Child Bike Seat Better Than A Bike Trailer?

Toto never considered he'd be a pioneer in the Child Bike Seat industry!

When I thought of a child bike seat, I thought I was waxing nostalgic for the simple times of old. Surely, in our day of turbocharged safety hysteria there couldn’t be such an item available anymore! But once again I’ve been proven wrong (It’s hard to admit).

The child bike seat and baby child bike seat world is still alive. Basically you’ve got the rear mounted and the front mounted. There is no mid-ship mounted bicycle seat for a child because that’s where you’ll be sitting as the esteemed pilot of the bike.
child bike seat
I’ve no trouble envisioning the rear mounted child bike seat. Immediately I think of Toto, the Cairn Terrier jumping from the Wicked Witch of the West’s bicycle basket. A few upgrades later, and you’ve got the rear mounted baby bike seat.

The front mounted seat was harder for me to picture. I kept thinking about a basket hanging in front of the handlebars. That seemed like a good place for a child if you didn’t like them very much.

They could absorb the impact of a vast variety of mishaps. But of course you readers have no problem envisioning the front mounted baby bike seat because I’ve included a picture of one.

Why Can’t You Afford Enough
Cycling Gear?
Do You Know Where To Look For A Clearance Child Bicycle Carrier?
Sometimes I can get twice as much because I keep my eyes
open for discounts at
places like Amazon.
Sure enough, they’ve got discounts on the ‘Co-Pilot’ and ‘Topeak’ models!


A Bike’s Child Seat Isn’t All About The Crash

Child bike seats make me think about crashes.

I was forgetting to think about the ‘tipping over’ events. But I should have remembered that the majority of my mountain bike mishaps have been when I’m barely moving.

The baby bike seat world has its own version…the ‘no speed’ mounting and dismounting ‘tip over’.

Think about the challenge of getting onto the bike with a rear mounted child bike seat. You can’t deliver a roundhouse kick to the kid’s head with a technique similar to mounting the Lone Ranger’s horse, Trigger. So you’re limited to an awkward ‘front leg swing’ move over the top tube. It works well in circuses for dozens of happy clowns.

It’s easier to do the standard leg swing with a front mounted baby bike seat, but stabilizing the bike while you load and secure little Lance Livestrong into either style of child bike seat can be a challenge, especially if you didn’t get that load of Ritalin into junior in the morning.

People writing about child bike seats are like Eeyore, of Winnie the Pooh fame. They delight in warning about each and every possible mishap.

Things like, “Keep an eye out for little Lance grabbing a wooden dowel from a Home Depot delivery truck and delivering it to your rear wheel spokes.”

“Be aware that with a front mounted seat a sudden swelling of Lance’s diaper could restrict your pedaling stroke.”

These kinds of warnings.

On a serious note, make sure that your child bike seat precludes access to the spokes, both items and kids’ body parts.

How About The Front Mounted Child Bike Seat?

Having the seat over the top bar has its advantages. For one, the weight of Junior is distributed between the bike’s wheels resulting in a more stable
childbikeseatmidship situation.

Some top tubes aren’t horizontal so there are bicycle baby seat models that attach to both the head tube and the seat tube, spanning the distance between.

Crashes with a front mounted seat are a mixed bag. Some experts would say that you’re safer with a front mount because little Lance is more likely to land under you, absorbing the impact. Other experts point out that this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

So…the crash-dummy experts don’t agree with the child nurturing experts.

You’re better able to talk with your child in the front child seat, sharing your joy for cycling and encouraging them to embrace good exercise habits, shunning obesity.

Efficient pedaling with a front child bike seat can be a problem. When I’m really goin and blowin on a road bike my knees are almost brushing the top tube. Child bike seats necessitate more of an open legged pedal stroke.

Of course, maximum speed and wattage output isn’t the objective on a ride that would include your child, so riding the bike like a bowlegged cowboy may be acceptable. Until you develop knee problems.

Which Brings Us To Bike Trailers Instead Of Bicycle Child Seat Carriers

You can read what I’ve discovered about bike trailers, but let me deliver some ‘thoughts’ on the subject. This assumes the term ‘cognitive thought’ can be used to describe my ramblings.

What about ‘footprint’? Yes, the child bike seat has a narrower footprint than does the bike trailer. However I’ve experienced drivers giving the bike trailer a wide berth due to the novelty factor of a bike trailer.

On the other hand, with the number of numbskull drivers who’re cell phone texting, even the bright colors of a bike trailer may not be enough to keep large and dangerous cars out of the bike lanes.

I’m a real fan of the stability of bike trailers. Some models are attached to the bike in such a way that they are unaffected by the bike going down.

When I pulled my kids around in a bike trailer years ago, the wind drag effect of the trailer actually added to the workout load, rather than detracting from it by altering my pedaling angles.

Here’s an interesting note: I just took an outhouse break halfway through writing this article and the Bike Nashbar catalog in the reading section opened to a page advertising a couple of ‘Kid Karriage’ trailers and accessories at a discount .

By the time you’re reading these words of wisdom, that child bike seat deal may be long gone, but those are the kinds of bargains that prompt me to keep an eye out for their killer deals.

===>Last I looked there were 9 different child bike seat models at Amazon.

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