Carrying a 4 year old on a bike

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  • Carrying a 4 year old on a bike
  • joemarshall
    Member

    A 4 year old we know has a follow me tandem. Very sturdy looking piece of kit. The two people I’ve met with them think they are brilliant. You can click the bike on and off in seconds so they can ride or be towed. They can also pedal and help you along, apparently makes a difference.

    Not even slightly cheap, but assuming your 4 year old has a bike already, it could do the job.

    Oh and a single trailer might be okay, but at 4 you’re about to grow out of the usual trailer age anyway.

    Amos
    Member

    Can you not get him riding his own bike?

    EDIT sorry that wasn’t what you asked. We have a trailer bike and our 5 year old loves it

    clubber
    Member

    My son is five tomorrow and admittedly he’s very tall but there’s no way I could have fitted him in a child seat a year ago. even if I could have, the effect on the bike’s handling and lack of suspension would have meant no offroad, I reckon.

    At four he should be old enough for a bike with pedals which then opens up the option of using something like a trail gator which I find works really well. It also means that now he can ride solo, I can disconnect his bike once we reach the trails or somewhere safe and he can ride his bike properly.

    ajc
    Member

    Really 4 is too big for a seat on your bike. Tag along/kiddiback tandem or their own bike are the options really. I have been using a thorn tandem for the last 2 years for the school run. Great bike. My boys at 6 &4 are also very strong and competent riders on their own bikes.

    ianv
    Member

    Tailgators or similar are great. You can unhook them at the top of the hill and let the kid rip back down under his own steam.

    ivantate
    Member

    The boy has properly grown out of his weeride so wondering what the options are?

    Weeride was great as it allowed normal trails to be ridden and on a full sus bike it was comfortable on the rough stuff.

    I am guessing it will have to be a rear mount seat of some sort that I would only be able to fit on my roadrat. So really wondering what everyone is using.

    Cant see a trailer being much use due to width and comfort but might be wrong.

    ajc
    Member

    If you want a tailgator I have one that has been used for about 15 minutes. Collected from Guildford £25

    TiRed
    Member

    Kiddyback tandem. See if you can source a used one. Had 10 wonderful years use from mine.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Follow me tandem. Awesome piece of kit.

    Fits bikes with wheels 12″ – 20″ so grows with them. It is 200squid though.

    Aside from the hitching and unhitching brilliance it keeps the leverage exerted by the budding successor to Cippolini down by the rear axle where it belongs and not up above the rear wheel. The other thing i have noticed is that it only elevates thekids front wheel 8-10cm at most so they sit in a very normal riding position. Google follow me tandem and check out the video on theirvwebsite.

    Top customer service too. Ordered at 2pm. Phone call at 3pm to check I didnt need any special adapters (eg rohloff). Arrived mid morning next day.

    At 4 there is no way on this green earth that I would put ours on a rear seat. My (chunky monkey) 15month old can exert some leverage sat up there over the back wheel.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Those Follow Me things – all that force on a QR? That works?

    Ps. Tag-a-long would be my choice.

    toys19
    Member

    I use a leco front seat for my 6 year old. Mainly for school/town transport. 20 quid. No fuss.

    gwaelod
    Member

    Done plenty of trips to the Stanes on a tagalong – Me up front driving, one or other of my daughters at the back stoking. Mostly blues mind.

    Epic fun – we did wimp out on the humpyback bridge at Glentress though – the one coming down from the Buzzards nest to the bottom car park

    ivantate
    Member

    Thanks for the ideas, I will have a look at the options. I think the tag along idea is probably best. He isnt 4 yet and just starting on the pedals so it will help him get some more use out of his shiny new islabike.

    Dont want to do anything to silly but I reckon for the first year pedalling he might need a hand keeping up. Makes for a better day out.

    Can always gaffer tape him on if he keeps falling off!

    clubber
    Member

    That follow me tandem looks interesting but isn’t it just a very overbuilt trailgator in terms of actual function at least? I guess that as you said, the big benefit is that the forces act low down on your bike though I haven’t found that a real problem with a trailgator though I’m big so relative weight-wise, maybe it’s less of an issue for me?

