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Thread: Tag along?

  1. #1
    BIGWOLF ajbeck21's Avatar
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    Tag along?

    Hey guys, I'm thinking about getting my little girl a tag along bike. I'm not sure the process of training and what age to start?

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    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Hi,

    The Wee-Hoo trailer can accept younger kids than most tag-a-longs because the kid is well strapped in. It also has the advantage that the kid rides lower which means it is easier for the parent to balance the combination of their bike and the trailer. If I were starting out now, this is how I'd go.

    I started pulling my daughter when she was about 3 1/2 years old using a Gator Tow Bar and my daughter's 12" bicycle. She's now 5 1/2 and has been successfully using a trek tow-a-long for a couple years now. She likes it a lot and it is a great way for her and I to get exercise.

    The disadvantage of tag-along bicycles is that if the parents bicycle falls over, so does the tag-a-long. This is the same problem with baby seats that attach to the bicycle where as trailers have a hinge so that if the bike falls over the trailer does not. Big kids get bored much more easily in the trailer and I think the trail-a-bike is the way to go.

    Edit: The other important thing I'll add is that make sure you you ride your bike with the trail-a-bike without a kid for a while to make sure you are used to it. And once there is a child on the back (who doesn't know how to balance), it is a lot harder to ride. I got spoiled with my daughter who's now got a lot of experience and I recently took my nephew out on it (he's a lot heavier and lot less experience and it was my arms that were tired at the end of the ride from balancing the bicycle. This was on the Trek trail-a-bike which is similar to most other models. On the Wahoo, the child is lower, so balancing is easier.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Last edited by cplager; 11-04-12 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Added "Edit"
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    Thanks for starting this thread as I have the same questions.

    i use a Chariot cougar 2 for my two kids,2 and 4. The trailer fine for my two year old but the four year old gets bored in the trailer and not really involved in the ride which restricts how far we go. So next year we are looking for an used tag a long.

    I be interested to hear know other people got Their children started on the Tag a long and any recommendations on what I should look for.

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    BIGWOLF ajbeck21's Avatar
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    We have a trailer and she rides well for a mile or so, then she's ready to jump out. I think she may be more into it on a tag along.
    I first got interested in it one day I dropped her off at school there was a mom riding up on her bike with her little one in tow. Her little girl looked to be 3 1/2 maybe 4 at the most. I had no idea they could ride one that young.

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    I hear you, if my son not playing angry bird, well it is no fun for anyone, We can go about ten to fifteen mile round trip with stops before it gets too much. Hopefully we can him into riding as oppose to just playing on the IPad next year.

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    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    I used one on my son from the time he was 3. He LOVED it. I'd always put a rack on the back with some snacks & stop to take a break when he needed it. I always used a mirror to keep an eye on him. Look around. There are different types. Some are standard seat & bar. Some with a safety strap and some with a regular (backed) seat as apposed to a bike saddle.

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    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    We had an Adams then upgraded to a MUCH nicer Burley. Started each kid at 3. Short rides at first, then had them doing week-long family tours by age 6. When they are really little, you have to keep it to shorter rides, NEVER tolerate feet dragging or jumping off when moving, and you have to not ride near nap time because they can fall asleep while riding. I have had mine on two occasions fall asleep holding on to the handlebars and somehow miraculously balancing back there until my wife pointed out he was asleep! I know other parent that have had the same occurrence. There is a trail-a-bike back rest with a seat belt that bolts to the seat post so you can strap them upright just in case but we never tried one of these ad they are hard to find. My youngest still loves his Burley rides, but will soon be to touring on the tandem with me or on his own bike...

  8. #8
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    I have no experience with these, but a tandem with a kid back adapter looks intriguing:

    http://www.precisiontandems.com/artkidbackinstall.htm

    I see them around town, and the stokers look like they're having a good time. Seems it's a gradual process: start on the kid back, then graduate to stoker, then graduate to a single bike. And on longer rides than the kid is comfortable on, the tandem's still available.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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    Those tandams looks like fun,although i know DW will not share one with me as she like's to control her own bike. I will be scanning craiglist/Ebay for 1 or 2 of those weehoo trailers they seem to fit the bill for me.

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    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
    I have no experience with these, but a tandem with a kid back adapter looks intriguing:

    http://www.precisiontandems.com/artkidbackinstall.htm

    I see them around town, and the stokers look like they're having a good time. Seems it's a gradual process: start on the kid back, then graduate to stoker, then graduate to a single bike. And on longer rides than the kid is comfortable on, the tandem's still available.

    I've only ever used a tag-along, but I've read about lots of people who use tandems successfully with their kids. The downside is the price...
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  11. #11
    Just Rockin' neoz's Avatar
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    We have an Adams trail a bike, two- kid trailer, and an xtracycle. All work well. The kids often switch between riding on any of them and it works well. Hard to go wrong.

