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Child trailer questions(8 posts)

Child trailer questionsHigh Gear
Oct 12, 2002 6:32 PM
My riding has been suffering and I'm thinking about getting a tow behind trailer. I'm almost set on the Yakima Tot Rod. My little girl is only 14 months. I want something safe and that holds one child. It has a 125 lbs. max weight capacity so I'll be able to use it for quite some time. How do these effect the ride of the bike? Will I be forced to go slow and come to the conclusion that it's not good for training? I would like to make sure this is a good idea before I spend lots of money on something I'll end up not using. Thanks in advance for any input.
The most limiting factor is the child, not the trailer.Scot_Gore
Oct 12, 2002 7:07 PM
Depends on what you define as training.

You'll likely be able to go plenty fast with the trailer. Not as fast as without, but plenty fast none the less. You won't be doing any precision cornering or anything. You'll want good surfaces, it can be bouncy back there.

In my experience, the most limiting factor to biking with trailers are the needs and limits of the child inside. Your child may love it, but probably still will become uncomfortable or unhappy sometime between an hour or two into the ride. You'll need to stop and give them a little walk, eat, and talk time. You'll re-charge their tolerance level and be able to get maybe another hour in before they will have had enough.


re: Child trailer questionsIAmtnbikr
Oct 12, 2002 7:07 PM
I have a 3-year old, and use a Burley. I had her out when she was a year old, and propped her with pillows on each side, and only rode very open and safe paved local trails. I just got the "alternative" hitch so I can now take her out offroad with my FS MTB on some more mellow singletrack. You will most assuredly feel the trailer behind you, but it gives a killer workout dragging another 50 pounds around. You just need to use common sense when it comes to where you ride, and how fast you can descend and corner. I have normally used my commuter bike to pull it with, as I feel better with a more upright seating position and the wider tires are a bit more stabile than the roadbike. What you should do is find someone with a trailer, and borrow it first to see how you like it. Now that our little one is just over 3, she loves to go with me on rides in the Burley, but we got her a kid's bike for her birthday, and she can steer and pedal quite well, so we are eager to eventually see the training wheels go.
Borrowing one is a great suggestioncarnageasada
Oct 13, 2002 3:51 AM
I've a burley d lite. Used the thing to torture several of my kids. Some children last longer than others. I might also add for the two and up crowd I sometimes incoporate a pirate scavenger hunt along the way. Ie quickly hiding a pack of gum or twenty-five cent toy from Goodwill under a log or underneath the silde. This sometimes puts them in a good mood for climbing into the trailer. For a thirteen month old I'd shoot for 45 minutes right after she's eaten. Maybe longer if you can catch a week-end nap time ride. Have fun. Ohh. I almost forgot. I did roll one once a couple years ago. The trailer's back wheel hit a small log on a turn. I was not going over 15mph. No damage to kids. They were strapped in and wearing helmets. But I was severely damaged by my wife when kids blabbed later that day.
They're good for getting out and stretching the legs; trainingbill
Oct 13, 2002 4:57 AM
it isn't, in my experience. My two were good for about forty-five minutes. Maybe an hour. With some whining in between. Stop to help her find her water. Her book. Her blankie. Slow down to talk to her about whatever (hey, it's your kid, right?). And, while you can go faster than the fifteen mph Burley recommends you do not exceed, you have to realize that there is no suspension on these things and the little ones get quite a jolting around. To the point where I worry a little about shaken baby syndrome. Stick to well-paved roads.
There is a link that has been posted here several times that gives, I think, some very sound advice, including not using trailers too early (I think that they actually say 14 mos, although it may be 16 mos). Unfortunately, I don't have the address.
I doubt you'll be happy...biknben
Oct 13, 2002 6:06 AM
I got a Burley Solo 2 years ago. My daughter was 10 months old at the time. The ride is very sluggish. Kinda like a semi on the highway. The starts are slow but once you get it up to speed you can cruise nearly as fast as you normally would.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend using it for training rides. My daughter likes it because we use it to go to the park or other places where she wants to go. I might take her out in the trailer for an hour but there will have to be an hour stop at the park or ice cream parlor. Otherwise she would have little interest. If I said, "Want to sit in the trailer for 2 hours and come back home?", I'd get a strange look.

I use the trailer to show my kids the wonderful world of cycling. I torture myself enough with training. I don't want to include my kids in that hell.
re: Child trailer questionsDieselDan
Oct 13, 2002 9:39 PM
Use a comfort bike or MTB with a triple and work on your spinning instead of going balls to the wall as fast as you freaking can. As the child gets older, you two can ride together longer. Start out with short 30 minute rides. Stay off of busy roads and try to stick to bike paths/lanes as much as possible. Put a helmet on the kid too.
Would Not Do It?wink
Oct 14, 2002 8:22 AM
I have two daughters and three major bike mishaps.

Just think of the close calls that you have had with cars, roller bladers, and other bikes. Do you really want to expose your innocent and beautiful daughter to the dangers of the road? If you love your kid, leave her at home where it is safe and forget about this trailer idea! One man's opinion.