D.I.Y. Child's Bike Seat Weather Protector

Here is my new video tutorial to go with the written one:




On Friday I had the pleasure of receiving Jack's new bike seat in the mail, such excitement!  It seems like I'm always celebrating like it's a holiday since I started this bicycle challenge on the Yuba Mundo!  I have been looking to solve a few issues that have really held me back during these cold months of snow, rain and chilly wind.  On my first ride with Jack I completely underestimated how cold it would be and the next day Jack had a bug that held on for two weeks.  I think it's really important to be realistic about just how difficult it can be to transport kids on bikes in colder climates, especially those that are too young to communicate their needs with you.


 After studying and researching ways to effectively handle weather extremes for younger riders I came up with this idea; it requires little to no special equipment or tools and is relatively inexpensive, but mostly it's EASY! I managed to find a used Peanut Shell seat for $75, after shipping I paid about $112 (you can also find them new from Yuba Bicycles Here ). I already had an umbrella stroller that I got on clearance for $22 at Shopko, which was a steal for the Chicco brand that most parents will recognize as they make excellent, high quality products. The reason the Chicco was a perfect addition to this project is the sunshade clips on and off of the frame, but also it's the kind of stroller one can easily tote on a cargo bike, so if I wanted to ride to the mall or park and have a stroller with me- I could still utilize the sunshade on either the bike or on the stroller during my travels.  The only other kid product that I utilized was another item I already had- an inexpensive off-brand rain cover made to fit any stroller, this too can be used for it's original use on a stroller as I made minimal changes to it.



A visit to Home Depot got me everything else I needed for this project for under $7!
I got a 5 foot length of 1/2" PVC type pipe for under $2 (I used sharkbite pex tubing, I tested a few before I bought it to see how bendy they where)
Some industrial strength zip ties for under $2
One pack of Scotch All Weather Fasteners (suitable for indoor/outdoor use, they are 3x stronger than regular Velcro) for around $3

And that's it!






To make this you won't need to cut the PVC- it was the perfect length, you will however need a drill- or do what we did and heat up a skewer on the stove and simply melt holes at the appropriate spots.

We tucked the PVC behind the seat and attached it with the zip ties through the holes we'd made in the seat (I used a sharpie and a measuring tape to make it accurate).






You will know you've found the right spot for the PVC if the bottoms line up to the metal base of the chair. Make sure this zip tie is super tight as it will be responsible for holding the PVC up on the frame.  I have a little stash of zip-ties in my Go-Getter pocket so I always have back up.








 Essentially this is the angle the PVC should sit at, notice it naturally follows the angle of the seat- this is so easy!

I would recommend getting some of that fun patterned duct tape or reflective tape and wrap it around the PVC prior to attaching it- this would add a more "professional" look and protect the pipe from the elements a little.  Also I think I will be checking the zip ties occasionally because this pipe would flick up in a hurry if more than one tie failed at the same time. Obvious stuff I know- but thought I should mention it!
So here's the real tricky part- attaching that sun shade was really something!  You have to click it on there just like you do on the stroller- whoa watch out, genius at work here folks!
Obviously the fact that the Chicco Capri Stroller HERE has a removable canopy makes this pie, but should you not care to buy one or already have one like I did, then I'm sure any umbrella stroller's canopy could be utilized with some creative thinking.


And finally here's the universal rain cover that I had purchased last winter for about $5 in Kmart.
Those sticky All Weather Fasteners made this a simple job.  With one package I was able to attach it right above the foot rests on each side and then twice on the back.  And yes, it has ventilation holes already, so my child shan't be suffocating anytime soon!

In the summer when it gets to 100 plus degrees around here Jack can enjoy the shade and a sun block cover that I already own (came with my Phil and Ted HERE stroller) , which will stop that sensitive toddler skin from getting burnt.

I really hope that this project helps other parents solve their toddler transportation issues, send me pictures if you decide to try it!

Enjoy!




This is the Phil & Ted sun cover - it filters out 81% of UV rays- perfect fit once again!  Yes- your toddler can still see out and enjoy the breeze!


If you have two peanut shells you can do two matching sun shades and then utilize a double inline stroller rain cover, which will cover both kids seats. 

If you decide to borrow this idea I'd love to see a picture of your set-up, please post it HERE on my Facebook page! Cheers!




Laura from Armygreenmama made this great rain shield on her Xtracycle:


Meg from Car Free In Christmas City made this rain shield for her bike seat and Yuba Mundo:


Tordirty made this awesome conversion on his Peapod and Big Dummy- love the color scheme!


More pics of ours in use:


Took the stroller on these rides, simply unsnap the sunshade to use on the stroller when you get to your destination.




34 comments:

  1. Wow! Nicely done. Simple, elegant and readily available parts that many Mothers would already have and all for very cheap. I can already think of a few bike riding Mothers that would like that idea. I will be passing on this link for sure.
    With the zip ties, if you want more strength add one more about an inch above the middle one. Leave the ends about a half inch long and turn them so the ends are out of the way, the ends make good grabs with pliers to make sure they are tight and to tighten if needed.
    Great job

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  2. I love that you used a canopy from a stroller. Ingenious!

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    1. Thanks Kath Youell! Glad you liked it!

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  3. As usual! Brilliant! Love this idea!

