22 August 2011

It's an It Chair, isn't it?

My ardent fans, i.e. no-one, will remember that some time ago I wrote a post expressing my desire to be the proud owner of an "It Chair"; a wondrous Spanish-made device that allows one to carry ones offspring on a Brompton. I struggled to find one, noting that they rarely even appeared on e-bay. I made a pilgrimage to their Spanish retailer whilst in Barcelona, only to find the stock cupboard bare. I reported that the renowned Brompton up-grader Steve Parry had withdrawn from making his own version due to the potential risk of litigation from anyone who might be hurt whilst using one. In the end, I placed a reserve note with Velorution knowing that they couldn't get them either and forgot about it. The boy stood on the crossbar whilst I wheeled him to nursery - nice, but not as glorious as it could have been. Just imagine us zipping along, the wind in our hair perched together on our steed; the stuff of dreams.

Well, those diligent chaps at Velorution kept their eyes peeled and obviously managed to get their hands on some stock. They put the word out and I jumped at the chance. I know the boy is a bit too big now. I know it was mega-bucks...

But come on, how cool is that?

It is made of steel tubing, with a clamp that joins to the Brompton seat post, with a matching Brompton-style clamp. The other end sits snugly over the top tube, but also has a shaped steel section that hooks under the Brompton's own top tube clamp and keeps the device steady and positively located. You need to provide your own saddle (a bit ridiculous, bearing in mind the ridiculous price) that sits on a cantilever tube projecting from the shaped main section. The child places their feet on the flip-down foot rests, and then holds onto the bike handlebar. A necessary "benign dictator" role needs to be taken by the adult pilot, as the junior co-pilot can sometimes try to choose the direction you are travelling in. This can throw your balance a bit. Pedalling is straightforward, even if a bit "bow-legged" to avoid your knees banging into the passenger in front. A small saddle is helpful, as this makes pedalling perfectly normal once the passenger has disembarked. Folding is ok, even though I still haven't got the technique sorted. I sometimes end up looking like someone struggling with a deckchair, in stark contrast to the 10sec slick folding method I had down to a tee before. The folded package is slightly larger and quite a bit heavier, but acceptable if not carrying a great distance. The bike flexes much more when riding, due to the extra weight. Neither the boy or I are particularly bulky though, so it feels fine. Some may prefer the harder suspension block, which might eliminate some of the flex.

You can have a great conversation whilst riding and the child gets a brilliant view of proceedings. The boy now sings all the way to nursery, so it seems to work for him. He loves it, even if he's not allowed to steer. Yet.


  1. That's gorgeous! Alas I would struggle on my single speed with my 7 year old.

  2. I know it's folly Dr B, but I'm just going to pretend that the little fella won't grow up.