Child carrying bicycle trailers

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Marshall Wilkin, Mar 12, 2003.

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  1. I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models are available and what
    opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any good? Are they
    weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of a feel for them
    before buying?

    Thanks, I know this has been covered sporadically before, just wondering what the current state
    of play is.
    -----------------
    Marshall Wilkinson [email protected]
     
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  2. I've had a bike trailer flip over on me several times and it was always due to something unexpected.
    A large gopher mound on the edge of a path, cutting too sharp into a ramp and bouncing a wheel off
    the curb, an outside slant and a sharp turn coming together. I'd never carry children in a trailer,
    unless the French were invading and we were fleeing for our lives. If I was the sort of person who
    would do this, the brats would have motorcycle helmets and be strapped in as well as having double
    rollbars on the trailer. But, most flimsy tube and plastic trailers would still offer little
    protection to their occupants. I know two local people whose children were killed in bike trailers
    when motorists ran them down. This is just something to consider. Fact is, lots of kids are killed
    because their parents take them in cars and drive carelessly.

    Steve McDonald
     
  3. "Marshall Wilkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models
    are
    > available and what opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any
    > good? Are they weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of
    a
    > feel for them before buying?
    >
    > Thanks, I know this has been covered sporadically before, just wondering what the current state of
    > play is.
    > -----------------
    > Marshall Wilkinson [email protected]
    >

    We have a (orange) Blue Sky trailer that we used on a tandem for years. Ours is a seat pin
    connector, so it got mothballed when we went to recumbents. Carried large loads and kid for years.
    Stable and the canopy really works. Contrary to another post, we never flipped it except unloaded in
    all that time (flipped it twice on its side unloaded, but it was part of a 'ride-through' test to
    see how it effected real world clearance, and we were skimming pretty close to the drain covers with
    an empty trailer). Came with suspended seats and seat harnesses for two. (BTW, its available for use
    to anyone in the immediate address below - with a tandem recumbent, car bike trailer and other bikes
    and items, space in the garage is at a premium).

    With the orange canopy, its pretty big and obvious to drivers. Attached to a bright yellow tandem,
    we had no problems with drivers riding close.

    Site:

    http://blueskycyclecarts.com/

    --
    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  4. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Steve McDonald" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I've had a bike trailer flip over on me several times and it was always due to something
    > unexpected. A large gopher mound on the edge of a path, cutting too sharp into a ramp and
    > bouncing a wheel off the curb, an outside slant and a sharp turn coming together. I'd never
    > carry

    For the record, what kind of trailer? There are good designs and bad designs. Combine a bad design
    with an inattentive rider and I'm sure you could flip one unexpectedly.

    > children in a trailer, unless the French were invading and we were fleeing for our lives. If I was
    > the sort of person who would do this, the brats would have motorcycle helmets and be strapped in
    > as well as having double rollbars on the trailer. But, most flimsy tube and

    Brats? Hmmm. Any decent trailer comes with a five-point harness for each child and has a perimeter
    cage to protect them in the event of a rollover. In any case, I have TRIED to flip our trailer and
    have yet to succeed. Alright, I haven't tried the high-speed-clip-a-curb scenario yet, but I guess I
    just pay enough attention to avoid that scenario. With no accidents (including rollovers) to date
    and over a year pulling the trailer with and without my daughter, I have come to the conclusion that
    they are very safe.

    > plastic trailers would still offer little protection to their occupants. I know two local people
    > whose children were killed in bike trailers when motorists ran them down. This is just something
    > to consider.

    I find that towing the trailer gets me a lot more attention and respect from motorists. On
    yesterday's ride I had a fellow follow me for a couple of blocks instead of trying to pass me on a
    relatively narrow road. Getting hit by a car is getting hit by a car and the trailer probably has
    little or nothing to do with it. I have to admit that in the years that I have been participating in
    this group, this is the first time I have seen a post where kids died in a trailer. There have been
    a couple of memorable stories - a rollover with kids left hanging from the harness upside down,
    laughing the whole time; and one where the side curtain failed in a tipover and the kid got road
    rash on her face. This would not have happened in a well designed trailer with proper side curtains.
    In short, the dangers of cycling have been over-hyped and the dangers of trailers are even lower.

    > Fact is, lots of kids are killed because their parents take them in cars and drive carelessly.

    Now the smoke clears and the truth comes out. The risks of injury or death in a car are many, many
    times greater than in a trailer. Let's put it this way, trailers are a relatively small business. If
    it was a really risky activity, do you think it would still be a business? Someone involved in an
    accident where the trailer was at fault would have sued them out of business by now.

    As for the original poster, keep in mind that there are good quality and low quality trailers. When
    I entered the market, I searched for a trailer with a perimeter frame design for safety, five-point
    harnesses also for safety, a roll-up window for weather protection, decent ventilation, a solid
    mounting design for attaching to the bicycle, flexibility in the mount for manueverability, bright
    colors for visibility, heavy duty canvas for durability, and side windows that do not open so little
    fingers don't end up in the spokes. If I were to search again, I would also look for a seat shape
    that was more comfortable while wearing a helmet. Small children are not tall enough for the helmet
    to clear the top of the seat and end up either looking at their feet or having to hold up their
    helmet with their hands. A skating style helmet works better than a cycling helmet because they do
    not protrude as much behind the head.

