Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
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I'm thinking about getting a bike and bike seat, so I can take my 1 year old on adventures and generally use it as a form of transport (along bike tracks).
Do you think the baby seats are they safe? I'm not able to find any info on safety ratings.
I'm really interested to hear of what brands have been great and those which haven't and any other info you can offer. Cheers
its only as safe as you ( the rider) makes it.. if you're hitting some mad jumps then yes, i would say its unsafe. Helmets all around and i don't see why they aren't safe. Just make sure its not held together with cable ties and cheap Chinese screws.
Rule #6 // Free your mind and your legs will follow.
I have been using the Weeride for just over 12 months. Started with the young man when he was about 10 months or so and he has now just clicked over 2.We tend to use the bike as our main transport as it is quicker than walking and easier to get around than the car.
I like the fact that the child is up the front as it is easy to communicate and point things out. It is also easy to keep an eye on them if they are getting tired or trying to wriggle out of the seat. Its also easy to adjust him if required which includes pulling in arms and legs at times. Being up front I can ask him to ring the bell which he likes, sometimes he tries to grab the handle bars but it isn't too much of a problem.
It also frees up the rear rack where I have a Topeak trunk bag with expandable panniers (food, nappies etc) which is handy when we go to the supermarket or take library books back. Come to think of it our tasks would be more difficult with a rear seat as I would loose the ability to carry the bag and I don't like the idea of a rear seat and backpack combo.
I am not sure how it would act in an accident compared to the rear seats but I wouldn't think it would be that much different. The straps are good and he has his helmet on all the time. When we ride together I find it is often at a slower more relaxed pace as I am often trying to find interesting things to point out and as such it seems to be safer than a regular commute. With the front mounted seat your legs do tend to bow a little to accommodate the seat but again with the slower pace it still feels comfortable.
The Weeride has been a great purchase for us and I would recommend it highly. I think we will get another 12-15 months or so out of it. I am actually not looking forward to outgrowing it as I enjoy riding with him so much!
OP may be interested in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald from February:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/child-bi ... 32snh.html
FYI the "fears over safety" referred in the headline are mostly ungrounded. As the article points out, while there are no safety standards in place in Australia for child seats, the majority of child seats come from Europe which has very strict standards in place. Certainly worth doing some homework though.
My wife and I use a Dutch designed Yepp Maxi for our kid. We have an attachment bracket on each of our bikes, with one seat which can be easily swapped between the two. It works very well. They also make a Mini model for front mounting, but it has a lower upper weight limit so you may get less use of it depending on the size of your child.
That's my wife and son . We both share that bike for kiddie transport. I am secure enough in my masculinity to have ridden the bike even without a kid to avoid xmas parking at our local mall.
I wrote this about buying a bike for transporting our son:
http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/b ... persuasion
The Yepp Mini lasted ~18 months and was definitely more fun, or interactive, than the rear seat. We had a big basket on the rear which we could fit quite a bit of shopping or beach/picnic stuff in. You cannot fit anywhere near as much in a front basket. I would give this a 5*+ rating.
We have this seat now:
http://www.velogear.com.au/cycling-acce ... -seat.html
I got this as the attachment for the Yepp Maxi looked to big to work with the short seat tube on our bubba bike. Even then there is little clearance between the tyre and the seat and if you curb hopped it would hit the tyre. Oddly, the suspension seat thing seems to make the bike harder to control at lower speed than the steerer mounted Yepp Mini.
WRT the original question, there is so little data available with regards to safety that it indicates to me that there is no really an issue. Kids die in cars all the time . We did have one old man (obviously with a shrinking amygdala) shout "That's dangerous!" when we rode past. I felt like, but did not turn around and remind/inform him that it was actually cars that are dangerous.
We had one very similar to that once my daughter grew out of the (front-mounted) BoBike Mini.
It was the best.
Biggest thing to note is the way these ones mount - on long flexible spring members to a clamp on the seat tube. The child is suspended above the rear wheel.
Other types of rear seat are rigidly mounted to the rear triangle, so every bump the rear wheel hits gets jolted straight up the kid's bum.
We did a lot of miles with that seat... up to an 85km day (which is more related to how well my girl travels than anything else). I had it mounted on a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is an ideal kid carrier because it's so long in the back end so it doesn't get back-heavy like I've heard other bikes do with a child on board, and supremely stable for loaded riding.
If you crash with a kid onboard, it's not going to be pretty - I expect the difference between different seats would be relatively minor in this regard. But the good news is that you're really not very likely to crash. There's millions of Dutch and Danish kids out there testament to this... bikes are much safer than our society gives them credit for.
You will find, as well, that motorists will give you a wider berth when you have a child on board... and as has been noted above, cars are the real danger on the road.
Wow! So impressed by the responses. I'm so happy I decided to join the forum and ask my questions.
At the moment I'm thinking I'll get the WeeRide, but will go for a test ride on the weekend. I'm a little concerned how I'll have to ride with my knees out and it will be uncomfortable.
Thanks again for all your feedback!
- just read through your article Si. So informative. I'm also in the process for looking for a bike to put the seat on. Will definitely check out the yepp mini- cos I don't wanna ride 'clown style' either!
I have been looking at getting the Giant cypress, but will look out for the specialized one you mentioned too.
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