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Maximizing control and balance with 100+ lbs on single wheel trailer

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Maximizing control and balance with 100+ lbs on single wheel trailer

Old 05-16-17, 10:50 AM
  #1  
Pukeskywalker
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Maximizing control and balance with 100+ lbs on single wheel trailer

I'm getting a Weehoo iGo 2 trailer for my twin kids. They are 70 lbs combined, and I want to maximize safety by setting up my bike accordingly. Here is a picture of the trailer:



My bike is not ideal: A drop-bar'ed 60cm Nashbar touring frame with a 12" bottom bracket height and 165mm pedals. The BB height puts me very high, and my preferred shorty cranks might reduce balance as well.

Lastly, the bike has a bizarre ~95mm of trail on the fork.

The kids are likely to shift around in their seats, and occasionally throw fits while riding.

I've got the following upgrades ready to go. Would love to hear opinions:


* Switch to 175 cranks to drop my seat a bit
* Go to 40c rather than 32c tires, raising center-of-gravity but reducing danger re: trail surface
* 46cm drop bars

I'm considering Switching the handlebars to wide, flat bars -- straight, riser, or otherwise.

Here are my assumptions about improving control with flat bars, can someone tell me if I am correct:

* wider = more control
* lower = lower center-of-gravity, more control
* shorter stem = better for quick corrections of balance with wide bars
* shorter stem = could complement the slow handling of the 95mm of trail
* extremely swept, albatross-style bars = less control in this situation

Hopefully this thread does not blow up into a confusing mess, feel free to ignore. Thanks all
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Old 05-16-17, 12:57 PM
  #2  
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Are you set on a single wheel? Seems like you'd get more stability out of a two wheel. I tow 70-100lbs of my children on a two wheel no-name from costco using a wide variety of bikes (all drop bar, some vintage some modern) and have never had a balance issue, even when they are flailing around.
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Old 05-16-17, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rfmarotti View Post
Are you set on a single wheel? Seems like you'd get more stability out of a two wheel. I tow 70-100lbs of my children on a two wheel no-name from costco using a wide variety of bikes (all drop bar, some vintage some modern) and have never had a balance issue, even when they are flailing around.
Yeah I'm set on it at the moment. My kids are large for their age and will fight in close quarters. Even in separate car seats they manage to antagonize each other. Resale value is high enough on the Weehoo that I decided to take the risk vs. one of the wider, high-end 2 wheelers like the Burley D'Lite (the Weehoo is also nearly $250 cheaper than the D-Lite at $450)
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Old 05-16-17, 02:27 PM
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Set up the bike so that without the trailer, it handles well with 60lbs on a rear rack. To get there, may included adding a low rider front rack with some mass. With the trailer and kids, and nothing on the rear rack, it will probably be okay.

Take this is small steps, with the final step being to add the kids.
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Old 05-16-17, 02:30 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Set up the bike so that without the trailer, it handles well with 60lbs on a rear rack. To get there, may included adding a low rider front rack with some mass. With the trailer and kids, and nothing on the rear rack, it will probably be okay.

Take this is small steps, with the final step being to add the kids.
Thanks, good advice
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Old 05-16-17, 02:40 PM
  #6  
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I have a Weehoo iGo (one seater with panniers) and a Burley Cub that I use with a CX bike.

The weight is down low but the attachment point is articulated and up high; I'm not sure of how the dynamics work out but it affected stability more than I expected. I have had one or two slightly alarming moments while riding fast downhill when I felt like I was getting into some kind of oscillation. It bothered me enough that I control my speed downhill with it now and try to stay in the seat. The trailer weight shifting while out of the saddle is unnerving; unlike panniers the Weehoo doesn't necessarily lean at the same angle as the bike when turning, and obviously the cargo moves on its own initiative. I feel like a wider flat bar bike would be more comfortable but haven't tried it out yet.

It is super fun, lest you think I'm down on the Weehoo in general. Jr gets some exercise and a much better view of the surroundings than with my conventional trailer. I'm sure 15mph is plenty fast enough to feel "fun" when you're sitting with your butt a foot off the ground.
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Old 05-16-17, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
Yeah I'm set on it at the moment. My kids are large for their age and will fight in close quarters. Even in separate car seats they manage to antagonize each other.
A couple of these should do the trick: https://www.walmart.com/ip/AGPtek-33...ollar/50406384
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Old 05-16-17, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Earl Grey View Post
I have a Weehoo iGo (one seater with panniers) and a Burley Cub that I use with a CX bike.

The weight is down low but the attachment point is articulated and up high; I'm not sure of how the dynamics work out but it affected stability more than I expected. I have had one or two slightly alarming moments while riding fast downhill when I felt like I was getting into some kind of oscillation. It bothered me enough that I control my speed downhill with it now and try to stay in the seat. The trailer weight shifting while out of the saddle is unnerving; unlike panniers the Weehoo doesn't necessarily lean at the same angle as the bike when turning, and obviously the cargo moves on its own initiative. I feel like a wider flat bar bike would be more comfortable but haven't tried it out yet.

