Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Recreational & Family Ride just to ride? Have a family and want to get them into cycling? Drop in here to discuss recreational and family cycling issues.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-06-14, 10:51 AM   #1
AK Eggy
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6
Carrying a 40+ lb 4 yr old

So my wife and I agreed on a front mounted seat when our daughter was 2 and it worked very well for all of us. Now my daughter is almost 5 and I'm looking for something else. She is tall for her age (we had to give up on the front mounted seat earlier than expected), but hasn't yet moved away from training wheels.

I'm looking for a way to take her on my bike that is comfortable for her and easily manageable for me. I'm not looking for this to take the place of our rides together on the bike trails with her bike but rather as a way for us to go places that are too far or have to much traffic for her to ride her own bike. My bike is an early '90's mountain bike. So far I think I'm at the Extracycle addition for my bike but would appreciate input from others that have undoubtedly faced the same circumstances as me.

What did you choose and how did you like it after living with it for awhile? What would you have done differently if you had it to do again?

Thanks for your input.
AK Eggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-14, 01:06 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
Bikes: 1994 Mongoose Switchback, 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP, Cheap unnamed ssfg road bike
Posts: 141
Been there. I saw two options here, and I've used both. Choose at your discretion.

1: Get a trail-a-bike to connect to your bike. This helps teach balance on a bike, they get to pedal and feel more part of the trip, but they can't wander off, and they can stop pedalling and rest without making you stop. Prices range from $30 to $200 on my local craigslist. Mine was $30.

2: Get a trailer. The child can ride in the trailer and look at scenery in relative comfort, and there's space for creature comforts (toys, or a lunch, etc). Prices range from $50 to $600(!) on my local craigslist. I got mine free from a neighbor, because once the kids grow, they just get in the way in the garage (unless you choose to use it to haul cargo later).

I suggest craigslist for both suggestions, because the time they're useful is only a couple of years. This means that A: you won't need it very long and B: lots of people out there no longer need it either. Let someone else pay the 'new' premium either way.
jmilleronaire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-14, 06:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 281
We've been through a variety of different options, though we have two kids, so that makes it more complicated. My suggestions based on my experience would be either:

(1) A rear seat that can accommodate a heavier child, like the Bobike Junior or the GMG 911, both of which are good up to 75 lbs (with the caveat that the GMG 911 requires a rack that can support that weight).

(2) A Burley Kazoo or Piccolo trail-a-bike. I've tried seatpost-mounted trail-a-bikes and I personally find them unstable and unsettling, though many people are perfectly happy with theirs. I love our Kazoo.

We also have a WeeHoo. We got it when our daughter was 2.5 so she could have a more interactive experience. Though we are using it now with our 3.5 year old son, I wouldn't recommend it for an older child; I'd go straight to a regular trail-a-bike. It's much heavier and more awkward than the Kazoo.

The Xtracycle kit adds up fast once you get the deck, footboards, stoker bars or Hooptie. I've also heard complaints there is a lot of "flex" with the add-on kit vs. a "one-piece" cargo bike.

One last alternative, which we are considering right now for our 5 year old, is a Follow Me Tandem. It would allow her to ride for as long as she wants on her own and then get "towed" when she's tired. It is costly though.
mel2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-14, 06:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 5,930
Yes, I'd agree with the suggestions for either a Trail-a-Bike or the FollowMe Tandem. When our daughter outgrew were rear childseat I converted our regular tandem to a 'kid-back' style using a clamp-on bottom bracket on the stoker's seat tube to raise the pedals so she could reach them and some handlebars that swung back far enough for her. But that's an expensive proposition if you don't already have the tandem, so for most people I'd recommend the tow-behind options mentioned.
prathmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-14, 07:34 PM   #5
Thread Killer
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 7,452
Another, and very affordable, option is the Trailgator, a tow bar that connects to the kids existing bike, which can be coupled and decoupled easily, so that you can tow her to the ride point, decouple, and both of you can ride independently. The FollowMe is a nice piece of equipment, but it's a lot of equipment for something that you'll really only use for a couple of years, tops. The simplicity, flexibility, and low cost of the Trailgator is very appealing.

Trail-Gator Child Bike Tow Bar
chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-14, 07:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 149
We like the WeeHoo. A bit heavy and a little bulky but fun for us all. My 5 year old loves it and I actually had a tough time getting out of the house without him all last year. We did several charity rides together with him riding in the WeeHoo. He can participate but rest when he wants and even nap. It has adjustable positions so it can grow with them for several years.
VastCrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-14, 07:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 149
At this age you could also start to consider getting a tandem!
VastCrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-14, 09:55 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ridge Manor FL
Bikes: 2005 Cannondale Street
Posts: 160
We use the TrailGator for one child and a TugABug for the other. I think the Trail Gator is going to be used for a lot longer than the other. However, it would not fit on my bike - a bit of a height issue. So I pull the TugABug while DH has the TrailGator. DH can hook up Son #1 to through traffic to MUP and then let him loose to ride. Also if we are doing a longer ride and he tires out, we can hook him back up. It also stores easier than the TugABug which is on of the man brands of pull behind half cycles. Good Luck.

Through the years, we have used mounted seats and then a trailer, but around 4 or 5, the trailer started getting too boring for them.
LiamSkymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-14, 11:01 PM   #9
Senior Member
mr,grumpy's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Boston Burbs
Bikes: Diamondback Sorrento, 1978(ish) Peugeot PRN10e
Posts: 726
My 4 year old has a balance bike and does well on it. He has a peddle-bike but hasn't mastered the actual peddling part.

He is still under the weight limit for his bike seat but even as just over 40 pounds and short for his age, his feet get in the way and he really throws off the balance of the bike. This is a little worse since he can "ride" now and we don't always lean-in together.

In the past we have mostly used his trailer and he has LOVED it. We couldn't sell it to him this spring with free cookies and Skylander stickers. It's a little wide for main roads and very low-sitting.

New this year is the trail-a-bike. It is difficult to mount onto the seat-post bracket and at 40 bucks each we only have one (on my bike of course). He loves that he gets to peddle (he's a big "helper" kind of a kid) and this is now his preferred method of transport. He sits up a little higher. I feel that he is more visible. However, he's in charge of keeping his own balance back there and I can't see him. there is nothing holding him on and I know from third-party reports, that he doesn't always keep both hands on the bars.

Hope that helps.
"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)

My little bike blog.
mr,grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-14, 09:52 PM   #10
AK Eggy
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6
Thanks for everyone's help. I really liked the Extracycle,but man is that thing expensive! We went with the Burley piccolo.
AK Eggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-14, 10:34 AM   #11
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
Burly Piccolo does offer another part to add a front wheel to make it into a proper bicycle, too ..

::Burley Plus™ | MyKick and Trailercycles - Burley--BURLEY--
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-14, 05:25 AM   #12
Senior Member
curly666's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Milwaukee WI
Bikes: Specialized Sirrus, Specialized Robaix, Specialized Carmel
Posts: 272
Maybe this would work for you, works with lots of different ages and later can be used as a tag along.
Weehoo iGo PRO Bike Trailer-Cycle | Bike Kid
curly666 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:38 AM.