PDA

View Full Version : Seat for growing child



jrenaut
04-09-2014, 10:01 AM
I'm actually asking for a friend from the kids' school - her daughter is about 42" and 45 pounds and has outgrown the trailer. Are there rear seats you recommend? Should she definitely go the trail-a-bike route? I have sort of this same question myself, but I'm leaning towards an Extracycle or Yuba Mundo, which are obviously much more expensive options.

And before anyone says anything, yes, I've directed her to the ABCs of Family Biking (which I will unfortunately miss because I'll be in CA for the Wine Country Century).

americancyclo
04-09-2014, 10:29 AM
(which I will unfortunately miss because I'll be in CA for the Wine Country Century).
so unfortunate! :p

dasgeh
04-09-2014, 10:46 AM
There are tons of great resources for family biking -- we link to a bunch on the right hand side of kidicalmassarl.blogspot.com (kidicalmassarl.blogspot.com).

I don't know much about seats (and am not a fan of trailers), but I would recommend looking at a WeeHoo -- it's like a trail-a-bike but holds smaller (because you can strap them down) and bigger (because it's recumbant and made for kids with disabilities, so super strong) kids. We always have a number on Kidical Mass rides, and I haven't heard any complaints. They even have a double version now.

If she's interested in a traditional trail-a-bike route, then she might want to look at a FollowMe Tandem or Trail-Gator or similar -- it attaches a regular kids bike to an adult's bike like a trail-a-bike. So you can ride together to the park, then uncouple and the kid has his/her own bike at the park.

Or just get a long tail because its awesome. And because you can buy a Hooptie or Monkey Bars.

mstone
04-09-2014, 10:56 AM
you didn't say what age. For add-ons, I'd go with a weehoo if they're too young to be trusted to stay on the seat, otherwise a regular trail-a-bike has some advantages. In either case, having pedals gives the kid something to do (and at some point they actually start helping). You can move an add-on fairly easily from one bike to another, which is presumably an advantage if you have multiple people who may be doing the hauling. The cargo bikes do look cool, but I haven't used one. They're more compact, which is an advantage.

jrenaut
04-09-2014, 10:57 AM
Ooh, a double WeeHoo. That's pretty cool. Though I think I'd prefer two wheels and two sets of pedals. That looks like a lot of weight on the seatpost.

jrenaut
04-09-2014, 10:58 AM
The kid is about 6, so certainly able to stay upright and help (if not necessarily willing).

americancyclo
04-09-2014, 11:26 AM
That FollowMe tandem is pretty cool, but a lot pricier than the trail gator. Although, I think I'd trust something built in Switzerland over something built in Florida.

mstone
04-09-2014, 11:50 AM
The kid is about 6, so certainly able to stay upright and help (if not necessarily willing).

I'd probably go with a trail-a-bike. Definitely the cheapest option. Or make the kid pedal their own bike. :)

cvcalhoun
04-09-2014, 12:21 PM
Cheap option may be the best right now, as the problem won't last much longer. At 7, my daughter rode her own bike with us from Bethesda to Harper's Ferry and back.


I'd probably go with a trail-a-bike. Definitely the cheapest option. Or make the kid pedal their own bike. :)

vvill
04-09-2014, 12:54 PM
I have a similar decision to make too, if I want to able to keep the kids with me on a bike. My kids don't fit properly in the trailer any more, and I can't seem to get either kid on two wheels by themselves. My thoughts right now are either:

- Xtracycle with Hooptie, since I have two kids. I would really want an e-assist with that setup though I think.
- WeeHoo. At least I can get some assistance, but I can't take both kids unless I went with the double one, which then seems just as part as a massive trailer.

A Bullitt is an option too although I couldn't steer that thing at all when I tried it, and I don't want a small front wheel with all the potholes and bumps everywhere. I also get the impression the long wheelbase isn't ideal for storage, transporting the bike, or rolling hills.

jrenaut
04-09-2014, 12:58 PM
On her own bike will likely wait a bit - it's not distance that's the issue, but bike infrastructure. My kids will be on my bike after they're physically capable of being on their own because that way I have better control over them not being hit by an idiot driver.

hozn
04-09-2014, 02:35 PM
I like the Weehoo and would buy it again, but that is one heavy contraption. The new "5 lbs lighter" version must still weigh 30lbs. Why they didn't use aluminum (or carbon!) is a mystery to me. The rear wheel also looks over-built. And yes, it's a lot of weight / side-to-side forces relatively high up -- and on the seatpost. I fully expect my seatpost to snap at some point :-) Of course, I hope it's engineered so it won't. (And I don't use carbon posts on that bike.) I like the concept, though.

