Trailer Bike info

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by kingsley, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. kingsley

    kingsley Guest

    Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:

    There are a few brands available locally:

    Burley - the 'Piccolo' ~ $900
    Giant - 'Half-Wheeler' ~ $399
    Adams - Trailer-Bike ~ $350 (also a tandem model)
    Alley-Cat - Never saw one ~ (guess) $300
    Pacific - $300 / $350
    Some other brand $275


    We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    out on a bikepath & she loved it.

    Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch. Supposedly the
    Burley was immune to this, but I stopped considering it
    as soon as I got the quote (from Greenspeed, the official Aus.
    retailer).

    Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.

    When we borrowed the AlleyCat, it was given to us with
    the seat+seatpost attached - this was a fairly good indication
    as to how easily it detached.

    Gears didn't interest me - when the kids are big enough to
    get to grips with the gears, they'll probably want their
    own full-size bike. This doesn't significantly affect your
    choice, most trailer bikes can come with or without gears.

    Our target application, apart from weekend riding, is to do
    some siginificaqnt touring early next year. So we were definately
    looking for something of quality. Also needed to attach a
    rear rack & mud-guard.

    We ended up buying the Giant one, but had to go home from the
    bike shop (45mins each way) to see if, when connected, the
    tow arm will clear the rack (50cm, 700C touring bike). It did!

    The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    feels significantly lighter than the others. The hitch is a
    quick-release clamp, looks fairly robust (we'll see in 6 months).
    The tow-arm is hinged in the middle, and folds back on itself...
    thus it can fit inside the car (holden stationwagon), 'cause
    these things are a bugger to put on a bikerack.

    So, um, that's about it.

    cheers,
    -kt
     
    Tags:


  2. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    kingsley wrote:
    > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    > here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:
    >
    > There are a few brands available locally:
    >
    > Burley - the 'Piccolo' ~ $900
    > Giant - 'Half-Wheeler' ~ $399
    > Adams - Trailer-Bike ~ $350 (also a tandem model)
    > Alley-Cat - Never saw one ~ (guess) $300
    > Pacific - $300 / $350
    > Some other brand $275
    >
    >
    > We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    > going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    > out on a bikepath & she loved it.
    >
    > Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    > usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    > except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    > different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    > is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch. Supposedly the
    > Burley was immune to this, but I stopped considering it
    > as soon as I got the quote (from Greenspeed, the official Aus.
    > retailer).
    >
    > Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    > the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.
    >
    > When we borrowed the AlleyCat, it was given to us with
    > the seat+seatpost attached - this was a fairly good indication
    > as to how easily it detached.
    >
    > Gears didn't interest me - when the kids are big enough to
    > get to grips with the gears, they'll probably want their
    > own full-size bike. This doesn't significantly affect your
    > choice, most trailer bikes can come with or without gears.
    >
    > Our target application, apart from weekend riding, is to do
    > some siginificaqnt touring early next year. So we were definately
    > looking for something of quality. Also needed to attach a
    > rear rack & mud-guard.
    >
    > We ended up buying the Giant one, but had to go home from the
    > bike shop (45mins each way) to see if, when connected, the
    > tow arm will clear the rack (50cm, 700C touring bike). It did!
    >
    > The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    > feels significantly lighter than the others. The hitch is a
    > quick-release clamp, looks fairly robust (we'll see in 6 months).
    > The tow-arm is hinged in the middle, and folds back on itself...
    > thus it can fit inside the car (holden stationwagon), 'cause
    > these things are a bugger to put on a bikerack.
    >
    > So, um, that's about it.
    >
    > cheers,
    > -kt
    >


    Thanks for that - maybe it could go in the FAQ for future reference?

    &roo
     
  3. Russell Lang

    Russell Lang Guest

    "kingsley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    > here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:


    > Pacific - $300 / $350

    We bought this one on special this week at $220.

    > We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    > going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    > out on a bikepath & she loved it.


    Ear to ear smiles from my 4yo who can't yet ride a bike.
    He loves being on a bike with daddy.
    We'll find out how he feels after a few km next week.

    > Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    > usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    > except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    > different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    > is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch.


