Author Topic: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat  (Read 4646 times)

MrMoneyMullet

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For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« on: March 23, 2013, 10:10:24 PM »
Hi all,

I recently got a bike off of Craigslist (as seen in the "General Discussion" forum), and I am LOVING getting around town with my bike. It's like a mini-adventure as a part of my normal day. Anyway, I have a toddler and I'm wondering if anyone has experiences to share about whether a bike trailer or bike seat would be better for transporting children. I'm wondering both about safety and ease of use.

Thanks!

sol

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 10:49:45 PM »
I generally prefer the trailer for ease of use and the ability to remove it when not needed.

While recently shopping for a bike trailer, I discovered that it is cheaper to buy a new one shipped from China ($64 from amazon, free shipping) than it is to get a used one from own neighborhood ($100 and up).

caligulala

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 08:39:45 AM »
We prefer the child seat, since they are high up and more visible. We live in a city neighborhood with wall to wall parked cars, lots of alleys that people zip in and out of, and no one truly stops for stop signs. We want our boys as visible as possible, not trailing behind, low to the ground where they can be more easily missed.

But really, it depends on where you are and how you'll use it. A trailer is definitely warmer in the winter and you can use it to haul big things home from the store. Child seats are less useful for that.

Either way, it's tons of fun. We love not having a car and walk/train/biking everywhere. The journey is part of the adventure!

rejones

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 12:22:45 PM »
I would go with a trailer for the versatility and the safety. If you crash, so does the child seat, but a trailer will stay upright. If you need more visibility add some lights and safety flags to the trailer (most come with flags). I would add that you should compare the quality(ease of attachment, ability to stay upright independent of the bike, wheel quality etc) of off brand trailers to a good used trailer from a company like burley, especially if you plan to use it for the long haul (pun intended).


rue

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 05:22:41 PM »
a trailer can be used for other stuff (eg groceries) but check out the weight.  The cheaper ones are usually heavier and hard to drag around and up and down hills.  A seat is more minimalist.  They are lighter, easier to put on a bike rack and drive and ride were as with a trailer you might need a trailer to cart it around if going for a reccy away from home and too far to ride to.  I have friends who have both for conveniance and use according to weather and terraine etc. 

Rural

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 05:53:50 PM »
Having been child in a seat during a wreck more decades ago than I like to contemplate, I'd vote for the trailer.

TheDude

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 06:29:26 PM »
I'm not a fan of the seats. Every time I see them they make me cringe. They seem totally unsafe.

I like the trailer for other reasons too. I use sometimes for groceries and no way I could take my kid to daycare in the snow without one.

GuitarStv

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 06:58:51 AM »
I would also recommend the trailer.  The child seats put a kid up very high on the bike, changing the centre of mass and making the bicycle more top heavy/wobbly when you're travelling at slow speeds.  This means that it's easier to fall, couple that with the fact that the kid has further to drop when that happens and it seems like bad news to me.

MrMoneyMullet

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 09:56:07 AM »
OK, thanks everybody! Sounds like the general opinion is that a trailer would be better. If I did get the bike seat, I would get a trailer anyway for hauling stuff, so the trailer is a better choice anyway because it can do double duty.

Does anybody have an InStep trailer? That looks like the cheapest brand on Amazon but a few reviews state that the seat material sags with regular use, meaning the kids are close to bumping/scraping the ground.

kisserofsinners

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 01:19:49 PM »
I'd check your brands for trailers. There are a couple types. The cheap ones from China, mentioned above found used should be $30-50 and I agree buying new would be better. Burley is an American company and their trailers are as the name implies, Burlier. I bought mine used for $60 and it's way better quality than the Chinese made equivalent.

Just FYI, not all trailers are created equal. :)

Undecided

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Re: For a toddler: Bike Trailer vs Bike Seat
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 03:09:51 PM »
They have different purposes, or different tradeoffs. When my older son was small enough, we used a stem-mounted seat (that is, near the handlebars) for cruising around and other little rides, and a Chariot trailer for bigger rides (I race bikes, and he's done a lot of training miles with me). They're very different. In the seat, we could talk, hold hands, he could pretend to steer, ring the bell, etc. In the trailer (which he still sometimes uses as an alternative to his Trail-a-Bike, at 3.5), he's warmer, can have some toys and snacks and he can fall asleep (actually he fell asleep in the seat a couple of times, but I didn't love that), but we weren't as "together". When my newborn is old enough, we will use the seat and the trailer the same ways again. But my wife (who is an experienced cyclist by any normal standard, but not of the 1,000-hours-a-year variety; she's also smaller) was less comfortable with him in the seat than in the trailer.