Author Topic: Kids "co-pilot" trailers  (Read 246 times)

koralcem

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Kids "co-pilot" trailers
« on: October 28, 2018, 01:30:10 PM »
We're a single-car household and it's looking like the car won't be available to drop the kid off at school a couple times a week. I already ride my bike around pretty often and would like to mustache this, but have never pulled a trailer on the bike.

Has anyone used the kids' bike trailers where the kid is essentially riding the back half of a bike, which in turn is hanging off of the adult bike; like so? Is there a certain name for that style, as opposed to the one where the kids are sitting down and strapped in?

Some specific questions I can think of:
  • Have you used this style, where the kid is sitting down and strapped, but still can pedal and is not enclosed? Is it any safer, more comfortable, or otherwise advantageous?
  • Does the trailer swivel at the point where it connects to the bike? And if so, does that mean the kid has to balance themselves? For instance, if we're stopped at a light, would they have to put their foot down?
  • Any insights on what to look for and what to avoid?

Also, the reason I'm interested in this style, as opposed to the "pod" style is that the kid is already 4 years old and I'm concerned she might not fit into them. Let me know if I'm mistaken.

singpolyma

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Re: Kids "co-pilot" trailers
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 01:41:41 PM »
I haven't used on yet (10 month old not ready to hold on yet, so rides in enclosed trailer), but plan to get http://www.trail-gator.com/ probably later next year for this purpose.

scottydog

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Re: Kids "co-pilot" trailers
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 02:42:27 PM »
I've used the former one with my kids and it worked quite well. The connection has 2 perpendicular pins (I believe this is called a universal joint) so it can bend in 2 directions but won't twist. My kids would often keep their feet on the pedals when my bike was stopped. The model I had was an Adams Trail-a-Bike but the basic design is the same.

That said, I did ask my kids to try to balance. My oldest had a habit of shaking back and forth and I found it annoying because it would affect my bike's handling a bit. It became much easier with practice. The kids loved riding this way!

After a few years I sold the trail-a-bike and bought a trail-gator that attaches my kid's bike to mine. This took much less storage space and gave us the option to ride our bikes separately until my daughter got tired enough that she wanted to be towed. I didn't like the trail-gator as much because there were more connection points, each with a little bit of slack, and the whole setup was much less solid than the trail-a-bike. Sometimes my daughter's bike even ended up offset so her rear wheel wasn't tracking directly behind my bike even though I had tightened the main connection so much that it bent the bolts.

I'd recommend fenders if you'll be riding in the rain, especially because the spray can easily end up in your child's face. Overall though it's a ton of fun and quite practical. Both my trail-a-bike and trail-gator were high enough that I could fit panniers on my rear rack, so we could carry everything for the normal commute and enjoy being outside.