/ child front bike seat vs trailer - advice please

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The Potato - on 16 May 2017
Hi all, Ive currently got a Hamax kiss bike seat that mounts on the downtube, and my little boy seems very happy in it, however I find it really hard to keep balance as hes a big blob at 16.5kg (+ 3.5kg for the seat).
Im considering the Wee ride classic which is a front mounted type and is reportedly more stable, also looking at a single buggy trailer.
Ill be hoping to take him on easy trails, tracks and path, hence why a seat would be easier but Ive hired a trailer before on holiday and it was quite fun, but a bit more restrictive as to where you can go with it.

Can anybody offer their experience and suggestions on the above please?
Tia.
Dave B on 16 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Definitely try the weeride on your bike. It certainly didn't work for me, as I would have been crushing the boy when he was sat on it....

I kept with the back seat, but I know what you mean about balance. Never ever let the front wheel go of the ground.
Tricky Dicky - on 16 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

The Wee Rides are like marmite, I just couldn't get on with it as it forced my knees out sideways. As suggested, see if you can try one first.................

Have you tried adjusting the Hamax in order to adjust the balance???
The Potato - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Tricky Dicky:

ah good point about legs/knees Id forgotten about that, yes i suspect that would be a big issue for me then.
Yeah had the Hamax in different positions. Ok so looks like trailer is more feasible. I wonder what sort of terrain it could manage, forestry roads, reservoir paths? Might have to fit it with 29er wheels....
Sealwife - on 16 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Have never used a Weeride, but did use a Hamax and a trailer (and a tag-along later on), and looked into the Weeride at the time.

Pros and cons I can think of

Weeride
Pros - you can see your child, hear them and easily tell if they are happy, it's sociable
Cons - like others have said, some people can't pedal with one installed, if your child is big, you'll struggle to see over them, if they fall asleep leaning out of it you have a problem, the child takes full brunt of weather, flies, wind, grit etc

Trailer
Pros - More weather protection, you can carry some luggage as well, or another child
Cons - you can't see or hear your child all that well (esp if it's closed up when raining), it's a right pain if you have two kids in there and they start fighting. It's wider and takes up more space.

Not sure I'd be too worried about where you can go. My other half happily towed our two oldest children up to both White Bridge and Derry Lodge in the Cairngorms (tracks but fairly stoney in places) in our second hand Burley D'Lite trailer. Kids both fell asleep, which was pretty much standard when out on the bike. They'd perk up at the destination and we'd both be knackered!
The Potato - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Sealwife:

thanks, thats generally useful, the D lite certainly looks the dogs, but I wouldnt be spending that much on one with suspension just a bog standard fold up one like the Halfords single.

Another benefit (for others reading this out of interest) with a trailer is that the child can have food, drink, toys, blanket etc in there too. My 2yo called it his caravan when we rented one and he was rather sad when we had to return it in Bluestone park.


Kermi - on 16 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:
We used a Hamax, Weeride and Chariot CX2 for the different ages/stages of our 2 small ones. They were all useful depending on what we were doing. The thing we liked about the trailer (Chariot CX2) is that we could convert it to a buggy. Useful when on holiday as we could ride to a destination and then push the kids around. The Hamax was useful for more local travel as you can just clip it on but as mentioned you need to keep the front wheel down. We did change from the straight support bar to the stepped one to get more clearance on the bike. It started hitting the back wheel when bouncing over less than flat surfaces. Hope this helps. (Edit - OUCH. Just looked up the CX2. Chariot have been bought out by Thule. We got ours from eBay at a much cheaper price)
Post edited at 16:33
Stig - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Sealwife:

> Have never used a Weeride, but did use a Hamax and a trailer (and a tag-along later on), and looked into the Weeride at the time.Pros and cons I can think ofWeeridePros - you can see your child, hear them and easily tell if they are happy, it's sociableCons - like others have said, some people can't pedal with one installed, if your child is big, you'll struggle to see over them, if they fall asleep leaning out of it you have a problem, the child takes full brunt of weather, flies, wind, grit et

Yeah that's about right. I loved our wee-ride as did both my kids but I didn't use to clip in to my pedals as your knees are forced out and I had more flexibility in trainers. Both kids slept in the weeride no problem though - I thought that was what the headrest is for? But my wife, and my sister, didn't get on with the weeride at all.
beardy mike - on 16 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

We first tried a seat like you have which was OK but like you say unbalanced. Then we borrowed the sister in laws rack mounted seat - even more unbalanced especially if you have to push the bike anywhere. In the end we got a single wheel weehoo trailer - it's awesome! The only thing I don't like about it is the weight as it's made from steel. These things go from about 2 - 7 and they have a pedal system so thy can push with you to help. Doesn't happen that much to start with but Alfred who is now 4 pushes like crazy and you can notice the difference. The great thing is that if you take it off road, because it's a single wheel, bar making a slight adjustment to the lines you pick, it pretty much goes where you go without bouncing him around. It's like a recumbant o no danger of them falling out, the only thing is they catch any mud off your back wheel. So much fun. He's graduated to his own bike but if you want to go for longer rides, this is the job. I've done 25km on a mini pub crawl with him (him on appletise me sampling an IPA) and although it was hard work, couldn't have done it with out...
Ridge - on 16 May 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> I've done 25km on a mini pub crawl with him (him on appletise me sampling an IPA) and although it was hard work, couldn't have done it with out...

