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Bike carrier for baby(19 posts)

Bike carrier for babySpecialized
Sep 4, 2003 6:31 AM
I have a 7 month old and am wondering about getting a bike carrier/trailer. I didnt see any reviews on these in the review section. I was wondering what is the best carrier for a toddler out there for the money (taking into consideration comfortability, safety, and enjoyment with riding). Should I order online or buy from a lbs?
re: Bike carrier for babyMg1
Sep 4, 2003 7:26 AM
I've used a Burley for 4 years with great results. All the major brands make a nice unit - Trek, Yakima, Burley. I bought mine used from the local classifieds. they sell on ebay for close to retail so they do hold the value well; in fact 2 months ago somebody offered to take it off my hands for exactly what I paid.

My personal experience - I wouldn't expect much from a 7 month old. They don't take the starts/stops/turns too well, and the position of the seat makes it hard for them to sleep comfortably. Both of my girls were fine around 12 months; loved it up to 3 years or so, but at 4+ years they start to outgrow it. YMMV.
re: Bike carrier for babylazy8
Sep 4, 2003 7:38 AM
First buy one of those cute little helmets then a few things to consider. First is to decide on the trailer or bike seat. I would suggest the trailer if you plan on riding on bike paths only or in your driveway. They are lower, safer and are easier to tow.
I would suggest the bike seat if you plan on riding any roadways shared with autos. Many will disagree with me but a wide trailer is just a larger target in my opinion.
Like most other things you get what you pay for. My wife and I have 2 carriers that have pulled our three kids thousands of miles. We got them both on line and they both have held up well. Gave one away to another couple. Good luck and be careful with the baggage.
Burley user here...Chicago_Steve
Sep 4, 2003 8:08 AM
I scored a Burley while working as a mechanic last year and could not be happier. The first issue to decide on is trailer vs. seat. The seats always seemed to scare me if i crashed since my daughter would have a pretty high fall.

While working in the shop I had the chance to assemble probably 10 - 20 Burley and Yakima Trailers. The Yakima's ar slightly easier to assemble and have a bigger window for the kids to look out of. The Burley's are no slouch though and I have probably logged several hundred miles on mine with no complaints.

One thing nice about a trailer is that you have some extra room if you want to do a picnic or carry other gear. For example, I pulled two kids, one diaper bag, a small cooler, and some beach towels down to the lakefront several weekends ago. I was still able to go 15 - 17 mph carrying all that gear!

The only downside I can think of with trailers is that they seem to put a lot of stress on frames at the dropout. I wouldn't want to tow a big load on a fancy carbon fiber bike! (another good reason to buy steel!).

As a final note, I have seen people strap in their car seat into their trailers for little babies. Not sure about the safety implications with this but it is feasible....
How does it attach to the bike?pmf1
Sep 4, 2003 8:23 AM
I've got a 10-week old munchkin and want to get a trailer for next summer when he's approaching a year old. I have an old Kestrel that I rarely ride anymore, yet don't want to sell because I can't get anything for it. Its in good shape and has DA components on it.

I know the Burley attaches to the chain stay. Does it attach and un-attach easily, or do you mount it permanently? I want to get something that comes on and off easily so I can haul it to rides in my nice new minivan (God, you know its time to pack it in when the sportiest car you own is a Volvo wagon). Maybe something that attaches to the seatpost works better? I could buy a separate post and saddle and hook it onto the trailer.

Maybe I shouldn't have sold that steel cross bike that I just wasn't crossing on.
How does it attach to the bike?Mg1
Sep 4, 2003 8:53 AM
The attachment is no problem. I can set my trailer up in 2-3 minutes from the totally collapsed unit that easily fits in the minivan or wagon.

A steel frame is probably the better choice. The trailer tracks extremely well, but I'm sure it puts a fair amount of stress on the dropout. I estimate 120 lbs with 2 kids + diaper bags + picnic supplies + books & toys. I have an old, late '80s aluminum mtn bike that works great as a tow vehicle. I upgraded the brakes to handle the load.
ok, but how does it attach to the bike?Steve_0
Sep 4, 2003 8:54 AM
Two Burley options.Spoke Wrench
Sep 4, 2003 9:08 AM
The basic hitch is a plastic gizmo that positively attaches to the apex between the left seat and chainstays so the trailer stays put even under heavy brakeing while going downhill. It can be attached or removed in under a minute.

