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  1. #1
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Homemade Child Carriers for Xtracycles

    I am looking for ideas to make a child carrier for my 4 year old that is inexpensive and safe. He is strong enough to hold on but does not have the ability to focus well enough that I am not comfortable with the idea unless he is at least semi strapped in.

    I was thinking of making something similar to the Hoop D from Xtracycle out of conduit so he has a way to hold on and then attaching one of those foam folding chairs people take to sporting events and then adding a waist strap somehow. I think I could do this whole thing rather cheap and it should keep him secure enough that his mind can drift a bit while we ride.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the first prototypes of Burly's trailers were tubes bent with a conduit bender ..

    alternatively the car seat with a 4 point harness can be used , so the kid can't squirm out

    and do to much steering from the back with their weight shifting ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-26-14 at 02:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the first prototypes of Burly's trailers were tubes bent with a conduit bender ..

    alternatively the car seat with a 4 point harness can be used , so the kid can't squirm out

    and do to much steering from the back with their weight shifting ..
    Somehow I never thought of using a car seat. I am sure I can find a used one cheap on CL and find a secure way to attach it. Thanks for the advise.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    Somehow I never thought of using a car seat. I am sure I can find a used one cheap on CL and find a secure way to attach it. Thanks for the advise.
    Sorry but the whole concept of a DIY kids safety seat is just plain dumb in my book since you have no way to test it until you crash with the child in the seat.

    This idea is Russian Roulette with your child's life!!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  5. #5
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Sorry but the whole concept of a DIY kids safety seat is just plain dumb in my book since you have no way to test it until you crash with the child in the seat.

    This idea is Russian Roulette with your child's life!!!
    The idea of kids needing to live inside a bubble drives me crazy. The stuff he climbs and jumps off of at the play ground has much more exposure and risk than cruising on the back of my bike on a greenway at 10mph.

    Your signature is enough to show me how mild your version of unsafe is. "I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe."

  6. #6
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    The idea of kids needing to live inside a bubble drives me crazy. The stuff he climbs and jumps off of at the play ground has much more exposure and risk than cruising on the back of my bike on a greenway at 10mph.

    Your signature is enough to show me how mild your version of unsafe is. "I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe."
    Ever hear of "Due Diligence" ? i.e. ". General: Measure of prudence, responsibility, and diligence that is expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances."
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  7. #7
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Ever hear of "Due Diligence" ? i.e. ". General: Measure of prudence, responsibility, and diligence that is expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances."
    Safety is a very relative term. Some people would consider putting a kid in a car and driving anywhere far more unsafe than anything that could be done by bike.

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    Safety is a very relative term. Some people would consider putting a kid in a car and driving anywhere far more unsafe than anything that could be done by bike.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  9. #9
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    My daughter is 4.5 yrs and rides behind me on a trail a bike just fine. I don't take her out on major roads other than to cross one neighborhood to another, but she does great and pays attention.

    Before that, I used a Yepp Maxi seat on my Sun Cargo (basically a factory Xtracycle).

    I hear you on people being overprotective. When I was a kid, grade school age, I drove a Ford tractor while the people big enough to lift a hay bale threw them onto a trailer. I remember driving the pickup in low gear, too, while the men loaded the bales. Sure, I was way to small technically, but I did it, was pretty responsible, and survived.

    On the other hand, putting a kid on something on the back of the bike, not strapped in, when I think they are too young or immature to pay attention would bother me. At that point, I'd want them belted in somehow. I think a car seat attached to a base somehow is a good compromise between being diligent and not reckless, but not living in a bubble either.

    I liked the Yepp because my daughter was strapped in and if the bike went over, she wasn't being thrown free. More importantly, she would not fall out because she fell asleep (kids do this on bikes real easy) or wasn't paying attention.

    If I was riding outside of our residential neighborhood with just about zero traffic, I probably wouldn't even have my 4 year old on the trail a bike right now. Like you said, they are not disciplined enough at this age to pay attention 100% of the time and avoid falling off, etc. 90% of the time, probably. At 6 or 7 years old, way different maturity level and ability to hang on. Of course, probably on their own bike at that point. When she's behind me as in the pic below, it's residential streets only, low speed, low risk riding. And honestly, it still makes me a tad nervous.

