New AM style hardtail - pull double duty?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New AM style hardtail - pull double duty?

    I've been riding with my daughter in an I-bert (in front) on a city cruiser for a year now (she is 2). Recently I have felt she has outgrown the Ibert and its time to move her to the back. So the obvious answer to my problem of needing a new kid seat is to get a new kid seat and a new bike! This is my first child and I've never had a need to attach anything to a MTB so I have no clue as to what I am doing or what I will be needing.

    How I picture it in my head is a hardtail pulling double duty as a trail bike and a hood cruising kid hauler with a seat attached on the back, when not in trail mode. Is this possible without brazons? Any models of bike and or seats I should be looking at to make this all happen?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Personally, I would prefer to mount a child seat rigidly and not using clips to the frame. I had a hard enough time mounting full fenders to an MTB w/o braze-ons, and that didn't carry load. Add to that the potentially short chainstays of an AM bike, and I'm more convinced it's not a good fit for a child seat on the rear.

    Does the city cruiser you've been using have braze-ons or room to drill and tap somewhere on the dropouts?

    Another option, which is the subject of debate, is whether a trailer is safer than a seat. If traffic isn't bad, that may be the best way to haul a child with your AM.

  3. #3
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    Yes, the cruiser has braze-ons and I could easily add a child seat to this bike. Do all child seats need braze-ons to attach to the bike or are there different methods? Would a XC bike be a better fit or is it purely an attachment issue?

    I hadnt really considered a trailer because I like having her right there with me chatting about all the things we see on our rides.

  4. #4
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    I myself prefer rigid attachment, but if you were to do clamp-on, it should be with a seat that includes the clamps and is designed for it. What I was mainly against was taking a seat that is designed for braze-ons and then using clips like I did for fenders.

    I'm not an afficionado of AM and don't know what model yours is, but another drawback could be short chainstays. Typically bikes designed for heavy rear loads have longer chainstays. All my knowledge here is with 29ers, but as a rule of thumb I would think XC would be about right and AM a tad short. But just as important is how the seat mounts and where it places the child's weight.

    All that being said, if the cruiser is ergonomic, solid, and reasonably efficient, I would think that would be one of the better fits possible. If you want to identify both bikes, perhaps you could get some better input.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    I would prefer rigid attachment as well. I guess I need to go and see some examples and how they attach in person.

    My cruiser is a globe work - Specialized Bicycle Components

    The hardtail is still in the planning stages. I was hoping to use the data I learned from this thread in helping me narrow down my choices

    Thanks again for the help

  6. #6
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    Your bike looks like a perfect fit for a rear child seat. The chainstays seem like just the right length for loading up at the rear. Only thing you might want to change is to widen the gearing range or just lower the gearing for the added weight.

    Can I ask what led you to seek an AM style bike for this? I would tend to think a commuter or touring style bike would be the best fit for that, while an AM is best for unloaded sport.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATRG3 View Post

    Can I ask what led you to seek an AM style bike for this? I would tend to think a commuter or touring style bike would be the best fit for that, while an AM is best for unloaded sport.
    I want to add a hardtail to the stable and I prefer the geometry/riding position of AM style bikes over xc bikes. While the commuter is a fun bike i find myself wishing i was on one of my other bikes every time I ride it.

  8. #8
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    if your bike is upright enough, a kangaroo carrier type seat would get their weight off the steering and keep them where you can see them.

    Personally, I would suggest getting a third wheel bike and attaching a rear mount baby seat to that, then you can get any bike you want. Almost all of them have pannier rack holes (not sure why, except it's a standard practice?), and the few that I saw without them had a large steel plate serving as the dropout that had a ton of room for drilling the necessary holes. In a few years, she will be ready to pedal the third wheel bike, and you can use the baby seat to carry snacks, rain gear, whatever, or sell/donate it. Be sure to treat the third wheel components like you would your bike until she can ride it so it doesn't rust, or you'll end up needing a new chain when she's ready.

  9. #9
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    I have a AM hardtail (Santa Cruz Chameleon) and I am using the Britax bike seat. CHILD BIKE SEAT - Accessories - Britax USA.

    I like this one because you only need to attach the bracket on the tube below the seat and the seat comes on and off in about 5 seconds or less. Plus the steel arms act as a cantilever and provide a spring effect to smooth out the ride for the child.

    Then when you are ready to hit the trail, just remove the seat and all that is left is a fairly small clamp on your bike.

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