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Looking for bike trailer for new addition

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Looking for bike trailer for new addition

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Old 10-08-17, 06:30 PM
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mnsam
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Looking for bike trailer for new addition

Looking for a bike trailer as we just had our first kid. I realize it will be a while before he is old enough, however Iím starting to look for deals and figure out what will work best for us.

We are currently planning on only having one child so solo trailers are fine and would lighter and more packable.

The top picks so far are either the burley solo or Thule chariot, but Iím open to other options. We plan to use it a ton so I donít really care about cost.

The must haves for the trailer would be

1. must work for biking, running and skiing
2. Good for biking relatively fast speeds safely.
3. As quick and easy to collapse and set up as well as attach as possible. If the kiddo is up to it, we plan to use daily since we live less than a block from an extensive bike trail network. Before having a kid we biked daily and want to continue to bike as often as he is willing.
4. Comfortable as possible for him
5. Packs as small as possible. we have a fairly small garage which both limits storage space as well as makes driving a minivan unpractical.

the nice to have things
1. Extra room for groceries or his stuff
2. Easy to lock up even if it means carrying a second lock just for the trailer
3. Bonus points if itís still useful after he is too big to fit. If the seat folds flat (Burley does this I think) it would work well for carrying huge loads without a passenger.
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Old 10-08-17, 07:54 PM
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Iíd go with a Burley. The build quality and features are of high quality and they roll very well. I worked in a shop for years and we hardly ever saw them come in for service or warranty issues.
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Old 10-08-17, 08:26 PM
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CliffordK
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There is a Thule Chariot that is a very nice bike trailer, and very adaptable. They are pretty expensive, but perhaps you can snag a used one, or put it on your grandparent's Christmas list.

I'd probably go with a single kid version, but you might also look at the two kid version for a little cargo space.

https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...sport-trailers

Another option to look at for the slightly older kids is the WeeHoo iGo recumbent pedal bike trailer. Put the kids to work!!!

https://rideweehoo.com/

Oh.. and one more option. For the younger kids, consider either a front top tube or front handlebar mounted seat.
https://www.amazon.com/iBert-Safe-T-...-mini-_-100104

A Fourth option to consider would be various cargo bikes. Carry kids or cargo. There are a couple of varieties of rear load cargo bikes, although I've also heard the front load long-nose cargo bikes are highly recommended.
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Old 10-11-17, 07:15 AM
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I have a Burley Bee, it's fantastic. However, I wish we would have gotten the Thule Chariot though as an all in one. My wife is a marathoner so she runs with our kids a lot, so we've got a Bob and double bob as well, garage is full.
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Old 10-11-17, 10:00 AM
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We use a Thule/Chariot Cheetah 1*. We've used almost all of the functionality that it affords: stroller walks with infant sling (starting at ~2 weeks old), cross-country skiing(from ~6 months), skis + bike trailer arm for winter fat biking (from ~7 months), normal bike trailer (from ~11 months), normal jogger (from ~11 months). With a 3 yr old, we still use it for pre-school dropoff/pickup and rides to local farms for groceries.

*We actually own a Thule Cheetah 1, Chariot CSL, Bellelli Pepe, and Hamax Caress. We'll sell them all when we stop using them.

The Chariot has some limitations, though...
We wish we'd gotten one with suspension (the Cougar) for riding dirt roads. Currently we use a frame-mounted rear seat for dirt road riding (Bellelli Pepe and Hamax Caress).
It doesn't fold very compactly. Folded dimensions are roughy 1ft x 2ft x 4ft. It'll barely fit in the trunk of our hatchback or small SUV. We use a roof box if we want to go away for a night or two *and* bring the trailer.
It's noticeably slower to ride with the trailer than rear seat. For the same effort, I can ride 20mph solo, 18mph with seat, or 15mph with trailer.
Fixed front jogging wheels don't work for everyone. We know quite a few serious runners under 120lb who need to use swivel wheel strollers for running.

On the other hand...
The trailer has some storage capacity.
The trailer protects (or makes it easy to protect) the wee one from rain, dirt, sun, cold.
The trailer is more comfortable than a rear seat for napping and snacking.

I would personally never use a front-mounted seat (iBert, Yepp, etc) because they interfere with the adult's ergonomics. Where are your knees supposed to go??

We've considered cargo bikes, but don't think they're a fit for us. Our rides tend to be at least 15 miles and often include dirt roads. If we lived in a city, we might want a cargo bike.

We were considering a Weehoo also. A couple friends use them and have mixed feelings. They've all stuffed 3" tires on them for suspension. We ended up buying a tandem that'll fit our daughter once she masters her balance bike.
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Old 10-11-17, 12:58 PM
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I have a Thule Chariot CX1 and have been commuting with my daughter very often, approx. 15 km each way, in all sorts of weather, including lots of rain, the the trolley is very comfortable for her and weather proof.

The only thing I started to wonder is whether those wheels connections are robust enough for tough use. I rarely take them off so for daily intensive use I'd rather have a stronger connection there.

As to your points, here is how I rate my Chariot:

1. must work for biking, running and skiing
5 starts for biking and running - never tried skiing, but there's a kit for it.

2. Good for biking relatively fast speeds safely.
5 starts here, good suspension adjustment according to kid's weight.

3. As quick and easy to collapse and set up as well as attach as possible.
4/5 starts. It folds small, wheels come off easily, handle bar come off as well but not so very easy, attachments are very easy and quick to do - just the back up straps which actually take more time than the main connection itself. When folding, you just need to get the outer shell out of the way, and also if there is a winter sleeping bag inside, you need to remove it, otherwise it tries to unfold slightly, therefore 4/5 starts.

