Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

beaskies
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Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby beaskies » 30 Apr 2018, 10:42pm

Hi folks,
It's that time in my life that I need to start thinking about buggies and prams. Woohoo!
We live in the city and get around by bike, no car.
Are there any more-or-less obvious choices of buggy that mix well with bikes? I barely know what I'm asking - just general suggestions for things to think about, models of buggy, total alternatives (don't bother with a buggy?), future-proofing etc. A friend had a buggy that turned into a bike chariot-type thing so that's an option, though no idea what it's called. I imagine we'll move onto a cargo bike and/or rack seat in time (no doubt I'll be back for suggestionswhen that time comes), so for now something for getting around with baby.
Thanks

Vorpal
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Vorpal » 1 May 2018, 12:16am

Congrats! :)

I used a child trailer, and I loved it. I still have mine, even though neither of my kids fits in it, anymore. It gets used for gardening supplies, musical instruments, camping equipment, cat litter, and all sort of other things. It looks... well loved. :P

I got mine from a clubmate, so I wasn't picky about brand or anything. Mine's an Ammaco, which is on the heavy side, but it has certainly proven to be sturdy.

If I were buying new, my top priorities would be:
-a buggy handle, so it's easy to use without the bike, as well as with the bike (and try the conversion before you buy, if you can)
-ability to protect the occupants from weather, or open it up on a warm day
-some pockets or something for toys, food, etc.

I did find that mine had some condensation in winter. I ended up keeping a wool blanket in the trailer through the winter.

There are various hitch systems, some are better than others. Consider that & try it, if you can before you buy it.

Also, if you have multiple bikes in use, get more than one of the bike side of the hitch. It makes life easier.

Lastly, you need to consider that most trailers are designed for a seated child. Some have a sling / webbing for an infant, and other you need to use with a car seat or bassinet. That is something else to consider when buying. If you can find something used that doesn't come with anything, you may be able to adapt a sling for a Chariot or Burley.

You can also purchase buggy handles separately form various places, including Halford's I haven't tried the add-on buggy handles.

You might be able to rent trailers to try out somehwere near you?

There are also some older threads. Search on 'child trailer' and similar.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Tigerbiten » 1 May 2018, 12:18am

Look here -> https://www.twowheelingtots.com/chariot ... son-guide/ for an idea of whats out there.

Congrats ...... :D

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downstream
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby downstream » 9 May 2018, 6:27pm

Not sure if this is what you need, but with my two children I use a Burley cycle trailer. Behind the bike, it has done many happy miles with one or both kids, my daughter until about four and my son (now three) still happy in there. Advantages of this particular model (Burley D'Lite) are there's plenty of room inside, there's a big 'boot' behind the seats for shopping or camping gear, lots of ventilation options, good weather protection, and a integral multi-position handle on the back. Also, the seats come out / unclip and fold down to use for general cargo. It's a two-seater (future-proofing!) and can fit two side-by-side in relative comfort, still with internal pockets available for snacks and bears. However the double seat can be changed into one single in the middle, which is handy.
I also got the 'jogger' kit, essentially a front wheel, like this -
P1050104 (Small).JPG

which turns the thing into a giant pram. I pushed the kids miles over bridleways and moorlands using this. Would be a bit too big to use around town, but I bought a (very) cheap lightweight folding buggy from the charity shop for that.
By the way I believe Burley advise that you shouldn't carry a baby in a trailer behind the bike until they're 12 months, but can push them (using it as you would a pram) from being little. There's a baby-snuggler available for little ones, although I never had one and my youngest was happy in there (being pushed) from about five months.
Hope that helps, cheers

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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Vorpal » 9 May 2018, 6:58pm

downstream wrote:I believe Burley advise that you shouldn't carry a baby in a trailer behind the bike until they're 12 months, but can push them (using it as you would a pram) from being little. There's a baby-snuggler available for little ones, although I never had one and my youngest was happy in there (being pushed) from about five months.
Hope that helps, cheers


What Burley say is
Children must be able to sit upright without support and have adequate neck strength to support their heads before being carried in a trailer. Consult a pediatrician to determine if a child is of sufficient developmental age to be carried in a bicycle trailer

That's a nice bit of US American legal backside-covering. It's also related to that US Americans believe a helmet is an absolute necessity when cycling, and kids obviously can't wear helmets until their necks can hold their heads up.

