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My little guy has outgrown the ibert front seat we were using, so I cheerfully ordered and installed a rear seat. I rode around the block without him to get a feel for it, then popped him in and whoa! Totally unnerved me. I think maybe I'll try strapping in a big bag of potatoes or something to try to get used to having the weight back there. Does anyone have any other tips?

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Hi-

The potatoes area good idea! Also we practiced a lot at the university campus near us. Any good open park or campus is a good stress free place to just go around and around testing out the extra weight.

Also for the first few rides instead of a huge challenging trip try a few short but sweet to a cafe or library rides- anywhere easy and close to start might build your confidence without creating stressssss! 

The lake  front trail is still very quiet during the week as well- J.

Potato training! Great idea!

Once you get used to the weight the 2 biggest issues are not kicking the kid when you dismount and not relying on the kickstand to hold the  bike up with the kid on the back. Either one is difficult to recover from.

The good news is they're too young to remember the above lessons being learned the hard way. Although mine's 12 now and I still occasionally slip up when we ride the tandem. At least now she's learned to hold the bike up when I hop off, assuming I don't get my foot caught on her handlebar and bring us all crashing down. Again. 

Thanks! Good tips. And thanks for the laughs, Vince. :) I did think about the kicking, luckily, so I put the seat on an old step-thru. I'll save the leg-swing-of-death bike for the occasional trailer ride.

Would a double kickstand keep the bike upright with a kid in it?

Er not alone on the bike! Best to always take the kid out and not prop either- timberrrrr. It's a long way down. We love out step throughs too! 

When I had my daughter in a rear seat, I didn't have a step-through bike yet, and I nearly kicked her in the head a few times upon dismounting. That leg swing instinct sure was hard to quash. Her weight over the rear tire did take a little getting used to, but after a while it felt natural. I used that seat until she was about 4.5 years old, and her weight was still well within the limits permitted, but her knees started to push against my spine, so we had to switch to a tandem hitch after that. Good luck to you, and have fun!

another thing I remember (It's been quite a while) is when the child leans over (to one side) to look at something on the ground (for example) it can really affect the balance of the bike (depending on the

weight of the child, etc.) since the center of gravity really seems a lot higher with that new added

weight back there that you are not used to.  OK all the physics geeks can correct me know. I donning the asbestos gloves now...flame away.

 

DB

I never used a rear seat; instead we went from the ibert to a weehoo and had a pretty rough transition there, too.  i found it best to keep my butt planted and never get out of the saddle.  

good luck with everything, and be prepared when/if you transition to a trail-a-bike.  those things change everything.  accelerating, braking, maneuverability, stability, mounting/dismounting, locking...

but it's so great to get the kids on the bike with you.

The boys have new propeller airplanes for their handlebars, so hopefully I can get them to toodle around later today while I experiment with potatoes. David, you are not joking about the trail-a-bike. I started using one with my older son last year, and I swear the only thing I said, or yelled rather, our first couple of rides was "don't move!" Poor kid. Ha! He still loves it though.

I would think that front seat would be harder than rear. I used to take my toddler-son from jungle-gym to jungle-gym when we lived in Lisle. Good grief, was that fun. The thing I remember most was to get the bike moving forward as fast as you can before settling down on the saddle.

Gene, I think you're exactly right about the speed. Thanks!

A double kickstand is incredibly helpful if you don't have one already.

i would also suggest a practice fall or two - first alone and then with a kid if they are game - to get a feel for how the bike might move with the seat attached or where it could pin you down. I am on the shorter side and falling with kids usually means the bike is on top of me but i need to reach around to unbuckle before attempting to lift the bike off. Probably not the happiest thing to think about but a reality none the less.

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