Certifiable Bike "Expert"
Join Date: May 2005
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Rate the safety in traffic of these child-carrying options:
1. Single bike, child in child seat (Topeak Babysitter).
2. Single bike, child in trailer (Burley D'Lite)
3. Single bike, child on trailerbike (Adams Trail-A-Bike)
4. Tandem bike, child in child seat.
5. Tandem bike, child with kid stoker attachment.
6. Tandem bike, child on trailerbike.
Up to now, my family cycling has consisted of me pulling a Burley 2-child trailer, mostly with one kid in it. Now, my oldest is reaching the age where the trailer is a bit too boring (he's 4, will be turning 5 next summer). I recently bought a tandem, and I'm thinking about getting some kid cranks and putting him in the stoker seat. I guess I'll probably want to take Kid #2 (20 mos.) along, too. So I'm thinking I can either put Kid #2 in the Burley (and have a long train), or in his own child seat on the back of the tandem (sort of like #4 and #5 above). The Burley is sort of a drag chute; with all of us on the bike, I expect that we could rocket along the flats at pretty good speeds, too.
When I first began using the trailer, I really felt that child seats on bikes were unsafe. But now I'm starting to think maybe they aren't so bad. And maybe they are safer on tandems - you are less likely to end-flip a tandem, and the fixed stoker bars will hold it off the ground if it falls over to the side.
Also, with the trailer, I was pretty concerned about traffic and rode it mainly on bike paths (except for a mile or two from my house to the trail.) Now I'm wondering if the tandem might be enough safer that I could ride it in traffic - would be a fun way to go for ice cream...
I'm not really looking for a ranking of the relative safety, but I would like to know what you think. Is a kid stoker any more/less at risk than a tot in a child seat? Is a kid stoker safer than a trailer rider?