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Old 11-09-09, 12:16 AM   #1
Bobbachops
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Which is better ? Trailer vs Seat

Being a new dad I've been wondering which is best, honestly I think a trailer would be easier to get my boy loaded into and ultimately safer than a kids seat. I do think the front mounted seats would be more fun for the kids though. Just wanted an opinion from the family riders.

Not alot of trails nearby so I'm talking about recreational riding around town in general mainly.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:12 AM   #2
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I always liked a trailer over a seat, especially for very young ones. The center of gravity is much lower making it more stable. My wife had to stop going up a wet hill with our youngest(3 at the time) and her rear tire slid out. The bike went down on it's side and my son hit his head. He was wearing a helmet and just shaken up.

The other advantages of the trailer is they can spread out and play or just go to sleep without their big heads drooping to the side messing up your center of gravity.

The downsides are the trailer is more expensive by about $200 to $75 for a seat, but if you end up having 2 kids it works out to be about the same. If you have to put the trailer in a car it can be a bit of a pain folding and unfolding it.

BTW, Congratulations.
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Old 11-09-09, 11:22 PM   #3
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trailer. as of this posting i've put over 1200 miles on my trailer, and my little girl loves it (it just seems normal to her to get biked around). she falls asleep in it, just as if it were a car seat, and she even has a range of little things to occupy her, when the view doesn't interest her. plus, i never have to worry about unexpected turns in weather. for me as a stay-at-home-dad, it's been *the key* to freedom.

good luck!
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Old 11-11-09, 12:02 PM   #4
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I've got both. Initially when my daughter was about a year old she wouldn't want to go in the trailer - she'd just cry the whole time. Lonely maybe? She loved the (rear) bike seat though.

She doesn't seem to mind the trailer so much now (at 17 months) but it's easier just to put her in the bike seat that's already on my mtn. bike anyway.

Then again Tucson doesn't have much in the way of snow/rain/slippery stuff so YMMV if you need to go out when the weather's not ideal.
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Old 11-18-09, 11:59 AM   #5
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Definately a trailer, works out great if you have a pickup truck, strap both bikes in and tuck the trailer right in the middle. I just never felt safe with my little man in a seat so high up, heaven forbid we should ever go down, I couldn't live with myself if anything happened to him.
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Old 11-20-09, 06:56 AM   #6
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I did a lot of research on both and it seems there are positives and negatives to each so one wasn't really better than the other. Our kids didn't like being in the trailer so we would end up with really short rides, after we moved them to the seats we can ride for as long as we have energy.
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Old 11-22-09, 10:28 PM   #7
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An additional benefit of the trailer is that you're not restricted to just carry children. Now that my son is old enough to ride his own bike, we still use the trailer for hauling things. For example, we've loaded it up with food, dishes and folding chairs then taken a ride to a park for a picnic.
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Old 11-22-09, 10:55 PM   #8
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I used both and preferred the childseat. Much easier to interact with our daughter when she was within easy reach so I could hand her toys, food, etc. as we were riding and also talk to her easily whereas she was too far away in the trailer. And we had one scary incident with the trailer when she undid the straps and started to climb out if it while we were riding down the road. Tendency to fall asleep seemed about the same in seat and trailer and both provided good protection - the seat wrapped around far enough so that even if the bike fell over the child wouldn't hit the ground.
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Old 11-23-09, 11:51 PM   #9
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+1 but the up-front cost for a good trailer is substantially more than either a cheap trailer or a kiddie-seat. but like many things in life, it becomes worth it the more you use it, and the more you realize its additional benefits

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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
An additional benefit of the trailer is that you're not restricted to just carry children. Now that my son is old enough to ride his own bike, we still use the trailer for hauling things. For example, we've loaded it up with food, dishes and folding chairs then taken a ride to a park for a picnic.
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Old 11-24-09, 09:40 AM   #10
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+1 but the up-front cost for a good trailer is substantially more than either a cheap trailer or a kiddie-seat. but like many things in life, it becomes worth it the more you use it, and the more you realize its additional benefits
We lucked out and purchased our trailer from some friends who no longer needed it. It was still in excellent condition and only cost us 1/4 of new.

