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Thread: In-Step Rocket?

  1. #1
    Member cristy's Avatar
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    In-Step Rocket?

    I was at a big box store over the weekend and saw an In-Step trailer called the Rocket for about $175.00. I love the Burley D'lite but can't afford the price tag right now. I loved how the Rocket folded flat to transport...

    Anyone have any experience w/ a Rocket or any In-Step trailer. I've lived on bicycletrailer.com for the last few days and speak better of the really expensive brands. I do believe you get what you pay for...I just can't afford $400.00 for something I think I will only use twice a week during good weather months--especially when I don't know yet if ds will even like it. He's not quite old enough to ride in it yet (currently 6 mos) ...I do have a little time before buying one.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Cristy

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Have you checked Craigslist for used Burleys? I don't have kids, but a lot of my friends do, and that's what they did when a new Burley was too expensive for them. The hitch design has been tested and refined over the years back when Burley was a cooperative and the main objective was the safety of the children riding in them over all other considerations. It's also really easy to use. I know other people use other trailers and think they're just fine. If it were me, I'd be going with peace of mind. I also hear similar good things about Chariot trailers, as well.

    The other thing you could try is posting to Craigslist that you're interested in a used Burley. Lots of people have these sitting in their garages unused with no idea that people would love to purchase it from them.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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    We bought an InStep Turbo Trailer five years ago. It was used daily during the summer for taking my daughter to day camp and frequently during the rest of the year under all weather conditions. Now that she hads learned to ride first a Trail-A-Bike and then her own bike, it has been relegated to weekend use bringing home groceries from a local store with limited automobile parking. I would say that I have subjected it to the hardest possible use, and it has never had a single mechanical problem.

    Paul

  4. #4
    The Zookeeper mtcougar832's Avatar
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    Well I had an InStep trailer (not sure what model, it was yellow and blue, I got it used for ~$35). It was a nice trailer - pretty light too, and folded down nicely. Main complaint was the "stroller" kit I bought, worthless POS. Impossible to push down a gravel road, let alone try to turn. It also started falling apart, the straps were frayed, rain cover was ripping part way off at the seem, it was to easy for the kids to kick at the cover, trying to open it.

    Last month I upgraded to a Trek GoBug Deluxe as the InStep hitch was not compatible with my new rear rack. The GoBug is heavier but much nicer. Looks much more comfy for the kids, MUCH better harness system, roll cage (I read about a few accidents and I'm glad it has the roll cage). In addition mine converts to a jogging stroller that you could actually USE . It does not fold down well though.

    I think the regular GoBug (non-stroller conversion) is under $300, I would take that over an InStep - it should resell better as well. I think for almost $200 you could find a good trailer, ebay would be a great place to look.

  5. #5
    Member cristy's Avatar
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    thanks for the input and suggestions...I've already placed a barter add on craig's list for one but I think I'll place a general "want" add too...and I'll cruise ebay!!!
    Cristy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    I bought the In-Step "Take Two" at Target for $80 on sale.

    I looked at Burley and Chariot first. I was very impressed by Chariot in particular and if I earned a lot more money I would have grabbed the Cougar. I didn't actually test ride the Chariot with the kid, but the features blow away all of the competition IMHO.

    I chose the In-Step because it was soooooo cheap. I figured I could sell it for $30-$40 based on the number of people on craigslist looking for used trailers.

    I am very glad I chose the cheap route. the boy loves the thing. He is 2 years old. He falls asleep in it. He reads his books. He shoots me with his super soaker. He laughs and laughs. I can't imagine that he would love the Chariot any more than the In-Step.

    there are countless reasons to get a cheap trailer:

    the quality is good for a department store cycling item. I'm a huge advocate of bike shops over discount chains when it comes to bikes, but the differences between the trailers isn't as great as the difference between bikes. Profesional assembly and adjustment isn't necessary with a trailer like with a bike.

    He'll outgrow it in only a couple years no matter what trailer I get.

    He isn't going to sit in it for more than ~30min or so at a time so we're not touring with it. I don't believe that he would want to sit in a fancy trailer any longer than a cheap one. Climate is the biggest factor for comfort right now and I didn't see air conditioning listed in the features of any trailers. The In-Step lets a nice breeze flow through the trailer (although I wish it was vented a bit better at the rear to reduce the parachute factor when riding into the wind).

