Child trailers....whaddya think??

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by marcusl, May 18, 2004.

  1. marcusl

    marcusl New Member

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    Hi,
    I was just wondering if anyone has any experience they can share riding with a twin child trailer (not a trailer bike)?
    I've found a few that are available on the internet (Burley, KoolStride/Stop, Pacific, Phillips and Trek have some but they're just rebadged Burleys - according to the guys at Clarence St) Any other brands to look out for? Considerations (price, weight (light = $$$), material, harnesses, hitching method, ability to conert to a stroller (not essential however)) Any others? I'm leaning towards the pacific which is available on deanwoods.com.au for $399 at the moment - for price, conversion kit being included, bit weighty though (not a problem considering how slow i ride anyway) Does anyone in Sydney carry a range of these?(asking a lot i know - but i really like to compare side by side)
    Obviously i'll take some for a test spin to guage my own reaction to dragging around what could potentially be an extra 65kg (45kg capacity + up to 20kg for the trailer itself - man that's a scary thought!!) AND to make sure my little girl likes it....shouldn't be a problem - she absolutely loved the seat we had. We both really miss our rides together - ever since my (t)rusty old steed packed it in and I upgraded to a bike with disk brakes (which prevent the rack from mounting)
    Are they really useful for anything more than bike paths? With the addition of a another mouth to feed I'll eventually be riding with two and would like to get the missis into some touring holidays.....(hmmm around Australia, harvest hopping, WWOOFing)
    Is tipping a real problem if you ride carefully? what about in traffic??
    I've read the recent post on bike trailers that some people touched upon these things....can anyone elaborate?
    What I suppose I'm really looking for is of peoples stories using these things....

    thanks in advance
    marcus
     
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  2. marcusl

    marcusl New Member

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    ooops sorry for the double post....stupid slow computer (and operator)
     
  3. Gags

    Gags Guest

    "marcusl" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > marcusl wrote:
    > > Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has any experience
    > > they can share riding with a twin child trailer (not a
    > > trailer bike)? I've found a
    few
    > > that are available on the internet (Burley,
    > > KoolStride/Stop, Pacific, Phillips and Trek have some
    > > but they're just rebadged Burleys - according to the
    > > guys at Clarence St) Any other brands to look out
    for?
    > > Considerations (price, weight (light = $$$), material,
    > > harnesses, hitching method, ability to conert to a
    > > stroller (not essential however)) Any others? I'm
    > > leaning towards the pacific which is
    available
    > > on deanwoods.com.au for $399 at the moment - for
    > > price, conversion kit being included, bit weighty
    > > though (not a problem considering how slow
    i
    > > ride anyway) Does anyone in Sydney carry a range of
    > > these?(asking a
    lot
    > > i know - but i really like to compare side by side)
    > > Obviously i'll
    take
    > > some for a test spin to guage my own reaction to
    > > dragging around what could potentially be an extra
    > > 65kg (45kg capacity + up to 20kg for the trailer
    > > itself - man that's a scary thought!!) AND to make
    > > sure my little girl likes it....shouldn't be a problem
    > > - she absolutely loved the seat we had. We both really
    > > miss our rides together - ever since
    my
    > > (t)rusty old steed packed it in and I upgraded to a
    > > bike with disk brakes (which prevent the rack from
    > > mounting) Are they really useful
    for
    > > anything more than bike paths? With the addition of a
    > > another mouth to feed I'll eventually be riding with
    > > two and would like to get the
    missis
    > > into some touring holidays.....(hmmm around Australia,
    > > harvest
    hopping,
    > > WWOOFing) Is tipping a real problem if you ride
    > > carefully? what about
    in
    > > traffic?? I've read the recent post on bike trailers
    > > that some people touched upon these things....can
    > > anyone elaborate? What I suppose I'm really looking
    > > for is of peoples stories using these things....
    > > thanks in advance marcus
    >
    >
    >
    > ooops sorry for the double post....stupid slow computer
    > (and operator)
    >
    Marcus,

    I had one of these when I was in Canberra and we got heaps
    of use out of it. Canberra was an ideal location for it due
    to the number of bikepaths and I used to stick to bikepaths
    and backstreets. I can't remember the brand of the one that
    I had but I had no problems with it in the three or so years
    that I had it (bought it when my eldest was 1 and could sit
    upright on his own for decent periods of time)

    My kids loved it and would quite happily sit in it together
    for rides of up to 90 minutes or so. They would actually
    fall asleep in there quite regularly after the first 15
    minutes or so of riding (due to rythmic motion I guess). I
    could go out with the kids and I would get a good workout,
    the kids would have a sleep, and the missus would get some
    time to herself.

    I used to attach it to my mountain bike that was fitted with
    slicks and I was able to cruise around for a 90 or so minute
    ride and achieve average speeds in the vicinity of 22 to 24
    km/h. I started to really notice the weight of it as the
    kids got bigger (one was 4 and the other 3 when they finally
    grew out of it), especially up steep hills when I used to
    have to grab the granny cog and spin my way up at a pretty
    slow pace. It also dragged quite a bit when going into any
    sort of headwind. I found that if I tried to get out of the
    seat to climb, it made the trailer rock pretty violently and
    so I would concentrate on keeping a smooth pedalling action.