    I've already noticed this issue. As the child moves their weight
    around, you get a distinct lean to one side, then it slops to the
    other side. A little disconcerting when you are trying to do
    hand signals. Probably safer not to do the hand signals.
    The hitch might need some modifications later.

    > Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    > the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.
    > The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    > feels significantly lighter than the others.


    Pacific one definitely feels heavy enough to be steel.
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Guest

    We've had a Pacific one for about six months. We got the one with gears and
    we are glad we did because it means that Rosie can help out going up hills.

    It always leans slightly to one side (I think it has from the start); not
    enough to be a major problem, and it definitely never switches the lean from
    one side to the other as described below. Still, it would be better if it
    didn't lean.

    One thing I wish it had is some sort of small loop near where it attaches to
    the main bike that you could put a chain through to secure both the main
    bike and the trailer bike with one chain (you would need a super-long chain
    to reach back to the triangle of the trailer bike). We have thought about
    trying to get something like this welded on. This seems like such a simple
    and obvious design improvement I can't believe they don't have it.

    Regards,
    Neil


    "Russell Lang" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "kingsley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:p[email protected]
    > > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    > > here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:

    >
    > > Pacific - $300 / $350

    > We bought this one on special this week at $220.
    >
    > > We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    > > going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    > > out on a bikepath & she loved it.

    >
    > Ear to ear smiles from my 4yo who can't yet ride a bike.
    > He loves being on a bike with daddy.
    > We'll find out how he feels after a few km next week.
    >
    > > Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    > > usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    > > except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    > > different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    > > is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch.

    >
    > I've already noticed this issue. As the child moves their weight
    > around, you get a distinct lean to one side, then it slops to the
    > other side. A little disconcerting when you are trying to do
    > hand signals. Probably safer not to do the hand signals.
    > The hitch might need some modifications later.
    >
    > > Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    > > the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.
    > > The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    > > feels significantly lighter than the others.

    >
    > Pacific one definitely feels heavy enough to be steel.
    >
    >
    >
     
  5. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch Guest

    coo

    I have a Adam's trailer which both my girls love (altho the 9yr old i
    too big and my 5yr old is getting too good on her own now

    was really cool when they were younger just riding with them and I earn
    major brownie points with the girls "Lets go to the shops". I wanna g
    with daddy!" and riding with Matilda to school/creche when i was workin
    from home

    I cant complain really about any noticeable play in the linkage, an
    mine usuallyy goes onto my mtb-commuter. wish had got one with gears th
    as my territory is very hilly and the supplied gear on the trailer i
    HUGE! especially for a ki

    One of my (many) must-gets is a tandem now; altho i suspect that wil
    mean towing the wife about (altho she is tempting me with europea
    holiday on said tandem...


    -
     
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Guest

    kingsley wrote:
    > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    > here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:
    >
    > There are a few brands available locally:
    >
    > Burley - the 'Piccolo' ~ $900
    > Giant - 'Half-Wheeler' ~ $399
    > Adams - Trailer-Bike ~ $350 (also a tandem model)
    > Alley-Cat - Never saw one ~ (guess) $300
    > Pacific - $300 / $350
    > Some other brand $275
    >
    >
    > We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    > going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    > out on a bikepath & she loved it.
    >
    > Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    > usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    > except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    > different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    > is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch. Supposedly the
    > Burley was immune to this, but I stopped considering it
    > as soon as I got the quote (from Greenspeed, the official Aus.
    > retailer).
    >
    > Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    > the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.
    >
    > When we borrowed the AlleyCat, it was given to us with
    > the seat+seatpost attached - this was a fairly good indication
    > as to how easily it detached.
    >
    > Gears didn't interest me - when the kids are big enough to
    > get to grips with the gears, they'll probably want their
    > own full-size bike. This doesn't significantly affect your
    > choice, most trailer bikes can come with or without gears.
    >
    > Our target application, apart from weekend riding, is to do
    > some siginificaqnt touring early next year. So we were definately
    > looking for something of quality. Also needed to attach a
    > rear rack & mud-guard.
    >
    > We ended up buying the Giant one, but had to go home from the
    > bike shop (45mins each way) to see if, when connected, the
    > tow arm will clear the rack (50cm, 700C touring bike). It did!
    >
    > The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    > feels significantly lighter than the others. The hitch is a
    > quick-release clamp, looks fairly robust (we'll see in 6 months).
    > The tow-arm is hinged in the middle, and folds back on itself...
    > thus it can fit inside the car (holden stationwagon), 'cause
    > these things are a bugger to put on a bikerack.
    >
    > So, um, that's about it.
    >
    > cheers,
    > -kt
    >


