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Childs seat on a road bike...

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Childs seat on a road bike...

Old 09-07-09, 08:33 AM
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Childs seat on a road bike...

With one 3 year old, and another on the way, it's apparent that riding hours are becoming a rare commodity. Does anyone have any advice on child seats that work with road bikes, I think that's the only way I'm going to be able to continue to get out when the new baby shows.

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm also considering the trailers but not sure how they work with a aluminum framed road bike, also how safe are they?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-07-09, 08:53 AM
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You are not supposed to ride with a child until they can hold their head up at 1 year of age.
I have heard of folks putting an infant carrier in a trailer but I would be hesitant to recommend it.
My progression went:
-1 year to 4 a trailer
-4 to 6 a trail a bike (mine is 6 and we still use it every so often).
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Old 09-07-09, 09:01 AM
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Congrats on your growing family!

We used this when our little girl was a baby, and old enough to hold her head up: she much preferred being able to see stuff. I am not sure if it will work with road bars, though...



When she was really small, we keep her in her car seat, and strapped it inside a Chariot carrier. This way, she was supported, and we had room for all the needed stuff (diapers, etc). The Chariot also worked well when she out-grew the seat in the first picture. Now the Chariot is being used for our pups, for longer outings!



It attached to the left side chainstay. I wouldn't use it with carbon, but it works just fine with aluminum or steel stays.

Then by age 4, she was big enough to be on a trailer bike, and now - at age seven - she's holding her own on a Trek KDR1000 - a child's size 16 speed road bike! We all did 30 km together yesterday!

So there's hope - enjoy!
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Old 09-07-09, 09:09 AM
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hey zerotopanmass,

congrats on growing family! IMHO the trailer is safest although your oldest might be ready for trail-a-bike by the time #2 is on the road. You'll use it for several years with #2. BTW, REI has 20% off sales on Chariots from time to time.

I live not far from you if you wanna check out my trailer and give it a little test run to see how easily it attaches and tracks behind your bike. FWIW I/we pull it behind my Ti single and CF/Ti tandem. PM me if you want to try it out.
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Old 09-07-09, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for all the reply's, I really appreciate it. This would only be for #1 who is currently 3.5yrs and 34lbs, I won't be taking the new baby out on the road until they are much bigger. bikinggrrrl thanks for the trailer test offer, very kind of you, if I go that route I'll be sure to let you know.

So from what I've read it looks like either a trailer, or a trail a bike. Is one of these better suited to a road bike than the other?

Thanks again!
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Old 09-07-09, 02:08 PM
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Here is my advice: Put lights on your bike, get to bed earlier, get up earlier and ride like you were meant to ride. Enought stuff happens on a bike that I would not my kids to be unwilling victims of that stuff. Oh and buy more life and disability insurance because of stuff that can happen to you.
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Old 09-07-09, 03:04 PM
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we used a chariot as our primary stroller. from infant to 1 year, i used the Chariot sling, didn't pull our daughter behind a bike until she was about 1.5. It was a great trailer till she got to be about 4 and grew a bit tall for it.

never used it for any serious training. just park outings, shopping, picnics. and really not for more than an hour at a time.
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Old 09-07-09, 03:37 PM
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I mainly used a childseat attached to the back of my road bike - nothing special was needed to make it fit since it attached to the QR rear axle and clamped to the seatstays. It was "Sears Best" at the time, but the models keep changing and this was many years ago. Used that from when our daughter was about 9 months until she was 4. By then I had converted the back of our tandem so she could ride there as stoker and that was our commute vehicle through kindergarten and 1st grade (we'd ride together to drop her off and then I continued solo on the tandem to work).

We also used a trailer for a little while when she was small, but it wasn't quite as convenient for us. But I think it fits your situation better since your oldest is already getting pretty big for a childseat and once your youngest starts coming along as well the trailer would be able to hold them both.
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Old 09-07-09, 03:42 PM
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Read thru the Recreational & Family forum. They talk about this all the time. Unfortunately most don't ride road bikes. But you can learn a lot about child seats and trailers.
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Old 09-07-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
You are not supposed to ride with a child until they can hold their head up at 1 year of age.
I have heard of folks putting an infant carrier in a trailer but I would be hesitant to recommend it.
My progression went:
-1 year to 4 a trailer
-4 to 6 a trail a bike (mine is 6 and we still use it every so often).
This is useful for me. A little disappointing, though, as I was hoping I'd be able to start around 4-6 months. Ah well.
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Old 09-07-09, 05:35 PM
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+1 on using a trailer, just make sure you get the attachment to go on the quick release lever. Also make sure you put a helmet on the little one.

Link for the quick release adapter. https://www.burleygear.com/product_p/960041.htm
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Old 09-08-09, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
This is useful for me. A little disappointing, though, as I was hoping I'd be able to start around 4-6 months. Ah well.
I started at 8 months. Every baby is different. Every family is different. All trailers are not created equal.
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Old 09-08-09, 06:39 AM
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I always recommend to my customers looking to buy one to first go see their pediatrician before they make any decisions. I've had people come in with 2 y/o's who thank me, because their kid isn't "ready" for one yet.
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Old 09-08-09, 06:41 AM
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Nashbar kiddie cart, best, most reasonably priced trailer on the market that I'm aware of anyway.

