Recreational & Family - Peapod users, I need some feedback
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12-12-11, 08:41 AM
My question to the Peapod users is this: Does the Peapod prevent you from carrying groceries in the FreeLoaders? What position on the Flightdeck seems to give you the most cargo capacity? The least? How easy is the seat to remove? I ask cuz these are our grocery getters and I dont want to lose capacity plus I need to be able to remove the PP for the times I go by myself. Noone local has an Xtra (except the other person whose used one I'm buying) and the few pics I've seen online rarely show much cargo hauled with the PP in place.
12-12-11, 11:10 PM
We have the old Peapod LT, the black one (http://totcycle.com/blog/xtracycle-peapod-lt-child-seat-preview.html), and it definitely gets in the way of cargo. Our plan was to have the four year old sitting stoker in front of the seat, and the two year old sitting in the seat. But we also want to tow a kid's bike, so the Peapod can't be all the way to the rear. It makes for a challenging fit, and we ended up getting a different seat, a custom-made Roundabout (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26572100@N05/sets/72157623526988833/) so that we have a seat without legs. Now we have three rack solutions -- the Peapod on a flightdeck, the Roundabout, and the original Snapdeck. The Peapod is the best for sleeping in. The Roundabout is great for cargo; it doesn't cover up the freeloaders and you can fill the seats with stuff if you don't have kids along. The snapdeck is best for carrying an adult passenger or really big cargo.
We chose to have our Roundabout built with Superhooks, and the Peapod Flightdeck has them as well. So these racks take a few minutes to remove (you have to unscrew four bolts with an allen). The snapdeck is faster to remove. We had extra holes drilled in our Peapod by the bike shop that set it up for us so that we could un-bolt the flightdeck while leaving the Peapod attached. So really we swap decks rather than seats. I think the Peapod was a PITA to remove from the flightdeck, but I don't remember. Still, presumably you'd be looking at the newer Peapod, not the one I have.
At this point, the Roundabout is our default seat, with the best match of cargo space and kid space. I have not tried the new Peapod III. They say it has a higher position that helps free up cargo space. I'm not sure about that; it still looks like the feet extend pretty far into the cargo space.
If you contact Rob Hanson through his flickr account, you can get a quote on a custom roundabout seat. In addition to doing two kid seats, he said he's also done a rack that combined a single seat and a trail-a-bike mount. A roundabout seat probably costs more than one Peapod, but less than two.
12-13-11, 06:20 AM
Thanks for the info. We'll have two Xtras; mine with the Flightdeck/Peapod/stoker handle and my wife's bike will have the Snapdeck/stoker handle/Magic carpet. The idea is to eliminate the trailer for our youngest and be able to haul any two of the three older ones on our bikes when we start doing our longer rides. The kids are good for about 10 miles, but at our current slow pace, the Mrs and I want to extend that out or speed up the pace for exercise. In either situation, we may outrun the kids and we'll need a place for them to "park" their bikes and hitch a ride.
I'll look into the custom seat. We have a bit of time to decide as we wont be riding again until next spring. I may look into getting a Peapod and chopping off the foot wells like you did for the Roundabout. Or maybe just the bottom and outsides and leave the inside panel so that the feet are still protected/prevented from making contact with moving parts. Well now I have even more ideas to mull over ;)
Edit: After looking at the Roundabout a little more, I may just build my own, but with one seat in the back position and a flat padded board for the front. This way I can make a highback for the little one and use standard carseat belts for adjustability and comfort. She still naps on longer rides so the highback is needed for bobble prevention =) And the padded front will let me carry an extra kid if I need to do so. Now I've get even more ideas floating around in my head..............
12-13-11, 09:10 AM
Here's a seat someone made for themselves with some neat features: http://www.pedalpoweredfamily.com/2011/05/diy-xtracycle-sun-rain-cover/
I don't think you need the legs to protect from moving parts; the freeloaders cover everything up well. I think the legs are considered important just so the kids' feet aren't left dangling for extended periods, but if you have any cargo they can rest their feet on that.
12-13-11, 04:35 PM
E, you are full of all kinds of neat ideas, or at least know where to find them! That last link has the style of homemade highback seat that I'd build, but they took it a step further and added cushioning to the whole thing ( I was just going to do the bottom).
I think I'll get the Peapod III and get it mounted up. If I dont like it, I'll build something. But your idea for the different mounts is a good one and I'll keep that in my back pocket. Versatility is what I'm after and between the two of us, I think we've got it figured out ;)
12-14-11, 12:32 PM
When you install that Peapod III, remember to have a kids' bike handy. You'll want to make sure you've got 20" of space behind the seat-legs to put the kid wheel in the freeloader, and still enough space in front of the seat for a stoker or two. That's our big issue with the Peapod. Of course, you could also tow the bikes a different way (like on this bike: http://bikeportland.org/2011/12/12/locked-up-colorful-quirky-touring-bike-at-nopo-library-63605)
I wish I had the skillz and tools to build my own seats! Of course then we'd probably have more options strewn around....
I didn't realize how low the backs are on those roundabout seats when I ordered them.
12-14-11, 12:44 PM
I've got a bracket on my Xtra and I'll put one on the other Xtra when I get it installed. Then all I have to do is remove the front tire of the kids' bike and clamp it to the back of the Xtra. I have a few pics in another thread somewhere.
12-14-11, 12:51 PM
That's right; you showed them to me before. So as long as that's working, you'll have less conflict with the Peapod, and you can put it in the far rear position, and put both big kids in front of the peapod.
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