Giant Halfwheeler 7 - Anyone any experience with one of these?



L

Learner

Guest
Hi

I am thinking of getting a Giant Halfwheeler 7 for my (quite tall for
his age) 4 1/2 year old son. He can ride well (he's been off of
stabilisers for well over a year), but I am hope the halfwheeler would
enable us to go on longer rides Has anyone any experience with one of
these? I am concerned about size, and whether it's worth getting the 7
speed version as opposed to the single speed. My LBS will only get one
in if I'm going to buy it, so we haven't been able to try one out. From
the specs I have seen they appear to be pretty heavy - somewhere around
21 lbs - quite a bit for half a child's bike! Is it possible to ride a
bike with one of these attached, but no child on it? If so I could
cycle around to pick up my son from school. Also, up to what age might
this be usable? From the pictures I have seen, they attach to the seat
pin. Does this cause any damage to the pin?

Any info appreciated,

Mark
 
A

Andy Morris

Guest
Learner wrote:
> Hi
>
> I am thinking of getting a Giant Halfwheeler 7 for my (quite tall for
> his age) 4 1/2 year old son. He can ride well (he's been off of
> stabilisers for well over a year), but I am hope the halfwheeler would
> enable us to go on longer rides Has anyone any experience with one of
> these? I am concerned about size, and whether it's worth getting the
> 7 speed version as opposed to the single speed. My LBS will only get
> one in if I'm going to buy it, so we haven't been able to try one
> out. From the specs I have seen they appear to be pretty heavy -
> somewhere around 21 lbs - quite a bit for half a child's bike! Is it
> possible to ride a bike with one of these attached, but no child on
> it? If so I could cycle around to pick up my son from school. Also,
> up to what age might this be usable? From the pictures I have seen,
> they attach to the seat pin. Does this cause any damage to the pin?
>
> Any info appreciated,
>
> Mark


I've got a cheap (£80) trailer bike, it is very heavy. There is a fair
amount of wobble in the joint and it does tend to make the stearing a bit
lurchy as the back end flops from side to side by a couple of inches.

I use mine to take my seven year old daughter to school. I then drop her off
and ride back up. Its ok to ride without a kid, but it does a constant
floping from side to side thing. You cant really honk on it with or without
kid. It is a real blast taking her to school on it.

To be honest its a bit **** for longer rides. The floppyness on the back
means that your arms, shoulders and **** are constantly pulling one way or
another. On the other hand little kids can't really cope with riding for
much more than 1/2 an hour with out a break.

If i knew what i know now I'd either go for a Burley Picallo which is around
£350 but has a proper ball bearing pivot or go straight for a tandem.

Becky's getting a bit big for it now, I'm trying to thionk of excuses to
blow 12 big ones on a nice tandem.

I dont think young kids can realy cope with gears. Also cheap twist grip
gears need fairly strong hands.


--
Andy Morris

AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

Love this:
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L

Learner

Guest
Andy Morris wrote:
> Learner wrote:
>
>>Hi
>>
>>I am thinking of getting a Giant Halfwheeler 7 for my (quite tall for
>>his age) 4 1/2 year old son. He can ride well (he's been off of
>>stabilisers for well over a year), but I am hope the halfwheeler would
>>enable us to go on longer rides Has anyone any experience with one of
>>these? I am concerned about size, and whether it's worth getting the
>>7 speed version as opposed to the single speed. My LBS will only get
>>one in if I'm going to buy it, so we haven't been able to try one
>>out. From the specs I have seen they appear to be pretty heavy -
>>somewhere around 21 lbs - quite a bit for half a child's bike! Is it
>>possible to ride a bike with one of these attached, but no child on
>>it? If so I could cycle around to pick up my son from school. Also,
>>up to what age might this be usable? From the pictures I have seen,
>>they attach to the seat pin. Does this cause any damage to the pin?
>>
>>Any info appreciated,
>>
>>Mark

>
>
> I've got a cheap (£80) trailer bike, it is very heavy. There is a fair
> amount of wobble in the joint and it does tend to make the stearing a bit
> lurchy as the back end flops from side to side by a couple of inches.
>
> I use mine to take my seven year old daughter to school. I then drop her off
> and ride back up. Its ok to ride without a kid, but it does a constant
> floping from side to side thing. You cant really honk on it with or without
> kid. It is a real blast taking her to school on it.
>
> To be honest its a bit **** for longer rides. The floppyness on the back
> means that your arms, shoulders and **** are constantly pulling one way or
> another. On the other hand little kids can't really cope with riding for
> much more than 1/2 an hour with out a break.
>
> If i knew what i know now I'd either go for a Burley Picallo which is around
> £350 but has a proper ball bearing pivot or go straight for a tandem.
>
> Becky's getting a bit big for it now, I'm trying to thionk of excuses to
> blow 12 big ones on a nice tandem.
>
> I dont think young kids can realy cope with gears. Also cheap twist grip
> gears need fairly strong hands.
>
>


Thanks Andy - very useful comments. The picallo looks a better option,
but the price is a bit too much. I assume that the cheaper ones like I
am looking at pivot in the vertical plane to go over bumps, but don't
pivot horizontally? Having never seen one in the flesh I'm really not sure.

