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  • This topic has 45 replies, 35 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by 5lab.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 46 total)
  • Show me your…. Kid tow ropes
  • Olly
    Free Member

    I heard a rumour that a few people did some DIY tow ropes,much like the Towee and others, but not 50quid.
    I’ve used a dog lead with a length of shock cord to great effect towing my 4yr old while on foot,but I think to progress to the tow-ist being on a bike I need a bit more length and a bit more bounce.

    I also figured that if I got a roll of tube tape and a roll of shock cord (or whatever componenets are required) I could make a few of them and give them away to friends with similar aged kids. (Looking at you, Timber).

    Anyone willing to share what theyve learnt?

    poah
    Free Member

    used some exercise bungees to tow sophie up comrie croft climb.

    submarined
    Free Member

    Great instructions on this thread here:

    Towwhee vs elasticated tow ropes


    My son loves his!
    However, be very careful which bits you use a sewing machine for, and which bits you hand sew, my deceased grandmother’s sewing machine has never recovered from the damage this idiot did to it trying to sew 2 layers of climbing tape with bungee cord between it…

    zerocool
    Full Member

    I don’t know about what tow rope they were using but last Thursday morning at FOD there was a mum towing homer kid on the Verderers ups using her ebike and it looked like a total game changer. Now my wife wants evoked next year mainly for this reason.

    Although thinking about it they did look like they were using a Kids Ride Shotgun tow rope.

    timberriman
    Free Member

    Just started my 4 yr old on a Towee, he loves it and it just works. Felt pretty overpriced at the time but the stretch seems just right. I can definitely get their ‘sell’ that lots of different bungees were tried before getting the right one. The little carabinier to clip onto the handlebar loop it really handy too, esp if you are doing lots of short ups.

    Getting started requires a bit of coordination, best done on the flat before getting onto any gradient as it makes getting going easier. We have done our local blue trail in Ashton Court, but he was absolutely knackered afterwards. Little wheels and any bumps/rocks is pretty hard work.

    5lab
    Full Member

    I’ve got one of these

    it also just works, and I’m pretty sure the stretch is exactly the same as a tow-whee. I clip it to my saddle rails on my bike, and 2 fat zipties (round the bars, one each side of the stem) on my lads bike, so it pulls him straight. takes 1 sec to clip/unclip, storage seems a little more faffy than the official solutions though.

    outofbreath
    Free Member

    I have 3m of stretchy 6mm nylon for this purpose.

    It’s never been deployed, the lad is bloody minded and always finds an extra reserve of strength when a tow is threatened/offered.

    kirkg
    Free Member

    I have one of these and it does work really well however there are questions marks around how durable it is.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CEmypTTHvra/?igshid=13mj236amiydf

    mashr
    Full Member

    Anyone tried one of these yet?

    https://kommit-bike.de/

    mrhoppy
    Full Member

    I used the retractable dog lead with bungee cord on the bike with Hoppy Jr. However this weekend he has adamantly refused any help on either of the rides we did as he insists he doesn’t need it #prouddadmoment .

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Anyone tried one of these yet?

    I have the Trax that presumably came out first, it’s cheaper too.

    https://traxmtb.com/en/trax-2/

    Works brillantly and completely stows away when not being used.

    stevious
    Full Member

    A fairly well qualified friend of mine uses a couple of inner tubes larks-footed together with his kids. I don’t have experience of it yet but trust him enough to give it a try.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Traxx for towing the kids. It’s now in it’s 2nd season and doing ok. The Kevlar cord is looking a bit 2nd hand and I did break the tab off the internal bobbin which holds the internal spring but Traxx replaced it FOC & very quickly and it was a piece of cake to change.

    Would happily recommend. Especially as it takes no stowing. Though I do spin it around to stop it rubbing the tyre on compressions when not towing.

    timber
    Full Member

    You mean I can’t do as my parents did and pick rides up massive hills and shout “pedal harder” from 50m ahead?

    Think I saw Jon’s method in the thread above elsewhere on here, but that Traxx one looks smart too.

    Maybe I could just wind up the tension in an old loggers tape, probably have to shorten it from 15m too if we’re gonna go around corners.

    jonm81
    Full Member

    I made my own towee a couple of years ago. It cost less than £5.

    Here it is in use.

    EDIT: just noticed these are the same pics I posted in the link above 🙂

    ji
    Free Member

    I made my own when the kids were younger – a bungie rope fed through a shortish length of plastic tube (the tube stops the rope getting casught in you back wheel when they catch up with you unexpectedly).

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    STW in overthinking, overengineering and overspending shocker.
    This is what you need:

    Actually, that bit will do at least two ropes possibly three.

    jonm81
    Full Member

    overthinking, overengineering and overspending

    I’m an engineer, that’s just what we do!

    kevs
    Free Member

    https://boatworld.co.uk/boatworld-bungee-docking-lines-pair

    I use these, one from my bike to twin 1s bike, then the other from twin 1 to twin 2s bike.

    adamo
    Full Member

    I’ve just been using a webbing strap that came free with a roof rack – does the trick for for gently spinning up a hill or two. I’m sure the stretchy options are good for longer-distance towing, but being less comfortable is a plus for me – the kids quickly get annoyed and switching back to their own power…

    I’ve seen the inner-tube trick done before and that admittedly looks more forgiving – plus it’s depressingly easy to find a few discarded next to the trails.

    beamers
    Full Member

    3 x 700c inner tubes looped together works for me.

    One end looped round the handlebars of the towed bike, the other end looped around my camelbak waist strap (to avoid any additional stress on the seat tube of my bike.)

    vmgscot
    Full Member

    Would the inner tube solution cope pulling a 90Kg bloke behind his girlfriends new Merida e160 (asking for a friend)?

    pdw
    Free Member

    Rope with shock cord tied into it. The shock cord takes the bounce out of starting off, and stops the rope dropping into your rear wheel.