I wish the Weehoo harness were a proper 5-point harness, though I'm not sure how much protection that would offer in case of a crash.

On the bright side, there's little danger of rolling it. Like I did with the Burley yesterday cutting a 90-degree turn. I felt like a pretty irresponsible parent there, riding too fast with the trailer. I felt a little better when I got home and discovered that the outside tire was completely flat (I have changed 3 tubes on that thing in as many weeks!), which I assume was a factor in it rolling to the outside. I'd never had that happen before; the low center of gravity tends to make it very stable. Needless to say my son was rattled by the event, as was I, but save for a dime-size bit of road rash on his elbow (and a hole in the side plastic) he was perfectly fine. The roll cage and harness in the Burley are awesome.

mstone
04-09-2014, 03:08 PM
I like the Weehoo and would buy it again, but that is one heavy contraption. The new "5 lbs lighter" version must still weigh 30lbs. Why they didn't use aluminum (or carbon!) is a mystery to me. The rear wheel also looks over-built. And yes, it's a lot of weight / side-to-side forces relatively high up -- and on the seatpost. I fully expect my seatpost to snap at some point :-) Of course, I hope it's engineered so it won't. (And I don't use carbon posts on that bike.) I like the concept, though.

It's not carbon because it's expensive enough already, same for aluminum. I'm also not sure how much either would actually buy you for this application. Without a major redesign, the long beam which makes up most of the frame needs to be able to resist a concentrated force along most of its length. The usual tricks for lightening structures--reinforcing where needed and thinning where not--just won't work. You could probably shave some weight on the arm that connects to the bike, but probably not all that much, because it still needs to be designed for kids kicking it. The clamps will almost certainly remain heavy & metal. Bottom line is a significant cost increase for a relatively small weight savings, on something that's already a fairly expensive niche product.


I wish the Weehoo harness were a proper 5-point harness, though I'm not sure how much protection that would offer in case of a crash.

I don't think that would add anything except to make it harder to get kids in and out and make them less comfortable. The five point design keeps a passenger from rattling around in a seat, and prevents sideways ejection. If you flip the weehoo or get slammed from the side, the harness isn't going to be making a difference. (There's no roll cage.)

dasgeh
04-09-2014, 03:24 PM
I have a similar decision to make too, if I want to able to keep the kids with me on a bike. My kids don't fit properly in the trailer any more, and I can't seem to get either kid on two wheels by themselves. My thoughts right now are either:

- Xtracycle with Hooptie, since I have two kids. I would really want an e-assist with that setup though I think.
- WeeHoo. At least I can get some assistance, but I can't take both kids unless I went with the double one, which then seems just as part as a massive trailer.

A Bullitt is an option too although I couldn't steer that thing at all when I tried it, and I don't want a small front wheel with all the potholes and bumps everywhere. I also get the impression the long wheelbase isn't ideal for storage, transporting the bike, or rolling hills.

We really, really, really, really love having an e-assist cargo bike (bakfiets.nl from Rolling Orange (http://rollingorangebikes.com/cargobikes/bakfiets-nl/)with a few upgrades, for those new to my raves). Basically, for any trip within 3-5 miles, it's a no brainer -- it can carry anything, it has e-assist if I'm feeling lazy (and/or carrying a lot), it's super comfortable. The rain cover is heavy plastic, which makes it warm for the kids, so you don't have to worry about it. It can fit carseats for when the kids are too little for other seats. It fits 4 kids! It can handle a Costco run. Seriously, it's a car replacement. It's even made to be parked outside. Minimal maintenance. I can't say enough good things about it. The Bullitt is similar and has lots of great attributes. And you could add e-assist to it, too.

I am sure there is healthy demand for used cargo bikes, especially with e-assist, in this area.

I've even considered getting a long tail (or mid-tail (http://yubabikes.com/cargo-bikes/boda-boda/)) with e-assist as my back-up commuter, but considering I don't have disk brakes or fenders on my main commuter, I think I'm going to focus on that first.

hozn
04-09-2014, 03:50 PM
It's not carbon because it's expensive enough already, same for aluminum. I'm also not sure how much either would actually buy you for this application. Without a major redesign, the long beam which makes up most of the frame needs to be able to resist a concentrated force along most of its length. The usual tricks for lightening structures--reinforcing where needed and thinning where not--just won't work. You could probably shave some weight on the arm that connects to the bike, but probably not all that much, because it still needs to be designed for kids kicking it. The clamps will almost certainly remain heavy & metal. Bottom line is a significant cost increase for a relatively small weight savings, on something that's already a fairly expensive niche product.

