Kids in bike trailers?

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
No, not really. You need to look at the risk pool (number/miles covered by peds/trailers).

I have a trailer for my little un. I have ridden it on the road a bit but will do this more out of necessity and generally choose off road if I can.
Having said that I did 44 miles on roads over in France last week with the trailer (same one as Ianaruk's) a 21kg youngster and a fair bit of kit. Averaged just under 13mph over 2000ft :wacko: It is true that car drivers generally give more room.

Risk is a funny one and I think it's more of a head thing that a real thing. I can't really put my finger on why I perceive the trailer to be less safe around traffic than a child seat on the back of the bike. Anecdotally I had an insanely close pass (I would say deliberate) when I had my daughter in the bike seat last year on a really quiet road. I haven't had one insanely close pass with the trailer.



See, if I had to carry a child, I'd far rather have them in a trailer than a seat. The seat raises the centre of gravity of the bike, and if I had to stop quickly, or swerve, or fell off, the seat would make the bike more likely to topple, and if the bike went over, the seat goes with it. A trailer keeps the weight low, puts the child in a roll cage, and if the bike falls over, the trailer says unaffected.

Drivers tend to pass wider vehicles wider. A trailer widens a bike, a seat doesn't.

If a road is very bad due to bad driving, should a parent be cycling on it anyway? Losing a parent is a pretty bad experience, what right does anyone have to perhaps inflict it on their child?

Yes, risk is to a large extent a head thing, and I do get people's worries. But everyone I know who uses a trailer is happy about it (obviously, or they wouldn't do it). The only way to avoid all risk is not to have children!
 

Night Train

Maker of Things
Fair enough, its just that I spend a lot of time in the Islington and Hoxton area of London where the trailers a fairly common and seeing them on those roads fills me with dread which as you have pointed out is probably unjustified.
I guess it is a thing where personal experience of an area or environment is going to colour opinion one way or the other.

My only experiences of transporting children with bikes haven't been good.

I once had a toddler in a child seat on the back of my bike. She had a habit of throwing her weight about for a laugh, unaware that she would almost bring down my bike when cornering, or when I am about to stop by throwing her weight to the opposite side of the leg I am putting down. She was so dangerous that I eventually reused to carry her.

I had an older child in a trailer on holiday once. She has downs and was absolutely lovely but difficult to reason with. When going up a hill she would scream demands to go 'Faster! Faster! and sulk if I didn't. Going down hill she would scream 'Slow down! Slow down!' until I was at crawling speed.

I can't really comment on the trailer on the road as on the sections of road we cycled on there didn't seem to be any traffic!
 

snorri

Legendary Member
As an alternative to a trailer you could have a box on the front or, further from the camera, have the child stand on the rear luggage rack.

Always trying to be helpful:smile:
 

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I great idea but it would scare the pants off me, one mistake by a driver and it is probably all over, bad enough if I was hurt but my children does not bare thinking about (who are now adults) I doubt I would have risked it.

This is equally true if they are in a pram, pushchair or walikng
 
OP
OP
Black Sheep
Location
Rammy
Hi Snorri,

As fun as a bakfiets would be I don't think I can afford one or justify one since I don't cycle for transport anymore.
 

Primal Scream

Get your rocks off
This is equally true if they are in a pram, pushchair or walikng
Oh I agree there, once you have children you really learn to worry, until they moved out I would have trouble sleeping till they arrived home from a night out clubing particulary after a mate of mind was assulted and left with a severe brain injury and unable to walk or talk properly during a night out.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
As an alternative to a trailer you could have a box on the front or, further from the camera, have the child stand on the rear luggage rack.

Always trying to be helpful:smile:


My workmate has a Nihola trike to carry his little girl - when she's not in it. he uses it for carrying stuff like bags of compost! It's a tadpole trike with the 'bucket' between the two front wheels.
 

snailracer

Über Member
Arch you normally talk a lot of sense but the chances of a trailer being hit far outweigh the chances of hitting someone on a pavement and you know of a fatality.

Just my opinion based upon little knowledge I will admit.
According to the stats, the chances of being killed, per mile, are almost exactly the same for pedestrians and cyclists.
 
