Tag-a-longs

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
acr
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Tag-a-longs

Postby acr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 19:02 pm

Hi All,

I'm interested in opinions of folks who use tag-a-longs with their kids ie. Adams trailer bikes and the like.

I've just ordered an Avenir (Raleigh?) tag-a-long. We have 3 kids - 6, 4 and 2. The six year old is off and running, no stabilisers, and wants to cycle for hours when we go out. 4 year old is on stabilisers and loses interest very quickly ie. wants to go home after 20 mins which isn't fair on my 6 year old, so I'm forced to exclude him from rides with my eldest. Am looking to involve him so my answer is to get a tag along that he can ride tagged on to me, and 6 year old can ride along too on his bike. And when he outgrows it our 2 year old can have a go when she is older.

Bit of a cart before horse question, I know I should gather opinions before buying. Just wondering what ages folks use tag alongs with, is 4 reasonable (he's 5 in December). And at what age will it be suitable to let our now 2 year old on the tag-a-long ?

Ta,

Ade

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HJ1976
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Postby HJ1976 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 20:15 pm

Friends have a tail-gaitor which works well for them as at present they just have the one (4 year old) child so no ongoing need for a hand me down tag-along.

Callum can easily hitch a ride when he is tired or his Hypermobility syndome means that hs legs are hurting, otherwise he pootles on under his own steam.

acr
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Postby acr » Mon Aug 27, 2007 21:19 pm

Yep looked at the trail gator. Didn't go for it in the end, I thought we'd get the use out of a tag-a-long wheras I'd be more inclined to get a trailgator if I only had one child as they are half the price.

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HJ1976
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Postby HJ1976 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 21:51 pm

age is subjective- my 4 year old wouldn't cope as well as my friends did. But saying that as a family of cyclists rather than a single parent family with one child yours will probably see cycling as more normal than my daughter did - her dad is the sort that would drive to the toilet if it was at the end of the garden.

Craiglea
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What brands are worth looking at?

Postby Craiglea » Wed Aug 29, 2007 20:43 pm

I think I am going to go for a trailer bike for my four-year old. This feels like a good time as she in about 0.5 kg from the limit for the Hamax we use for the daily commute.

Choice seems limited (Trek or Edinburgh Bikes) here so I wondered whether I am missing out on some good alternatives. I would like the combination to be as light as possible but also as safe as possible.

I can't use a model that attaches to a rack as I can't fit one

acr
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Postby acr » Wed Aug 29, 2007 22:11 pm

Adams trail-a-bike seems to be a popular range, however I did an ebay search for 2nd hand models and stumbled across the Avenir bike which was £85 new, which is a Raleigh brand. 2nd hand models go for 40-50 quid on ebay, so for a little more I got a new one.

It came today and looks okay, will have a go on Saturday. It clamps to the seat post, folds too. Bit heavy but I'm not bothered about that, there was 3lbs between the steel model and a lightweight model so I thought that a third of a sack of spuds would be no big deal to tow.

You seem to pay a price premium for lightweight models, and for derailleur gears too.

Craiglea
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Postby Craiglea » Wed Aug 29, 2007 22:15 pm

You seem to pay a price premium for lightweight models, and for derailleur gears too.


Definitely don't want those gears - at four she'd be pedalling backwards most of the time!

Mister Paul
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Postby Mister Paul » Thu Aug 30, 2007 13:24 pm

Adams are good. Burley are good but expensive.

Islabikes do one which, like the Burley, fixes to a rear rack and so is far more stable.

We had a Phillips (Raleigh) one. By the time the boy was big enough to fit on it he was riding on 2 wheels himself, so we sold it and bought a Trail Gator. You can get them for less than £40 on t'internet, and means that you can swap between the child cycling independently and being hitched up behind you.

I'd recommend a Trail Gator.

mountaincarrot
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Adventure A6

Postby mountaincarrot » Mon Sep 03, 2007 13:52 pm

I got a 6 speed alloy one (The Adventure A6). I got it on Ebay secondhand for the same price of a new steel single speed trailer.

It's been used a lot now with our 4 year old girl (She's 1 Metre high and can just reach the pedals with a fixed seat tube set shortest).

It's really good, and the gears are a big worthwhile advantage. The gear ratio is 2:1 which allows the child to contribute properly at normal "family" cycling speeds as well as give a hefty shove up the hills. It's like having a little engine behind. A fit 4 year old can comfortably pull her/his own weight on an efficient bike.

Recommended.

Craiglea
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Postby Craiglea » Mon Sep 03, 2007 19:09 pm

I picked up a used Edinburgh Bikes tag-a-long but so far it's not been a huge success. The link seems to have a lot of play (regardless of changing the lining) and that means that the bike leans to one side or the other and switches between those two angles in use. She seems to find that alarming.

I wonder if the later designs have a different method of attaching the two.

mountaincarrot
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Postby mountaincarrot » Tue Sep 04, 2007 08:22 am

Hi Craiglea.

You are right that some of the tag alongs have far too much play in the bushes. This is mostly due to poor/cheapo design. The people I bought mine off had (quite alarmingly) been running theirs without the bush inserted in the coupling at all. - Naturally they had found it almost unuseable.

I got a friend with a lathe to turn me up some very tight brass bushes for the coupling bearing. The resulting slop is now undetectable. This is a real benefit.

