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  1. #1
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    Familly need advise with young kids.

    Hi,

    We are a family with young kids (30 and 7 months) and we want to start to do family rides. We need to buy everything since we didn't climbed on a bike for almost 10 years. My wife heard that kids under 1 year shouldn't be in a cart behind the bike. Yesterday, we went to a bike shop near our place and the guy told us that kids under the age of 1 shouldn't be in a seat behind the bike but in a cart. My wife doesn't like the idea of having our kid behind were you can't see them and low to the ground in case the cart get hit by a car... My wife is a little extreme, she's a nurse... So we would like to know what is the truth in this and if you have personnel experience we would like to hear them.

    Also, we need to buy bicycles, what do you suggest? My wife was thinking of an hybrid bicycle because she want something comfortable and she's one of the less flexible person I've ever seen. For me, I was thinking of something more like a road-race bike. What is your opinion on those type of bicycle for the family, would they be good to have a baby seat and/or a cart?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    I agree with the advice of waiting until at least 12 months old, either on the bike or in a trailer.

    A trailer has the large advantage that if the bike falls over, the trailer stays upright. And with two, a trailer means one parent can take both kids.

    Good luck and have fun.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  3. #3
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    1. Check with trailer makers such as Burley about minimum age for use. Ditto child seat manufacturers

    2. Bikes with a child trailer on the back are more visible and with a flag and a brightly coloured material cover should be safer than one with a kid's seat on the back, but that's opinion/assumption, not expert knowledge.

    3. Don't use a road bike, unless it's a proper touring, not racing, model. Again, check with the manufacturers of the trailers/seats

  4. #4
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Tell your wife about the Mary Poppins effect.
    Crain's Chicago Business : Subscription Center

    I've seen cars go far more out of their way for a trailer then you'd think possible.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pico Triano's Avatar
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    I would research different equipment. I'm sure there is something that would work for young infants. My guess is that the trailer would be the more likely choice. At seven months though you have to double check to make sure the equipment is adequate. The only people who could tell you that is the manufacturer or some safety standards organization.
    http://picoscycling.blogspot.ca/ An online touring magazine

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    Ask your pediatrician. 12 months old is just a guideline, the doctor will know for sure when the child has developed enough strength to support their head.
    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
    No single raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Trailer is the safest way to go. More visible, kids are more protected and as mentioned earlier, the trailer won't fall over even if the bike does. As for the kind of bike, hate to say it, but hybrid is probably the more sensible choice for pulling a trailer. Get the racing bike for when the kids get a little older.

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    A driver who "doesn't see" a bike hauling a trailer is just as likely to "not see" a bike not pulling a trailer.

    Gotta disagree on the hybrid - get a cyclocross-type bike. Basically, anything a hybrid can do, a cyclocross bike will do better. And there's no reason you can't set up a cyclocross bike so you're in a more upright position. Drop bars don't mean you have to set up the bike for actual road racing.

    I'd definitely try to get a steel-framed bike for hauling a trailer, though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    You haven't been on a bike in years. Trailer, no brainer. There are lots of ways to fall over on a bike. By a near miracle my 2 falls on the road (real dirt biking is a whole different issue) were the extremes.

    One was hit from behind. My rear wheel and a skinned knee were the only damage.

    The other was from entering a gas station at an angle. That little 1" lip is enough to knock a bike out from under you as easily as if someone tried to kick the bike out from under you.

    But I've had lots of close calls, going through running water only to find it had been running for a long time and algae on cement is slick.

    Thing is that a kid in a seat both makes the bike unbalanced and the fall when a bike goes down can cause impact like trauma even if the kid never hits anything. (The balance thing is likely part of why another rider suggested staying away from a racing bike).
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    I used to pull the trailer and have my wife ride behind to keep an eye on things. The same when we got the trailer bike. We never tried a child seat on the bike. I remember riding in one when I was little though; used to scare the crap out me.

  11. #11
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    People's notions on this differ,but personally I think a 12-month old is generally not capable of really "getting" a trailer. In other words, I personally don't think it's something innate enough that you can teach a kid that can't understand what you're saying and is still figuring out a lot physically on their own. When they can do physical things like figure their way up/down a staircase, outside stairs, etc., then you can see they've developed an aptitude for knowing how to handle things like that. But even then, there's nothing to say they would know how to hold on to the bars of a trailer.

    Generally, for most kids, you're going to be looking at 18 months to 2 years before they can handle a trailer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member loky1179's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post

    A trailer has the large advantage that if the bike falls over, the trailer stays upright. And with two, a trailer means one parent can take both kids.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Of course, you can still flip the trailer. As I did when I took my son on his first ride. Fortunately, he was strapped in, and the Burley makes an excellent roll cage. He was laughing - he thought it was part of the ride!

