Author Topic: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?  (Read 6856 times)

CupcakeStache

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What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:07:03 PM »
I am ready to start making some changes in my life, starting by riding my bike (which I haven't done in years!) and taking my son with me in a bike trailer instead of an SUV.

The grocery store, my son's preschool, the community pool, and the library are all within 1.5 miles of my house, and I have always driven to all of these locations in a ridiculously large vehicle.

My son is 3.5 and very tall for his age. Would a single bike trailer be large enough? Should I look for a two-child trailer for the extra space? Are there specific features I should look for?

yolfer

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 03:09:52 PM »
I found a used Chariot Cougar on craigslist, in perfect shape and with all the accessories to hook it up to a bike. Even though it was used it was expensive, so I split the cost with a neighbor family that has a child the same age as my daughter. Maybe you could do something similar, to cut down on the costs? 

I've been very happy with the Chariot. My only complaint is that it's HEAVY! But maybe that means I need to get into better shape. It has a weight limit instead of a height limit, but it goes up to 75 lbs, so I think even a very large 3.5 year old would fit inside.

TheDude

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 03:22:00 PM »
I also have the chariot cougar. It was expensive ($400) I think but about $650 new. I probably wouldn't have bought it but my wife, mother, father and in laws all split it for my birthday. Its nice and I would think would accommodate a kid that large.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 12:27:37 AM »
Yeah also Chariot Cougar, purchased with a hefty REI discount and rebate 4 or 5 years ago. It's been great, though I mostly use it in the jogging configuration and it's a bit hefty as a stroller for urban maneuvering, the thing rides like a dream and conversion between jogger and bike trailer is speedy and simple.

CupcakeStache

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 09:56:41 AM »
Thanks everyone! Apparently the Chariot trailers are quite popular!

So I looked on Craigslist last night, and I found a lady selling a Chariot Cheetah in great condition with both the bike trailer and jogging accessories, all for about 1/3 of what the cost to buy them new would be. And conveniently, she only lived 5 miles away from my house. So I popped over there last night and now have two firsts under my belt:

1. This is the first bike trailer I've ever had.
2. This was the first time I've ever bought anything from Craigslist!

Now today I need to make sure my bike is in ride-able condition and hook up the trailer!

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 10:34:36 AM »
Congrats! Since they seem to go for nearly new price even used, my guess is if you take good care of it you can MAKE money when you sell it. 1/3 is a very good deal.

TheDude

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 12:11:57 PM »
Yeah they do seem to hold onto their value. I hope I can get rid of mine for 1/2 of what we paid for it. This winter although warm seems to be tough on it.

yolfer

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 01:28:04 PM »
Yeah they do seem to hold onto their value. I hope I can get rid of mine for 1/2 of what we paid for it. This winter although warm seems to be tough on it.

Yeah, I'm having trouble keeping mine free of mildew (here in the damp Pacific NW). I give it a once over with a mild vinegar solution which seems to do the trick.

bo_knows

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 08:23:22 AM »
Resurrecting this thread because I'm in the market for a bike trailer (our kid just turned 1, and I really want to get out on the bike with him).

I was originally thinking of getting a cheapo one like this: http://www.amazon.com/InStep-Quick-Double-Bicycle-Trailer/dp/B002QAZ8ZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366035509&sr=8-1&keywords=bike+trailer

We're hoping to have one that can be used for jogging (the wife likes to run) and as a bike trailer (for me).

But, I started reading the reviews and looking at the specs, and apparently a lot of the cheaper ones are shoddily made and most importantly are nearly TWICE the weight.

Chariot seems to be a the top-of-the-line brand, with a lot of excellent choices, but they are EXPENSIVE. I was surprised to see so many people in this thread recommending them.

It looks like a brand-new Chariot model with the bike trailer attachment and jogger attachment runs about $550-600.  I see some lightly used ones on our local craigslist for $400-500.   Even though our income is high, I feel like it's a hard pill to swallow for some reason.  I think these ER sites are majorly affecting my mindset on purchases.

So, I'm really torn between buying the cheap/heavy and potentially shoddy trailer   versus the luxury model that, by all accounts, holds up for a long time and even holds its value.

My $430 of CC rewards dollars sitting in my account is also helping sooth the pain though...

Thoughts?

Senor Smallchange Soulpatch

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 08:52:16 AM »
A bike trailer is one purchase where you definitely should be willing to pay a little extra for higher quality.  Pick up a lightly used Burley or Chariot on Craigslist and you'll be happy.  At least in my neck of the woods (Minnesota), Craigslist is overflowing with these things right now.  Apparently there is no shortage of chumps out there who are willing to walk into their local big box sporting goods store, plunk down $400-$1,000 for a trailer, use it once a month for a summer or two then dump it on CL for half off retail.

Other than weight and general build quality you should also pay attention to the ease of connecting/disconnecting the trailer to the bike, and how well it folds if storage space is an issue.  The better/more expensive models crap all over the cheap ones in all of these areas.  Water and wind-proofing is another place where the more expensive trailers are objectively better.

Also, think of it like this... every mile you pull that trailer that you would have otherwise driven saves you 30-50 cents.  Even the most expensive trailer on the market bought brand new will more than pay for itself over its lifetime if you actually use the thing.

