/ Childs bike trailer or bike seat?
We have an 8 month old and we want get back out on our mountain bikes. Can anyone recommend a childs bike trailer or bike seat? does anyone have a experience of either and help point us in the right direction.
We used a Croozer single trailer from when my daughter was 6 months old but sacked that in favour of a Weeride Kangaroo bar mounted seat carrier. Reason we got rid of the trailer is that the kids seat did the same thing, less space, less money, easy to store the bike with the seat on etc
Daughter loved it and used to fall asleep with her head on the wee head rest! Highly recommend it. I used it on my GT Avalanche and the wifey used it on her Trek.
I used a Bobike Mini front mounted child seat seat with my two.
It was good from when they could sit up un-aided until about 3 year old, (my two are both quite small)
really good even for simple single track. doesn't upset your balance nearly as much as a rear carrier and you are much more in contact with your child throughout the journey.
I'm selling mine now with the "A-head" mounting bracket you need for a Mountain bike. PM me if you are interested.
Trailer Pros - Good protection, both from weather and accident. Space for two kids and some luggage. Can use for carrying kit on it's own too.
Cons - more expensive than a seat, heavier and less easy to stash, not easy to communicate with child while they are in trailer.
Seat Pros - Can chat with child, lighter and easier to store than trailer
Cons - Less protection in case of accident or weather. Not so easy for child to have toy or snack on the go. On a rear seat they can reach forward and pull down the back of your trousers! No space for luggage.
I have a Yepp seat set up on an old MTB, a stumpjumper hardtail. The Yepp mini seat is one that fits on the front. My daughter is now 13 months but was in the seat from 9 months. A front perspex screen (an optional extra) gives some wind protection. It was a bit of a fiddle to get it mounted on an aheadset-type MTB stem. In the end an extension sleeve to the steering tube worked well, including giving good clearance for the cyclists legs. The bike rides well, even with 20+ extra kilos of shopping in pannier bags. We've been doing trips in all weathers & looking forward to summer.
We got a mounted child seat because I was worried about going on the road (to get to the forest) with a trailer in case cars didn't see it - but I notice that no one worried about that so maybe it wasn't a valid concern.
I use a Croozer trailer and a Hamax rear seat either seperately or together and they both have their place for different uses.
Trailer is great for two kids plus a picnic, buckets and spades, kitchen sink etc. It's not so good if riding by yourself on the road or if you are going to have to negotiate awkward access controls and chicanes on some cycle paths. If you have another adult riding with you and you're on quiet roads, they can act as the outrider at the back of the trailer to give more visibility. I would not recommend this though for busy roads or long stretches of road. In summary, you need to choose your route carefully. Very comfy for kids and sleeping not an issue. Good trailers bought second hand hold their value very well.
Child seat is much better for convenience, utility trips or quick trips to school or the park etc. Not so good for a sleeping child but this is usually my concern not my kids' - they don't seem to mind their head lolling around as much as I do. Impossible to carry panniers with a rear mounted seat so I have to use a low profile rucksack that doesn't jut out too close to their face. Rear seats are cheap and readily available second hand. Awkward access controls are not usually an issue with a bike seat but handling the bike particularly when dismounted can be tricky at first and you must never take your hands off the bike with the child in the seat as at some point it will go over quicker than you can catch it.
Eldest is starting to ride her own pedal bike now so considering a Follow Me hitch. Has anyone used one of these?
Another vote for the CoPilot. Fit a Blackburn rack and your away. Seat easy to fit after that and it doesn't have the bounce a lot of other seats have.
The do find giving you a wedgie a right good laugh though....
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