DOUBLE BIKE TRAILERS FOR KIDS
Nowadays, the kids bike trailers gain more and more popularity and we are now at a point where some of the most renowned stroller brands are offering as well, their version of a child bike trailers.
There are so many types and of course, each one of them with their pros and cons, that it might get a little confusing and choosing the right one for you might even feel a little bit overwhelming. In this post we will try to guide you through the main features of a kids bike trailer in order to help you in your research when you are looking for the best child bike trailer for you and your little ones.
The first thing to figure out is if you as a parent can handle the kids bike trailer attached at the back of your bike. It looks easy when you are just watching on the side, but it does add to the effort that you are making while cycling and requires good stamina. To battle that feeling, the manufacturer’s are constantly coming up with new lightweight materials to make the child bike trailers of, but lightweight not always means safe. Just after these few thoughts, you can tell that it is not easy to just go for a bike trailer and if you are one a budget, do not make it a priority.
The first priority always is the safety of your children. For you as a parent to ensure it, you need to take into consideration how old is your baby, is it only one or you want to pedal around with your twins or toddler and a baby and what are the routes that you would like to take on. Answering this questions is a step that you take before you even get to look into the different products offered at the market.
DOUBLE BIKE TRAILERS FOR KIDS
If you haven't already heard of the one year old rule, here it is - your babies will be safer riding in the kids bike trailer after they have turned one year old. The science behind it is that the kid’s soft spot at the head should be closed and this way if anything happens the injuries would be smaller. Also, the child is not only able to sit on its own, but it is stable and has a sense of their own protection. Having said that, we have seen smaller babies riding in a bike trailers and there are some manufacturers that offer special seats to instal inside the kids trailer in order to ensure the safety of smaller babies. Even with the option to ensure the safety of your baby with a similar seat, we do not recommend to put younger than a year old child in a bike trailer.
One thing that is absolutely unconditional is the helmet - not only for you, but for the kids riding in the trailer as well. Do not compromise on this one, as it might be a lifesaver. Usually, kids get all so excited about riding in the kids trailer that they wouldn’t refuse putting the helmet on and even if they do, just let them know that the rule is final - no helmet, no ride :)
Another thing that is essential for your and your kids safety when riding in a bike trailer is actually the route. If you live in a big city, just chose roads with indicated bike lanes and avoid heavy traffic and rush hours if possible. In smaller towns or in the countryside this is not so much of an issue, but still using the roads with light or no traffic at all is a priority, after all kids bike trailers are designed to be used off-road, mostly in parks and areas where cars are not allowed.
In this sense, you should be prepared to spend more time on the route when having your babies in the kids bike trailer, so plan plenty ahead of time and do not rush, this way you will make the ride enjoyable for you and your little ones as well. After we have gone through some general safety rules, we can now look at what the bike trailers themselves offer to ensure the safety of the kids.
DOUBLE BIKE TRAILERS FOR KIDS
The way the kids bike trailer attaches to the bike is not only an important thing to look at in order to find out if it is a match for your bike, but also can affect safety. There are a few ways the kid trailers attach to the bike. The most common is by an axle mount that clamps straight to the rear axle of the bike. There are also bike trailers that use a stay mount that clamps directly to the frame of the bike, and you could possibly see some trailers attached to the bike using a seat-post mount, but this is not very common when talking about kids bike trailers.
The hitch and its arm are the ones that actually connect the bike and the trailer, so they are one of the most important things to look for and of essential importance about the safety of your little ones.
The manufacturers are competing in designing a better hitch and an arm to it, as this is the connection between the trailer and the bike and it is important for that connection to be secure, but at the same time allow the trailer and the bike to have the needed individual movement to make the ride easy on the parent and enjoyable for the kids in the trailer.
Some brands offer additional straps to secure the hitch and at the same time allow the bike to twist away from the trailer leaving it upright in case the bike falls. Other manufacturers have addressed this issue by equipping the trailers with a rotating ball hitch that also leaves the trailer upright in case of an accident.
What is important to know, especially when talking about kids bike trailers where you want to accommodate a toddler and a younger kid, is to always sit the heavier child on the side where the hitch extends. This is due to the pure science behind the motion of the bike and the trailer. If you happen to hit a curb or a bump, the trailer will tend to tip towards the hitch side and in this case the lighter kid will tip over the heavier which is not a great scenario, but it is still better than the other way round where your bigger kid falls over your smaller one.
Some models offer roll-bars that are a great addition to the overall safety that the trailer offers. The roll-bars not only prevent the trailer from bumps and little hits on the sides, but they also add to the stability of the kids bike trailer as a whole. The roll-bars are just optional, but if you are thinking to invest in a good bike trailer, then they will be a nice plus to have.
