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are there any child seats that can be used for twins (6 month old)? I don't like the idea of putting them in a trailer as I suspect its easy for cars to not see it.

Also - special bonus point to anyone who knows of a solution that is compatible with a tag along bike (used by a five year old)!

Edit I am discussing some custom options with local bike mechanic, will report back when I have update.

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@Kevin: Bike seats have the advantage of visibility, but a kiddie trailer has the advantage that, if the bike goes down on its side, the trailer doesn't necessarily go with it. I don't have kids, but I do have a cargo trailer, and cars pass me with more room when I pull it. Perhaps drivers think there are kids inside? –  Neil Fein Aug 31 '10 at 20:47
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@Kevin: If a new bike is in the cards, you might also consider testing out a dutch cargo bike or tricycle, with two kid seats in a large cargo box. I suspect that this is the best of both worlds: The room of a small trailer, the kids on the bike where you can see them. –  Neil Fein Aug 31 '10 at 20:51
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Trailers seem much safer to me. Having two kids on a bike seems very unstable. My loaded saddle bags make my bike very unstable and their center of gravity is significantly lower. –  sixtyfootersdude Sep 23 '10 at 22:32
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im not a father of any sort, but I would not put them on a bike at all. I'm sure you're a good cyclist, but drivers are unpredictable. I guess it all depends where you live, and where you ride...in SF, never. –  fady Sep 24 '10 at 4:28
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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned a sidecar. –  Neil Fein Sep 26 '10 at 17:42
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10 Answers 10

An alternative to long tail bicycles is long wheelbase bicycles:

enter image description here

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Where did you find this? –  sixtyfootersdude Sep 23 '10 at 22:29
    
You can find infos on the site mentioned in the picture: bakfiets.nl –  mouviciel Sep 24 '10 at 4:51
    
These are the best, about every –  jilles de wit Sep 24 '10 at 9:36
    
I love the "bucket bikes", though I haven't seen them anywhere outside of the Netherlands. This is quite a fancy model, though. Most of the ones you see in NL are much simpler in design. –  Nik Reiman Sep 24 '10 at 11:53
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Bucket bikes in the US: metrofiets.com madsencycles.com larryvsharry.com/english –  freiheit Jan 17 '11 at 23:29
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Recommendations for transporting twins on a bike? A trailer.

I'm a father myself - my son is nearly 9 months old, and I cycle a lot. In the area that I live, I wouldn't feel safe having him on the road with me at all.

If I were offroad, or on more quiet roads, I would definitely prefer to have him in a trailer; they're more stable for you and your child (they can't wobble you, don't change your centre of gravity, and won't fall over when you do).

Anecdotal evidence that I've read suggests that drivers are actually more likely to give you a wide berth with a trailer, simply because you look unusual and they notice you (this question has some links to an interesting study on factors affecting the gap given to cyclists, which touches on a similar thing). This article makes a very good case for the trailer vs a child seat in a collision with a car.

Aside from anything else, kids love to ride in trailers. :-)

I know your question states that you don't like the idea of a trailer, but if they were my twins I'd want them in a trailer - so I can't offer any other answer than that!

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Having towed my sons a fair few miles in a trailer on various roads I'd have to agree - I like trailers. Visibility is not the issue people make it out to be (I've been riding a recumbent - sometime towing a child trailer - for over 20 years, trust me on this one) –  Murph Sep 24 '10 at 9:38
    
I've taken my three kids (multiple ages) around in bike trailers for almost nine years. Enhance your visibility with a bike flag. Trailers help you carry snacks, diaper bag, changes of clothes,and groceries. You can find used trailers cheap on Craigslist. –  memnoch_proxy Aug 26 '11 at 14:20
    
@Murph - I've recently been towing a kid trailer behind my 'bent, too :-) –  memnoch_proxy Aug 26 '11 at 14:20
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You could always get a seat for one in front of you (handlebar mounted child seat) and the second behind you (conventional rack-mount child seat). Probably have to have them trade off to minimize fights, since the front seat is probably a lot more fun (and easier to watch the kid). I see a couple around town where the wife carries their kid in a handlebar mounted seat that looks just like that one.

