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Child seats on bikes

kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
edited November 2009 in Commuting chat
As an expectant father I have only one question. Why?

Does bike sense go out the window upon becoming a parent?

Could it just be that, in the case of good dress sense or dancing style, a lot of people just never had any in the first place?

Please tell me I'm not doomed to a life of wobbling around on a half susser with skinny wheels while wearing smart casual and using the seat as a handy place to keep my bag :(
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Posts

  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Personally, I go for a bike trailer:

    3951523102_d56da86926.jpg

    Safer than a child seat:
    http://www.londonskaters.com/cycling/ar ... safety.htm
  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    Please tell me you don't take that contraption on the road.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Why not? What do you think is wrong with doing that?
  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    I'd just be worried about getting rear ended by some knobber in metal box.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Oh, you mean you're worried about taking your own child out in a child seat or child trailer? That's partly why I like child trailers so much - they are super visible, big, and offer lots of protection for the child - did you read the safety report link above? You should see how they modify driver behaviour for the better, it's pretty amazing.

    Cycling's very safe you know, about as safe as walking anywhere.
  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    Kurako, get the trailer, that way you can get the shopping on the way home from the nursery.

    The trailer looks better than a child seat and this way the poor child won't have a rucksack stuck in its face, as I saw a few times on my route during the summer.
  • Another vote for trailers here. Much safer. Most come with a flag as well so there is additional visibility. Bike is easier to ride because the centre of gravity isn't affected. Also, if you should take a tumble, it is unlikely that the trailer will tip. Much more comfortable for the child (especially if they fall asleep) and they can take drinks, snacks, books and toys with them to amuse them on the journey. Their visibility is much improved and with the cover down, they don't get soaked if it's raining. Ours has a mesh on the front as well as plastic cover so if it's not wet, the mesh stops stones and grit being flicked in to their faces.

    As for motorists, most slow down to have a look while they pass and I get much more room granted to me than if I am without the trailer. Saying that, I usualyl stick to cycle paths if I have the trailer because my speed is obviously less when it is attached.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    Cafewanda wrote:
    this way the poor child won't have a rucksack stuck in its face, as I saw a few times on my route during the summer.

    +loads. I often wonder if they realise that the kid's sucking rucksack.
  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    Heh heh! I was originally trying to start a light hearted discussion about how bikes with child seats on the commute tend to be poorly ridden by people who look like total dorks :shock:

    Anyway, I would never consider a child seat a safe option. Been over the bars and had the back wheel kick out enough times to know not to strap a kid on the back of the bike. It kind of reminds me of those BMW scooters with the seat belts which, as pointed out by a motorbiking mate, kind of misses the point of being able to push the bike away in a slide.

    The trailer coupled with the recliner looks like a good laugh. Low centre of gravity and all. Would be brilliant on quieter roads but in London there are just way too many c0cks around.
  • When I choose the kiddie seat rather than the trailer is because:

    1) The trailer is a PITA to get through the shimmy-gates (no idea what they're really called) they put on the shared use path that runs between my house & the nursery & a little harder to park

    2) I notice the extra drag of the empty trailer more on the remaining 6 or 7 miles to work more than the kiddie seat. (maybe I should just be fitter :wink: )

    but whichever I always take it slow & easy, obviously ! Some people may think I look like a knob but next to the cycling kit, flashing helmet :shock: & choice of using something other than a car I suspect I'm already very close to knobdom in their eyes already ...

    I would agree than on balance a trailer is probably the safer option more often though.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    I have two seats, one tag-a-long and a trailer. All good.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    cjcp wrote:
    I have two seats, one tag-a-long and a trailer. All good.

    that must be quite long.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    will3 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    I have two seats, one tag-a-long and a trailer. All good.

    that must be quite long.

    The bike world equivalent of an Aussie road train. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    You see people with two kids on their bikes here.

    One on a child seat attached to the top tube (with optional windscreen)
    With the second one on a child seat on the rack.

    Don't see too many trailers TBH.

