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Old 10-10-10, 06:45 PM   #1
malux
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Trailer recommendation?

Hi all, I just taught my 5 year old daughter how to ride her bike this weekend. She rode 12 miles today! She still has trouble stopping and she can't "start" on her own yet, but it's a start.

I have a 7,5 & 3 year old and one on the way. My wife and I would like to get a bike trailer. We like the burley's but $400+ is a bit steep.

Any recommendations? We liked the co-pilot we saw today and we'd like something we can easily switch from bike to bike. We'd also like something that can fold down if we want to take a little trip with the family and bring it along.

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-10, 06:52 PM   #2
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I bought one used, I think it's the $90 one from Walmart. It's ok, it's got some wear on it but I paid $15 for it and I can't complain. The biggest difference I noticed on the more expensive ones is that they have little things that make the ride nicer for the little one. The coolest one, is the little indent that allows the kids helmet to go back over where the back rest thing is, preventing their head from being pushed forward. Mine definitely did NOT have that. I say did not, because after I saw how cool it was on a $500 one, I took an X-Acto knife to mine, and made it have one too. The little guy was happy. He still doesn't like being in it for more than an hour and a half.
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Old 10-10-10, 07:01 PM   #3
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I have a Chariot from the same price point as the Burley. $400 stings a bit but the the higher end are roomier and overall better quality. One notable difference from the Chariot/Burly to the bell/walmart/toys-r-us is the hitching mechanism. The cheap trailers clamp to the frame whereas the Chariot uses a ball on the trailer arm and a socket that attaches with an included quick release skewer thus not risking damage to the frame and making attaching detaching a breeze.

The higher end models hold their value well. At least that's the theory. I'll be selling mine in a year or so.
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Old 10-11-10, 07:52 AM   #4
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We have a Chariot Cougar 2. You absolutely get what you pay for in my opinion. Its lightweight, has adjustable suspension based on your children's weight, bugscreen, rain cover, sun shade...the works. We've had it for 3 years now and its still running strong. We have both the bike attachment and the stroller kit. We also had the infant sling and toddler kit for when the kids were very little (not to be used in bike mode - stroller only).

The hitch mechanism is so much better than anything out there. No weird, bulky clamps - just a small, low profile ball/receiver system. Both bikes (mine and wife's) have a receiver on them.

The neighbors have a Little Tykes model and there is absolutely no comparison. Their seat is hard plastic with no suspension - couldn't imagine riding in that thing. Whereas ours has full suspension and canvas/free hanging seating.
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Old 10-11-10, 09:42 AM   #5
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Just to add, my cheap one (most likely from walmart) also had a small hitch that connects to the rear axle. Simply put the trailer on the hitch, pin it in place, and off you go. If you want to take the hitch off your bike between riding the kids around, since it uses the quick release it's not a big deal either.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:11 AM   #6
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if you don't get a ghetto trailer, then your passenger will like the ride better, and as a result you will also enjoy the ride more.

take into account that a good trailer can often be resold after you use it at a cost less than junking a formerly-new-cheap-but-now-old-ghetto trailer.

alternately for many people, quit buying a daily latte at Starbucks for 6 months and it'll more than have paid for a proper trailer, which in turn will reap a better dividend for parents and their children... i'm just saying.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:20 AM   #7
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The little guy was happy. He still doesn't like being in it for more than an hour and a half.
an hour-and-a half without stops on anything ain't shabby. i can't go that long in a car, bus, train, or plane---i just need to stretch out or move around more. this is true for me even if it's first-class, leather, etc.

on the other hand, and back to trailers, my passenger prefers not to be in the trailer for more than about an hour straight *not* because the trailer's uncomfortable (because why the hell would i put my kid in an uncomfortable situation like that), but because she needs to punctuate the routine with something different. that being said, we can spend all day (8 hours) cruising about town with her in her trailer, going from place to place. and yeah, i do think part of it has to do with not having a crappy trailer. ymmv.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:26 AM   #8
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thanks everyone for the advice. I'm going to keep my eye out on a used burley (and I'm going to check out the chariots too). I'd prefer something that doesn't stay on my bike when i'm not using the trailer. I have to do more research in this area
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Old 10-12-10, 09:48 AM   #9
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the chariots and burleys both detach without complication when not in use; trek branded trailers do, too, since they are simply re-branded chariots iirc; you can choose to leave the hitch on or off (many just leave it on for convenience sake).
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Old 10-13-10, 01:23 PM   #10
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What do you think of this one?

http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1989229329.html
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Old 10-13-10, 02:34 PM   #11
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Decent trailer, little on the heavy side as trailers go (but you are in FL, so probably less of a concern for you), but I would not buy it at this price.
$200 - maybe.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:52 AM   #12
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ha, heavy just means better thighs! really though, is there a trailer light enough with kids in it to not be a total bummer on hills? just persevere, and when the trailer comes off you will fly.

a new Chariot is $500-ish now, right? if the condition were good i'd bargain for somewhere between $200-250. that particular Trek is not a Chariot OEM.
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Old 10-18-10, 12:58 PM   #13
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I love our Burley D'Lite; we pull our 2.5 yo twins in it. They are big for their age, though, and will probably not last more than another season in it before they are too tall.