Or you could get an Xtracycle and get the "peapod" accessory to put two kids on the back of your now-longtailed bike. There's probably similar options for other longtailed bikes, or simply seats that you can mount two of two a longtailed bike... Here's a Kona Ute with two peapods on the back: alt text

You should check the age, though... I understand that you want to wait until a couple of months after the child can hold their own head up (the helmet makes it even harder on the child's neck, but small children really need to be wearing a helmet). Something like 9 months? Or maybe find a seat arrangement that has the kid laying down instead of sitting upright.

For a solution that's compatible with a tag-along bike, you probably need something that puts both kids in front of you. A bakfiet's probably way too expensive, though.

I see lots of parents carrying kids on bikes, but only ever a single kid on the bike, if there's 2 or more kids, all the others are in a trailer, on a trail-a-bike or on the other parent's bike.

Disclaimer: I don't have kids and have never tried to carry even one on a bike. Closest I've ever come is either a lot of groceries on the bike or an adult on a trailer.

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That picture looks very tippy. –  sixtyfootersdude Oct 27 '10 at 12:36
    
@sixtyfootersdude: front kid's center of gravity is in front of the rear axle and the front of the bike's a long lever to keep it all from tipping backwards. You'd probably want to put the heavier kid in the front seat, as well as always loading in the front kid first and unloading the rear kid first.... –  freiheit Oct 27 '10 at 16:32
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This is pretty unconventional and not necessarily available to you, but here's some food for thought. Friends of mine had had a custom 'rack' built for their Kona Ute by a local rack & frame-builder to transport their two daughters (although they are much older). It came out exceptionally well (plus the girls love it):

alt text

(Photo courtesy Lois Keenan, rack by Dan Neidz)

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Unless I'm seeing this picture incorrectly, this would be illegal in New Jersey and possibly other U.S. states with the same law. NJ 39:4-12 - "Limit passengers to only the number the bicycle is designed and equipped to carry (the number of seats it has)." –  Neil Fein Sep 27 '10 at 21:32
    
@neilfein - Except that its clearly "designed" and equipped to carry those two passengers. A Kona Ute is designed to carry load on the back and the above bike is specifically equipped with suitable seats... –  Murph Oct 9 '10 at 11:22
    
@Murph - That's good to hear, but not apparent from the photo. @Dustin - I'd love to see more photos of this rig if you have them! –  Neil Fein Oct 11 '10 at 20:19
    
Well I'm not a lawyer... but in theory the NJ law would prohibit any child seat... –  Murph Oct 12 '10 at 6:39
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If you have the requisite skills you could make one of these (or get someone to make it for you):

alt text

There are lots of details on his site Rutzer Tales.

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Hi Amos - Nice idea - is this yours? It looks very wide and a bit unstable. I wonder how it works out in practice ? Where I live there are cycle routes, but not particularly wide (this looks like it would take up full width of a cycle lane). –  Kevin Sep 26 '10 at 9:43
    
@Kevin: No I spotted it at blog.makezine.com a couple of days before you posted the question, but couldn't remember where I'd seen it until I saw it again the other day. I think you'd need both twins in otherwise it'd get a bit unstable, maybe you'd need ballast for going round corners. –  Amos Sep 26 '10 at 14:11
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you could use one behind seat kid seat and one top tube kid seat. alt text and

alt text

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Kevin I'm a father of 3 girls and a boy all grown up now but i use to ride them to pre-school [back in the day] using side streets when possible. In my opinion a trailer would be the best and safest.. when and if the bike falls the speed at which the childrens heads hit the ground is very very fast it is sometimes refered to as "tip-speed" even with a helmet i would highly discourage it..

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Winther kangaroo but its expensive. Front trailer. Three wheeled and lots of storage space. Trailers are safe for 6/12 babies. A place for them to rest and shady. Water proof and bug proof too. Seats can change to face you or look at the front view. They also have the four seater one for your 5 year old. Capacity weight is 100kg. Saw it in the web. Tested safe.

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