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Help Mamachari or N+1?

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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YMMV but betwwen hot sweaty summers and cold windy winters the few times I might have ridden with a baby before babies number two and three made anything but a car impractical were not worth spending any money on. Better was to go out on my bike, ride really hard to get my cycling on and then come home ready to chill and walk with the baby in a pram or a sling. Young babies don't belong on bikes IMO. Their brains and necks aren't designed to be jostled. Wait a few years until the young one is big enough to ride their own bike? Now I can't keep up with baby number one. Was a time he could only beat me going uphill but now anything but steep downhill, I'm toast.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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YMMV but betwwen hot sweaty summers and cold windy winters the few times I might have ridden with a baby before babies number two and three made anything but a car impractical were not worth spending any money on. Better was to go out on my bike, ride really hard to get my cycling on and then come home ready to chill and walk with the baby in a pram or a sling. Young babies don't belong on bikes IMO. Their brains and necks aren't designed to be jostled. Wait a few years until the young one is big enough to ride their own bike? Now I can't keep up with baby number one. Was a time he could only beat me going uphill but now anything but steep downhill, I'm toast.
Neither is a problem in my experience, at least starting from about age 1. I’ve been taking my daughter in the trailer since she was a few weeks shy of 1 (she is born in April and day care starts on 1 April like everything in Japan). There are dedicated baby seats on offer for the trailer by Burley, but there is no practical need. And at age 1 in a trailer, it is fine. The center of gravity of the trailer is very low and the ride quite comfy even without suspension. Would I go offroading with this setup and a very young child? Nope. But for regular roads and curbs for trips to the grocery store or to day care, this isn’t an issue.

Regarding weather, we have pretty cold winters here in Miyagi, in fact, it just snowed over night and I’ll take the bike to work and day care today. If it gets really cold, I make sure she has a blanket so that her feet and legs are warm. But other than that the rain window is perfectly wind proof. In the summer I just roll up the window and my daughter gets a nice breeze while riding. The thing is water tight in pouring rain, I can ride through mud puddles and all, and the inside will remain dry.

Lastly, money. Even ignoring the cost of a car, a quality baby seat in various sizes will at least be as expensive if not more expensive than the trailer. Many higher-end systems are modular, so you have the pram, the seat bit and a car seat bit that you put the shell with the baby into.

The only thing I don’t have experience with is what happens when I put both of my kids in the rear. Our son is still too young (he’s not even 2 months old). But my concerns are not about space or anything, rather that they will fight or my older one will torture the younger one — same as in a car. (I have a lot of fond memories of my siblings and I fighting in the car. :nose:)
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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Hydraulic discs aren't really maintenance free, due to their tendency to rub if everything isn't perfect. You just don't have to adjust them quite as much to get perfect braking.

One benefit of a mamachari is that they are stable enough to ride on snow and ice without spiked tires.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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@baribari
I find that issue to be quite overblown. Yes, brake rub can happen, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as many people new to disc brakes think it does. If anything, I only have slight brake rub when I put in new brake pads and the brakes haven’t had time to adjust themselves.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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@baribari
I find that issue to be quite overblown. Yes, brake rub can happen, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as many people new to disc brakes think it does. If anything, I only have slight brake rub when I put in new brake pads and the brakes haven’t had time to adjust themselves.
It didn't happen to either my disc bikes for about a year, to be fair. The real issue, assuming your discs haven't warped, are that the pistons start to get sticky and don't retract as well as they used to. When that happens, you have to push them out a bit and clean and lubricate them.
 

Cactaur

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Feb 3, 2014
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My experience about disc brakes its the quick release ones that have rubbing issues. Thru axle has been problem free.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Minor tip--for the grandkids we found excellent child seats at hard off for ¥5000-6000 each. A cheaper stroller/baby car, too.
Yes, used stuff is great. I got some via Facebook, a high-quality pram and baby bag for only 2,000 ¥. I reckon we can make that work for the second child as well. I love buying used stuff in Japan, people usually take good care of stuff.
My experience about disc brakes its the quick release ones that have rubbing issues. Thru axle has been problem free.
Yup, thru axles are better, because they reliable and repeatably locate the wheels in the right place every time, which makes aligning brakes and rotors much easier.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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One benefit of a mamachari is that they are stable enough to ride on snow and ice without spiked tires.
I would guess that most mamachari tires are not really that much wider than your average CX or gravel bike's tires. The 650B 42mm on my Elephant NFE are wider than the tires of most mamachari I see. It doesn't do much for me on ice though, that still sucks.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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I would guess that most mamachari tires are not really that much wider than your average CX or gravel bike's tires. The 650B 42mm on my Elephant NFE are wider than the tires of most mamachari I see. It doesn't do much for me on ice though, that still sucks.
Wider isn't necessarily better on compacted snow/ice. Either way, you have to ride very gingerly unless you have spiked tires. I wouldn't dream of riding a road bike on ice, but a mamachari has a long wheelbase and low, upright riding position that makes it more stable.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Wider isn't necessarily better on compacted snow/ice.
You are right about tires, although I'd still having a bike that can accommodate wider tires is desirable, even if it is just an option. Moreover, I think many spiked tires are wider (than road tires).
I wouldn't dream of riding a road bike on ice, but a mamachari has a long wheelbase and low, upright riding position that makes it more stable.
In this case not necessarily: Nuff is 1,84 m tall, way taller than what mamacharis will be designed for. So he will be crammed into the bike, and IMHO that'd make him riding a mamachari less stable.

For people like us the upright seating position also isn't necessarily an advantage. I personally don't like riding upright.

If you want a stable ride, get a mountain bike or something derived from that.
 
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