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  • Kids Bike Trailers – recommendations/experience/thoughts please
  • roadyuk
    Member

    Hi guys, been through a few pages here to see if there’s any recent threads about trailers and not found too many. Certainly none with the sort of information I’m after.

    Basically – what do people recommend for bigger kids (2-5 y/o) on the nursery commute (5 miles of road/tarmac cycle path) using road bikes? Experiences please of those who’ve ridden/ride with a trailer all weathers…

    Done the last 18 months with the cheapy Halfords singe seater. ‘The Chariot’. Cheap & cheerful and got it on a good deal. Have certainly had our moneys worth and it must have done 2000+ miles. Several ‘adaptions’ to mount lights and add waterproofing. Have been really impressed/happy with it. Riding it into headwind with a powermeter is hilarious ‘fun’/training. Have no experience of anything else.

    Bikes… The other half towing with a standard Liv Avail (alu frame road bike) and I’m using a Specialized Diverge (carbon frame gravel bike, setup for road). I’ve always had concerns of my carbon frame and technically Specialized say ‘no’ to towing trailers. I’ve had zero issues. Thru-axle is a faff and on the second (expensive) axle (axle project).

    Halfords trailer is a little over 16kg. Little man is nearly 2.5 y/o and getting near 15kg. He’s really outgrown the cheapy trailer so we just got a Bellelli Bike Taxi (again great Halfords deal). It’s quite a bit bigger and heavier – seems really well made. ‘The Tank’. But weighing it in at 19kg (website says 15kg!), I’m now back to being concerned about my carbon frame and thru axle…!

    Change frame, change tailer?

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Subscriber

    following

    mines 5 this year and looking for viable transport options. she cat ride her own bike unfortunatley

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    We used a 2 kid chariot (cx2?) for years and because it had to be transferred across mine and wifes bikes we had to get a clamp that attatches to the non-drive chainstay from holland that they don’t allow to be sold here.

    No escaping the weight and the fact that this will transferred to the frame somewhere. Seatpost attatchment might be better?

    Edit. It’s really wide so no good for width restricted cycle paths.

    roadyuk
    Member

    Andy, I really liked the look of the ‘Weehoo i Go’ Weeride or whatever they are, but figured once he’s at that stage (balancing and sitting with legs dangling) he may aswell be using a tag along. We’re lucky our Primary school is 1/4 from home so we’ll walk there & back, but Nursery is 5 miles away so really not walkable. He was born at the end of september so won’t be at school until he’s 5 so we need the next 1.5 years of use until then. But being a big kid, we probably need something suitable for a 6-7 year old!

    csb, I’ve heard so many good things about the Thule’s but can’t really justify the price difference to the other half. Interesting you say about the hitch. One reason we’ve stuck the hitch type we have is we have spares/extras and I mounted to my thru axle. Until this Bellelli I’d spent more on thru axle hitches than trailers! Seatpost attachment may centralise the weight more, but again, carbon frame worries. Thankfully being hydraulic disc brake I don’t have many concerns about the thru axle strength, it’s more the stresses on the frame. As they mount ‘disc side’, that’s a large amount of stress in 1 place when/if braking hard. Although I’m lucky and don’t need to do too much of that (frame is also designed for that), the stress when pulling away from stationary on a 2-3% climb every return commute does worry me (frame not designed for those stresses from the thru axle).

    geomickb
    Member

    I just use my old Ht 29er for the school run with a Burley double trailer (the plastic based model). I bought a couple of hitches from Amazon for other bikes.

    It’s only a mile downhill (I don’t collect her). Not sure what I will do when she is too big for the trailer.

    I’m thinking cargo bike may be next step.

    Mick

    BruceWee
    Member

    Burley Honey Bee with a Surly Cross-check on towing duties here. I tow a three year old and a six year old (16kg and 23kg) and I reckon it’s about time to kick the 6 year old out and let him make his own way in the world.

    I like the Burley but it is very narrow although the kids don’t seem to mind being crammed in together, I guess it feels more secure. It is possible to flip it if you go through a sharp s-bend at speed. I can confirm that if the kids are strapped in the trailer can be flipped without major injuries 🙂

    roadyuk
    Member

    Those rides sound very ‘robust’ (or at least the frames do) in comparison to mine! Although a gravel bike with 32mm tubeless & full guards it comes in at only just over 10kg! 😮

    Also quite slow… I’m generally towing at 15/16mph on the flat (actually a false flat) with 65% of the Nursery commute being on a main trunk road with no cycle path option. I know I’m going to be slower with the new ‘Tank’.

    Mick, I’ve always loved the idea of a cargo bike. Seeing DCR’s UrbanArrow in action even more so, but none of the infrastructure here would suit it. Even at the moment I have to avoid half a mile of cycle path as I can’t ‘get’ to it. It means crossing 2 carriageways, negotiating a 3 foot wide shared use path and a couple of 90 degree turns through dropped kerbs. It’s just not worth the ‘risk’ and safer to stay on the road (40mph limit).

