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Randonee/Child Carrier/Panniers

Old 03-27-09, 10:14 PM
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Randonee/Child Carrier/Panniers

Short version : I own an '09 Randonee with rear rack and need to get a child carrier and panniers to make the bike work day-to-day.

Long Version: Does anybody here have a child carrier on a standard Randonee rear rack? If so what brand of carrier are you using? Do you know of a rear pannier/rack/child carrier combination I can buy in the US.

Day-to-day I want to use the Randonee to retrieve my son from school and commuting. So I need a pannier that could take a laptop and a few books. I would like to get decent pair of panniers for the back rack, but don't know if this would work with a child carrier. If there are no solutions for the rear what about ideas for front mounted panniers that would work on the Randonee.

Sorry a lot of questions in a small post.
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Old 03-28-09, 09:32 AM
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Perhaps a child carrier on the back and racks on the front for panniers? I've ridden with front panniers only on shopping trips, errands, etc. and it works fine.
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Old 03-28-09, 09:58 AM
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Yeah when I was thinking kid seat, I was thinking cargo goes on the front rack. And kid seats I was looking at required their own rack as well, wouldn't work with just any.

It might be less invasive to just get a trailer for the child, and panniers to work w/ your existing rack. We leave our daughter's trailer at her daycare during the day, although I imagine not all have that kind of storage. Several other people at the daycare leave strollers and carseats (if different people pick up from whoever dropped off...) so they have a bit of space carved out for that.
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Old 03-28-09, 10:07 AM
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+1 What Hardy said. I'm a klutz. I'd worry about falling off my bike, and the child falling too. Most child trailers don't tip when a bike falls over. A two-seater child trailer would even offer room for the books and laptop - and your child would be out of the elements. Just a thought...

Judy
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Old 03-29-09, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the tips.

I can't do a trailer for my kid, not around town. I have a seat that fits on the front of my bike now, but he is getting to big for it. I think I will be going with front mount panniers and a rear mounted seat.
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Old 03-29-09, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ucs308
I can't do a trailer for my kid, not around town.
Mind if I ask why? Just curious.
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Old 03-29-09, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jagraham
+1 What Hardy said. I'm a klutz. I'd worry about falling off my bike, and the child falling too. Most child trailers don't tip when a bike falls over. A two-seater child trailer would even offer room for the books and laptop - and your child would be out of the elements. Just a thought...

Judy
I don't have children but there is no way I would ever ride with a child on the bike itself. I really can't see how some parents have the courage to do this. I have fallen a few times myself and have gotten cut up once or twice. I don't think I could forgive myself if a child got hurt. Now most of my falls were at a slow speed and almost always a problem in not getting my feet out of the clipless pedals in time, so if I did ride with a child, I would probably use platforms.

Also I can't imagine riding with a child (trailer or child seat) anywhere but a bike trail. Whenever I ride on the road, there is always a certain level of concern I have of being hit, a blowout on a steep decent or running off the road. On some roads, it can almost be a fear that I have well under control. I don't think I could enjoy myself if I had a child to worry about.

I am not criticizing people that tour with their small children, I am just saying I don't think I could do it.
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Old 03-29-09, 04:29 PM
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Just by chance or a miracle my kids survived kid's seats on the single and tandem and both in a trailer behind a single and tandem for their first five to seven years until ready to ride the tandem or their own bikes. I used front panniers to balance the child load on the rear rack just fine while commuting and taking them to daycare or school. When able they rode by themselves to and from school for years. [I should report myself for this abusive behavior to some authority I imagine!]

A rant follows:

Some of the fear and anxiety expressed in this thread and others about touring and riding with kids amazes me. Children do not learn about the world while smothered in a cocoon of their parents anxieties. They learn by direct experience ways to adapt to the changing world around them. They need these tools to survive in the world after they leave home.

There have always been dangers in the world around us but the fear syndrome fabricated in this century has paralyzed the thinking of far too many people that I meet or encounter on forums. Fear makes us act with our reptilian brain stem which provides only two options-fight or flight. I prefer to have more choices or options. Give fear based living a rest and do not imprint your kids with it.
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Old 03-29-09, 06:05 PM
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No rant here at all:

Kid on bike falls, if young, odds too great for snapping a neck.

