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how old for babies/kids on a bike ?(10 posts)

how old for babies/kids on a bike ?climbo
May 14, 2003 11:50 AM
is there a recommended age before you throw your kid on a baby seat or in a trailer on your bike? 6 months, a year?? I suppose it depends on what you use to carry them.
My kids didn't do that well until 2 yrs.dzrider
May 14, 2003 12:33 PM
Prior to that they lay down in the trailer, effectively defeating the seat belts or started screaming for no apparent reason or did something to ruin the ride. The last time I used a child seat my older son pulled the top of my shorts down and hooked them over the back of the saddle.
depends on the kid...ask your pediatrician(nm)ColnagoFE
May 14, 2003 12:36 PM
18 mos. worksallezdude
May 14, 2003 12:59 PM
My 18 mo. son loves to ride in the burley. keep the rides short and stop off somewhere that's interesting for them.

He didn't like it at all at 9 mos. Trailers transmit a lot of road shock.
I would talk to your doc. The biggest worry is not that yourbill
May 14, 2003 1:42 PM
kid won't like it, although I think that is an issue below a certain age (they have to be able to sit up), but that you'll scramble their little brains. I wouldn't even think about it before at least 12 mos, maybe 18 mos.
I would strongly second bill's opinion....bicyclerepairman
May 14, 2003 3:37 PM
From what I understand, an infant's/toddler's brain is significantly smaller than their cranium (skull), which is the reason a baby/child should never be shaken (trauma to the brain as it impacts the cranium). I've had medical professionals advise me never to use a child bicycle seat even with older children since: 1) the helmet doesn't allow them to sit with their head straight (pressure from the back of the childseat = strain) and 2) bumps in the road cause trauma to their cervical (neck) vertebrae. They felt this could contribute to problems later in life. Perhaps ok in a trailer, where you can provide extra cushioning....I'd appreciate any comments or feedback you may have on this...
re: how old for babies/kids on a bike ?clintb
May 14, 2003 1:51 PM
I've heard multiple times that 1yr and no younger. Most of it would seem to depend on how well the child's muscles are developed. In particuar, neck muscles and the ability to hold the head up and stable. In reality though, I wouldn't expect to get a good training ride as the kiddo *will* need/want to stop and vary the experience.
Both of ours started at 4 months (in a trailer)Kerry
May 14, 2003 4:37 PM
We had a Cannondale Bugger, where you could put the kid in a car seat and then strap the car seat in the trailer. Sometimes they were fussy, and sometimes not. They each got around 2500 miles/year for 3 years before graduating to kid-back tandems. Both are now in college holding 3.5 gpa so if there was any brain damage, it's not obvious.
Mine was in the trailer at 10 months...biknben
May 14, 2003 6:46 PM
I'd recommend waiting until about a year or so. My daughter had trouble staying in place for a while. She would start to slump to one side and the belt would irritate her neck. She wasn't strong enough and didn't know how to straighten herself out. She never noticed the irritation but her neck would be red at the end of the ride.

Dressing them in a collared or hooded shirt adds some comfort.
Depends on your setup (long)TWD
May 15, 2003 7:54 AM
If you're using a baby seat (ughhh, I hate those things) or trying to have them sit up in the trailer with a helmet I'd say wait until at least 12 months or so. It's really hard to find a helmet to fit kids that small anyways.

If you want to start your kids early, figure out a way to strap an infant car seat into a trailer. I modified our trailer a little bit so that I could strap the car seat in rear facing, and was able to get it more secure than in our car. That way, the he was sitting in there in a reclined position (same as in the car) with his head cradled in that padded thingy that is designed to keep their head from flopping around. The trailer has a roll cage, and the infant seat has a 5 point harness. He wasn't going anywhere.

The infant seats are designed to protect your kids from auto collisions that are far more violent than what you are going to encounter at biking speeds (provided you use some common sense).

I got this sytem figured out before my son was born, so I had him in the trailer at one week old. It was only a 5 minute spin around the block on a nice day, but to him, it wasn't any different than getting strapped into the car.

We worked him up to longer "real" rides over the course of a few month. As for "rattling" their little brains, I was worried about this, starting him so young, but a little common sense applied here goes along way as well. Run the tire pressure on the trailer really really low to provide some suspension. Pick smooth roads and trails with very little traffic to cut down the risk of jolting them. Slow down if it does get rough. The infant car seat has enough cushioning to dampen out pretty much all of the remaining bumps and vibration.

If you are carefull to do all that, I think it really is quite safe to start kids young. I would bet that we all put are kids in far greater danger everytime we strap them into the car, and fly down the highway at 65 mph.

As for getting him to like riding in the trailer, the car seat worked great. Plan your rides around nap time, or times you know when you kid is generally happy. Pay close attention to how you dress them and what the weather is doing. Keeping them cool on the hot days, or warm and dry on the cooler one goes along way. Throw some extra snacks in the trailer and some toys or books for them to keep busy.

We take my son out in the trailer almost every day year round, so it's just part of his routine. He doesn't know anything different, it's just what we do and he's fine with it. If you wait too long, it will be a foreign experience to them, and they may not like it.

Once they are old enough to really support their head and a helmet (about the time they outgrow the infant car seat)you can start strapping them into the trailer the normal way.

You can get good training rides in to boot if you are creative and flexible with your program. I use my trailer rides for climbing workouts and building power. Think how much stronger you'll be if you can hammer that climb with a trailer. Works great as long as you have safe roads that you can really keep you speed in check on the way back down.

Good luck.