    As for jogger conversions, I can't say much. Our trailer doesn't make the conversion. That being
    said, I think the conversions kits look a bit flimsy and don't look very functional. I think a
    dedicated jogger is probably a better idea.

    Another concern is aerodynamics. The drag from a trailer can be significant. In still air, it
    doesn't make much difference at sane speeds. But if you get the speeds up or add a headwind into the
    mix, and you will really know the trailer is there.

    When I was first searching, I thought the footwell area should be made of something other than
    canvas. But it has been a non-issue so far. If the canvas eventually fails, I might replace it with
    some sheet metal, but I will probably take the easier route and just add a new layer of canvas.

    With all that in mind, here is a site with a collection of links for you:

    http://www.mikebentley.com/bike/trailers.htm

    Good luck! -Buck
     
  5. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Marshall Wilkinson wrote:
    >
    > I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models are available and what
    > opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any good? Are they
    > weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of a feel for them
    > before buying?
    >
    > Thanks, I know this has been covered sporadically before, just wondering what the current state of
    > play is.

    I'm having a swell time with a Tanjor; my Doberman likes it and it's very low air drag compared to a
    Burley (which I guess is the usual style). Some nice day I'll contrive a comparison test for the
    two, involving repeatable runs down some hill with no load.

    It's weather-tight if you close it up, at least against ice and snow and salt-spray. Budding B-29
    pilots will like it; you're definitely one-up on the other kids in this thing.

    http://www.lodrag.com sort of expensive though. I have the cargo version.

    The some-assembly-required requires more talent than assembling a Burley.

    I use a Burley hitch on mine, incidentally. It slides right in.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  6. Ie

    Ie Guest

    A friend of mine did flip his Burley with his 4 year old daughter in it, after nicking a curb on a
    fast down hill curve (he admits being an idiot) . It was many years ago--probably 15 or 20.

    When he got up off the ground and ran to the trailer to check on her (strapped in but sans
    helmet--yes admitted idiot status on that too) she was fine, not a scratch and could only say with
    wide-eyed wonder and delight--"Dad! Can we do it again?"

    And that's the truth.....I think they're much safer than the baby death seats people put on the
    backs of their bikes.
    --
    ie "ride fast, take chances"

    "Marshall Wilkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models
    are
    > available and what opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any
    > good? Are they weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of
    a
    > feel for them before buying?
    >
    > Thanks, I know this has been covered sporadically before, just wondering what the current state of
    > play is.
    > -----------------
    > Marshall Wilkinson [email protected]
    >
    >
    >
     
  7. The most popular choice I've seen is the Burley trailer, or clones thereof. "Marshall Wilkinson"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models
    are
    > available and what opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any
    > good? Are they weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of
    a
    > feel for them before buying?
    >
    > Thanks, I know this has been covered sporadically before, just wondering what the current state of
    > play is.
    > -----------------
    > Marshall Wilkinson [email protected]
    >
    >
    >
     
  8. ie wrote:
    >
    > ...I think they're much safer than the baby death seats people put on the backs of their bikes.

    Oh please. Either put up some evidence of the number of babies killed in bike seats, or stop the
    ridiculous hyperbole.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why certain cyclists love making cycling sound extremely
    dangerous. What goes through that sort of mind?

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  9. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Marshall Wilkinson
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I'm looking for a trailer to carry kids. Wondering what makes and models are available and what
    > opinions are held about these. Are the trailers that convert to joggers any good? Are they
    > weatherproof? Are there any good web sites or review sites to get more of a feel for them
    > before buying?

    Burley Cub is the best trailer I have ever used and I've been hiring bikes and attachments
    for 35 years.

    Google is your friend.

    --
    [email protected] On th bicycle island In the global village
    http://www.sandymillport.fsnet.co.uk
     
  10. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Frank Krygowski wrote:

    > ie wrote:
    >>
    >> ...I think they're much safer than the baby death seats people put on the backs of their bikes.
    >
    > Oh please. Either put up some evidence of the number of babies killed in bike seats, or stop the
    > ridiculous hyperbole.
    >
    > For the life of me, I can't understand why certain cyclists love making cycling sound extremely
    > dangerous. What goes through that sort of mind?

    The same sort of mind that watches too much "gonnagitcha" television, and is convinced raw eggs will
    certainly kill you, and that there's a child molester behind every tree.

    When was the last time you went down on your bike? Not including mountain biking on technical
    terrain or racing, it's probably been 15 years for me.

    Even if you did fall over, modern child seats are almost like protective capsules. I doubt the child
    could be injured, unless you were in a serious wreck -- which is much more likely in a car. Think
    about that on your next trip to Blockbuster. In addition, they have great helmets for little kids
    now, even babies. My neice, at a little over a year old, was putting her helmet on and crawling to
    the front door, saying "bike, bike!" How could you say no to that?

    Matt O.
     
  11. Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Even if you did fall over, modern child seats are almost like protective capsules. I doubt the
    > child could be injured, unless you were in a serious wreck -- which is much more likely in a car.
    > Think about that on your next trip to Blockbuster. In addition, they have great helmets for little
    > kids now, even babies. My neice, at a little over a year old, was putting her helmet on and
    > crawling to the front door, saying "bike, bike!" How could you say no to that?
    >

    I can attest to that. I was riding with my sone, who was 4 year old at the time, when were were
    hit by a Toyota. The bike flipped over, I broke my right wrist, but he was fine - not a
    scratch. And while the bike was a write-off, the seat went right on to its replacement for
    another year's service.
     
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