    Tricia

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    1. Thank you Tricia! I am so happy with it!

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  4. This is amazing thanks for the idea

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    1. Enjoy Joshua! Thanks for reading!

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  5. Awesome - I happen to have the exact same stroller canopy in the garage, and am going to 100% rip off your idea! :)

    Do you mind if I let my wife think I'm the genius???

    Peter

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  6. Awesome! I ride a Surly Big Dummy Extracycle Monday through Friday, with a 7 year old on the back . . . plus lunches, violin, groceries, etc. Keeping kiddos warm has been a major theme of my research these last 3 years. Your weather shield would have been good when they were younger.

    Now the kids wear wool thermals (yummy soft), wool socks, wool sweater under rain gear, hat, rain hits and often snow pants. Luckily wool breathes well and can help regulate body temp, so my littlest one does not overheat once she gets to her classroom.

    Thanks for writing about your adventures!
    : )

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    1. Thanks for reading! It will be a lot more relaxing when the little guy is old enough to communicate how he's feeling...and when he can help pedal!

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  7. So wonderful - thank you for sharing the how to so clearly. I used my stroller for years with all manner of covers and everyone was always amazed that I'd walk in any weather - now I bike most places with my Xtracycle. This is inspiring me to make riding just as fun and protected as all those years in the stroller!

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    1. Camille-

      Glad you enjoyed! Thank you for reading! Lindsay

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  8. That's great for small kids. But what about me? Has anyone worked on something similar for the pedal person?

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    1. I have yet to see anything but ponchos and rain gear for the peddler of a regular or long tail bike. Although it is definitely easier for bigger kids to handle weather extremes and to regulate themselves. I have seen all over canopies on recumbent bikes. Thanks for commenting! Lindsay

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  9. Brilliant! Thank you for figuring this out and making it so simple to replicate, you rule!

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  10. Hi Lindsay, this is genius! I am trying to make my own but I am having trouble getting the PVC pipe to bend. Do you have any tips?

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    1. Hey Maria- I used the brand sharkbite, its a more flexible type maybe? I didn't use the very bendy pex, but one I thought suitable. I basically walked around testing flexibility until I found one that worked. Hope you get it figured out- share a pic when you do!

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  11. Can u do a YouTube vid on this plz

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    1. Yes, I will certainly! Good idea.

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    2. Plz let me kno when u do I'm still looking to find a canopy to do mines as well any ideas on brands that will fit n where to get it from

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    3. I have made one- there is a link at the top of the page,in the first line- it says "click here"-

      http://youtu.be/TzRWvL7gq6U

      hope it helps!

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  12. I don't got face book so how do I send u my pic

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  13. Hey- here's my page, just "like" it and post your pic to the wall and I will add it to the page- THANK YOU!

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    1. Might help if I included the link;)http://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Aint-Got-Jack/220671961349252

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  14. Thank you soooooo Very muc for blazing the way here regarding Rain/ sunshade covers for our precious Lil ones in tow on our bikes! I can't tell you how many countless hours I surf the net looking for a product that supplied this very necessary need; but of course you know, to no avail. And then VIOLA!!! I found your blog! I immediately told my husband- 'I found inspiration and I can do this!' and shortly there after; I had my version of your invention! I quickly found that our old sun canopy on the stroller we had was not suitable, so I went on a hunt for a variation of the structural bones I needed to fold up a rain cover. And I found an item called the 'Summer Infant Car Seat Rayshade' for use with a car seat. Paydirt!!!! It works PERFECTLY, with my Topeak Babysitter II bike child carrier. No zip ties necessary as the sunshade comes with ready made attachments! Next reconfigured a stroller rain cover (same as you showed) and we were ready to roll!!! Thanks so much again!

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    1. Send me pics- I'd love to see them!!!!

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Aint-Got-Jack/220671961349252

      So glad you are enjoying it!

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  15. I am so incredibly GREAT-FULL to have FINALLY stumbled upon your blog Lindsay!!!! :-) I have been searching the net for a bike seat sunshade for a few months (off and on of course)as well trying trying multiple D.I.Y. solutions that well.......never really ended up being solutions to my problem :/ Making a sunshade was going to be harder than I anticipated, that is until I found YOUR BLOG!!!!! YES!! I am so relived! Ahhhhhh.. :-) I am currently living in South Korea with my husband and daughter (my husband has a 2 year tour hear, Army) and let me tell you, it is HOT!!! To make it worse (for me and the wee-one) I use my bike as my means of transportation (big deal for this born and raised Michigan girl hahahaha). OK I am rambling now, I am just so excited and now I am going to go try and find a thrift shop (a new stroller here would be WAY TO MUCH MONEY) so I can get my Lindsay craft on !!!!!

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    1. Hello- I find it so thrilling to hear of others enjoying this little bit of creativity- Enjoy and send me pics if you can!

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  16. Thank you very much for sharing this ingenious solution!
    moved to the west coast of Ireland with baby and I have been thinking of a solution for a long time now.
    I will try yours. I hope it fits the old fashioned seat I have.
    Josephine

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    1. Josephine- You are very welcome! Hmm Ireland- enjoy! I shall be a little closer to you soon, when we move to England;)

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  17. Jealous! I so wish I was DIY enough to do this to my bike!

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