It just seems odd that I can buy a carbon bike frame for less than the price of a Weehoo. (Not to mention aluminum.) It's got one wheel and a single-speed drivetrain. I'm not arguing that the steel should be lightened, but I'm sure that they could make an aluminum or carbon structure that was as strong (or strong enough) and weighed half as much as the steel.

Anyway, I don't really care about the weight; it is good for training. I just think for $400 one might expect a little more. (Certainly you get a much higher-quality product for $400 from the likes of Burley.)

mstone
04-09-2014, 06:07 PM
It just seems odd that I can buy a carbon bike frame for less than the price of a Weehoo. (Not to mention aluminum.)

1) if you clamped a 65 pound torsional weight to the top tube, it would probably break. the bikes you can safely do that to probably weigh about as much as the weehoo.

2) the reason you can buy a cheap carbon (or aluminum) bike is that the multi-million dollar investment in design and tooling is either amortized across a vast number of bikes, or is a trickle-down obsolete design from a much more expensive bike.


It's got one wheel and a single-speed drivetrain. I'm not arguing that the steel should be lightened, but I'm sure that they could make an aluminum or carbon structure that was as strong (or strong enough) and weighed half as much as the steel.

Not a chance of 50% over steel. The typical weight savings for aluminum is 30% over an equivalent steel design. Carbon is more complicated because you won't see an equivalent design for something like this; the proper comparison for a custom fiber mold would be a custom steel tubing.

This one wheel beam is actually a harder problem to optimize than a diamond frame bike. With a diamond frame you can distribute forces onto multiple tubes, and the primary stresses are all longitudinal to the tubes. With the weehoo you've got a heavy weight in the middle of a long beam. An I-beam would actually be optimal, but there'd maybe be some safety issues with the sharp edges right by the kids' legs. So they went with a tube. The only way to make a tube lighter is to make it thinner. You can't do that here because you need to attach a moving weight to the tube, and a thin wall would crush. Clever engineering could design a structure that's reinforced in the approrpriate places, but that means you're not using an off-the-shelf tube anymore. Then there's the tube that goes from the weehoo to the bike. That's probably the easiest place to save weight, except...that curve. You're not going to easily bend an off the shelf aluminum tube to the proper shape in a safety-critical high-stress part. You could hydroform it, but you're back to serious custom tooling. Bending a stock carbon tube is right out. Now I don't know about you, but after I take off my weehoo, I drop it on the ground. Carbon & aluminum are pretty poor at abrasion resistance, so the bash guard is probably going to remain steel (except it's no longer going to be welded, so you've got additional machining and assembly costs to screw it on). The screws and clamps are going to stay steel for the same reason you don't see carbon or aluminum screws anywhere else on the bike. The bottom line is that keeping the same basic design and swapping out (some of) the steel for aluminum isn't going to save much weight. Maybe 10%? That's less than the 5 pound savings you already poo-pooed. :) It'll come at a cost, also. There's potential for a major redesign and custom tooling to save a lot of weight, but would you buy a $1000 weehoo? A $2000 weehoo? How many other people will? I'd love to see a lighter design, but I think they're doing about as well as they can given all the constraints.


Anyway, I don't really care about the weight; it is good for training. I just think for $400 one might expect a little more. (Certainly you get a much higher-quality product for $400 from the likes of Burley.)

The trailer is honestly a much simpler problem. You could save a ton of weight on the weehoo by attaching at the bike hub and losing the big curving tube...but the weehoo doesn't have two wheels to hold itself upright.

peterw_diy
04-09-2014, 11:23 PM
If she's interested in a traditional trail-a-bike route, then she might want to look at a FollowMe Tandem or Trail-Gator or similar -- it attaches a regular kids bike to an adult's bike like a trail-a-bike. So you can ride together to the park, then uncouple and the kid has his/her own bike at the park.

So much of this seems to come down to timing & developmental windows. A year ago my then-5yo-daughter loved taking the Trail-a-Bike out (as did I). She still likes it, but now often speaks of wanting to ride her bike. I'm about to buy or make a towing tray (http://yubabikes.com/accessories/towing-tray/) for our Mundo so that I can trail her bike (with her on the Mundo rack) when she's tired or when we're on roads I think unsuitable for her to ride. FollowMe and Trail-Gator promise a nice compromise, at least if you have only one kid, or another parent to handle the other kids. I wish I had experience with either of them.

