Baby bike seat and pannier bags

EmmaG
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Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby EmmaG » 31 May 2018, 12:58pm

Hi,

I have a 9 month old baby and both myself and her dad can't wait to get on our bikes again with her.

Our problem is that we both have road bikes (he has a Trek and I have more of a hybrid road, a Giant with road tires but straight handlebar), and we both have panniers which we use to carry bike bags on. We can't find a way to get a rear bike seat AND be able to use the pannier racks to carry our bags.

We are not too keen on front seats, as with our bikes we are expected to have a slightly more curved posture and the baby will be in the way. Also not too keen to cycle with knees in awkward placement around the baby as I've had knee injuries many times in the past.

We rarely cycle with backpacks on and wouldn't like to do it with the baby in the rear seat.

I had some hope reading this article https://www.cyclinguk.org/guide/guide-t ... bike-seats on cycling uk which had a picture of Josie Dew with her bike with her kids and the baby is on what I can make out as a Hamax siesta rear seat AND there are bags on the panniers! Please can someone tell me how this was achieved?

Thanks very much in advance!

Also suggestions on alternative ways such as pannier extenders (if that's a think) or front mounted bags are welcome.

Emma

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mjr
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby mjr » 31 May 2018, 3:47pm

EmmaG wrote:I had some hope reading this article https://www.cyclinguk.org/guide/guide-t ... bike-seats on cycling uk which had a picture of Josie Dew with her bike with her kids and the baby is on what I can make out as a Hamax siesta rear seat AND there are bags on the panniers! Please can someone tell me how this was achieved?

I've not seen it in real life, but zooming the picture makes me think that they are either two single pannier bags or the type of double pannier bags which are only linked by straps (example) and not a continuation of the fabric.

Another approach would be to punch holes for the seat fixings through the linking bit of fabric although some bags (Basil Mara, for example) already have slots in that fabric which may be in a suitable place.
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 31 May 2018, 4:16pm

Steco! http://www.steco.nl/en/our-products/

They do a 'Tas-Mee' which extends the rear rack (and a 'Tas-Mee Easy Mounting' variant), or a 'Pakaf-Mee' which is specifically designed to carry both pannier and child seat. I've not tried either of these, but we had the 'Baby Mee' for when ours was very young, and it worked really well.

Should be pretty easy to find from eBay dealers etc.
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby eileithyia » 31 May 2018, 7:09pm

Not sure I can help, we had a very old style of seat, it only actually attache at the front of the seat by a hand operated bolt into a clip and a single strap at the back around the pannier rack... I was uncertain of it's stability and via the back of the seat I was able add some toe clip straps as extra fastening.
Because of it's style we able to use some long narrow panniers just under the seat and behind the foot restraints, and they fitted neatly between the two fixing parts. Sorry not sure where I might have any photos.
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RickH
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby RickH » 31 May 2018, 8:48pm

When I've wanted to carry stuff & have a child in a seat on the back of a solo bike I've generally put the panniers on a rack on the front. (For the sake of clarity: panniers usually refers to the bags & a rack is the thing they fix onto.)

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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby hamster » 1 Jun 2018, 11:21am

I agree that front seats are dreadful. We tried rear seats and didn't get on with them either - the bike felt dreadful and getting everyone aboard not easy. We settled for a trailer which was easily swapped and also allowed a deeper recline for the baby. I opted to build a car seat into the trailer as it provided head protection and more comfort. Strapped in that he was usually asleep in minutes, the roof and cover kept him warm and dry. The back of the trailer carried some luggage, panniers the rest.

We had a Winchester trailer, then a Burley Bee.

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foxyrider
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby foxyrider » 1 Jun 2018, 11:33am

A child trailer would be the simplest, safest way of doing things.(I wouldn't want to ride too far with a child seat and a rear as opposed to front is difficult for solo use on any bike with a crossbar!)

OTOH, if you are firmly wedded to the idea of an on bike seat, you could get something like an ExtraWheel single wheel trailer for the bags.
Convention? what's that then?