    Kudos Bruce for towing all that! Suddenly my 400W average to maintain 9mph into headwind doesn’t sound so bad… Have heard so many good things about the Burleys and would’ve gone that route rather than Thule had the other half not got involved.

    isoo
    Member

    Burley here too. Canvas bottom two-seater, I forget the model name. I tow it with a Disc Trucker, SO with a hybrid. We’ve only managed one kid so far, so it’s roomy enough, although we can’t keep the roll cage/pushing handle down anymore due to the kid, who’s about 115 cm currently, complaining about their head banging on it when going up or down curbs.

    Mechanically the thing is impressive. Adjusting things, hitching and collapsing it work great, but materials aren’t the greatest. The doorflap zippers gave up after one winter, the wheel nipples are rusting and the hubs’ release mechanism is fairly stuck. Also the fabrics aren’t waterproof enough for actual all-weather use. I probably would look for something else if buying again, but don’t know if anything better exists.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Subscriber

    2 and 5 yo was a kiddyback tandem with a Rhode Gear Limo baby seat for the 2 yo. Then when old enough to pedal I graduated to the addition of a Burley tag along. Then the oldest ride his own bike in front.

    Look at the Circe Helios. Get one before they grow up too much!

    Premier Icon burko73
    Subscriber

    old chariot single here with the suspension from before Thule bought them out. bought off Ebay in good nick, will have done 2 kids over last 5 yrs and should be able to get my money back when it’s done its duties. has been great and not too wide behind the bike. came with two hitches so one for wife bike, one for mine.

    also bought a follow me bike tandem off Ebay for the eldest for road sections etc between forest tracks. its a bit of a faff to be honest but is helpful to give a bit of confidence. it is made out of lead it seems (steel tube) and weighs more than little uns bike. clever concept but I’m sure it could be manufactured so its a lot lighter and a fair bit more user friendly. again, bought on Ebay, should be able to get my money back on it at the end of its usefulness to me.

    also sit the eldest on the back of a Kona minute with foot pegs and stoker bars for short trips. she loves this and we can tow the chariot as well with the baby in.

    Premier Icon ctk
    Subscriber

    I got 2 kids to school in a Burley trailer, I think they were to big for it by 4 and 6, they absolutely loved it though! Look for a used one local on ebay, I picked mine up for £50.

    Also any cheap old but decent MTB will do the job

    Premier Icon Blake
    Subscriber

    My school run is about 5 miles on a mix of road and segregated bike path, then about 5 miles into work. Offspring is a reasonably tall 5 year old.

    In the summer I use a Wee Ride Co Pilot tag along. For the winter I use a Hamax Avenida buggy. Both work really well.

    The Hamax buggy was the largest I could find, should be ok for another year or two, once he’s too big for it he’ll be on the tag along all winter – he will just have to get over the Manchester winter weather!

    I like being able to leave the buggy / tag along at school and do the ride to work on a normal bike (Pinnacle Arkose).

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    We used an ancient Orange P7 (that was freecycle…) and Burley for a year. It was about 1 / 1.5 miles to the nursery.

    I was looking at child seats etc as they were just to big for the trailer.

    We ended up changing nursery to one that was almost the end of our road, combined with job change for mrs_oab.

    Premier Icon jaminb
    Subscriber

    Burley D Lite here. Brilliant design and plenty of room for 4 & 1 year old. Suspension works better with more weight so good to carry a slab of beer in the boot.

    Helmets not compulsory but wife was being a bit cautious as we were going for a large dinner with an off road route home !

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I used one of the croozers for two kids – decent trailer, used to leave it at the nursery and then ride in to work. Expensive but you can sell it on for a good percentage.

    I see a guy most mornings on a cargo bike with two kids in a barrow at the front – looks absolutely boss, but once you’ve dropped them off you’re stuck riding a tank into work. Depends how long your commute is I suppose.

    What about one of these?

    On a more serious note, we also had a Croozer CX2/Kid for 2. Huge big thing which had plenty of room in. Didn’t use it anywhere near as much due to it being too wide to get through some of the gate type things littered around every single off road cycle route in our area. It was great as a stroller though.

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    To the OP – sorry, my experience with trailers is with a touring bikes (steel, disc brakes, 35 mm tyres) or MTBs.

    Hmm.

    Do the Burley etc. trailers use a hitch similar to the Thule/Chariots?

    We have a chariot single with a number of hitches and adaptors for the MTBs and Alfine based commuters.

    I’m going to need a trailer for a year when both we wee ‘uns are at nursery (approx 1 mile) then I continue to work (6 miles). I had thought about a cheap trailer for a year, which I can leave at Nursery outside.

    Perhaps I’d be better funding a double chariot (as we have the axles and hitches) and leave it under cover (outside) at Nursery? there’s not a lot of space indoors to store it at our nursery and having done the run for a while in the single Chariot, the dismantling was too much of a faff to be bothered with.

    Thoughts?

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