Mark
 
A

Andy Morris

Guest
Learner wrote:
>
> Thanks Andy - very useful comments. The picallo looks a better
> option, but the price is a bit too much. I assume that the cheaper ones
> like
> I am looking at pivot in the vertical plane to go over bumps, but don't
> pivot horizontally? Having never seen one in the flesh I'm really
> not sure.
> Mark


No they all have freedome to yaw and pitch but not to roll. Does that make
any sense? The floppyness I was banging on about was in the roll dimension.




--
Andy Morris

AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

Love this:
Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
 
L

Learner

Guest
Andy Morris wrote:
> Learner wrote:
>
>>Thanks Andy - very useful comments. The picallo looks a better
>>option, but the price is a bit too much. I assume that the cheaper ones
>>like
>>I am looking at pivot in the vertical plane to go over bumps, but don't
>>pivot horizontally? Having never seen one in the flesh I'm really
>>not sure.
>>Mark

>
>
> No they all have freedome to yaw and pitch but not to roll. Does that make
> any sense? The floppyness I was banging on about was in the roll dimension.
>
>
>
>


Yep I understand.

Thanks again,

Mark
 
P

PhilD

Guest
Learner wrote:
> cycle around to pick up my son from school. Also, up to what age might
> this be usable? From the pictures I have seen, they attach to the seat
> pin. Does this cause any damage to the pin?


For what it's worth, we use a Hoening Add+Bike for sprog on our tandem.
This attaches to the back of a special carrier rack (supplied) and is
very stable. It can only lean when the "tractor" bike leans, and
because of the mounting position (behind rear axle) it follows the line
of the leading bike very closely, without cutting in, so it is easy to
ride without anyone on the trailer bike. It is also very easy to
attach/remove.

We've had it for 2 years (sprog was 4 1/2 when we got it), the
recommendation seems to be it's OK for children up to about 8
(depending on size of child, of course).

The longest ride we've done with the trailer bike is about 33 miles, we
regularly use it for rides of about 15 miles.

<http://www.hoening.com>, though I cannot find the Add+Bike on it now
that I'm specifically looking for it.

We got ours from Warlands Cycles in Botley Road, Oxford for about
£250. There may of course be other retailers.

Hope this helps,

PhilD

--
<><
 
P

PhilD

Guest
I wrote:
> <http://www.hoening.com>, though I cannot find the Add+Bike on it now
> that I'm specifically looking for it.


Further to my previous, the Add+Bike is now made by Roland. See
<http://www.roland-werk.de/engl/addbike/> for details.

PhilD

--
<><
 
D

daren

Guest
Learner wrote:
> Andy Morris wrote:
> > Learner wrote:
> >
> >>Hi
> >>


> > I've got a cheap (£80) trailer bike, it is very heavy. There is a fair
> > amount of wobble in the joint and it does tend to make the stearing a bit
> > lurchy as the back end flops from side to side by a couple of inches.
> >
> > I use mine to take my seven year old daughter to school. I then drop her off
> > and ride back up. Its ok to ride without a kid, but it does a constant
> > floping from side to side thing. You cant really honk on it with or without
> > kid. It is a real blast taking her to school on it.
> >
> > To be honest its a bit **** for longer rides. The floppyness on the back
> > means that your arms, shoulders and **** are constantly pulling one wayor
> > another. On the other hand little kids can't really cope with riding for
> > much more than 1/2 an hour with out a break.
> >
> > If i knew what i know now I'd either go for a Burley Picallo which is around
> > £350 but has a proper ball bearing pivot or go straight for a tandem.
> >


> Thanks Andy - very useful comments. The picallo looks a better option,
> but the price is a bit too much. I assume that the cheaper ones like I
> am looking at pivot in the vertical plane to go over bumps, but don't
> pivot horizontally? Having never seen one in the flesh I'm really not sure.
>
> Mark


We have a piccolo attached to the kiddyback tandem. With the right
weight distribution: Me, smaller, smallest, handling is unaffected and
when empty one doesn't notice that it's there at all. I have no
experience of seatpost mounted tag-alongs other than to observe them
wagging the lead bike. The piccolo wheel tracks the bike wheel and that
puts minimal force on the lead bike. Whilst not up with the tandem
option, for the money they are close - with the caveat that children
can coast (bad thing).

