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Children's bike seats
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AMFM


Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
26-10-2011 10:01 AM

Question for the cyclists with little ones - how old were they when you started putting them in a child bike seat? My daughter is starting nursery in February (she'll be 13 months by then) and I'm hoping to do the pick-up and drop off by bike.

I reckon she'll be plenty old enough by then but would welcome the views of those who've been there and done that. Equally, is there any specific seat you'd recommend? I ride a road bike generally - are these suitable for bike seats or should I get myself a sturdier old clunker more in the sit up and beg style for the days I'm doing the nursery run?

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ryananglem


Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #2
26-10-2011 01:24 PM

I'm interested in this too. (Sorry AMFM I dont know the answer to your question).

I was riding home one day and spotted a chap with one of those trailers with a little flag on the back containing his child - so quickly caught him up and asked him a similar question, and he replied that he started with his at around 12 months, but really should have waited another couple.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #3
27-10-2011 11:29 PM

I used a copilot limo which they claim you can use from 12 months...so I did. I chose it as it offered the best protection and harnessing of those available at the time and has to be rack mounted (i didn't like the ones that champion the frames they might hurt my nice shiny paint...) it offers less in the way of suspension than others, well it has none actually, just a gel cushion so you need to take it easy. I had it on a slicked up cross bike so it was pretty close to a road bike. Didn't have a problem with handling but the harder tyre pressures were probably not ideal as they made for a bumpy ride. The bike being light also meant you had to be careful about the bike tipping back due to the extra weight at the back...mostly when off the bike and pushing it but also came close while putting the hammer down out of the saddle up one of forests hill's steeper climbs.

They are generally considered less safe than trailers and I ended up making myself feel guilty about that for a while but trailers arent an option for everyone.

P.s. I used the bike seat nursery drop off thing as the justification for adding the cross bike to my fleet as I decided it wouldn't really work on one of my road bikes...

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
27-10-2011 11:30 PM

Oh, and I used the guilt as an excuse to buy a trailer Smile

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
28-10-2011 06:53 AM

We definitely used one from about a year. It worked very well. The biggest problem was that the slightly bouncy movement of the bike seat would send them to sleep!

Children grown out of it now but have a bike seat I'm trying to get rid of if someone wants to PM me. It's a hamax with two fixing brackets (so you can use it with two bikes)

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AMFM


Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #6
28-10-2011 09:22 AM

IWAF - thanks for that - all very useful. Yes, I am trying to build an argument to present to my partner as to why I need another bike...

I do have a mountain bike that I could use but frankly, I think they just look a bit silly on London streets and are made for bouncing along the North and South Downs. Cross bike sounds like the perfect compromise!

I know trailers are probably a bit more stable but they absolutely terrify me unless on a traffic free bike path - it's bad enough that people in cars don't seem to see me half the time but a bike trailer just isn't anywhere near theri eyeline (or am I wrong about that).

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
28-10-2011 03:27 PM

That was my feeling to but what research that has been done on the subject suggested that trailers were more visible than bike seats, that traffic gives you a wider birth and that any incidents involving trailers result in less serious injury to the children than those in seats.

I've ridden in London with child seats, trailers and trailer bikes and haven't really noticed any difference in how you are treated with each. You get marginally more consideration than you do on your own on a bike but you still get selfish idiots take massive and knowing risks with your safety at times

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AMFM


Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #8
28-10-2011 04:31 PM

Now you've given me even more to think about! The other factor is that the last section of the nursery drop off route is on the south circular from the railway bridge at Perry Vale up to the London Road junction - quite possibly my least favourite part of my daily commute (and I take in Elephant and Castle and/or Bricklayers Arms on my route to work!). Still not sure how I feel about subjecting my daughter to that stretch of road.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #9
31-10-2011 02:18 PM

To be honest I don't think you'd ever stop feeling like that no matter which roads you take. I worry every time I venture out with one or both of the kids on the various bike attachments - I think that is a healthy mindset and helps to ensure you do everything you can to ensure a safe journey. There is only so much you can do though, given how some people use the road, so you have to decide if taking your kids on the road feels like too much of a risk to bother with at all.

Happy to let you try out the seat and/or trailer if you want to see how they feel (although the seat needs a Blackburn EX1 rack so you'd probably have to try out one of my bikes for that).

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AMFM


Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
31-10-2011 06:57 PM

That's really kind IWAF and I may well take you up on that offer when I next get a free weekend.

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