We’ve used the Yepp Maxi EasyFit for years now because we feel it a great balance of kid comfort, safety, and ease of installation. However installing the seat has always required an EasyFit adapter, which raises the seat an inch or two above the deck and adds cost - not an optimal solution. We have ben working with Yepp on a variety of solutions, but after all our testing and use our favorite design is now shipping out: the FlightDeck. ...Wait, what?
That's right, the new FlightDeck removes the need for an EasyFit adapter by building two Yepp Maxi EasyFit compatible ports right into the deck. This gets your progeny lower, saves some bucks, and shaves a couple of pounds. This post covers the ins and outs of using the new deck for carrying kids.
The 2013 and older FlightDeck, EcoDeck, and UteDecks still require the Yepp EasyFit adapter, so use this guide to verify which deck you have before continuing. Below are the old and new FlightDecks. On the left is the 2010-2013 FlightDeck, and on the right is the new 2014- FlightDeck. To tell which deck you have, look for these key features that only the 2014 deck has:
- 8 counter-sunk SuperHook mounting holes.
- Engraved Xtracycle logo at the nose.
- Machined Yepp Ports on the underside.
If you have a 2014 FlightDeck, continue on to the next step, if not you’ll need the Yepp EasyFit Adapter.
Check that you have the rest of the hardware you’ll need to install the seats:
- One or two Yepp Maxi EasyFit seats
- Eight SuperHooks (if your deck was already installed, you likely already have four SuperHooks)
- 4mm Allen wrench
- Sharp Knife (I'm using a box cutter, but a utility knife works fine.)
The FlightDeck is made from recycled high-density polyethylene (HPDE) - curbside garbage cans and milk jugs are both made out of this material. In thick sheets it’s incredibly durable, but thin sections are easy to cut. We use this property to make a deck that arrives as one solid piece, with the option to cut out either of the Yepp ports and install a child seat or two. Once you no longer need a Yepp port you can cover it with a MiniMagicCarpet - no need to get a whole new deck.
I prefer cutting the ports out with the deck off the bike - while you can cut out ports while the deck is installed, you run the risk of cutting your tire or bags inadvertently. If you’re not comfortable with, or able to, cut out your Yepp ports, please bring the deck to any Xtracycle dealer and they’ll happily help you.
Flip the deck over so you can see the rectangular Yepp ports. If you look where the wall and floor of the port come together you’ll see that a groove has been cut all the way around the perimeter of the port. This is the cutting guide. Follow this guide using your knife to cut out the port. Don’t worry if the cut is a little wavy - you’ll be able to trim up the edges once the port is entirely cut out.
If you’re sharp eyed you might have noticed the equals sign milled into the deck between the two ports. This is for the safety strap of the rear seat, if you’re using a seat in the rear position cut these two holes open as well. Getting a knife into these small holes is a bit hard, so I prefer to cut these holes out from the top.
Installation of deck and kids seat
Install the FlightDeck using all eight Superhooks, this gives the seats a bit extra support. You may need to pull the racks closer together as detailed in the 2013 flightDeck Instructions here: FlightDeck instructions PFD.
Read the Yepp Maxi instructions and follow theirs if they differ from ours. Here are some tips and tricks for the installation:
Move the buckles around on the frame as needed. For seats in the rear window the buckles can remain in their regular positions, for seats in the front the best option is to move the front buckle to just forward of the second set of SuperHooks.
Hold down the red tab and twist the grey knob counterclockwise until it stops before installing the seat. This makes sure that the wedge is fully retracted, and won't get hung up on the lip of the port.
Tip the seat forward and get the front wedge in first, then rotate the seat back.
One last note: It is difficult to impossible to use the rain lid and inner picket of the x2 bags when both child seats are installed. The X1 is the best choice for carrying cargo and kids simultaneously.