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Transporting Older Kids On Bike

Old 08-04-19, 08:14 PM
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The Big Wheel
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Transporting Older Kids On Bike

So my daughter turned 5 this year. When she was around 1-3 years old I used one of those kid seats that goes between the handle bars and your seat. From 4 years old to now I am using a hitch trailer. But soon she is going to be too big to fit in it. What my options now if I want to transport her on bike for long distances? She doesn't have enough energy to go for 6 mile plus rides.

Is my only option a cargo bike? They are all $1,500 plus. I know you can buy Xtracycle Leap to convert your bike into a cargo bike but the problem is that they are for disc brakes only and my bike has rim brakes.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:17 PM
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We used a tag-a-long when the kids were that age.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
We used a tag-a-long when the kids were that age.
That's a great idea, I totally forgot about those!

I think I'll buy one for the time being. Eventually I might have to get a cargo bike in like 5 years when she's too old for the tag along and doesn't want to ride 6 miles to the grandparent's house.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:12 PM
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Yup, trailers or cargo bikes. On casual group rides we often have a few parents and grandparents show up with kidlets over toddler age in tow -- including towed by recumbents -- or riding the back of cargo bikes with handholds and footrests.

I have a comfort hybrid with a long wheelbase, built pretty much like a Yuba, with massive, thick, stiff aluminum frame. All it needs is a comparably sturdy rear rack, and foot pegs.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:34 PM
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I lengthened my bike with a tandem mainframe. But i shortened it. So it's only a stubby SWB tandem. Not a common approach but one that's worked great for us, we spend a lot of time on it.
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Old 08-04-19, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by The Big Wheel View Post
That's a great idea, I totally forgot about those!

I think I'll buy one for the time being. Eventually I might have to get a cargo bike in like 5 years when she's too old for the tag along and doesn't want to ride 6 miles to the grandparent's house.
One advantage to a tag-a-long is that they have their own set of pedals, so that they can help on the hills (in theory)

We re going to be outgrowing the tag-a-long in a couple more summers, so Iíve got my eye out for a tandem that can handle a shorter than average stoker.
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Old 08-05-19, 09:52 AM
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The tag-a-long is probably your best bet!

If she really doesn't want to ride, Wike has some interesting trailer options, including a kid trailer that's spec'd for up to 100 lbs. and a 'special needs' trailer that holds a rider up to 125 lbs./64".

My hauling needs have been accomplished quite well with a 1990s fully rigid MTB running slick tires. $100 for the bike, $60-80 for appropriate tires, plus whatever for the trailer ends up being significantly less expensive than a cargo bike.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:53 PM
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Weehoo. Recumbent trail behind that has a 5 point harness and comfortable seat which is adjustable to size.

We used one for 4 years with our youngest- it opened up WAY more routes for us as a family. Kid+Weehoo=heavy pull, but thats the only downside. The Weehoo was extremely safe, comfortable, and engaging(since she wasnt inside a bubble like a Burley). She could 'help' pedal when she wanted too.
One benefit of a Weehoo versus an upright tag-a-long(in addition to the safety and comfort) is the lack of wobble and wonky side leaning kid bike. Too mant of those tag-a-long additions are just cheap as can be and the kid ends up leaning over to one side since the attachment to the bike is so loose and poor quality. You can really feel the sway of weight too, due to center of gravity.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:28 PM
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I used a kid-back attachment (raised stoker bottom bracket) on our tandem to take my daughter to school before she grew enough to ride her own bike. It was always a big hit with the other kids when I dropped her off and picked her up.

Unless you already own a tandem (we did) I suspect a tag-along attachment would be more cost effective.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Weehoo. Recumbent trail behind that has a 5 point harness and comfortable seat which is adjustable to size.

We used one for 4 years with our youngest- it opened up WAY more routes for us as a family. Kid+Weehoo=heavy pull, but thats the only downside. The Weehoo was extremely safe, comfortable, and engaging(since she wasnt inside a bubble like a Burley). She could 'help' pedal when she wanted too.
One benefit of a Weehoo versus an upright tag-a-long(in addition to the safety and comfort) is the lack of wobble and wonky side leaning kid bike. Too mant of those tag-a-long additions are just cheap as can be and the kid ends up leaning over to one side since the attachment to the bike is so loose and poor quality. You can really feel the sway of weight too, due to center of gravity.
Really good advice. Some additional comments/thoughts:
- You can go with a regular tag-along/trail-a-bike or a Weehoo. The Weehoo is not super portable, it's pretty heavy, but does allow your kid to sleep/be securely strapped in. A trail-a-bike is much easier to transport and pull but if your kid isn't too emotionally mature yet, you will question your choice. I got a trail-a-bike and my 4-year-old tends to take her hands off the handlebars, feet off pedals, so she requires constant reminders from mom to act as an adult because she rides an adult bike. This is the #1 reason I haven't cycled with her to daycare by myself while with a Weehoo I would have. But I just didn't want to deal with the weight, storage, and transport of it.
- They WILL pedal and it WILL count
- No problems towing the kid on a trail-a-bike 30 miles (though that's a long time for a small kid to do one activity)
- Weehoo has more accessories like sun shade, rain cover, and panniers
- I got a used Burley Piccolo which uses a different kind of attachment system with a rear rack, and it's pretty damn stable which reviews have mentioned. Both myself and my kid love it. For how expensive it is, it still uses cheapo parts like unsealed bearings and square taper cranks. Can't imagine how crappy the $100 bikes are though.
- Both kinds of bikes will support kids up to 80ish pounds, but that's questionable. Bottom line, you will get a few years use out of them (though I decided to swap out the stock crankset from the stock 140ish mm to 95mm for my 4yo and it made a world of difference)

Look on your local Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace for a used one
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Old 08-06-19, 07:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I ended up buying a Yuba Mundo Classic. I found a xtracycle DIY kit on craigslist for $300 and also the Weehoo Turbo Trailer for $225. But both were about two hours away and from what I've read the xtraxcycle kit flexes a lot. If you factor in how much those two cost it kind of made sense to buy the Mundo. Also, I don't think I want to carry any trailers behind me. Yuba had a 20% coupon plus free shipping so I feel like I got a pretty good deal. I like the fact that I can buy accessories for it as the years go buy and even make it electric with the BBSHD kit someday.


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Old 08-08-19, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by The Big Wheel View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I ended up buying a Yuba Mundo Classic. I found a xtracycle DIY kit on craigslist for $300 and also the Weehoo Turbo Trailer for $225. But both were about two hours away and from what I've read the xtraxcycle kit flexes a lot. If you factor in how much those two cost it kind of made sense to buy the Mundo. Also, I don't think I want to carry any trailers behind me. Yuba had a 20% coupon plus free shipping so I feel like I got a pretty good deal. I like the fact that I can buy accessories for it as the years go buy and even make it electric with the BBSHD kit someday.

Sounds great, good luck!
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