Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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There are pros and cons to the bike seat vs trailer, as it depends on the roads you are using, wind, etc. I have both and generally prefer the trailer because I find it hard to pack everything needed in front panniers (only) when I have the child behind. Besides, Sophie now weights 35-40 lb, so she is at the upper limit for a seat.
There are (only) a few circumstances where I preferred the bike seat: in tight downtown traffic, and in snow because the added weight gives added traction (and I don't plow 3 tracks).
As to the best bike for a seat, it is a non-suspended bike with long chainstays and eyelets to hold a rear rack. Touring bikes, hybrids and some MTBs are the best bikes for the job, with the following characteristics:
- beefy rear end (large-diametre chainstays and seatstays), so it's rigid;
- low gears, because the bike will be heavier, slower on hills and you can't stand on pedals.
As for the bike seat, the Rhode Gear Limo used to be (is?) the best around as it is fairly rigid (still, a 35 lb child makes it wobbly) and uses the Blackburn EX-1 rack (a steady one).