How do you guys tow your kids around?

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sarahactivated
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How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:10 pm

Hi all! This isn't necessarily ladies' only...it could also be considered a family question. Does anyone have any recommendations for a child trailer? I've got 2x9 month boys that I want to cart around with me. I've got a couple questions:

1. What is the safest method? Trailer/child seats/tandem?? Don't be afraid to voice your opinion if you don't think any of these options are safe at all.

2. Do trailers fit all bikes? I have an e-bike and I'm sure it will have the towing power. Just wondering if it has the fittings. It may be the Uni Ryder. not sure!

Anyway thanks for any answers in advance!
Sar
Sarah - Perth WA

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bychosis
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby bychosis » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:23 pm

I've towed two in a two seater trailer, it's hard work, but works fine. Mine were about 4&2 when dragged around. Now I've got a near 3yo that loves the trailer rides while the older two ride on their own. I prefer popping him in the trailer to having him on the Bub seat on the back of the bike. It's easier to carry extra stuff with us that way.

Some more info in the Trailer thread on mounting and trailer types.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

zebee
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby zebee » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:26 am

9 months would need car capsule type accommodation, so seems a trailer would be the go. Problem is that even if you don't use actual capsules which are designed for strength at car speeds you will need something of a size and shape most kid trailers are not set up for. So you would have to work out what you will use then see if you can find a trailer that can be converted to use them and then converted back. Be prepared for a lot of horror and disgust at your parenting skills if you do put kids that young in a trailer even if in proper car capsules never mind anything less...

Also don't forget to work out how you will manage once you get to where you are going. You may need to find a trailer that converts to a hand truck or find some way to strap a pram on to the rig, remembering it has to be a pram big enough for 2 2yos... A longtail is looking better and better!

I met a woman at the Addison Rd Markets who had a bike with a trailer and an extended end (of the xtrabike long tail type but it wasn't an xtracycle) and was doing 4 kids with electric assist so anything's possible!

Trailer drawback is if you have to go through bike path bollards or other tricky areas. Designers really don't think about these things.

You can get kid seats that sit in front of the rider so you could have seat on the back and seat on the front when they are old enough but for two I think the trailer really is the only way.

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Thoglette
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby Thoglette » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:08 am

zebee wrote: You may need to find a trailer that converts to a hand truck .


Didn't have one of these (long time ago and all that) but they are doubleplusgood based on conversations with users. Trailer was considered acceptable until about 7 years by the passengers - but by that stage they were too big to haul up hills anyway. I got a tandem around that point (good for picking up one kid after sport etc) which was better for on road use. About 10 or 11 the tandem lost it's popularity and own bike became de-rigeur. As teenagers won't be seen dead in a helmet, that's been the end of cycling.

The twenty-somethings in the family are taking it up again (helmet choice is their problem).
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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:00 pm

Thanks so much Thoglette, zebee and bychosis for taking the time to reply!

Zebee, I WAS actually wondering what my choices were when it comes to transport AFTER getting to our destination. (If I only had one baby I wouldn't have minded carrying them in a baby-carrier or something)....so I think your recommendations of a trailer that doubles as a stroller would be my number one choice.

As for the safety issues there's a brochure I found that says:
The seats for children must be:
  • securely attached to the frame;
  • attached in a position that is not directly
    located on the handlebar;
  • fitted with a footrest and guard that prevent
    the child’s feet from coming into contact with
    moving parts of the bicycle; and
  • fitted with a restraining device that cannot be
    accidentally released.

I've already had a quick look at a trailer in TBE and the first, second and last point are easy enough coz I can tick those off in my head. But I didn't pay attention to the footrests.

Oh and another option I forgot to ask about are the cargo-type bikes! I saw a lady right infront of my house with a couple kids in the wooden bucket. But I have to say that they aren't very popular in Perth. I saw one man in Holland that had a baby in the bucket where it was all set up like a bassinet...and now that I have my own babies I realize that the baby was like 3 months or so! I think if that happened here that guy would be getting the dirtiest looks.

But anyway thanks guys! I can't wait to get on my bike again. I think I'll be looking on Gum Tree for a second hand trailer. :D
Sarah - Perth WA

OldBloke
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby OldBloke » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:00 pm

I bought a second hand trailer off Gumtree for $40 for towing my grandkids. The one I have doesn't convert to a stoller. The three year old and the five year old added up to 40kgs plus 10kgs for the trailer, so I tend to go a bit slower :-D.

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MattyK
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby MattyK » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:49 pm

If you were closer I'd sell you mine. Highly recommend a Croozer, they work well as a stroller (albeit a wide one! Doorways can be a problem, but I have gone around shopping centres with it.)

zebee
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby zebee » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:50 am

If you go to ebay and search for Croozer you will find some very nice and very expensive trailers :)

Depending on how much MattyK wants for theirs it might be worth the cost at Pack and Send!

