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New Xtracycle child seat eases kid/cargo compatibility

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Easily carry kids, cargo with the PeaPod LT
(Photo by Xtracycle)

If you want to carry your groceries on your bike, or pick up a load of lumber from the hardware store, there are a lot of bikes out there for you on the U.S. market, particularly longtail bikes — particularly the Xtracycle, the Yuba Mundo, and the Kona Ute.

But wait, you also want to carry a child or two along with all that orange juice and cat litter? That’s a little more tricky.

But times are changing, with Xtracycle’s release this week of the PeaPod LT, the first child seat that is fully compatible with its longtail bikes.

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Attaching a kids’ seat to a cargo bike has traditionally been a pain. Todd Fahrner of Clever Cycles came by the office recently to discuss the issue. “Most of the ostensible cargo/utility bikes in the US market will accept no known child seat, without some kind of heavy homebrew modification,” he told us, adding that even the original PeaPod, manufactured by Xtracycle, is not compatible with the company’s own bikes. “The designers clearly weren’t targeting family transport as an option. Maybe fearing liability?”

It seems that every kid seat you see attached to any kind of non-import cargo-oriented bike is attached through sheer sweat and ingenuity — or created custom.

Xtracycle’s new child carrier is the PeaPod LT, which has been designed to carry kids aged 1 to 4 7, and to fit onto an Xtracycle longtail right off the shelf.

This version of the PeaPod replaces the longtail’s top deck, creating greater stability than anything attached to the bikes’ standard, and appropriately named, snap deck. The seat also has a front bar for your kid to hold on to while riding and adjustable leg rests.

A DIY child seat on a Kona Ute longtail
(Photo © J. Maus)

Xtracycle is running a promotion called the PeaPod Pilot Program that will give 50 families a substantial discount on their Radish bicycle with the Peapod mounted. They describe the purpose of the program this way:

Ten years ago our goal was to transform an industry. Now our goal is to transform our neighborhoods. We’ve designed the PeaPod Pilot Program to do just that.

Participating families will blog about their use of the bikes to change the way they get around on a daily basis. Xtracycle will begin signing up intrepid families from around the country in a few days.