I don't, by the way, recommend helmets for small children in trailers. Kids are well protected in there, and I think that a helmet is more likely to lead to neck injuries than prevent head injuries.

Burley has a good reputation for their products, though.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Cunobelin » 9 May 2018, 7:07pm

Wot you need...

Wot you really. really need....

Is a Christiania/ Bakfiets



Cargo bikes /trikes have multiple advantages

They can take a child seat or carry cot, and some pushchairs. Then as the child grows older they adapt to take toddlers and their friends

Depending on family plans they also allow expandability


The downside is the they can be a fair investment, but well worth the expense
Last edited by Cunobelin on 9 May 2018, 7:08pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Cunobelin » 9 May 2018, 7:07pm

.... and they do take adults so in the later stages, you can take your wife out in it!!!!!!

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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby Vorpal » 9 May 2018, 7:21pm

I was quite happy with a trailer. It allowed me to use normal bikes, take Mini V to the child minder, and leave the trailer with her, then go where I needed on my bike without hauling a cargo bike around.

When Mini V was big enough, I got a child back tandem, and she loved that. We hauled her little brother in the trailer, and until she was too big, she could still take refuge in the trailer (like the time it hailed and we were 5 miles form home). I had a rack mounted seat on the tandem, as well, so we could go with or without the trailer, and I hauled up to 4 kids (not all mine!) with it; two on the tandem and two in the trailer.

There's nothing wrong with cargo bikes, and in fact they have some advantages over trailers. For example, you can see and talk to the kids and you're more likely to notice when they start chucking cuddly toys overboard :lol:

If you do go for a cargo bike get a cover for the box. It gets cold in winter, and the protection from the elements makes it more enjoyable for the kids.

I valued the flexibility of using a trailer, and converting it to a buggy for days out at the zoo, shopping, etc. That was the biggest advantage to me. My trailer is faded, and looks beat to hell, but I still use to take Littlest's cello to music lessons, haul cat litter home, etc.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

martinn
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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby martinn » 9 May 2018, 10:29pm

I have a few options for transporting children. Mainly after listening to advice from this forum. I have 4 children.

With one I went for a child seat, I went for a weeride.
With number 2 we used the child seat and a follow me attachment which allows me to pull one of the children on their bike. That morphed into converting the tandem with an additional BB so the eldest could ride that.
Then with 3&4, we got the trailer. Which converts to a pram, jogger, and you can even get skis for it! This was great for me, but my wife struggled to pull it after a while.
So we now have a triobike, and that's great for the kids. My wife does the school run in it most days. The cover is, as has been already said, essential. We have the 4 seat version with a electric assist.
The kids love going out on any of the methods of transport, but if you get a cargo bike be prepared to answer questions about it....
Whatever you get, try before you buy if you can, and enjoy

Martin

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Re: Baby time! Buggies for cyclists

Postby eileithyia » 15 May 2018, 8:23am

Congratuations.

We used a Winchester. Being American it came (like the Burley) with dire warnings of do not use under 18months, child should be able to sit upright etc.
Duly ignored and with a suspended seat that could alter positions, I figured out a way to suspend it flat, with a pillow underneath as padding and always had blankets in it for winter... It could be hitched to either bike.

Have seen one since that had a car seat secured in it with baby in.

Importantly remember they do move on quickly and at 7 months he was in a bike seat, going back into the trailer on cold / bad weather days and for the next 2 subsequent winters... before moving on to tandem stoker.
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