    Does anyone know of an LBS in melbourne that has a decent range of
    trailer bikes. Ivanhoe is probably closest to me and they've usually
    only got 2 or 3 and I don't want to spend a day going from shop to shop
    trying to compare them all if I can help it (rather be out riding with
    the family). Or is there just not the demand for anyone to have a large
    stock of them?
    Dave B.
     
  7. HUMBUG

    HUMBUG Guest

    On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 12:19:07 +1000, DaveB <dbuerc[email protected]> Wrote :

    <snip - big time>

    >
    > Does anyone know of an LBS in melbourne that has a decent range of
    > trailer bikes. Ivanhoe is probably closest to me and they've usually
    > only got 2 or 3 and I don't want to spend a day going from shop to shop
    > trying to compare them all if I can help it (rather be out riding with
    > the family). Or is there just not the demand for anyone to have a large
    > stock of them?
    > Dave B.
    >


    I was going past Hillmans about 3.00 am the other day and I _thought_ I
    saw some in the window. I was in "head down - arse up" mode with a
    pretty good headwind so I didn't really look. ( I _did_ have a ROARING
    tailwind a few hours earlier though - what goes around comes around
    I guess..... Anyway it couldn't hurt to give 'em a ring.


    Ooroo


    --

    Humbug
     
  8. kingsley

    kingsley Guest

    On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 23:42:31 +0000, flyingdutch wrote:

    > One of my (many) must-gets is a tandem now; altho i suspect that will
    > mean towing the wife about (altho she is tempting me with european
    > holiday on said tandem... )


    We're considering this, but flying with a tandem
    seems pretty nightmareish. You'd just about have to dismantle
    the bugger to get it into any sort of bike box. Mind-you
    carrying a pair of wrapped/boxed bikes around an airport isn't
    much fun either.

    You gonna take the kids ?

    I rode my half-bike + trailer-bike + trailer on the weekend.
    Only did a 22k bikepath (Katia's first significant test-ride on
    the trailer bike). I thought it would be quite difficult to turn,
    but being doubly-articulated(sp?), it turned somewhat as easily
    as the tandem.

    Our biggest problem on the tandem is that Larissa seems to prefer a
    lower cadence than me. Sheldon's reckons that smaller crank arms on
    the front(?) fixes this a little... not sure myself.


    -kt
     
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Guest

    kingsley wrote:
    > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend...
    > here's my brane-dump before I forget it all:
    >
    > There are a few brands available locally:
    >
    > Burley - the 'Piccolo' ~ $900
    > Giant - 'Half-Wheeler' ~ $399
    > Adams - Trailer-Bike ~ $350 (also a tandem model)
    > Alley-Cat - Never saw one ~ (guess) $300
    > Pacific - $300 / $350
    > Some other brand $275
    >
    >
    > We borrowed a SS alley-cat, to make sure Katia (5) wasn't
    > going to say "I hate riding the trailer-bike". Tried it
    > out on a bikepath & she loved it.
    >
    > Poking around on news & the web led me to believe the
    > usual failing point is the hitch with the bike. All trailers
    > except the Burley connect to the seatpost with various
    > different clamping mechanisms. The biggest problem reported
    > is the develpment of 'play' in the hitch. Supposedly the
    > Burley was immune to this, but I stopped considering it
    > as soon as I got the quote (from Greenspeed, the official Aus.
    > retailer).
    >
    > Most of the lower-end trailer bikes are CrMo steel, and much
    > the same. Basically you need to spend around $300 to get anything.
    >
    > When we borrowed the AlleyCat, it was given to us with
    > the seat+seatpost attached - this was a fairly good indication
    > as to how easily it detached.
    >
    > Gears didn't interest me - when the kids are big enough to
    > get to grips with the gears, they'll probably want their
    > own full-size bike. This doesn't significantly affect your
    > choice, most trailer bikes can come with or without gears.
    >
    > Our target application, apart from weekend riding, is to do
    > some siginificaqnt touring early next year. So we were definately
    > looking for something of quality. Also needed to attach a
    > rear rack & mud-guard.
    >
    > We ended up buying the Giant one, but had to go home from the
    > bike shop (45mins each way) to see if, when connected, the
    > tow arm will clear the rack (50cm, 700C touring bike). It did!
    >
    > The giant model is an Aluminium alloy rather than steel, and
    > feels significantly lighter than the others. The hitch is a
    > quick-release clamp, looks fairly robust (we'll see in 6 months).
    > The tow-arm is hinged in the middle, and folds back on itself...
    > thus it can fit inside the car (holden stationwagon), 'cause
    > these things are a bugger to put on a bikerack.
    >
    > So, um, that's about it.
    >
    > cheers,
    > -kt
    >


