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bike seat or trailer, which is safer?

(24 Posts)
MamaChris Sat 14-Mar-09 07:55:05

ds is 13 months. I've read that a trailer is safer for a child (less far to fall in event of a crash), but putting a child at the same height as car bumpers and exhausts goes against all my instincts. what's your experience?

we use some main roads, mostly with cycle lanes (but most of these not quite as wide as a trailer). hopefully we'd be able to cycle along the river for day trips. ideally we would like to be able to transfer seat/trailer between my and dp's bikes, but I think that's not likely to be possible with a seat, at least.

singalongamumum Sat 14-Mar-09 09:35:47

I have a seat (DS 17mo) and my friend has a trailer...

I too have read that it's better to have less far to fall in case of an accident, but agree with you re. exhausts etc- also I felt concerned about visibility, although this is probably just me being a bit daft! In the end, there didn't seem to be a huge amount of difference safety wise so I chose the seat because I have nowhere to store the bike with the trailer on, and would have to fix it onto the bike every time we went out and I felt this would prevent me from using the bike at all. It's also less hassle when you park up somewhere because you don't have to unattach it every time, whereas my friend has to flaff with the trailer whenever we arrive at the park. That said, she has a load more handy storage room than me which is very convenient and also somewhere for her DS to sit and chill out/ sleep while we're out if he needs to.

I have been surprised and delighted at how secure the bike seat feels- my DS loves it and although he is behind me I am still able to talk to him, and he makes suitably appreciative noises going downhill etc! The bike feels stable and I absolutely love going out with him on it. grin

We have a Hamax Siesta which fits on very easily, and you can buy an extra fixing attachment for a second bike, then easily swap the seat between the 2.

Hope that helps smile

JustCallMeGoat Sat 14-Mar-09 09:37:50

bike seat is handier in terms of security etc. i can understand why a trailer is safer but i always used a seat.

MamaChris Sat 14-Mar-09 10:29:32

thanks - hadn't even thought about storing the trailer - that decides it!

an extra fixing attachment sounds like a good plan, but our local bike shop doesn't sell them (only avenir). is it easy to fix ourselves? and what kind of bike do you have? (we have 1 mountain bike, 1 hybrid)

singalongamumum Sat 14-Mar-09 16:37:33

I have a mountain bike. The seat we have will fit any bike pretty much and was really easy to fit.

Good luck!

mumblecrumble Sun 15-Mar-09 00:35:04



thirtypence Sun 15-Mar-09 00:38:06

You can hear your child in distress on a seat. You can't in a trailer.

In themselves they are not deathtraps - if you cycle on cycle paths all the time they would probably be as close to 100% safe as you can get. It's the cars that make them unsafe.

gomez Sun 15-Mar-09 00:46:09

I struggle with the balance thing with seat but am only 5'2". trailer however was always good - in fact used it for the first time this year on Thursday with DS (2.5) and DD2 (4.5) and forgot how much fun! But it a tight squeeze and don't thing I will manage to get both in it this summer.

But I live in an area with fairly quiet roads and am a fairly powerful cyclist which helps. I find motorist will give a trailer with flag etc. far more space than a bike.

Good luck.

MamaChris Sun 15-Mar-09 10:28:44

woohoo! We got a seat (Hamax Sleepy) and went for our first family cycle this morning lovely to be out together on our bikes again. whilst ds didn't seem to dislike it, it will be even better when it's warmed up a bit I think.

sarah293 Sun 15-Mar-09 10:34:41

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sarah293 Sun 15-Mar-09 10:35:35

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MamaChris Sun 15-Mar-09 20:09:57

sounds like a good plan Riven - I like those bikes where kids sit at the front - they get to see so much more

singalongamumum Mon 16-Mar-09 08:31:43

Good for you mamachris- glad you enjoyed it!

I bet your DD will love it Riven. I don;t think they're death traps myself. Obviously, you have to be careful but we are, aren't we?

Blottedcopybook Mon 16-Mar-09 08:50:36

I live in a town where I can get anywhere I need to go on a cycle path so I don't worry about roads/exhausts etc. We have a trailer and I can hear the kids fine if they call for me - my decision to get a trailer could possibly have been made because I have two toddlers right enough, but they love their trailer and I find it really easy to use.

sarah293 Mon 16-Mar-09 12:15:34

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lljkk Fri 20-Mar-09 10:13:45

I can hear DC perfectly well whinging in distress in the bike trailer.
Easier to nip thru traffic with a seat, cars don't end up passing too close.

But the trailer is more comfortable. I have fallen over on bike with both seat and trailer. With seat, the child cries but seems unharmed (sometimes a little scrape or bruise). With trailer the child just watches you with bemusement.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 20-Mar-09 10:22:00

Can I just ask anybody who uses a trailer to make sure there's a bright, tall flag on it. There's a family around us who go on the roads (fast, busy ones)on their bikes with a trailer but it has no flag and it can be very hard to see.

mloo Fri 20-Mar-09 15:30:54

Problem with the flag is it's a bit of a hazard. It's just above adult eye height, gets in the way as soon as I'm off the road -- especially somewhere busy like the school yard. And it gets in the way in the garage where trailer is stored.
Admittedly, I haven't used it for the school run in a while now, so maybe I'll get it back out.

abroadandmisunderstood Fri 20-Mar-09 15:50:58

I love my trailer and both boys fit in it (4yo and 1yo). Trailers are part of the kindergarten life so come 8am, there are almost 100 of them zipping around our little town. Every car driver is used to them as a form of transport and I have never seen any even minor scrapes.

(Mind you you're allowed to cycle on the pavements here so that helps with any safety issues).

You can hear your children perfectly in them, I must add.

RosebudIncubator Tue 09-Jun-09 09:41:16

abroadandmisunderstood- where do you live that trailers are so common?

We are looking into getting a trailer. The ones I have looked at seem to fold nicely, so we will be able to store it when not in use.

My huge concern is having the kids (8mth & 2yr) in the trailer at car bumper and more importantly car exhaust level. Any thoughts on this?

Does anyone know of a trailer in which the kids sit a bit higher?

Takver Tue 09-Jun-09 12:57:46

I don't know if this helps, but I've come off my bike fast downhill with dd in a rear child seat (a car misjudged distances & pushed us off the road, and I was going too fast in the wet with an overloaded bike) - I was pretty scraped up & bruised, but dd was completely unharmed, she didn't even cry, the seats really do wrap right around them. Clearly I wouldn't recommend the experience, but I was very reassured about their safety.

sarah293 Wed 10-Jun-09 19:28:14

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onetowatch Thu 11-Jun-09 17:45:08

Riven, I would love your cycle seat and could collect - how do I get in touch?

BlueChampagne Fri 19-Jun-09 13:17:58

If you're going to be cycling in the dark, especially if anywhere unlit, plaster yourselves in lights and fluoresence so everyone knows you're wider than a single bike. It's one of the reasons I went for a bike seat rather than a trailer.

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