    Loop at the front hooks over my saddle. At the other end, the rope goes round the back of the steerer, then twice round the stem and across to one of the grips. This takes no effort to hold, but comes off immediately if they let go.

    The kids, bikes and hills all got bigger, but the rope is still going strong.

    danposs86
    Full Member

    I have a Kid Reel, great for towing on foot, but takes a bit of skill when on a bit. https://www.kidreel.com/

    You need a hand free to pull it (unless you fashion a hook for the handle), there were talks that Kid Reel were going to release something in the future. Grabbing the handle whilst on the bike riding is difficult (might be due to how small my daughters bike is and the distance to reach down).

    It isn’t elastic, so there can be a jolt when it is fully extended.

    So not perfect, but the bit I really like is the easy release (which I control rather than the kids), just get close to them, let go of the handle and it safely goes back into the reel. Means no stopping at the top of the hill, just keep riding.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    overthinking, overengineering and overspending

    You only get a rope caught in a wheel once. Also, engineer as above.

    jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    Could well need this in the summer…if only I could convince the little un to even get on his bike.
    Year and a half ago he was keen and could go a decent distance. Now, after a few bike changes, he’s decided he can’t do it and refuses to try…despite the new bike being half the weight of predecessors.
    I’m sure he’ll get into it again if I could just persuade him back on, but no amount of cajoling or bribery will change his mind!

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    You only get a rope caught in a wheel once

    Nah, I’ve had it happen at least three times. Weirdly enough, twice last month. Took a few minutes to sort out, which was mildly troubling, but pales into insignificance when looked at in the context of 11 years of amazing cycling.

    Right enough you do need to be able to trust your kids to use their brakes when needed, but that’s no biggie.

    jonathan
    Free Member

    Another minimal engineering/spend type here – one old 120cm climbing sling, one 30cm extender and two snap gates. Clipped to workhorse’s camelbak, short sling looped around stem/bars and clipped to long sling. Worked perfectly for two kids. You could probably clipped a multiple loop of shock cord as an extra link if you wanted bounce (I do that as a training aid for a fingerboard), but I never felt the need for it. Both kids now faster than me up most hills 😉
    Tow

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    2 innertubes- one looped through the other.

    you get the benefit of having a spare tube if you puncture too!

    yes, its not posh, but it does actually work and i bet you have a few spare kicking about.

    did 4 laps of friston forest cardiac climb last week with 2 kids in tow like a train!

    timber
    Full Member

    Finally got around to making one as the small person is so lazy and I’m equally impatient.
    About £3.50 for dog lead bungee and some 5mm paracord with a quick bit of sewing machine action.
    Long enough to get going, short enough to not get caught up or drag on floor.
    Goes through saddle rails and hooks over the nose of my bike and when not in use I just put the other end over my shoulder.

    cheap tow

    Mugboo
    Full Member

    I bought something like this to tow my lad but now use it so I can ride with an Ebike buddy, certainly makes the difference in speeds uphill more bearable.

    Ambrose
    Full Member

    back in the day I used to have Son #2 behind me on a tag-along. he soon realised that if it got ‘too hard’ he could let me do all the hard work. This then meant that his expectations of riding uphil, unassisted were flawed.

    5lab
    Full Member

    bringing this back from the dead.. I’m currently using an elasticated tow rope, the towing with which is ace, but the clipping/unclipping/storage is a bit of a PITA. Does anyone have an elasticated rope that is also retractable (or I guess a non-elasticated retractable one but with a really strong spring on the return so it is effectively elasticated)?

    Burchy1
    Free Member

    A mate used one of these – <a”https://www.zerobikes.co.uk/en/trax-retractable-bike-tow~p522371″&gt; which seemed to work quite well.

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Does anyone have an elasticated rope that is also retractable (or I guess a non-elasticated retractable one but with a really strong spring on the return so it is effectively elasticated)?

    I have a normal Trax MTB. Kevlar line in a sprung reel, just hook the stem bolts then pop it off when done. No faff and can be left on the bike.

    granny_ring
    Full Member

    3 x 700c inner tubes looped together works for me.

    One end looped round the handlebars of the towed bike, the other end looped around my camelbak waist strap (to avoid any additional stress on the seat tube of my bike.)

    Sounds like the best & cheapest….?

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    I’m using the £12 Amazon bungee in some webbing, it’s got a big loop sewn in one end and a loop of 6mm cord in the other. Takes less than 30s to get going when stored in her camelback stuff pocket – she pulls up next to me, I retrieve it and pass her the cord end. While she’s hooking it over the stem and under the bolts, I drop the loop of webbing over the nose of the saddle and edge forwards. As soon as she’s ready, we’re off.

    When we get to the top of the fire road, she pulls up next to me again, I stow it, and were off again.

    Not the best for undulating trails but really easy for grinding up boring fire roads or even single-track as long as it’s uphill.

    5lab
    Full Member

    I have a normal Trax MTB. Kevlar line in a sprung reel, just hook the stem bolts then pop it off when done. No faff and can be left on the bike.

    how “snatchy” is it when you reach the end of its length? I (occasionally) yank the kid (who’s only 6) off with the gentle start of an elasticated rope, that sorta thing looks ace but I think it might cause problems in practice (setting off at exactly the same time doesn’t seem to work either..)

    sirromj
    Full Member

    I bought one of the cheap ones from Amazon. Bit shorter than I expected but does the job.

    Testing it out on the grass recreation ground…

    You only get a rope caught in a wheel once.

    Something else that only happens once: Boy face planting after going OTB because he continually ignored my instruction to ride behind me instead of at my side. Luckily he wasn’t hurt and after a few minutes got back on.

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