Child Stoker conversion or trailercycle

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Stu, Mar 2, 2003.

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  1. Stu

    Stu Guest

    I am seeking opinions on which is better to let one's child pedal - a stoker conversion kit that
    lets the child ride as a stoker on a tandem or a trailercycle. We currently haul our 4.5 yr old in a
    burley, behind our tandem, but soon it will be time for him to graduate from the trailer. We are
    considering the trailercycle or the stoker conversion. I can think of pros and cons. The
    trailercycle-tandem combo will be very long, but not much more than our current rig. The conversion
    kit possibly makes it hard for an adult to ride as a stoker again. I would think that the tandem
    captain would have a hard time providing nearly all the power once the little one gets bored and it
    is not on his agenda to pedal. Please let me hear your experiences.

    Thanks Stu
     
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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 2 Mar 2003 10:59:31 -0800, [email protected] (Stu) wrote:

    >I am seeking opinions on which is better to let one's child pedal - a stoker conversion kit that
    >lets the child ride as a stoker on a tandem or a trailercycle.

    I love trailer bikes, they allow you to tow with any bike including your solo MTB and allow the
    small person to choose their own cadence.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  3. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Stu wrote:
    > I am seeking opinions on which is better to let one's child pedal - a stoker conversion kit that
    > lets the child ride as a stoker on a tandem or a trailercycle. We currently haul our 4.5 yr old in
    > a burley, behind our tandem, but soon it will be time for him to graduate from the trailer. We are
    > considering the trailercycle or the stoker conversion. I can think of pros and cons. The
    > trailercycle-tandem combo will be very long, but not much more than our current rig. The
    > conversion kit possibly makes it hard for an adult to ride as a stoker again. I would think that
    > the tandem captain would have a hard time providing nearly all the power once the little one gets
    > bored and it is not on his agenda to pedal. Please let me hear your experiences.

    I've enjoyed a Trail-a-bike and a simultaneous stokid (no adjustments needed to mixte rear;
    long-legged niece). TAB turns heads and stops traffic. The one with gears teaches shifting. If
    the dynamic of sibling rivalry is present or can be added, pedalling is *always* the agenda.
    Ditto guilt. (TAB niece: "I'm cold." Me: "Maybe you're not pedalling hard enough." Bike:
    fast-forward at least 2 mph.) What will you do with your current stoker if you stokid the tandem?
    TAB and tandem were easier to transport than a tandem and a single bike. We could play music
    chairs with the stoker spot. Resale value on a TAB is excellent, but the same goes for conversion
    kits. HTH --Karen M.
     
  4. [email protected] (Stu) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I am seeking opinions on which is better to let one's child pedal - a stoker conversion kit that
    > lets the child ride as a stoker on a tandem or a trailercycle. We currently haul our 4.5 yr old in
    > a burley, behind our tandem, but soon it will be time for him to graduate from the trailer. We are
    > considering the trailercycle or the stoker conversion.

    My 10 year old rides tandem with me (no converter), the 8 year old rides on what we call the bicycle
    pony (you call a trailercycle).

    When we had them both on ponies, how much output they did was not an issue -- sometimes my husband
    and I would coast and have the kids power us along -- they always seemed to have lots of energy for
    pedaling. However, you are right in that some kids have energy in waves -- they push it really hard,
    then need a complete rest, and then push it really hard, then need a complete rest. So what we'd do
    is allow the complete rest, rather than just have the stok-kid coast back there. For our kids, the
    issue is as much having to be on the seat of the bike, as it is actually pedaling.

    What I find to be the real difference between the two is the amount of teamwork needed to do tandem.
    I don't need to communicate that much when Emma's on the pony. When I'm doing tandem with Rose, we
    have to talk all the time. We don't have power struggles over me being captain. She is happy to
    provide information like "car back" and signal turns, etc. These are things that might be more
    problematic with a four year old (I remember the fours being all about power.)

    The pony is fun. Yesterday Emma and I rode to Bike Expo and back doing the pony. We did some pretty
    gnarly hills and quite a few miles. When we got home, all she wanted to do is plotz.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky [email protected] Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm
     
  5. Glenn D.

    Glenn D. Guest

    I recommend going with the trail a bike. At your child's age they need to be able to pedal or not
    pedal when they want. And getting hit in the back of the leg with a pedal when your feet fly off is
    no fun. We sold our Alley Cat last spring because both my kids were too heavy for it. After a summer
    of guilt I bought a tandem in October. Now if spring would just get here....

    Glenn
     
  6. I have had very good experiences with my Burley Piccolo compared to trailerbikes. Trailerbikes that
    attach to the seatpost upset the center of gravity more and some of the cheaper models of
    trailerbike can lean out of plane with the adult's bike. The Piccolo is expensive, but you can
    resell it for nearly what you paid.

    Rob
     
  7. Take a look at www.sheldonbrown.com, he has an article about tandeming with children. Also look at
    Mark Livingoods site www.thetandemlink.com He has links to a bunch of sites with articles about
    tandeming with children. I think www.precisiontandems.com is one. We were very sucessful with a
    family tandem. It is a tandem with 20" wheels that is very adjustable. It can fit adults in front
    and back but was great for the kids. They are close to the ground making them feel secure and
    keeping the center of gravity low. As they got bigger and more experienced we also use a tandem with
    the bolt on stoker kit. They work great.

    We never thought the ability to not peddle was an advantage for trailabikes. The tandem makes thei
    feet move but they don't necessarily push much. We started with short rides and allways had
    destinations to break up the mileage(read playgrounds or ice cream stands). Len D
     
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