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Old 07-13-04, 04:30 AM   #1
andyuk
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Hi all

The situation: wife and I both have road tourers; our 6 year old (~23kg), who has a ‘bmx’ style bike (pink!) has been balancing for a few months now, but has not quite yet progressed to on-road cycling, and our 3 yr old (15Kg) is almost pedalling a trike. We have a 5dr hatchback car, and a Hollywoof F1 bike rack, which has only, pre-children, been used for our two touring bikes.

We want to get away for a weekend cycling trip - so our best bet (?) is probably:

Me (73 Kg) pulling our 6 yr old on a tag along (Edit: I gather that a tag along should be used for a child who can already ride independently), and my wife (55kg) with bike seat with 3 yr old

However..... just wondering whether our 3 yr old would be too heavy/unstable for my wife's bike, and whether it would be best for her to pull a tag along ~30 Kg , and for me to have the child seat. A friend of ours says that on the school bike run her 3 yr old is prone to move around a lot in the bike seat.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Andy

Last edited by andyuk; 07-13-04 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 07-13-04, 12:47 PM   #2
Ebbtide
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The stronger, more experienced cyclist should take the three year old.
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Old 07-13-04, 01:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyuk
Hi all

The situation: wife and I both have road tourers; our 6 year old (~23kg), who has a ‘bmx’ style bike (pink!) has been balancing for a few months now, but has not quite yet progressed to on-road cycling, and our 3 yr old (15Kg) is almost pedalling a trike. We have a 5dr hatchback car, and a Hollywoof F1 bike rack, which has only, pre-children, been used for our two touring bikes.

We want to get away for a weekend cycling trip - so our best bet (?) is probably:

Me (73 Kg) pulling our 6 yr old on a tag along (Edit: I gather that a tag along should be used for a child who can already ride independently), and my wife (55kg) with bike seat with 3 yr old

However..... just wondering whether our 3 yr old would be too heavy/unstable for my wife's bike, and whether it would be best for her to pull a tag along ~30 Kg , and for me to have the child seat. A friend of ours says that on the school bike run her 3 yr old is prone to move around a lot in the bike seat.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Andy
You probably don't have one but a trailer would be much easier for your wife. I pull both of my kids (5 and 3) in our bike trailer and it is no problem at all.
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Old 07-14-04, 05:55 AM   #4
andyuk
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Thanks

Quote:
The stronger, more experienced cyclist should take the three year old.
So I guess that would be me with the child seat and wife with a tag-along; with our 6yro pedaling away it might be okay(?)

I have just looked at trailers. The burley ~£180, had a weight limit of 45Kg, so with two of them it it, our eldest would probably be 'moving out' in the not too distant future . Also I wasn't sure how a trailer would fare over the occasional narrower track etc.

Is it OK for a non independently cycling child to ever use a tag along?

Andy
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Old 07-14-04, 06:58 AM   #5
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I think that trailerbike tagalongs and/or tandems are the way to go when riding in "real" situations with young kids. I can't tell you how many times I've seen kids dart out into dangerous situations while riding with their parents. We opted for the trailerbike for just that reason. It teaches kids good habits by osmosis, because they are forced to observer the rules because they are attached to a bike who's driver is obeying the rules. It also teaches them how to handle the physics of a bike, because they can feel the rythms of the bike while secure in knowing that a fall is not in the offing.

My son started on a tagalong trailerbike at age 5, before he could ride on his own without training wheels. After three rides on the trailerbike, he asked that we take his training wheels off, and he's never looked back. He is now 9 and has outgrown it, so we've upgraded to a tandem. My daughter, who is 4, is too big for a baby seat, and we've found a kid trailer too cumbersome. We opted to skip the trailerbike for her, and went straight to a tandem with a kidback attachment. But we kept the trailerbike for times when only one of us parents can go with the kids, and we attach it directly to the back of one of the tandems.