    I shudder when I see these people. You should never do it if your a responsible parent. Cycling is dangerous enough in the UK. Then you drag you kid into it by strapping them to a seat which upsets the balance on the bike. Do you think the inconsiderate car drivers pay any more attention to you just because you have a child.
    I suggest not.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • cjcp wrote:
    I have two seats, one tag-a-long and a trailer. All good.

    I often pass a guy with his young son on a tag-along. It always makes me laugh as the tag-along is almost always at a 45° angle, and the kid is hanging on for grim death.

    One day I might stop and tell the father. :twisted:
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Limburger wrote:
    You see people with two kids on their bikes here.

    One on a child seat attached to the top tube (with optional windscreen)
    With the second one on a child seat on the rack.

    Don't see too many trailers TBH.

    I shudder when I see these people. You should never do it if your a responsible parent. Cycling is dangerous enough in the UK. Then you drag you kid into it by strapping them to a seat which upsets the balance on the bike. Do you think the inconsiderate car drivers pay any more attention to you just because you have a child.
    I suggest not.

    Which bit do you disagree with? Two kids on the bike? Or just the one?

    Cycling isn't without risk on the continent either though.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    cjcp wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    You see people with two kids on their bikes here.

    One on a child seat attached to the top tube (with optional windscreen)
    With the second one on a child seat on the rack.

    Don't see too many trailers TBH.

    I shudder when I see these people. You should never do it if your a responsible parent. Cycling is dangerous enough in the UK. Then you drag you kid into it by strapping them to a seat which upsets the balance on the bike. Do you think the inconsiderate car drivers pay any more attention to you just because you have a child.
    I suggest not.

    Which bit do you disagree with? Two kids on the bike? Or just the one?

    Cycling isn't without risk on the continent either though.

    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Limburger wrote:
    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.

    Yes, I understand where you're coming from, but it is going too far because it's too general a comment which doesn't into account the nature of the road you're travelling on, or even the possibility that you're in a park closed off to traffic.

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that we also have a Trikidoo. For those that are interested, great for taking kids to school.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    cjcp wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.

    Yes, I understand where you're coming from, but it is going too far because it's too general a comment which doesn't into account the nature of the road you're travelling on, or even the possibility that you're in a park closed off to traffic.

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that we also have a Trikidoo. For those that are interested, great for taking kids to school.

    Ok fine, but I don't take the argument.
    Cycling is inherently dangerous. I have managed to bin it on various occasions without the assistance of another vehicle.

    There are different levels of risk obviously and whether you chose to take a toddler on a bike is down to your own assessment of that risk.

    Each to their own but it wouldn't be an option for me.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    BentMikey wrote:

    I have a child seat, plus a single and a double trailer, now that I have two kids. I haven't used the child seat since I came off with my eldest in it. She was OK, but I dread to think what would have happened to her fingers if she'd been holding onto the side of the seat :shock:

    I agree with anecdotal evidence that car drivers give you more room with a trailer. I always thought it was just due to it being an unusual sight for the motorist. I'd never considered the idea that drivers view it (incorrectly) as more vulnerable.
  • My brother and sis-in-law use a seat for my niece and are both accomplished cyclists taking things safely etc. The extension that sits are 45 degree's is indeed totally unsafe and it may be we've seen the same one in london cos I certainly winced when I saw it.
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    don_don wrote:
    I have a child seat, plus a single and a double trailer, now that I have two kids. I haven't used the child seat since I came off with my eldest in it. She was OK, but I dread to think what would have happened to her fingers if she'd been holding onto the side of the seat :shock:

    I forgot to say that it was very cold and I hit a patch of black ice immediately outside my house. It was stupid of me to even consider cycling with her in those conditions :roll:
  • UndercoverElephantUndercoverElephant Posts: 5,796
    edited October 2009
    Limburger wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.

    Yes, I understand where you're coming from, but it is going too far because it's too general a comment which doesn't into account the nature of the road you're travelling on, or even the possibility that you're in a park closed off to traffic.

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that we also have a Trikidoo. For those that are interested, great for taking kids to school.

