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Babies and bicycles
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misselaine
Mueller Community

Posts: 470
Joined on May 26th, 2009
Babies and bicycles
by misselaine on June 28th, 2010

Hi all,

My baby is coming up on 4 months old and I hope to start riding my bike with her relatively soon. I was wondering if anyone had any comments on what type of infant seat to get for my bike. One that sits on the back or one that sits on the front. Any idea?

Thanks!

Elaine

 
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lacey
Mueller Community

Posts: 14
Joined on February 25th, 2009
Babies and bicycles
by lacey on June 28th, 2010

Quote:
Hi all,

My baby is coming up on 4 months old and I hope to start riding my bike with her relatively soon. I was wondering if anyone had any comments on what type of infant seat to get for my bike. One that sits on the back or one that sits on the front. Any idea?

Thanks!

Elaine



I am wondering the same thing... My son just starting sitting up, so I'd like to start riding again.
I have seen a bike with one of those iBert seats (that sit on front of the bike) around the hood - the idea looks like fun, but I wonder how comfortable it is after 15 minutes of riding??
 
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SleeperService
Mueller Community

Posts: 186
Joined on July 17th, 2008
Babies and bicycles
by SleeperService on June 28th, 2010

A bike trailer has worked well for us... its a different thing of course but it works very well. The little man is still excited to ride in it and he's 2.5 years old.

just my 2 euros.

Ezra.
 
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doug
Mueller Community

Posts: 484
Joined on February 18th, 2009
Babies and bicycles
by doug on June 29th, 2010

From my professional and personal experience, I would recommend a trailer over a carrier. Having a child onboard the bike changes the center of gravity and makes the bike less maneuverable. Additionally, if you do go down, the child is falling from approximately 5 feet high. Trailers are low to the ground. Children should be buckled in the trailer as they can tip over. I actually cut it too close when I entered a curb cut onto the sidewalk and overturned a trailer. Because my daughter was strapped in though, she was uninjured.

Best practice is using a helmet for the child even if they are riding in a trailer. Children under the age of 17 are required by city ordinance to wear a helmet when riding. Elaine, experts say that a child should be able to hold their head up with the added weight of a helmet before they ride with you - usually around one year old. I would suggest that a 4 month old is too young to be in a bike child seat or a trailer.

Trailers are frequently available on Craigslist. Send me a pm with your email address if you'd like me to look out for one.
 
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gregg
Mueller Community

Posts: 99
Joined on April 8th, 2008
Babies and bicycles
by gregg on June 30th, 2010

I have a couple of dad-friends that use the front-mid carriers and like them, but they are clumsy at best, with all the support beams and plastic. I have a rear carrier and trailer, but with Doug, strongly recommend a trailer.

Good rear carriers like the Topeak use upgraded rear racks that enable the seat to be easily removed, and regular panniers (side packs) to be used in place of the kid seat. This means your bike is functional for buying milk and/or wine from Monarch Mart on 38th Street (both can be important in child-rearing). These reasons are even stronger for a trailer: it has more cargo, is safer for the kiddo, and is easily removable. Here's the hidden bonus reason for the trailer: it accommodates a second kid, whether your own or a friend.

In addition to Craigslist, I recommend REI and Bicycle Sport Shop sales.
 
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misselaine
Mueller Community

Posts: 470
Joined on May 26th, 2009
Babies and bicycles
by misselaine on June 30th, 2010

Thanks very much for all your advice! Ezra, I always see you around with your trailer and your kids seem to like it, I was just just concerned that it would be dangerous in the sense that your bike would be longer and less maneuverable. But, it makes sense that the front or back seats do make the bike more wobbly. I also hadn't thought about the neck/helmet issue. I guess I have to wait :( Do they need a helmet if they are in a trailer? That would seem overly protective/nanny-state like to me. Also, is it a lot hotter for the kids being that low and close to the hot tarmac?
 
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gregg
Mueller Community

Posts: 99
Joined on April 8th, 2008
Babies and bicycles
by gregg on June 30th, 2010

Helmets are required for kids, even in trailers by city code § 12-2-31. I checked the code because I was curious how often I may be breaking the law. I make sure my little kid is buckled in snug with our Chariot's 5-point harness. Depending on the trailer design, they can be quite uncomfortable for kids to wear a helmet, as they may not be able to keep their neck upright with inches of foam behind them.

As far as heat is concerned, I forgot that's another major advantage of the trailer: shade comes with you! The additional ability for the kid to tote a water sippy, toys and pacifier make the trailer almost as easy as the car.
 
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Leila
Mueller Community

Posts: 107
Joined on January 5th, 2009
Babies and bicycles
by Leila on July 1st, 2010

Chariot recommends waiting until your kids are at least 1 year old before biking with them:

Q. How old should my child be before I can start cycling?
A. We strongly recommend waiting until your child is a minimum of 1 year old and able to sit up on their own without support before cycling with them. We also recommend that a child always wear a properly-fitted helmet in the carrier when it is in cycling mode. These recommendations comply with industry wide standards for North America.

http://www.chariotcarriers.com/english/html/faqs.php
 
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