Recumbent with a child

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
With my current bike I have her in a seat on the rear rack, then will take her on a tag-a-long when she is bigger.

If I wanted a recumbent, but also wanted to transport my daughter, who is currently 2, what are my options?
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
Trailer ?
 

coffeejo

Ælfrēd
Location
West Somerset
I saw a photo today of a recumbent trike with a platform at the back that can take a child seat. Afraid I can't remember any more details but something should come up if you do a web search.
 
OP
benb

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
Cheers.
I'm still only toying with the idea of a recumbent. They do look pretty cool, and also seem a lot of fun to ride.

My wife is unconvinced - she thinks they are more dangerous than an upright, but I don't see why they should be.
 
Lets start at the beginning......

In some ways recumbents are just like ordinary bikes, in others rthey are completely different

One of the big differences id that child seats do not function well.

As the rider is low and the "normal" luggage is directly behind the rider the installation of a child seat makes the seat very high. This can drastically alter stability and handling. Some people do not mind, others feel that it is too much



The next is a trailer. Most recumbents will happily pull a trailer that is mounted to the rear axle. Rear frame mounted trailers can be a problem as it depends on the shape ofthe rear frame triangle. These can be narrower than an upright frame and it can be difficult to fit

Trailer bikes are another issue still and do not do well with recumbents
Many are seatpost mounted and of course there is no seatpost!

This limits you to Rack mounted ones, and this in turn is limited by the ability to fit the custom rack to your recumbent


Of course the ultimate is to buy yourself the much respected Kettwiesel trike and then a "Trets" for the child

The Trets can can be used as a child trailer and then as a trailer bike before ultimately becoming an independent trike for the child.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Cheers.
I'm still only toying with the idea of a recumbent. They do look pretty cool, and also seem a lot of fun to ride.

My wife is unconvinced - she thinks they are more dangerous than an upright, but I don't see why they should be.
And they are not more dangerous, on the contrary.

I have had an ICE trike which is much lower than a DF and a Bacchetta Giro, which is about the same height. I always felt that other road users saw me more and certainly gave me more space. The trike has a large base area and takes up a lot of space on the road, other people cannot fail to see you. They also like to oggle at you. To the point where they will slow down for a better view or let the kids watch you out of the rear window.

The Bacchetta was just unusual and again other road users want to look as they have no idea what it is.

So whatever recumbent you are riding, you get noticed very quickly. I think you cease to be a cyclist to other road users and become a bit of an eccentric instead. I never had any problems with my recumbents.

Once you get used to recumbents they are as easy as a DF to ride.

What makes your wife think they are more dangerous and where is she getting her information?

Not from Bent riders.
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
Steve beat me to it. Yes you get much more room on the road on a bent.

I tow a two wheel trailer behind a trike with no issues so a two wheel tag-along type for a child would work well. This avoids twisting moment being transferred to the rear of the trike by a high, and IMHO, unstable seat high on the rack. Similarly avoid single wheel trailers with a trike. After seeing one being used for camping equipment the engineer in me winced at the twist imparted to the rear wheel of an Aluminium framed trike.
 
OP
benb

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
I agree with what has been written above.

My wife is of the opinion that because they're lower they must be more dangerous. But that's all it is: an opinion.

It took quite a while to convince her that I didn't need to wear a helmet.
 
I don't buy that, what if you are hit from the side?

Don't forget that also on a trike you are more likely to be pushed along rather then toppled as you are on two wheels which will also reduce the impact

Anything more than that and chances are the impact would be outside the range at which helmets are designed to function


However ... lets not divert this thread

Helmet discussions should be in the correct forum
 

machew

Veteran
Recumbents are more dangerous than an normal bike. Not for the rider but for other car users for two reasons. One they don't think that you can go as fast as you are going so they will attempt an overtake and find that they then have two options, one go round the pedestrian island the wrong way, or brake hard. I have seen both. Two the car driver will watch you going in the opposite direction rather than the car in front and then need to test his brakes.
 

starhawk

Senior Member
Location
Bandhagen Sweden
machew: You live in a bad neighbourhood, around here the cars always give me a wide berth and generally don't try to overtake me in the same lane, so trikes are safer for cars over here. However I remember my days as a two-wheel cyklist, it was sometimes real scary in around cars.
 

machew

Veteran
machew: You live in a bad neighbourhood, around here the cars always give me a wide berth and generally don't try to overtake me in the same lane, so trikes are safer for cars over here. However I remember my days as a two-wheel cyklist, it was sometimes real scary in around cars.
When cars overtake me they give me loads of room. What has happened is that drivers in cars going the over way have looked at the bike so long that they haven't seen that the car in front has stopped
 
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