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Trailer Bikes(12 posts)

Trailer BikesKing Henry
Nov 16, 2001 8:15 AM
My son just turned three and, after much persistence on his part, we took off his training wheels and he is now riding quite well on his own. One consequence, however, is that he REALLY does not want to sit in the trailer when mom and dad go for a ride. I think the solution is to get a trailer bike. He will be big enough by late winter/early spring. What are people's experiences with trailer bikes, safety-ise and brand-wise. Also, if we get one, will a single speed be sufficient, or will we (or our son) soon wish we had purchased a six speed? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
We have oneStraightblock
Nov 16, 2001 9:26 AM
I picked one up a year or 2 ago in Target from a clearance table for $22. I had been looking at the Adams and similar models, but this was too cheap to pass up. Our younger son (now 8 years old) has balance problems, so it was a great way for him to ride with the family.

He still uses it. I have it hooked up to my single speed mountain bike, so the single speed issue for him is not a problem. It's fine One of our big weekend events is riding to McDonald's or a pizza place for lunch after church, and he's always dissapointed if bad weather or some other committment gets inthe way.

Definite grin factor! If I'd known how much he was going to enjoy it I'd have bought one sooner. He loves it when I put my feet up on the fork crown & let him push us both. He tells me we have to keep it so he can give it to his kids someday. Now that he's bigger-still only about 46 lbs-I can feel him leaning one way or the other at times, but it's still easy to control, and more manuverable than our tandem.

The one we have is department store quality, and probably heavier than the ones the LBS carries, but this isn't racing, so it's ok for rides around town. I don't think the Adams and similar models are much more expensive than the dept store brands, so you might want to go that route. Besides, the LBS should let you demo one if they stock them, and that might help you decide between single and multi speed.
We have one, too.MikeC
Nov 16, 2001 10:35 AM
We bought one from an LBS for $179.
We bought it when my daughter was four. My wife and I had managed to get our other daughter (six years old) up to 10 mile rides, but it was too much for the little one, mostly due to her tiny bike.
She loved the trailer bike instantly. She felt very secure being attached to daddy, and felt like she was contributing to "my" ride by helping with the pedalling.
On the other hand, I never felt very stable, although we never crashed. I used it with my road bike, and the effect of having that long boom attached to my seatpost, with a wiggling kid balanced on it, could be unnerving. Nevertheless, we probably put three hundred miles on it together the first year.
The next year, she wanted to continue to ride the tag-a-long, but we encouraged her to ride her own bike more. Our total mileage increased, but she wasn't as happy. This year (she's now 6) we bought her a Schwinn Speedster with a 7-speed derailleur and a bike computer. We didn't use the trailer bike at all, and she's done 600 miles since June, including several 30+ mile rides.
I think that the trailer bike was a key factor in getting her confident and interested in riding, and if you're anywhere near South Jersey, I'll let you have it cheap!
Hey, I'm near S. Jersey and I'll take it!Spinchick
Nov 16, 2001 3:26 PM
If you're serious, please email me robin_watson65@hotmail.com.
re: Trailer BikesColnagoFE
Nov 16, 2001 10:36 AM
I have a Alley Cat model. Works well, but be warned it does affect your balance and that the kid will not really be all that much help up hills and such. It's kinda like hauling a ton of bricks behind you when it gets steep...pretty much like towing a trailer. I don't see any need for gearing on these as when it gets too hard to pedal they just stop pedallling anyway and you have to do the work. They are relatively safe, but make sure you don't go too far because it's not like a trailer where he can just fwop over and go to sleep. I have had my kid fall off once when he got tired and fell asleep on the bike. Luckily at low speed and he wasn't hurt...startled me more than anything.
trailer bikes are a blastrastro
Nov 16, 2001 11:31 AM
I picked up one at toys r us for $80. My four and seven year olds love going for a ride with dad. I would not put it on a road bike, due to stability problems, but a mt. bike
works great. Our cheap trailer is a little crooked, but the
kids don't notice it and its not worth dealing with a return. It tracks fine.

All in all, its a great way to spend time riding with the
family
Local's use 'em ...breck
Nov 16, 2001 11:34 AM
My bud road dog has one for his boy. He does use an older 10-speed Peugot(sp) bike for the dad & son ride though and not his No. 1 road bike. Two ladies in town have them on their MTB bikes for their kids up(!) and down these hills and use a handlebar style mirror to keep tract of the kid. A good fitting helmet rules here of course also for the kid. Don't know the brands but does look like fun!

cheers,
breck
Julian, Ca.
Burley and otherwisenee Spoke Wrench
Nov 16, 2001 12:39 PM
I've sold several different brands. The Burley's are far and away the best quality and the most stable, but they cost almost twice as much and transfering one to another bike is a much bigger project.

The most important thing is that the kid has to be strong and agile enough to hold themselves onto the bike. Toe clips and straps look like a good idea to me, but small size toe clips are a pretty hard find.

I don't think gears are much benefit. Since the kid only has a 20" wheel, they are going to be spun out most of the time on the flat. With luck they might be able to pedal their own weight up the hill with the stock 1 speed gearing.

I have a pretty good friend who took his son singletracking on one when the kid was about 6 or 7. Actually the son started riding the trailerbike shortly after his 4th birthday. I'm ashamed to report that they managed to clean some stuff that I didn't.
2nd the Burley...TJeanloz
Nov 16, 2001 12:45 PM
The Burley trailer bike is the best I have ever seen. It is really expensive, but the design and execution is at least twice as good as the Adams.

On the other hand, it is $400 instead of $200. And the Adams does the job pretty well. It's a best unit vs. best value- the Burley is the better unit, the Adams is the better value...
testgtx
Nov 27, 2001 10:06 PM
re: Trailer BikesPete
Nov 16, 2001 8:39 PM
We've got the Burley Piccalo. It's very sturdy and decently stable. I had a spare cyclocomputer and juryrigged it to the wheel which adds motivation..."Go Dad! Twenty!! Twenty-One!!" You get the picture. The Burley is expensive, but we bought ours hardley-used through the paper, and after the next kid is through with it, I'll sell it for close to what I paid.
Adam's Trail-A-BikeAFred
Nov 17, 2001 5:19 PM
My daughter turned four this summer and would not go anywhere near the trailer. So, we picked up an Adams for $169 at our LBS, and we use it connected to my hybrid. We passed on the Burley becasuse of the attachment system which looked like it was more trouble than it was worth. No use connecting to it to a lightweight road bike because it weighs a ton and your kid will spend a lot of time coasting and taking in the sights. It's been fairly safe for the crowded Long Island roads we ride since most drivers who would normally run you off the road when you're on a single will smile, wave and give you a wide berth when your pulling a trailer-bike or tandem.