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View Full Version : Help me find a child seat for my bicycle(s)!



ian74
07-13-2016, 12:50 PM
My son is now 15 months old and it's time to start getting him out and about on the back of my bike. It's very exciting. For right now, my wife and I have decided that we want a seat that attaches to the bike, not a trailer. I'm looking for some recommendations, but of course there are some minor complications that make the decision as to what to buy more difficult.

There are two bikes this needs to go on, one is my Salsa Marrakesh for when I want to take him out, and one is a Trek 7.5FX hybrid with a very small frame that my wife wants to ride. So, one requirement is that it can be easily moved between bikes. Second, my marrakesh came with a rack already on it that I really don't want to take off, the braze-ons for the rack are very high on the rear dropouts and normal sized racks don't fit it very well. As a matter of fact that rack that it came with the bike is made by salsa and ONLY available when you buy this bike. Currently there is no cargo rack on the Trek.

Front mounted seats that go on the handlebars probably won't work since we are short people and our bikes are small. Some videos I've seen shows the seats really interfering with ability to ride with it hitting knees or hard to reach past the seat to the handlebars.

I've found one by Hamax that can clip directly onto a rear rack (and it doesn't have to be a special rack, it fits almost ANY rack) see: http://hamaxusa.com/shop/child-bike-seats/caress/ It also is available with a bracket that attaches to the seat tube. One reviewer on Amazon said it fit over his existing racks when using this bracket.

Topeak ones want you to use a special rack that the seat clips into, and a one at nashbar does too. So that might work, but like I said, I'm not super keen on switching out my rack.

Does anyone have experiences or recommendations? Does anyone have one they want to get rid of on the cheap? My wife is less than thrilled with the prices of some of these and figures something should pop up on craigslist eventually. I'm not quite sure what to do.

Picture of future passenger:
12129

Tim Kelley
07-13-2016, 01:22 PM
I used the Topeak rear setup for years. Super easy to take the seat off and switch between bikes.

Mine has actually been collecting dust since I got the cargo bike, and the rack is for a disc brake setup. Interested?

hozn
07-13-2016, 05:57 PM
I am sure you did lots of consideration to arrive at decision to do the on-bike seat, but it sounds like a trailer would make your lives a lot easier! :-)

Plus in a trailer the kid stays dry when it rains, shaded in the sun, supported when they sleep and upright when you need to walk away from your bike for a minute to get something. (And lots of other pluses.)

But a on-the-bike seat will make it easier to talk to your son while you ride. And those seats are cheaper.

(Having always only used trailers, I can't actually help you with your question :-) .)

ian74
07-13-2016, 07:54 PM
I used the Topeak rear setup for years. Super easy to take the seat off and switch between bikes.

Mine has actually been collecting dust since I got the cargo bike, and the rack is for a disc brake setup. Interested?

I am interested! I'm sending you a PM right now.

Amalitza
07-14-2016, 08:39 AM
I am interested! I'm sending you a PM right now.

If you take Tim's Topeak and need a non-disc-brake rack for one of the bikes, I'm pretty sure I have one gathering dust somewhere in my house. There's a small possibility I donated it to Velocity with a bunch of other stuff, but I think I did not. If you want it, let me know and I'll look around for it.

dasgeh
07-14-2016, 09:52 AM
You might want to ask this on the DC Family Biking FB group.

I don't have much personal experience with rear seats (conventional wisdom is that Yepp and BoBike are the best brands, though from the little know about attachement systems, I don't think they'll work for you).

If a seat doesn't end up working for you, I'd look into a WeeHoo, which is technically a recumbent trail-a-bike. It has a 5 point harness so holds a kid in, and is designed to hold kids up to 80 lbs (about 9 years old). It uses an adapter that sits on the seat tube, and is easy to attach/detach/switch between bikes once the adapter is on the bikes. Full disclosure: I am not a fan of bike trailers.

Finally, hopefully you can get the seat worked out by Sunday, July 24, for Kidical Mass Arlington's Junior Park Ranger ride!!! (I'm about to announce it - I'll update here with details once I get that all up!)

hozn
07-14-2016, 11:03 AM
+1 for the Weehoo; we have one from a few years back and enjoy using it. If you'd like to borrow a Weehoo for a week or two, just let me know.

I will say that the Weehoo is probably not going to fit your son yet. Also, it only has a 3-point harness. In general, I consider the Weehoo a great thing to take out on the weekend as my 2-year-old really enjoys it vs. the trailer that is kinda boring since he rides in that every day from school.