We've ridden 30+ miles in one go as a triplet, hills are hard :) But
school runs fly. I haven't actually ridden it on a single bike, but my
wife found it excellent. It was bought for her really as she can't ride
the tandem so we have

1 + 3: wife + tandem+piccollo
2 + 2: wife + piccollo tandem
1 + 1 + 2: wife, son1 tandem
2 + 1 + 1: wife+piccollo, son1, me

This flexibility was what stopped me going down the triplet route (and
the obvious cost savings). Only downside is that being rack mounted you
have to either remove rack (4 bolts and an adjustment) or buy another
(60 pounds?). We swap the rack.

Resale value will be _very_ high - try finding a used one! The UK
trailer co. in Wadebridge sometimes have ex rental examples, normally
at the end of the season. Resale for a very cheap one is almost nil. Of
course you can try a used very cheap one first, but you really aren't
experiencing their potential.

Bought mine from Wiggle when they had 10% off. That's a fairly common
offer

regards
daren
--
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A

Alan Braggins

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Learner wrote:
>>
>> If i knew what i know now I'd either go for a Burley Picallo which is around
>> £350 but has a proper ball bearing pivot or go straight for a tandem.

[...]
>Thanks Andy - very useful comments. The picallo looks a better option,
>but the price is a bit too much. I assume that the cheaper ones like I
>am looking at pivot in the vertical plane to go over bumps, but don't
>pivot horizontally? Having never seen one in the flesh I'm really not sure.


They pivot both ways, but the pivot isn't as nice as the Piccolo.
At least generally speaking - not all cheaper models are exactly
equivalent.

I have a Cycle Design Tag-a-long, where the pivot is a universal joint
on a short piece of tubing that sticks back from the clamp around the
seatpost, which gives better handling than the sort that pivots close
to the seatpost, but not quite as good as the Piccolo where the pivot is
directly above the rear axle (attaches to a rear rack).
(I also have a Pashley U+2, which is completely different because it
has two wheels at the back, so the joint has to let it stay upright when
the towing bike leans, instead of leaning with it. And my children have
pretty much grown out of them, if anyone wants to buy either....)

Burley Piccolo:
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/Default.aspx?ProdID=5300006317

Hitch for a cheaper trailerbike, where you can see how it pivots
in both directions (up and down about the left hand bolt through the
blue tube, side to side about the quick-release skewer though the
back.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/Default.aspx?ProdID=5360010406

A different cheaper trailerbike, where you can't see a lot of detail
of the hitch but it gives you some idea.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/Default.aspx?ProdID=5360017743

On some cheaper hitches the side to side pivot is just by not clamping
firmly around the seatpost. I'd be inclined to avoid that sort.

(http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7214465813 is
someone else's CD Tag-a-long, but doesn't really show the joint.)
 
A

Andy Morris

Guest
P

Paul

Guest
I have one of these (Giant Halfwheeler). It is light, and has proved to
be robust. My 8 year old daughter has only recently stopped using it.
The only problem has been the universal joint in the hardware that
connects it to my bike. It is quite loose (not machined to very high
tolerances) and there is a fair bit of 'roll' which can be
disconcerting. Its easier if your child is cooperative and doesn't lean
left of right dramatically! I have added thin washers to the coupling
to tighten it and this has lessened the roll. Given that this seems to
be a problem with many tag-a-longs, I would definitely recommend the
Giant simply because it is so much lighter than most.
 
L

Learner

Guest
Learner wrote:
> Hi
>
> I am thinking of getting a Giant Halfwheeler 7 for my (quite tall for
> his age) 4 1/2 year old son. He can ride well (he's been off of
> stabilisers for well over a year), but I am hope the halfwheeler would
> enable us to go on longer rides Has anyone any experience with one of
> these? I am concerned about size, and whether it's worth getting the 7
> speed version as opposed to the single speed. My LBS will only get one
> in if I'm going to buy it, so we haven't been able to try one out. From
> the specs I have seen they appear to be pretty heavy - somewhere around
> 21 lbs - quite a bit for half a child's bike! Is it possible to ride a
> bike with one of these attached, but no child on it? If so I could
> cycle around to pick up my son from school. Also, up to what age might
> this be usable? From the pictures I have seen, they attach to the seat
> pin. Does this cause any damage to the pin?
>
> Any info appreciated,
>
> Mark


Thanks for all the replys. Sounds like the Picallo would probably be
the way to go if funds allowed, but alas they don't. Glad to hear
something positive about the Half Wheeler - probably give that a go.

Cheers,

Mark