    Once mine was fitted it didn't really affect the handling of
    the bike apart from taking longer to stop and feeling harder
    to pedal. You soon get a feel for the width of the trailer
    although I did have a couple of close calls with bike path
    bollards in my early days with it. The trailer could handle
    some minor off road and dirt roads as long as I took it easy
    to avoid bouncing the kids around too much. I also found
    that it was possible to go up and down gutters without too
    much problem as long as I went slowly (almost stopping as
    the wheel dropped) and "rolled" up or down the vertical part
    of the gutter.

    As an investment it was great....we paid about $400 for it
    new and sold it after three years of constant use for $250.
    It created a great family activity as we would quite often
    put the kids and a picnic in the trailer, the wife would get
    on her mountain bike, and we would ride at an easy pace
    about 8km to a local park that had a huge playground (At
    Gungahlin for those who know Canberra) for a play/picnic.
    The kids would have a great time and would generally sleep
    the whole way back.

    Recommendations:

    1. Invest in a couple of correctly fitting helmets for
    the kids and always ensure that they wear them.

    2. Buy a spare tube for the trailer if you are going on
    rides of decent length.

    3. The elastic stretch thingos with toys on them that fit
    across a pram can be strung across the inside of the
    trailer to keep kids amused.

    4. Get one that has both a flyscreen and a clear plastic
    flap at the front so that on hot days the kids get
    some airflow and on cold days they can keep warm(this
    may be a standard feature but I am not sure)

    5. If the kids are still in nappies, put in a plastic bag
    with a couple of spares, wet ones, powder, etc so that
    the kids won't have to sit in their own filth for too
    long ;) (On one of my early trips I had to ring the
    wife and get her to come in the car as my boy had
    strained one that reached his shoulder blades out of
    the top of his nappy - glad both the kids are past
    that stage now!!!)
     
  4. marcusl

    marcusl New Member

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    Thanks heaps for the reply - just the kind of info i was looking for

    I think thats why my missus is actually keen to purchase one.....usually takes a bit more cajolling, hinting and blantant begging to get her to consider new bike type purchases (actually she's not that bad - but that's what it feels like sometimes....)
    Mine are 3 yo and 3 months old...so one might not get too much use out of it? - going by what you say....will have to see when we test drive how much space she has.....

    yeh I've noticed that second hand ones seem to be up there is price....not bad when you consider it cost you $50 per year....

    So you made your wife come out and change the nappy??!! Man I know I wouldn't get away with that !!! :p

    Thanks for the tips!! It was a great help - I'm almost definite that it's what i want...but it's always good to hear others experiences
     
  5. Kingsley

    Kingsley Guest

    On Thu, 20 May 2004 21:10:47 +1000, Gags wrote:

    > (On one of my early trips I had to ring the wife and get
    > her to come in the car as my boy had strained one that
    > reached his shoulder blades out of the top of his nappy -
    > glad both the kids are past that stage now!!!)

    Heh... It's not a complete family outing without a poo-
    crisis!
    :)

    The Trek trailer has a 'boot', we chuck the whole nappy
    bag in there.

    -kt
     
  6. Kingsley

    Kingsley Guest

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 02:00:25 +0000, marcusl wrote:

    > marcusl wrote:
    > > Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has any experience
    > > they can share riding with a twin child trailer (not a
    > > trailer bike)?

    Yeah, me.

    > > I've found a few that are available on the internet
    > > (Burley, KoolStride/Stop, Pacific, Phillips and Trek
    > > have some but they're just rebadged Burleys
    > > - according to the guys at Clarence St)

    I read somewhere that Trek licenced it from the Canadian
    'Chariot' brand. While the staff at Clarence St are very
    good, IMHO they don't know a whole lot about their trailers.

    > > bit weighty though (not a problem considering how slow
    > > i ride anyway)

    No it's not too much of a problem - on the flat You hit
    that hill... you'll feel it damn quick. They also have a
    huge frontal area, tail-winds are a new experience. A
    heavy 'straight from The Netherlands' head-wind will just
    about kill you.

    > > Does anyone in Sydney carry a range of these?(asking a
    > > lot i know - but i really like to compare side by
    > > side) Obviously i'll take some for a test spin to
    > > guage my own reaction to dragging around what could
    > > potentially be an extra 65kg

    Rod Martin in (west) Gosford had a few brands on the floor
    last time I looked. Burley and a Pacific IIRC

    Lately I've been riding with the trailer connected to the
    trailer-bike connected to my single. Now that's damn heavy,
    but corners quite well, perhaps even better than the tandem.

    If you wanna come for a test ride, give be a call 0419 621
    568 But we live up at the bottom of Lake Macquarie, about
    2-hours north.

    > > [disc brakes] (which prevent the rack from mounting)

    And perhaps the trailer tow-hitch - check before you buy,

    > > Are they really useful for anything more than bike
    > > paths?

    We've towed two kids in it for > 2000k touring, will be
    taking it again next year for 1500k (ish) tour. It's ok on
    anything up to quite bumpy roads - and only 'cause the kids
    get shaken up a bit too much.

    If you're going off-road, best get a _good_ rear mud guard
    perhaps with a flap. Otherwise anything you ride through
    will end up on your trailer and/or kids.

    > > WWOOFing

    WOOFing ?

    > > Is tipping a real problem if you ride carefully?

    If you're riding carefully, I'd say it'd never happen.

    I've tipped it (a) riding very non-carefully, and (b) when
    the trailer was empty. I clipped the ramp-part of a gutter
    at high speed with one wheel.

    -kt
     
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