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Carrying 2 children on a bike

SteveEBSteveEB Posts: 21
edited February 2011 in Family & kids cycling forum
I'd like some advice getting the right solution for carrying my 2 children on my bike.

I've been taking my 3 year old daughter to nursery in a Hamax child seat which works out really well and we both enjoy it. It's about half a mile to nursery and then I cycle a further 6 miles to work.

When our newest addition is 6 months old I'll be taking her to nursery too, so I'm exploring our options as I'd love to keep going by bike although my wife thinks it's not realistic.

I wondered about getting a tag-along for the eldest and then using the Hamax for the 6 month old but I'm not sure if a tag-along attached to the back of the bike will then leave enough room for the child seat anyway so perhaps a front mounted seat like a weeride would be better.

Or maybe I'll have to go along with my wife's suggestion. Buy a car, fit it with a cycle carrier, take the kids to nursery in the car then park up and cycle in!

What are your thoughts?

Steve

Posts

  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    Have a look at using one of these in conjunction with the Hamax seat

    http://www.macpac.co.nz/shop/en_nz/gear ... d-carriers
  • aidsoaidso Posts: 493
    Get one of these jobbies: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/adventure-at3-a ... e-trailer/

    Keeps the kids warm when the elements aren't too good and when you get rid of one child at school, you can put your rucksack, laptop or whatever in beside the other one.
  • jeremyrundlejeremyrundle Posts: 1,091
    aidso wrote:
    Get one of these jobbies: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/adventure-at3-a ... e-trailer/

    Keeps the kids warm when the elements aren't too good and when you get rid of one child at school, you can put your rucksack, laptop or whatever in beside the other one.

    And as well seen as a Sinclair C5 :!:
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • SteveEBSteveEB Posts: 21
    owenlars wrote:
    Have a look at using one of these in conjunction with the Hamax seat

    http://www.macpac.co.nz/shop/en_nz/gear ... d-carriers

    Hmmm. Not sure about this. I don't think the rear passenger would appreciate it too much either.
    aidso wrote:

    I don't really fancy getting one of these. I wont have anywhere to leave it after dropping them off and I don't fancy pulling it the rest of the way into work.

    Thank you both for the suggestions though.
  • Ian SimsIan Sims Posts: 735
    Both of my children were riding on the back of a tandem with kiddy cranks just before they turned 4, so maybe the tag-a-long is an option for your daughter soon. The question then becomes the youunger one; can you use the bike seat in conjunction with the tag-a-long, or would a Weeride be a better option?

    The Islabikes trailerbike (http://www.islabikes.co.uk/products/tra ... rbike.html) fits to a rack, rather than the seat pillar, so that might be an option.

    Good luck with finding a solution.

    Ian
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    You'll be worried about keeping your bike balanced if all three of you are on one bike, especially if they're all seated high up. Safety being your primary concern I think you'd be better off trying to tow something.

    I've got a trailer, the children love riding in it though the width may give you cause for concern. Can't you leave it locked up at the nursery and pick it up on the way home?

    One child seat and one tag-along is surely a good solution, though one I have no experience of.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    5356120368_a89d27c1b2.jpg
    TrailGator at the rear (allows for detaching too, so they can ride by themselves when appopriate). BoBike Mini at front.

    We didn't get the BoBike Mini until the little one was over 12m old, however we'd have been unlikely to use it until then anyway, as there's mandatory helmet laws in Australia, and little necks aren't that strong.

    What did we use before then? See CargoBike in my sig.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • SteveEBSteveEB Posts: 21
    Thanks Ian, mr_si and baudman. Yes, I think that some sort of tag-a-long coupled with a child seat might be the best option. The islabike seat rack mounted ones look good and would mean that the rear child seat could still be used. There's some others here too http://www.bikesandtrailers.com/trailer ... index.html
    The tailgator looks good too, because I could then unhook the older child and let her cycle on her own sometimes although I'd need a weeride then. Actually, I like the look of the weeride anyway. Might be better for such a tiny baby. How is bike stability with that kind of setup?
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    There's always a trade-off.

    I'm not a fan of rear-mounted seats, as I don't like where it puts the weight (on the back, up high - bad centre of gravity). So, my preference is something front mounted. Weight is still high, but central. The bike rides more normally. And... you can chat :D (no... seriously, that's a big thing! You can see what they're doing). I also think they're easier to load, and much safer on the occasions when you have to walk your bike with the kid aboard.

    I think the WeeRide is the best one I've seen for really little ones... but it sits back a bit too far for me, so you have to splay your knees quite a bit. (Check on your bike, with your geo). The BoBike mini is mounted on the stem, so it's more forward. But then, you feel it in the steering. I don't mind that, however, but I know others would. The BoBike is really easy to whip on/off too.

    The LOCT unit looks great, but that would be for even older kids I reckon...

