Child trailer questions

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  • Child trailer questions
  • Premier Icon mrl

    New baby has resulted in an unsuprising dip in cycling for both of us. Baby is only 2 months so early days yet.however we want to get out in the summer. So a few questions.

    1 we like the idea of being able to attach the trailer to either bike allowing us to take turns in going doen the good stuff. Is this possible, i guess we might need two mounting brackets.
    2 are disc brakes a problem and full suss a problem?
    3 are the suspension ones worth the extra. We will generally be using on roads for daily use. But we will be taking it offroad. Mostly on bridleways etc but probably some rougher stuff as she gets older.
    4what age is itokay to start cycling and jogging i assume free sitting and holding head for long periods being the signs? Iguess you start with smooth stuff and work from there. Some of the expensive ones (chariot!) seem to have little baby supporters with lots of neckand head padding, do these allow you to start earlier?
    5 the tricky question of helmets. It seems to me a helmet is only really needed when the get a bit bigger and might hit parts of the trailer etc. What are the thoughts on this?
    6 only one kid at the moment and we are planning to have 3+ year gap. However are the double trailers worth it even so for more room, option of carrying friend etc. Or are they much bigger and not as good off will also be used for running so i guess a double one might not be so easy to handle.

    Finally recommendations we like the look of chariot cougar or the burley solo but they are both pricey. Any others i should look at.apologies for grammer and spelling. Writing one handed on phone while holding baby!


    1 – yes possible to switch. Most are held on by a little bracket that your rear skewer goes through. If swapping a lot two brackets (about a tenner for a second one) will make it easier but not 100% essential.

    2 – no issues with disk brakes. full suss shouldn’t be an issue either but you will need to remember your ride will be much smoother than your valuable and sensitive cargo.

    3 – on roads definitely don’t see a need for the suspension. I’ve used non suspension off road too. Bear in mind they will get a lot of shaking / bouncing.

    4 – nobody will give a definitive age as child development varies. Most people seem to say should be able to comfortably support their own neck for long periods. If you are planning to put a helmet on too then (i) that will add to the weight to support (ii) that will force head forward a bit (iii) helmet size will be a limiting factor. The intent of the chariot sling is to take them much younger. Some people (I would admit to in but the STW parenting police will pounce!) have secured a car seat in a normal child trailer and taken kids younger than they would otherwise on smooth paths.

    5 – you’ll need to make your own mind up on helmets. The risks are: 1. they hit the frame of the trailer – appropriate securing and sensible use can mitigate this to some extent until they are bigger. 2. You roll the trailer and squish them. You might want to test your trailer with a doll/dummy/pillow of similar size to your daughter and convince your wife that the ‘roll cage’ will protect your loved one. Of course its probably not been designed as a crash protection cage and may bend during a crash. 3. There is a vehicle impact. Thats never going to be good and 9x out of 10 a helmet isn’t going to help. How you view that 1 time is a personal choice, perhaps affected by where you will be riding, traffic, speeds, vehicles, your visibility etc.

    6 – many of the small cheaper trailers will take two small kids or one bigger one. I don’t think there is a right decision – but if you are a serious biking family – you will probably be looking to upgrade the eldest to “tag along” or own bike around 3-4 anyway. With two young kids the biking reduction is worse than with one. I would buy for now.

    My one comment is the one I had (Edi Bike own brand) is wider than I would have liked. This means on tow paths / wide footpaths the wheels are quite likely to be in the verge / gutter and pick up thorns etc you never normally get on your bike. Kids are happy in them when moving but not so keen with one wheel off at a jaunty angle while daddy faffs round trying to fix a puncture. Perhaps consider slime filled tubes – although they are heavy enough without adding that!


    we have a chariot. we used it with the sling from about 3.5 months. the trailer is fine on gravel tracks and local byways, but i wouldn’t use it on anything beyond that.

    for proper mtb stuff you’d need a tout terrain

    Premier Icon mrl

    Poly thanks for the detailed reply. Lots to think about. Ac i will look at the tout. Whicb chariot did you have?


    We used a trailer from really early (2 months I think). But I adapted the car seat to fit the trailer as it kept baby safe. When she was a bit older tried some very mild off road, but she wasn’t keen. We also had 2 brackets to swap between bikes (both hardtails). Tried the full sus but H/T suited the rides better. Moved on to a seat now and much better. Oh, and the brackets move all the time, so fixed mine using longer caliper bolts.