Your 3 year old will be approaching 5 by the time the one on the way is big enough to trailer. You probably can get away with a single-kid trailer for the youngest, and a trail-a-bike for the future 5 year old if they aren't riding on their own by that time.
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Old 10-20-10, 07:42 AM   #14
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Your 3 year old will be approaching 5 by the time the one on the way is big enough to trailer. You probably can get away with a single-kid trailer for the youngest, and a trail-a-bike for the future 5 year old if they aren't riding on their own by that time.
my little guy just turned three on Sunday so he'll be 3 and a half when the baby's born. I wonder if 4 years old is too early to take off the training wheel
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Old 10-20-10, 09:54 AM   #15
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The Kid-A-Rooz! Just got one for my 20 month old to ride with my wife and I. Great quality and cost sub $300. Best thing............it doubles as a nice stroller for jogging and rough pathways! Can't beat it! See picture. Very lightweight and easy to go from stroller to trailer! Mine I got on sale and also used an additional coupon at Nashbar to bring the price down to $216! They run $375 usually. They have a 20% right now!


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Old 10-20-10, 10:06 AM   #16
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You can get a new Kidarooz from Nashbar right now with coupon for that price!
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Old 10-21-10, 02:46 PM   #17
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I got Burley used off Ebay. I made sure all snaps work and everything was secure and working before putting my child in it though. I also spent an additional $35 @ REI to get the rear QR adapter. The QR hitch is worth it.

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Old 10-22-10, 04:38 PM   #18
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We've had several trailers over the years and the best, but not by much, was the Schwinn. I dont know what the model was (bought in 2002), but it used 20" standard bike tires on metal rims, had a quick disconnect hitch, and a hanging seat setup. We could cram two toddlers, two bags of groceries, and jackets/small bags with room for them to move around. It folded completely flat and had a stroller wheel/handle. I didnt care for the front stroller wheel much as it would bind occasionally, but it was a nusciance at most. We had this for 4 years before the nylon finally gave out after being sun/weather rotted. But we used the heck outta this thing.

What we have now is an InStep brand and aside from the tires being 16" (minor clearance issues at times) and on plastic rims, it isnt any different than the Schwinn. It even uses the same reciever to hook it to the bike. Again, we pack alot more than we should in this thing, and we've yet to have any problems. The big bonus is the stroller wheel moves effortlessly on this trailer (vs the Schwinn we had previously). My three year old daughter can ride in this all day, and has even taken naps in it while out on rides. My biggest beef with either of these is the lack of a parking brake when used as a stroller. I dont expect a handle operated setup like you'd find on more expensive brands, but even a lever lock like a regular stroller has would be better than the straps you have to put through the wheel.

All in all, I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. They are rugged, lightweight, fold flat, easy to use, and best of all cheap.
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Old 10-22-10, 05:17 PM   #19
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Like the poster above stated as missing when a stroller...........the Kid-A-Rooz has dual parking brakes (one for each wheel) you engage in either mode. Hard to beat this combo. Pricey???? Yes, but wait til you have a coupon to use and get it for a great price which is almost always at Nashbar or Performance.
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Old 10-25-10, 07:38 PM   #20
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Just found out today that the new version of the model InStep trailer I have now comes with a parking brake for stroller use. And its the same price...................
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Old 10-26-10, 07:53 AM   #21
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I think when you're trailer shopping you really need to pay close attention to the interior dimensions. Kids grow fast, and squeezing two of them in any of the current batch of trailer can quickly become difficult. After you've studied the dimensions on the Burley and Chariot and big-box-store trailers, take a look at Wike. My girls ride in one of these when the weather isn't cooperative. http://www.wicycle.com/child_moonlit...le_trailer.php Aside from spending upwards of $700 on a covered wagon-style trailer, or getting a bakfiets, this was the roomiest option I could find.
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Old 10-29-10, 06:35 AM   #22
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I would rather buy a high quality used trailer than a low quality new one. Kids grow fast and most people who buy these things don't really use them very much or very often. On the other hand, I have been using the same Burley trailer for 6+ years now, on a daily basis, hauling my oldest son first, and now my second son to daycare. That trailer has been through hell and back and still holding together. The good ones hold up very well.
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Old 10-31-10, 06:45 AM   #23
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Bought a Burley

I bought a used burley. $75! It's an older model but in great shape. Below are some pics. Does anyone know what model this is? Also, anyone know if I can put a baby snuggler and a 3 yr old in it at the same time?



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