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Old 06-22-09, 10:44 AM   #1
Loree
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Transporting 2 kids

Hi, new here. And trying to get back on my bike consistently after a looonnnng absence.

I'm looking for a *good* solution to transporting a 5 yr old & 2 yr old. I do have a double trailer but it is getting so heavy to pull plus the 5 yr old wants out!

Anyway, we are probably getting Burley trail a bike (we have a crummy hand me down now). I would very much like to pull the single trailer behind the TAB, however the mechanic I talked to was so adamant against this concept. He told me to suck it up & get stronger & just pull the double trailer. But I've seen pictures here & read threads that people are doing it.

Sooo, what is the consensus? Is it relatively safe for cycling around town (fairly flat) in a suburban environment? Not like we will be going super fast. And how different will it feel for me -- will there be any control issues???? And if we do this, should I hook it up to a mtn. bike or road bike????

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 06-22-09, 02:12 PM   #2
masiman
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Did the mechanic give any reason as to why they were so against pulling the trailer with the TAB?

I pull that setup a couple times a month, anywhere from 5-50 miles. You'll have to decide what you think is safe. I am pretty much of the opinion that the trailer is almost as safe as being alone in traffic. Maneuvering, control and hills are a different issue, which is more about your environment and your skills. The road vs mtb setup is not to much of an issue. A road bike will do fine although you may not have as low a gear as you might want and the brakes may not provide as much stopping power as an mtb. Nothing serious, you just have to take that into account when you are pulling it.

Good luck.

Last edited by masiman; 06-22-09 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 06-22-09, 05:04 PM   #3
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He told me I was in danger of "jack knifing" the whole thing and "you will break someone's leg"

Hmmm, didn't think much about the gearing & mtn. bike. Thanks for the input!!
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Old 06-22-09, 08:32 PM   #4
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He told me I was in danger of "jack knifing" the whole thing and "you will break someone's leg"

Hmmm, didn't think much about the gearing & mtn. bike. Thanks for the input!!
The only time I've jackknifed is making a hard stop going downhill on my single with a trailer. I did not keep enough of my weight over the rear wheel. The more weight in the trailer, the easier it is to do. You just have to plan earlier for stopping and keep yourself out of emergency situations.

With a TAB and trailer setup, I have found jackknife danger to be reduced. In fact I have never come close to jackknifing this rig. The tongue weight for a TAB is pretty high (the wheel is pretty much behind the rider). Therefore, the TAB actually helps keep your rear wheel down. The trailer does not have alot of tongue weight because the wheels are pretty much under the riders. With two kids in the trailer try moving it around by hand, it's not too difficult. Try moving a TAB around with a rider on it, kind of hard to hold it up (ignoring the difficult balancing part).
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Old 06-22-09, 11:50 PM   #5
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Buy a tag-along with the trailer and go easy for a few years. Later, sell the trailer and buy a cheap (not multi-thousand!) tandem and put the tag-along on it. So, so much fun... I have a great time with my girls...
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Old 06-23-09, 11:12 PM   #6
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The only time I've jackknifed is making a hard stop going downhill on my single with a trailer. I did not keep enough of my weight over the rear wheel. The more weight in the trailer, the easier it is to do. You just have to plan earlier for stopping and keep yourself out of emergency situations.

With a TAB and trailer setup, I have found jackknife danger to be reduced. In fact I have never come close to jackknifing this rig. The tongue weight for a TAB is pretty high (the wheel is pretty much behind the rider). Therefore, the TAB actually helps keep your rear wheel down. The trailer does not have alot of tongue weight because the wheels are pretty much under the riders. With two kids in the trailer try moving it around by hand, it's not too difficult. Try moving a TAB around with a rider on it, kind of hard to hold it up (ignoring the difficult balancing part).
Thanks for the additional info. I think I am going to get the TAB & try it w/ the trailer.
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Old 06-26-09, 11:39 AM   #7
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I concur will all the other posts. My son and I pulled a trailer full of camping gear. I found that it required a lot of mental attention for me to keep the rig steady, but that's also because we were doing some rough climbs at 5.5 mph. The 30 mile return trip was much smoother than the 30 miles out. So I guess the ride got better as I got used to it.

A few points to consider:
1) If pulling two kids in the trailer was tough, definitely stick with the MTB and its lower gears. You never know when the 5 year old is going to be more or less helpful on the TAB.

2) The wider bars on the MTB will give you greater control at low speeds.

3) As somebody mentioned, the only real problem I noticed was the TAB lifting my back wheel when breaking to a stop on a downhill. I quickly recovered and made a mental note not to let my weight move off the seat in such conditions. No further problem.

The tandem + TAB combo looks great! I can't wait til our youngest is big enough for that.
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Old 06-26-09, 03:21 PM   #8
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I concur will all the other posts. My son and I pulled a trailer full of camping gear. I found that it required a lot of mental attention for me to keep the rig steady, but that's also because we were doing some rough climbs at 5.5 mph. The 30 mile return trip was much smoother than the 30 miles out. So I guess the ride got better as I got used to it.

A few points to consider:
1) If pulling two kids in the trailer was tough, definitely stick with the MTB and its lower gears. You never know when the 5 year old is going to be more or less helpful on the TAB.

2) The wider bars on the MTB will give you greater control at low speeds.

3) As somebody mentioned, the only real problem I noticed was the TAB lifting my back wheel when breaking to a stop on a downhill. I quickly recovered and made a mental note not to let my weight move off the seat in such conditions. No further problem.

The tandem + TAB combo looks great! I can't wait til our youngest is big enough for that.
Thanks for the tips!

I've already started pulling the trailer on my MTB v. RB. BIG difference for me (um, well that & this week I've been able to pull the single trailer - one kiddo is out of town!!). For some reason up front I thought the lessor weight of the RB & it's speed would make it easier for me. However, the gearing & braking have made a big difference I think that will be the bike I need to use!
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Old 06-29-09, 05:12 AM   #9
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heres what I saw the other week. I beleive it was a dbl bike, with the add a bike plus trailer........and they tried to do a u-turn on a standard size side street.
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Old 07-01-09, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hi Loree, I have never used a trailer but I have been using a TAB since last year when my son was 4. He still loves it and so do I and it does make a big difference when he pedals! which I ask him to do for hills. It's nice having him along. One of the 'cute' things he does is when I put out my hand to signal a turn he does the same!

If you dont already have a tall flag like the one shown above I would recommend getting one. And, if you already have one I suggest getting two: one for the TAB and one for the trailer. That way traffic that is not immediately behind you (and therefore can't see the TAB or the trailer or both) will know from the 2 flags the length of your 'entourage'!
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Old 07-01-09, 04:48 PM   #11
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I got the "train" going today!!! I ended up getting lucky & finding a "used" Piccolo (um, they rode it around the block once, seriously) and DH put the hitch for the single on the TAB and off we went!! My son pedaled great & it was so much easier to use than pulling the double trailer!!

I decided to hook it up to my mtn. bike -- now that needs a tune up & a new stem and DH & I were laughing because we both want to go "retro" with our old mtn. bikes and take off the shocks & go to regular forks!

Thanks for all the tips!
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