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    You need a bike train! I’ve been seen out and about in the past with a seat on the back for the littleun, tagalong for the 4 year old, trailer attached to the tagalong for the other kid and a small bike shoved in the ‘boot’ of the trailer for when one wants to ride themselves.

    I wouldn’t dream of taking this on the road but on bike paths it is ‘interesting’

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Those Follow Me things – all that force on a QR? That works?

    I tow a 30lbs trailer with a 30lbs toddler, without any problems.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    The force is not directly transferred through the QR. The QR squashes everything to the frame, at which point friction takes over. The QR just keeps everything squahsed together.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    Another vote for the trail gator. My lad loves it he’ll be five next month. It can be a bit of a faff when they want hooking up/unhooking every 5 minutes but they ride more and more on their own each time.

    Premier Icon MadBillMcMad
    Subscriber

    We had a tag-a-long but I hated it.

    I much preferred a trailer. I could take both boys and go a lot further.
    The obvious disadvantage is thet they do have their own bike with them but we had one of those as well for shorter trips.

    The trailers are great, very light & very re-sellable.

    I can not remember what age they stopped going in it though.

    Premier Icon MadBillMcMad
    Subscriber

    To expand on why I did not like the tag-a-longs.

    It is the unstableness when the kid is on the back & you are stationary or moving very slow. The slightest jiggle as they turn to look at that cow in the field and the whole vehicle can go in to severe wobbles.

    The trailer on the other hand is very stable, weather proof, takes two plus the shopping, folds down to next to nothing, made of ali is very light & even doubled up as an all terrain jogger.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    TrailGator has proved a winner for us, but do require inhuman strength to tighten all the bolts down sufficiently to stop the thing from twisting around etc. – do multiple short test rides, with co pilot attached, with a twatting great spanner to adjust it.
    I’d also get a second hand one – they are unnecessarily complicated to build from new.
    You’ll also need a CamelBak full of Haribo to encourage uncoupling and riding solo occasionally.

    clubber
    Member

    Interesting but that wasn’t my experience with the trailgator. It’s maybe worth noting though that I used inner tubes to pad all the contact points to my son’s bike (to try and avoid scratching the paint) but maybe that’s also helped keep it stationary because I haven’t had to overtighten to avoid any slippage.

    Edric 64
    Member

    I had an Islabike tagalong that fixed onto a carrier ,it was far superior to the ones that seatpost mount and we used it off road as well

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    It was the seatpost connection that was the issue, but you’re right a tube would have definitely helped there too. Boy’s bike has already had 1 previous careful owner (his brother) so there are more scratches than paint. That bit stayed in place but was a bit fiddly to fit on a small (16″ bike) head tube.

    I think it was mainly down to the locktight they’d (over)used on the bolts – once the clamp was biting you’d ground a fair few mm of locktight into the bolt and it needed real persuasion to tighten up properly.
    Hopefully a one off, and has been fine ever since.

    tonyd
    Member

    I’ve got one of the Islabike trailerbikes that Edric mentions, my 3.5 year old rides it. It’s excellent, very stable and doesn’t disturb the balance of my bike as all the weight goes down through the rack and rear wheel as opposed to through the seat post.

    The downside when compared to a tag-a-long etc is that I can’t just unhook him if he wants to ride alone, but generally if we’re out on short rides they both ride their own bikes (Rothan for the youngest and Cnoc 14 for the eldest), if we go further afield then the youngest goes on a LOCT on my bike and the eldest on the trailerbike (also on my bike). I also end up carrying panniers for shopping etc so hills can be tough, but at least the wife can keep up!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    It is the unstableness when the kid is on the back & you are stationary or moving very slow. The slightest jiggle as they turn to look at that cow in the field and the whole vehicle can go in to severe wobbles.

    Never had such a problem.
    did have a Trail-gator twist and dump my kid into a (luckily empty) road once. Tightened the bolts and it was ok. Tag-a-long was great.

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