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Bike Trailer and Triathlon Training

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Bike Trailer and Triathlon Training

Old 05-11-18, 05:30 AM
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Bike Trailer and Triathlon Training

I am beginning a 16 week triathlon training program and will need to tow my 2.5 year old (30#) daughter during most training rides. I am on a Trek 2.1 WSD. Does anyone have recommendations for a trailer that would be the least cumbersome for long distance/high speed rides as well as safe for my daughter? My research has yielded the Burley Bee as the best options but I welcome the advice of someone more experienced. TIA
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Old 05-11-18, 06:01 AM
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Having a little weight in back may not be a bad thing for training. Obviously it will work you a little differently, but you will still get in your exercise. Perhaps like a bit extra hill climbing.

The Thule Chariot trailers are also very nice, and adaptable for multi-sport.

One thing I'd worry a bit about is the high speed thing.

I tow a trailer for cargo a fair amount. I've flipped my trailer 3 or 4 times.
  • Hit curb separating a right turn lane, going pretty quick down the road.
  • Hit a curb cut entering a bike path at speed, and one wheel hit the curb.
  • Flipped it on a pothole... also at speed.
  • Oh, and I whacked the trailer axle into some dang temporary guardrail in a construction zone. Stopped me cold. Whew!!!
I suppose if the kid is well strapped and buckled in, with a helmet, then flipping the kid may not be the worst thing in the world, but it would probably leave a little lump in your stomach, perhaps more than that of the kid.
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Old 05-18-18, 06:05 AM
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Thank you so much for the advice and honest testimonial. Those are things I hadn't thought about.
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Old 05-18-18, 01:26 PM
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Brief summary: I recommend a rear seat with suspension for speed and safety.

You can definitely train effectively while hauling your wee one. We have a 3.5yo and currently own a Thule (Chariot) Cheetah 1 (two-wheeled trailer), Weehoo Igo Turbo (single wheel recumbent pedal trailer), Hamax Caress (rear seat), and Bellelli Pepe (rear seat) for hauling her around. The key to getting out for a ride is that the passenger is comfortable and cooperative. We sometimes offer special snacks, stops at playgrounds, and even ice pops or ice cream to get out for a ride.

Your training requires that you do good workouts, presumably with some kind of training plan. I highly recommend using a power meter or heart rate monitor for workouts with your child in tow. You'll be going a lot slower than you would without your "helper", so you'll want feedback that helps you to do your workout.

As for safety, there's very little evidence that any method of transporting a 2yo is better than another. It is really important that she's dressed appropriately for the wind and weather (you'll dress like a cyclist, but she'll need to dress like a motorcyclist). It is really important that she wears a helmet if she's not enclosed and buckled. It is really important that you're visible (front/rear flashing lights, fluorescent colors, flag). It's also a good idea to choose safe routes for towing her around.

We like the two-wheeled trailer for paved routes only. We use the rear seats for non-paved routes that have much less traffic. The rear seats are significantly less cumbersome to ride with than either of our trailers. I feel like the Weehoo is the most cumbersome option.

I've also rolled the two-wheel trailer once. We were cornering at speed, and I swerved mid-corner to avoid roadkill. My rear tire hit the trailer arm, instantly flipping the trailer. It woke my daughter from her nap, and she wasn't pleased about that. She was wearing the 5-point harness in the trailer and wasn't injured or traumatized to my knowledge.
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Old 08-13-18, 04:30 AM
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I found this tread very helpful, as I am about to pick a stroller for my son (11 months). And that Thule (Chariot) is one of the options I consider for purchasing. I was wondering, whether there are any legal restrictions to the age of the kid that's in the stroller? As in Thule description I found only allowed weight.... but notthing about the age... thx
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Old 08-14-18, 04:25 PM
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Not sure about age restrictions. My daughter rode comfortably from 18mos to 4yrs. Strapped in, helmet, sippy cup, snacks, books & other small toys kept her occupied and happy.
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Old 09-03-18, 11:29 AM
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Not sure about age restrictions, but they need to be able to sit upright and support their own head to use the regular harness. Thule has a hammock-style sling seat for use with smaller kids.

Of note, the higher-performance trailer/joggers like the Cheetah and the Cougar come in single and 2-seater configurations. The single-seaters are lighter, but narrower. I had (just sold, actually) a Cougar-2 and it's W I D E; IIRC, it was almost 32" over the wheels. I got caught up once or twice (on trail and a pedal curb strike), and put the bike down, but didn't flip the trailer.
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