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Want to buy bike just for pulling kids

Old 07-26-12, 12:38 PM
  #1  
ultravolta
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Want to buy bike just for pulling kids

Hello everyone. I'm relatively new to forums and mostly lurking in single speed and mountain biking. I've gotten back into the swing of things after a 20 year hiatus. I started back on a craigslist MTB and slowly transistioned over to FGSS. FG has been a great way to get back into shape but the biking world is opening up to me. I want a nice road and MTB eventually.

But for now I have two toddlers and want to bike around with them in a trailer. I want to have a bike solely for taking the kids out and am in the market for a new bike dedicated to this.

I've look these two off BD:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...lite_sport.htm
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...lite_trail.htm

I'm riding on dedicated bike trail which is mostly sidewalk, sprawls 26 miles.

Any advice, input, 2 cents would be appreciated.
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Old 07-26-12, 05:14 PM
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I'd think non-suspended would be better, and generally, as light as possible.
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Old 07-27-12, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ultravolta View Post
Hello everyone. I'm relatively new to forums and mostly lurking in single speed and mountain biking. I've gotten back into the swing of things after a 20 year hiatus. I started back on a craigslist MTB and slowly transistioned over to FGSS. FG has been a great way to get back into shape but the biking world is opening up to me. I want a nice road and MTB eventually.

But for now I have two toddlers and want to bike around with them in a trailer. I want to have a bike solely for taking the kids out and am in the market for a new bike dedicated to this.

I've look these two off BD:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...lite_sport.htm
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...lite_trail.htm

I'm riding on dedicated bike trail which is mostly sidewalk, sprawls 26 miles.

Any advice, input, 2 cents would be appreciated.
I've pulled my kids thousands of miles between the trailer and the tag-along. Ideally, you'll get something that isn't suspended and has a wide gear range. A 1980's to early 1990's quality mountain bike, such as the Specialized Stumpjumper or Rockhopper would be ideal. Put some slick tires (personally, I prefer the Bell Dirtsters - cheap and good flat resistance) and a different handlebar and you're in business. I would stay away from most new-ish bikes as either the geometry and gearing will be inadequate or the quality will be lacking.

Weight is really a very minor, secondary concern. Think about it. You're planning to pull a kid trailer. Does an extra pound or two really matter? If so, be sure your kid/s leave shoes at home...
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Old 07-27-12, 06:57 AM
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Ive used a Trek hybrid and a Surly Pugsley to pull my son in a trailer. I actually preferred to do it on the Pug
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Old 07-27-12, 07:09 AM
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Have you looked at the Madsen?
www.madsencycles.com

I have one and really love it. It's my daily driver, lol.
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Old 07-27-12, 08:22 AM
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+1 on the old mountain bike with a tire swap. Most have the gears to pull the load and the rear wheels will be more than strong enough to take the hitch weight. I dislike hitching and unhitching, so that's what I do.

If you're using this an occassion to get yourself a new bike, anything you like with low gears and a non-racer rear wheel will do this.
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Old 07-27-12, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
+1 on the old mountain bike with a tire swap.
Yes, an older rigid MTB will do this job nicely with the right tires for street use.
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Old 07-27-12, 12:04 PM
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You guys are reading my mind. I picked up an '89 Specialized Rock Hopper at a yard sale for $40 some years ago to pull the kids' Chariot. After they grew out of it, I donated the Chariot and the RH to my Goddaughter's dad, and now she's outgrown it too. The Chariot's been sold off but I reclaimed the Rock Hopper. It's such a great commuter/utility/dirtpath/do-anything bike.
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Old 07-27-12, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
You guys are reading my mind. I picked up an '89 Specialized Rock Hopper at a yard sale for $40 some years ago to pull the kids' Chariot. After they grew out of it, I donated the Chariot and the RH to my Goddaughter's dad, and now she's outgrown it too. The Chariot's been sold off but I reclaimed the Rock Hopper. It's such a great commuter/utility/dirtpath/do-anything bike.
Exactly, a quality, durable build can be found for cheap on Craigslist.

If I was to get one of these, I would:
1- change the tires; I prefer Bell Dirtster. They're cheap and durable.
2- change the handlebars to either a trekking or a swoop back (ie, Mary Jane, Porteur, Postino,e tc) style
3- change the seat to a VO touring leather or a Brooks B17.
4- add a good saddlebag, preferably the Carradice Nelson longflap.

