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Old 06-26-13, 10:09 AM   #1
bajajoaquin
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Baby's First Bike Ride

Hi, I joined recently after coming across this forum while researching a tandem I was considering. I bought it so that I could take my wife and baby on bike rides along the San Diego coast and river bike paths.

She's six months old, is pretty advanced physically (really good, strong head control), and have checked in with her pediatrician. We tried last night to give it her first shot, but didn't really make it. She was fine with the helmet, and fine with the bike seat, but I didn't get the helmet adjusted properly in advance, so she got fussy while I was trying to get it snug. We compromised and just put her in the seat and walked her around the block to get used to it.

I've got an iBert seat mostly because it was free. My nephew refuses to wear a helmet (at 2-1/2) so no bike riding for him. I just mounted his seat on my bike. However, I've read on here that the iBert's shortcoming is no support for sleeping baby heads. Since I don't have anything invested in this seat, I might buy another one to do some A-B comparison.

Comments and advice are welcome.

(normally, I don't post pictures of my child online, but this one just makes me ache when I see it, so I can't resist.)
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Old 06-26-13, 10:30 AM   #2
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I would for sure get something with a back headrest so your daughter can rest her head if she does fall asleep or get tired holding up her head + helmet. Six months old is still too young (in my opinion) to be subjecting a child to the added weight of a helmet, plus all the bumps and turns of a bicycle ride without a headrest. If it was my son, I would be keeping him in a seat with a headrest until at least 1.5 yrs old, maybe even 2 years old.
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Old 06-26-13, 12:07 PM   #3
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I would for sure get something with a back headrest so your daughter can rest her head if she does fall asleep or get tired holding up her head + helmet. Six months old is still too young (in my opinion) to be subjecting a child to the added weight of a helmet, plus all the bumps and turns of a bicycle ride without a headrest. If it was my son, I would be keeping him in a seat with a headrest until at least 1.5 yrs old, maybe even 2 years old.
I agree...I think the general rule of thumb with kids on bikes is 1 yo. I'm sure CAN do younger, but the bumps and knocks are hard on their head...also check local laws as they vary from state to state or province to province depending on where you live. I believe NY has a 1 year old requirement for bike trailer use and kids as an example...so does Georgia.
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Old 06-26-13, 08:37 PM   #4
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For that age range I used a trailer behind the bike and secured the car seat inside. Yes we towed the trailer with the tandem as well and other then being a rather long train it worked well! When the kids were this small I really tried to do this about nap time and this way they just snoozed.

Are you placing the ibert on the front of the tandem? Not sure if this set up would work on the stokers bars or not? I would probably be leary of being fairly new to riding a tandem with this seat on the handlebars. It is quite a bit to get used to with shifting and breaking and just generally handling the bike without an infant there. You can expect the child to lean on you arms slightly using an ibert seat.
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Old 06-27-13, 12:03 AM   #5
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Yes, it's on the front of the tandem. I looked at the stoker position, but I think the feet of the seat would interfere with my feet.

But a bit of clarification: I just bought this tandem, but it's not my first. I was "between bikes," as they say in the motorcycle world. I had a couple beach cruiser tandems when I was young, and more recently had a Schwinn Twin. I sold the Schwinn because it was just too whippy for me to be comfortable on the hills around here. I am happy riding my cruiser around, but I found that with the iBert in front, I couldn't stand up to get up the hill to my house. And as long as I was buying another bike for some gears, I might as well get a tandem so that my wife could come along. (Not that I'm not still on the lookout for a good three-speed with fenders.)

After doing some more reading, I'm going to be buying another seat for sure. My mom reminded me of how I would babble like an idiot and then pass out completely in my bike seat when I was an infant. So higher sides for a sleeping baby are a must. Luckily Amazon Prime will get it here by the weekend!

After talking about it with my wife, we'll probably drive to the bike path, even though it's only a half mile from my house. The first ride isn't likely to be very long, so it might as well be all as smooth and easy as possible.

I appreciate the comments. Thank you.
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Old 11-30-14, 11:36 PM   #6
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Just thought I'd follow up here with some feedback about child seats now that it's nearly 18 months later.

I bought a Bell child seat that mounts on the back, and she rides in that and loves it. I have the iBert on the front of my cruiser, and she loves that, too. The only problem with the iBert is that it sits far enough back that I can't get between it and the nose of my seat, so I can't straddle the tandem to let my wife on and off in the back. So the rear seat ended up being the way to go for a couple reasons.


Another issue with the iBert is that you can't stand at all. I have one hill to get to my house, and it would be awesome if I didn't have to grind my cruiser up sitting down. Add to that the fact that the combination of the arched top tube and short stem height meant there was really not enough room for the seat, the top tube, my daughters legs and the handlebars to fit all in the right place, I ended up making a mount for the seat that put it above the bars and moved it forward. It's harder to get her in the seat (it's a bit tippier) but it's easier to ride, because the weight is balanced better.

I'm going to move this mount to the tandem, and then make another one to mount a little bit further forward, so I can stand up and pedal a bit better. I really think iBert should make an optional bar-top mount. It really does ride nice.

More thoughts: My daughter does fall asleep in the rear seat, and crashes against my wife's back. But she has never fallen asleep on the front seat. So it doesn't appear to have been an issue.

Generally, I think she prefers the iBert. I know I prefer it. I really like having her in front of me, where I can see what she's looking at, point out birds, dogs, trucks, and airplanes.

That's with the factory mount. You can see how her legs have to go under the bar, and there's inadequate clearance between the seat and the top tube.

The other cool thing about the iBert is that you don't get this kind of interaction when your kid is in back:


And a last thought about age: My pediatrician had cleared us at 6 months to take her out with the helmet. However, because of bike seat fitment, we didn't do it until 13 months or so. In retrospect, that was a good thing. I see how much her head bobs in the bumps now, I would have worried too much with her at 6 months. The next kid, in the car seat in the bakfiets, however....
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