But yes, generally your initial cost is much higher for a good trailer.
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Old 12-19-09, 11:22 AM   #11
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I use a seat for my son. I started last spring when he was about 20 months old and used it throughout the summer. He didn't seem to like it at first but he got used to it after a few rides. I chose it over a trailer for the lower initial cash outlay and so that he could be up higher where he could see better. That being said, I wonder if what he mostly gets to see is my back and rear end. I didn't want the front seat that fits over the top tube because it looked like it would interfere with my knees. It wasn't until later that I saw the iBert seat. I would have bought that had I known that it existed:

In retrospect I wouldn't have bought the seat I have because it uses a seat-specific rack that is not pannier-friendly. I will have to switch racks back and forth or mount it on a second bike when the weather warms up again. There are some nice seats available that will work with a standard rack but I can't justify paying another chunk of money for a new seat when my reason for buying one in the first place was to save money over buying a trailer.

I think there are pros and cons to both seats and trailers. Ideally I would like to have both.
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Old 12-26-09, 05:25 AM   #12
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I have a seat but I don't like to use it in bad weather. I was looking at trailers but I was worried about it getting clipped by inattentive drivers. How do you experienced trailer users feel about using it on the road in light traffic?
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Old 12-28-09, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookins View Post
I have a seat but I don't like to use it in bad weather. I was looking at trailers but I was worried about it getting clipped by inattentive drivers. How do you experienced trailer users feel about using it on the road in light traffic?
I'm pretty comfortable with the route options in my area but there are times I don't like the options I do have. Most times I can do the majority of my trips on bike MUPs and through neighborhoods

I have never ridden in the UK but from what little I have seen it looks more difficult there. Roads appear to be narrower and sight lines are not as far. It looks like I would ride it but I think I would be more wary of traffic.

Hopefully you will get replies from other UK riders.
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Old 12-28-09, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookins View Post
I have a seat but I don't like to use it in bad weather. I was looking at trailers but I was worried about it getting clipped by inattentive drivers. How do you experienced trailer users feel about using it on the road in light traffic?
this is something my wife worried about at first, but in my experience hauling a double trailer on the road, vehicles actually give me a much wider berth than when i am without trailer. oddly enough, as a result, cycling is somewhat safer. i have also taken the initiative to attache several high-quality LED strobes to the trailer's rear to augment the flag and my bright yellow cycling jacket. as a result, i can ride on our streets in medium fog, in the evening, and other times where i would not otherwise consider riding. On the other hand, i don't choose to go out in this weather---so i also minimize the amount of time i have to spend riding in inclement weather. I've put a lot of miles in hauling my daughter in the trailer, through mostly good weather, but also some bad weather (caught in rain, or snow). Lastly, i wrote "our streets" above, because not all locations are as bicycle friendly as the two places i cycle most (ithaca, ny, and eugene, or). You'll know best about your own location and what seems safe or unreasonably dangerous.

on another note, a big plus of a good trailer i constantly rediscover, is that my daughter frequently falls asleep inside, and when i get to our destination i can convert the trailer into a stroller (not all trailers do this afaik---just the better ones) and keep going, without having to worry about extracting her and waking her up. i went shopping at two grocery stores yesterday, and she slept for the entire two hour trip. the parking in front of every store can't be beat, and i can carry three full bags of groceries (or about 50#s more or less); it was manumission for me.

Last edited by pwdeegan; 12-28-09 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 12-28-09, 12:32 PM   #15
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Pretty much, it works like this.
0-4or6 Months (No riding)
5-24 months (Seat attachment)
After that you get the trailer.
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Old 12-28-09, 02:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
An additional benefit of the trailer is that you're not restricted to just carry children. Now that my son is old enough to ride his own bike, we still use the trailer for hauling things. For example, we've loaded it up with food, dishes and folding chairs then taken a ride to a park for a picnic.
+1 We use ours to haul groceries now that my daughter is too big for it.
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