Trailer bike V's Trail-gator tow bar.



N

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
 

Cipher

New Member
Sep 7, 2002
782
2
18
Originally posted by Neil Smith
Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of
trailer bikes + trail-gator tow bars? Anyone tried
both? Thanks, Neil

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).
 
C

Claire Petersky

Guest
"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:
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B

Brian Huntley

Guest
"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.
 
M

Michel Gagnon

Guest
"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.
 

pbooton

New Member
Mar 30, 2004
1
0
0
Originally posted by Neil Smith
Dear All, any views about the pro's and con's of
trailer bikes + trail-gator tow bars? Anyone tried
both? Thanks, Neil

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