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Old 02-05-09, 05:58 PM   #1
JIP
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Ride for a 3 Year old

OK so I am new here, this is actually my first postand I had a queston. I have a 3 year old daughter and currently (not rightnow though since it's winter) she rides in a Topeak seat behind my wife. She is VERY close to 40lbs. and by the time we start riding again she probably will be. We are concerned that she is reaching a size that is too big for the seat and were wondering what is the best way to go. We are considering buying a trailer but of course being QUITE expensive we are hesitant to do this unless it is the right thing to do. I actually wish we had just broke down and bought one in the first place. So any suggestions on what is the best thing to do??. My daughter is not getting any smaller and I would hate to spend a million bucks on a trailer that he will be using for 6 months but I think she is not mature enough to ride on on one of thos pull behind bikes (not sure of the proper terminology).
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Old 02-05-09, 06:33 PM   #2
DieselDan
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One suggestion: a trailercycle with a seat back.

The seat back will give you the comfort of a child seat, and starts getting the little one ready for the road. Unlike a trailer, she will be out in the open, like the child seat. You may get a usable life up to 5 years, depending on how fast she grows. When she outgrows it, unless you have more progeny, you can recover much of what you put into it on the secondary market.
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Old 02-06-09, 11:54 AM   #3
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A trailer should last her until she's around 5 I would think. That was the age our son decided he was too big for it. He would have still fit in for another year or so after that, even with his sister, but he refused. Our 2 kids together are still (barely) under 100#, the limit for most trailers, but he's finally tall enough that there's not enough room to stash his feet and elbows.

A trail-a-bike is another option but it comes with a different set of tradeoffs. My wife has pretty much refused to use a trail-a-bike after one trial outing. She prefers the 4 yr old in trailer to 7 yr old on t-a-b. She most prefers me to pull the trailer w/ 4 yr old and 7 yr old to ride his own damn bike.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:24 PM   #4
Luis Vivanco
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I agree, there's not a perfect solution, only trade-offs.

A Burley-type trailer is great for carrying a kid or two, plus it has the trunk to carry a couple of bags of groceries, picnic stuff, or kid gear. It's even more useful if you get the stroller attachment for those times when biking isn't an option. But the kid's not especially engaged in the activity as s/he is on a trail-a-bike--in fact whenever I ride with my Burley more than 20 minutes, my kids fall asleep. And you reach the upper limit of space by age 6, depending on how big your kid is.

The trail-a-bike is fun for the kid, but doesn't have the hauling potential if you use it for errands/taking kids to daycare, etc. (unless you have panniers on your own bike). If you did a trail-a-bike, get the back rest; my three year has fallen off the back before when he's not paying close attention.

I'm dropping hints to my wife about how I now want an X-tra cycle, which has the kid sitting up somewhat like trail-a-bike (without pedals) AND the hauling potential. But even that's not the perfect solution since the kid is still more of a passenger than an active participant.
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Old 02-07-09, 01:18 PM   #5
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Well my daughter as I said is 3 and already going on 40 punds. As it is she falls asleep in the rear seat so I think she is going to fall asleep regardless. I wonder if 3 is too young for a trail-a-bike she is mature and the seat back is a good idea but I wonder. I also wonder if 3@ 40 pounds and quite tall she is VERY quickly going to outgrow a trailer especially if I shell out big bucks for it.
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Old 02-08-09, 12:36 PM   #6
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Well my daughter as I said is 3 and already going on 40 punds. As it is she falls asleep in the rear seat so I think she is going to fall asleep regardless. I wonder if 3 is too young for a trail-a-bike she is mature and the seat back is a good idea but I wonder. I also wonder if 3@ 40 pounds and quite tall she is VERY quickly going to outgrow a trailer especially if I shell out big bucks for it.
I would think she would fit in the trailer until she's 4' tall. if I measured my son w/ more than just lines on the wall I'd have a more precise guesstimate. Do you have a sense of about when she'll get there? My coworker has a daughter who is 2 months younger than ours but much taller, but he is ~6'6" and his wife is also over 6', but even their similarly tall daughter I don't see outgrowing a trailer before K. None of which is to dissuade you from a t-a-b but I think they are actually rated lower for weight (80#?) than trailers are, although obviously more open-ended for length.

And seasonality is an issue too. We do bike year-round through some crappy weather so can justify to ourselves a trailer and a t-a-b. If it we only did it the best month or 2 of summer maybe not so much.
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Old 02-08-09, 04:32 PM   #7
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And seasonality is an issue too. We do bike year-round through some crappy weather so can justify to ourselves a trailer and a t-a-b. If it we only did it the best month or 2 of summer maybe not so much.
Since no location was given, I just defaulted to my experience, and we can get almost 8 good months of weekends for family riding here, weather permitting. The trailercycle recommendation comes from the heat, as those trailers can get too hot in summer heat on these islands.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:23 AM   #8
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Trailer

We have both a Chariot trailer and a Burley TAB. At 3 I would recommend the trailer, but if you get a TAB I would get the seatback and seatbelt for safety, as our kids fell asleep regularly at that age. Our handicapped son is still riding in our trailer at 40" and 76 pounds. He loves the TAB, but I still don't trust him on it (haven't bought the seat back yet).

If cost is an issue look for a good used one on Craigslist, they hold their value if taken care of. I recommend finding a good quality one, as we have horror stories from once owning a cheap model. Look for a Burley, Chariot, Trek, or Wike.
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