On the other hand I tried searching for kid trailer and there's a few much cheaper ones around. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Tag-along-Red-Kids-Bike-Trailer-Child-Bicycle-Pram-Stroller-Children-Jogger-/160874417

I think your problem is really going to be that a trailer's a hard ask for kids who can't sit up and reliably keep their heads steady. If the trailer seating can easily be removed so you can put capsules in then maybe as long as there is enough room. You might have to wait a year or so before a trailer is a usable alternative to a car.

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:27 pm

OldBloke wrote:I bought a second hand trailer off Gumtree for $40 for towing my grandkids. The one I have doesn't convert to a stoller. The three year old and the five year old added up to 40kgs plus 10kgs for the trailer, so I tend to go a bit slower :-D.

If I'm wrong blame Tapatalk.


The boys are only 9 kgs each at this point :) But I kknow that I'll get slowed down quite considerably once I stick the trailer on.

I don't think there's anyway I can get a trailer for that cheap here anyway! Sometimes I get so excited when I'm on Gum Tree and I find something reasonably priced...but then I'm only dissappointed when I click on the item and I find that it's over east. Happens A LOT! Even when I was looking for houses on realestate.com.au.
Sarah - Perth WA

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:29 pm

MattyK wrote:If you were closer I'd sell you mine. Highly recommend a Croozer, they work well as a stroller (albeit a wide one! Doorways can be a problem, but I have gone around shopping centres with it.)


Thanks Matty! It was sure that somebody on the forums had one handy!
Is it annoying to attach or detach from the bike? From pictures it looks like a really cumbersome/heavy connection. But understandably it has to be sturdy for security-reasons.
Sarah - Perth WA

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:41 pm

zebee wrote:If you go to ebay and search for Croozer you will find some very nice and very expensive trailers :)

Depending on how much MattyK wants for theirs it might be worth the cost at Pack and Send!

On the other hand I tried searching for kid trailer and there's a few much cheaper ones around. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Tag-along-Red-Kids-Bike-Trailer-Child-Bicycle-Pram-Stroller-Children-Jogger-/160874417

I think your problem is really going to be that a trailer's a hard ask for kids who can't sit up and reliably keep their heads steady. If the trailer seating can easily be removed so you can put capsules in then maybe as long as there is enough room. You might have to wait a year or so before a trailer is a usable alternative to a car.


Thanks for the link to the eBay item :) I actually don't feel that comfortable on eBay..I'm more of a Gum Tree person but those prices are pretty compelling. Here's the only one on GT I can find near my area but it's too expensive for me :S http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hamersley/prams-strollers/weehoo-bike-trailer-pram/1085820465

I'm really curious to know if you think my boys could handle the ride..this might seem a little weird but you can check one of my YT videos and see them 'in action' :P It's a super boring video so don't judge haha! https://youtu.be/sgcTVripwoY?t=107
Sarah - Perth WA

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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby find_bruce » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:33 pm

Hi Sarah,

Mattyk pretty much has you covered. My little boy was ready to ride in the trailer from around 12 months - main thing I was looking at was head control. I had a cheap trailer & there were 3 disadvantages (1) the attachment mechanism was rubbish & (2) the straps & seat didn't hold him upright when he fell asleep. It worked ok when he had a mate in there. & (3) the head room is not as generous so his head was at the top when he was 2 years old.

In terms of attachment, the two best I have seen are Chariot (now Thulle) & burley.

Cargo bikes are just great - this is a Gazelle Cabby which was available to hire from the Sydney Bike Library run by the City of Sydney Council. Downside is the expense and limited availability, eg one in Perth on gumtree atm.
Image

Last two years I have been towing him using a weehoo, which is more fun to tow, enjoyable for him. The are also available in a two seater, but I can't recall seeing them 2nd hand.

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:33 am

find_bruce wrote:Hi Sarah,

Mattyk pretty much has you covered. My little boy was ready to ride in the trailer from around 12 months - main thing I was looking at was head control. I had a cheap trailer & there were 3 disadvantages (1) the attachment mechanism was rubbish & (2) the straps & seat didn't hold him upright when he fell asleep. It worked ok when he had a mate in there. & (3) the head room is not as generous so his head was at the top when he was 2 years old.

In terms of attachment, the two best I have seen are Chariot (now Thulle) & burley.

Cargo bikes are just great - this is a Gazelle Cabby which was available to hire from the Sydney Bike Library run by the City of Sydney Council. Downside is the expense and limited availability, eg one in Perth on gumtree atm.
Image

Last two years I have been towing him using a weehoo, which is more fun to tow, enjoyable for him. The are also available in a two seater, but I can't recall seeing them 2nd hand.