It is super fun, lest you think I'm down on the Weehoo in general. Jr gets some exercise and a much better view of the surroundings than with my conventional trailer. I'm sure 15mph is plenty fast enough to feel "fun" when you're sitting with your butt a foot off the ground.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to keep 15 mph and under for sure. What do you think about your drop bars and the Weehoo? I'm thinking flat is the way to go for a double.
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Old 05-16-17, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
A couple of these should do the trick: https://www.walmart.com/ip/AGPtek-33...ollar/50406384


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Old 05-16-17, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to keep 15 mph and under for sure. What do you think about your drop bars and the Weehoo? I'm thinking flat is the way to go for a double.
I haven't yet tried it (fully intend to), so take this with a pinch of salt but I would agree. My thinking is:

1. Flat bars better - more leverage. Also gets some weight back. I may not have the mechanics right here, just my impression, but down over the relatively narrow, low drop bars I get the feeling that the load is way up front (me) and way in back (kid), while the connection point in between is light and gets squirrely.
2. A compact frame (i.e. short seat tube) might be better than my CX bike's traditional (i.e. level top tube) geometry. The higher your seatpost collar, the higher the Weehoo attachment point and therefore, proportionally, the higher up the weight carried by the Weehoo itself.

Again, don't get me wrong - after a few rides I was very comfortable within my limits, and Jr loves it. She can pedal while she has the energy (obviously with the iGo 2 only one gets to pedal!), eat, drink or even nap. We run the sunshade in fine weather, and the full "greenhouse" in poor weather. It's more flexible and fun than either a conventional trail-a-bike or a conventional trailer. We only use the Burley trailer now when we're doing a grocery run or with an extra passenger.
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Old 05-16-17, 11:17 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
I'm getting a Weehoo iGo 2 trailer for my twin kids. They are 70 lbs combined, and I want to maximize safety by setting up my bike accordingly. Here is a picture of the trailer:



My bike is not ideal: A drop-bar'ed 60cm Nashbar touring frame with a 12" bottom bracket height and 165mm pedals. The BB height puts me very high, and my preferred shorty cranks might reduce balance as well.

Lastly, the bike has a bizarre ~95mm of trail on the fork.

The kids are likely to shift around in their seats, and occasionally throw fits while riding.

I've got the following upgrades ready to go. Would love to hear opinions:


* Switch to 175 cranks to drop my seat a bit
* Go to 40c rather than 32c tires, raising center-of-gravity but reducing danger re: trail surface
* 46cm drop bars

I'm considering Switching the handlebars to wide, flat bars -- straight, riser, or otherwise.

Here are my assumptions about improving control with flat bars, can someone tell me if I am correct:

* wider = more control
* lower = lower center-of-gravity, more control
* shorter stem = better for quick corrections of balance with wide bars
* shorter stem = could complement the slow handling of the 95mm of trail
* extremely swept, albatross-style bars = less control in this situation

Hopefully this thread does not blow up into a confusing mess, feel free to ignore. Thanks all
When I went to buy a double Weehoo from a Craigslist seller he convinced me not to buy his. He shared the double he had for sale made the bike precarious to handle and the kids could really get it leaning over.

We bought two singles instead, I never did buy the double. That being said even the single Igo trailers weren't very stable and would tilt/lean precariously when not rolling.

The single behind our tandem was down right dangerous, imo.
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Old 05-16-17, 11:34 PM
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That's disappointing to hear. I watch the videos of the people doing single track with their kids and it looks so great. I wonder how the Adams tandem compares, probably no better. It seems like it should have the same problems if not more so.

(photo from a Craigslist ad)
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Old 05-17-17, 03:06 AM
  #13  
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My nephew was about 8 when he learned to ride a bike. And, I towed him around a bit with an alley cat shadow.

I only put in a few miles, but I definitely didn't like tight corners. Your weego tandem, should have a little better balance Something he'd do sure made it wobble. But, then he also complained when I stood up to pedal.

I have drop bars on all my bikes, so the bike towing the alleycat shadow also had drop bars. They are what I'm comfortable with. So, with that in mind, choose bars, brakes, and shifters that you are comfortable with. Likewise, I'd choose the cranks that you like, not ones that you think the kids should have you ride.

Keep in mind, kids grow up QUICKLY

Another thing to consider is a real tandem. I've always thought the Kidz tandems looked cool.

Kidz Tandem |

They do come in a 3 seat variety. Looks like the starting price is about $2 grand though

There is one that has been up on Craigslist locally for quite some time. I'm a bit surprised.

Kidz Tandem Bike - $800 (Coburg)

Perhaps let one kid ride up front and one tow behind (hard to fight that way).

There are other triple full sized tandems available, and you can use "STOKID" kits for the kids. Or, the Bike Friday tandems have a lot of adjustability, and probably can also be made in triples if you desire, custom made in the USA.
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Old 05-17-17, 07:48 AM
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Tell children that if they move at all you will all die! maybe that will help cure the shifting load ..
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Old 05-17-17, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback. I've decided to send it back and go with a two wheeled trailer on craigslist. I found a used one that has shock absorption. We'll see how well they get along back there.

Not to discourage other people considering the WeeHoo. I haven't been riding as much the past few years and would probably have kept it if I had an MTB style bike
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Old 05-18-17, 08:25 AM
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Also in case it's lost on anyone, the double WeeHoo still only let's one kid pedal. It's a pretty stupid design.
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Old 05-18-17, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
Also in case it's lost on anyone, the double WeeHoo still only let's one kid pedal. It's a pretty stupid design.

You have competitive twins?
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Old 05-18-17, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You have competitive twins?
You've clearly never had kids close in age (or at all.)
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Old 05-19-17, 05:28 PM
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I had the Adams double trail a bike for 3 summers. It was a ton of fun. At first I pulled it with early 90s trek 970 and it was a workout to keep it steady. The next summer I switched to cruiser classic and it was a ton easier. Best money I ever spent on Craigslist.




Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That's disappointing to hear. I watch the videos of the people doing single track with their kids and it looks so great. I wonder how the Adams tandem compares, probably no better. It seems like it should have the same problems if not more so.

(photo from a Craigslist ad)

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