Hoping somebody might have some insight into which has worked better for them: Child seat or bike trailer? My daughter is 2-1/2 and weighs around 25lbs. She is rather petite. Any brands that are good that don't cost $300. I am leaning more towards the bike trailer. Found one on E-bay, but I haven't been able to find any reviews. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...167860012&rd=1
Do some searches on this section, this has been "debated" a few times.
That instep looks fine. I'm more of trailer person. I don't like the top heaviness that a seat would create. Plus w/ something like a burley d'lite, the bike can fall but the trailer stays upright. Not sure if the instep is like that.
You can find good ones, like the burley d'lite and chariot for under $300. I found my 2003 d'lite new at REI for $279, because the new model was coming out. Craigslist and ebay have them sometimes, but people go crazy on the pricing. burley's hold their value though. I recently switched to a Chariot Cougar 2 because I've got a 2.5 yr and 2 month old and my wife prefers jogging. The chariot's a much nicer jogger than a converted burley. but the burley has more storage space, which I liked. I sold my burley for $200 to a friend. I bought the chariot for $250 on craigslist.
Ignoring another debate, I'm a believer in helmets for kids. In california, it's the law. My 2.5 year old doesn't go inside the trailer w/o it. I think hers is a bell, one of the smallest out there.
I'd recommend used and getting the best one you can get. You can definitely find one for under $300, assuming you're near a metropolitan area.
I think trailers are safer. They also have a longer usuable life and can be used for other stuff, so to me it's a better investment. There are also child carriers where the kid sits in front of you rather than behind.
I met a woman outside the bike shop 2 weeks ago who has the instep quick and EZ. She loves it, uses it all the time, hauls around her 5 year old, 80 lbs of cat litter, etc. Uses it heavily and it is holding up well.
You can also get them IRL at target (or maybe walmart or kmart), but I've seen them at target. Sometimes even on sale.
Thanks for your help. Let me try two last questions. I am also planning on buying a starter bike for my wife, probably a comfort bike. She is a very novice rider at best and will use it mostly to go on rides with the kids. Any recommendations on what would be an affordable but quality bike. I was looking at the Trek Navigator 50 or 100.
Seems most of the lower end ones tend to be the same. I'm sure they're OK, it's just that resale won't be there. However, one thing to note, no matter how much it costs. Make sure it's comfortable for your kid. If it's not (seat isn't set up right, things poke them in the wrong place, straps are itchy, etc), you will NEVER get your kid back in the 2nd time...
As a beginner bike, you might even consider a cruiser bike. My wife uses my SS KHS Solo One I got on ebay for $225 new. If you're not doing hard core, why pay/deal w/ gears, suspension forks, etc. Then it's maintenance free. Something to consider.
Otherewise, check your LBS for suggestions, especially if it's a novice purchase. The wrong size can screw up your experience forever.
if you end up wanting a trail-a-bike in a few years when your daughter wants to ride with you, you need about 2 inches of the non-suspension part of seat post showing to attach it (unless you go with a Burley piccolo). So if your wife might be pulling one of those, keep it in mind when you fit the bike.
Here's why your wife may not want a cruiser, and will appreciate all those gears. Pulling the trailer (if she's going to do that) is not trivial. It isn't hard, but you do end up going in a different gear than if you weren't pulling it. I rented one on vacation, and was pulling about 100 lbs (2 kids plus trailer plus stuff) on flat surfaces. I had no trouble at all doing it, but I was using pretty wimpy gears! And I hadn't biked in a few years.
The Navigators seem nice. Also to test ride in my book were the trek 7x00s and 7x00FXs, the Giant Sedona and Cypress. Also Specialized makes the Crossroads and the Expedition, I would have tested them if my LBS had one in my size. Basically each company makes a 26" wheel and a 700c wheel hybrid. Depending on where your wife will be biking (paved vs. non-paved) one type of wheel may be more appropriate. But the biggest thing is just to have her get on a test ride...fit is everything. Any of those are good entry level bikes from what I know, and are pretty comparably equipped.
Do you need a front suspension fork? Probably not. Is it a bad thing to have? Probably not.
Seriously, just have her test ride. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of the entry level comfort bikes from a brand like Trek or Giant, so if she feels better or likes one more than another, go for it, b/c that will make her want to ride it more.
Our LBS and our local pediatrician advised us against using a baby seat and recommended a trailer. There are a lot of single Burleys out there right now on ebay and they're frequently on craigslist - you should be able to pick one up at a decent price.
For another brand, we just got our Wike Moonlight (double) today, and we already love it. It's a breeze for me to pull, folds fast, has a hard plastic bottom, the kids love it and our 5 yr old has plenty of leg room. What a nice design. http://www.wicycle.com/
I'll recommend a Burley Solo. They revamped it a year or so ago so maybe the older model would be a good buy. The Solo pulls much easier than the 2 child trailers, fits in smaller spaces, and still has plenty of storage space behind the seat. The downside of the older model is it doesn't fold as conveniently.
Think hard about the child helmet in a trailer. They're strapped in with a roll cage and so can't hit their head on anything hard even if the trailer does barrel rolls. The helmet adds weight to their neck and also has bulk which conspires to make their head fall forward when they get sleepy. With the nylon strap around their neck this creates a strangulation hazard. If you decide your child should wear a helmet in the trailer this is still something to be aware of.
We've had a great time trailering and started with a Solo but then another kid showed up...