The trailer thread

Bicycles for Toddlers to Teens

The trailer thread

Postby MattyK » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:17 pm

Does anyone else use a child trailer?

We bought a Croozer Kid for 2 at the start of this year. It has spent most of its life being used as a double stroller to kinder and ballet class, but we have put a handful of bike rides on it now that the weather is getting nicer.

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I have a (as of now) 4 year old and a 14 month old - so one is at the upper limit of fitting, and the other has just reached the age that you're advised to start rides (mainly due to helmet/neck strength issues).

We got the optional infant sling, which was good for when my boy was quite new, then upgraded him to the baby seat supporter (a padded seat insert), but he quickly outgrew that (he's big!) and now goes in the normal seat.

We also got the handlebar console, which is great for stroller use as drinks and keys/wallet etc are close at hand. There is even a little split hole in it for poking headphone cords through.

We have the optional sun cover too which provides a little more shade, but its practicality is limited by the fact that it slides up and down the top frame tubes, and the side panels are also attached to those frame tubes. This means, if you want to pull the sun shade down forwards, you have to undo some of the velcro loops and reattach them forward of where the side panel velcro loops are.

The hitch lives on my commuter bike permanently; I have a hub gear so it is firmly bolted in place to the axle.


Pros:
Gets the kids outdoors and moving faster than they can ride. Great way to get to the playground.
Comes with stroller wheel and jogger wheel kit included. My wife has used the stroller wheel a lot, we have not used the jogger wheel though.
Heaps of room in the back (enough for nappy bag, balance bike, snacks, drinks, stroller wheel for when you get somewhere, etc)
Rolls well, no complaints of ride comfort (believe me, my daughter would complain!). In fact the kids tend to fall asleep in it!
Easy to access inside (a couple of velcro tabs on the front cover)
Easy to fold up and down. It needs a good pull to snap the clamps into place, but it is as tight as a drum once done. My wife can do it, so it can't be that hard.

Cons:
The harnesses (5 point) are quite fiddly to adjust for length, especially when you are trying to reach in around a seated child. Once adjusted though they are easy enough to buckle.
The stroller wheel is a little rattly. Nowhere near as silent as the big wheels (in trailer or jogger mode)
It's heavy! I guess this is unavoidable, so it's a bit unfair to list as a negative. But you certainly notice when it's full and you come to a hill. My lowest gear is about 39 inches, not really ideal for hauling heavy loads... It jerks a bit when you go over bumps or accelerate, but again that's probably common to all of them.
No enough recess for helmets. There are adjustable head supports provided; I'm not sure if these are intended to support the neck (and provide clearance above for a helmet) or to be used in countries without helmet laws. Consequently, if the child isn't supporting their head, their helmet will push down over their eyes. However, the main reason for this would be that they are asleep, so maybe it's a moot point.
It's wide! This is probably the main drawback. It's too wide to fit through a standard doorway. Have a good hard think about the practicalities of that. It will just squeeze through a doorway tipped on its side without being folded up, but it is bulky and awkward to do this. Only slightly easier when folded down. I doubt the competition is much better though, you still have to fit two kids and two 20" wheels.
Apart from doorways, if you are going to a bike track, many of them have bollards or traffic obstructions that are equally hard to get past. However there is not so much weight on the back axle of your bike, so it is possible to lift the rear of the bike, step it sideways, and get through.
Despite folding down and the wheels coming off easily, it is still too big to fit in the (small) boot of our car. So it is limited to use around our neighbourhood, not for travels and holidays. We really could use a bigger car though...

Over all, it's a great trailer, a high quality piece of kit, and highly recommended if you can live with the size issues. It feels like it will last for years, but unless you keep churning out kids you probably won't get years of use out of it before they outgrow it, and as a double trailer it's really only effective for an age gap of less than 3 years, because you're limited to kids between 1 and 4-5 years old.
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by BNA » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:18 pm

BNA
 

Re: The trailer thread

Postby find_bruce » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:18 pm

My little bit is 18 months & loves going for a ride- I got the guilts this morning as I was heading off to work & he put his helmet on to come with my. Had the saddest little face when he realised I was leaving without him.

Been meaning to post about a mod I did to replace the crappy hitch with a nice burley one. Just waiting on a new chariot nut for the alfine hub - nut does up as normal, hitch bolts to the end of the nut
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Re: The trailer thread

Postby huggiebear » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:03 pm

not the same style of trailer, but my son just started school and i dont like the idea of his recently restored bike being left at school so im building this trailer so i can cart it home and back again to pick him up.

consists of an old gate cut up to form the frame, 2 front forks from 16" bikes i was scrapping, some colonial fence palings and some screws. i also ordered a eyelet style toe rod end from ebay which will be my hitch point. so all i need to buy still is a long bolt which the tie rod will go onto and make the draw bar and hitch bracket off the back of the bike. im also picking up a section of c-channel to hold the bike in place while being towed. (if you buy actual c-channel it costs about $30/m but if you buy fence post channeling its $12 for 3m) it should be all finished over the weekend apart from the tie rod which wont be here until monday/tuesday.

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Re: The trailer thread

Postby MattyK » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:43 pm

Ingenious. Wouldn't something like a trail gator be easier though? I guess this will have more general versatility though.
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Re: The trailer thread

Postby huggiebear » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:25 pm

i did think about something like that but after spending $200+ on restoring the bike i dont like the idea of bolting on a plastic clip to the front or getting him to ride a new single wheel extension bike thing. and the looks we will get will make it worth it. and at a running cost so far under $18 and estimated total cost of under $35 (depending the price of stain/paint) i doubt i could get any other aftermarket style unit for that price.

and the best part is building it. i love hands on stuff
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Re: The trailer thread

Postby huggiebear » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:20 pm

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Re: The trailer thread

Postby rangersac » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:16 pm

Yup, a serious old Burley one that dates back to about 2000, that we got second hand from some mates. It's still going strong despite a lot of abuse, and nearly 50kg of kids in it!
De Rosa Macro | Trek 8000ZR | Gemini Steelie
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Re: The trailer thread

Postby faustorider » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:12 pm

Can anyone recommend a trailer brand, am looking at prices below $300, will buy new or second hand. Went to the LBS, they have a Thule for $1500, looks good but not worth the money as I have my doubts as to how often it would get used.
The next query is has anyone towed one behind a road bike? I have three road bikes, my wife has a mountain bike which she wants me to use, but I am a roadie and I figure I will be slow enough towing the weight of a trailer let alone towing behind a mountain bike. All my road bikes are steel framed not carbon so they should be strong enough, but they are valuble so don't want any damage to my bike.
I intend to only use it on bike paths, cargo too precious to risk being on the road, although I still have a 1 kilometre road ride to get to a bike path.
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Re: The trailer thread

Postby find_bruce » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:56 pm

Chariot are beautiful but too expensive. The clamp on attachment from cheap trailers are garbage. I used a cheap trailer but fitted a burley attachment - bracket secured by quick release, works well on any bike
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