Recreational & Family - tag-a-long for 3yr old?
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06-23-04, 11:51 AM
My 3 1/2yr old daughter has outgrown her kiddie seat (technically she's still within the weight limit but she's not very comfortable in it) and we want to get her a tag-a-long style bike. We haven't really started looking much yet but from what I've seen, we may have two (or more) problems.
First, I am only 5'2 and I have to keep my seat almost the whole way down to ride comfortably. I probably should have bought a smaller bike but this one was free and in great shape! Anyway, I won't be able to attach a trailer bike to my seat post as I've heard they require 2" clearance which I don't have. Second, my daughter can comfortably ride a 12" bike but isn't quite big enough for a 16". Will she be big enough for a trailer bike? We'd rather not get a regular trailer at this point because we don't think we'll get much use out of it. Finally, we'd rather not spend more than $150-$200 for this. We only really ride on weekends if the weather's decent. Probably 30 miles would be our longest ride.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
06-23-04, 11:59 AM
My son started riding his 20" trailer bike when he was four and he's short for his age. He is five now and still has his 12" bike though I'm shopping for a 16" bike for him.
I agree that you should forego the trailer and get a trailer bike. Our kids love them.
I don't know how you're going to get around the lack of seatpost to attach the trailer bike unless you go with a Burley which costs $$$. They attach to a proprietary rear rack.
If Diesel Dan doesn't add to this thread you might want to PM him. He rents trailer bikes at the beach.
06-23-04, 04:45 PM
The Addams Trail-a-Bike might be a little tall for her, so check that first.
My oldest daughter got hers the day she turned 4, and she was barely able to reach the pedals. On the other hand, my youngest one had no problems using a Burley Piccolo (which is 1/2 or 3/4" taller, BTW) at 3.5 years old.
As for using a Trail-a-Bike you definitely need 2" of exposed seatpost to attach the Addams, and I think the Trek needs about the same clearance for its attachment. There are a few solutions, but you might not like them:
- Get a new seatpost/saddle. Some seatpost brackets and saddles are higher than others. With a different post or saddle, you might gain as much as 3/4 or 1 inch. (well, maybe you already have the lowest one on the market...)
- Getting a new lower bike may or may not work. If the frame is too small, the Trail-a-Bike boom will hit the wheel anyway. You would need a bike with smaller wheels (slick 26" tires, for example).
- The Burley Piccolo is great. Look at other posts on the subject (in this forum). If you intend to do a lot of mileage, you'll get an articulated tandem that will be almost as stable as a real one. And you'll also have a rear rack that you can use on your bike.
- Grow up a few inches... or get a friend/boyfriend/husband who is taller... and who rides. Have that person tow the trailercycle. (I said you might not like my suggestions!)
With all that being said, at 3.5, your child is definitely able to ride on the trailercycle (if she fits, obviously). You will have to keep her behaviour in check. Most striking problems you might have:
- kid starts to sleep (I never saw it, but a few reported it);
- when climbing a hill, kid decides she could step down and race faster than you climb;
- kid jumps down in front of an ice cream parlour (my youngest did that), strawberry patch (my oldest did that a few years ago), or playground.
06-23-04, 08:15 PM
Having to keep your seatpost all the way down, you're left with the Burley Piccolo. Every other make and model require a seatpost hitch. You may want to experiment raising the seat about 4" to see if you can use an Adams, Trek, or Giant.
I recommend the Adams.
06-23-04, 10:57 PM
Thanks for all of your help. I am going to try raising my seat a bit and see if I can ride that way. Also, I already have a taller husband who could pull her but up until now our weekend bike rides have always been just the girls... it's not that I don't want my husband to come, I just like being able to have something for the two of us that is active and fun. Anyway, assuming I can ride with the seat a bit higher, we'll start shopping this weekend. I'm probably going to try for a used one first. Is there anything in particular I should look at to make sure a used one is in good shape? (i.e. certain parts that tend to wear out fast?). Thanks again.
06-24-04, 09:29 AM
Any joint on the hitch where metal rubs on metal will wear out quickly. Be careful that your child does not backpedal too much, that can unscrew the freewheel and cause it to seize up. I posted a thread before on what to carry for fixes. (15mm wrench, 20" tube, in addition to what you need for your bike)
06-24-04, 11:12 AM
By the way, the burley version of the trail a bike attaches to a special rack and not the seatpost. Kind of wish I had bought that one instead of the adams at this point for that reason but that is another option for you!
06-25-04, 11:01 PM
Hi! I am in a similar situation. I just bought a 141/2 inch giant cypress lx for myself with the intent of attaching a trailercycle. There was not enough wheel clearance on the Adams and the Giant even with the seat raised 2 inches. The trek mountain train will work for me if I use a non-suspended seatpost (I do have a couple of inches to raise the seat). I am seriously considering the Burley. I normally would not spend that much money on something that I will use for a couple of years but I have been watching them sell on ebay. It seems they have a good resale value. Anyway, I would suggest taking your bicycle with you and trying the different models for fit. Good luck! Holly
06-27-04, 05:57 PM
Well, I found that I could ride my bike with the seat a little higher (I can get about 2.5" clearance) so we tried her on an Adams Trail-a-bike at Dicks yesterday (that was the only model that they had assembled). Even with the seat the whole way down she was at least 3 inches away from reaching the pedels. Also, she could not straddle the center bar with both feet on the ground. I am assuming that even if the other brands are smaller than the Adams, they are probably not enough to compensate for my little shorty... So, I am now in the market for a used trailer to use for the next year or so.
Thanks for all of your help/advice. Steph
06-27-04, 09:15 PM
A child cannot straddle the top tube of an Adams when they are this young, as the geometry is not like a regular bicycle. In fact, it's best the child CANNOT touch the ground from the saddle with his/her feet off the pedals.
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