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Old 08-21-03, 10:04 AM   #1
thetray
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child trailers

I am new to cycling, and want to be able to take my son with me on rides. I have seen some people with the baby seat (Bell Cocoon), and some with a pull-behind trailer. Any suggestions? the seat seems more convenient, but a little more dangerous. Also, is there someone who makes helmets for infants/toddlers?
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Old 08-21-03, 10:18 AM   #2
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I've got a 20 month old girl and pull her in a Bell Deluxe Trailer. I got if off of ebay brand new for $120. It seems to be a really high quality trailer and compares well to the Burley trailers that go for about $400.

I've also got a Bell helmet for her.
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Old 08-21-03, 11:14 AM   #3
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I use a trailer also. We have the Yakima Tot Rod trailer. Got it on clearance from Dick's Sporting Goods for $250. The trailer works great. The little one has plenty of room to stretch and to put stuff in for him. Tows real nice. Just be aware that if you get one that some can be pretty wide.

We also have a Bell Helmet for the little guy.
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Old 08-21-03, 11:29 AM   #4
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Got a Trek helmet for my 18 month old. I have a seat as well as a trailer. My daughter seems to like riding in the seat better than the trailer, which she falls asleep in alot. Both are good though, and she rides well in either. The trailer seems a lot safer to me, and is a good training tool. You really feel it in the legs the next day.
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Old 08-21-03, 12:09 PM   #5
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Check out the trailers from Chariot Carriers. They are awesome and very safe with multiple attachments available for skiing and running as well. They come in single and double width if you have more than one child. Best design I have seen by far.

There are lots of companies that are making helmets for the little ones.

Good luck!
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Old 08-21-03, 01:43 PM   #6
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I think my major concern is crashing, so the trailer seems a bit safer. My son is only 12mos. Do they make helmets that small?
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Old 08-21-03, 03:04 PM   #7
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I seem to remember hearing that children under 24 months shouldn't ride bikes. Something to do with "shaken baby syndrome" I guess.
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Old 08-21-03, 04:40 PM   #8
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I wouldnt want to be in one so i wouldnt put my kid in one.
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Old 08-21-03, 04:53 PM   #9
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I think the literature states that until babies can hold their heads up independantly then they should not go in trailers. Usually this is around 6 months of age.

You can get helmets for these small kids. We got one at Canadian tire for our little guy when he was 6 months old that fit very well and he has a small head.
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Old 08-21-03, 06:44 PM   #10
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Seat vs trailer. Seems like an eternal debate. A lot depends on personal preference, but:

- A good seat is cheaper than a good trailer;
- A bike with trailer is a bit more difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces;
- A bike with seat (and a heavy child) handles much differently than a bike without it, whereas a bike trailer has almost no effect on bike handling.
- In the same vein, parking a bike with a child on it is a problem.
- When you have a bike seat, where do you put your stuff (or the child's stuff)? You either need front low riders with two panniers or a large handlebar bag or you keep a backpack. By contrast, if you ride with a trailer, the bike keeps all its carrying capacity (i.e. racks are empty) and you may even put stuff in the trailer!
- A few trailers have their back seat made of mesh. Otherwise, it's a great parachute...
- When the child isn't there, the bike trailer is a good way to get a full load of grocery.
- Riding is snow (or mud) with a bike seat is trickier, yet easier than riding in snow with a child trailer. Think about diffing 3 trails in snow.
- The bike seat is good until the baby reaches 2.5 to 3.5 years old. Our youngest one is now 3.3 years old and stopped using the child seat a bit before 3. She just was too heavy and the seat, a Rhode Gear, felt too flexible. By comparison, a child may ride in a trailer until 5 or 6 years old.
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Old 08-21-03, 08:17 PM   #11
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I put my 1st daughter on a seat behind me at a very early age. Don't do it she grew up fearless and is now a marine just returned from Iraq.

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Old 08-22-03, 05:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by joeprim
is now a marine just returned from Iraq.

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Thank her for us, I'm glad she got back safe and sound.
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Old 08-22-03, 08:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by thetray
I think my major concern is crashing, so the trailer seems a bit safer. My son is only 12mos. Do they make helmets that small?

They probably do helmets small enough for a 3-month-old child. WHen I looked for a helmet for my then 18-month-old daughter, she got the second or third smallest size.

Regards,
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Old 08-22-03, 03:24 PM   #14
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IF you fall with a child seat, the child falls with you. If you fall with a trailer, the trailer will stay upright and has a rollcage that protects the child. Also, when the child outgrows the trailer, you can use the trailer for other things.
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Old 08-22-03, 04:01 PM   #15
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i've got a nine month old. i just read recently in a parenting mag that they don't make cycling helmets for children under one year, and that's because they shouldn't be on bikes at all. i don't know if that's actually true, but that's what it said. even though children can hold themselves up at around six months or so, they're not exactly strong...if you have a wreck, that little neck isn't going to like it. i think this is in line with the car childseat laws, which requires car seats to be facing backwards until 1 year and 30 lbs (in the US). because a child doesn't have enough strength to keep his/her head stable in an accident.

i was going to check out child-towing equipment until i read that, and i've decided to wait until he's a year old.

p.s. if you have seat on back, you probably don't want to be using clipless pedals as this increases your chance of falling over. also, those towed baby wagons are less visible to vehicles...one might miss you only to get the trailer instead.

Last edited by rippo; 08-22-03 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-22-03, 04:28 PM   #16
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Most of the baby trailers come with a very tall flag stick that you can attach to the trailer for better visibility. You also must adjust how you ride when you are towing a trailer. You certainly can't go out and start time trialing with them by any means but they sure add a new degree to your hill workouts.
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Old 08-22-03, 08:36 PM   #17
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I'm sticking with the 1 year and 20 lbs rule that they use for forward facing car seats. My resoning for this is that in a crash the kid is restrained in much the same matter and would (could) be subjected to similar forces.
I'm also in favor of trailers (have a Bell) and helmets (have a bell too, my daughter loves to wear it)
I think I'm a trailer guy more than a bike seat guy because there have been times where I've just wiped out unexpectedly. Sand in a corner, dog jumps out in front of me, pothole takes me by suprise, down I go. With a trailer my daughter would get jerked around a bit, with a seat she's falling from 3 feet in the air and is going down as hard and me. No something I want to deal with so it's in the trailer she goes. Just went for a nice short 3 mile ride tonight, she loved it.
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Old 08-23-03, 05:22 PM   #18
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At six months, a baby can barely hold up his/hear head and is not ready support the extra load of helmet with extra loading caused by a crash. Protect your baby's neck, wait until 1 year as the literature says. Some jurisdictions preclude pre-1yr olds biking anyway.
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Old 08-23-03, 08:31 PM   #19
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At 6 months my daughter was crawling around at light speed and working hard at trying to stand up. She could certainly hold her head in any position she wanted to. Still not ready to ride on a bike, but certainly able to hold up her head.
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Old 08-24-03, 10:14 AM   #20
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I have a trailer from our last child.I have a 7mo old now and haven't pulled him yet.I've been thinking of it using his car seat facing backwards..Anyway i like the trailer much better than the seat(we've done both).
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