Bicycle Trailer

www.is-us.co.uk

What to Look for When Buying a Bike Trailer (Part 3)

What other methods of transporting your kids are available.

Bike seat.

I’m afraid I’m not keen on bike seats for the following reasons:

Bicycle Trailer - Stage 1.

A great piece of kit for getting your child out and about from before they can walk to about 4 years of age (dependant on size and weight and the type of trailer).

Tandem Trailer - Stage 2.

A great piece of kit for getting your child out and about from about 3 or 4 to about 7 years of age (dependant on size and weight and the type of tandem trailer). Normally by the age of 6 or 7 they’ll want to ride their own bike.

Cross bar seat.

I’m afraid I’m not keen on bike seats for the following reasons:

Tow bar.

Similar principle to a tandem trailer, but it means you take your Child's own bike and attach it to yours via a tow bar.

Tricycle

An alternative to a bicycle trailer or tandem trailer. It sits between the two in terms of age range. May be difficult for a child to keep up with the adults and older brothers and sisters. They can be ideal for the older child/adult who may have difficulty with balance.

Safety issues

How safe.

A trailer is the best option for young children. When strapped in they are held safe and secure within the trailer. Should they fall asleep, you can ensure they are comfortable with a blanket and cushion. Should you happen to fall off your bike, you know your child is held safe within the trailer.

Testing.

A lot of bike trailers claim to be tested (mainly from the Far East). It is very easy to get a batch of test labels printed and stick them on the product! In my research, I found only two far east companies had their product tested via the test company quoted in their literature.

As far as I know, there isn’t any specific ‘official’ test for bicycle trailers. However, they may come under the following regulation.

“Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003 (an equivalent European standard). Prams and pushchair's are defined as, any wheeled vehicle designed for the transport of one or more infants either seated or reclined".

Some companies have developed their own safety tests (such as in the US) and you will find details of this in their literature. You may also find claims and counter claims about various aspects (every one has their own opinion). So you will have to make your own judgment should you come across any ‘opinions’. However, take a look at all the various aspects and options open to you, bike seat, bike trailer, etc and weigh up all the pro’s and cons.

Where to ride/tow.

It is always safest to find a non road cycle path. However, with thousands of miles of road available to us, at some point you will end up travelling on a road. Just weigh up the speed and amount of traffic and how comfortable you feel. There are many suggestions of where you can cycle on the internet, so it may be worthwhile doing some research.