The perfect bike for transporting children?

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The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:49 pm

hello,

I'm having a lot of trouble finding the perfect bike/trailer/seat combo for transporting my children around.

I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old, I'm 158cm tall.

Last year I bought a cheap bike, trailer and baby seat just to get a feel for whether I'd enjoy bike riding or not. It's great fun but it's getting very difficult to ride with two children in the trailer and that's where I'm coming in to problems. I've been madly googling for weeks now and can't find anything that fits my needs. I want my 4yr old to be pedalling and my 2yr old secured.

I'm thinking of getting a taga, Zigo or similar and using a weehoo igo trailer but I'm hoping there is a better option that I just haven't come across.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

also my 4yr old has a muscle problem so him riding solo and keeping up and is a long way off so not an option.
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by BNA » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:46 pm

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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby ironhanglider » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:46 pm

buggy wrote:hello,

I'm having a lot of trouble finding the perfect bike/trailer/seat combo for transporting my children around.

I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old, I'm 158cm tall.

Last year I bought a cheap bike, trailer and baby seat just to get a feel for whether I'd enjoy bike riding or not. It's great fun but it's getting very difficult to ride with two children in the trailer and that's where I'm coming in to problems. I've been madly googling for weeks now and can't find anything that fits my needs. I want my 4yr old to be pedalling and my 2yr old secured.

I'm thinking of getting a taga, Zigo or similar and using a weehoo igo trailer but I'm hoping there is a better option that I just haven't come across.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

also my 4yr old has a muscle problem so him riding solo and keeping up and is a long way off so not an option.


Here is my solution to a similar situation. Started a year ago when my children were the same ages.

Image

However I am a confident mechanic and tinkerer so I was prepared to start with a tandem off eBay that had the words "questionable condition" in the description. I also had the kiddy cranks on hand. The attachment appeared in Aldi and I've improved the connection to it since then.

This bike is my commuter so I ride with both children to the eldest's school (preschool when we started) to drop her off, and then with just the youngest to his childcare.
My son climbs up onto his seat using the frame and his left pedal like a ladder and then I strap his feet to the pedals with old fashioned toe straps. Both children love riding the bike, and the eldest gets a real kick out of all the 'cool bike' comments we get as we go. Most importantly we have 3 bells fitted so everyone can ring out. We don't catch any pedestrians by surprise on the shared paths.

Cheers,

Cameron

Edit: photo link
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby kukamunga » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:25 pm

I've got this finishing on eBay tonite, if you're interested

Image

Small Schwinn Voyageur (or Sierra) Tandems have a very low rear standover/seatheight that might just suit a taller 4 year old. Search BikeExchange and eBay. I know Bicycle Superstore in Mornington, VIC, had one going very cheap for $999 a few weeks ago

Maybe one of the Dutch cargo bikes on the Oz market might fill your needs
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:39 pm

Thanks, my 2yr old only just turned 2 a few days ago, she isn't even on the charts for size so is very tiny. It looks like a good solution for the future though.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:41 pm

I am thinking about a dutch cargo bike, will they work with a weehoo igo recumbent trailer? I don't want to buy both and find they don't fit together.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby jacks1071 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:20 pm

Have you thought of a 2-seat trailer?
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:08 pm

That's what I have now but my 4yr old is getting too heavy so I'd like to have him pedalling. The pashley u+2 with one of these http://www.trail-a-bike.com/products/ac ... baby-seat/ for my 2yr old looks perfect but the u+2 is no longer made and I wouldn't even know how to go about getting something similar made.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby RonK » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:02 pm

If you are committed to cycling and have the budget then a Hase Pino tandem may be the answer.

http://hasebikes.com/84-1-Pino.html

Here are some in action - they are amazingly adaptable.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=177224&v=1RO
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:52 pm

thanks that does look pretty good and looks like it will fit with the trailer and baby seat I already have. Maybe a bit out of my budget but if no other options come my way I'll have to think about it.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby high_tea » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:59 pm

I've tried a few different methods of transporting kids.

I've done the two-kids-in-a-trailer thing. They don't get any lighter, do they!

I've used a Trailgator (the gadget that one of the earlier posters put up a picture of). They're pretty good, I think. They help kids get the hang of pedalling while they're too young to ride solo. They have two advantages over a dedicated tagalong, I think. One, dedicated tagalongs don't come much smaller than 20"; I've used the TrailGator with a ByK e250, which is substantially smaller. So the TrailGator will work for smaller kids. The other advantage is price: assuming your child already has a bike, it's about half the cost of a dedicated tagalong. I wouldn't expect it to be easier than 2-in-a-trailer, not at first. My kids didn't pedal often or strongly enough to make much of a difference at first. It gets a bit easier as they get older, but my IMO it's more to get them used to pedalling and balancing than to make it appreciably easier for the adult.

In terms of a two-year-old, if you want something other than a trailer, it's a child seat. I've tried the following:

- rear-mounted seat. If you go the tagalong route, this is a non-starter. My neighbour tells me that rear-mounted seat plus road geometry is an interesting experience, so bear than in mind. Mine's on a touring bike (relaxed geometry, loooong chain stays) and the setup handles fine.
- The WeeRide Kangaroo(?). Something like that. Mounts between rider and handlebars. It's a pretty good arrangement. The one caveat is that it does things to peoples' pedalling: you end up having to stick your knees out so as not to bump it. A few people have mentioned this, so it's not just me. It's nothing more than a minor niggle, doesn't stop me using it.
- The BoBike Mini. This mounts on the handlebars. I'm not sure if this particular model is still available in Australia, but similar sorts of thing are around. This went on the front of our cargo bike, where it works a treat. A long wheelbase is the ticket with this sort of thing, I reckon, the longer the better. I haven't tried one on a single bike. They're popular in Europe, I gather.

