Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Weeride Kangaroo Childseat

It is clearly not a hidden agenda with me that I want my child to enjoy cycling, preferably from as early an age as possible. One of my fellow bike club members once confided in me that her biggest disappointment was that both her sons did not like cycling at all, so she has to ride "on the sly" as far as her family is concerned.

We did buy a trailer fairly early on, but he didn't like it. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised. The trailer is much more like a car than like a bike: he's low to the ground, with limited visibility, and has to stare at daddy's rear wheels and legs. So we started shopping for a child seat. We ruled the rear carriers out of hand, because that was only a mild improvement over a trailer. I also wanted to be able to monitor Bowen, and a rear mounted seat doesn't work that well for that.

As far as front carriers are concerned, there are only 2 choices, the WeeRide, and the iBert.
We picked the WeeRide because it was cheaper, and looked easier to install, and didn't have his legs sticking out under the bars, where it might interfere with cables, etc. We tried the iBert at a Co-Motion event in the middle seat of a triplet, and in that situation, the iBert is actually better, so whether you plan to use the seat on a single or a triplet makes a difference. In any case, both are so cheap that you could reasonably buy both and not break the bank.

Since both types of seats are suitable only for flat bar bikes, I decided to just buy a cheap bike for riding with Bowen. While I paid only $250 on BikesDirect, I'm not sure I would go quite so cheap next time. The big chainring on that bike bent on the first ride, and the wheels definitely needed additional tensioning. I'm equipped to fix the latter problem, but the former is just an indication of poor quality.

The problem with the Weeride is that unless you have an unusually long top tube on the bike, your knees will interfere with the seat. I ended up setting my saddle height low as a result so I could actually mount and ride the thing with Bowen on it. This is not a big deal for very short rides, but it does mean that any ambitious I have of towing a trailer as well are gone.

The mounting scheme doesn't let you adjust the seat height after you've set up the seat without a hassle, so no, you can't just set it up and then set up your saddle.


I might sound like I'm complaining a lot, but actually, we've been using the Weeride quite a bit! Bowen loves it and has started demanding bike rides, and has taken to imitating the Weeride on his strider. He now asks to listen to Queen's Bicycle race over and over again. So in terms of getting Bowen into cycling, it's working. We'll see how it goes when he masters the Strider.
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