Bicycle trailer advice needed



J

Jayne Ashworth

Guest
My niece is looking at trailers for bicycles to use to carry
her 6-month old when riding her bicycle on trails. Some
recommend the child be 6-months before using a trailer,
others recommend the child be 1 year before using a
trailer. Any advice from people who have done this before?

Thank you.

Jayne
 
R

Rich

Guest
Jayne Ashworth wrote:
> My niece is looking at trailers for bicycles to use to carry
> her 6-month old when riding her bicycle on trails. Some
> recommend the child be 6-months before using a trailer,
> others recommend the child be 1 year before using a
> trailer. Any advice from people who have done this before?


The kid's neck muscles need to be developed enough to hold it's head
steady, even with the added weight of a helmet (if one is used).

Normally, that's around one year of age (at least that's what I was
told). And while you could probably get by with it at 6 months on a
smooth trail, what happens if you get run off the trail or accidently
ride off the trial onto a not-so-smooth surface? The kid's head would
be tossed around like a rag dolls. Probably not a good thing; possibly
a really really bad thing.

We waited until the kid was over 12 months old. (14 actually, but he
turned 12mo in January, too cold for me to ride)

Rich
 
B

Beverly

Guest
"Jayne Ashworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> My niece is looking at trailers for bicycles to use to carry
> her 6-month old when riding her bicycle on trails. Some
> recommend the child be 6-months before using a trailer,
> others recommend the child be 1 year before using a
> trailer. Any advice from people who have done this before?
>
> Thank you.
>
> Jayne


I've seen people on the trails around here strap a small car seat into the
trailer to hold the infant. You might have her check out some of the
accessories designed for younger children in bike trailers.
http://www.bicycletrailers.com/parts.htm I've never used any of them so I
can't say how well they work.

I took my granddaughter out on the trails when she was 11 months old and she
did fine. I took her on shorter trips around the neighborhood when she was
9 months old. I had one of the neck supports her parents used in the car
seat because she always fell asleep within the first half mile.
 
S

Steve McDonald

Guest
Jayne Ashworth wrote:

My niece is looking at trailers for bicycles to use to carry her
6-month old when riding her bicycle on trails.
------------------------------------------------------

I'm a big fan of bike trailers and I've even hauled a few adults on
them on special occasions. But, as dependent as I am on bicycles, I'd
never carry a kid of my own on one. I've learned how unpredictable
circumstances on the road can be with a trailer and how easy it is to
flip one. As careful as I am when hauling one, I've ended up several
times with the trailer being bounced up and landing on its top. My
first thought has always been how glad I was that I don't haul kids in
them.

Now that I've posted this disclaimer, I will say that probably only
a handful of kids have met their end on a bike trailer. It is a lot of
fun for both kids and adults and a good way to induct them into
bike-riding habits. I'd be sure that they wore helmets, seat-belts if
possible and that the trailer have a solid roll-bar. I'd wait until the
child was a year old, at least. It's good if two adults can be along
for a trailer ride, to help with unforeseen difficulty.

Our local trailer builder, Burley, has a pretty good line and most
users I know have gotten long and dependable service from them.

Steve McDonald
Eugene, Oregon
 
B

Buck

Guest
Steve McDonald wrote:
> Jayne Ashworth wrote:
>
> My niece is looking at trailers for bicycles to use to carry her
> 6-month old when riding her bicycle on trails.
> ------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'm a big fan of bike trailers and I've even hauled a few adults on
> them on special occasions. But, as dependent as I am on bicycles, I'd
> never carry a kid of my own on one. I've learned how unpredictable
> circumstances on the road can be with a trailer and how easy it is to
> flip one. As careful as I am when hauling one, I've ended up several
> times with the trailer being bounced up and landing on its top. My
> first thought has always been how glad I was that I don't haul kids in
> them.


Sheesh, Steve! How do you manage to flip the silly things? I've been
hauling one around for years and have never managed to flip it. I
suppose I could if I tried hard.

My kids have been riding in their trailer since they were one. I have
even towed both of them on and off-road without a problem (other than
some over-crowding which went unnoticed because they were having such
fun). We won't be going over any logs, but they are fine for roads and
gentle trails.

