Genius or utter asshattery?

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  • Genius or utter asshattery?
  • PJay
    Member

    I’ve just stumbled across the Trax MTB (actually posted up by Hope of all people). Essentially it’s a mini spool washing line that you attach to your seat tube allowing you to draw out a Kevlar cable to loop over another bike (looking all the world like a piece of string with a loop on the end); the blurb states:

    The most comfortable, efficient and practical system to join 2 normal bicycles into a tandem.

    Venture yourself to ride some routes that you wouldn’t never imagine with your children, nephews/nieces, grandchildren, friends…

    TRAX opens endless possibilities to share the cycling without barriers!

    The promotional video shows a chap guide a young lad over trails with said device loosely looped over his stem cap & spacer.

    Facebook video here

    Clearly this offers no real tandem like control or safety and chappy at the front is most likely oblivious as to whether laddo has fallen off or run into a tree (at least until the spool runs out).

    The Trax is also shown as a device to allow an emergency tow back home to another, broken, bike and for climbing assistance.

    I’m happy to consign it to the ‘bonkers’ (and potentially very unsafe) bin but am I missing something?

    https://traxmtb.com/en

    scuttler
    Member

    Or larks-footed inner tubes using either the massive pile of unrepaired ones in the garage for kids rides, or yours and your mates spares for an emergency tow.

    Load of bollocks.

    andrewh
    Member

    Hmm.
    Maybe emergancy tow, I’ve seen it done with some baler-twine we found at the roadside after a friend’s freewheel died a long way from home. Not sure I’d carry a specific thing for it though. Even less sure I’d fancy towing/being towed if I didn’t have to be.
    .
    What is the difference between twine and string anyway?

    I quite like that. I use a length of rope to tow my 3 year old on the uphills but it’s not the easiest thing for either of us to co-ordinate. I did lol at the ‘tool free installation’ though – I.e. zip ties (which magically trim themselves, apparently).

    Obviously it’s not revolutionary but I could see it being useful.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Venture yourself to ride some routes that you wouldn’t never imagine

    Double-negative. For that reason I’m out.

    mashr
    Member

    It’s just a Tow Whee alternative, looks good to me. Also, that video was just done by the Bike Dads page, its not a sales video (despite several people getting a weird arse on in the comments)

    chappy at the front is most likely oblivious as to whether laddo has fallen off or run into a tree (at least until the spool runs out).

    Does Dad have headphones in or something?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    What is the difference between twine and string anyway?

    As any farmer will tell you, you can fix anything with twine, so long as you’ve got the correct colour or in really bad cases combination of colours (blue for small but long term repairs, orange for large/structural jobs of short life, blue and orange for major long term building work). You can’t do this with string.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    the benefit of a towwhee is the stretch in the cord. if the tower slows or the towee speeds up suddenly, the line doesnt fall into the gears and create an unholy mess.

    maybe this will recover the line quick enough if this happens but I cant see it.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    I think unless it has give like a towhee then you’re in for a world of pain.

    PJay
    Member

    Perhaps I’ve been a bit harsh then, I had no idea that such devices existed but there seem to be several on the market. I’m still not sure that I’d feel comfortable with that loop simply hitched over the stem but the Bike Dads folk certainly seem to like it.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Yeah, the lack of elasticity is going to make life difficult, I suspect. Other than that, the idea of a compact emergency towing rope is kind of appealing.

    Where they lose me is zip-typing it to the frame, because (a) that confines it to one bike and (b) zip ties are bullshit, and in 99.9% of cases anyone using them in an actual product has done so because they couldn’t be arsed to design a proper solution.

    If it was a double-ended spool which could loop onto both bikes rather then being (spit) zip tied to one of them, so you could keep it in a bag and deploy it only when necessary, then maybe I’d be interested.

    mashr
    Member

    I’m still not sure that I’d feel comfortable with that loop simply hitched over the stem

    but that’s ideal, if there is a crash* it’ll just pop off rather than drag the bike/childs face along the ground

    *which would only ever be low speed, uphill, anyway

    Premier Icon feed
    Subscriber

    Well I just ordered one for when out cycling with 13 yo daughter who’s not that enthusiastic about cycling and consequently not very bike fit. Now I can give her a tow when she’s bunched!

    If it works as well as I hope it’ll be well worth €38. Thanks for the post PJay.

    pdw
    Member

    maybe this will recover the line quick enough if this happens but I cant see it.

    Web site claims it will:

    a mechanical system designed to pick it up back and to avoid any possibility to become tangled to the wheel.

    I use a tow rope with our kids. Just a bit of rope and a shock cord tied to it every 20cm or so so that it keeps any slack out of the wheel.

    Works well, and really does mean that you can take on some rides that you wouldn’t otherwise, but a bit of a faff to take on and off. That thing looks quite neat.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    It’s just a fing innit. Would work for some scenarios.
    Shame the logo makes it look like it’s called a Grax

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    I think it looks great, much better than the 2 inner tubes I use with my lad on our local loop with its killer climb.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    much better than the 2 inner tubes

    Should be – it’s 5X the price

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    2 roadie inner tubes tied together is the ticket, put 4 or 5 knots in them to keep it all together, seatpost to bars. I’ve used it to tow my mate about no worries, me on the ebike, him on normal bike.

