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  1. #1
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    Trailer bike for older child

    Hi,

    I have a 12 year old daughter who is blind. She's about 75 pounds, 4'8" and would love to go biking. I'm debating between a trailer bike - Trek has a larger model with 24" wheels and will supposedly work for up to a 5' person - or a tandem. I would like to be able to transport the bike/s in or on my car (Subaru station wagon) to paved trails.

    Has anyone had experience pulling a trailer bike with a larger child? Eventually we would have to go with a tandem I suppose but it seems harder to transport (and more expensive for the light ones).

    Thanks, Pat

  2. #2
    Year-round cyclist
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    The trailercycles are all rated for a 85 lb stoker or half the weight of the main rider (the lowest of both figures). You might be able to tweak these figures a bit, but not too much. The weak point of all trailercycles is their articulation, and even though the larger Trek has a 24" wheel, you would be much better with the Burley Piccolo. The Piccolo is much more stable than an Addams or Trek, especially if that child never did any cycling at all. But will all trailercycles (yes, even the Piccolo), carrying a child that heavy means she has to be very stable, never wiggle, move her head left and right, etc.


    Besides that, depending on the onset of her puberty, she might be able to use it for 1 year, 2 at the most, so it doesn't make sense to buy a trailercycle (though you could borrow one).

    As for riding a tandem, you will soon discover it goes as well as riding your single bike. Transporting it is a different story. You either need a minivan, a pick-up or a roof-top rack (The Tandem Topper is often recommended).


    BTW. I cycle with a 8 year old daughter and a 4 year old daughter, with a Co-Motion tandem and a Piccolo trailercycle. Before that, the oldest daughter has been one year on an Addams Trail-a-Bike (I scrapped it after 1800 km: too wiggly by then) and for 3 years on a Piccolo (as good as new, except for the hub).
    On the other hand, I don't transport the bike, except by pedal power. I'd rather start from home and play in traffic!
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    Go for the tandem. I do quite a bit of riding with blind stokers, both adults and children. The trail a bike will work untill your daughter gets older, but she will outgrow it sooner or latter. I even built a rear steer tandem so the stoker could sit up front. Alll of the kids loved the face in the wind feeling of ridding up front. Till some _ _ _ _ head stole the bike (you can fill in the blanks) I even had one blind stoker that loved riding off road with me. She was very good at knowing what to do, and when to do it.

    for good a good value tandem look at 2fers built by Burley, Cannondale, Trek and dont forget about looking at a used tandem.

    As for transporting a tandem, a roof rack is the way to go with the Subaru. All of the rack makers offer a tandem mount for their racks. So it won't be a big deal. I've carried all three of my tandems on the roof of my car at the same time, two recumbent tandems and the off road tandem.
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

  4. #4
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    You guys rock, dood!

    I would definitely go for the tandem. And if you really want to get technical, perhaps you could get a metronome that clicks to keep track of cadence, then you can maintain a steady even cadence while riding. I bet you guys would be able to blow away most folks on a bike too.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes, and please, provide some pics when you guys get your bikes and get out riding!

    Koffee

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pchadwick
    Hi,

    I have a 12 year old daughter who is blind. She's about 75 pounds, 4'8" and would love to go biking. I'm debating between a trailer bike - Trek has a larger model with 24" wheels and will supposedly work for up to a 5' person - or a tandem. I would like to be able to transport the bike/s in or on my car (Subaru station wagon) to paved trails.

    Has anyone had experience pulling a trailer bike with a larger child? Eventually we would have to go with a tandem I suppose but it seems harder to transport (and more expensive for the light ones).

    Thanks, Pat
    I have a Trek with the 24" wheel. My daughter is only 5 (about to turn 6) ~ 4'0" and about 45lbs or so. I think the key for a larger child would be how good is their balance. My daughter's balance is not so good - she cannot ride her own bike without training wheels yet. Sometimes I feel like I have someone on the back just trying to make me wreck LOL. Fortunately (or not!, I probably could be a much better cyclist if I would drop 40lbs ) I weigh about 230lbs. so it would take some pretty wild gyrations for my 45 lb daughter to make me wreck... On a recent rally, my daughter decided that all the cracks in the pavement patched with tar were IN FACT LASERS! to be avoided (maybe she watches too much TV...), she would swing side to side to avoid the LASERS! LOL... We did not crash, which I attribute to our large weight descrepancy.

    I think you would be OK with a much older child on the larger Trek since her balance would probably be better and she wouldn't lurch from side to side to avoid lasers... The trailer bike would also be much cheaper than getting a tandem.

    However, I don't think the trailer bike would work for very much longer, depending on your weight. As someone stated earlier, I think the Trek trailer bike is rated for 85lb or half the weight of the main rider.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Señor Member Tom_The_Bikeman's Avatar
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    Hi Pat,

    I'd seriously recommend you think about getting a CounterPoint/ViewPoint for your daughter and yourself.

    She'll be in front of you, and she'll be more comfortable as well...

    You can see some pictures of ours over at http://www.nettworks.ch/albums

    pm me if you'd like more info!

    good luck,
    Tom

    P.S. My 11/9/7/43 year old(s) love it!

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