Jayne, tell your niece to spend some time hauling around a big bag of
dog food before she puts any kids in the trailer she buys. She needs to
adjust to the difference in handling before she tries it out with a
child. And tell her to wait until the child can hold it head up while
wearing a helmet. And she might not want to take him for a ride near
nap time - trailers come with a built-in sleep inducer. :)

-Buck
 
Buck wrote:
>
>
> Sheesh, Steve! How do you manage to flip the silly things? I've been
> hauling one around for years and have never managed to flip it. I
> suppose I could if I tried hard.


I have a friend who flipped a kid trailer by hitting a curb with the
trailer wheel on a tight turn. The kid landed on her face, and was
quite unhappy about it.

- Frank Krygowski
 
S

Steve McDonald

Guest
Buck wrote:

Sheesh, Steve! How do you manage to flip the silly things? I've
been hauling one around for years and have never managed to flip it. I
suppose I could if I tried hard.
--------------------------------------------------------

Gopher mounds that spill over onto the edges of paths and harden
after a rain, are my worst nemesis. I've bounced and flipped a trailer
with a Kayak aboard a couple of times on them. Curb cuts that are taken
too tightly can pop up a wheel with great force. I once turned too
fast into a driveway that was slanted to the outside and my 100 lbs. of
groceries pulled the trailer right over. I learned quickly not to load
more weight behind the trailer's axle than in front and to never put any
weight near the backend of my 6-foot long streamlined trailer.
Trailers loaded with too much behind the axle can fishtail, especially
when going downhill. The only lesson I needed on this subject came when
taking my new trailer down a steep freeway overpass. The improper load
in the rear started it oscillating back and forth-----worse with each
cycle, until it came completely around and passed me as the bike spun
and came down hard. Three of the four wheels were trashed and I leaped
and rolled in fine fashion to avoid injury. If a car had been coming
the other direction, I would have been roadkill.

Steve McDonald
 
B

Buck

Guest
Steve McDonald wrote:
> Buck wrote:
>
> Sheesh, Steve! How do you manage to flip the silly things? I've
> been hauling one around for years and have never managed to flip it. I
> suppose I could if I tried hard.
> --------------------------------------------------------
>
> Gopher mounds that spill over onto the edges of paths and harden
> after a rain, are my worst nemesis. I've bounced and flipped a trailer
> with a Kayak aboard a couple of times on them. Curb cuts that are taken
> too tightly can pop up a wheel with great force. I once turned too
> fast into a driveway that was slanted to the outside and my 100 lbs. of
> groceries pulled the trailer right over. I learned quickly not to load
> more weight behind the trailer's axle than in front and to never put any
> weight near the backend of my 6-foot long streamlined trailer.
> Trailers loaded with too much behind the axle can fishtail, especially
> when going downhill. The only lesson I needed on this subject came when
> taking my new trailer down a steep freeway overpass. The improper load
> in the rear started it oscillating back and forth-----worse with each
> cycle, until it came completely around and passed me as the bike spun
> and came down hard. Three of the four wheels were trashed and I leaped
> and rolled in fine fashion to avoid injury. If a car had been coming
> the other direction, I would have been roadkill.


I guess I learned more about trailer loading and pulling (in a truck)
than I realized when I was a kid. I was lucky (?) enough to have a best
friend whos father was a home-based truck mechanic. I'd have to help
him finish his chores before we could go have fun. I got the chance to
move trucks and trailers around the property, load up trailers with
materials, unload trailers, sweep the shop... I'm pretty sure I got the
short end of the stick on that deal. I suppose loading trucks with a
forklift in my younger years also taught me a lot.

My one collision was caused by a stupid kid deciding to jump into the
road and play "chicken" with me. I wrote about it here a couple of
years ago. I learned that I really wanted more braking power because
not all stops can be anticipated. I'm still dreaming about that road
bike with disc brakes. If I can just get it squeezed into the budget
somewhere....

Wait a minute, have I been hanging around here for a couple of
YEARS!?!? How time flies when you are having fun.

-Buck