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February 22, 2009

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Thanks for posting this ... I've been grappling with the restraints question too. Since our oldest is only 2, it's a no-brainer - she's belted in all of our various child seats, including the Madsen, for all of the reasons you note, plus the big one for us - toddler narcolepsy.

As for the Madsen belts, they do a fine job for the purposes you note, but I've been wondering what the physics would be in a crash, since they're attached a fair bit below a velcro'd seat, which seems to leave a long belt length in any crash strong enough to defeat two strips of velcro. I'm also on the fence about the risks/benefits of belts for older kids, but I think I'd like Drew to stay in the bucket if we crash.

I've been thinking about moving the belt mounting bolts to just below the benches, or even making a lower seat for younger kids on a low cushion in the bucket, for better upper body coverage in a tipover.

Did you guys experiment with alternate belt mounting points? What do you think about crashes leading to slack seat belts if the child pivots off the bench seat and the belts pull the velcro loose?

I'll post photos about any alternate seating arrangements we come up with ... we're still having a blast on our Madsen!

PS Can you post some info on your finalized rain cover? We can't wait for one up here in rainy Seattle ...

My experience with belts in the Madsen is mixed. They are great for keeping very small children in place, but as Jared mentioned, probably not much more necessary for the bigger kids than a seatbelt holding me on the saddle. The kids are pretty good about staying put, but let me add a caveat. When the kids change position suddenly in the bucket, ie. shifting from side to side or standing up, it can impair the rider's control of the bike. This is not so difficult at speed, but can be disastrous when starting out or coming to a stop. The considerable momentum of the bike itself seems to help prevent higher-speed incidents, including a loss of traction on ice and snow.
As far as belts go, the kids know better than to fall out of a moving bike. I think that the chances of a high speed crash are pretty low with this bike. And most of my kids (from experience) are happier to be able to roll out of a bike that I clumsily dropped on my foot while trying to ride like I was on a different bike, than to be suspended on their sides from the belts.

Use them for wiggly toddlers and the like, but bigger kids are fine on their own.

Thanks a lot for posting this I've been thinking about moving the belt mounting bolts to just below the benches, or even making a lower seat for younger kids on a low cushion in the bucket, for better upper body coverage in a tipover.

http://oopslaw.changjy.com/2009/11/13/how-to-prevent-bicycle-accident/

As for me it is a very useful post.
http://rapidqueen.com

As far as belts go, the kids know better than to fall out of a moving bike. I think that the chances of a high speed crash are pretty low with this bike. http://www.hotfileseek.com

Do you love life ? Then do not squander time ; for that's the stuff5 life is made of .

To conclude this endless pain

Love me, love my dog.

Looks more and more like somethin' big is goin down.

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