Last week, I shared some green baby strategies, one of which was, “Wait on it.” While I’ve done a good job on that in general, there are a few things that I wish I had waited on, one of those being the bicycle trailer.
Despite the fact that we’ve had it for over eight months now, I can still count our “biking with baby” trips using my my hands. I need both hands, not just one, but still.
Sure, there have been mitigating factors: waiting until Sir was a bit older and had decent head/neck control, ordering the baby supporter accessory, winter weather, carrying the trailer in and out of the basement because we have no garage . . . but enough with the excuses! An average use of once a month at most? Not good!
Given that we found a high quality, good condition, used trailer for a reasonable price, I’m not sure it was a bad purchase, at this point it just does not seem like a good purchase, either.
Ever since I saw this post on the Momentum magazine blog, I’ve been thinking about options that don’t involve a trailer. A longtail bicycle, like the Yuba Mondo featured in that post (and here, as well), seems like a great option.
In my excitement, I dug a little deeper into the world of longtails, and found some reviews and comparisons of various bikes including the Yuba Mondo, Surly Big Dummy, and the XtraCycle Radish.* Based on our initial research, we lean toward the Yuba for it’s combination of features that meet our needs and being a good value.
A couple weeks after my longtail excitement, I read S’s post on front-mounted seats on Simply Bike. While I like the idea of a longtail, I’m less excited about the price tag — far more affordable than a car up front and down the road, but still overwhelming to my frugal sensibilities.
With a front-mounted seat, you don’t sacrifice the cargo room on the rear rack as you would with a rear-mounted seat, and you don’t have to deal with the weight and bulk of a longtail (especially a factor in our case, with carrying it up and down stairs).
Also, your little one is right up front, experiencing the ride with you, which appeals to me. While Sir does not seem to mind riding in the trailer, he doesn’t seem particularly excited about it either, and I can’t really blame him.
When thinking about biking with baby options, front-mount seats were not even on my radar, but based on the post I mentioned above, the main contenders are the Yepp Mini, the iBert, and the Bobike Mini.**
Immediately after reading about front-mount seats, I saw an iBert on Craigslist. For better or worse, I didn’t feel ready to grab it up without more research on the various options, including which seat styles work with which bicycles, and that seat is now gone.
For now, we’ll continue using the trailer, if less often than I would like. And I’ll be dreaming about front-mount seats and longtails.
*For more info, check out these resources:
Heavyweight Showdown: Big Dummy vs Yuba Mundo
Cargo Bikes in Momemtum Magazine
Beautiful Bicycles: Yuba Monda Cargo Bike
The Best Cargo Carrying Bikes Of 2012: A Review
**See comments to S’s post for feedback on front-mount seats:
Front mounted bike seat for a child: what are your favorite options?