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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 02-16-14, 01:30 PM   #1
Tim199
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Carrying kids bikes on a bike trailer

Hi, my kids will be getting bikes with training wheels for this spring and since they won't be able to go far and the good biking places and parks are a ways away, I'd like to transport their bikes with me and then let them ride. I have a Chariot trailer that they like to ride in and I'm looking to see if anyone has done this or has suggestions.

If you're not familiar with these, here is what they look like:
http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/produc...red-_-10100931

My first thought was to attach the top/crosstube of the two kids bikes to the chariot's handlebar, but I'm a little concerned about the strength of the handlebar and the bikes bouncing around and poking the kids and damaging the trailer. If I had metalworking abilities I could replace the handlebar with a custom bike rack, but I don't.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks and happy biking.
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Old 02-17-14, 10:57 AM   #2
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I have done it, but not with two bikes that have training wheels. I've been able to fit a 16" bike without training wheels and a micro G balance bike. With the 16", we did exactly what you suggested, nestling the back wheel in the back basket and threading the handlebar between the top tube and downtube to help hold it in place, along with a bungee. The balance bike was just shoved in with it. I think doing that with two bikes would be a tight fit and strain the handlebar too much and risk breakage. Another alternative would be to put a back rack on your bike (if you don't already have one) and strap one of the bikes to the rack--I've done that too).
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Old 02-17-14, 01:29 PM   #3
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Did that work well putting one on the rack? That is an option, though I don't have a rack yet. I'm a little overwhelmed by choices and need to just hunker down and choose one I guess. Tossing a bike on the rack certainly won't make the load any wider than it is already.
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Old 02-17-14, 02:12 PM   #4
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I just lashed the bikes into the back portion of the trailer with bungie cords.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:01 PM   #5
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Skip the training wheels and take the pedals off at first. Kids will learn how to ride faster (first as balance bike) and a little easier to get on your trailer. Win win.
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Old 02-18-14, 01:27 PM   #6
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I've seen the arguments on balance bikes, but I'm just not convinced. I think learning to ride a bike for a young child is more a strength issue than a balance issue. Getting them biking is the most important thing to me. But taking the pedals off is sure a good idea rather than buying a separate balance bike.
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Old 02-18-14, 01:31 PM   #7
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I haven't had any problems lashing a bike to a back rack. I lay the bike on its side on the rack, attach one bungee (or, even better, a Nite Ize Gear Tie) around the rack and top tube to stop front to back movement, and then run one long bungee from the rack, through one wheel, across to the other wheel and then back to the rack. That provides lateral stablity. With 12" bikes, it's also possible you could just stuff them part way into a big pannier or a Wald wire basket, with a bungee for some extra support. I've carried my son's Strider that way before.
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Old 02-18-14, 04:58 PM   #8
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I've taught many kids and adults to ride a bike. Balancing first and pedaling second is the way to go. Training wheels are misguided and misnamed.
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Old 02-18-14, 09:02 PM   #9
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Thanks Mel, that looks like a good option.

Tom and Charles, I guess in the interest of being open minded I'll say I was mostly turned off by everything I saw seeming to be marketing hype. They were all unfair comparisons, no real data, etc. Tom your experience is intriguing. Any pointers to some more information as unbiased as possible?
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Old 02-18-14, 09:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim199 View Post
Thanks Mel, that looks like a good option.

Tom and Charles, I guess in the interest of being open minded I'll say I was mostly turned off by everything I saw seeming to be marketing hype. They were all unfair comparisons, no real data, etc. Tom your experience is intriguing. Any pointers to some more information as unbiased as possible?
I'm not proposing you buy balance bikes (although I'll admit we own two). I'm proposing you use the bikes you are planning on getting and you don't install the pedals or the training wheels. So it won't cost you anything extra.

For what it's worth, the advantage of dedicated balance bikes are that they are lighter.

Look through the family/recreation forum for more tales of balance versus training wheels. Clearly it is possible to learn how to ride a bike using training wheels as most of us have, but I really do believe it slows the process down.
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