Children's bike trailers / buggy things – Some questions…..

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by  smurf.
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  • Children's bike trailers / buggy things – Some questions…..
  • pealy
    Member

    There's plenty of diverse opinion on these things, some think they should be banned – I like using mine.

    1. Fast/busy roads are a bit of an issue but with a couple of big flags on the trailer most cars give a surprising amount of room. Rather than squeezing past with a 10mm gap (like they do when I'm alone on my bike) cars tend to treat you a bit more like a proper vehicle and wait until there's some room. Even so, I stick to the lanes whenever possible.

    2. Sometimes, but keeping chatting and looking at things helps. I've had them fall asleep in there more than once.

    3. 4 miles to the park, a quick stop at a shop for a few sweets can help break things up

    4. Oh yes.. They're not light (especially the one I have) and with 1 or 2 children you're looking at some serious weight. I found coming out of the saddle a bit of a no-no too as the rear wheel had a tendancy to lose traction. Need to be careful of descents too as the weight can push you and make braking a bit unusual.

    5. Depends on your legs and the size of the hills!

    6. Definitely. There really isn't much protection and I have to admit, mine did roll over once.

    Also – mine has no solid floor, just fabric, which makes getting in & out a bit of a faff. It's nice to fold it up but I'd get one with a solid floor if I bough again. Extra flag makes me a bit happier too.

    Also – pedestrians thinks they're great – people wave & smile at the children all the time.

    N.

    Premier Icon bullroar
    Subscriber

    It has been a while but from memory of riding with my twins in the back:

    1) I didn't feel any different than if I was riding the same road on my own. Although I did perhaps have heightened hazard awareness.
    2) Not really, often they would nod off. Once they had worked out how to escape the harness they would a) scoff the picnic b) try and push things in the back wheel. You get wise to this as you can feel them moving. Regular stops help.
    3) Can't remember but one could easily do a 1/2 day
    4) Generally no, the weight is low down. Hills require a low spinning gear. Stomping in a big gear induces a hinge effect.
    5) Don't know
    6) No

    Bedds
    Member

    We've just bought one off fleabay after using a hired one a number of times.

    So far we've only ridden round the cycle trail in the FOD, but little un is only 7 months old….

    1, Unable to comment sorry as only ridden on forestry trails, not sure how I'd feel I have to say..

    2, Nope, he considers it a two hour sleep 😉

    3, We've gone 15 miles at most, but it has to be steady to allow for the bumping around

    4, um.. not massively so I would say (bear in mind he's only tiny at present), and I only have experience of using my SS, I guess it depends on steepness of the hill

    5, Yes!!

    6, No

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    1. I use ours to take two boys (aged 3&4) to nursery quite often. Do use the roads, but traffic not that heavy to be honest. Reasonably quiet in town, & most other vehicles give plenty of room. Always a concern though.
    2. Happy enough for 30 mins or so, then they like to stretch legs. Commute is shorter now, used to be about 25 mins & one or both would fall asleep.
    3. Have done 8-10 miles with few stops on occasions.
    4. Yes, struggle with mine aboard now, but on an old road-bike so gearing quite high. HT mtb is easy. Tried it with FS once…not recomended!!!
    5. Yes, but depends on terrain & your knees. Point them uphill & it gets measurably harder.
    6. No, makes them tip their heads forward. Most have 5-point harness & act like a roll cage if the tip over. Ours rolled when the eldest was on his own & sat on outside seat position (has centre also for carrying one), went round off-camber corner & it rolled VERY easily. He thought it highly funny, but dont tell his Mum.

    It was a long day!!!

    So reading all the threads on here about which to buy etc. has had me thinking for a little while, then the other weekend we saw a family out on their bikes with the sit in trailer and my wife was quite interested in them and considered it.
    Had a quick look on flea bay and there is one for sale very local and has offered to sale privately at what seems a good price.
    However I have a few questions to those who use them already:

    1, When out on it, how safe do you feel on the roads (quiter roads wouldn't use main roads)?

    2, Does the child/ren get bored being carted around?

    3, How far do you go typically?

    4, Is it hard work with it on the back, steep hills?

    5, Could I use my SS MTB with a higher gear ratio?

    6, Do you make your child/ren wear a helmet as well in the trailer?

    Many thanks

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    1. Fairly safe on quiet roads, wouldn't use it on open roads out of 30 zones.
    2. Yes, no point using it as a get out and enjoy the ride, they don't. It's just transport.
    3. 3-5 miles? To local woods, park, lake etc.
    4. Yes, but winds more trouble than hills.
    5. Sure, but effort often more than doubled by a headwind
    6. Tried helmets, but rubbing their heads against back and side fabric makes them slip off. We had a hard bodied trailer and it was rock solid. Hard body made it handy for a big supermarket shop and general load lugging.
    These type of things were a real pain in getting access to offroad tracks though.

    oddjob
    Member

    Hard work
    They fall asleep
    We got the fancy Chariot one with suspension and a roll cage so we don't put them in helmets as the helmets don't really fit in that well.
    Kids really like it for 5 minutes until they fall asleep
    Sometimes you can't hear them talking so you have to stop and get off the bike to answer serious questions such as " Daddy, how are prams made?"
    Ours are getting too big to fit in it together now 🙁

    Gunz
    Member

    1. We tend to stick to quieter roads but you did get given more room by traffic.
    2. Children love it rain or shine. They do tend to fall asleep quite often and if I'd known this I would have got the slightly more expensive one with the reclining back.
    3. Up to 12 miles to the local petting zoo but more is achievable given time.
    4. Not terribly hard work if you sit down and spin. In fact it's a nice excuse to stop speeding around and just enjoy the scenery.
    5. Don't ride SS but low gears definitely required on ups and my kids encourage me in to the big ring on the downs, wouldn't want to disappoint them!
    6. No.

