Kettler Flipper Child Bike Carrier
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- 3 Piece injection molded high impact resin body w/ spoke guard, removable panniers and locking lap bar
- 3 Position adjustable wrap around headrest & 7 position adjustable foot rests with adjustable foot straps
- No luggage rack required, fits virtually all bicycle frames & 50lb weight limit
- 3 Point double locking safety harness & reclining back rest for a more comfortable position
- Offers KETTLER Natural Suspension System, minimizing vibration and trauma to a child's body
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Exclusive mounting bracket eliminates a frame-mounted rack while offering natural suspension. The universal mount fits virtually any bicycle and allows the removal of the child seat with one pull pin. The Flipper has an adjustable headrest and footrests with straps that allow the bicycle seat to grow with the child. The Flipper also features a reclining backrest for a more comfortable position for the child. Safety features on the Flipper include a safety lap bar and a 3 Point double locking safety harness. The Flipper also has 2 removable saddle bags for storage. Safely holds a child up to 50 lbs.
This bike carrier from Kettler provides a cozy and relaxing experience for your child. This luxury version features an adjustable back rest and safety hoop. The height of the head and foot rests can also be adjusted, while two additional side pockets offer additional storage space. The carrier includes a three-point belt system, an easy-to-clean cushion, and a secure attachment for the frame.
Kettler is a leading producer of leisure furniture, sports and fitness equipment, table tennis tables, bicycles, and children's outdoor toys. Since 1949, the company has grown from a small enterprise in Heinz Kettler's hometown of Ense-Parsit, Germany, into a worldwide manufacturing and marketing organization, selling in 60 countries and employing more than 2,000 people.
Heinz Kettler has always remained true to a "Made in Germany" principle of quality, and it is still the central pillar of the company's management philosophy. This means that, even after 50 years of trading all over the world, most of the factories, and particularly the most important ones, are still in Germany. The Kettler group, with all its international factories, offices, and sales companies, is organized and administered from its head office in Ense-Parsit. Committed employees develop and produce Kettler's innovative and high-quality products for people who want to stay fit or simply relax and enjoy their leisure time.
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I was looking for a seat for my 15 m.o. that would be safe and easy to attach and remove. I have decided on the Kettler Flipper, but from the perspective of time I think I should have considered the Topeak seat which would mount as quickly and easily to my Topeak rack. I would only have to make sure that the rack is parallel to the ground, which it is not at the moment. Well, I went with Kettler, and I am happy about my decision despite a few minor annoyances.
At first, I ordered the seat from Amazon Warehouse. I have received the "08947-580" model (the model number is printed on the cover of manual). The seat was great with a mix of black and red colors as can be seen on Kettler's web page at this time. Unfortunately, the seat was damaged when I received it, so it had to be returned. I got the model sold on Amazon, which is "08947-570". The main difference is in the color: 570 is exactly as on the picture in the product description, and it does not look as good as the 580 model. It also felt a bit lighter, but I have not confirmed my impression with actually weighing the two seats, so I could be wrong.
The seat comes with almost all tools necessary to assemble it, except for a wrench necessary to complete step 6a (you can get the manual from Kettler web page). The quality of the manual is only average, and I have hit a few snags. First, my frame tube is 35mm thick, but when I tried to use 35mm mounting brackets, the assembly was too loose. I had to use the 32mm brackets for a good fit. The manual consists mostly of images without much explanation. The images for step 6a, for example, are a bit confusing as they show two different orientations for the top M8 nut, which I installed with the elongated part up as shown in the main image. The complete assembly took about 45min to an hour (I don't know exactly since my son would not let me complete it in one go). I ended up installing the sit in the front-most position, but it was still further than 10cm behind the axle of my rear wheel, which is the maximum recommended by the manual. I guess that the geometry of my bike is a bit different than the usual assumed by Kettler. If it was not for my rack, I could have mounted the bracket lower down, which would move the whole seat to the front due to the angle of the tube, and that would possibly bring the seat into a correct position. Well, I will just use it as it is and hope for the best. :)
When I rode my bike without seat attached, the mounting bracket was rubbing on my knees from time to time. This is something to be aware of if you ride a somewhat sporty bike.
In conclusion, I would recommend this seat and it meets my expectations. It is on the heavy side, but no matter what seat you get, it will not weigh nothing. The Kettler seat adds the suspension frame, which is somewhat heavy. The Topeak seat, for example, weighs 6.9 lbs without a rack, and the Flipper seat weighs 14 lbs. One should be aware of the difference when choosing.
I have now used the seat on a few trips. It works as expected. The only thing I had to do is to move the seat backward by one notch on the rack (the seat has grooves that match the rack). I have tried to maintain the "no more than 10cm behind the rear axle" rule given by the manual, but my son was too close to me. I thought that the rule was important for some structural reasons, but I have realized that it is probably to prevent from the bike flipping back when the rider is off and the baby is on. Indeed, the front wheel goes up easily when my son is in the seat, but it is not to a point where it should be a problem. When I am on the bike, there is no problem at all. And, with the seat moved back, the attachment rack gives a bit more amortization. We have been biking on some bumpy gravel road, and my son seemed pretty comfortable in the back. Also, I really like the small bags attached to the seat. I cannot use my rack when the seat is on, but I can pack a few small things into the bags.
I also bumped my rating from 4 to 5 stars. After I forgot about the few installation pains I had, I really love that seat. :)
I have used the sit for many trips now. It works great, still. The sit is sturdy and serves my growing child well. Just yesterday, we went for an hour-long ride, and my child fell asleep after 15-20 minutes. I just tilted the sit back using the tilt mechanism in the back of the sit and rolled on. We both had a great trip, and one of us took a nap. :)
Also, since my purchase of the sit, I have changed my bike to Surly Long Haul Trucker (not relevant to the review, but I just love this bike). It could be that the geometry or the size is a bit different than on my old bike, but my knees do not rub the seat's mounting bracket anymore.
Forgot to say that the installation was very easy.
You won't regret this purchase!
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