4. Comfortable as possible for him
5 starts again. It really seems very comfortable and safe. The kid sits leaning slightly backwards, the suspension adjustment make a smooth ride.

5. Packs as small as possible. we have a fairly small garage which both limits storage space as well as makes driving a minivan unpractical.
See 3.

the nice to have things
1. Extra room for groceries or his stuff
It does have a nice box on the back. I can put her backpack and my clothes on it and there's some room left. On the other hand, in the inside there's no much room left after the kid sits on it. The kid is ok and comfortable, but takes all the space.

2. Easy to lock up even if it means carrying a second lock just for the trailer
Not so very easy I'd say, but definitely possible. Only problems is that the beams are difficult to access and almost all of them are tight on the outer shell. Not a problem for me since it is quite safe to leave things unattended around here.

3. Bonus points if itís still useful after he is too big to fit. If the seat folds flat (Burley does this I think) it would work well for carrying huge loads without a passenger.
Not sure about this one since my daughter is still small - and lovely The sit does not fold flat though.

One extra nice thing is that the front wheel can be attached to the back of the luggage box and there's room to clip the front wheel bars on the sides of the trailer - so you can for example mix a bike ride with a run/walk.

Hope it helps. It is definitely a good trailer. As I said, only drawback I found so far is the questionable durability of the wheels hub connections.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:58 PM
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I have a Chariot Cougar 1. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I'd buy a Chariot Cougar 1. We used it on and off road, as it has some rudimentary suspension. I think the Thule chariots are geared a little more toward performance than Burley. It meets all of your parameters with the exception of the seat folding flat for cargo.
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Old 11-15-17, 03:00 PM
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Especially if there is a need for speed, and the riding involves trail type surfaces, I would strongly suggest a single wheel trailer. The Wheehoo mentioned above would have been my suggestion too, but I just googled "single wheel child bike trailer" and found a few more that don't have or require pedaling and will of course be lighter and more compact (in length) than a Weehoo. A bicycle is single track and when you are towing a double wheel trailer at speed you could possibly catch a rock or root on only one side of the trailer and tip it. We have long experience with single wheel (cargo) trailering in NYC and even though we now live in a less crowded metro we are still glad that our footprint on the road allows us to slip the trailer through anything and everything that our tandem can slip through. Great peace of mind and very aero (fast). FWIW.

Edit: obviously the SWT will not work for running but it would be a mistake IMO to make that a deal-breaker. There are some amazing running strollers. I really don't think one device can serve both needs optimally.

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Old 12-08-17, 10:02 AM
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We started off using a trailer but riding around in downtown Savannah I just didn't like my son being so low to the ground. It's hard for other vehicles to see the trailer. Also most exhaust pipes exit on the right or left side of the vehicle right into his face.

We ended up going a different direction with the wee-ride seat. Where my son sits in front of me between the me and the handle bars. These seats are very stable. Also I like the fact that if I had to take a fall or get hit by a car that I could (hopefully) quickly wrap him up in my arms to protect him. My son is 4yrs old now and to this day wishes he could still ride with me. I took him everywhere on that seat. Downtown traffic, dirt roads.. light trail riding etc. I look back on it now and realize that he learned some of the principles of balance while riding with me. I saw him mimic some of things on his balance bike that I would do when he road with me in the wee-ride. I think this seat payed huge dividends when it came to teaching him to ride.

We still have the trailer and use it when we have cousins or other family members over and want to ride. Or we use it to pack a huge picnic lunch for a day at the park. Otherwise the trailer stays folded up.

If your intent is to bike mostly on bike paths away from traffic definitely follow the advice of the others. But if you intend to bike on the road or in traffic consider one of the forward sitting kids bike seats. Wee-ride, iBert etc.
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Old 12-10-17, 07:28 PM
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Things I've tried:

We got an In-Step for kid 1, it was ok for the price but can't recommend it.

Tried a Thule front seat, very bad imo, you can find my take-down elsewhere in this forum.

When he got big enough moved him to a Blackburn Copilot rear seat and it's great. I bought another and some more of the matching rack so I could have another when the twins get bigger and put them on every bike.

For twin kids 2&3 we've got a used Chariot, it's a ton better than the InStep. I don't have an opinion on their newer models since Thule bought them, but I was able to buy a spare part for the older trailer through a Thule dealer, which is pretty good support IMO.
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Old 12-16-17, 04:21 AM
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We used a Croozer double trailer - kids are 1 1/2 years apart. It was a nice trailer, converted to stroller and running stroller, and we put a pile of miles on ours.
It was fine, but I would still probably recommend the Thule chariot on everything except for the price. I would not recommend collapsing it between rides, but you will figure that out. For a pure jogging stroller, I might pick the Bob were I to do it over again.
The recumbent, strap in single wheel trailer bike is an interesting idea. As they get older, I highly recommend the Burley trailer bikes, kazoo & picolo. My oldest was on his own bike extremely young, (bike 2.5km to school in jr kindergarten) but my youngest hasn't been as interested in his own bike yet. With the kazoo, we are just as mobile, and he is quite a powerful pedaler, I can stop pedaling and he can push me along quite well. I tried a cheaper seatpost attached model, and the Butler is far superior.

He now tells me he will use his own bike next year (he is 5).

Last edited by Viich; 12-16-17 at 04:32 AM.
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