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Old 08-23-10, 09:40 PM   #1
I like free
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Buddy Bar kids bike tow bar review

Buddy Bar by Cycline. Every search on the net turned up nothing for these things, but I seen them on ebay and took a $50 chance to see what I might get. From what I can gather they are made in Utah in limited quanities and only sold locally and on eBay. Adams trail-abikes are pretty rare on CL around here and when they do show up they are gone in minutes. I live 50 miles from town so finding a quality one was fruitless. Buying a new one was not in the budget, and I didn't wan't to settle for a lesser quality model. The trail gator also was not to my likeing due to the many poor reviews it had on stability. So I took a stab at the buddy bar hoping that I wasn't throwing $50 away. 1st here are some pics of the set-up:

The bar portion assembled:



The parts that hold the bike to the bar:



The Buddy bar hooked up:



The bike holding part assembled:




1st impressions:
This thing is heavy (13lbs) and very well built.
The part that holds the bike looked complicated

So the I started assembly. Took about 45 minutes to assemble. Quite a lot of that was fiddling with the cross tube bar to find the best position, so I took it on and off quite a few times and the shape of my daughters Torker required some thought. All in all the assembly was easy and only required a couple of wrenches and one allen. Once I got it on there in the right position and figured the thing out it was taking me about 5 minutes to take the bike off and have it ready for her to ride. So off we go on a 2 miles ride. The thing pulls great, very (I mean slight to almost none) sway. I was amazed at the amount of help she could provide (she's 6) pedaling. Plus she likes to see how strong she is and asked me to stop pedaling so she can push me. So I am happy with it. I'll try and list the pro's and con's as I have found them so far:

Pro's:

Very well made with what looks to be high quality materials.

Pulls very easy and has almost no sway.

Existing bike can be used and the unit can be taken off fairly easily to allow her to ride on her own.

Won't need replaced when she out grows her 20" bike.

Could be easily rigged to pull a cargo trailer should someone decide to make something up.

Easily stored. Breaks down to a very small size.

Con's:

It does require some mechanical knowledge to put the bike on there. Not sure my wife is gonna like that it is not a plug and play thing. You have to pull the tire and slide the forks in the holder and hook up the cross bar brace. Like I said about 5 minute job but if it doesn't go right I can see a percussive instrument being used on it.

The knobs to hold the forks on only allow them to be hand tighten. By themselves I am not sure of the security of them. I put the safety washers from the bike on there and that solved that issue. I don't see the need for the while the tire is on the bike anyway since I have the axle bolt pretty tight. So the washers will stay on the tow bar.

If you have a rack on the rear of the tow bike you will need about 4-5" of seat tube to clear the rack and panniers. Other wise you will need about 2.5" of seat tube for the hitch.

Need to carry tools to disassemble. 14mm (need 2) for the tow bar bolts, 15mm to remove the bike tire, allen to remove the hitch.

Extra hitchs are not available yet. I am writing the maker and checking the costs to get one made.

If the kids bike has a front fender it has to be removed to attached the bar.

BIGGEST ISSUE!!! What to do with the bar if you take the bike off. I have a rack on my bike and the bar can be strapped to it. If you don't have a rack the bar is free to swing around behind you. This is the only issue that I have with the tow bar that I have yet to overcome how to fix if my wife tows it with her bike.

Again, I am happy with the purchase and think it was $50 well spent.

Last edited by I like free; 08-23-10 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 08-24-10, 04:17 AM   #2
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It would not be a easy to take the wheel and al the brake componants off the childs bike, just to put them back on when the child wanted to ride her bike. Ok if u have a spare bike.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:08 AM   #3
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Like I said this is not a just a one bolt and go type of thing. But there are some instances where it will be great. Such as:

If you are riding somewhere a few miles away (Grandma's house) and the child wants to have their bike when they get there.

Camping, We take our bikes when we go camping and do quite a bit of carousing around on them. But there are place around camp that the kids can ride and some further away that they can't make it. In this case the Buddy Bar will be handy that I only have to carry one bike.

There are a few instances where carrying the tire and being able to switch back to the bike will be handy. But for the most part it may be best just to leave the tire at home and save the weight and hassle and use just like a trail-a-bike.
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Old 08-24-10, 10:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhills View Post
It would not be a easy to take the wheel and al the brake componants off the childs bike, just to put them back on when the child wanted to ride her bike. Ok if u have a spare bike.
It does not look like you have to remove the brake(s). Unless you mean you don't want the child to have braking capability.

Excellent writeup. Sounds like a much better if not more complicated solution than the Trailgator and a decent alternative to traditional TABs. I'd be interested to know how the seat post hitch portion of this stands up over time. It looks like it takes a good amount of stress. Is it possible to replace the fork binding portion with a quick release? My guess is no, based on the pics. It looks like the threaded bar might be another potential weak point with it having a pretty long moment arm. Do you think the bar may bend/break over time? Is it replaceable?
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Old 08-24-10, 09:21 PM   #5
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Better carry the whole wheel and not just the tire.
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