their own bikes.
    I would say trailer too. It will be usable longer than the seat as well. I pulled my daughter on a Christmas Light ride, was able to strap her in, cover her in a blanket and she could see everything. plus it allows for the extra things that are required with taking little ones everywhere.

  4. #4
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    I have a 7 year old and 1 year old twins.

    I was planning on the trailer (had a cheap one for the first kid and he didn't like it), and at the last second bailed because the ride from the house to the nearby rail-trail has raises/gaps in the path at manhole covers, they are like curbs and I'd have to slow to a near stop every 15 seconds.

    Then I had this crazy idea of being able to ride with all three kids as fast/far as I want and did this. (unlimited wife pass).
    Cycling with kids - front and rear mounted child seats. Any parents?-3.jpg
    The 7 year old like it, but Neither baby seat worked, same issues as you up front, and the rear seat is so low the tire hits it. So i reversed them, front seat on the seatpost, rear seat to frame.
    Cycling with kids - front and rear mounted child seats. Any parents?-4.jpg
    I can only ride with the twins, OR the 7 year old.


    Not suggesting a tandem, just wanted to share my struggle with trying to buy time.

  5. #5
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHankey View Post
    How about a trailer? IMHO, kid seats on bikes fore or aft are way too dangerous for the kid. Imagine what would happen if the bike were to fall over with kid in their seat. Aft seats are slightly better than fore seats, but no fun when all they can see or do is stare at your backside. In a trailer, kids can see, albeit from a lower vantage point, eat, play, sleep or eat as they desire. Many years ago, I towed my little ones thousands of miles before they were old enough to be riding their own bikes.
    I cannot agree with you more. I'd never put my kids in one of those seats when they were little. Everytime I see someone riding with one I cringe. Get a trailer. Seriously, those bike seats ought to be taken off the market.

  6. #6
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    I have the opposite thought, I don't think other people (cars, cyclists, skateboarders, whatever) can see a trailer well enough no matter how many 8 foot flags you have. I'm using an iBert (front mount seat) with my little one and it's been working well and feels plenty safe.

    When you're carrying a small kid, you need to use some discretion in terms of riding style and route to ensure safety and if you do that bad crashes can be mostly mitigated. Besides which, if you crash at speed with a kid in a trailer, especially since a lot of those trailers don't have any restraints and have pretty soft walls, I don't see that going well for the kid either.

    I really like the iBert, the kid loves it... that said you should be prepared to change your riding posture/position, etc...

    I like the kid out front so I can see what he's doing, and he can see where we're going.

  7. #7
    pmf
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    It's been a few years, but I recall the Burly trailer we had (double) had seat belts and a cage that would protect the kids if it rolled. I bought the thing and took it out exactly once on the MUT with both boys in it. They didn't like it. I didn't like it. We used it a grand total of once. Luckily there is a huge market for used ones.

    Frankly, I think that until they can ride their own bikes, kids should stay home when you go on a bike ride.

  8. #8
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    From a pure vehicle dynamics standpoint, those handlebar-mounted seats are a disaster. What happens if you get a steering wobble? If you need to turn quickly to avoid something, now you've just added 30+ lbs of dead weight into the steering mechanism. Also, if you crash, guess who absorbs the impact?

    I remember reading years ago that such seats had been banned in this country. That may still be the case, and all these internet-bought devices might be breaking the law.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  9. #9
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    Maybe there are state or local laws in some places but I don't think anything federal.

    "iBert seat meets ASTM and BS EN 14344 standards for the US and Europe"

    There is inherent risk adding a small child to a bike. Key is to go slow and avoid danger.

  10. #10
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    a couple choices

    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHankey View Post
    How about a trailer? IMHO, kid seats on bikes fore or aft are way too dangerous for the kid. Imagine what would happen if the bike were to fall over with kid in their seat.
    ^This!!!!^

    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I cannot agree with you more. I'd never put my kids in one of those seats when they were little. Everytime I see someone riding with one I cringe. Get a trailer. Seriously, those bike seats ought to be taken off the market.
    ^And this!!!!^

    A trailer is a much safer way of carrying a child. Get one of these:

    https://www.rei.com/c/bike-trailers-...or-kids&page=1

    And if you are pausing because of their cost, imagine what the medical bills will be when your child is injured from a fall. A trailer is a good investment.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  12. #12
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    What about a bakfiets or something similar?

    Not all of them are huge and boxy.

    The Dutch haul their kids around in them. They love them. And the Dutch know bikes.