    Woo Hoo, just picked up the trailer bike and the test ride up and down
    the street ended up being up and down and up and down and ...one more
    time Dad this is fantastic. Ended up going with the Pacific for $280.
    Just one question, I assume the connection between it and my bike is
    supposed to allow the trailer bike to swivel on turns, ie. much like a
    car trailer would, rather than be fixed into a position permanently in
    line wiht my bike's frame?? Everything seems to be as tight as it can go.

    Dave B.
     
  10. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch Guest

    Daveb wrote:
    > Woo Hoo, just picked up the trailer bike and the test ride up and
    > down the street ended up being up and down and up and down and ...one
    > more time Dad this is fantastic. Ended up going with the Pacific for
    > $280. Just one question, I assume the connection between it and my
    > bike is supposed to allow the trailer bike to swivel on turns, ie.
    > much like a car trailer would, rather than be fixed into a position
    > permanently in line wiht my bike's frame?? Everything seems to be as
    > tight as it can go.
    > Dave B.



    cool. enjoy

    yep, meant to swivel. if it stayed in line your passenger would b
    continuously swiped sideways and the bracket wouldnt last lon

    the shorter cranks should slow your spped down and hence allow you
    stoker to keep at their liked cadenc

    re travelling with the tandem, its probably going to be a buy-it-over
    there job as prices/choice is so much better in the UK/europe. Have yo
    seen those (cant remember the name. checkout ThornUK website) links yo
    can put into a frame to make it collapsible? just a thought..

    Take the kids? are you mad :


    -
     
  11. kingsley

    kingsley Guest

    On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 00:42:36 +0000, flyingdutch wrote:

    > re travelling with the tandem, its probably going to be a buy-it-over-
    > there job as prices/choice is so much better in the UK/europe. Have you
    > seen those (cant remember the name. checkout ThornUK website) links you
    > can put into a frame to make it collapsible? just a thought...


    S&S Couplers ?
    Only for Steel & Ti (not Alu)

    Supposed to improve the stiffness of the frame too.

    > Take the kids? are you mad :D


    No way... Wouldn't go without them!

    http://maddogsbreakfast.com.au/Diary/Europe2002/images/First_day_of_camping_at_Gouda.html
    http://maddogsbreakfast.com.au/Diary/Europe2002/images/Camping_at_Schoonhoven.html
    http://maddogsbreakfast.com.au/Diary/Europe2002/images/Camping_Kirchzarten.html
    http://maddogsbreakfast.com.au/Diary/Europe2002/images/The_Crew.html

    -kt

    --
    Kingsley Turner,
    (mailto: [email protected])
    http://MadDogsBreakfast.com/ABFAQ - news:aus.bicycle Frequenly Asked Questions
     
  12. takver

    takver Guest

    Kingsley wrote:
    > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend... here's my brane-dump before I
    > forget it all:



    Thanks Kingsley for the brain dump. This evening I just went and looke
    at a second hand trailer bike ($195), to put away for my daughter fo
    next year (when she turns 5)