    Works perfectly, barely even notice him half the time.

    But does require a modicum of co-ordination between you though, particular as the trial and gradient change. Need to communicate basically.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    How long do you think you would/could tow someone if they really weren’t happy?

    If you were being an arse, they’d jam their brakes to the point of locking up and you’d be stopping too pretty sharpish.

    And if you could ride for half a mile without noticing your son, daughter, wife had binned it and you were dragging their empty bike behind you, then you’re very unlikely to be the target market for something so altruistic, or indeed have any of those people to ride with in the first place.

    Maximum weight per towed cyclist – 90kg / 200lbs

    Well that rules out bloaters on their motability bikes.

    Could have been useful for when the electricity runs out and the thought of having to do all the peddling is just too much for them to deal with.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    It’s a neat version of the retractable dog lead system that lots of us use. The principle is fine but I have a couple of issues with its implementation, it mounts too low so it’s a bit close to the wheel, it zip ties on so it’s hard to move about between bikes and there is no flex unless I’m missing something.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    As any farmer will tell you, you can fix anything with twine, so long as you’ve got the correct colour or in really bad cases combination of colours (blue for small but long term repairs, orange for large/structural jobs of short life, blue and orange for major long term building work). You can’t do this with string.

    I can vouch for this 100%

    But what about pink?

    Premier Icon trustysteed
    Subscriber

    My first thought was what happens when another cyclist doesn’t see the twine linking the two bikes and tries to pass through the gap between them. Presumably it could be quite large when fully extended?

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Anyone cutting between a parent and their kid like that is a nob and can get knocked off imo. It tends to only be a couple of metres.

    I find it bizarre that people are getting so wound up by this you see plenty of variations about.

    The line is a couple of meters long, it’s hardly the 2km dog leads old ladies like. Video shows both people start pedalling and lead rider takes up the slack. Of course there’s nothing to stop you adding a short shock cord to the end if you wanted to.

    Advantage of not having a dropper means I can mount that at a proper hight. Need to check the angles but should be fine.

    And cmon, reusable zip ties have existed for decades.

    Also of the mind to order one, seems like a good idea for longer rides or just generally steep bits without the annoyance of tubes hanging off the back. Nowt wrong with tubes mind but this looks neater. There is a French version that uses a fluoro line and a hook for the bars but they only ship to French speaking countries. Shame as it actually addresses the ziptie and height problems and is the same price.

    mashr
    Member

    Got a link to the French one?

    I’m still a couple of years from needing something like this, but i’m pretty certain one of the main places we’ll be heading is Glentress. If parking at the bottom there (which you would do given that the skills/jump area is heading there) then a full climb up could ruin a youngster pretty early on…..this way it’s my legs that will get ruined instead!

    It’s not unknown for an ebike rider to give a wee tow up the hill to a non e-bike rider in a group ride round these parts.

    Premier Icon orangespyderman
    Subscriber

    It’s not unknown for an ebike rider to give a wee tow up the hill to a non e-bike rider in a group ride round these parts.

    Yes – it’s how they ensure they’re getting just as much of a workout like they always say they are 🙂

    /troll 🙂

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Looks reasonable – places like Llandegla and Glentress have substantial forest road climbs up to the trails that are too much for young kids, something like this could make a big difference to the feasibility of the ride.

    So no issues with the concept at all, just whether it’s offering much over a plain old rope I’m not as sure about. I’d imagine you could be quite creative with your hitches and wotnot to make a rope work quite well.

    pdw
    Member

    Loop at one end goes over the nose of the saddle. You can then do a “friction hitch” at other end: loop the rope round the back of the steerer, then wrap around the stem and rope and then over to one of the handle bar grips. Takes no effort to hold the rope and it undoes itself if you let go.

    Ah well, ordered one anyway, we’ll see what it’s like when it gets here. Seatpost diameter on my bike is a tad on the small side but a bit of road tube should sort that. Will report back later.

    Variations have been used for ages. I had a split 4m sling on my bike wrapped around the handlebars when my kids were little. If they got tired or grumpy it would go around their stem, looped once and they held it against their grip. When they had enough they would let go. Never had any problem with it and it meant happy kids and longer days out.

    Adventure racers have been using the dog lead technique for years to help out slower riders or those suffering a bit. Massive psychological boost the the struggling person.

    Don’t worry, its all good.

    dahedd
    Member

    We had a trail gator and didn’t like it. Swapped to a Tow-Whee & its great. so handy for the uphills or long rides but if not needed itll stash in my back, over my shoulder or even into the pockets on the back of my Endura shorts.

    You do still have to watch if the wee guy gets too close. It has got caught up in my rear cassette once or twice resulting in the canvas covering tearing but the rubber cord within is untouched, tough bugger of a thing.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    Love it and have just purchased. Will be great for towing SpdR Jr up the fire roads so we can raz back down. Will save me having to push both bikes up. ;o)

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