We do love our Mundo. If it were hillier I'd probably really like the Bionx kit. But it's great for our quick trips around town -- longer rides with the kids, shorter rides with both kids & my wife on the back. If you're down Alexandria way, I'd be happy to let you take it out for a spin, though of course you have a few dealers in DC, too. :-)

americancyclo
04-10-2014, 08:50 AM
So much of this seems to come down to timing & developmental windows. A year ago my then-5yo-daughter loved taking the Trail-a-Bike out (as did I). She still likes it, but now often speaks of wanting to ride her bike. I'm about to buy or make a towing tray (http://yubabikes.com/accessories/towing-tray/) for our Mundo so that I can trail her bike (with her on the Mundo rack) when she's tired or when we're on roads I think unsuitable for her to ride. FollowMe and Trail-Gator promise a nice compromise, at least if you have only one kid, or another parent to handle the other kids. I wish I had experience with either of them.

We do love our Mundo. If it were hillier I'd probably really like the Bionx kit. But it's great for our quick trips around town -- longer rides with the kids, shorter rides with both kids & my wife on the back. If you're down Alexandria way, I'd be happy to let you take it out for a spin, though of course you have a few dealers in DC, too. :-)

You can get a wife and two kids on the back of the Mundo?

dasgeh
04-10-2014, 11:37 AM
We do love our Mundo. If it were hillier I'd probably really like the Bionx kit. But it's great for our quick trips around town -- longer rides with the kids, shorter rides with both kids & my wife on the back. If you're down Alexandria way, I'd be happy to let you take it out for a spin, though of course you have a few dealers in DC, too. :-)

So you have an elMundo (the e-version)?!?!? Where did you get it? What do you think? Do you use it to drop kid off and keep going to work? It has recently occurred to me that elMundo could be our next purchase, as (1) I miss having an e-bike alternative to get to work on days when <whine-y voice> I don't wanna </whine-y voice>, (2) it has disc brakes and (I believe) thick tires, which would satisfy my requirements for an all-weather bike, and (3) eventually, I think we'll want something like the elMundo because kids will be going in different directions. If n and $ were unlimited, I would get a Fargo all-weather bike, a one person e-bike with disc brakes and wide tires and an elMundo later, when we need it. But I'm close to convincing myself that I should just get the elMundo now...

americancyclo
04-10-2014, 12:27 PM
So you have an elMundo (the e-version

The 'if' and 'probably' made me think he doesn't, but I am impressed that the mundo is rated for rider plus 440lbs! We could do a double date with that cargo capacity!

peterw_diy
04-10-2014, 12:32 PM
You can get a wife and two kids on the back of the Mundo?
Yep. We all rode together just last night. Why take two vehicles when one will do? :-)

peterw_diy
04-10-2014, 10:21 PM
So you have an elMundo (the e-version)?!?!? Where did you get it? What do you think? Do you use it to drop kid off and keep going to work? It has recently occurred to me that elMundo could be our next purchase, as (1) I miss having an e-bike alternative to get to work on days when <whine-y voice> I don't wanna </whine-y voice>, (2) it has disc brakes and (I believe) thick tires, which would satisfy my requirements for an all-weather bike

No, we have a human-powered Mundo. It felt like a bit of a gamble when we got it, so I wasn't prepared to pay double the price to get the e-assist version. I alternate between wishing I had a Bionx rear wheel and reassuring myself that my ride is more green and helps me with Rule 5.

The stock tires are fat but I think you'd want studded tires for winter. Maybe I've seen too many Michelin baby ads, but I played it safe and kept the Mundo garaged when roads seemed iffy. Probably doesn't help that I've also not gotten around to installing the BB7s I purchased. Also this was its first winter, so I babied it, tried to keep the salt off. And I don't at all like the idea of stripping it down and spraying Frame Saver in all the tubes as I did on my all-weather CX commuter.

I've been pretty impressed with nearly every aspect of the Mundo's design, from the frame design to the individual component choices. The only thing I've replaced so far are the brake pads. The originals were a bit harsh, but that actually worked out OK. I ran them long enough to smooth out the sidewalls (the rear especially had a little seam tick when braking), and then put nicer Kool Stop pads on.

dasgeh
04-11-2014, 10:28 AM
Thanks. Where did you get it?

peterw_diy
04-11-2014, 03:47 PM
Thanks. Where did you get it?

Daily Rider, and I was happy with them. Initially I didn't realize there were dealers in DC and almost bought from a shop in Takoma Park but I balked when that shop wanted $ for installing even the front basket (which is held by 4 easily accessible bolts). The folks at Daily Rider were great.

83(b)
04-11-2014, 04:55 PM
The folks at Daily Rider were great.

I love the Daily Rider folks!