August West

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 11:08:01 AM »
My cheap trailer has worked well for me.  It was $100 brand new from Target about 8 years ago.  It is the kind that folds flat after you take the wheels off - and has two seats.  It is light - I think the frame is aluminum - I am sure that is the first thing that will fail.  My son and daughter add up to 80 pounds and its limit is 100 and we easily stuff more than 20 pounds extra stuff into the back compartment.

TLV

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 11:33:05 AM »
Resurrecting this thread because I'm in the market for a bike trailer (our kid just turned 1, and I really want to get out on the bike with him).

I was originally thinking of getting a cheapo one like this: http://www.amazon.com/InStep-Quick-Double-Bicycle-Trailer/dp/B002QAZ8ZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366035509&sr=8-1&keywords=bike+trailer

We're hoping to have one that can be used for jogging (the wife likes to run) and as a bike trailer (for me).

But, I started reading the reviews and looking at the specs, and apparently a lot of the cheaper ones are shoddily made and most importantly are nearly TWICE the weight.

...

Thoughts?

We have that exact trailer (though we got it used from Craigslist).

I can't speak for the relative weight, since we've never had another one, but the durability is somewhat lacking. We've had it just over a year. We've had to patch several places where the material ripped or wore thin. 4 of the 6 snaps (holding the top material on) have had to be replaced. The stroller attachment isn't very good - like a shopping cart wheel that frequently gets stuck going the wrong direction. The plastic piece that the stroller wheel attaches to broke a few months ago, and while the company provided a free replacement when we asked, the new one is already showing the strain. We only use the stroller attachment for walking - there's no way it would work for jogging. When used as a bike trailer when it's wet outside (which it frequently is around here) water kicked up from the bike wheels seeps in through the bottom, so we had to line it with a trash bag .

It meets our needs, but if it needs to be replaced before our kids are out of the stroller stage then we'll be looking for one with a better stroller attachment.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 11:37:46 AM by TLV »

bo_knows

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 12:03:33 PM »
Resurrecting this thread because I'm in the market for a bike trailer (our kid just turned 1, and I really want to get out on the bike with him).

I was originally thinking of getting a cheapo one like this: http://www.amazon.com/InStep-Quick-Double-Bicycle-Trailer/dp/B002QAZ8ZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366035509&sr=8-1&keywords=bike+trailer

We're hoping to have one that can be used for jogging (the wife likes to run) and as a bike trailer (for me).

But, I started reading the reviews and looking at the specs, and apparently a lot of the cheaper ones are shoddily made and most importantly are nearly TWICE the weight.

...

Thoughts?

We have that exact trailer (though we got it used from Craigslist).

I can't speak for the relative weight, since we've never had another one, but the durability is somewhat lacking. We've had it just over a year. We've had to patch several places where the material ripped or wore thin. 4 of the 6 snaps (holding the top material on) have had to be replaced. The stroller attachment isn't very good - like a shopping cart wheel that frequently gets stuck going the wrong direction. The plastic piece that the stroller wheel attaches to broke a few months ago, and while the company provided a free replacement when we asked, the new one is already showing the strain. We only use the stroller attachment for walking - there's no way it would work for jogging. When used as a bike trailer when it's wet outside (which it frequently is around here) water kicked up from the bike wheels seeps in through the bottom, so we had to line it with a trash bag .

It meets our needs, but if it needs to be replaced before our kids are out of the stroller stage then we'll be looking for one with a better stroller attachment.

It's funny, because I thoroughly went through the amazon reviews for that trailer, and your assessment pretty much reads as a compilation of the bad ones.  Bad snaps, torn fabric, water problems, etc.  Though, it does average 4.5/5 stars, and those are only the bad reviews.


Senor Smallchange Soulpatch

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 03:55:39 PM »


It's funny, because I thoroughly went through the amazon reviews for that trailer, and your assessment pretty much reads as a compilation of the bad ones.  Bad snaps, torn fabric, water problems, etc.  Though, it does average 4.5/5 stars, and those are only the bad reviews.

The people giving that trailer 4/5 stars are probably using it very lightly.  The typical bike trailer in the typical suburban garage gets used a handful of times a summer for a 2-3mi leisure cruise around the local park, and only if its 70F and sunny with no wind.  If that's your intended use case a low end trailer is fine.  If you're looking to go hardcore, all-weather, bike everywhere MMM-style you will not regret spending a little more up front, especially if you're patient enough to wait for a good deal on a lightly used one.


hsvanidze

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 12:57:48 PM »
I'd like to resurrect the thread once again as I've been looking at some bike trailer brands that haven't been mentioned yet.  I have two kids, a 2.5-year-old and a six-month-old (who won't be able to go in the trailer in biking mode for another few months at least).  We are completely car-free, so I am looking for something very sturdy that goes easily from biking to strolling mode (with swiveling wheels) and will withstand any weather.  I'd love to find a used Burley or Chariot, but haven't seen a lot of them in my town.

Does anyone have experience with the Croozer brand trailers? 

What about Via Velo (from Costco)?

Thanks!


clutchy

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Re: What type of bike trailer (for a child) do Mustachians use?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 01:16:59 PM »
the one I was graciously gifted from a family whose grandchildren moved out of state.

I don't even know what it's called besides free.