Saturday, December 29, 2012

My  latest adventure has been to purchase a Snoozer pet carrier for the back of my bike.  This is not a pic of me, my dog or my bike.  This is from their website.  It's raining and dark today, and I can't get a good photograph of it from inside.

Snoozer Pet Products

One of the reasons I purchased this was to be able to take my dog on some rides with me when I want to be gone for longer times.  You see, I have a neighbor who calls me regularly to report that my dog is barking or whining when I am gone for more than a few hours, and well, I'm finding those calls to be quite annoying at this point, especially when I've had to listen to her high-pitched yappy pedigreed mutt for years.

I found the Snoozer on eBay, and I ordered it.  When it arrived, I immediately had to pull it out of the box and attach it to the bike to see how it functioned.  As mentioned in a previous post, my bike's rear pannier rack sits about 4" higher than a normal rack because of the way it is mounted - and this puts it too far forward beneath my seat, making that 4" of it difficult to use.

The base of the seat has a long groove to fit over the rack, and the inside is very sturdy, cushy and yet solid.  There is a strap around the front that straps it to the seat post, so it is secure there, but the straps beneath, which buckle rather than a more secure velcro, have very long dangling straps.   I haven't even quite figured out their configuration yet.  I did put my dog up into it just to see how she would like it, and she seemed okay with it.  Next is walk the bike a little with her in it, then take her for a short spin (once I figure that underneath strapping).

Because I felt it had some design flaws (a car seat sort of barely modified for a bike), I felt compelled to write to the manufacturer and offer my suggestions.

I'm writing about your Pet Rider Bicycle Seat Lookout which I just purchased online from an ebay seller.

As an avid urban cyclist, I am always interested in bicycle accessory items and their functionality.  In the case of your Snoozer seat, there are are some good things but also some things that need to be addressed for safety.

1.  Although the reflective strip in the back is great, it does not take the place of flashing lights which can been seen long before a reflective strip.  However, because the Snoozer is so large, it covers up where the lights are normally attached to the rack.  Therefore, there needs to be at least two places on the back of the Snoozer to attach lights.  Lights need to clip onto something.  This can be easily achieved by having some gaps top and bottom in the stitching of the strip so that a light can be clipped into the gaps.  As it is, I may have to remove some stitching to force it to take the lights.

2.  The straps beneath the Snoozer have too much dangling strap after it's tightened down, and the tightening down is cumbersome and slow.  A better, safer, faster and stronger solution is wide velcro strapping. It leaves absolutely no dangling parts.  Two wide velcro straps are best, spaced a few inches apart.

3.  The strap that goes under the cyclist's seat should also be velcro.  Again, no dangling parts.  However, this strap is less of an issue than the straps beneath the Snoozer.

I hope these suggestions help.  Cyclists need accessories to be fast, safe and secure.

Thank you.

Jenny Arata
Los Angeles

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