I would love a Cargo bike, especially since you speak highly of them! But unless I find one on the side of the road, I'm not getting one! My husband is getting sick of my bike-hoarding :S I don't even know if I can convince him to buy a trailer coz he's a little wary of the safety! The main argument I have is that I save on fuel and I hate driving.

Thanks for the photo! The little bubba looks very content! Haha :D I think someone's already on GT looking for a Weehoo, so if I can get to one first.....we'll see!
Sarah - Perth WA

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MattyK
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby MattyK » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:07 pm

Attaching the trailer takes very little time. I left the hitch permanently mounted on my axle, and to hook up the trailer and attach the safety strap takes about 10 seconds.

This video explains it; older model than mine but identical fitment process.
https://youtu.be/IDiDTpa10v8

Longer time is needed to a) carry the trailer outside (too wide to roll through a doorway), open it up and attach the bike hitch arm, and b) get the kids strapped in to the 5 point harnesses. But no more than a couple of minutes once things are set up (eg harness lengths pre-adjusted, which is tricky the first time only). And not counting rounding up the kids, though mostly they were keen to hop in.

I'd ship it if someone paid for it, but we'd be talking about a box at least 1m x 1.2m x 50cm and weighing about 20kg.

UmaT
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby UmaT » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:22 pm

So scared to ride with the kids..

OldBloke
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby OldBloke » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:57 pm

Uma, when I tow my g'kids I choose the quieter times of the day and back streets and paths. I also find that cars tend to give kid trailers much more room and seem to take more care. If you can borrow a trailer, ride your preferred route with it empty (but with the cover on ;-) ) to test whether you feel safe enough.

Remember, you can ride on the footpath with a child.

OB

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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby Dreams V Reallity » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:20 pm

My youngest is now 16. Learner car licence. 125 road/trail motorbike, registerable (will be at 16&9mths).
I bought a trailer when youngest was 5? Much more useful than 'tag-a-long' attach to back of bike half-bike.

Biggest point is price. DON'T buy the cheap ones, unless you want to perform maintenance.
A good quality one, second hand is better than a cheap one new. Mine was $50, at BigW (I think). Could be called a TSO -trailer shaped object. But it is still going. Has had the from fixed twice.
Remove the seat/webbing and make child seat mounting points.
When the wigglets get too big, and the trailer still rolls, convert it to carry cargo. Remove all material, screw on a (Masonite ?) base plate, and my son has fitted a) dog bed, b) bmx bike, c) timber sides and carried all manor of c---p.

A good quality one from someone on this site, mailed, would be my best bet, if you can't afford the $hundreds needed for new.

Get out, ride slower (resistance training ?), and enjoy the fresh air.
D V R
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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:34 pm

How do I tow the kids around?

By the ears. :twisted:
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:25 pm

UmaT wrote:So scared to ride with the kids..


Same.

OldBloke wrote: ride your preferred route with it empty

^ Think I'll do some practise runs this way
Sarah - Perth WA

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:26 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:How do I tow the kids around?

By the ears. :twisted:


Hehe :P
Sarah - Perth WA

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sarahactivated
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby sarahactivated » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:36 pm

Dreams V Reallity wrote:Biggest point is price. DON'T buy the cheap ones, unless you want to perform maintenance.
A good quality one, second hand is better than a cheap one new. Mine was $50, at BigW (I think). Could be called a TSO -trailer shaped object. But it is still going. Has had the from fixed twice.


Yeah I've seen cheaps ones in Kmart n Target or wherever. But like you say, I always prefer getting a better brand but used condition. It's probably going to last longer than the cheaper ones in the end anyway.
Sarah - Perth WA

gazman
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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby gazman » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:19 pm

Where abouts in Perth are you Sarah? I may have a trailer you could try.


Edited for grammar.

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Re: How do you guys tow your kids around?

Postby ironhanglider » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:44 pm

Hello Sarah,

I've got two children aged 2 years apart which gave me the chance to try a few variations on the theme. I started off with a baby seat for my eldest, followed by a trailer for them both behind my single bike. Followed by the eldest on the tandem with the youngest in the trailer. When my youngest was two he moved up to the back of the tandem and we towed a trailer-bike. When my daughter was 6 she moved onto her own single bike, and just this year my son turned 5 and moved onto his own bike.

We used a cheap trailer off eBay. I made a couple of modifications along the way. There is no doubt that more expensive trailers are better, but I couldn't justify the cost. With two the same age I suspect that you will end up going from a trailer to a trailer-bike sooner or later like this.

Trailers do work well. The weight isn't much of an issue on the flat, but they do catch a lot of wind.

I have always experienced impeccable traffic behaviour when riding with the trailer/trailer-bike and with the kids on separate bikes.

Cheers,

Cameron
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