Mountain bikes with rear child seat
February 25, 2006 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Mountain bike with rear child seat? (Japan)

No, I don't mean to off-road with a kid strapped in.

Looking at buying a bike so I can take the boy on longer journeys, it is in Tokyo so everything is nice and flat. However, being a big guy I think I need the nice fat tyres on mountain bikes, and even though some models appear to have the attaching point below the seat for the rear "thingy" that the child-seat sits on, the shop guys just say it is not possible and don't sell me anything.

Whats the deal here, can someone explain to me why it is not possible when it would seems I could buy this bike, buy the rear mud-guard, buy the rear "thingy" and a child seat? (Bike had front suspension, but not rear, so that isn't the issue) Had normal bolts by the rear wheel that would appear to have room for the attachment.

Don't remember specifically what it was, but looked vaguelly something like (http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~sonna-h/sportsbike/b-pxfax/howaito/PXFAX544F.jpg) except that appears not to have the attachment, don't let that confuse you :)
posted by lundman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
 
I used to tool around on an old mountain bike with a baby seat on the back. I also recall all that weight hanging out there made the ride unstable as hell.
Have you looked at the kid-trailers that everyone seems to use these days? Those seem to be a lot more safe.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:13 PM on February 25, 2006


I did it on a big fat tire mountain bike, but there are some issues of which you should be aware. As Thorzdad said it does make the bike unstable. Not too much of a problem when the kid is less than 25 lbs or so, but as they get bigger it becomes a serious issue. Also, sometimes there is not enough room for their feet, i.e. your feet may bump theirs as you pedal.
posted by caddis at 8:58 PM on February 25, 2006


I used to ride trails weekly with a guy who had his kid in a seat on the back. Thought it was crazy, but we rode some pretty wild stuff and he never crashed. If you are highly competent on a bike, I can't see flat terrain being a problem. The bike shop is probably just trying to avoid a liability mess.

Definitely get a helmet (for you and the kid), and I don't recommend being anyplace where traffic is an issue.
posted by Manjusri at 9:24 PM on February 25, 2006



No I really am not going off-road, seriously in Tokyo, you'd have to go somewhere man-made and pay to do that. It is for getting from A to B. But the shop really made it sound like it wasn't feasable. I got the vague idea that he was perhaps saying the child seat would not be level?

Is the balance problem mentioned so far different to a "normal" bike with same child seat?

Sometimes it is nice they wont sell you something here if they think it is not right for you, but sometimes it is frustrating :)
posted by lundman at 10:18 PM on February 25, 2006


I agree with Manjusri, it's probably a liability issue. When my son was still a baby, I went and tried to buy a mountain bike and a child seat at the local bike shop and the very nice man who ran the place simply would not hear of it. He insisted I consider the safety of my son first and foremost, and I ended up buying a very ugly, but very stable bike instead.
Can you read Japanese (on your computer)? If so, you can easily buy what you're probably looking for, I see them around all the time. When I google "mountain bike" and "child seat" in katakana I see many sites selling what you describe. See here, for example.
I'm sure you will be, but please please be careful when you place your son on your bike and when you lift him off - those are the moments when they're most vulnerable. And never, ever leave him sitting on the bike when you're not supporting it!
posted by misozaki at 12:25 AM on February 26, 2006


Thanks Misozaki, that certainly shows there are solutions out there. Not entirely sure it is liability though, I think biccamera as a store sell certain product/solutions and it isn't in their business to try to deal with (gaijins) complicated solutions.

We went back, with wife in tow for more translations, and even looking at "normal" bikes with a basket at front, nice BIG holes to attach the rear seat holder, we were told it wasn't possible, as those bikes has gears.

So, the answer is, a bike with gears can not have rear child seat, unless you get the kind with the electric motor/helper thing. .. that's according to bic camera anyway.

The bike I was looking at initially was a Bridgestone XF-1 (XF-141). As seen here

To me, the thing to be worries about is the kick-stand, as opposed to the triangle stand, you have to be real careful.
posted by lundman at 1:44 AM on February 26, 2006


I don't own a car, and get the kids around on a trail-gator http://www.trail-gator.com/ for the 6yo and a french brand of bike seat whose exact identity I can't identify at the moment,but the model is "Pony" for my 2.5 yo. My wife and I use both daily with no significant problems (but for regular use I would reccomend a tag-along rather than a convertible trail-gator type thing).
posted by singingfish at 3:39 AM on February 26, 2006


The problem I imagine with bike trailers in a big city is that a child would be right at car exhaust-level.

We bought a generic-brand child seat that came with a bike-carrier type attachment. You attach the carrier as normal, then the seat slides on along the length of the seat and bolts to it. My son is 17kg and still fits comfortably, and if you don't get carried away it's still a reasonably stable ride, I think. We don't do it much any more because he prefers to ride his own bike, but for long or quick trips it's fine.

It looks like this Co-Pilot branded seat, which looks like it has space for a wider wheel in there.
posted by tracicle at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2006


Ah, but I see the attachment you're talking about now. I don't believe our seat had that "thingy" -- the seat we actually have is in misozaki's link above: this one.
posted by tracicle at 11:34 AM on February 26, 2006


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