  12. #12
    Just Rockin' neoz's Avatar
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    Actually, I take it back. For a while I had a no-name tag a long and it was junk. Like all bike stuff, avoid the cheap stuff. The brand name Adams is great, though. Huge difference in quality and ride experience.

  13. #13
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    We have 4 kiddos. The oldest, only girl, wasn't that interested in cycling but did start on a tag-along around 6 1/2 so that we could all go on longer rides (she knew how to ride her 16 or 20 inch bike around the neighborhood). Our oldest boy started on the tag-along bike before he was 4. He had been in a bike trailer since he was 10 months and very eager to get on board. We covered many, many miles together with him on the tag-along. He also made riding with it a pleasure because he balanced the bike effectively, leaned in turns, and pedaled up and down the hills. We use 2 tag-along systems, a single speed adams, which has some advantages (adjustablilty and ease of hitch) and a 6 speed Schwinn tag-along that taught him some about gearing.

    We have 2 younger kiddos, 2 and 4, now. They both started in our Chariot Cougar double trailer when they were 6 months or even less. They both have strider/balance bikes. They flippin' own their strider bikes and totally know how to balance and steer by the time they were about 20 months old. Because of his experience on the strider, the 4 year old just took off on a pedal bike the very first try, no wrecks, no coercion, no tears, no fears, etc. Same thing with a tag-along bike. He already knows how to balance and sit atop a bicycle, so this is no big thing.

    So...right at 4 years is a really good ballpark for most kiddos. The strider bikes help tremendously. A kid on the back that pushes and leans from side to side can whip you around and wear you down. Our girl was older when she started on the tag-along and honestly, was never very smooth or efficient.

    Also....MAKE SURE THE YOUNGER ONES DON'T FORGET AND FALL ASLEEP ON THE RIDE, especially if they are used to napping in a bike trailer. Mostly have to watch this when starting out with the 3 1/2 - 5 year olds.

    Burley also makes a really nice tag-along, just expensive. And you need to replace your rear rack to use theirs. And buy multiple racks for multiple bikes. System is expensive, but works well. Our Adams and Schwinn tag-alongs also work well, although I don't love the hitch mechanism on either (carbon fiber seat post on my cyclocross commuter).

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    We have had our Burley Piccolo for 8 years. Daughter started at age 4 and loved it, never had a problem with her on it. She rode it all the way up to age 9 (only weighed 55lbs, she was tiny!). I liked being able to introduce the concept of gearsbefore she had her own geared bike. Now we use the Burley for my 4yr old son, he started at age 3. He is great as long as I go fast, if I slow down, he gets bored and starts wiggling. He is almost 50 lbs and can really make it difficult to stay upright. That said, I recently saw a WeeHoo and loved it... of course, I can't really justify it when the Burley works.

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    Silly Party Member
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    The Wee-hoo and Burley are the best, but the one recommendation I'd make is to get a version that has gears. This makes a far easier transition to a 2 wheeler with gears. I started my son on a tag-along with gears at age 5. I'd give him instructions as we rode regarding shifting to a lower gear on hills and starting out, and a higher gear on flats. When he got his first gear bike, he knew how to use it properly from the get-go.

  16. #16
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EriktheFish View Post
    The Wee-hoo and Burley are the best, but the one recommendation I'd make is to get a version that has gears. This makes a far easier transition to a 2 wheeler with gears. I started my son on a tag-along with gears at age 5. I'd give him instructions as we rode regarding shifting to a lower gear on hills and starting out, and a higher gear on flats. When he got his first gear bike, he knew how to use it properly from the get-go.
    I agree, the geared tag-alongs help to develop an understanding of gears. One of ours is a single speed Adams and the other is a 6 speed version. Having the experience on the geared tag along really helps a beginning biker develop proficiency in shifting.

  17. #17
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clydeosaur View Post
    I used one on my son from the time he was 3. He LOVED it. I'd always put a rack on the back with some snacks & stop to take a break when he needed it. I always used a mirror to keep an eye on him. Look around. There are different types. Some are standard seat & bar. Some with a safety strap and some with a regular (backed) seat as apposed to a bike saddle.
    Interesting. My son is 2 1/2. I've been starting to think about one of these setups but figured he was too young. I didn't realize they were available with different seat styles.

  18. #18
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    Interesting. My son is 2 1/2. I've been starting to think about one of these setups but figured he was too young. I didn't realize they were available with different seat styles.
    For 2 1/2 year old, I'd look at WeeHoo. You can also by both a baby seat for a tag-a-long and a seat back with a seatbelt. The Weehoo has a lower center of mass than most tag-a-longs and really hits that sweet spot between trailer and tag-a-long. (All that being said, I have a Trek and an Adams tag-a-long and a trailer, but not a WeeHoo - but I can't get the WeeHoo because we already own the others ).
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