The beautiful days are coming again and you want to go on a family cycling adventure? Or do you plan to cut down on car use for the next school year, and want to cycle more often? In everyday life or on vacation, the baby and child bicycle trailer is a great option to continue cycling with your young children. Here are our tips for choosing a children’s bike trailer .
The main characteristics of child bike trailers
A child bicycle trailer consists of a passenger compartment with seats for one or two children, one or two wheels, a drawbar to be connected to the bicycle, and an attachment system to the latter. Several trailer models also allow use in city stroller mode, with one or two swivel wheels at the front, or in jogging stroller mode, with a large front wheel. Stroller mode is convenient for shopping, but it cannot be used for running. Some models or brands also offer ski touring conversion kits.
Trailers are most often fitted with two wheels, so they do not roll exactly in the tracks of the bike. The bumps in the road are therefore more common for small passengers. Different suspension systems exist to improve the comfort of children. Child seats are made of fabric and fitted with a safety harness. Basic harnesses have three attachment points. The 5-point harnesses are more comfortable and better grip the child.
For the comfort of parents, the weight of the trailer must be taken into account. A lighter trailer tows more easily, of course. But also, it stows away better, especially for those foldable bike trailers that you’ll want to put in the trunk of the car.
The baby and child bike trailer, for what age?
We often wonder from what age can a baby ride in the bicycle trailer? In general, baby bike trailers can be used with your little one as soon as he is well seated by himself and up to the maximum weight provided for by the model of trailer, or up to the maximum size which is the more often 117cm. T
hat is to say the usual size of a child from 5 to 6 years old. It is however possible to add a hammock seat or a shell seat to comfortably install a baby from 1 to 9 months in the bicycle trailer, that is to say before he sits down.
For children over 5 years old, the Weehoo trailer offers an experience similar to that of autonomy on a bicycle. Trailers of Weehoo brand are open trailers to a single wheel. With or without pedals, they allow your child to experience real cycling sensations. With the pedals, your little one really becomes a cyclist and actively helps you. You then team up for the bike ride which can turn into an adventure. A little later, around 6 years old, you might prefer to use a child bike tandem system like the FollowMe .
Should I choose a child bike trailer with one or two places?
Most bicycle trailers have two seats. Some models offer a choice between one or two seats. If you have two children, the question does not arise: you will choose a two-seater trailer. But what if you only have one child of age to take the bike trailer? The main advantage of the single-seater child trailer is its lighter weight and smaller footprint.
The lightness will allow you to make longer rides with the trailer without feeling tired. As for the footprint, it makes a big difference if you use stroller mode: a smaller trailer goes better through doors, elevators, etc. The foldable single-seater bike trailer is also more compact.
On the other hand, a two-seater trailer used with one child allows you to carry more material. With a child, this is often a good advantage… if you accept the extra weight! In any case, you will always make sure to install your child alone on the side opposite the drawbar of the trailer. For trailers sold in Europe, the child, therefore, sits on the right in the direction of travel.
If your children are not the same weight, you will also place the heavier child on the right side. The trailer will thus have better stability, especially when cornering.
The compatibility of child trailers and bicycles
Almost all trailers currently on the market have a drawbar with an attachment to the axle of the rear wheel of the parent bike. It is the most reliable system for two-wheel trailers, especially to prevent them from overturning. Fortunately, this only happens very rarely, and more often when the trailer is empty.
Baby and child bike trailers that are installed on the axle of the rear wheel are compatible with bikes with a 26 to 28 or 29 inch wheel , depending on the model. The 700mm wheels are equivalent in diameter to the 28 inch one, so road bikes are also compatible with trailers. The attachment provided is usually a small tab that screws onto the quick release or solid axle of the wheel.
But on some bikes, the “universal” baby trailer hitch is not suitable. This is the case of mountain bikes and electric bikes with thru axles . Recognized brands offer a variety of bike attachment solutions for their trailers. Remember to check carefully before making your choice. It is also possible to use a child bike trailer with an eBike. It is enough not to use the full power of the engine to respect the speed limits of the trailer. Typically 25 km / h in a straight line and 10 to 15 km / h in bends.
A common question is the use of a child bicycle cart with a folding bicycle . If the folding bike has 26 inch or larger wheels, there is no problem. For other folding bikes, be aware that the drawbar angle is not intended for use with a small wheel. If you choose to install a child bike trailer on a 20 or 24 inch wheel, you will therefore need to ride with care so that the bottom of the trailer does not rub on obstacles and be careful not to carry too much weight, so as not to exceed the acceptable limit for the drawbar.
Choose an entry-level child trailer or not?
For occasional use, an entry-level bicycle cart is an economical choice that does not compromise the safety of your children. As long as you check that the chosen trailer meets European standards EN 15918 and EN 1888. These are the two standards relating to childcare articles such as strollers and bicycle trailers. But for more frequent use or for longer periods, entry-level trailers do not offer the same user comfort.
For parents, these trailers are heavier to tow. And even less for children. They end up on less ergonomic seats. And are less protected from jolts if the trailer is without suspension. To go to the park on a Sunday afternoon from time to time, these inconveniences are not a problem.
Which trailer for everyday use with children or for traveling by bike?
It is different if you use the trailer every day or take a family cycling vacation ! This is where all the features of high-end bicycle trailers make the difference. With suspension , with ergonomic seats, 5-point harnesses and rain hoods, etc.
You won’t regret paying the price . Because comfort guarantees the pleasure of your child in his bicycle trailer. The bike trailer Croozer and Thule trailers Chariot have all the advantages of the best models of trailers bike children.
Trailers from well-known brands also have the advantage of lasting over time. There is a real resale market for child bike trailers . And therefore also a market for used bicycle trailers . If you choose a Croozer trailer , for example, spare and repair parts will be easy to find. And this, even several years later. A sustainable investment therefore.