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(Before I ask my question, please note that I am aware that "shopping questions" are not appropriate here. I'm trying to determine if a product exist, and if not, why, not to get a particular product recommended.)

tl:dr: We are looking for a child-seat without foot rest and with 3- or 5-point harness. Oddly enough, that does not seem to exist?


We have a Kona UTE 2104, with a Polisport Bilby seat on the back (fixed directly in the rear deck). We are looking to add a second seat, also fixed in the deck.

Ideally, we would like the seat to:

  • be a good fit for a 7 y.o., ~45 lbs (~20 kgs),
  • have a 3-point fixation (shoulder + between legs, i.e. a 3 or 5 point harness),
  • not have foot rest.

The reason why we'd like not to have foot rest is to be able to keep using the large frame bags on both sides of the bike:

enter image description here

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  • If you are certain about this, can’t you just cut off the foot rest of a “normal” child seat? Just make sure it’s safe and smooth any sharp edges. – Michael May 19 '20 at 5:11
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    Maybe because otherwise the child’s feet (or at least their clothes) could get caught in the wheel? – Michael May 19 '20 at 5:22
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    In many jurisdictions it is a legal requirement for childs seats to have foot rests. – mattnz May 19 '20 at 6:39
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    20 kilos of mass directly over the rear axle is getting quite high and will affect your bike's handling given the mass is so high and rearward. Have you considered a tagalong bike of some sort? A cargo bike with a bench seat might work but they're not cheap. – Criggie May 19 '20 at 8:20
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    @Criggie Were you suggesting a frontloader cargo bike then? (Without clarification, it seemed odd to suggest they look at cargo bikes while already having what in many places is the default definition of a "cargo bike"). Also, having weight over the rear axle matters less on a stretched-out bike, because the weight of the rider and front wheel is significantly further forward. – RLH May 19 '20 at 20:12
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If you could find a seat that did not have footrests or was advertised as holding a 7 y.o., ~45 lbs (~20 kgs) child it would not meet the ASTM International standard. It's over all safety would be questionable.

According to consumerreports.org:

There are no federal standards for trailers or bike seats. The AAP recommends that any trailer or bike-mounted child seat meet the safety standards of ASTM International. Look for a sticker on the product or the packaging that indicates compliance. It's also a good idea to buy trailers and bike seats from reputable bicycle stores and manufacturers. Be careful about what you might find in toy stores, because those items might not meet the same safety standards.

If a child seat is manufactured according to the ASTM International standard:

The carrier shall be manufactured free of burrs, sharp edges, and sharp points; when present, these shall be properly covered with protective coatings to prevent injuries. In addition, the carrier shall be equipped with a rear reflector, footrests, backrest, armrests, protective devices to prevent contact of hands and feet with moving or movable components of the bicycle, and belt or capturing devices to keep the child from standing in or leaving the carrier.

This specification covers child carriers that mount to the rear of bicycles in order to transport children or accessory loads with a maximum weight of 18 kg (40 lb)

An option might be a tag along.
It also reduces weight on the rear wheel vs child seat and bags.

This rig would work with a rack and bags/panniers
enter image description here

EDIT: Further comments indicate the need to carry two children.
A tandem tag along might be an option that reduces the inherent instability of a large weight high over the rear wheel and still accommodate bage.
enter image description here

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  • Good idea - the only gotcha might be whether the drawbar clears the rear rack on the cargo bike. It may be feasible to raise the clamp somewhat. – Criggie May 19 '20 at 19:30
  • Two aspects: 1. You could have a separate foot-rest, a bit in the spirit of etsy.com/ie/listing/290487493/footrest-for-the-2010-ute . I don't see why the foot rest and the seat should be in one piece, and I don't think this would sacrifice to safety. 2. Tag along will be a great option once the oldest child is a bit older. As of now, to commute on busy street with 0 bike marking or habits, I worry he would not be visible enough to "busy / stressed drivers" that we may encounter… A flag or similar equipment could work, but it would be a better protection to be on the same bike. – Clément May 19 '20 at 20:10
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    The standard is interesting but it's not applicable to this question. "This specification covers child carriers that mount to the rear of bicycles in order to transport children or accessory loads with a maximum weight of 18 kg" and the OP needs a seat capable of a higher weight limit (much less common, even in countries where children are routinely transported by bike) – Chris H May 19 '20 at 21:31
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The foot rests on the Bobike junior classic could be omitted, or perhaps even spaced further out, without removing the part that keeps the child's legs out of the wheel. It may still not allow enough room for bags, and this seat only has a lap belt. I use one for a tall 6 year old, though I've added some extra protection against flappy clothing getting into the wheel. This picture (on Pinterest, claimed to be saved from Bobike's own site) suggests it should be possible to use panniers with that seat on a normal bike, so long panniers should be OK on yours

In the past I've extended a rack backwards to allow panniers to be carried behind the seat. That's not an option with a heavier child given the effect on the centre of gravity. I use a handlebar bag and backpack, but that limits capacity. If I needed to carry my daughter and lots of stuff, I'd put the stuff in the trailer she's too tall for.

Having now seen the photo of the stretched frame of the Kona Ute linked above, I reckon the bobike footrests would be forwards of the bags shown anyway, and I think it would still work with those seatstays.

There aren't many seats for bigger children, but most of them have removable footrests. I think your biggest problem will actually be the desire for a 3-point seatbelt on these bigger seats. I don't recall seeing one on any I looked at. Strangely the one I've got has a feature that looks like it's meant for a fixing point between the legs, but isn't used (at least on the model sold in the UK)

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  • At some point big-kids-seat bikes become tandems :) – Criggie May 19 '20 at 8:18
  • Thanks for your answer. The picture you show is more-or-less the set-up we have for one seat, but as the second seat has to be farther on the rack, this won't work anymore. Indeed, extending the rack even further is not really an option, nor is the trailer. Thanks for your comment on 3-point seatbelt, I'm glad to see that this option seems rare indeed. – Clément May 19 '20 at 20:13
  • I didn't realise you wanted a second seat on there. That may be tricky though you may be able to adapt some of the Chinese imports I saw when looking for mine. Would the rear child's legs actually fit with the panniers there, even without the footrests? You'd need a rack-mount seat and nearly all of those the weight limit is too low, because most racks (not yours) wouldn't support anything more. – Chris H May 19 '20 at 21:29

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