With that, you'd have an expedition quality bike capable of pulling the kids to the park or across the continent.
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Old 07-28-12, 12:12 AM
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everyone you are amazing! thanks for all the resources. when I started riding again I got an old rigid MTB off craigslist. I've taken it to the LBS for a tune up and they've just said don't waste the money on fixing it and put the money towards a better MTB. the problem with it is the shifters. I'll probably take it back and ask them to fix it up just as my utility bike.

again thanks for the mountains of resources!
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Old 07-28-12, 10:34 AM
  #11  
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What bike did you get and what's wrong with the shifters?
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Old 07-28-12, 07:50 PM
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Want to buy bike just for pulling kids

It's a diamondback sorrento. Not sure what year. It's not the shifters so much as it is the front derailer. It's pretty much stuck between 1 & 2 and can't really shift to 3. To get to 3 you have to put it to 1 and throw it to 3 and that's not a guarantee. Other than that shifting is just a ***** in general. Back derailer works decent but is finnicky too.
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Old 07-30-12, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ultravolta View Post
It's a diamondback sorrento. Not sure what year. It's not the shifters so much as it is the front derailer. It's pretty much stuck between 1 & 2 and can't really shift to 3. To get to 3 you have to put it to 1 and throw it to 3 and that's not a guarantee. Other than that shifting is just a ***** in general. Back derailer works decent but is finnicky too.
Not a great bike, but decent. I'd replace the front derailleur cable and housing. Chances are, that and adjustment will fix the issue. Front deraillur adjustment is simple, alignment, however, can be finnicky. If you're handy, you can find information on-line about how to do both adjustment and alignment. It's really very simple.

The rear derailleur is not hard to adjust either. If it can't be properly adjusted, it usually means a bent derailleur hanger. That, or the derailleur itself is bent. If either the hanger or derailleur is bent, they should be replaced.

Keep in mind, if the bike has been ridden, it might need new drivetrain parts (ie, chain, cassette, rear derailleur jockeys, chain rings).
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Old 07-31-12, 11:56 AM
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thanks for the input, I've become acquainted with one of the guys LBS he does free labor for IPAs . I'm going to have him look at it with your advice. Will let you all know how it goes as time goes on. thank you again!
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Old 08-04-12, 01:26 AM
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Well? What did he say?
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Old 08-05-12, 10:31 PM
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Want to buy bike just for pulling kids

LoL. Get a new bike.
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Old 08-06-12, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ultravolta View Post
LoL. Get a new bike.
The Diamond Back Sorrento wasn't a great bike, but it was an OK beginner bike. I'm not sure what ultravolta has against it. Sure, there are thousands of better bikes, but a Sorrento will probably work just fine for now. If you use it a lot, get a better bike. If it starts breaking down a lot on you, get a better bike.

One thing's for sure, I would not get a NEW bike. If you need to replace the Sorrento, find a new-to-you bike on Craigslist. You'll get high quality at very reasonable prices.
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Old 08-07-12, 09:05 AM
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Old 08-08-12, 11:26 AM
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Personally I would want my kid up near me where I can talk with her and monitor what she's doing, and that's why I don't use a bike trailer. Models that incorporate cargo/kid space on the bike are Madsen, Bullitt, Bakfiets, Gazelle, Cetma, Triobike, etc.
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Old 08-08-12, 12:42 PM
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Any bike that you like riding will do the job. I've attached my trailer to all sorts of bikes. I'm a bike nut and own countless bikes. I've tied it to my racing bike, and I like the way it continues to handle high speed turns well. It just accelerates and climbs more slowly.

Be sure your brakes are adequate for the added mass.

And bring a tool kit, because you don't want to be stranded because of something simple such as a flat tire.
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Old 08-16-12, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PaleoFloridian View Post
Personally I would want my kid up near me where I can talk with her and monitor what she's doing, and that's why I don't use a bike trailer...
I suppose each to their own. If you've got ~$2,000 to drop on an entirely new bike and this is what you want, then go for it. For me, I just used a bike I already had and bought a kid trailer at a garage sale for $50. I've pulled it several thousand miles, and, surprise, I found I can talk with my kids while they're in the trailer. Usually, however, they talk with each other. Also, for monitoring, a mirror works just fine.

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Old 08-16-12, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PaleoFloridian View Post
Personally I would want my kid up near me where I can talk with her and monitor what she's doing, and that's why I don't use a bike trailer.
I understand the sentiment, and although I do use a trailer for the kids, I also have this, a Chariot Sidecarrier sidecar, which keeps the kid in sight and gives a better sense of security.



This is not my bike or picture, but it shows the carriage and mount location. I love it, and am on my second kid with it now, but it is more size limited than a trailer; they'll probably outgrow it by 5.
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Old 08-17-12, 07:22 AM
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Now that my son has outgrown the trailer and riding his own bike, we ditched the trailer and bought the mini-van on 2 wheels, a Kona Ute, rigged up some stoker bars and cut a milk crate in half diagonally to make a seat on the rack for him. We stick his front wheel in the side bag, add a couple bungie cords and ride that way until we get to an area that he can ride safely. Without his bike, we can put him on the rack and a couple weeks worth of groceries in the bags
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Old 08-21-12, 04:07 PM
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This is the sorrento I have, not sure what year it is. I don't have anything against it if anything it gets the job done and if I can pull my kids in it, be either the chariot sidecar or a tow trailer. My only gripe now is the shifting is by far subpar and I know the brakes and tires need to be replace.

This has been my new hobby and would not mind working on the bike myself but would it be worth it to build it up again? I'm thinking new break pads at the very least and new shifters so forth as time goes on. Mind you this pic is from when I got it new off craigslist.
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