BlackSheep are you Up Northwest? I have a Workcycles Fr8 which I'm very happy with, you could swing past to look at it if you were ever in Manchester. (Warning: you will get lots of people shrieking "It's A Baby" and pointing as you cycle past with the baby on the front Yepp Mini seat). It's not a trailer but is another child-carrying option. It weighs a ton and cost a lot too but I am a convert. Provided you have no hills.

As for the risk aspect, you can worry about that till your hair falls out. I know of people in Manchester who have been killed on the pavement, again not personally but one was very close to home, driver was a learner or without insurance or similar, went the wrong way up the dual carriage way and mounted the pavement somehow, with at least two fatalities. Now obv more pedestrians than cyclists, but still. You can do a lot to reduce your risk on the bike and I suspect you're also more aware of possible risk - as a pedestrian you aren't as aware (expecting cars to mount pavements?). It's another one of those things where it depends vastly on the areas you live/cycle/walk. Some roads near me I wouldn't cycle on (even without a child) as the drivers are (almost) all idiots, but others are fine.
 

helston90

Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.
Location
Cornwall
With nothing new to add I'll echo the sentiments above of being given a massive berth by car drivers when they pass you with the trailer on- I don't have access to any closed roads, so ride on all my in town roads and on minor roads to the beach etc. and I'm always impressed with the respect and my 3 and half year old loves it.
So much so they stop at roundabouts to let you go even when they have priority- I guess so they know you're safe- and seem to happily wait behind you to overtake for ages.
 
OP
OP
Black Sheep
Location
Rammy
BlackSheep are you Up Northwest? I have a Workcycles Fr8 which I'm very happy with, you could swing past to look at it if you were ever in Manchester. (Warning: you will get lots of people shrieking "It's A Baby" and pointing as you cycle past with the baby on the front Yepp Mini seat). It's not a trailer but is another child-carrying option. It weighs a ton and cost a lot too but I am a convert. Provided you have no hills.

.

Thanks for your kind offer, I'm in Ramsbottom so nothing but hills, also no space for another bike


Need the trailer to be foldable for storage, able to transport a small person + picnic hamper :smile:

Any recommendations?
 

S610

Regular
I tried the the bike seats, front and back, didnt like either of them. I didnt like the back one because i felt that it wasnt a pleasant experience for my child to sit looking at my ass and i didnt like not been able to see him. The front one meant he got all the wind straight in his face and scared the pants out of him when i went down hill. Both messed with the balance of the bike.
The trailor we both love. I dont have to worry about dropping him when i get on and off the bike as the joint in the connection allows the bike to go all the way to lieing flat and the trailor still stays exactly where is is. Its got a quick release pin to disconnect from my bike, so when i drop him at school its quick to detach the trailor and go on with my cycling(one small connector stays on your quick release skewer). Although i cant see him, ive attached a bike bell in his trailor and he rings it if he needs me. I like that he is protected from the elements, totally waterproof and if you want to roll the waterproof cover up he still got a fly/mud net there. Hes got a 5 point harness with plenty of room and pockets to put his toys in. He sits in it happily with his helmet on and a blanket to keep him warm, looking out his, 'windows' and likes to brag to his friends at school about his transport.

Although i constantly have problems with traffic coming to close to me on my own, i dont experience this problem when im towing the trailor, they do go wide, i live in the countryside, majority of the roads are 60MPH, but people are respectful of the trailor. I wouldnt want to take it on a narrow, windy 60 MPH road though, all the roads by me are quiet wide. Category 4 hills i need to walk up but apart from that the extra weight isnt that big an issue apart from lowering my average speed on Strava. :tongue:

I got mine from Halfords for £100, highly recommend. :smile:
 

I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
I loved the Hamax Kiss rear mounted seat I used for my boys. Being a confident road rider I used all the same roads I would use when riding solo too, and my boys loved it. We used to ride every week to the tot's swimming session and also to the gym babes group. I always laughed as after the gym session the youngest son would fall asleep as we hurtled down the hill from Mottram into Stalybridge at 30+mph.

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