Riding with toddlers???

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Riding with toddlers???

Postby DeVito » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:17 pm

In the market for a new bike to ride with my daughter, what's the best type of bike to attach the wee ride (front mount) to? Interested to hear what you dads or mums have experience with. Thanks for your help.
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by BNA » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:36 pm

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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:36 pm

I can't believe those things are legal. The possible consequences for the poor kid even in a minor accident are terrible.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby MattyK » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:42 pm

jimsheedy wrote:I can't believe those things are legal. The possible consequences for the poor kid even in a minor accident are terrible.

And you have the comparative data to rear seats, trailers, bakfiets and tagalons to support this opinion?
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby high_tea » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:50 pm

DeVito wrote:In the market for a new bike to ride with my daughter, what's the best type of bike to attach the wee ride (front mount) to? Interested to hear what you dads or mums have experience with. Thanks for your help.


I have one on a Surly Long Haul trucker with moustache handlebars. I like:

- the wide grip - drop bars tended to get in the way more.
- the long top tube - not too cramped
- stable, relaxed handling
- low BB, so I can sit on the saddle and touch the ground, just. This is handy, because right where I'd usually stand straddling the bike when I stop, is a WeeRide!

The only issue is that the mounting bar is up pretty high - it's on a 60cm frame, which is pretty big to start with when you're 180cm. No biggy, but it'd be 20mm or so lower in an ideal world.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:59 pm

MattyK wrote:
jimsheedy wrote:I can't believe those things are legal. The possible consequences for the poor kid even in a minor accident are terrible.

And you have the comparative data to rear seats, trailers, bakfiets and tagalons to support this opinion?



Yes yes of course ive got that all right here at my fingertips. It clearly states that kid up front cycling seats are the second most dangerous child conveyance, right after the yankee doodle dandy school buses donated to Afghanistan by the bush administration.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby boyracer » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:08 pm

i set my front mount seat (not a wee ride, but same) on an old steel MTB 5 years ago. Up stem/ wide risers/slightly lower seat height. 42/17 single speed or 42/21 fixed gearing so its built for cruising and chatting, not commuter cup.
I regularly ride 20 km's return to childcare and back.
Now have a tagalong and a long bike as well, but both kids prefer the front mount, as do i.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby DeVito » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:39 am

I was actually looking at the Surly's and was wondering about the bars so that's good news. I'm 196 so a 60 frame is where I'm at, good to know the weeride fits on the frame size.

Hey boy racer, you just ruined my argument with the Missus to fork out for a long like ha ha. I suppose the kids prefer to be up higher where they can see more?

I'll return to the short list of bikes, can't wait to get out there with her, however irresponsible it is :-)
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby simonn » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:02 am

DeVito wrote:I was actually looking at the Surly's and was wondering about the bars so that's good news. I'm 196 so a 60 frame is where I'm at, good to know the weeride fits on the frame size.

Hey boy racer, you just ruined my argument with the Missus to fork out for a long like ha ha. I suppose the kids prefer to be up higher where they can see more?

I'll return to the short list of bikes, can't wait to get out there with her, however irresponsible it is :-)


Don't listen to people who state truths without evidence :roll:. I had a bikeshop employee tell me this. He lost a sale of a bike to his competitor. Unless you ride like an idiot, which you tend not to do when you have a toddler on board, you are pretty much at the whim of drivers for anything catastrophic, just as you are as a pedestrian, or driver, or passenger of a motor vehicle. It's not like your going to be riding group training rides down the middle of highways. Messing around with strava on my phone, I think our family ride average speed is ~12km/h and we are on the brakes the whole time down hills. We have got to know the surprisingly plentiful, if somewhat less convenient, cycle routes around our area very well. Quite surprising how far you can go (Freshie to Mascot almost all on cycleways!!!... well and a ferry - funday sunday FTW!).

Personally, I'd go a long bike if you have the budget. I wish we had now (if we have/had room). He has out grown the Yepp Mini so we have got a rear seat now (only just arrived, haven't installed it so no idea if it is any good).

The problem with rear seats on normal bikes is that they do not allow rear baskets and possibly/probably backpacks/messenger bags to be used. We used to be able to do a weeks shopping or carry picnic/beach stuff with the rear basket. We have a front one (well, I hope we do, it is somewhere in the garage), but you can only carry half the amount of stuff. However, if we had a long bike we could still carry the shopping etc. Then again long bikes are more expensive and potentially harder to fit in the garage along with the rest of the fleet than our $550 specialized expedition low entry.... which reminds me.... One thing I didn't like about the wee-ride is the fact that it stops low entry bikes being low entry. I consider low entry quite important for kiddy carrying - being able to jump off and push easily is very very handy.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby find_bruce » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:12 am

I have never been keen on front or rear seats. Would have bought a bullit, gazelle cabby or similar 2 wheel cargo bike if I had the cash at the time. I started with a trailer at about 12 months old & that was fine until around 2 when my boy got too big for that particular trailer.