If your bike has a disk brake or some other unusual frame design, Burley markets a "Alternative Hitch" that replaces the rear quick release.
Sep 4, 2003 9:11 AM
A plastic ...wedge?... fits into the rear of the seat / chain stay triangle, left side. You tighten it down with a wing-nut, snap on the safety strap and you're off. elapsed time ~30 seconds
picts worth a 1000 words...Chicago_Steve
Sep 4, 2003 10:36 AM
Here's a pict of the trailer where you can see the attachment mechanism...

And a pict from the Burley Manual...
Transporting a Burley...jma24
Sep 4, 2003 10:58 AM
We picked up a Burley second-hand. If you are toting it somehwere, do you have to fold it up and carry it in the vehicle, or can you attach it to a hitch-mounted (or similar) vehicle rack?
You're best off...Chicago_Steve
Sep 4, 2003 12:23 PM
Folding it up and putting it in the car. I don't know of any hitch or roof racks that are specially designed to clamp onto Burley trailers. I suppose you could get creative with the bungy cords but I wouldn't recommend it ;-)
Figured as much... thanks (nm)jma24
Sep 4, 2003 12:55 PM
Transporting a Burley...Spoke Wrench
Sep 4, 2003 2:38 PM
The high end Burley deLite takes less than a minute to fold up. A friend of mine hung his on his receiver rack after folding. There are some less expensive Burley trailers which share the bike hitching system, but they don'e fold nearly as niftily.
7 months is too youngMisJG
Sep 4, 2003 10:25 AM
Check with your pediatrician or look around on-line for recommendations, but 7 months is too young. It has to do with the size of the head in relation to the body and neck muscles. You could cause serious neck injury if you try to ride with a child who is too young. I would wait at least until the 1 year mark.
But when you are ready. . .MisJG
Sep 4, 2003 10:37 AM
I will put my child in a trailer only. If you were to fall over with a kid in a on-the-bike seat, you can catch yourself, but the kid is gonna contact the ground. I convinced my neighbor that his kid needed a helmet even though he was in a seat that supposedly came up around his head. Not two weeks after he started making his kid wear a helmet, his front wheel went off the edge of the sidewalk he was riding on and he went down. The helmet probably saved his kid from serious injury if not death in the fall. The kid's helmet hit the ground and cracked (like it's supposed to do). If you hit the ground hard enough to crack your helmet, that would have been a trip to the ER. His kid was alright, just a little freaked out from the fall and would only ride in my trailer after that! PS. I make my daughter wear a helmet in the trailer too. I have made it a rule from day 1. If you are on a bike/scooter/trailer/WHATEVER, you wear a helmet. She's 4 now and I don't get an argument when I tell her to put on the helmet. In fact, she scolded me for not wearing one once (I was just going up the street one block to pick up dinner!). She was right and I wear my helmet now no matter if I will be on the bike for several hours or 'just for a minute'. (I admit though, when I am servicing our bikes and go for a test ride up and down the street, I don't put one on. I should.)

Sorry, got off on a tangent there. . .
Another option to consider...loki_1
Sep 4, 2003 10:35 AM
I used a "Tot Tote" from toys-r-us. It has advantages and disadvantages over other types of trailers.

- It connects to the seatpost.
- Inexpensive
- Made of hard plastic, very sturdy. Has a sun shade that you can put up or down.
- 5 point seatbelt harness
- Kids ride backwards
- Not as easy to see kids while riding (not a problem if someone is riding behind you)
- Does not fold up
re: Bike carrier for babythegeek
Sep 4, 2003 2:20 PM
I agree with the "7 months is too young" comment. Our pediatrician said to hold off until my son could hold up his head while wearing the helmet. That was about 10 mos.

I also agree with the helmet comments. Gotta have it, even inside a roll cage.

I tow my Burley with whatever I want to ride that day (CF road bike, aluminum road bike, aluminum MTB). It was expensive but some of the best money I've spent on cycling. My son's two now and I love hearing him say "bike fun".

Sep 4, 2003 5:58 PM
Children under 1 year old are TOO YOUNG to ride on bikes!! Something called SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME will occur! Don't kill your kid!!!