Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Polisport - Porta Bebe Dolphin

When the infectious biking virus attacked my family, nobody was spared. Of late, it claimed its latest victim, my 3 year old son. Now, the whole household is suffering a severe cyclosis. It could have been passed on from his mother when he was lactating.

There's no cure. Just occasional painkiller to kill off the pain. Painkiller in the form of biking. But he's too young too cycle. Momma came up with the idea of a baby carrier. Smart momma!

The plan to have a BBB family ride became the catalyst. Ride was planned on 18/05. So, when we came back from our FRIM ride that Saturday, we went looking for a suitable carrier. No stock at both shops that we went. But, we were in luck because Nathan of Bicycle World was generous enough to lend us his because the unit has just been returned by his customer after an oversea stint. Must be my lucky day...

It's made by Polisport, a Portugal founded company. Model is Porta Bebe Dolphin which can carry up to 22kg/48.5 lbs as stamped on the unit.

The unit completely installed
The carrier is rather simple. It comprises of 2 units, the seat and the mounting clamp. Really that simple. The seat unit is connected to the mounting clamp via 2 steel bars. That's all. Almost unbelievable.

The mounting clamp
The mounting clamp is made of plastic + rubber material. Strong and sturdy with some elastic rubbery property for firm strong grip. It's mounted on the seat tube and held in place by six bolts. 3 on each side.

Also in the combo are 2 pieces of rubber shim to cater for smaller seat tubes. It can go to as small as 25.4mm and as big as 31.6mm.
As safety feature to prevent the set from jumping of the mounting clamp, the right bar is notched. There's a spring loaded locking button on the clamp that will lock the notch to ensure the whole seat won't jump off.
Though simple, it is cleverly design to have a groove so that your FD cable can run cleanly thru for top-pull FD.
You have to try several times to get the right height so that the seat will have the correct elevation above the rear tire. Too high, it will affect your center of gravity and handling. Too low, it will rub off against the tire when it bounces. You also have to compensate for sag when the pillion is seated.

There! Complete installation. Happy pillion trying out.
There! Very quick installation. All you need is an allen key and you are good to go. One big disappointment though because the legs are left dangling like that without footrests. [Later I found out that the unit did come with proper footrests and straps but it was misplaced, lost and never found]
Albeit that, everything is good to go. Let's go and try it out...

I'm safe. I got airbag...
...On tarmac. No problem.

Woo hoo...do it again dad.
Off road. Have to limit to less bumpy road. We tried The Bukit Bujang and Balau trail. Trail was covered with dried leaves that act like cushion to absorb the bumps. Smooth ride. The ride down Rover and Bukit Hari was bumpier. I had to slow down to reduce the bobbing of the carrier. But overall...my boy enjoyed it very much...So, babysitter problem? Get a baby seater!

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