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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-07-10, 09:03 PM   #1
jamisjoplin
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Help me ride w/ my 5 year old!

Hey everyone,

Been lurking the past few weeks and making my first post. Last fall I somehow got mixed up with a crowd that goes on rides regularly, and I really loved joining them even though I was terribly out of shape and riding an old Wal-Mart mountain bike on paved trails with them for 20-30 mile rides. OUCH.

So before spring broke I knew I needed a lighter bike that had pavement-friendly tires and didn't have that energy-sapping suspension. That's all I really knew...after being totally overwhelmed by the considerations at multiple LBS', ended up with a 19.5 Men's Jamis Coda, it felt good on a test ride, and was within my budget.

Two questions:
1. Given that it's too late now to really ask if that bike is appropriate for my weight (I'm 6', 235) Are there stock parts I should replace...namely tires/tubes/rims?

2. The bike rides faster than my other bike...which is great for riding with my friends, not so great for riding with my son, which I do more often. I don't like the idea of him sitting in a trailer. Is a trail-a-bike something I should/could consider, or are there dangers/drawbacks? He has a 16" Raleigh, could possibly use one of those tow bars?

If I can get a good solution for riding with the kiddo, I will put a lot more miles on the bike more regularly, and be ready for those longer rides really soon!

Thanks for your tolerance of my learning curve

JJ
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Old 04-07-10, 09:34 PM   #2
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the trailer bikes are great for riding with the kids. I got the burley picolo. ten years ago it was the only model that had a multi speed rear hub. I felt that the multi speeds would let my daughter get used to shifting. also ride the mountain bike with your kid.
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Old 04-08-10, 05:39 AM   #3
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That bike is perfectly fine for you or someone even heavier (me? I'm 255-lbs.).

A bike trailer is great idea. A tow-bike (converts your bike into a tandem w/son on the back) is another great idea.
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Old 04-08-10, 07:42 AM   #4
jamisjoplin
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That bike is perfectly fine for you or someone even heavier (me? I'm 255-lbs.).

A bike trailer is great idea. A tow-bike (converts your bike into a tandem w/son on the back) is another great idea.
Thanks, that makes me feel better. I was reading some threads on here lamenting about how bike manufacturers assume all road bike riders are 150 pounds and if you're significantly more than that you need to get a Kona Hoss or Tandem parts, etc. So then when I considered trailing another 40 pound kid + 20 pound bike I was afraid I was asking for trouble.

Also on my first 10 mile ride out my tires seemed to be significantly balder than I ever expected! But, I have never had "skinny tires" so I'm not sure exactly what they're supposed to look like.
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Old 04-08-10, 08:00 AM   #5
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Little more time now...

"Skinny" tires are usually bald. They may have a little traction around the edges for grip during cornering. Some may have alot--those are usually made for rainy conditions.

The only thing you'll want to check on your bike: watch the wheels. They are always the weakest link for bigger guys/gals (and you're a bit of a small Clyde, actually). Depending on what you currently have and your financial situation, you may want to get new ones now, or maybe wait until you ride these into the ground, or they may be good ones and last nice & long. Hard to tell without knowing what you have.

The trailer...

What I was thinking of originally was this:


The one I used to have (10 years ago!) was this:


Either, I think, will do for your needs and the bike should be able to take them (although 5 may be a bit young for the first one).

Do not, however, do this:

Too dangerous for you and the little one.
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Old 04-08-10, 08:27 AM   #6
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the trailer bikes are great for riding with the kids. I got the burley picolo. ten years ago it was the only model that had a multi speed rear hub. I felt that the multi speeds would let my daughter get used to shifting. also ride the mountain bike with your kid.
I've got to disagree. I've never used a trailer bike but every one that I have observed has the kid at (what seems) a 45 degree angle to the adult bike. The bikes go down the road with the "tail wagging the dog". I've never been able to figure out how the adult steers their bike...and have sometimes had to take to the trees because they couldn't!

My kids and I rode a tandem with a kid crank for years and years (both my girls started riding before their 4th birthday). The bike is easier to control and, while a bit long, felt very solid and stable. This is not the cheapest solution however you might be able to find older tandems for very reasonable amounts (if you live in Colorado, I might have one for sale)
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Old 04-08-10, 11:10 AM   #7
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Loads of bad advice and half-cocked opinions in this thread. Have some facts for a change: Trailercycles are stable if installed and adjusted correctly. Rear mounted child seats work just fine if you put them on a step through frame and have half a sense of how to ride a bicycle. Child trailers are great when mounted correctly and you inflate the tires.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:48 PM   #8
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Loads of bad advice and half-cocked opinions in this thread. Have some facts for a change: Trailercycles are stable if installed and adjusted correctly. Rear mounted child seats work just fine if you put them on a step through frame and have half a sense of how to ride a bicycle. Child trailers are great when mounted correctly and you inflate the tires.
Seven posts- including yours - 4 of which come from 2 people and there's loads of bad advice in this thread?

