“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
Christmas was upon us and I hadn't really bought my son any decent presents. He was 16 months old at the time and already had all the toys he needed plus whatever toys his grandparents were buying for him as well. I wanted to buy something different that would definitely get used and wouldn't be a waste of money. In November my partner and I decided that I would have Mondays off work so I could have a dad and son day. Just my son and i with no interruptions. This is when I decided I needed a present we could use together.
I came up with the idea of putting a seat on my bike and we could go on bike rides together. At first all I found were seats for the back of a bike. A seat on the back is something I have never liked the idea of. I wanted to be able to see what he was doing. I didn't want to be riding along and all of a sudden my son throws himself to the side and topples us off the bike. I wanted him in view so I could see what he was up to.
I googled 'front bike seat'. The first result was for Amazon.co.uk when I opened the link the first seat was the Weeride kangaroo front mounted childs seat for age one to four. Straight away I had found exactly what I was looking for. Priced at £62.99 on Amazon I wasn't put off by the price but didn't order it before I had run it by my girlfriend. My girlfriend agreed it would be a good idea but it wasn't until I went to Go Outdoors that I finally bought the seat. It was £59.99 and that was a better price than I had seen anywhere so I snapped it up.
The time had come to fit the seat to my bike. I opened the box and found that it was very simple to fit the seat. The kit consisted of the seat itself, two metal bars that joined together to sit across the top of the bike frame, four nuts and bolts, two brackets with plastic inserts, an allan key and a ten mm spanner.
Fitting it was easy the two bars joined in the middle with a screw that was left loose so the bar could be extended to meet the seat post and the front tube on the bike just under the handlebars. The two brackets fitted on each end. The plastic inserts fitted either side of the brackets and then you just bolt them on with the four nuts and bolts. Once you had tightened the brackets sufficiently, tighten the screw joning the bars and it was very solid. The seat itself just sits on top of the bar and is secured with a screw that is basically hand tight. I have to admit at first I did make the mistake of fitting the front handlebar bracket over the top of a brake cable. This meant that the bracket was interfering with my steering making it very heavy. I have since adjusted this so the cable runs above the bracket and it now fits fine.
The seat itself is a very simple design.
It has adjustable footguards so the seat can grow with your child up to a weight of 40lbs (18kg). The seat is also supposed to last until the child is four years old but in all honesty I would be surprised if it did.
There is a five point harness system, just like you would find on most products for children when they need fastening in. I have two problems with the harness. Firstly when you put the child in the seat the part of the harness that comes up between the legs is always hard to get to. There is a padded headrest at the front of the seat and the harness always gets stuck down the side and it is sometimes hard to pull it tight to be able to clip the shoulder harnesses in. The second problem is I find the top harness is below shoulder height. You have to pull the straps up and over the shoulder rather than them coming straight down. It makes it difficult to find the right tension when slackening or tightening the harness.
The seat itself is well padded on the seat and up the back and also has a padded headrest just in case little one falls asleep. I find the headrest a little useless though because my son fell asleep and I found his head just rested on my chest because the seat doesn't go high enough to support the head. The seat is made from a hard plastic resin so padding is definitely needed.
One thing I should point out is that ideally there should be two people present when placing your child into the seat. If your child got restless there is a chance the bike could fall over so it would be a good idea to have somebody else holding the bike.
I have encountered one other problem with the design of the seat which cannot really be helped. In order for me to ride with my child in the seat I have to have my seat as low as it will go down. Maybe not a huge problem but it becomes a bit of a pain because I also use my bike to ride to work. This means everytime I take my son out on the seat I have to loosen off the bracket on my seat post in order to move the seat up or down. I have found that if I try to ride with seat on and my seat higher up it is very difficult. With the seat down you have to ride slightly bow legged. Not ideal but it doesn't really make riding that much more difficult because it isn't like you will be flying along with you child in front of you. With the seat up you can't ride bow legged and you legs rub on the seat. Plus when you have to stop you can't get your feet to the ground because you can't get forward off your seat because there is no room, which could be dangerous if you had to stop suddenly.
Up to now my son and I have enjoyed our little forays out onto the local parks and cycling track. The weather hasn't been the best so we haven't gone far but I don't see any reason why we can't go further afield in future. I find it comfortable enough riding the bike and I can talk to my son as we go along. The seat is strong and offers enough protection but the fact that my son is in front of me and my arms are either side of him give me that extra piece of mind.
For all its little fault I am glad I bought the weeride kangaroo and think it offers great value for money. There are more expensive versions but I doubt they are any better than the kangaroo. I would definitely recommend purchasing this seat before any seat that fits to the rear of bike. The time I have spent with my son is priceless so I can't really argue about paying £60 for the weeride kangaroo.
At the time of writing this review the weeride kangaroo seat on the go outdoors website is priced £69.99 or £62.99 if you have a discount card. It also says if you find it cheaper elsewhere they'll beat it by 10%.
Review also submitted to www.ciao.co.uk on 16.4.2013.
The Weeride is a unique child bike seat that is centrally mounted onto your own adult sized bike for extra stability.The child is closer to the parent allowing for better interaction and security.Features a headrest enabling your child to sleep whilst in the seat and an adjustable footrest for comfort. Easily fitted within 20 minutes and removed in seconds for solo riding.Fits all bikes with a frame of 16'' and above, except drop handle bar models. Age range: From 1 year.