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Bike Seat for a toddler - Co-pilot or similar?

(10 Posts)
IdreamofClooney Mon 10-Sep-07 09:48:13

Hi

I am very keen to get a bike seat for my toddler so that I can cycle to work.

I've had a lot of conflicting advice about this and was hoping that someone on here would be able to help.

I have a 10 year old ladies mountain bike and was told that I would not be able to get on of the seats that attach to the frame so need to get one that attaches to a rack.

DS is 14kg and I think that the seats go up to 18kg so should be able to use it for a couple of years. The ones I am looking at are very expensive - around £100 so don;t want to make a mistake.

Any advice would be much appreciated/

Thanks alot

frogs Mon 10-Sep-07 10:09:08

For a toddler you need one of the seats that attaches to the rack, ie. the child is behind you. Hamax and Pilot are well-known brands. The other option is one of those little seats on the top tube like this. But they are less comfortable for long journeys and will not fit all adults cycles.

Go to a good bike shop that has a range of kids bikes as well as £900 mountain bikes, and get them to talk you through it. If they don't seem to know what they're talking about, or are snotty to you, go elsewhere. Not all bike shops are geared up for kids stuff.

This is a good site with general info on cycling with children. If you google 'Child cycle seats" and click around for a bit you should be able to pre-inform yourself before your visit to the bike shop.

hth

IdreamofClooney Mon 10-Sep-07 10:15:49

Thanks Frogs that is very helpful.

I think that one of the rear ones will be the safest as I am a bit nervous about the safety aspect.

Am hoping I will end up with thighs of steel!

Hansmummy Mon 10-Sep-07 10:18:50

Hamax are brilliant and come with a rack so that they can attach to a mountain bike-the only prob you will encounter is if you have suspension on the back of the bike frame.

The seats that go in front of you aren't good for older kiddies as you can't see over their helmet or get your arms round them to change gear/brake etc.

I was really interested in getting a trailer but have heard such scary things from drivers about them I've gone off the idea, but the rear mounted child seats are great and even come with their own suspension nowadays! It's best to go for a high range one though-price really is quality with child seats-I've learnt from experience!

frogs Mon 10-Sep-07 10:32:21

I have been using my (now elderly) Hamax seat since dd1 was 10 months old. She's now 12, and the seat is still doing service for my 3yo.

If you work out how much money you will save in bus fares/petrol/tube fares, the payback time for even a high-end seat is not that long. Mine must have saved me at least a high three-figure sum over the 11 years I've been using it. You can sell them on once you're done, as well.

If you're planning to do long journeys, consider getting a seat that reclines. Ours is very upright, and if they fall asleep their little heads bob about rather disconcertingly, usually flopping against your back. Wrt safety, you need a good helmet (obviously), and work out a good back street route before setting off. If you're in London, the tfl journey planner will work out cycle routes for you, tho' I don't always agree with their suggestions. Also work out what you're going to do with your own luggage, as the rack will be taken up by the child seat. If you have a large backpack, you may find your child's face is uncomfortably close the backpack when you're all in position. I have a system for hanging bags off the back of the seat, but it needs thinking about. A front-mounted basked would probably be better.

IdreamofClooney Mon 10-Sep-07 10:55:20

Thanks a lot for tips - I will have a look at the hamax one then.

I think I;ll get a front basket as well as I thought that my back pack may be right in DS's face.

We are in Edinburgh so not too busy but willneed to go on the main road for a bit as need to get over the railway and the rest of the time I'll go on the back streets./

I think DS will love it as he loves pointing to bikes. We are quite far from a park to get him a bike of his own and for him to be able to actually cycle anywhere!

Rhumba Mon 10-Sep-07 14:01:30

have you tried the edinburgh cycle co-operative in the meadows. they have a website too. We got our bikes there and they seem to be very helpful and reasonably priced. use the Hamax for ours and found it really good. you can also get a spare bit so that if anyone else want to take the child out on a regualr basis you can both have the bit that attaches to the bike that the seat goes into

if that makes sense....

frogs Mon 10-Sep-07 14:35:01

IME the children really like being on the bike, as they are much higher up than in a buggy, so can see more of what's going on, but not so cut off from things as they are in a car.

My Hamax is a very old model, so wasn't intended as a recommendation for current models, but they seem to be a generally reliable and high-quality brand. Don't forget the helmet though, will you? I do occasionally see people cycling with helmetless kids, which gives me the heebie-jeebies. And a decent waterproof, for the horizontal Edinburgh rain...

smile

IdreamofClooney Tue 11-Sep-07 12:35:11

I am definitely getting DS a helmet - reckon if I can get a Thomas the tank engine one he will want to wear it! I will even wear mine religiously too to set a good example. Am going to get him an all in one thing from the great little trading (think will get age four for him to grow into as so expensive!)

I have seen tons of people cycling with children with no helmet on - mad.

The worst thing I ever say was a family out for a cycle - the mum had a toddler on her bike - in a suitable seat - the Dad had, wait for it, a *new born baby in a baby bjorn sling* seriosly - no helmet on the baby nothing. I laughed at the instructions on my sling with diagrams of people skiing and horse riding with babies in a sling strapped to them and red crosses through them but some people would acutally ride a bike on a main road with a baby in a sling. Passers by were oohing and awwing at the sight of a lovely family on a bike ride - I was stunned!

frogs Tue 11-Sep-07 14:22:06

IDC -- the muddy puddles stuff is great, and we have family living in the deepest country, so use them a lot. I'd be a bit cautious of the all-in-ones for cycling, though -- bit of a faff to get on if it suddenly starts drizzling. The no. of days where it really really pours are actually quite few -- you notice these things when you cycle a lot! I'd go for the jacket to carry in your bag for sudden downpours, with the dungarees or trousers for really wet days and playing in the mud. They're better for muddy days in the summer as well -- the all-in-ones get a bit hot.

And don't buy a size up -- they come up really really massive. My children are tall so usually go a size up in eg. Boden, but not in Muddy Puddles. 2nd hand muddy puddles stuff turns up on ebay quite a bit if you want to save cash.

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