    Premier Icon Pridds

    Got a Chariot Cougar 1 for my daughter that she loves going in. Works great with full suss and disk brakes.
    It fixs to a mount outboard of the dropout on the disk side and uses a longer QR. The issue is that you some times have to modify the mount to get it to fit the dropout flat( I had to on my Scots Scale) and it wont work with bolt through rear axles, though it does with the 10mm on my Titus El Guapo.
    Have done lots of fireroad stuff with it and also the Green at glentress and it was fine, but you do need to remember the trailer before you start booting it.
    We got the 1 seater one but if you are thinking you might have another in the near future then think about getting the 2 as they are not much more money but still work fine for 1, just a bit wider.
    Beth doesn’t wear a helmet in ours and this is something we thought long and hard about as i wanted her to but the design of the trailer means that it would rotate her head forward and would be very difficult for here to be comfortable and that would basically mean that we wouldn’t be able to go out for a ride as a family. They are pretty mush designed as a roll cage with a 5 point harness so pretty safe and i take it easy when she is in there.
    We got a spare axle set for ours so we could easily swap bikes on the trail (this was mainly so i could disappear off onto the reds bits and Glentress) and this worked well for us and meant that if one us was struggling we could take turns.
    The Chariot trailers are amazing. they are not cheap but really well build/thought out and are excellent as buggies with the right kit
    Photo’s of ours in action

    IMG_1868 by IanPriddle, on Flickr

    iphone 006 009 by IanPriddle, on Flickr

    Premier Icon mrhoppy

    We initially bought a croozer and used that from about 3 months old with a along but found that it was a bit rough off road so moved to a chariot. The suspension does make a difference and we’ve been happy taking hoppy jr round the blue routes at Degla & Coed-y-Brenin. Both have been run on my Blur 4x and my Wife’s nexus geared hybrid with no probs.

    Hoppy Jr seems pretty happy in that, we don’t use a helmet with hims as the roll cage does fine.

    We’ve got a Chariot Cougar 2.
    It was very useful keeping the exercise levels above zero when the kids were small. I could tow number one kid and go for a decent cycle with the missus whilst she was pregnant. We went to llandegla a fair few times. The trailer was fine on the blue and bits of the red (double steep climb for example).
    The main thing was that you do end up going seriously seriously slowly. Pretty much never out of bottom gear off road. Brakes on nearly all the time when you’re going downhill as other wise they get shoogled about too much.
    Then it’s great as a sag wagon when they get on their own bikes from age 3 onwards. You cycle along with them getting a tiny bit of exercise towing an empty trailer. Then when they get too knackered stick them in the buggy and tie the bike on top. Which gives you proper exercise.

    I’d suggest definitely getting the double one unless you only plan on 1 kid long term.

    Changing the tow hitch to another bike only takes around 90 seconds so no real need to buy two.

    I thought the suspension was worth having, although we still went slowly.

    Oh, yes. And also always ensure the net cover is closed whenever the kid is in the trailer. There are some horror stories about stones getting spat up from rear wheel into kid’s eyes.

    Let me know if you don’t sell your second tow hitch when you sell the trailer. Mine got nicked with my bike and I haven’t got round to replacing it as we never use the trailer any more.

    Which I ought to sell.

    Premier Icon Pridds

    Got another one on the way so will need it for the next couple of years at least!

    Premier Icon mrl

    Some great replys. Anyone out there use a burley solo? Seems tobe the other suspension option. Thegeneralisr, if you are planning on selling soon let me know!

    Premier Icon hatter

    Another Chariot Cougar owner here

    I agree with what people have said regarding how good the suspension is etc but one thing nobody’s mentioned is safety, as Chariots are marketed as strollers they have to pass all sorts of European safety tests that I’d bet the £100 jobbies on Ebay don’t have, think about it, would you put your kid in an non-certified no name carseat you bought for £20 off ebay?

    I think Chariot are now going to be brought into the U.K. by Madison so your LBS should be able to get them soon.

    Premier Icon flyingmm

    2.5 yr gap between my weans. Like the combo of single chariot cougar and standard bike rack seat. The eldest likes to be able to chat to me and poke me as we cruise together. Chariot is superb quality and taken my daughter round the blue at Glentress a couple of times. Suspension is great 🙂 found that it knackered the bearings and bushings on my heckler so only use it with my ogre or altitude and have brackets permanently on both bikes. Great to run with too, but brake would be nice like on the version up. Enjoy!


    Another Chariot owner here, about to make my own ski connection (refuse to spend $275 for the proper version) to pull the trailer on the local trails here all year.

    Great bit of kit and seem to hold their value well for the second hand market. We had the sling and then the next stage before using it without any extra padding. Suspension works really well and is weight adjustable.

    We also changed the tyres for Schwalbe ones with puncture protection which when riding tow paths prevented all the sneeky black thorns from getting through.

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