I've never seen a properly installed and adjusted trailerbike because every one I've seen has the kid leaning off to the side of the adult bike. The only advantage that a trailer bike has over a tandem is cost...which I addressed. Or is there something unsafe about tandems that you object to?

I happen to agree with mkadam68 about child seats. Especially ones that you see on bikes sitting by the side of the road with the kid in it and a kickstand down. That scares the crap right out of me.

Plus we are talking about a 5 year old here. A rear mounted child seat would be inappropriate for that age and size. A trailer (not a trailer bike) would hardly be appropriate, or even a good investment, for a child 5 years old. I doubt that jamisjoplin would even get a summer's worth of service out of a trailer.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:25 PM   #9
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I've used a Wee-Ride CoPilot for a few years with my daughter. She enjoyed it. The quality of any Kent Bike product is so-so, but for light duty use these are fine. I did have one with a hub srocket that went bad in the 1st 15 miles of use. I called support and was shocked to get through to a live human being in a matter of seconds. Even more shocking it that they sent me an entire new unit at no cost to me. I spent $20 and the LBS and got the "bad one" repaired. My sister used the repaired one for a few years. After about 3 years of use the units all look as good as new. I paid under $70. I bought an extra mount and attached it to our cheap Kent Tandem and we rode a few tires as a triple. That was lots of fun. Start is a bit tricky, but once under way things are stable. I bought both the tag along bike and the tandem from Kent because these would get light duty use. So far both a fine. I would NEVER try to commute or do any serisou riding on a Kent bike as they are heavy, crude, with low end components, but I have been content with both of these products. Going on rides with my daughter was fun and at least I didn't have to worry about her and traffic. I knew exactly where she would be... 3 feet behind me. Last year my daughter finally got good at riding solo and this year she is having a blast on her Trek MT220. Now she can keep up with me without any problems.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 04-09-10, 07:03 AM   #10
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Seven posts- including yours - 4 of which come from 2 people and there's loads of bad advice in this thread?

I've never seen a properly installed and adjusted trailerbike because every one I've seen has the kid leaning off to the side of the adult bike. The only advantage that a trailer bike has over a tandem is cost...which I addressed. Or is there something unsafe about tandems that you object to?

I happen to agree with mkadam68 about child seats. Especially ones that you see on bikes sitting by the side of the road with the kid in it and a kickstand down. That scares the crap right out of me.

Plus we are talking about a 5 year old here. A rear mounted child seat would be inappropriate for that age and size. A trailer (not a trailer bike) would hardly be appropriate, or even a good investment, for a child 5 years old. I doubt that jamisjoplin would even get a summer's worth of service out of a trailer.
I observed that for years. Issue is that many models attach to the seat post (not the best idea) and have a universal joint. Not so the Piccolo mentioned earlier. It's got one axis (horizontal) and bolts into a proprietary rack. It stays vertical and stable. My daughter is now 6, and last year graduated from a trailer to a Piccolo. She loves is, and we go out a lot.
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Old 04-09-10, 08:14 AM   #11
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I observed that for years. Issue is that many models attach to the seat post (not the best idea) and have a universal joint. Not so the Piccolo mentioned earlier. It's got one axis (horizontal) and bolts into a proprietary rack. It stays vertical and stable. My daughter is now 6, and last year graduated from a trailer to a Piccolo. She loves is, and we go out a lot.
I've never seen a Piccolo in the flesh but have looked at them. They are a much better product...and much more expensive...then most Alley-Cat knockoffs. If I had it to do again, I still stick with a tandem. Especially if I were wanting to do faster longer rides. I don't know how stable a trailer bike would be on a screaming fast descent but I know how stable tandems are...up to 55 mph with a 6 year old squealing with delight
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Old 04-09-10, 10:37 AM   #12
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good timing on this thread! Last year we used a trailer (from Dick's) to haul around my 2 sons! a 1.5yo and a 5yo. I got a good workout. However they didn't fit too well after an hour or so. So we went with weerider for the oldest. I hope it works out well. Good to hear someone had fairly good dealings with this bike/trailer.
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Old 04-09-10, 11:58 AM   #13
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My 5 year old loves riding her own bike, and loves using the trail-a-bike.

Sometimes we just ride our own bikes for shorter (3 mile max) rides, or we'll hook up the trail-a-bike and do 15-20 miles.

The trail-a-bike was also a good learning tool for her to learn to ride without training wheels. Ours is nothing fancy, a used Craigslist special for $50.
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