    We got this one:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=20683

    It's really robust and I can't recommend it enough (as said, consider the reclining one though), I can't see the others costing over £400 would give you much more that you need.

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    Ours are both becoming mini mtbers now, but previously did about 4 years with a trailer:-

    1)Didn't feel very safe on roads. Felt better is there were 2 adults and one could be outrider behind / well out into the road to catch car's attention and slow them down a bit.

    2)Kids frequently fell asleep but could be prone to boredom. Found it easier with 2 kids to entertain each other, or with a second adult riding alongside to pull wheelies / bunnyhop to make them giggle.

    3)Not sure how far we got – maybe 10 to 15 miles on smooth bike routes. Full Grizedale Parkamoor bridleway route was about the most technical we ever got off road…..

    4)Hills are hard – 2 yr old + 4 yr old + trailer + toys + food + spare clothes was about equal to 3 bags of sand from B&Q!

    5)SS does work OK provided fairly flat and hills are short. But you may need a helper to push on hills. We managed Stockholm SSWC ride-out with 2 kids + junk on 32:20 with occasional helping shove. Think I managed long fire road drag at Glentress up to Buzzards Nest with 1 kid.

    6)Probably 50:50 helmets / no helmets. Trailer protected them very well and we had a Croozer one with very low c of g (kids well below axle centreline) so never came near to flipping it. Helmets tended to push heads forward (despite a seat designed to accept them).

    Have fun!

    1, When out on it, how safe do you feel on the roads (quiter roads wouldn't use main roads)?

    Perfectly safe. But also only on quiet roads.

    2, Does the child/ren get bored being carted around?

    Not on short trips. A bit if longer.

    3, How far do you go typically?

    Half a mile each way to school and back.

    4, Is it hard work with it on the back, steep hills?

    No, but then I'm usually only taking them half a mile or so to school. Furthest I've done in one hop is about 10 miles, but then I'm in tourist mode not race mode.

    5, Could I use my SS MTB with a higher gear ratio?

    On the flat.

    6, Do you make your child/ren wear a helmet as well in the trailer?

    No. In fact we've probably got a bit blase about this and don't even strap them in. Not good the other day when I'd removed a wheel skewer and my wife took the trailer and had the wheel fall off half way up the road – whoops!

    We've had a massive amount of use out of ours, which we also bought on ebay. Had a special baby sling in when the kids were really little but didn't use it that much. They are 5 and 6 now and it's a bit of a squeeze but we're just graduating to eldest on her own bike and youngest on a tag-along for school.

    We took the trailer cycle touring in France for a few days last year with eldest on tag-along and littlest in the trailer with loads of camping gear. Only did about 10 miles a day but it was great.

    Premier Icon jonathan
    Subscriber

    OK – I'll add my 2p worth…

    1, Feels safe on quiet roads. Usual issues on busier roads, but people do tend to give trailers room. We rarely use it on busy roads though.

    2, Boredom has never been a problem. When little, 1st child (now tag-along or own bike) tended to fall asleep before they could get bored. When he was bigger he was always happy with an array of toys to play with and the view out (of course whether they have a decent view out depends on the trailer I guess)

    3, Usually 10 miles or so, so not far. Have done much longer all-day rides though (5 hours+). As long as you can stop and do "their" things a bit then you're usually OK.

    4, Yes. Especially singlespeed. I banned myself from pulling the trailer with only one gear due to patella tendon issues, although I've started again recently (as number two is still only little/light!). Also if you load it up with the usual "stuff" (like child's bike for instance – the ride out to the SS Worlds at Aviemore was 'taxing'!*) then it can get very heavy. We sometimes used another trailer (Bob Ibex) to carry kiddie bike and extra stuff.

    5, A higher ratio? I used my normal "hilly terrain" 32:18 mostly, but have been pulling with my "fast" ss recently on 32:16

    6, No. Well not until he asked (as we were wearing ours). Chariot CX1 here with good harness and good "cage" – never felt there was much need for a helmet, especially was we rarely pull on the road.

    * Aviemore ride out with trailer and bike…

    smurf
    Member

    Hi.

    We've got a Chariot Cougar 2.

    1, When out on it, how safe do you feel on the roads (quiter roads wouldn't use main roads)?

    I use it on local, quiet roads (all 30mph), cycle paths and I use the (wide) footpaths when it's safer.

    2, Does the child/ren get bored being carted around?

    Not that I've noticed. Few toys help and it's rare for her to be in there for more than 30 mins at a stretch

    3, How far do you go typically?

    Couple of miles to local parks

    4, Is it hard work with it on the back, steep hills?

    Hard work up hill as others have said.

    5, Could I use my SS MTB with a higher gear ratio?

    6, Do you make your child/ren wear a helmet as well in the trailer?

    No helmet – Cougar is designed so there is space behind their head for one but she's pretty well protected by the buggy

    Overall, it's been great to have and if you can, get one that becomes a pushchair as well – very handy.

    smurf

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