The frame of your bike does not matter. I've had one on every material bikes are made of.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by zerotopanmass
With one 3 year old, and another on the way, it's apparent that riding hours are becoming a rare commodity. Does anyone have any advice on child seats that work with road bikes, I think that's the only way I'm going to be able to continue to get out when the new baby shows.

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm also considering the trailers but not sure how they work with a aluminum framed road bike, also how safe are they?

Thanks in advance!
Well, if you are concern about safety on the trainer you probably should be more concerned about safety of your kid on a child seat. Although I see bikes with child seats here and there I think it is just really unsafe. As for trainers, I have Tacx Fortius (virtual reality trainer) that works great when simulating flats and totally sucks when trying to simulate hills.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:47 AM
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Our daughter was in a trailer at 5 months, although based on what I've read since I'd wait till one year. If they can hold up their head and the weight of the helmet, its not a problem.

And you definitely want a trailer over a child seat.

1) Trailer has very little effect on the handling of the bike.

2) Its a long way for the kids head to fall from a bike seat to the ground in a crash.

3) Trailer will stay upright even if you fall, 95% of the time.

4) Trailer gives them a bit of protection with an aluminum roll cage.

5) Cars give kid trailers a very wide berth.

6) you can stuff the trialer with juice, toys, stuffed animals, music boxes etc.

7) Trailer attached with a QR comes off in seconds and doesn't affect the bike.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Our daughter was in a trailer at 5 months, although based on what I've read since I'd wait till one year. If they can hold up their head and the weight of the helmet, its not a problem.

And you definitely want a trailer over a child seat.

1) Trailer has very little effect on the handling of the bike.

2) Its a long way for the kids head to fall from a bike seat to the ground in a crash.

3) Trailer will stay upright even if you fall, 95% of the time.

4) Trailer gives them a bit of protection with an aluminum roll cage.

5) Cars give kid trailers a very wide berth.

6) you can stuff the trialer with juice, toys, stuffed animals, music boxes etc.

7) Trailer attached with a QR comes off in seconds and doesn't affect the bike.
+1

I don't even stock child seats. Kids get bored real fast when they're forced to "just sit there". Trailers, as mentioned above, allow for toys, books, stuffed animals, protection from sun, bugs, etc.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:45 AM
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The nice thing about the nicer trailers (I have a Burley D'Lite, so that's the limit of my first-hand experience) compared to the seats are the fact that if your bike goes down, the trailer is almost certainly fine, whereas with the seat, if your bike goes down so does your child.
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Old 09-08-09, 09:00 AM
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I'm not sure how well a typical baby bike seat would work on the average road bike. I put a Topeak Babysitter bike seat on a Cannondale tandem; it works fine there.

I'd be a little concerned that a heavy child on on a road bike baby seat could cause the front wheel to lift.

For my first child, I did a lot of trailer pulling with a road bike. When the second came, they didn't get along very well in the trailer and I didn't pull them much. I ride with the oldest (6 now) on a kid stoker setup on a tandem. The 2nd rides in a baby seat (just turned 3). He likes the baby seat better than the trailer, but he's already too big for the baby seat. Next phase is tandem + trail-a-bike (Burley Piccolo with 52t chainring)...


My 0.02 - the trailer is safer. The baby seat makes mounts and dismounts tricky. I'm not worried about dropping the bike while I'm riding - I'm a competent rider and I don't do anything crazy with my kids along. I worry a lot more about dropping the bike when I'm getting the kids and myself loaded on.
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Old 09-08-09, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscoerik
The nice thing about the nicer trailers (I have a Burley D'Lite, so that's the limit of my first-hand experience) compared to the seats are the fact that if your bike goes down, the trailer is almost certainly fine, whereas with the seat, if your bike goes down so does your child.
A decent child seat fully surrounds the child. So even if the bike goes down the child shouldn't hit the ground. I did have one fall while my daughter was in a rear child seat and the bike slid on it's side for a short distance. I ended up with significant road rash as a result, but my daughter didn't get a scratch. The fall was as a result of a right hook by another cyclist who came by me and immediately turned right while I was going straight - his wheel caught my front pannier and pulled my front wheel around.

We also had a couple incidents with a trailer. One time our daughter managed to undo the seatbelt and started to climb out of the trailer while we were still moving. A passing motorist alerted us so we stopped before any damage was done (don't think she would have actually gotten out, but she certainly wasn't secured well anymore and hitting a bad pothole or other bump could have been a problem. We also had one incident when a cyclist collided with the trailer and ended up falling over on top of it. No injury, but a bit of a scare.
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Old 09-08-09, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
A decent child seat fully surrounds the child. So even if the bike goes down the child shouldn't hit the ground. I did have one fall while my daughter was in a rear child seat and the bike slid on it's side for a short distance. I ended up with significant road rash as a result, but my daughter didn't get a scratch. The fall was as a result of a right hook by another cyclist who came by me and immediately turned right while I was going straight - his wheel caught my front pannier and pulled my front wheel around.
I doubt my daughter would allow me to put her back on the bike again for years if this happened.

I think both methods (trailers and child-seats) have their safety ups and downs.
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Old 09-08-09, 09:23 AM
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one potential problem with trailers and a bike with the wrong geometry is heel strike on the attachment to the chain stay. I can put the trailer on a mt bike no trouble, on a road bike, it's a bit more problem because of this.
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