November 17, 2007

    Front-mounting child seats are not that common here in the U.S. I've been researching and so far I've found the BoBike, the Bike Tutor, the iBert, the Wee Ride, the OK Baby Orion and also one made by Hamax.
    I need help, man! Which is safest? I've heard that the ones that attach to the steering tube are not the greatest, but MOST attach to the steering tube. Since many of these are not available in the U.S., I can't just go to my local bike shop and try them out.
    The Wee Ride attaches to the steering tube, and also to the seat post. The Bike Tutor attaches to the top tube, which seems cool. Are you familiar with any of these or other front-mounting products? Do you know of any UK consumer review Web sites?

Arnell P.

    I think you need help less than you do. You've got a comprehensive list of products (to which I'd add the Companion Carrier, about which I've written before) and you seem to know why foreigners prefer front-mounted seats.
    So what about the relative advantages of different types? Some prefer handlebar-mounted cuz such seats interfere less with the rider's legs. Others prefer top-tube mounted cuz such seats affect steering less. Both of these effects depend on the layout of the bike's frame—so you can really tell only by taking the product for a ride on your bike.
    Another potential problem: If your child passenger drops an object that falls into the front wheel, the wheel might seize and cause the bike to flip. You can prevent that by letting your passenger carry nothing. Sorry, kids.
    Like I sez, you gotta try seats to find what works best for your bike. I suggest buying from a dealer or manufacturer that lets you return the product within 30 days. And test-ride it first with something other than your child, but that weighs as much—like a bunch of books. (Or someone else's child.) (Just kidding.)
    And no matter what seat you choose, check that it meets the predominant U.S. safety standard, ASTM 1625-00.
    Finally, the nice but capital-adverse folks at iBert asked me to review their product, which they call the safe-T-seat. I passed it to my peripatetic panel of parent patrons; their reviews, which might inform your choice, appear here.
    Oh, yeah: If the Brits have any seat-review sites, the pikeys have skived me.

Mr Bike

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