Retired, special education teacher.
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Old 03-29-09, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos
Just by chance or a miracle my kids survived kid's seats on the single and tandem and both in a trailer behind a single and tandem for their first five to seven years until ready to ride the tandem or their own bikes. I used front panniers to balance the child load on the rear rack just fine while commuting and taking them to daycare or school. When able they rode by themselves to and from school for years. [I should report myself for this abusive behavior to some authority I imagine!]

A rant follows:

Some of the fear and anxiety expressed in this thread and others about touring and riding with kids amazes me. Children do not learn about the world while smothered in a cocoon of their parents anxieties. They learn by direct experience ways to adapt to the changing world around them. They need these tools to survive in the world after they leave home.

There have always been dangers in the world around us but the fear syndrome fabricated in this century has paralyzed the thinking of far too many people that I meet or encounter on forums. Fear makes us act with our reptilian brain stem which provides only two options-fight or flight. I prefer to have more choices or options. Give fear based living a rest and do not imprint your kids with it.

Whoa!! WHAT fear and anxiety? I merely expressed a concern and offered an alternate option. Please don't turn this into a "good" parent/"bad" parent thread. I wasn't being judgmental, don't YOU be either.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:52 PM
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jagraham: Please accept my apology if you felt that I was speaking to you. [I would have quoted and replied to you specifically if I had wanted to direct my message to you.]

I was speaking in response to a general feeling I had from a variety of different recent threads on the forum about safety while touring, touring in dangerous Mexico, what weapons to carry while touring, fear of starting touring and others.

I hoped that I was expressing my concerns and my own experience of parenting which is why I prefaced it with the title of "rant" after answering the question posed by ucs308 to separate the rant from the answer.

Maybe I should have started a new thread expressing my concern rather than mixing it into an on going thread. Again this was not a personal statement directed at any individual person.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:27 AM
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No prob - I probably over-reacted. Your rant might make a good spin-off topic - why not give it a go?

Judy
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Old 03-30-09, 08:27 AM
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Back on topic - I did a Google search on "bicycle child seats vs trailers" and was directed to a very informative site:

https://www.ibike.org/education/infant.htm

The site has a some links to child seat manufacturers - some front-mounted seats, some rear. The rack-mounted seat from Topeak appears to use a proprietary rack to be purchased separately - you couldn't use the existing rack on your Randonnee. The Co-Pilot includes a Blackburn rack as part of the package (I'd take your Randonnee rack off your hands for you ). The Kettler Flipper doesn't use a rack at all. All are available in the US.

The downside to these is it doesn't appear that you can use rear panniers in conjunction with these racks, although the Blackburn is designed to handle panniers when the child seat is not in use.

Good luck in your search.

Judy
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Old 03-30-09, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Mind if I ask why? Just curious.
I live in area where a lot of people drive SUV's. And in the last couple of years two children have been killed at pedestrian crossings, near schools, by SUV's. It seems that the height of the vehicle, coupled with the height of the driver created a situation where they driver could not see the child. If a 4ft child cannot be seen then I fear that a bike trailer would be in the same position.

For those with strong opinions:

My view is contextual. I know my town. I know how people drive. I have a little sense of the mix of drivers we have. I know what they drive. And I am aware of the overall level of distraction on the roads here. Add in the sense of my riding abilities and for want of a better phrase, my risk profile. I figure the lowest risk is to take my son in a front mounted bike seat. As time has moved on though my son has indicated an interest/preference, in the way all those 2 years of age register their preferences, in a rear mounted seat, especially for longer rides.

It is an assessment of risk, personal and subjective.

Trying to be clear.. not defensive.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jagraham

The downside to these is it doesn't appear that you can use rear panniers in conjunction with these racks, although the Blackburn is designed to handle panniers when the child seat is not in use.

Good luck in your search.

Judy
I ordered the Topeak rear carrier this morning. I will look for a front rack for the Randonee.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:12 PM
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FWIW I use a Jannd Extreme Front Rack on my Randonnee. It's ugly as sin, but I like the top shelf - I'm able to use both panniers and mount a rack bag on the top. Keeps my digital SLR and lenses handy (and in sight).

Judy
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Old 03-30-09, 04:15 PM
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Bungee cords should keep the kid on the back rack if he doesn't squirm too much. If he's old enough, maybe you can get him to hold the groceries while he's there. If he moves around too much, feed him some beer.

