Recreational & Family - tilting seat in bike trailer--is it necessary?
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I posted earlier about looking at trailers and wanted to know if the In-Steps are any good...following the advice I was given, I'm cruising ebay and I've found several people selling the burley bee for a good price. As far as I can tell the two major areas that the bee is lacking is the wheel type (it's a composite wheel) and the seat doesn't recline. How big of a deal are these things? I don't plan to commute with this thing--just use it to take one or more kid around the neighborhood if I want to go on a ride.
Anyone actually have a bee? How old are your children? I have a 6mo that is probably too young yet and a 4 yo who is almost 5 and is pretty tall but quite thin.
Burley Bee, here!
Bought it in '05 when my little one was 2.5 yrs old. She is now 4.5, and we go back and forth between the Bee and a TrailerBike depending on the length of the ride. She still naps on longer trips, so we take the trailer.
We never had any plans to use the trailer as a stroller or jogger, so much of the higher priced features on the more expensive models would have been wasted money for us. The Bee is basic, but of excellent overall build and materials quality. I expect it will hold up well come resale time.
Things I like: I see no problem with the composite wheels given the application. Basically maintainence free, and they are straight and true. The frame (chainstay) hitch works just fine on conventional bikes. We have moved it between several, and it clamps on fine. We have used the plastic front screen on really cold rides as well as in the rain. Otherwise, it gets rolled up and stowed up top. It is plenty wide and tall inside. Lots of 'stuff' gets thrown in with her, and out back behind the seat.
Issues: We deal with the lack of a 'helmet pocket' by putting a folded quilt on the seat, up to her neck. Without this, the straight mesh back tends to push her head forward. She has never complained about comfort, but it does not look good to me. She typically falls asleep after a few miles, so the lack of a reclining seat doesn't seem to be a problem.
I am disappointed that the back window does not open. Without some flow thru, it can be like towing a parachute on a windy day. It is very aerodynamic when you put the plastic windshield down, but if the front is open, the enclosed back creates too much drag. I sometimes roll up the back, but then there is nothing to keep belongings in place in the 'cargo hold' behind the seat. We bought some matching blue web material and velcro with the intent of making a modification panel, but never followed thru. Instead, a bungee cord hold stuff in place when the back is rolled up.
Overall, it was well worth the $200 in terms of the good features and overall quality. I guess it would be hard to justify the premium pricing on the high end models if they gave you a few extra sensible features on the entry level product as well. Hope this helps - ask if you have other questions.
Speaking from a perspective of having no experience with trailers but a lot of experience with raising kids and trying to get them out and about with me.
Go with what you think is right. The worst that will happen is that you'll learn a bit and buy something better or different. More likely, you'll find that what you're trying will work okay - there aren't many 'bad' products on the market these days.
We really worry and fuss about our kids ... which is one reason they survive long enough to go on to produce grandkids for us to worry and fuss about, but in reality, they're pretty tough. If you are a good enough parent to worry about the questions you pose, you are good enough to either make whatever you buy work, or to give it the flick before it does some harm.
I appreciate you are looking for advice. Sadly, I have none specific to the question to give, but I can assure you that if you go with what you feel is right, it will do the job. Like I said, the worst that can happen is you'll be looking for another trailer, but it won't come to that - look at what your parents did to you as a kid (my Dad's pride and joy was a fence across the back seat of the car so I could stand up, hold that and look where we were going ... none of this safety harness and safety seat carry on). Whatever the outcome, your kids will know at a deep, elemental level that Mum and Dad were there in their lives and making those lives richer. In later life, they won't be able to come up with specifics, but rest assured, coming on here and asking the question is a sure sign that you're getting the rest of it right.
single Dad - over tired, over hassled, but proud of his kids
That last post cracked me up!!
I think I'm going to go w/ the bee--especially since complete w/ warranty, in the box, brand new I can have it at my door for about $185.00. I think that's well worth it!
Thank you for the input...I don't know that my 4yo will use it--I think she's the exact sitting height as the interior height (she's VERY tall) but I hope I'll use it w/ my 6 month old once he's old enough!
That is a very good price. At the time of purchase, my LBS wanted $199 for them, but he was out of stock of new in-box units. I took the floor model which had a few parking lot laps on it for $179. Now they have it priced at $229, IIRC.
Scroll down a few pages and read other threads on trailers and minimum age. It is generally suggested that little ones have some neck strength prior to trailering. Invariably you ride over rough patches and they can get bumped a bit, plus the helmet adds mass. I can understand the argument that it could lead to a kind of 'shaken baby' effect in the worst case.
yea...I won't be putting ds in right away...but I'm going to grab it while there's a deal!!!
For what it's worth, I have the Burley dLite and both I and my son (20 months) love it. Pricey, yes, but a very good purchase. My son does nap in it sometimes, so allowing the seat back to relax a little for a slight recline is nice.
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