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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jun 2018, 12:49pm

Another vote for a trailer. Child seats are a PITA that make getting on and off awkward if they're not loaded and more awkward than that if they are.

A trailer decouples the weight from the bike, keeps it lower, I would think almost certainly safer, easier to load and unload, and it gives you loads of extra cargo space irrespective of your panniers.

I'll leave the specific model to others with more experience, but I gather the hitch is the most common point of deal-breaking.

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Cavemud
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby Cavemud » 1 Jun 2018, 3:46pm

We have both bike seats and a trailer.

I'm not a fan of the trailer as I feel it leaves the child too exposed in traffic. It does however keep them warmer and drier in winter so does get used.

I fitted a Tubus Logo Evo rack which allowed the pannier to mount slightly lower and slightly further back. This, combined with increasing the height of the child seat allowed me to carry panniers no problem.

I recently took receipt of my custom built frame, but it has sliding dropouts and disc brakes. This means that the rack mounts end up slightly higher and further forward, so everything I gained with the logo evo has been lost.

I also now have two children however.......so back to the trailer for a lot of rides.

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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby rjb » 1 Jun 2018, 5:21pm

If you add panniers to a rack which carries a child seat you have to be very careful you don't overload the rack. Your cargo is very precious. :wink:
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby foxyrider » 1 Jun 2018, 5:53pm

rjb wrote:If you add panniers to a rack which carries a child seat you have to be very careful you don't overload the rack. Your cargo is very precious. :wink:


Not just the rack but the whole bike! And then not just the obvious like frame / wheel strength but also the ability to stop when fully loaded - there's a good reason tandems often have extra braking fitted!
Convention? what's that then?

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pjclinch
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby pjclinch » 2 Jun 2018, 2:12pm

You could just look to the future early on and get a Circe Helios. Start with it set up for passive child carrier and progress to child stoker as they get older. Change the configuration a little and you have a cargo bike too.

http://www.circecycles.com/products/helios/
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downstream
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby downstream » 2 Jun 2018, 7:13pm

I use a Hamax Smiley childseat and manage to carry small panniers on the rack. The seat is of the type that is fixed through two steel arms that click into a bracket fixed to the seat tube, and is not connected to the pannier rack at all. The 'legs' of the seat cover the front of the pannier rack, but still leaves two-thirds of the top rail of the rack free to attach a pannier to, which I've found sufficient for small (front) panniers.
IMG_2256 (Small).JPG


I've used panniers and a seat like this lots without problems, but there is a lot of weight over the back wheel, quite far back too; the centre of the pannier is behind the axle. I've never had stability issues, even with a five-year-old in the seat, but then I'm very heavy :roll: Putting the bags on the front fork might have been better.
Agree completely with the advice above about a trailer - a good trailer is a great investment. I often used both at the same time; my daughter in the seat when she wanted to be, and in the trailer when she wanted to rest; allowed me to ride longer with my daughter, and carry more stuff.
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downstream
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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby downstream » 2 Jun 2018, 7:33pm

Just to clarify my post above - I mentioned about a lot of weight being on the back wheel - but as noted by foxyrider up-thread, be careful with the total weight so the bike's not overloaded. I tend to ride steel touring bikes that have a reputation for being strongly-built (I have a Surly LHT, and a Thorn Nomad) as I'm heavy enough (120kgs) even before I add panniers, child seat etc...and I tend to ride slow and steady. I'm sure you're much lighter than me, but I don't know anything about road bikes and their carrying capacity. As rjb noted up-thread, it's a precious cargo, so worth checking and getting advice as necessary.

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Re: Baby bike seat and pannier bags

Postby honesty » 2 Jun 2018, 9:18pm

Front panniers work well and balance out the weight and it’s what I did. We upgraded to a trailer when little one got to big for the seat. They’re brilliant and we’ve only just stopped using it, and our daughter turned 7 this year.