Sounds like you've solved your problem.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jagraham
Your rant might make a good spin-off topic - why not give it a go?
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/525353-trailer-traffic.html
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Old 08-17-09, 12:53 PM
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With reference to the whole child seat vs. trailer issue, I think there is a completely
different attitude to this here in Germany where we live. For people to cycle day-to-day
here is quite the norm, and for moms to cycle with their baby or small child on the back
in a child seat is very very common. You do get a lot of trailers as well, but child carriers
are far more common. That being said we don't live in the city, we live in the suburbs. We
generally only travel on bicycle paths and foot paths, and avaoid busy roads whenever possible.
We have two children, 3 and 2 years old respectively. In the beginning I also bought a trailer,
thinking it would be safer etc etc. But at the end of the day the children just didn't enjoy
it that much, and hated sitting in it for extended periods of time. So I went out and bought
one of these, https://www.britax-roemer.de/fahrrad-.../jockey-relax/, my son absolutely
loves it. And it didn't take long before my little girl would through a tantrum if she had to
sit in the trailer while her brother gets to sit in the child seat, so I had to go out and buy
another one. So now mommy's bike has one, as does daddy's. Neither my wife nor I have ever
fallen whilst the kids are on the back. Maybe we are extra careful, or maybe road users are
generally more cautious here, and are more observant of cyclists,I don't know(and don't want to speculate).
Having said that, I did once let the bike tip over by accident with my son still strapped
in the seat on the back. I'll be honest, he hit the ground pretty
hard, and I felt like absolute s**t for being so negligent. He was however not injured in any
way what so ever, accept for the really big fright he got. The sides of the seat creates a
pretty nice wrap-around affect, for which I'm very thankful. Also the children always wear
helmets, regardless of age, or whether they are in the child seat, trailer or riding their own
bikes(push bikes).
When we do bicycle tours/long weekend trips, we can go for about 90min before the children like
to get off stretch their legs, etc. Sleeping in the child seat can not be
very comfortable, though our little girl has fallen asleep in it before. All slumped over, but
sleeping none the less. Once we've noticed that she'd fallen asleep we would usually stop somewhere
,like a park or such like, throw a sleeping pad on the ground and let her have her 45min
"power-nap" before we carry on to our destination.

In my personal(non scientific, or child-safety expert educated) opinion, child seats are far better,
than the trailers, though I do like the Chariot CTS(https://www.chariot.de/chariot/das-cts-system/) a lot,
too bad it's so damn expensive.
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Old 05-30-11, 01:03 PM
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Just bought a 2009 Randonee myself. Absolutely love the bike! I got a 2.6 year old toddler and she loves riding on my Flatbar Comfort Bike from Costco (using a Bell Cocoon Child Carrier). Now, I want to get a child carrier that'll work with the Randonee's stock rear rack. Does anyone know which one will fit and where to get it online? I'm looking to spend (hopefully) not over $100. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-30-11, 02:08 PM
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ucs308, Watching this thread for suggestions... as I was going to start a similar one myself for my grandchildren. I'm having difficulty finding a child seat that I like that also fits to the OMM rear rack, not a deal breaker as I can mount a child seat w/rack on the same bike their parents rode in a child seat on. Twenty something years ago it was quite common for toddlers to ride in bicycle child seats (in my area), something that seems to have gone out of style, sadly IMHO. I too think a trailer is fine for the sidewalk or a MUP, but not on the streets regardless of how many cute flags are attached or blinkies a blinking... cell 'phones.

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Old 05-30-11, 02:16 PM
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I agree, did a ton of research on what product to get, in the end... I decided on the rear child seat (Bell's Cocoon carrier has extra cover/protection). We've been using it for a couple of weeks now, and my toddler is always having a BLAST whenever we take her for a ride! It probably handles much better compared to towing a trailer, & more practical especially in tight places like a narrow bike trail. If you are confident enough with your riding skills (that you are unlikely to fall/crash), I think it's the safest option.
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Old 05-30-11, 06:04 PM
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You have a step thru frame?, getting a leg over a diamond frame is a chore,
made more difficult with the child seat on the back...

Duck!
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Old 05-31-11, 10:08 AM
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I don't find it difficult (it's a regular diamond frame) since I got long legs. I would need help though if there is nothing I can lean the bike to (like a wall) when strapping in my little girl. Once she's secure, it's easy to get on, I just make sure both brakes are engaged and I'd lean the bike a little towards me to get the right leg over.
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