I think the more expensive tag-alongs such as the Burleigh use a headset bearing mounted on a special bike rack, so they overcome the problem entirely that way. Problem is the price, and if (like me) you don't want a rack fitted because it's a regularly used off-road bike the rest of the time. I chose to go for the seat tube mount and it works great if it's well made.

I suggest that you take a close look at the bushing on the pivot fitting, and contact a friend with a lathe, or a small engineering outfit to help cure the wobble.

Rgds.

acr
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Postby acr » Tue Sep 04, 2007 17:16 pm

Thats a very good call. Seems obvious to check for free play, though it would not have entered my head to check it until the child used the tag-a-long for the first time. I had assumed that all would be well given that the product is new.

andrewc3142
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Postby andrewc3142 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 18:20 pm

Another thing you may want to consider is getting a tandem. We looked at tagalongs, etc but for various reasons thought a tandem would be a better buy, albeit more expensive.

Childback tandems are fairly difficult to find but the Orbit (we got it from JD Cycles, if I remember correctly for £695) is small enough at the back for the 7 year old (then 6) to ride comfortably but big enough for my wife to be stoker, so it will be useful for a lot longer than a tagalong. It is still a bit too big for younger brother (just 5), but in about 6 months will be perfect for longer family rides, him on the back, the oldest riding his own and my wife on her bike.

As a bike it rides very well, road or canal path, and, an important consideration for us, it is very useable one-up, so can be used to take the kids to parties, Beaver days and the like in place of the car.

BTW, I haven't seen any in this country, but in Belgium they have tandems where the child sits in the front. Safe and cool.

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Mark Appleton
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Postby Mark Appleton » Fri Sep 07, 2007 09:51 am

Just in case you haven't seen our take on the the subject, see http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/buyers-guide-to-trailer-cycles--11037[/url]

leyton condor
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Postby leyton condor » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:35 am

I bought the simplest trek tag along two years ago for my daughter who was then 4. We still use it , and have had no problems with journeys of up to 10/12 miles on roads and paths. if you have used a child seat before, you should have no real problems towing it.I think they still sell at around the £100 ish mark. I remember trying to get one on e-bay but the prices were so high, it was easier to go to my local shop.
We hope to use it in a couple of weeks on the London Freewheel.

Happy cycling

threesixzero
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my tuppence worth

Postby threesixzero » Sun Sep 09, 2007 17:26 pm

We have the "Adventure F1" which we bought for about £80 from wiggle.

My daughters been riding this behind my bike since she was 36 months.

Its single speed, foldable and even has bosses for crudcatcher underneath.

I had to modify the reach for the handle bars by turning the seat post 180 degree (ie the layback is now a lay forward) for her to feel safe.

We regularly do about 7-9 miles cross country with no problems watsoever.

I have clocked over 25 mph with her in tow screaming faster faster so 4 yrs old is easily old enough IMO.

Dot Horlicks
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Question re 'Tandem' trailers

Postby Dot Horlicks » Sun Sep 09, 2007 20:44 pm

Hello

On the buyers guide page it says:

If you want to use the trailer cycle with more than one bike - maybe so mum and dad can take it in turns to do the school run - buy an extra rack or hitch. It adds hugely to the trailer cycle's versatility without adding much cost.

What does this mean exactly?

We've a 5 year old about to start school and 2.5 year old who can't ride a bike. At the moment we plan to cycle with one kid in the child's seat on the back (std model) and then walk when the school child is with us. Not the greatest solution but can't find a safe way to carry 2 children of this age...

Any ideas?

Hope you can help

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PrettyBoyTim
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Re: Question re 'Tandem' trailers

Postby PrettyBoyTim » Sun Sep 09, 2007 21:19 pm

Dot Horlicks wrote:If you want to use the trailer cycle with more than one bike - maybe so mum and dad can take it in turns to do the school run - buy an extra rack or hitch. It adds hugely to the trailer cycle's versatility without adding much cost.

What does this mean exactly?


To connect the trailer to the bike, many trailers have a special part (the 'hitch') that is fitted to the bike. You can then easily clip the trailer on and off the bike. If you buy a second hitch, you can attach it to a second bike, thereby allowing you to clip the trailer easily to either bike without having to go through the palaver of moving the hitch between bikes.

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kieranb
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Postby kieranb » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:11 am

hi, we have had 2 burley piccolo tag-a-longs, they are expensive but rock solid with no wobbles and when you are finished you can still sell them on for a good price. The rack is also very good on its own as a luggage carrier. We have used them from about 4 years up to 7/8 by which time they don't want to be pulled along.

nickynbob
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Postby nickynbob » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:25 am

Hi. We have a Avenir which we got off Ebay. Paint ws a bit tatty but very solid and stable. Eldest daughter (4) has been on a Bike Tutor on the front and has now moved to the Avenir behind and our youngest daughter (1 1/2) is now on the front. Great to have some help on the hills and the nursery/school run has become an adventure.

Some friends of ours have one that folds up rather like a brompton. Very clever and easier to load on the car rack.

We do find that with one in front adn one behind the effect on the bike is minimal considering there are 3 of us on there....sort of.

PS We striped and painted the Avenir at the weekend. Shocking PINK!


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