Recreational & Family - Front mount kid carrier or sidecar??
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07-31-07, 09:53 AM
Hi, I'm a new member with a 3yr old boy and an old Trek 800 I'd like to convert into a kid transporter.
Not really keen on the idea of my wild child being out of eyesight behind me in a trailer or rear seat.
noticed on E-bay someone is now selling front mounted seats and sidecars for bicycles.
sidecar would be nice to haul lots of stuff and keep everything dry.
but would take up lots of space on the road/trail.
Also being a motorcyclist,I know sidecars handle very differently than a 2wheeler,
and can be quite dangerous.
I'm thinking front mounted child seats might cause a few maneuverability issues also.
Can my kid grab the handlebars?
How will it affect MY reach to the bars?
Anyone have experience with both/either of these?
One better than the other?
if this topics been brought up 50,000 times before......Sorry.
1987 TREK 400D Alance
1989 TREK 800 (old rusty)
07-31-07, 12:25 PM
I FINALLY got to ride my soon to be 17 month old girl in the Weeride front riding child seat the other day. I bought it last year but she was too young to ride with me then. I gotta say that both her and I LOVED it. She was sitting right in front of me facing forward and looking at everything. She had a blast yelling out WEEEeee the whole time and then got so confortable as to stick her feet out. I was afraid that the seat would get in my way when pedeling but it's so thin that your hardly notice it there. The back of her head (with Helmet) would slightly touch my chest as I was cycling but it didn't bother me at all.
Now the manufacturer I believe states that it's built for children up to 4yrs old I think but I believe that to be a little too old. I MAY be able to get one more year out of the seat as I think she would grow too big to ride in it and be in the way.
I had a piece of crap mountain bike that my brother had given me last year but just bought an 07 Marin Muirwood. I rode her on the old mountain bike with no problem and can't wait to mount it on the Muirwood and take her for a ride soon.
I highly recommend the front mounted child seat if you have the chance to get one. I think that the trailers are nice but can be kinda heavy and heard that the rear seats can have some balance issues.
07-31-07, 12:31 PM
Oh and to answer your questions about whether they can reach the handle bars or hinder your reach to the bars, The one that I got off ebay has like a small padded platform where they can put their hand on/grab onto. They would have to kinda bend forward and down to try and reach the bars and with the restraint straps that the seat comes with that would be pretty difficult to do. And the way it's built, the seat does NOT hinder your reach to the bars or force you to kinda of wrap your arms around your child as you would think.
Hope that helps.
07-31-07, 02:36 PM
I tried a WeeRide, but it did not fit my small frame bike. The child seat was way to close to my saddle (touching), I am short though, so YMMV. At three a tag along bike might be better, but you'll have to judge your child's readiness (I think my 3yo would be to distracted / silly). I saw one front seat that is for older kids, it had a backless seat, handlebars and foot rests, it claimed to teach the child balance. I can't remember the name but I saw it linked here. It looked like something a kid would love.
08-01-07, 12:52 AM
Hey thanks for the replies,
1st_ Yes,I'm also quite low to the ground (short)
and am worried a front carrier will not fit/feel right.
2nd_ Thanks to mtcouger832 I found the BIKE TUTOR in E-bay stores.
seems to be just what I'm looking for and it claims to fit any bike.
But at $147.00 plus $40.00 shipping,
it's just a little more than I wanted to spend on an experiment
(worst fear-He hates it after spending $187.00/never know what that kids gonna like or dislike)
Luckily the sellers got Make an offer....So I did.
I'll let ya know if your still interested.
1987 TREK 400D Elance
1989 TREK 800 Ol'Rusty
08-01-07, 08:23 PM
When my kids were small (they're 26 and 22 now, so this was a while ago), I had a child carrier that was a simple seat that clamped to the top tube and a set of foldable pedals that clamped on the down tube. They were encircled by the adult's arms and rested their hands on the bars. I carried them both (one at a time...) from about age 2 until they were old enough to ride their own bikes, at 5 or so. It was simpler than the WeeRide but the same idea, and every one of my cycling friends who had kids and tried it bought one, even if it meant tossing a rear carrier. I don't think they're made anymore, but it was a terrific solution--you could talk to the kids, see them, discuss stuff you were passing on the road. We never had a fall, but my plan was that if we did, I'd just protect them with my arms (we all wore helmets, of course) and take my lumps. It was almost undetectable when I was alone on the bike, which the WeeRide wouldn't be, but as far as handling, weight distribution and other attributes, it was great. the kids can reach the bars, but what are they going to do? You're stronger than they are, plus you can say, "If you make us crash, daddy will fall on you and squash you like a bug, so let me steer."
08-18-07, 09:54 PM
I bought a trail behind trailer, dual suspension with screens, and rain cover, and spent a LOT of money. My boy hated it, because his helmet pushed forwards over his face as he was too short for his head to hit the pocket where his helmet was supposed to go. THen I bought this I-Bert. He loves it. It mounts to the stem, and so as you turn, he (or maybe she in your case) turns. My boy can grab the bar ends on the old school gary fischer I have it mounted on, and he can pretend he's in control (or maybe he just feels safer grabbing onto something). but we can talk, and I can usually hear him if traffic isn't too loud. the seat is a little farther out of the way of my knees too when compared to the WeeRide.
You do have to make sure your stem is long enough though, otherwise it might not fit on your bike because it hits the handlebars. We bought 2 mounts, so we could just swap it between my wifes bike and the old gary fischer, but the seat wouldn't fit onto hers because she has a very short stem on her bike.
But I do recommend the Ibert for the kids enjoyment.
The reviews I have read about side-cars have not been good. I understand that it affects the performance of the bicycle significantly.
I always transported my children on the bike with me. They were sitting in carriers behind me until they outgrew it and then I put a seat on my rear carrier that they would sit on and hold on to me as I brought them to school. "be careful to keep your feet out of the spokes!" I would tell them at that age. It was MOST enjoyable having them right their with me. I could feel them. We could talk. They would hold me. That was the most special feeling in the world. I would have missed that if they were in a Burley or sidecar.
They are teens now, but I sure do remember them being with me on the bicycles as children when I would bring them to school. We laughed together with each bump and screamed with delight as we swooshed down giggle inducing hills. It is an important memory for both of us. "Dad, do you remember how you used to bicycle me to school every day? I thought it was normal, but now I think of what an interesting father you were." "Yes, my boy, I sure do remember. And I knew then what an interesting boy you are".
My good friend had a front mounted seat for his child. He tells me that the experience is even better than having the child in the back and I can imagine he is right. We don't see a lot of front carriers in the USA, but they are very common overseas. I can almost feel the love when mothers wheel their children to market perched right at whisper range with their children. What a tremendously wonderful event every ride would be.
My vote is for the front mounted carrier.
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