Recommend kid's trailer bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Michael, Mar 21, 2003.

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  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I'll be buying a kid's trailer bike for my 4-year old son (40-45 lbs)
    - one of those "half-bike" things that attach to an adult's bike. I see they're made by Trailer
    Bike, Trek, Burley and others.

    Anyone recommend one in particular?

    Price isn't really an issue (up to a few hundred is ok). Can attach to road or mtn bike,
    doesn't matter.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Frank Miles

    Frank Miles Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Michael
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I'll be buying a kid's trailer bike for my 4-year old son (40-45 lbs)
    >- one of those "half-bike" things that attach to an adult's bike. I see they're made by Trailer
    > Bike, Trek, Burley and others.
    >
    >Anyone recommend one in particular?
    >
    >Price isn't really an issue (up to a few hundred is ok). Can attach to road or mtn bike,
    >doesn't matter.
    >
    >Thanks

    If the slightly higher additional cost doesn't bother you, go for the Burley. The most significant
    differences are:

    [1] The hitch is much higher quality. There's less of a 'lurch' when your kid swings his/her body
    from one side to the other.

    [2] Some of the seat-post clamp hitches don't adequately clear rear racks. When you go over a
    sizeable bump in the road, any rear rack can actually lift the wheel of the trailer-cycle off
    the road. Paradoxically this was actually much more of a problem with my wife's (short) bike
    than with my (slightly tallish) bike.

    The biggest pain with the Burley is that it uses a special rack. If you want to be able to pull Jr.
    with two different bikes, you'll want two of the "moose" racks.

    Regarding cost -- the Burley trailer-cycles, like their trailers, hold their value well. With
    suitable care you should be able to resell it for a respectable price (worked for me, at least).

    -frank [no connection with Burley other than as a satisfied customer]
    --
     
  3. Doug Kennedy

    Doug Kennedy Guest

    On Fri, 21 Mar 2003 06:00:53 -0600, Michael wrote:

    > I'll be buying a kid's trailer bike for my 4-year old son (40-45 lbs) - one of those
    > "half-bike" things that attach to an adult's bike. I see they're made by Trailer Bike, Trek,
    > Burley and others.
    >
    > Anyone recommend one in particular?
    >
    > Price isn't really an issue (up to a few hundred is ok). Can attach to road or mtn bike,
    > doesn't matter.
    >
    > Thanks

    The Adams Trail-A-Bike is great. Be sure to keep the u-joint tightened, otherwise the bike will
    wiggle around. As the joint wears it will loosen up, but it's easily fixed with a twist of the
    wrench. Other than that it's been really reliable, on and off road. I want to buy the tandem
    version soon.

    Doug Kennedy
     
  4. [email protected] (Michael) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'll be buying a kid's trailer bike for my 4-year old son (40-45 lbs)
    > - one of those "half-bike" things that attach to an adult's bike. I see they're made by Trailer
    > Bike, Trek, Burley and others.
    >
    > Anyone recommend one in particular?
    >
    > Price isn't really an issue (up to a few hundred is ok). Can attach to road or mtn bike,
    > doesn't matter.
    >
    > Thanks

    I have had the Addams Trail-a-Bike; I now have the Burley Piccolo. The Addams is a good bike, quite
    acceptable if you plan on doing short distances and not too much mileage, but the hitch definitely
    develops some play over time. Tightening the hitch will help, but after 1000 km, it starts to
    become annoying, and after 1500 km, it was too much. I broke the bank and ordered a Burley. So far,
    after 1.5 years and more than 2500 km, it works flawlessly. So, if you just plan the occasional
    ride on the trail plus a few short rides, the Addams is OK, but if you plan to use it a lot, get
    the Burley. BTW, I estimate we travelled approximately 2500 km last Summer (including a 6-day
    self-contained tour).

    Other differences:

    - Because it hitches on the seatpost, the Addams takes more space in turns than the Burley. Not a
    problem on the street, but if you like forestry trails, the Addams handles like a bus while the
    Burley negociates tight turns more easily.

    - My bike has a 25" frame, but on lower frames, the Trail-a-bike frame hardly clears the rear rack.
    It's more of a problem on rough terrain.

    - With the Addams, side winds definitely affect my balance. Not so with the Burley (or at least not
    differently than with the single).

    Regards,

    Michel Gagnon
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Michel Gagnon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I have had the Addams Trail-a-Bike; I now have the Burley Piccolo. The Addams is a good bike,
    > quite acceptable if you plan on doing short distances and not too much mileage, but the hitch
    > definitely develops some play over time.
    >
    > Other differences:
    >
    > - Because it hitches on the seatpost, the Addams takes more space in turns than the Burley. Not a
    > problem on the street, but if you like forestry trails, the Addams handles like a bus while the
    > Burley negociates tight turns more easily.
    >
    > - My bike has a 25" frame, but on lower frames, the Trail-a-bike frame hardly clears the rear
    > rack. It's more of a problem on rough terrain.
    >
    > - With the Addams, side winds definitely affect my balance. Not so with the Burley (or at least
    > not differently than with the single).

    I pulled my daughter from age 4 1/2 to 9 1/2 with an Adams. Not sure of the exact mileage, but it
    was enough to wear the fairly substantial tire down to the cords. Although we did many road rides in
    the 15-30 mile range, most of our riding was in fairly difficult "technical" off-road trails. I had
    no problem negotiating tight single track trails or steep climbs/descents. The typical terrain we
    rode in was rocky enough to have beat up the pedals and chainring guard pretty well.

    My hitch developed slop, but I found I preferred it that way. The reason was, that with a little or
    no slop, the child's shifting weight on the t-a-b would rock back and forth, affecting my handling.
    With more slop, the trailer permanently leaned to one side. It looked kind of strange, and I was
    "notified" many times by well-meaning people that my t-a-b was listing, but it prevented
    side-to-side flopping, even in very difficult terrain. My daughter grew quite used to it leaning
    that way, and the only time she ever "flopped" it was when she would turn to see if her brother was
    catching us.

    It's funny, the skills for riding a t-a-b are very different from riding a bicycle. For laughs, both
    my wife and son (both experienced cyclists) tried being pulled on the t-a-b, and both started
    screaming hysterically and flopped from side to side, unable to balance themselves because the
    balancing mechanism is different.
     
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