The safe-T-seat is more than just a child carrier, it’s 6 years work of a mother and father who were disappointed with the family bicycling options available. The bicycle trailers were great for us but terrible for the kids. They couldn’t see anything but dirt and rocks and when we closed the front flap to keep the muck out of their faces, they got too hot. Plus, it was BORING for them.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sapporo, Japan
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2011
Strengths: Wonderful way to ride with a child. Can't imagine anything better. Handling is fine, and my knees do not hit the iBert.
Weaknesses: Attaching and removing the seat could be easier. First, the pin should be longer with a small handle on one side and more of a point on the insertion side so that it can be guided into the hard-to-see hole under the seat. Next, the cotter pin/R-clip is also hard to handle for the same reasons of cramped space and inconvenient location. I've tried test substitutes using wood, but the forces on the stinger are too great. Next, the plastic latch over the child's lap keeps falling back down when trying to put the child in. Perhaps a small spring could keep it upright while moving the child. Finally, I opted to drill holes in the seat, foot rests and bottom of foot area to allow unexpected rainwater to escape. To be sure, these are small issues, but fixing them would make a great product even closer to ideal.
I am very glad I never tried a rear seat. My son and I have a great time together on our rides, I can see him and gauge his reactions, and the bike handles great. Even with such a short stem, the iBert fits in perfectly. I highly recommend this seat. Too bad it was so expensive in Japan, but we're glad it was available. Shipping from America would have doubled the American cost.
Strengths: - very secure
- easy to mount
- super fun
Weaknesses: - seat padding is minimal
First, let me just say that I don't think it's a good idea to go off-road with this child seat mounted to your bike. With all that extra weight up front, the chance of endoing is too scary to consider. Also, the seat is not padded well enough and the poor kid will get his/her butt and brain rattled too much.
With that said, this is an AWESOME child seat. My son LOVES riding in it. He get that "wind in your face" experience that rear mounted seats can't provide. My wife and I get to see the smile on his face and the wide-eyed stare. It's so easy to mount and very secure. My wife has had no problem getting our 13 month old in and out of the seat on her own. We both highly recommend this seat.
Strengths: Light, easy to remove, out of the way of knees, good communication with child, child feels part of the experience rather than luggage.
Weaknesses: The harness is poor
I have read some reviews on other forums that claim these type of seats are 'child killers'. These people have obviously not used the seats and are scare mongering and paranoid. This is a shame as they are quite convincing and I'm sure it will put many parents off and so they'll miss out on a wondeful experience. I hope I can help alleviate those paranoid fears. I am a mechanical design engineer (automotive) and I'm not a risk taking idiot.
I take my 2 year old daughter out on a 7 mile MTB trail (average difficulty). The bikes handling/steering is not adversely affected. It is almost as easy to control the bike with her on board as not. Her weight is very near the centre of mass of the bike so it has little effect.
I do not go to 100% of my ability when she is with me, I go about 60% max. This reduces the possibilty of an accident down to what I consider everyday normal.
If you are choosing between Ibert and Wee ride, I have read that Ibert is lighter and sits further forward so has better knee clearance, thats why I chose Ibert. Wee ride has the face cushion that they can sleep on. If you are doing short journeys on a big framed bike, maybe Weeride is the best option. If you have a smaller frame (mine is 17.5") and want to do MTB trails then Ibert seems better. That was my conclusion anyway.
I started off on easy rides in the park, then moved onto the MTB trails. My little girl enjoys it. I don't ride on the road, that feels too vunerable to me as the roads are busy here. Getting hit by a car gives you little chance whether you're in a trailer, rear mounted or front mounted seat. But given the choice of those, I'd rather my little girl between my arms in that scenario than behind me out of sight.
My feeling is, don't be scared off by the paranoid know it alls who have never even used this product or one like it. I haven't read a negative review from anyone who actually owns an Ibert.
If you want one then go and get one. I wish I'd got mine sooner.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2008
I have to say this is a killer product. I love it and my 22 mo old son Logan loves it this year even more than last! I'm actually doing some mild trail riding and he and I both have big ass smiles plastered on our faces.
The EXCELLENT review below pretty much gives all the pertinent details. I love the iBert for many reasons but chiefly because it's so portable. Instead of humping the entire Burley trailer down to Crested Butte (he hates the trailer anyhow), just throw the light and compact iBert in the car. Excellent-a! I really can pedal pretty much unfettered on my Blur with him riding co-pilot. The closeness you have to your child, you can really wisper right in their ear, is priceless. I think getting the mirror so you could see their face is an excellent idea (review below). The steering is fine, just a little more deliberate. Getting on/off a little tricky at first (smaller Moms with a standard top tube might be little nervous?), but it's pretty seemless now. I actually have a Maverick Speedball on my bike (great product), which makes seat lowerings for starting out a snap...not the designed purpose I'm sure, lol.