Do they do an adult version I can put Mrs Ridge in? 2 people on an MTB coming back from the pub didn't end well...
beardy mike - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Ridge: Is she a dwarf? She'd fit if she is.

Ridge - on 17 May 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Is she a dwarf? She'd fit if she is.

For both our sakes I'll never show her this thread...
RX-78 on 17 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

not sure what age your children are, but we had a burley trailer for when they were really small then as soon as possible moved to the burley piccolo tag a long bike. That was great fun, took a bit of getting used to but eventually could whizz down off road gravel paths, trails etc
Sealwife - on 17 May 2017
In reply to RX-78:

And it can be possible to use a combination of both. For a short while we had a bike train, consisting of bike, tag-along and trailer hitched to the back of that. Carried one kid on tag-along, and two in trailer. Could have been even longer had we ever sourced a tandem!
RX-78 on 17 May 2017
In reply to Sealwife:

not too easy on the hills I would guess! just to add, for tag a long bikes, the piccolo clamped to a specific rear rack so that the connection was centered above the rear wheel, much more stable than ones that clip to the seat tube.
LastBoyScout on 17 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

I've got a Hamax Siesta (like your Kiss) on my bike and just fitted a Wee Ride on my wife's bike - mainly because of the balance thing.

To add to SealWife's comments:

WeeRide
Pros - easy for you to swing leg over bike, you can carry a rucksack without kiddy being bashed on the nose. Very easy to get on bike yourself and then put kiddy in seat (assuming they haven't run off!) - or the reverse when you stop. You can get a windscreen to protect them from the elements.
Cons - knees bashing seat, leaning on child if they're big/you're small. You also can't stand up if you need to give it the beans up a hill, or something.
Can be fiddly to fit - her bike has a tapered headtube and any attempt to over-tighten the bolts there squeezes the clamp up off the headtube. Also got very limited adjustment fore/aft and on the feet before it starts fouling the suspension forks on her bike - 17" frame.

I suspect this would fit better on my hybrid - geometry of that has a bigger frame with a long top tube and it would clear the forks much better, as they're not suspension ones and don't stick out so far.

I have seriously considered whether I could get all 4 of us on the tandem with these 2 seats - failing that, me and the kids and wife can ride her own bike.

From what you've said, I'd go for a trailer. The main thing that puts me off that idea is size - I haven't got room in the garage and they look a pain to lock up if you leave the bike anywhere.
The Potato - on 17 May 2017
In reply to LastBoyScout:

the one i looked at the halfords single folds flat with quick release wheels, seems handy. When I rented one I just used a cable extension for my D lock and that was easy enough
The Potato - on 17 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

good replies everyone, thanks
freeheel47 on 25 May 2017
In reply to The Potato:

hello

we have had:

1. a Burley trailer- excellent- well made, light, strong, packed down easily, can be used as a push chair - a bit expensive. Useful up to about 4 yrs. Can carry a fair amount of luggage and be used for shopping. Need a flag else cars don't see them from behind. Hard work up hill.

2. Tag alongs- good fun, friendly, a bit fiddeley- we were given one. Faster than trailers. Might also need a flag. No children ever fell off.

3. Adult-child tandems- yellow, superfast, generally regarded as 'cool' on the school run. Difficult to get around gates etc. Expensive.

Briefly tried a child seat- found things really unstable.
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LastBoyScout on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to LastBoyScout:

To add a further note about the WeeRide, I tried fitting it to my bike at the weekend and found that with my saddle in normal position, it was fine once I'd got going, but a bugger to set off and stop, as you can't hop down in front of the saddle.

I hadn't noticed this on my wife's bike, as her saddle is much lower than mine anyway and she likes to be able to get both feet flat on the floor to start with.

I'd need to put my saddle down a fair chunk to feel safe on it with kiddy, which would rather knacker my pedaling efficiency. Also, you can't use the saddle with a quick release, as the bracket bolts around the seatpost.

That said, daughter did seem to be happier in the WeeRide and communication was easier, so I may have to bite the bullet and try it out a bit.

Note you can't use both a WeeRide and a Hamax on the same bike at the same time - you can leave the Hamax bracket on the frame, but the WeeRide seatpost clamp interferes with the Hamax bar, unless you modify it a bit to turn it 90 degrees.

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