Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
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Originally Posted by bwellen
I'm considering purchasing the InStep Ride N' Stride Bike Trailer ($150-$200) and I'm looking for opinions/experiences.
I want a bike trailer that will carry 2 children and will work well on gravel roads. I plan to ride about 4 miles almost every day.
Will I really see that much difference in this model compared to a $400+ bike trailer? I'm a little hesitant about buying a "good" bike trailer used for $250 compared to a new InStep Ride N' Stride Bike Trailer ($150-$200).
Any input you can provide regarding the InStep Ride N' Stride would be appreciated!
I have what i believe is the exact same trailer. However mine has the Schwinn label. I think they are all made by Pacific Cycles. I had the same thoughts as you did. Most people trash department store bike equipment, usually for good reason. However an item like a bike trailer is a different story. Most people will likely not put thousands of miles on a bike trailer.
With that said, i have had mine for a couple months and have pulled it probably 200 miles. I just pulled my 6 year old and 3 year old, 10 miles this morning, in this trailer. (yes, a 6 yr old. he is not road worthy on his own yet.) It works great. It is light and very easy to pull. It has the net to keep bugs out and a flimsy "rain cover," for the possible rains. The nice part about this trailer is that it has larger metal wheels as opposed to smaller plastic wheels on comparable ones.
As far as riding on gravel roads, i do a lot of that. I haven't pulled the kids on many but I see no reason in the world why you need "fenders." First of all, if it is true gravel, it won't kick up like mud will even if it is wet. Anything that does will be stopped by the window net. On top of that, most people don't take their kids out in the rain for a bike ride if they can avoid it.
Today it was sort of hot so i kept pulling my kids next to the sprinklers that were on to give them a cool off. They thought that was pretty fun. Bottom Line: Unless you plan to pull this trailer over 1000 miles, I wouldn't hesitate buying it. I would even venture to say that this trailer would do well if pulled over 1000 miles. HOwever in my mind 1000 miles would make a better trailer worth while. One of the disadvantages of trailers like these is that they have a "sling" seat. This allows for virtually no head clearance behind the kid's head when they are wearing their helmets.
A more expensive trailer has a better seating arrangement to give more clearance behind the head. This is an issue because the back of the helmets rub on the back of the trailer and try to turn sideways on their heads. This in turn makes them grouchy. I solved this by using helmets with straight backs. IOW, use helmets that were designed for skateboarding. Also a football helmet etc. has a straight back as opposed to the taper sticking out on most new bike helmets. Also I add a slim pillow behind the kid's back and that allows for even more clearance. Problem solved. Money Saved.
Last edited by Portis; 09-05-04 at 05:53 PM.