HTH.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:20 pm

how does a weeride go when the adult is short? I'm worried I won't be able to see past her. I've found one cheap on gumtree that I'm considering buying.

Are there any tag-alongs available that have 2 wheels? I've gone on with rides with just my 4yr old before in the babyseat and he's nearly knocked me off my balance with all his moving about, I'm worried with a gator we'll hit the deck.

would a weeride and a weehoo igo together be an easy to balance option?
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby high_tea » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:50 pm

buggy wrote:how does a weeride go when the adult is short? I'm worried I won't be able to see past her. I've found one cheap on gumtree that I'm considering buying.

Haven't a clue, I'm afraid. I'm around 180cm, so I wouldn't call myself short. For what little it's worth, I have it on a bike with very little stepover and have no problems.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:39 am

Thanks :)

well I've got a few workable options there (of course I'm still open to more ideas) I've got a few bikes on gumtree to take a look at and see what works for us.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby Nobody » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:51 am

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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:11 pm

buggy wrote:That's what I have now but my 4yr old is getting too heavy so I'd like to have him pedalling. The pashley u+2 with one of these http://www.trail-a-bike.com/products/ac ... baby-seat/ for my 2yr old looks perfect but the u+2 is no longer made and I wouldn't even know how to go about getting something similar made.


If you're expecting some performance benefit from a 4yo pedalling you're going to be in for some disappointment.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby find_bruce » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:04 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
buggy wrote:That's what I have now but my 4yr old is getting too heavy so I'd like to have him pedalling. The pashley u+2 with one of these http://www.trail-a-bike.com/products/ac ... baby-seat/ for my 2yr old looks perfect but the u+2 is no longer made and I wouldn't even know how to go about getting something similar made.


If you're expecting some performance benefit from a 4yo pedalling you're going to be in for some disappointment.

:lol: :lol: :lol: my niece would only pedal down hills
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:06 pm

No I'm not but I'm assuming it will at least be better than nothing at all.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:10 pm

Nobody wrote:Might help in what to look for.
http://bikeportland.org/2012/06/28/with ... bike-73731


The rack thing holding on the rear bike looks perfect because it can be used with a rear babyseat at the same time. Does anyone know what that thing is called?
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby Nobody » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:39 pm

buggy wrote:The rack thing holding on the rear bike looks perfect because it can be used with a rear babyseat at the same time. Does anyone know what that thing is called?


I think it's this one.
http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;n ... id=0;pgc=0
Image

Seems to match the photo anyway.
Image
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:48 pm

thanks that looks brilliant because I can mix and match between all the options I already have.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby kukamunga » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:03 pm

Buggy - I'm not sure where you reside, but there are a few 2011 Schwinn Voyageur Tandems on Bike Exchange at the moment
Image
A Small Voyageur has a rear seat tube length of about 40cm, which when coupled with a standard seatpost, a low profile saddle, and shortened cranks like this:

Image

....might get you a low enough saddle height for someone with an inside leg measurement of about 58cm - probably not low enough for the average 5 year old though

Myself and some friends have had kids on the back of tandems from about the age of six, and my friend also tripled up with a small three year old in a baby seat on the back of hers for a few years as her only mode of transport. I modified my cranks from standard 170mm length to dual-position 120mm/145mm length for my son to ride on the back from about the age of six (he was tall for his age). I know your kids are younger, and more than likely too short for this option at this stage, but it might be something to keep in mind for the future

Cheers
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Thanks that link is broken so I'm not sure of it's location but I'm in Adelaide. I've looked at a few tandems and they look like lots of fun for the kids. Something I'd like to do in the future. A bike or walking is my only mode of transport too except for the bus but I'm hoping to get fit enough to stop needing the bus as often.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:09 pm

buggy wrote:No I'm not but I'm assuming it will at least be better than nothing at all.


Sorry but your assumption is wrong, it is much harder. My eldest is 7 and races track competitively and is still some-way from cancelling the weight penality.

Add to this your lead bike handles quite poorly with an up-right trailer bike, you need to be a confident bike handler to ride one safely (especially on the road).

Do a test ride on an up-right trailer bike, and a weehoo. I guarantee you'll take the weehoo after a 10 minute test ride.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:35 pm

FWIW, we have a [url="http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/blogs/transporting-myself-by-dutch-bike-2-n-1"]Yepp Mini front seat[/url] on a womens Specialized Expedition.

We are also thinking of getting a weehoo for when he gets older, and/or if we have another baby. Take the bubs on one bike or two, easier to store than a tandem, both bubs can sleep etc etc etc.
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Re: The perfect bike for transporting children?

Postby buggy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:39 pm

I mean him doing some pedalling has to be better than him just sitting in a trailer surely. I would love a weehoo but it doesn't fit at the same time as a baby seat on the back, I'm still looking at the front babyseats too though.
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