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Will my Road Bike be okay to put Infant Child Seat in front?

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Will my Road Bike be okay to put Infant Child Seat in front?

Old 02-23-20, 09:37 PM
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vdoshi88
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Will my Road Bike be okay to put Infant Child Seat in front?

Hello,

I have a 2009 Cannondale R900 that I love. It has 25 mm tires and 18 spoke wheel. Now, with my kid turning 1, i wanted to get people's opinion. Have you tried putting a child seat on the center main bar? Do road bikes do okay with such "addons" or would you suggest a trailer or a new, hybrid bike?

Carrier I am considering - Weeride Kangaroo Child Bike Seat

Thank you for your help
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Old 02-23-20, 10:06 PM
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I have no statistical reasoning for it but I never trusted the idea of the front mount child seats, its just been that all of my just riding along accidents have involved things in front of me; people opening doors, stopping suddenly, literally running into me on the bike path and the thought of having my kid be the first thing involved freaks me out. I ended up going the trailer route but didn't trust that till they turned two due to a lack of smooth pavement and how bobbleheaded it seemed to make them. In hindsight I should have gotten a rear rack child seat but never did.
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Old 02-24-20, 08:02 AM
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I like the top-tube carrier better than a rear rack carrier, as it puts the extra weight of the kiddo inside the 'triangle' of the wheelbase and the rider's CG,as opposed to hanging it out over the back wheel.
I'm not super crazy about kid carriers once you start dealing with anyone much older than 2, though. They tend to get both heavier, and wigglier, and if you're going somewhere by bike, they seem to need to bring a lot of stuff with them. I preferred the trailer; I used one of Thule's Chariot series, with 20x2.0 tires and an adjustable suspension. Very smooth-riding setup, with room for diaper bags, picnic baskets, or friends.

My concern in this case is the bike, not so much the frame, but the wheels and riding position. 25mm on 18-h wheels will be pretty stiff, and IIRC, Cannondale R-bikes don't have a whole lot of room for more tire. 28mm would be an improvement, 32mm more so, but I don't think that bike's got the room for more rubber.
Also, the riding position on that bike is pretty aggressive, so you might end up having to hold yourself off of your co-pilot's head. Same for the bar width. Depending on how narrow the drops are, and how bulky the seat is, you might have your arms full.


My reccomendation is to hang on to the R-bike, and add a nice mid-range (or 2nd hand) flat-bar hybrid to the fleet for kid-hauling duties.
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Old 02-24-20, 08:35 AM
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More than 27 years ago, I put a rear mounted child seat on my road bike (I also put on some fatter tires 28?). While you could say it worked, the extra weight on the back had a big effect on the handling and feel of the bike. It made riding it very different.
If you have a MTB or even a beach cruiser, that would be a better choice.
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Old 02-24-20, 08:52 AM
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If you've settled on the type of seat you want, maybe go ahead and purchase it, mount it on your current bike and try a dry run with something that weighs about the same amount as your child in the seat. That will tell you whether you need a hybrid or some other bike with higher handlebars.
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Old 02-24-20, 10:17 AM
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Thank you so much for the feedback. Yes, I love the R bike and even it its older gear set, it is still very smooth and light. I will see if I can get a used hybrid if necessary. I am going to try and put the seat on there as we got it as a gift for my son's first birthday but I am worried about things mentioned above like the change in weight and also the size of the seat ws the handle bar. I have the standard drop bar but with a tall kid at hand, I may hit his helmet before it gets comfortable for riding.

I will keep the group posted but i think the first upgrade, if i keep it to this bike, will have to be 28 mm tires, i dont think i have room for 32 mm (it will touch the bracket (i think).

Thank you for all the help!
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Old 02-24-20, 10:55 AM
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why risk it?
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Old 02-24-20, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
why risk it?
Attach it and put a sack of flour or something in it to see how it feels, and what's the risk?
If it feels bad immediately, he can just stop. If it feels ok, then he can decide if it's good enough as is to put the baby in.
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Old 02-24-20, 04:00 PM
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A front child carrier with drop bars is quite frankly an awkward combination.