    So, I vote for the trailer. Field tested to be safe in a crash!

  13. #13
    Senior Member metz1295's Avatar
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    we use a trailer all the time. the guideline we used for age was 18 months, as not only does the child need to be able to control their own head movement, but they also need to support a helmet. my wife wanted to get a bike seat and I was against it, using the before mentioned argument that if the bike falls so does the child when in a seat. another advantage to a trailer is that if the child naps on a longer ride they will be more comfortable. they're also perfect for the child to have water and snacks within arms reach. oh, and you always have to remember their favorite "blankie" or toy. none of these things can happen with a ride along seat.

    if you do happen to flip a trailer (more details on how you did that loky1179, please), there is usually more than enough extra headroom to protect the child, assuming you were smart enough to strap them in.

    though we've never needed it, our trailer has the seating space for two children of smaller size and the straps to allow that. your children are close enough in age that in about a year, this may be a need for you.

    trailers are also good for training as you are basically pulling a 40 lb parachute. throw in one of those rides a week and you'll be surprised how much faster you are when you're without the load.

    when your youngest is old enough, get a trailer and pack a picnic. we've had some great rides where all we do is go 20 miles to a park, eat some sandwiches and let the kids play at the playground while we rest up for the ride home.

  14. #14
    Senior Member loky1179's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metz1295 View Post
    if you do happen to flip a trailer (more details on how you did that loky1179, please), there is usually more than enough extra headroom to protect the child, assuming you were smart enough to strap them in.
    Coming off a curb cut into the street, and then making a too sharp turn. The little bit of bounce (because one wheel was on a higher side of the the cut than the other) along with the centrifugal force from turning was enough to roll it. I wasn't even going that fast - fortunately.

    My son was less than 30 lbs; more ballast seems to result in more stability.

  15. #15
    Senior Member metz1295's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
    Coming off a curb cut into the street, and then making a too sharp turn. The little bit of bounce (because one wheel was on a higher side of the the cut than the other) along with the centrifugal force from turning was enough to roll it. I wasn't even going that fast - fortunately.

    My son was less than 30 lbs; more ballast seems to result in more stability.

    hahaha, i laugh because the little man was ok. that's amazing. i never thought for a second our trailer would tip on a drive approach. however, our trek trailer is a little wider, and with 20" wheels, than most i've seen. i've driven it up along a 1:1 concrete river bank just so the boy could have a few seconds of exitement.

  16. #16
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    I know I'm in the minority here but I'd hire a baby sitter and leave the kids at home.

  17. #17
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    The only reason I would remotely consider a trailer is because it has been so long since either of you have been on a bike and it might take a little while for you to regain your equilibrium/balance.

    In general, I am a huge fan of bike-mounted child seats and much prefer them over trailers. A front-mounted seat (iBert, WeeRide, Bobike Mini, Yepp Mini) has no effect on the handling of the bike while in motion. They can be a bit tricky to load and mount.

    A rear-mounted seat, especially with a heavier child, can make it more difficult to balance, but the only time I've ever "dropped" a bike with a child seat is when I was walking my bike over a steep curb with a 40-lb child in back. I've never had any falls or near falls while on the bike, even with a child in the front and one in the back. We've traveled thousands of miles over the last two years and never had any problems.

    Bike-mounted seats make "family biking" a true interactive, engaging, learning family experience. Trailers isolate your kids, placing them down and back from you and making it hard to hear or interact. In addition, I wouldn't trust a 3-year old in a trailer with a one-year old, so I wouldn't count on transporting two at once. Another issue with a 1-year old in a trailer is they may be too short to reach the "helmet well" that most trailers have these days to avoid the helmet being pushed forward over his/her face.

    What you could start with is one bike-mounted front seat for the 1-year old and a used/cheap two-seat trailer, primarily to be used for the 3-year old, until you get comfortable with riding again.

    I recommend step-through frame bikes for easy mounting/starting/stopping. Virtually any type of bike, including road bikes, can carry a trailer. For bike-mounted rear seats, you'll generally need rack mounts and front-mounted seats won't work with drop bars. Other than that, find a bike that's comfortable and enjoyable to ride.

    If you decide to start earlier than 1 year, I would pick a high-backed front seat like a Bobike Mini or Yepp mini, rather than a low-back seat like an iBert or WeeRide.

  18. #18
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    Thank you very much everyone for all your good comment. I read all of them!!! We still don't know what we're gonna do but we took note of what you all wrote. If you have anything to add, please fill free to do so!

  19. #19
    Senior Member curly666's Avatar
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    Maybe one of these would work for you.
    Weehoo iGo PRO Bike Trailer-Cycle | Bike Kid

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