    Kids up front. More visible than a trailer imo. You can watch them and talk to them. You can bundle them up and I even think you can get a little rain roof.(And they are great for hauling groceries.)

    You will not win a race but I don't think that's the point.

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  13. #13
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    If you are really interested in safety...trailer. /thread.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  14. #14
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    Rack mounted rear seat on a mountain bike or similar with a low set over. If you're riding with your most important passenger speed isn'T going to be a concern. Trailers are safer but the child is a long way back and might not like the shut in feeling. A properly mounted seat behind dad lets the communication and experience of cycling be more direct but when it's hot as hell or cold as hell. I went for the seat behind but once the next two kids got big enough we drove everywhere and (a) saved a heap of time (b) improved transportation safety (c) saved a heap of time (d) had more time for running around time when we got there. We have snow for 4 months, a rainy season for one month and it's stinking hot for two more months. So for April, May, Sept and Oct the bike seat was nice when we had time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    Rack mounted rear seat on a mountain bike or similar with a low set over. If you're riding with your most important passenger speed isn'T going to be a concern.
    Just because you're not going fast, you could still hit a road hazard and fall.

    Baby down!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  16. #16
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    Baby down is what babies do. Strapped into a seat with dad in front and with a size appropriate helmet they are safer than walking around the house and climbing tables and chairs. My point about speed was perhaps the OP wanting to put seats on his fast bike.

  17. #17
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    Trailers kind of suck to deal with. I've had both. Trailers you can misjudge how wide it is and clip things. I felt more likely to crash with the trailers than a bike mount seat. I bike my 2.5yo to school and when I used the trailer it was a total pain the ass to manage. Bought a Thule Ride Along and it has been much more fun for both of us and so easy to get through the school yard, load and unload the kid and blast out of there.
    If a trailer is a must, get a WeeHoo trailer. https://rideweehoo.com I have one of these too and it is great, especially for longer rides. But again, having to deal with attaching, storing, maneuvering, etc. is a bit of a pain.

    Front seat mount, kid is an airbag for you LOL


    .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roar View Post
    What about a bakfiets or something similar?

    Not all of them are huge and boxy.

    The Dutch haul their kids around in them. They love them. And the Dutch know bikes.

    Kids up front. More visible than a trailer imo. You can watch them and talk to them. You can bundle them up and I even think you can get a little rain roof.(And they are great for hauling groceries.)

    You will not win a race but I don't think that's the point.

    Sent from my XT1562 using Tapatalk
    One of these does sound like the best idea. And if a bicycle is used for a lot of your transportation needs it makes a good grocery getter or pretty much most loads that would have you struggling on any other bike.
    Too old to ride plastic

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    Baby down is what babies do. Strapped into a seat with dad in front and with a size appropriate helmet they are safer than walking around the house and climbing tables and chairs. My point about speed was perhaps the OP wanting to put seats on his fast bike.
    This may be true, but it doesn't negate the fact that a baby falling from a height like that can cause severe damage to a brain that has not yet stabilized - regardless of whether he/she is wearing a helmet.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  20. #20
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    Thanks for the response. A lot of varied points, surprisingly though, not ones I was expecting.

    Front seats are sold in the US and manufactured by giants such as Thule (and Yepp, which they've since absorbed). They have a place on cruiser and dutch type bikes such as those you find in Europe, but categorically do not fit modern frames. I do agree that they provide for a much more intimate riding experience.

    I think the ideal seat depends on your desired use and where you live. I feel that trailers have their place in suburban environments or on MUP's. Say for example, if I was riding 4 hours of the Delaware Canal then I'd want a trailer. For me, I have three city blocks to daycare, and then 4.5 miles to the office (all uphill in the morning and then back down in the PM) and prefer a seat. And since front mounted is out of the question, looks like it will be a rear mounted seat. The Thule Ride along comes in a nice orange color, with

    I concur with someone's sentiments that a trailer isn't likely easily recognized by a driver, no matter how tall the flag. Now that I think about it actually, a trailer could enrage an impatient driver even more ("WTF is this contraption out on my road"). This is really moot though as I plan on taking sidewalks for the three relatively quiet city blocks to daycare. Having a big orange seat behind may actually help me be more visible on my 4.5 mile stretch to the office. That's a lot of ninety degree turns and broken sidewalks for a trailer.

    All activities are inherently dangerous, some more than others. I skipped the cheap fashion helmets and got my child a Giro helmet with MIPS, but I have to be honest and say that I'm a bit surprised at the amount of caution against child bike seats.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

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