A child trailer with that vintage bike may or may not work.

As far as a rear child carrier, again, may or may not work. (More likely, not.)

That said, there are drop bar bikes that are perfectly able to have a child carrier or trailer on the back.

There are also many flat bar and swept bar bikes that are comfortable to ride with a front carrier.

My child rode on the back of my ten year old circa 1983 Univega drop bar steel bike just fine. (Back then, front carriers were rare.) Then a bunch of years later, trailer bike. (Back then, trailer bikes were rare.)

So, decide where you want to carry your child, that will guide your bike choice.

Or decide what bike, that will guide your carrier choice.

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Old 02-24-20, 04:51 PM
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Piling on...

I tried one. These things are terrible with a threadless headset or a bike that makes you lean over. They are designed for step-through city bikes with 1" threaded steerers, upright posture and lots of handlebar sweep. I know some people have made it work, it didn't work on my Hardrock and I would expect it to work even worse on a road bike. The seat itself isn't tall enough and so the kid can shrug out of the shoulder straps. The one I bought (Thule, before they bought Yelp) had a stylish buckle that the kid had no problem defeating. The kid WILL fall asleep, head forward.

Kiddo loved it! He was not nearly so thrilled with the back seat I finally settled on, but it worked much better.

There were other things I might have tried, but my kids are too big now. There are several like Wee Ride Kangaroo that go on a rail that mounts between handlebar and seat, that might mount better. There's a MTB version called Shotgun that has a proper saddle and foot pegs and the kid can hold your handlebar, it looks like fun.

Edit: I've had both a trailer and a rear seat. For a trailer find a used good one. New good ones cost too much and new cheap ones are crap. For the rear seat, Topeak and CoPilot (Blackburn) both make ones that mount on a heavy-duty regular style rack, so when the seat is gone you can do panniers or whatever. We have the Blackburn one. A hybrid is an excellent bike for this, a step through makes it easier so you don't have to be Walker Texas Ranger to get on the bike.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:31 PM
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Many years of experience here hauling my daughter around. Young children always travel with a lot of stuff, AKA "diaper bag.". Based on that alone, you need a trailer. I've never ridden with a front child carrier, but the rear carrier is an unstable mess.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:50 PM
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Are there helmets for a 1 yr old?
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Old 02-24-20, 05:59 PM
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Many years back a buddy owned a Volkswagon Kombi bus - one of those with no protection in front of you. We always kidded him, "In an accident, you will get there first!"

If you put your child on the handlebars in front of you - the child will "get there first."

In a rear carrier (or a trailer/buggy) the child is still very vulnerable, but it would have to be better than putting the kid up front.

Also - when I carried papers as a kid I tried looping the bag over the front bars because it was handier. I found that the added weight up high at the front made the bike unstable and quirky handling, so I switched to carrying the bag on the rear carrier. Even a rear mounted child seat will change the characteristics of the bike, but they usually sit lower than the saddle so it should be no worse than if you wore a back pack of similar weight.

If I had to make the choice I would lean toward a hybrid bike with a trailer (maybe with some extra cushions to support a one-year old) - just personal preference . . . . .

RE: Helmets for infant? Yes, many models for infants/toddlers. I sold many Giro & Bell helmets, many other brands available.
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Old 02-24-20, 06:12 PM
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My son had a front mounted child seat and his boys loved it because they could see where they were going. However, the carrier impedes pedalling because you have to keep your knees wide open, very uncomfortable for any longer rides
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Old 02-24-20, 06:59 PM
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Yeah, forgot about that one. The kiddo liked to dangle his fingers so they got pinched by my knees
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Old 02-25-20, 07:27 AM
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I like the concept of putting the infant way out front. It's like having the added safety of a baby as an air bag.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:27 AM
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Dont put a child carrier anywhere on a bike its dangerous. Find a trailer that will work with your bike.