    TrailGator? I seriously don't understand why people would want a tagalong, with something like this on the market. Ticks all of the boxes, for me. I can take my (almost) 5 yr old almost anywhere, attached. And, if appropriate, she can ride herself. So... we can ride to a suitable venue and she can unattach. She's starting school this year, so once or twice a week that will be how she gets to school (I'll lock up her bike and keep riding on to work). You see a few negative comments about the place regarding stability, but everyone I know who has used one believes that's just user (or more to the point, installer) error. Make sure it's all lined up dead straight, and tweak it up tight. You can also adjust the angle (via shims) so that the front wheel is an appropriate height off the ground. Some of the other negative comments are regarding the fact that the kid is 'always riding uphill'. So they've never stepped off a road bike, and ridden a MTB? :roll: :lol:

    I'm using it so much, I'm seriously thinking about getting another seat-post clamp so I can swap from bike to bike, so I can mix it up even more.

    Oh... one more thing. You didn't mention what bike you have. Hauling two kids, a triple is almost a must, unless it's flat everywhere you'll want to ride. Drop bars will make it pretty difficult to reach around a front-mounted seat. Flat or riser bars better, but I actually put some hard-rubbish-sourced moustache bars on mine.
    4782045890_214d45543c.jpg
    [Thing1 arrived to the park, attached to Daddy. Thing2 in the BoBike seat. Detached Thing1 and she can do laps, while Daddy provides encouragement/cycling technique tips (Stay left, ring bell, faster before the hill etc) ]

    Oh... and a trailer is not suitable? Useful to carry more than kids too ;)

    Sorry... another bit of an epic post. :oops:
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • SteveEBSteveEB Posts: 21
    Many thanks for that. I think I will get a trailgator and give that a try anyway as it's pretty cheap (and there's loads on ebay). Her current bike is a pretty crappy though so I might need to get her a proper bike. It's this: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165630

    I do like the look of the weeride for the littleun. I prefer it to the others because it's got the little platform where she can rest her little head. Ahhhhh. I need to try one out really though to see if it's suitable for the bike. The LOCT looks brilliant. I wish I'd have got one of those for the oldest girl instead of the rear carrier actually but I didn't know they existed at the time.

    I'm not sure why I don't like the trailer idea. Maybe it looks a little vulnerable.

    My bike is an old Kona Munimula MTB so hopefully the gearing will be ok. It's pretty hilly where I live!

    Steve
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    SteveEB wrote:
    Her current bike is a pretty crappy though so I might need to get her a proper bike. It's this: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165630

    I've seen a trailgator towing similar, 12" bike before. It didn't encourage my use of it - but they didn't seem to mind and loved it.
    SteveEB wrote:
    I do like the look of the weeride for the littleun. I prefer it to the others because it's got the little platform where she can rest her little head.

    Yeah... there's a few others similar, but that's why I think it's the best one for ultra little-uns. By the time they get to 12m. Meh. Their head will flop around anyway if they sleep, just as in a car seat.

    FWIW - we had a trailer prior to having a CargoBike (and prior to having the BoBike/Trailgator setup). I loved it, and ended up passing it on to a friend. Most of the time I rode it in traffic it had shopping (often beer) in it. It was astounding the clearance drivers would give you.

    Keep us posted. I'm sure others would like to see what you finish up with.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • mgnmummgnmum Posts: 4
    Although only a fair weather cyclist myself i have been keen to get our kids into cycling.
    The oldest really struggled with getting off stabilisers till we got her a islabike, so the middle one had a rohan and then progressed to a 12inch islabike and road it 2 miles straight from the box on his 4th birthday. Therefore when number 3 arrived we wanted a sensible solution for her plus middle one on longer journeys.
    After much investigation we invested in a 2nd hand burley trailer plus the universal weber baby seat for it. by far the safest and most comfortable route for <10 month old who can not wear a helmet and can not move themselves about enough once slumped over.
    i easily pull it up quite steep hills, initially with 2 but now only 1 on board. i can fit my buggy ( bought specially as so compact) in the back, plus shopping. have also tied the smallest islabike to the top when middle one wanted a ride.

    I really wouldnt have wanted to put a baby in a bike mounted seat until >1yr due to lack of head control and inability to wear a helmet. With the Weber we took our 4 month old without any problems as they are lying down. It is suitable till 10 months then they can sit in the normal trailer seat.[/img]
  • Hi Steve
    I've been using forward facing seat with my son since he was 6 months old ...I started with the rabbit child seat which is a great little set up for road use and rated up to 15kgs it also has a quick release so you could leave the seat at the nursery ...

    May104.jpg

    Leos 3 yrs old now and I have just bought him a Loct child saddle which we use mainly offroad as we live just up the road from Cannock chase he loves it :D this is a seat recommended for use on bikes with suspension ...

    LOCT001.jpg

    Hope you find what your looking for I must say getting out on the bike with the little fella has been great fun he loves it ...and what with his little balance bike hope to have him peddling his own bike soon :D

    he was 2yrs old in this photo

    201_0034.jpg
  • ndrundru Posts: 382
    I must say that carrying a 6month old on a bike is a bit troublesome. I know because I tired it. The best way is to have a maxicosi and a bakfiets cargobike long unfortunately.
    On the other hand I really recommend getting one - it replaces the car very well, and since you're thinking about getting a car anyway why not treat yourself to a cargobike.
  • SteveEBSteveEB Posts: 21
    Thank you all for the suggestions and some great pics. I'll let you know what I end up with but I'm most drawn towards the TrailGator and front carrier combo but with replace the eldests existing bike with something like an islabike or something else that's decent.

    Steve
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