Rear child seat questions: How to get on, and off a bike with a rear child seat?
Contemplating getting a rear child seat but I would like to know how is the process step by step. I've heard about getting another kick stand would help. I'm assuming I put in the little one while the bike is leaning on something or supported by two kick stands. What dismounting like? I have a ladies bike with the slope but I am accustom to the leg over technique. I don't want to Chuck Norris my son.
My son is thirty pounds, and usually falls asleep fast while riding (I have a weeride which I put away, and a trailer) Would he be able to sleep comfortably without disturbing the balance of the bike? With the weeride there was no support for a sleeping infant making it difficult to steer. For anyone that has experience with a front mounted bike seat, does the feel or weight feel strangely different compared to a rear carrier? I keep hearing stories about tires raising because of the weight, and the also the unsteadiness of the extra bike weight. I really want to consider giving this rear seat a try. Also, does the rear seat attach to the axle?
IMHO kickstand, two kickstands or even leaning the bike is not secure enough to hold the bike with the kid in the seat.
What I do is load the bike with my junk first, with kickstand down, make sure that everything is in place before I put the kid in. I strap the kid in, holding the bike vertically. I kick the kickstand up and never letting the bike go, I get on the seat and start pedaling.
Dismounting in reverse order: get of the bike, kickstand down - but keep the bike vertically - move to the back seat, never letting the bike go (sometimes I lean the bike saddle into my hip to provide better support), unstrap the kid, get the kid down - while I lift the kid up from the kickstand side, I make sure the bike slowly rests on the kickstand.
After few times it becomes a second nature.
And I have not dropped a kid yet and have been doing it for 6 years with back seats (now on kid #3)
A lot of tourers who travel with loaded bikes prefer these to avoid having the bike tilting with a full load.
Another thing to consider is to have the bike next to the curb, in the gutter, while you stand up on the curb. That way you can more easily swing your leg over the top tube without having to lean the bike too much.
My sons have finally outgrown the rear seats but I did it for quite a while. I did more or less what Sailor said. I did keep my seat slightly lower than I probably should have for stability when getting on and off. We only ever had one accident in the on and off phase. Where I was getting on the bike was wet and slippery. Didn't make that mistake twice. My sons, whichever one was on at the time, would lean his head forward into the small of my back sometimes when he feel asleep. The curved sides of the seat usually kept him from leaning over to the side like he would in his carseat.
I do the leg over thing, but instead of over the seat like normal, I scoot up to the stem and intentionally bend my leg as much as possible.
As for the kickstand thing, we've never had issues with the Kickback on the Xtracycles during loading/unloading. Even now I only have the single on my Xtra and I can still get my daughter on/off without holding the bike. Granted she's five now and knows to shift her weight until I get rolling; that may not be the case with your son.
The weight is a little weird at first, but you quickly get used to it and how to "feel" the bike when he's just moving around or when you're really off balance.
+1 on the twin-leg kickstand. My life with rear-mounted kid seat got lots easier after I installed one.
Also +1 on a step through. A Rivendell Yves Gomez might be my choice if I could appropriate the $1200ish for the frame. The '85 Raleigh I've been using is just barely short enough that I can step over the horizontal top bar. (IMO, leg-over-bars routine would be near impossible unless your bars are very low)
After riding for several years with a rear bike seat, I still put a lot of thought into mounting and dismounting! I just ride a typical road bike so the leg goes over the bar every time. I have no kick stand and always just keep one hand on my seat and one hand on the handlebars until my foot is clipped in. On dismount I unclip, straddle the bike and place one hand on the handle the other on the seat and lift my leg over the bar. All goes well and we haven't had any issues.
Trek 800, Free Spirit Town and Country, 80's Norco Nomad
I also always keep a hand on the bike when I have my kid in the back. I usually also have the kickstand down unless I'm moving...aka last thing I do it kick it up and first thing I do is kick it down when I'm starting or stopping. That way if I do happen to have a bad dismount (trip on the middle bar) I'm not totally hosing my kid.