    I included a pic of the Yepp seat from when she was a tad younger. It worked great. If I was engineering my own ghetto rig, I'd try to make something like that before I would the rails idea that was unharnessed. If we are going to ride in any traffic, I slap the Yepp on there and ditch the trail a bike. Too risky for a 4 year old otherwise IMHO. Like you said, it's an attention span thing.

    Thinking some more about it, I think on the trail a bike, she's engaged and thinks she's riding, so she doesn't get tired. If she was just sitting in a seat with a rail around it like the Xtracycle watchamacallit, I'd be afraid she'd nod off and fall out or something. So I guess in a passive seat situation, at this age, I'd want her restrained with some kind of harness. Active, where she's pedaling, etc, not as worried. And as I said, if there was any significant traffic at all, I'd want a harness. Bike trail jaunt, not so much worried about that.

    Sorry for the longwinded reply. Maybe some of this or the pics gives you food for thought.




    Last edited by syncro87; 06-05-14 at 08:21 PM.

  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Great post, great pictures, @syncro87.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  11. #11
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
    My daughter is 4.5 yrs and rides behind me on a trail a bike just fine. I don't take her out on major roads other than to cross one neighborhood to another, but she does great and pays attention.

    Before that, I used a Yepp Maxi seat on my Sun Cargo (basically a factory Xtracycle).

    I hear you on people being overprotective. When I was a kid, grade school age, I drove a Ford tractor while the people big enough to lift a hay bale threw them onto a trailer. I remember driving the pickup in low gear, too, while the men loaded the bales. Sure, I was way to small technically, but I did it, was pretty responsible, and survived.

    On the other hand, putting a kid on something on the back of the bike, not strapped in, when I think they are too young or immature to pay attention would bother me. At that point, I'd want them belted in somehow. I think a car seat attached to a base somehow is a good compromise between being diligent and not reckless, but not living in a bubble either.

    I liked the Yepp because my daughter was strapped in and if the bike went over, she wasn't being thrown free. More importantly, she would not fall out because she fell asleep (kids do this on bikes real easy) or wasn't paying attention.

    If I was riding outside of our residential neighborhood with just about zero traffic, I probably wouldn't even have my 4 year old on the trail a bike right now. Like you said, they are not disciplined enough at this age to pay attention 100% of the time and avoid falling off, etc. 90% of the time, probably. At 6 or 7 years old, way different maturity level and ability to hang on. Of course, probably on their own bike at that point. When she's behind me as in the pic below, it's residential streets only, low speed, low risk riding. And honestly, it still makes me a tad nervous.

    I included a pic of the Yepp seat from when she was a tad younger. It worked great. If I was engineering my own ghetto rig, I'd try to make something like that before I would the rails idea that was unharnessed. If we are going to ride in any traffic, I slap the Yepp on there and ditch the trail a bike. Too risky for a 4 year old otherwise IMHO. Like you said, it's an attention span thing.

    Thinking some more about it, I think on the trail a bike, she's engaged and thinks she's riding, so she doesn't get tired. If she was just sitting in a seat with a rail around it like the Xtracycle watchamacallit, I'd be afraid she'd nod off and fall out or something. So I guess in a passive seat situation, at this age, I'd want her restrained with some kind of harness. Active, where she's pedaling, etc, not as worried. And as I said, if there was any significant traffic at all, I'd want a harness. Bike trail jaunt, not so much worried about that.

    Sorry for the longwinded reply. Maybe some of this or the pics gives you food for thought.
    Thanks for the input. That Yepp seat looks like what I had in mind and much cheaper than the Xtracycle version. We are in the process of moving right now and I will finally have a garage again so that will help with working on my own version. I am right there with you though on how safe is too safe, my son has a very very limited attention span, even compared to other kids his age, so the trail a bike is out for now although I have really been wanting to give the wee hoo recumbent trail a bike a shot!

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