Mark Stoughton
BikingWithKids.NET
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyuk
Hi all

The situation: wife and I both have road tourers; our 6 year old (~23kg), who has a ‘bmx’ style bike (pink!) has been balancing for a few months now, but has not quite yet progressed to on-road cycling, and our 3 yr old (15Kg) is almost pedalling a trike. We have a 5dr hatchback car, and a Hollywoof F1 bike rack, which has only, pre-children, been used for our two touring bikes.

We want to get away for a weekend cycling trip - so our best bet (?) is probably:

Me (73 Kg) pulling our 6 yr old on a tag along (Edit: I gather that a tag along should be used for a child who can already ride independently), and my wife (55kg) with bike seat with 3 yr old

However..... just wondering whether our 3 yr old would be too heavy/unstable for my wife's bike, and whether it would be best for her to pull a tag along ~30 Kg , and for me to have the child seat. A friend of ours says that on the school bike run her 3 yr old is prone to move around a lot in the bike seat.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Andy
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Old 07-14-04, 01:50 PM   #6
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Thanks and good website. The chances are that our 3 yro will be cycling before big sister learnt to.
I reckon if we get a trailer bike for 6yro daughter, it can be handed down to sister when the time comes - perhaps sooner rather than later; and also for now, try and get hold of a child seat (second hand maybe) for our 3 yro - to go on my bike.

I may take some convincing to go down the tandem route. Is there an initial sense of loss of freedom? Perhaps two trailer bikes at some point if we all start going on longer cycles. Which leads to....how does one get it all on the car rack?

Andy
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Old 07-14-04, 07:31 PM   #7
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There are tandem trailercycles out there. Adams has discontunied theirs. If the three year old is pedaling a trike, or a training wheeled bike, she can ride a trailercycle. I'd look into buying a folding type trailercycle to save space on your bike rack. Make test runs first, as my experence with a trailercycle and a Cannondale R500 road bike was scary.
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Old 07-14-04, 08:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for visiting our site.

No matter what you choose, I don't think you can go wrong.

I'd say that the biggest reason for choosing the tandem over the trailerbike is the stability it offers over the trailerbike. As my son approached 60 pounds, the wobble factor was fairly large, in fact too large for my wife's comfort level. With the tandem, there is virtually no wobble factor with a child stoker. Another factor is that although the trailerbikes come with a relatively smooth tire, but if you need to replace it, most bike shops carry only knobby 20 or 24 inch tires, which increase drag quite a bit.

The only change from a single/trailerbike to a tandem in my experience is that the turning radius is larger. I didn't experience an loss of freedom at all. In fact I gained a bit of freedom when its just my son and I, because there is no setup time with the tandem as there was in attaching the trailerbike, we can just grab the bike and go. As far as distance goes, 20 miles with the trailerbike was a chore, but it is a breeze with the tandem. If you do get a trailerbike, make sure that you get one with gears, because even a 6 yewar old can help pedal, and the gear ratio in the single speeds is not small emough to help effectively when an extra set of legs could be most helpful.

I've seen tandem trailerbikes on eBay occasionally, one was even fitted with a baby seat in the stoker position. I don't know how wobbly they would be however, especially since the baby seat raises the center of gravity on the trailerbike considerably.

I would stay away from things like the Trailgator, which attaches a regular kids bike by the fork, making it effectively a trailerbike. I've heard that the wobble factor on those makes them almost unmanageable.

Good luck in your choice,

Mark Stoughton
BikingWithKids.NET

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyuk
Thanks and good website. The chances are that our 3 yro will be cycling before big sister learnt to.
I reckon if we get a trailer bike for 6yro daughter, it can be handed down to sister when the time comes - perhaps sooner rather than later; and also for now, try and get hold of a child seat (second hand maybe) for our 3 yro - to go on my bike.

I may take some convincing to go down the tandem route. Is there an initial sense of loss of freedom? Perhaps two trailer bikes at some point if we all start going on longer cycles. Which leads to....how does one get it all on the car rack?

Andy
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