    At the moment we use a Philips Kiddiecarrier 2 wheeled trailer for he
    to ride in. We've taken her on one 4 day tour and the trailer meant sh
    could have a nap in the afternoon. It is possible to tip/overturn thes
    trailers at speed on gravel roads, as we found out. But children ar
    protected by a five point safety harness and the trailer frame provide
    an effective roll cage. And, of course, she had a helmut on. She wa
    just a bit shaken

    Full trailers (and their contents) become hard work up hill. Need som
    low granny gears to keep moving. So, I'll be looking forward to when m
    little possum is big enough to use a trailer bike instead

    Takve


    -
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Guest

    takver wrote:
    > Kingsley wrote:
    > > Bought a trailer bike on the weekend... here's my brane-dump before I
    > > forget it all:

    >
    >
    >
    > Thanks Kingsley for the brain dump. This evening I just went and looked
    > at a second hand trailer bike ($195), to put away for my daughter for
    > next year (when she turns 5).
    >
    > At the moment we use a Philips Kiddiecarrier 2 wheeled trailer for her
    > to ride in. We've taken her on one 4 day tour and the trailer meant she
    > could have a nap in the afternoon. It is possible to tip/overturn these
    > trailers at speed on gravel roads, as we found out. But children are
    > protected by a five point safety harness and the trailer frame provided
    > an effective roll cage. And, of course, she had a helmut on. She was
    > just a bit shaken.
    >
    > Full trailers (and their contents) become hard work up hill. Need some
    > low granny gears to keep moving. So, I'll be looking forward to when my
    > little possum is big enough to use a trailer bike instead.
    >
    > Takver
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    >


    You might find the trailer bike not that much easier than the trailer.
    Just on the two weeks I've had mine I'm finding it harder going than the
    baby seat was. I think it's because I'm a bit more tentative about how
    much I'm rocking the bike so that may change as me and my daughter both
    get more confidant with it.

    Dave B.
     
  14. Russell Lang

    Russell Lang Guest

    "takver" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Thanks Kingsley for the brain dump. This evening I just went and looked
    > at a second hand trailer bike ($195), to put away for my daughter for
    > next year (when she turns 5).


    You could start earlier. My almost 4yo is riding on the trailer bike,
    but not pedalling yet. He doesn't want to try "scootering" on a
    small bike yet, maybe because he thinks that if he can ride his own
    bike then he won't be allowed to ride the trailer bike behind daddy.

    The first few rides were *very* wobbly. He now seems to have
    developed some balance, or learnt not to throw his weight around.
    I can now use hand signals while towing.

    As my child learnt to balance on the trailer bike, the slop in the
    coupling became less of an issue.

    The main use is riding to a playground other than the close one.

    > Full trailers (and their contents) become hard work up hill. Need some
    > low granny gears to keep moving. So, I'll be looking forward to when my
    > little possum is big enough to use a trailer bike instead.


    Trailer bikes and an unpedalling child are also hard work up hill.
    It is more weight than a child bike seat, but he much prefers to
    be on *his* bike than in the child bike seat.
     
  15. mark_t_d

    mark_t_d Guest

    Hi all, good to read of others thoughts on these machines... My daughte
    and I have been riding for a year now together with a Giant Halfwheele
    and we have found it to be a fantastic machine. She is tall for her ag
    and first rode it just before her 4th birthday. We have tried to get ou
    most weekends ever since and 40K+ is no problem for her, as long as i
    isn't to cold or hot. A few comments on the Giant Halfwheeler...
    purchased the Giant ($399 from Goldcross) because of a) it's weight (o
    lack of) and b) the connection mechanism is far superior to any of th
    cheaper units and does need tools to go from bike to bike. Any sidepla
    in this joint mechanism is very disconcerting as it plays havoc wit
    your balance on the rode. Even though the play was minimal with th
    Giant hitch, a few 0.2 mm shimming washers sorted that out totally. A
    she has got stronger I have swapped the rear freewheel for highe
    gearing but she still needs the occasional reminder to stop spinning he
    legs out when we are coming down a hill. All in all a great uni
    although I have decided she needs gears now and have ordered a Half
    wheeler 7 (spd) and child number 2 can graduate from the child sea
    behind my wife’s mtb to a trailer behind same! -


    -
     
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