    Ok fine, but I don't take the argument.
    Cycling is inherently dangerous. I have managed to bin it on various occasions without the assistance of another vehicle.

    There are different levels of risk obviously and whether you chose to take a toddler on a bike is down to your own assessment of that risk.

    Each to their own but it wouldn't be an option for me.

    I'm not sure it is "inherently dangerous". In the UK, cycling is three times more likely to get you killed (per billion kms travelled) than going by-car on a non-motorway road. By the same measure, it's also actually safer than walking, and MUCH safer than going by motorbike.

    Whilst I might think it would be irresponsible to take a toddler pillion on a motorbike, I wouldn't remotely say that about walking somewhere.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Limburger wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.

    Yes, I understand where you're coming from, but it is going too far because it's too general a comment which doesn't into account the nature of the road you're travelling on, or even the possibility that you're in a park closed off to traffic.

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that we also have a Trikidoo. For those that are interested, great for taking kids to school.

    Ok fine, but I don't take the argument.
    Cycling is inherently dangerous. I have managed to bin it on various occasions without the assistance of another vehicle.

    There are different levels of risk obviously and whether you chose to take a toddler on a bike is down to your own assessment of that risk.

    Each to their own but it wouldn't be an option for me.

    Lots of things are inherently dangerous though. Driving, for example or even playgrounds. Do you avoid these activities with your children?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Limburger wrote:
    Cycling is inherently dangerous.

    Boll0cks. Cycling is a normal everyday activity.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    Beds. They're the real killer. Look how many people die in beds!
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    cjcp wrote:

    Lots of things are inherently dangerous though. Driving, for example or even playgrounds. Do you avoid these activities with your children?

    dunno about you, but I'd leave the driving until they were certainly too big for a child seat on my bike
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    BentMikey wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Cycling is inherently dangerous.

    Boll0cks. Cycling is a normal everyday activity.

    Yes, good points, Mikey/UE. It was incorrect of me to give the impression that cycling was inherently dangerous in my post. As I said in my earlier post, it depends on the circumstances. That there is a risk present in an activity does not mean that it is dangerous.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    will3 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:

    Lots of things are inherently dangerous though. Driving, for example or even playgrounds. Do you avoid these activities with your children?

    dunno about you, but I'd leave the driving until they were certainly too big for a child seat on my bike

    Seriously, they're girls. Do you think I have any say in the matter whatsoever? They wanna drive, they drive. I just make the breakfast, man.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    Limburger wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Kids strapped to bikes in general.

    Maybe saying the parents are irresponsible is going too far, but I would never dream of doing it.

    I get the same shiver down my spine when I see some scroat run across a busy road pushing a pram rather than wait for the pelicon crossing. Clearly not thinking about thier child.

    Yes, I understand where you're coming from, but it is going too far because it's too general a comment which doesn't into account the nature of the road you're travelling on, or even the possibility that you're in a park closed off to traffic.

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that we also have a Trikidoo. For those that are interested, great for taking kids to school.

    Ok fine, but I don't take the argument.
    Cycling is inherently dangerous. I have managed to bin it on various occasions without the assistance of another vehicle.

    There are different levels of risk obviously and whether you chose to take a toddler on a bike is down to your own assessment of that risk.

    Each to their own but it wouldn't be an option for me.

    I'm not sure it is "inherently dangerous". In the UK, cycling is three times more likely to get you killed (per billion kms travelled) than going by-car on a non-motorway road. By the same measure, it's also actually safer than walking, and MUCH safer than going by motorbike.

    Whilst I might think it would be irresponsible to take a toddler pillion on a motorbike, I wouldn't remotely say that about walking somewhere.

    You have to think about the relative numbers of people carrying out the various activities.
    I approximate that 60 million people walk every day (The UK population estimated). Many fewer people cycle every day with or without children.


    I say inherently dangerous because of the forces involved. If I walk into a wall it is highly unlikely that I would sustain any serious injury.
    If I cycle into a wall there is a great likely hood of injury (assuming i don't 'roll' into said wall.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
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