Wondering if anyone had recommendations on child seats? A look around at some LBS websites reveals not a lot of choice going around, but this one did catch our eye (which we can order in from the east coast): http://bobike.com/product/detail/one-maxi
Our boy is 21 months (2 in May) and primarily the seat will be for my wife to do drop off / pick up before and after work. She has a Tokyobike Bisou, which at this point has no rear rack (but happy to add one for the carrier). The ride will be about 2–2.5km, half of which through Bonython Park and the rest quiet streets.
It would be good though to be able to swap the carrier to my bike on weekends though, which is why the BoBike one looked interesting (the click and go system).
Which brings me to the second part of my query - my bike. It's a single speed, which I'm already anticipating will be hell to ride with a kid on the back. How difficult would it be to retro-fit an internal hub to a single speed bike, along with it's own rear rack, and how much would I generally be looking at spending to do so (happy to take it somewhere to be done)? It's a Charge Plug, 2009 model, although I can't imagine the frame has changed much since then.
I really like the Yepp brand of child seats. I've had the Yepp Mini and now use the Maxi.
Reputable brands like Bobike and Yepp will serve you well, plus you should be able to recoup some money selling it second hand, when you're finished with it.
The Charge Plug looks to have 135mm rear spacing, so an internally geared hub will fit and the track end dropouts let you tension the chain easily. You essentially just need a rear wheel with internal gears, then run the cable to the handlebars for the shifter. It should relatively simple and about $250-300 for an 8 speed Shimano wheel.
The Yepp and BoBike look incredibly similar. The resell value would certainly be a nice bonus.
We bought a "Beto" child seat more than 20 years ago for our youngest (child #4). He sat in it a lot, then it went to my elder son (child #2) for our granddaughter (now 4). It has since come back to us for use when we want to take our small grandchildren on a bike.
The same model is still in production, so it has stood the test of time. Additional racks are available for additional bikes, including a disc-brake specific rack. (The rack that came with the seat is on the BSA. I also have Beto racks on the ebike and the Gitane. My son has another on one of his bikes.)
Highly recommend the Yepp Mini. Sam from Treadly in Ebenezer Place can help you out, and I also think Clark Cycles on Magill Road has the Yepp range. The reasons I like the Yepp is the feeling of protection having my son up front with my arms cocooning him. Obviously not much chop if there was a big impact but for vegetation that obstructs pathways and any unfortunate tumbles, you've got the little ones protected. I enjoy having him close to me and being able to share the ride with him, as a result he loves riding and it's just a regular form of transportation. The only downside is being Dutch it is better suited to a Dutch style comfort rider bike with a step through frame and taller headset. An adapter is available (as a note the windshield can't be used if you use the adapter) which I use on my Mountain bike but I have to compromise a little on seat height and a slightly reduce turning circle, but in my mind these are just minor tradeoffs for the enjoyable experience of shared riding. We used it as soon as he turned 12 months and he still fits comfortably at 28 months, I'd probably anticipate he'll get to 3 years before looking at the Yepp Maxi
Another issue to consider is the capacity of any rack you buy. A child seat will weigh around 5kg, plus the weight of your child can quickly get over 20kg. Cheaper racks might only be rated to 15-20kg.
Also consider how high the rack will sit, as ideally you want as low centre of gravity as possible. 20kg over the rear wheel up high will definitely impact on your stability.
If you can, get a bike with a rear rack, strap a 20kg sack of rice on the rack and go for a ride. This will give you some idea of what it feels like to ride with a child in a rear seat. It might not be for you.