Since then I have been using a weehoo. It is easy to tow, the boy is comfortable and loves riding in it. 8 months later he still won't turn the pedals, but he will get the hang of it.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby Dai » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:03 pm

I recently spent a bit of time looking into this, and unfortunately there isn't a lot of information out there. The final thing that made my decision was this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ78c6MHAGk&sns=em

Of course it's still quite subjective, but to my way of thinking the most likely accident for me to be involved in is the falling off sideways possibility. I've never been hit by a car in 35 years of driving, but I've fallen off sideways/dropped my bike plenty of times.

Given that, I opted for a trailer, but I think a wider stances bike like a bakfiets or a 3 wheeled cargo bike would achieve the same result. Anyway, it's an interesting video and food for thought.

If you do decide to run with a front seat, I'd be looking for something with a long top tube, or more upright stance to minimize knees hitting the seat whilst I ride. Something with slightly fatter tyres would be a good option to make the ride a bit more comfy. I'd also be a bit careful with unusual geometry and and suspension as this could complicate the mounting.

Good luck with the decision, taking my little one for a ride is the highlight of my week and a great break for my wife!
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby DeVito » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:34 am

There's some really great feedback in here guys. Thanks a lot, so I'm looking at a front mount wee ride on a Schwinn world tour flat bar. But with all the suggestions into the trailer I may have to look into it more, as I'm sure it's not being repeatedly mentioned for no reason!
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby il padrone » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Do it all :wink:

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Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby human909 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:52 pm

jimsheedy wrote:I can't believe those things are legal. The possible consequences for the poor kid even in a minor accident are terrible.


Were you talking about private cars here? :wink:
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby Dai » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:51 pm

DeVito wrote:There's some really great feedback in here guys. Thanks a lot, so I'm looking at a front mount wee ride on a Schwinn world tour flat bar. But with all the suggestions into the trailer I may have to look into it more, as I'm sure it's not being repeatedly mentioned for no reason!


That World Tour looks like a sweet ride. I'm a bit put off my the additional top bar needed for the WeeRide, as it makes the stand over a bit taller and seems a bit clunky. If you don't mind that, probably the only thing I'd suggest (more for baby happiness than anything else) would be to try and run some balloon style tyres to soften up the ride, maybe some Schwalbe Big Apple's - although you'd need to check that they would fit between the forks.

As far as the trailer goes, we ended up getting a Chariot Cougar 1. Initially I had a semi-heart attack about the price, but with a bit of Amazon Shopping and further research we decided it was worth it. We use it in two different ways. Firstly for quick trips down to the shops. It's quite handy for this because you can disconnect it from the bike and flip the stroller wheels down so you can do the shopping without needing to carry the baby/toddler.

Secondly for longer weekend rides and a some fire trails. This is where the Chariot really comes into its own. The weight adjustable suspension soaks up some seriously impressive bumps and small rocky sections. Our little guy loves it - so much so that he went to sleep on the last mountain biking trip.

Surprisingly it doesn't change the feel of the bike very much, on flat and down hills you don't really notice it, but uphills certainly become a lot more challenging. If you're mostly going to use it on-road you probably don't need suspension - in that case, I'd check out the Croozer or the Baby Jogger Pod - We had been going to get the Baby Jogger from Amazon, but decided to get the Chariot for the suspension.

Either way, you'll be happy with whatever you get - taking our little guy for a ride on weekends is one of the highlights of my week - plus it gives my wife a break for 2 hours :)
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby il padrone » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:22 pm

Dai wrote:Secondly for longer weekend rides and a some fire trails. This is where the Chariot really comes into its own. The weight adjustable suspension soaks up some seriously impressive bumps and small rocky sections. Our little guy loves it - so much so that he went to sleep on the last mountain biking trip.

Once on a winter tour of French Island (accessible only by boat, with very traffic-free roads) we had our son in the Winchester trailer. Riding along Red Bill Rd was double track, with clumps of grass in between. We had our tandem and needed to ride along the wheel tracks to keep control, which meant the trailer wheels were bumping over the clumps. My wife got all stressed - "He'll be crying!". Looking back the trailer was doing some serious jigging about. After a kilometre or so I stopped to check. The boy was sound asleep :D .

On another later tour, with two kids aboard, we were descending the forest tracks between Beechworth and Yackandandah. The first bit was stony and rough. The kids were crying - they did not like it one bit. Then we turned onto a dirt track that descended a fair bit. I told them "Now we'll have a downhill blast". Riding down the track there were diagonal water bars. A friend rode behind. I could not feel any motion, just heard ecstatic laughter from the kids. I pulled out at the bottom to cheers from the rest of our group. It turns out that over every water bar first one wheel, then the other, became airborne - hence the kids were having a fun-park ride and loved it. At the bottom my son asked me "Daddy, can we go back and do the downhill blast again?" :lol:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Riding with toddlers???

Postby Dai » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:10 pm

Fantastic stuff!

Our first off road trip was from Charlottes Pass to Rawson Pass. The water bars were quite the hit, although I wasn't quite that adventurous, our son loved the water bars on the descent as well!
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