Trailer bike V's Trail-gator tow bar.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Neil Smith, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Neil Smith

    Neil Smith Guest

    Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of
    trailer bikes + trail-gator tow bars? Anyone tried
    both? Thanks, Neil
     
    Tags:


  2. Cipher

    Cipher New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    1
    Generac thought, but depending on the length of your ride, I had a guy at the LBS tell me there's a slight risk or the passanger/rider falling asleep and falling off the back. (We were talked into a trailer).
     
  3. "Neil Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of trailer
    > bikes + trail-gator tow
    bars?
    > Anyone tried both?

    We had a trailer bike for both kids. I haven't tried the trail-
    gators, but I hear they are much more unstable. The trailer
    bike was great -- we could go 30 miles on those things, when
    they could barely do a mile or two on a single.

    --
    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

    Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm
    Email me re: the new Tiferet CD (http://www.tiferet.net)
     
  4. "Neil Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of
    > trailer bikes + trail-gator tow bars? Anyone tried
    > both? Thanks, Neil

    Trail-gators tow a bike that usually has a rear wheel brake.
    Do you trust your kid to not apply it?

    By the way, to allay another poster's LBS's concern, my son
    often fell asleep while riding in a baby seat, but has never
    done so on the Trail-a-Bike. We've gone for rides as long as
    40km or so with it.
     
  5. "Neil Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of
    > trailer bikes + trail-gator tow bars? Anyone tried
    > both? Thanks, Neil

    Though I have never tried it, the Trail-Gator is a very
    popular option around here. One critical aspect is how it is
    adjusted around the headtube of the child's bike. In some of
    the most stable installations I have seen, the child was
    about 15 degrees off axis of the parent, and a few told me
    the best way they found was to tell the child to always lean
    on the same side, so it is predictable. In some of the worst
    installations, the child bike was stabilised by training
    wheels while the parent was leaning in curves! Last summer,
    a friend of mine was towing a child with a Trail-Gator, but
    he had to modify it and add extra struts and a lot of bungee
    cords to make it relatively stable. Another aspect to
    consider is that the front end of the child's bike is
    raised. It changes drastically the saddle inclination, so
    unless you do a short ride, it's best to re-align the
    child's seat horizontally. Finally, the adult bike + Trail-
    Gator + child bike is very long. Not a problem on highways,
    but definitely a problem if you like to visit forest roads
    or bike trails.

    I had the Addams Trail-a-Bike for 1 year. The hitch develops
    play over time, and I did 1800 km with it... which seemed
    too much for the hitch. It still is OK for short rides, but
    definitely very tiring for 80-120 km trips. Still, I
    estimate the play at 5-10 degrees, which is much less than
    the best installations of the Trail-Gator. Apart of the
    tiredness factor, I also felt I needed more space left and
    right simply to be able to compensate for jerks (and I have
    a great stoker), wind gusts, etc. Turns are a bit more
    compact than with the Trail-Gator.

    Soon after that I got the Burley Piccolo. Costs twice as
    much, but worth 3-4 times more, I think. The hitch uses
    bearings, so it doesn't wear out (well, 2 cones had to be
    changed this year, so some parts do wear out). My eldest has
    used it and it's now the youngest one who cycles on it. We
    have ridden 5000-6000 km with it so far and it still works
    great. Perfectly stable (some shimmy develops at 70 km/h on
    a fully loaded touring bike). And since the hitch point is
    above the rear wheel, it trails much more nicely when doing
    tight turns.

    So I don't think I would recommend the Trail-Gator. I might
    suggest one tries it if one may get one for free or really
    cheap, but since it costs about 2/3 of the price of the Trail-a-
    Bike, I prefer the latter. As for the Trail-a-Bike, I find
    it OK for short rides, utility cycling and the like,
    especially if you have only one child. But for more extended
    use, the Piccolo is definitely in a class of its own.
     
  6. pbooton

    pbooton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been using one with my 5 year old for a year

    It's brilliant. It is v stable and easy to handle and we both enjoy it. i've not used a trailor bike to compare.

    The advantage is not only that it is significantly cheaper than a trailer bike (try March cycles, cambs - best price i've found), but it also means child can ride independantly where safe and together where not so (its v quick to clamp and unclamp and the gator telescopes and clamps to the parent bike frame frame reasonably securely). this makes it much easier for hols (at least, i can't take both a trailer bike and ordinary bike for each kid + our bikes)

    the main potential weakness is the attachment to the childs bike. the bracket clamps to the steerer tube, and potentially can twist around. This was a problem the first time i used it, but tightening up the bolts pretty hard solved this entirely. I wouldn't rule out it being a problem on other bikes. when this first happened i wondered if i'd have to get something braised to the steerer tube to prevent this. In the event i didn't have to, but I think this is such a useful device that i'd certainly consider doing so if need be.

    I've just bought another so my 3 yr old can hook up

    Paul
     
Loading...
Loading...