I work at a bike shop and the extra weight on a bike, anywhere on a bike makes it hard to handle not to mention if you do tip over the child is up high and in a bad spot.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by "Fred" View Post
Dont put a child carrier anywhere on a bike its dangerous. Find a trailer that will work with your bike.

I work at a bike shop and the extra weight on a bike, anywhere on a bike makes it hard to handle not to mention if you do tip over the child is up high and in a bad spot.

Hope this helps.

Having ridden both ways rather extensively, I disagree. The balancing is just a minor adjustment and you get used to it within minutes, and trailers change the steering characteristics of the vehicle just as much if not more. Generally, I found that if I didn't try to go very fast, both trailers and on-board seats were quite manageable, and left my child as well-protected as could be. The big difference is that the larger the child, the more comfortable they'll be in the trailer as compared to the seat.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:41 AM
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I've got a trailer too, a double Chariot. I've even done kid seat and trailer at the same time. The weight of the kid on the bike is awkward at a standstill, the bike wants to fold up. It's fine while riding, except it wants to wheelie. The trailer has less effect on the bike handling since the side load is small and it comes in at the axle, and I'm sure it's better for safety, because it doesn't fall over. But the trailer is like towing a parachute, and awkward to deal with sans bike. Around the neighborhood ok, no goals. But when I was commuting and dropping the kid off at daycare, it was toooo slow and the bike seat was easier to lock up and have my wife retrieve it at pickup.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Attach it and put a sack of flour or something in it to see how it feels, and what's the risk?
If it feels bad immediately, he can just stop. If it feels ok, then he can decide if it's good enough as is to put the baby in.
Seriously?
I'm not talking about balance or what feels right. Lots unexpected things can happen riding a bike. Why on earth would you expose your infant to those risks, and for what? So you can say you rode today. Wow
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Old 02-25-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
Seriously?
I'm not talking about balance or what feels right. Lots unexpected things can happen riding a bike. Why on earth would you expose your infant to those risks, and for what? So you can say you rode today. Wow

If you're riding responsibly, I doubt that the risks are substantially different from pushing the child in a stroller or driving with them in a car seat. I'd bet money they're more likely to be hurt on playground equipment. I rode with my kids a lot when my kids were small, it's a cherished memory for me and it was a lot of fun and opportunity to learn for them.

I don't know where this risk-free universe is that people are supposed to raise their kids in, but I'm guessing you don't have directions there either.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:07 PM
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A stroller with 4 wheels is more stable than a bike on 2, and it has protection from things that might fall, like I don't know a limb from a tree maybe?

I also doubt you would hit a pothole, pine cone, or wet leaves and wipe out in a stroller, but in a bike it happens.

Make no mistake. Your kid, do whatever you want. Strap him down securely in the bed of your pick up if you want and create great memories, I just see it as an un necessary risk. And I'm not looking for a risk free universe, but you as the parent should minimize the risk to your children if that can be avoided.

good day and good luck
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Old 02-25-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
A stroller with 4 wheels is more stable than a bike on 2, and it has protection from things that might fall, like I don't know a limb from a tree maybe?

I also doubt you would hit a pothole, pine cone, or wet leaves and wipe out in a stroller, but in a bike it happens.

Make no mistake. Your kid, do whatever you want. Strap him down securely in the bed of your pick up if you want and create great memories, I just see it as an un necessary risk. And I'm not looking for a risk free universe, but you as the parent should minimize the risk to your children if that can be avoided.

good day and good luck

Hey, you chose to jump into a thread where someone was asking advice about the setup and type of bike seat or trailer to advocate that no one ride with their kid. No one asked whether you thought it was necessary.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:48 PM
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Old 02-25-20, 07:26 PM
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a limb from a tree maybe has it come to this
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