    It is surprisingly easy to tow. I ride a Cross Check with a Nexus 8 hub and I find myself cruising one gear lower than I would without the trailer on the flats, two gears lower on hills.

    I don't think his mom would load less stuff in it if I bought a lighter trailer. the trailer is 30lb, kid about 30, and we haul around about 10-15 lb of stuff (kite, diaper bag, toys, books, water, snacks, etc. Total weight is around 70-80lb. If I bought a trailer that was 7lb lighter I'm only saving about 10% on weight and I'm not climbing any huge hills or trying to set acceleration records.

    I stick to mostly well maintained residential streets and paths so there aren't a lot of bumps to contend with. He actually giggles when we do encounter bumps and sleeps through bumps when he's tired.

    It is easy to fold/unfold and put in the car's trunk when necessary.

    It is easy to connect/disconnect. the $80 includes a stroller kit and a bike arm. We have only used the stroller once, at the local zoo. It worked out just fine. It is a bit big for strolling in a store or such, but those places have carts anyhow. It fit the doorways and paths at the zoo both in and outdoors just fine.


    I can't speak to resale of the in-step but I'm sure there is some aftermarket for it. the Burley De'Lites I found on Ebay sell for $250-$300 used. the Chariot Cougars sold for $50-$100 more. those things have high resale, but your still losing $150-$250 when you buy one (plus with little tikes you miss the layout of $500)

    I'm glad I didn't spend $500 MORE on a Chariot. I think I might buy myself that joy-ride Electra Ghostrider cruiser I've been eyeing with the money I would have spent on the fancy trailer. You can never have too many bikes

    Get the in-step trailer. You will have more fun for your $100 than you could ever imagine

  7. #7
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    I just bought the In-Step Rocket 3 days ago. It's perfect. Great design, Assembles easy, tows easy.
    I took my son on a maiden voyage on Friday, about 3.5 miles. He is three months old. I put him in his car seat and buckled it in snug. He loved it!
    He laughed out load and smiled the whole way. The dirt roads are to bumpy so now I am on a quest to find some smooth roads.
    It seems like a well built trailer and will last a long time. I have not personally seen the more expensive trailers but, I don't understand how they can be 3 to 4 times the price.
    If this one wears out, I can buy another one and still be ahead of the game.

  8. #8
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    Are you having any difficulty with the hitch? I purchased a Bell trailer that had a clamp style hitch that didn't line up well with my chain stay. I returned it and ordered the Rocket due to the skewer mounted hitch. Congratulations on the newborn.

  9. #9
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    The hitch is OK
    I mounted it on my Giant. it mounts to the axle quick release
    I have a brazed on threaded Bung that is a little in the way witch doesn't allow the hitch to mount flat.
    I was thinking of grinding away a little of the hitch to allow it to lay flat, other then that I don't see why it wouldn't work on any bike.
    They give you an order form to purchase more hitches. It would make switching the trailer from bike to bike on longer trips a lot easier.

  10. #10
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    I've been running an In-Step Trailer for the past two years. Bought it at Sam's Club for like $69 bucks. For the PRICE, it has held up to my expectations and we have put many a mile under it's tires. My Grand Son used to LOVE the thing, but he is so active that I found a 1/2 bike for him to ride. At 3 1/2 years old, he does quite well with it and is much happier than inside the trailer. Next summer his new baby sister will get the trailer.

    I have had experience with trailers since the Original Cannondale Bugger. I have sold and serviced In-Step, and Burley trailers. I have found that the Burley's hold their value and seem to be better constructed than most and if money was not the issue than the Burley is the way to go.

    Chris
    A Mess of old bikes...
    92 Trek 970
    08 Gary Fisher Paragon

  11. #11
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    I finally got out with the Rocket trailer. It seems nicer than the Bell I returned. Mainly the little details on how everything fit together seemed better thought out. On flat ground you do not even notice it behind you. I found myself coasting often because I felt I may be going too fast. So far I am pleased.

    Dave

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