Anyhow, 5 star product for sure. I saw something similar in Italy years ago and vowed when I had a son I'd get one. The Euro have the best bike toys. Get one!
Only minor demerits are the harness system, which is a continous loop and a tough to adjust with squirming little guy, and the seat rattles a bit before the child is in it (not after).. a little unerving, but actually solid.
Finally, don't leave this thing around not on the bike. Logan wants to get in then too! And it not stable just sitting on the back patio, etc.
from San Joser, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2008
Strengths: Best toddler bike seat out there. Well designed. Super easy to install. Lightweight (vs. the Weeride). Easy removal of the seat. My older son loved it, now my younger one does.
Weaknesses: Color (though it does match my Kawasaki). With seat removed, you can bang your knees into the stinger if you're not careful (when standing on steep climbs in particular). Had to add a strap to the back (see below).
I had a Weeride (purchased when it was still called the Centric Safehaven), and then later I got an iBert. The Weeride was great, but the major drawback was that it sat slightly lower and slightly more rearward which made me have to ride fairly bowl-legged. The iBert is better in that the seat is a little more out of the way of my knees (higher and more forward) - but even just a little bit more out of the way goes a long way and to me this alone makes this seat superior. The other advantage is that it weighs less (the mounting bracket for the Weeride is big, steel, and heavy). The disadvantage of the iBert is that the child’s weight is hanging off of the steerer tube, but it’s really not that bad - once you try one you’ll see what I mean - it’s much less of a factor than I would have guessed. Another advantage of the iBert is that it’s much easier to remove the seat (as long as you don’t mind with the “stinger” pointing at your crotch). I now have it on a bike that also have a trail-a-bike attached to. I’ll put my 16-month-old son in the iBert and my 4-year-old on the trail-a-bike. If I just have one of them, I can easily remove whichever attachment I don’t need. OK, the truth is that I have bumped my knees into the stinger before (with the iBert seat removed) - it’s only happened once or twice, while standing, but it did more than tickle…
Riding: the paranoids can freak all they want, but I used to mtb ride (I mean real, 1 to 1.5 hour-long rides) with my now-4 year-old in the Weeride and later the iBert when he was between the ages of 2.5 and 3.5 years old. Before then, it was just more mellow rides around the neighborhood (as I do now with my 16 month old). For trail-riding, the important parts are to ride slower than you would, on less technical trails then you would, in more control than you would, etc. Basically, up your safety and control a couple of notches compared to how you might normally ride, and the two of you will be fine.
Other tips I would give:
1) get your toddler excited with wearing a helmet - preferably before hand with an indoor bike, or some ride-a-long. If they’re already somewhat OK with wearing their helmet before you try to go on your first ride, you’ve got one less potential issue…
2) start with flat pedals and a lowered seat. It will give you more control. I now ride with my seat at normal height, and with SPDs, but it took a while to build up that level of comfort.
3) In addition to you’re regular tools/water/jacket/spare tube, etc., be prepared for them too! Bring snacks, DIAPERS/WIPES, changing pad, etc. I used to keep an extra plastic baggie next to my camelback in the garage with most of the essentials ready to go.
4) start with very short rides around the neighborhood, and slowly build up your ride times, and the level of “bumpiness” of the rides. (a loop around the outside of a grass playing field is more bumpy than pavement, but not quite like hitting the trails)
5) on longer rides, if possible plan mid-ride stops to a playground or duck-pond or whatever - something fun to break up the ride for the little one.
6) I attached one of those dorky side-mirrors that plugs into the end of my handlebar. On the road I’ll point it to see traffic behind me, but off road I’ll use it to watch my son’s face - it helps to monitor their enjoyment/tiredness, etc.
7) On the iBert, I use an extra strap that I loop between the two straps in the back to pull them closer together at about shoulder-blade height. Think of this like a sternum-strap for a Camelback, only across the back instead of the sternum. This will make more sense to those who own one already (or those about to set one up). It definitely helps to keep the straps on my kids shoulders and seems much more secure.
8) try to train your kid to ride with their elbows-in. Elbows-in, and I can ride without being bowl-legged at all. When my son sets his elbows out, I have to ride a little bowl-legged…
Similar Products Used: Centric Safehaven (now known as the "Weeride")
Bike Setup: Ironhorse Sinister Comp used as my dedicated "kids bike". iBert in front, Trail-a-bike in the back. Upgraded rear shock to a newer air shock to be able to adjust sag/spring-rate as needed, and better pedaling.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rocklin, CA
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2008
Strengths: Lets you ride with your kid.
Weaknesses: Mounting system is suspect. I wouldn't trust it with my kid.
I tested but chose not to purchase the seat. The Wee-Ride is trail proven (search the Nor Cal forum for lots of threads) and much stronger than the safe-T-seat.
Riding with a young child is wonderful, and I highly recommend getting a front-mount style seat.
Save some money though and buy the less expensive but better quality Wee-Ride.