If safety is a concern, a trailer feels much safer than the Weehoo: far more stable, full "roll cage", much better harnesses. Plus the weather-proofing and sleep support. Also trailers are lighter. But the Weehoo is definitely fun and I'm glad we have one.

Of course, I look forward to the day when I can sell our trailer and the Weehoo to free up room for more bikes! :) [when the kids can both ride independently for 10-20 miles at a reasonable pace]. Of course, the "more bikes" will be at least 1 more kids bike that is too large to just sit on the floor under the other hanging bikes.

ian74
07-14-2016, 12:41 PM
If you take Tim's Topeak and need a non-disc-brake rack for one of the bikes, I'm pretty sure I have one gathering dust somewhere in my house. There's a small possibility I donated it to Velocity with a bunch of other stuff, but I think I did not. If you want it, let me know and I'll look around for it.

Amalitza! Sweet! I asked Tim if the disc version one would fit on a bike with no discs, since the Trek hybrid doesn't have them. If it won't work on that bike, perhaps you could look around to see if you have the non-disc one around? You guys are so awesome btw.

dasgeh
07-14-2016, 02:54 PM
I will say that the Weehoo is probably not going to fit your son yet. Also, it only has a 3-point harness. In general, I consider the Weehoo a great thing to take out on the weekend as my 2-year-old really enjoys it vs. the trailer that is kinda boring since he rides in that every day from school.


There are more options on newer models.

hozn
07-14-2016, 04:32 PM
There are more options on newer models.
Ah, ok. I haven't tracked the recent model years. Hopefully they lightened it up!

oldbikechick
07-14-2016, 11:20 PM
We had a Hamax bike seat and really liked it. It was an older model than what they have now, but similar idea. It's great that you can buy them in the US now! We lost a part to ours that we had purchased overseas and had to "improvise" since we couldn't find any here at the time. I believe we had the frame mount and used it on a bike that had a rack, but it fit over. The key was that it should not rest on the rack at all. At least the one we had. It was very easy to attach and remove the seat from the bracket. If you wanted to move it between bikes, you could get two brackets. Our kids fit in it up to a pretty big size (age 3 or so), the main challenge being the unwieldiness (sp?) as the kid gets heavier.

Amalitza
07-15-2016, 10:16 AM
I do have the topeak. Let me know if you want it. I'll be out of town most of the next week, but will be back by next weekend.

Judd
07-15-2016, 11:01 AM
This thread fills me with joy. I love how willing people are to lend/give bikes/equipment to each other.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

dasgeh
07-15-2016, 02:17 PM
Finally, hopefully you can get the seat worked out by Sunday, July 24, for Kidical Mass Arlington's Junior Park Ranger ride!!! (I'm about to announce it - I'll update here with details once I get that all up!)

Details!
http://kidicalmassarl.blogspot.com/2016/07/kidical-mass-arlington-junior-park.html


Kidical Mass Arlington Junior Park Ranger Ride: Sunday, July 24 9:30am
This month, Kidical Mass Arlington will Find Its Park and our riders will become Junior Park Rangers!!!


The National Park Service has a little birthday coming up, and to help them celebrate, we're going to ride around Arlington's own national park: the GW Memorial Park. This route hits the close-in highlights of the park that is lovingly called George Washington Memorial Parkway: We'll start at the Marine Corps War Memorial ("Iwo Jima"), then bike to the Netherlands Carillon. We'll then take trails to the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove, and then ride on the Mt Vernon Trail back to Theodore Roosevelt Island. In a little twist to the normal Kidical Mass Arlington ride, we will stop at all of the parks!

And there's more! BikeArlington and NPS Park Rangers have organized some activities for us -- we'll do a few activities at each park. At the end of the ride, all of the riders will have earned Junior Park Ranger credentials for the GW Parkway. Yay!


The route is on the longer side and hillier side for one of our rides, but there will be stops. The route is all on trail, though there are some places where we'll cross streets in crosswalks - we'll be careful there. We can expect the Mt Vernon Trail to be used by others, and we will be respectful to others, staying to the right and allowing others to pass. Kids on their own bikes must be able to follow directions well. Expect the whole ride to last 60-90 minutes. Bring snacks and water to last to the end.

After the ride, families may wish to spend more time on TR Island. The route back from TR Island to Iwo Jima is a little less than a mile, and involves a short, steep hill. Through Rosslyn, families may be more comfortable biking on the sidewalk, though the roads are medium stress.

When: Sunday, July 24, 2016 9:30am (activities start at 9:30am!)

Meet: US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) N Meade St & Arlington Blvd; Arlington

Parking: On the surrounding residential streets.

End: Theodore Roosevelt Island

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14922725

All are welcome. Hope to see you there!