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Changing a MTB to be more child friendly

mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
I have a 1993 specialized rockhopper pro with front suspension. This was my pride and joy when I was a kid.

Fast forward many years and with 2 kids, I've been given a bike seat. Now I ride a carbon road bike and totally forgot how heavy an old MTB can be with a 12kg child on the back. Ive since given the bike a service.

What I wanted to ask is, is it worth keeping the MTB and modify with removing the triple, changing tyres into more useful tread instead of knobbly tyres and removal of the suspension fork. Or to just buy a new hybrid type bike from Decathlon or the like.

Ive tried putting the Hamax on an older carbon bike, but worried about the stress on the frame so opted not to ride it too often.

The other option was to build a simple single speed bike which can house the hamax at the rear for the 3 year old and a front seat by handlebars for the 6 month old?

Or am I being too ambitious and trying to cater too much on 1 bike? Space is limited at home so cant warrant the space for a rear buggy type attachement on the bike.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
N2 - SW1

Canyon Endurace 9.0

Posts

  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,153
    Just give it a service and pump the tyres up to reduce the rolling resistance. If the tyres are worn replace with road boassed tyres. Can you lock out the suspension? If so do.

    Riding with a child is a local pootle so you don't need to go fast. You will want the low gears with the extra weight and slow speed. You'll wnat to lock it up places and stop for train tracks, ducks, chatting to other parents etc.

    Save your money for nappies / days out / food. I already had a pub bike hybrid to use, I did lower the seat to be able to get my foot down more easily, and recently replaced the drivechain as the chain was stretched beyond safe limits.
  • mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
    Cheers Alan. I have serviced the bike and installed less knobbly tyres in the shape of conti tyres. Im debating to switch out the front suspension and replace with a normal fork to reduce weight.

    What I did find a little annoying was that the seat was possibly too low and my heel would drag against the child seat footrest. However have adjusted this since. Drivechain does need changing which I will get round to at the weekend.

    My only issue was the weight, but I will continue to tinker with it. :)
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,219
    As Alan says,just remember they don't stay little for long. Doesn't seem that long since my youngest was on a tagalong bike, he now has a road bike and a mtb and comes out with me when he wants to. Enjoy the gentler ride with them, then make up for it when on the road bike on your own.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
    Ha understood. The eldest turns 3 in August and I have been thinking of just getting her an islabike and I can run along.

    I will make use of the mtb for now. :)
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    My wife's MTB, a Spesh of about the same vintage, has been used for the youngest for a few years (he's 4 now) and will shortly be transport for the school run. Steco Safety rack, Yepp seat and off they go.

    It is quite heavy, but they don't exactly go fast. For holidays and longer runs we use the Croozer (towed by me on the Dawes or us on the tandem) and she has a tourer and a road bike.

    We're lucky in having a very big shed ....

    [Edit]: Re tyres, my default choice is always Conti, but with the Travel Contacts she was getting a lot of punctures - routes taken with kids tend to be specially laid with glass and thorns. So swapped for Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB and all good.
  • mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
    Thanks for the updates. I would never intend to cycle fast on the MTB, but its for other road users to be more aware. Not something I normally fear when I'm on the road bike, but do feel more pressure when on the MTB. Maybe because I feel slower and riding more defensively.

    Need to change the downhill bar to a nicer wider bar at some point. Now I have a bike stand will make it easier to work on things :)
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,153
    Maybe because I feel slower and riding more defensively.

    I agree! Very much so!

    I have cycled across Putney Bridge on the pavement as I didn't feel safe on the road going slowly with the child on board. Also tend to choose different routes (even avoiding the road in Richmond Park as the Mamils pass too close to allow for a wobble). For the avoidance of doubt I too am a Mamil when not with the child.

    It is a different cycling experience, and I love it.
  • mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
    Cheers Alan. Im north London so traffic isn't as bad as south.

    I actually forget I can ride over manhole covers, small potholes that I normally avoid whilst on the road bike. It is liberating in a way. Have yet to take my daughter off road on the MTB, but she finds it fun.

    Weekend forecast is rain, Perfect time to sort out the handle bars, source a correct fork too.
    N2 - SW1

    Canyon Endurace 9.0
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