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Old 04-08-17, 10:25 AM   #1
holzbill
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Balancing a bike to put toddler in seat

I stopped riding when my daughter was born three years ago, but I was thinking that this summer would be a good time to get back into it and have her tag along. I was going to buy a seat for her when I realized that my bike has no kickstand. How do I balance the bike enough to safely put a 30 lb. toddler in the seat? I know there are some products that you can use in place of a kickstand - does anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 04-11-17, 01:11 PM   #2
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You do not want to depend on the kick stand when loading or unloading or having a child in the seat.
What I did was to face the rear of the bike, lean it against your body, and then lift the kid into the seat. Then make sure you ALWAYS have at least one hand on the bike, and avoid kicking Jr. when putting your leg over the seat to get on yourself.
It's easy with a little practice.
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Old 04-11-17, 01:52 PM   #3
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There are discussions about using devices or straps to keep the front wheel from turning, and perhaps also keep it from spinning. That would keep the bike more stable.

I've found that I can hold the seat and kick over the bars just as easily as swinging my leg around the back.
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Old 04-11-17, 04:32 PM   #4
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It's expensive, but the Ursus Jumbo kickstand is the bomb. I never hesitated to depend on that kickstand to hold the bike up while loading my kiddo and then unengaged the kickstand and hop on (I had a mixte frame bike, easy to mount).
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Old 04-23-17, 08:02 PM   #5
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I never put a kid seat on my bikes, and both my girls are now well into trail-a-bike size or beyond, but I think if I was going to do it, I'd look for a beater step-through frame and make a utility bike of it with at least a front basket, maybe a front low-ride pannier rack. (After all, if you're taking a kid out for more than a few minutes, you'd better be carrying snacks and such, at the very least.)
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Old 04-23-17, 08:25 PM   #6
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Never used a kickstand or any special device to balance the bike. Just propped it up against my body and lifted our daughter into her seat. I then swung my leg over the front of the bike to get on. I agree with the comment above about adding low-rider panniers. These were not only essential for carrying child supplies (snacks, diapers, toys, extra clothes, etc.), but also improved the handling of the bike by putting more weight on the front wheel.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:45 PM   #7
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Never used a kickstand or any special device to balance the bike. Just propped it up against my body and lifted our daughter into her seat. I then swung my leg over the front of the bike to get on. I agree with the comment above about adding low-rider panniers. These were not only essential for carrying child supplies (snacks, diapers, toys, extra clothes, etc.), but also improved the handling of the bike by putting more weight on the front wheel.
Kind of what I do if my wife is not around to help.
1. Prop bike against body or even better, squeeze the top tube with your thighs but facing backwards
2. Pick up kid, put in seat. You're still holding the kid & anchoring the bike at this point
3. Fasten the kid while holding the bike by the saddle when needed
4. Now, one hand on the bike, one on the front brake do the moves needed to face forward

Having a lower top tube helps, but I can do this with my MTB no problem
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Old 05-03-17, 02:59 PM   #8
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Having a lower top tube helps, but I can do this with my MTB no problem
Do you find the weight of the kid to be a bigger benefit on the serious downhills than it is a detriment on winding singletrack?
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Old 05-04-17, 10:22 AM   #9
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Do you find the weight of the kid to be a bigger benefit on the serious downhills than it is a detriment on winding singletrack?
On serious downhills big drops cause an issue when I have to counter the side-to-side wobble (but that helps me improve my balance); having more momentum due to larger mass proves for more fun going downhill - my disc brakes have no problems slowing me down here.
Problems with wobble are more pronounced on winding paths; at the same time uphill climbing becomes more challenging due to the weight distribution being so biased towards the rear wheel.
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Old 05-06-17, 04:30 PM   #10
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use a wall?
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Old 05-06-17, 11:29 PM   #11
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I've used bike seats when the lad and the lass were smaller, and a trail-a-bike when the lass was bigger (the lad went straight to riding himself).
Loading up is not an issue. You lean your bike against something solid as you normally would. Loading the wriggling monster is just like handling a toddler in any situation - you soon learn what works for you and your child. It is easier if you've got someone to support the bike but without that, you soon work out what works for you.
I would NOT use a kick stand, they are just implements for dumping your bike on the ground.
After the first couple of trips, you'll remember this thread and wonder why you asked.

To be honest, once the child is loaded and ready to go, the biggest hassle is swinging your leg over the saddle without kicking them in the face.
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