Bright colours and flag
Usually the kids trailers and the child trailer accessories come in bright and vivid colours and that is for the simple reason of safety. The bright colours are more likely to draw the attention of drivers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to see the kids bike trailer due to its low profile. This is also the purpose of having a flag on your bike trailer, so do not miss this at first small element, but with a vital importance. A nice addition would be to get a kids bike trailer that comes with reflectors at the wheels, the sides and the rear side of it.
This section can be divided in two main points. The weight of the bike trailer itself and the weight that the trailer can handle. Of course, you would want as lightweight as possible bike trailer, as this will help you handle it better and will not add to the effort that you have to make when riding your bike, but sometimes lightweight is not the best option. Some heavier kids bike trailers turn out to be way more stable and capable of staying upright in case of accidents. Usually the kids bike trailers come with a steel frame that is heavy, but extremely stable. There are more and more models that are equipped with a frame made out of aluminium alloy that is aimed to be as sturdy as the steel, but lightweight. Both materials are a good choice as long as they are combined with some other features that assure the safety and the enjoyable ride for you and your kids.
The weight that the kids bike trailer can handle is not to disregard as well. Kids bike trailers are designed to handle bigger kids and they are sometimes a great option for older kids with special needs that wouldn’t fit in a regular stroller. There are also quite a few models designed for two kids, but what you need to look for is the maximum weight that the manufacturer states the bike trailer can handle and do not go over it, as this might jeopardise the safety of your little ones.
The harness in the kids bike trailers is no different than the one that usually double jogging strollers come with. You should be looking for a well padded, five point harness that allows you to adjust it, so that no matter of the age and size of the child, they will be well restrained. When looking for a double kids bike trailer then of course, you should check if it comes with two separate harnesses.
Due to the low profile of the kids bike trailers in general and the fact that kids are riding close to the ground, the seating should be well padded in order to help with the bumps absorption and make the ride more comfortable for the little ones. Another thing that you should be looking for is enough legroom and the material underneath your baby's legs. Some models offer just fabric leg support and some more expensive brands come with rubber or even plastic leg support. The back support is also important feature and again you could find models with reclining seats and dividers when the model is designed for two kids.
Wheels and suspension
Same as the double jogging strollers, the kids bike trailers come with bicycle-like wheels made with steel or aluminum rims. Here we need to mention that steel rims are more likely to rust and are heavier in comparison to aluminium rims that won’t rust and are lightweight. The size of the wheels that bike trailers come with varies between 16 and 20 inches and the front wheel is usually smaller. The bigger rear wheels would absorb bumps easier and the smaller front wheel is the one that increases the maneuverability of the bike trailer and makes it easier to handle by the cycling parent. Although the inflatable tires need their taking care of, they will make the ride smooth and comfortable for you and your babies.
When talking about the wheels, it is a great feature to have them detachable. This way you will be able to easily fix a broken one and cleaning won’t be a hard task. The detachable wheels are also very handy when it comes to storing the trailer or having to fit it in the SUV for vacations.
Folding and storage
As we have just mentioned, the detachable wheels are a great addition, but what you also have to be looking for in a kids bike trailer is the folding mechanism itself. Recent models are fitted with quick-folding mechanisms, so you do not need to make an effort as the trailer nearly collapses itself.
Convertibility and additional kits
Some families are not investing in a bike trailer only because they are planning to use it for cycling in the park with the kids or to commute from and to work and dropping and picking up the kids from school on the way. These families also like hiking and skiing and recent models of kids bike trailers are aimed just for this type of families. With getting a relatively not expensive kit you will be able to convert your bike trailer in the perfect sleigh for instance. Being able to convert the bike trailer into a jogging stroller is also a great feature, as you can use it just a stroller at first and once your kids gets to the appropriate age to ride in a bike trailer - you will already have it. There are also families who are using the kds bike trailers as strollers as they have kids with special needs that just wouldn’t fit in a regular stroller, so the convertibility of the bike trailer might be essential to you.
Fabric and protection from the elements
Now as the myth about using the bike trailers only on sunny days and in warm climates is busted with the help of the conversion kit that could turn a bike trailer into a sleigh, what you should be looking for is the fabric to be good and thick. Usually, manufacturers use fabrics that would be rain resistant, similar to the fabrics used for the make of baby strollers. However, they also include additional rain and wind covers, or just the ability to completely close up the trailer. This is a great feature, as your baby would be safe not only from the elements, but just even from little debris that might fly from under the bike. In case you go for this option, just make sure that the kids bike trailer has additional ventilation window or a mesh that would let the air flow inside it. Some models come with blinded windows in order to protect the kids from the sun, but sometimes the little ones are not really liking it as it obstructs their views.
There are quite a lot of things to look for when going for a kids bike trailer and we hope that this post has helped you to prioritize your needs and given you a direction when going through kids bike trailer reviews. The information is sometimes overwhelming, especially if this is the first time you have decided to make a little research on what are the bike trailers. However, by checking the main points and giving you a few tips we know that you would easily be able to find the best kids bike trailer to satisfy your needs and get you to enjoy bike trails together with your little ones.