ive been riding around on a friends bike with a baby bike seat that goes in front of you rather than behind. its great! elwynn loves it and it feels really safe. i recomend it highly! when i get home im going to buy one. i think that you v\can get them at most hardware stores and bike shops now.
I tried one once, and returned it right away. I found it... uncomfortable. I didn't like the feeling of extra weight up that high. It made me feel less stable, especially when I was just taking off from a standstill. If it's a pack up there, it doesn't worry me much - if I dropped the bike, I'd only skin my own knee. But, I didn't like that Talia was up so high in the event there was an accident, and given that I felt less stable than usual it made that discomfort even worse.
Also, it took up the panier rack and the rear mounts, so I couldn't carry any rear panniers, leaving me with only front panniers for things like groceries. Seriously reduced my cargo capacity. (Well, I guess I could have pulled a cargo trailer.)
I ended up with a Burley trailer, and we *love*
it. She's down low, she can doze off comfortably, and even if I drop my bike I can't overturn the thing. I can fit groceries in the back of it. It leaves my rear mounts free so I could use my pannier rack at full capacity too, if I wished. And, the guy at REI who exchanged the seat for the trailer for me said that, while he'd never heard any stats, he's heard annecdotally from several customers that car drivers seem to be more respectful of trailers than seats. He conjectured that was because they are much more visible.
I think I'd be more comfortable with a front seat instead of a back one, but at the time I couldn't find one. But, with kidlet two on the way (wah! I can't bike this summer!) I may end up trying one. I have a single-seat trailer, and even if I buy a double-seater, I don't think Talia could sit there comfortably with baby in car seat back there. So I'll have to put Talia in a bike seat and baby in car seat in the trailer... Eventually we'll get a double-wide, but not until kidlet numero dos can sit up reliably so we don't have to use the car seat (next summer, hopefully.) Sorry for rambling... did that make any sense?
DD LOVES her bike seat- it's taking me a while to get used to it. We live at the beach & i'd be much better off with a cruiser (low, big seat, no gears) but have my old mountain bike from my crunchier college days in the mountains (it's holding up well so no excuse to get rid of it). It really changes the ride so we've been taking SHORT rides around town to break me into it. She's very snug & in her helmet and is having a great time so I'll keep going!
DD loves the bike seat, and is only 21 months--in fact, we were using it with her last Fall--quite a bit!. We got it at a yard sale, and she has a blast back there. I do like it better when dh is with us (he rollerblades, we bike), so he can keep an eye on her better than me. I need one of those little rearview mirrors...
Dd waves to all the people we pass, and says 'hiyeeeeeeee' to all the doggies. She also likes to pull her shoes off and chuck them, and kick me in the butt.
It is a little shaky getting started from a dead stop, but after that, I have no problems, and we enjoy it a lot. Sometimes we ride to the store and pick up some groceries for dinner, etc. during the day, but mostly we go in the evening with DH when he gets home. Tonight we had a great ride.
I have a Burley trailer and love it! I have not the greatest balance in the world and just wouldn't trust having my DS in a seat. We also do a lot of road riding and the trailer is proven to be the safest way to transport little ones.
As far as affording a Burley - I used a cheapie trailer for awhile while saving up. So far, I've had 2 people make offers on the Burley while we were out and wanted to give me cash on the spot for it! My local bike shop also has a program where you buy a D'Lite, use it until your little one is big enough to ride on his/her own, and they will take the Burley trade in even up for your child's first bike. That should let you know how well they hold their value!
I have a hard bottom Burley and use it to haul groceries and other odds and ends when not pulling my son.
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