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Old 06.11.2007, 00:58
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Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

I couldn't find a thread that discussed children's bikes so I've started this one. If the moderators believe it should be moved to sports/fitness and/or merged with an existing thread, please do so.

We are recreational bicyclers and are trying to decide what to take with us when we move to the Zurich area soon. My husband and I both plan to bring our mountains bikes. Our almost five year old has a little bike with training wheels, but since she's not supposed to be on a public road until she's seven, we're not going to bring it.

The questions I have for the forum concern which of the following bike accessories we should bring.

We have a trail-a-bike http://www.trail-a-bike.com/product/trail-a-bikes/ and a bike trailer http://instep.net/trailers.html.

The first consideration is space. Do we want to use our precious cargo space to move both the trail-a-bike and the bike trailer? We still haven't decided how much if any furniture we're going to bring because we don't know if the house will sell, or if we'll be renting it possibly semi-furnished. Also, I believe most apartments have some sort of cellar space, but do we really want to store both adult bikes, the trail-a-bike, and the bike trailer in the apartment and/or cellar?

I think she likes the trail-a-bike better and it will give more practice actually balancing and pedaling. Does anyone know if trail-a-bikes are commonly used and/or legal in Switzerland?

We're hoping to be car-free in Switzerland, so one benefit of bringing the bike trailer is to use it to haul groceries. Is that practical or not worth the hassle?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06.11.2007, 01:23
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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The first consideration is space. Do we want to use our precious cargo space to move both the trail-a-bike and the bike trailer?
At 5 years old she's not going to be in the trailer for much longer anyway. It's only good if you're going to take her out in all weathers or you need it for hauling the groceries.

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Also, I believe most apartments have some sort of cellar space, but do we really want to store both adult bikes, the trail-a-bike, and the bike trailer in the apartment and/or cellar?
You'll usually have a storage space or cellar and some apartments have a special bike storage. The latter can vary from a roofed space outside to a locked communal bike room. The bike room in my place wouldn't have room for a trailer but then I've seen places with enough space to party in.

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Does anyone know if trail-a-bikes are commonly used and/or legal in Switzerland?
They are used, but they're not seen so often. Yes, they are legal.

I can't say either way about the practicality of hauling groceries in a trailer. If you're in a town then the public transport and a trolley bag might be enough. The Mobility car-sharing scheme is a good alternative for the large/bulky/IKEA shopping.
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Old 06.11.2007, 13:52
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

Your kid can still ride a bike aged under 7. We take ours out on the forrest trails & bike routes with no problem. You also often see under fives riding their bikes on the pavement.
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Old 07.11.2007, 19:24
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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Your kid can still ride a bike aged under 7. We take ours out on the forrest trails & bike routes with no problem. You also often see under fives riding their bikes on the pavement.
Okay, I was wondering about that. So, if she decides she's ready to ride independently before she's seven, we can find her bike and she can ride "off road".
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:13
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

Does anyone have any experience of Leggero bike child trailers? Specifically the Vento? Good points and bad points?

It seems much cheaper than the U.S. imports and is locally made.

It's about 0.5 - 1 Kg heavier than some but these are much more expensive at around CHF1000-CHF1500.

There's a special offer at the moment. Buy 3 and save CHF300.00 in total so each one is CHF399 rather than CHF499. This is direct from the manufacturer.

So, if they any good and I can find two more interested parties in the Zurich area then I'll order three.

We plan to use it mainly on paths and forest tracks. We do currently have a child seat but with that, you can't fit panniers and a rack an it does make stopping a pain as you need to find something to lean the bike against.
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:36
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

I havent seen the Leggero in the flesh, but be careful to compare apples to apples. The model you mentioned doesn't have suspension or multiple uses (bike trailer, stroller, jogger etc) like the CHF900+ models. Still it looks a good price for what it is, though I find it hard to believe it is Swiss made at that price!

A good range is here at Veloplus. The "Croozer" looks more the league of the Leggero.

We ended up buying one of the expensive ones for the suspension and that we are using it as the stroller for our newborn, plus we are car-less bike nuts

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Does anyone have any experience ofLeggerobike child trailers? Specifically the Vento? Good points and bad points?

It seems much cheaper than the U.S. imports and is locally made.

It's about 0.5 - 1 Kg heavier than some but these are much more expensive at around CHF1000-CHF1500.

There's a special offer at the moment. Buy 3 and save CHF300.00 in total so each one is CHF399 rather than CHF499. This is direct from the manufacturer.

So, if they any good and I can find two more interested parties in the Zurich area then I'll order three.

We plan to use it mainly on paths and forest tracks. We do currently have a child seat but with that, you can't fit panniers and a rack an it does make stopping a pain as you need to find something to lean the bike against.
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:45
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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I havent seen the Leggero in the flesh, but be careful to compare apples to apples. The model you mentioned doesn't have suspension or multiple uses (bike trailer, stroller, jogger etc) like the CHF900+ models. Still it looks a good price for what it is, though I find it hard to believe it is Swiss made at that price!

A good range is here at Veloplus. The "Croozer" looks more the league of the Leggero.

We ended up buying one of the expensive ones for the suspension and that we are using it as the stroller for our newborn, plus we are car-less bike nuts
I have the "Croozer Kid for 2" which I paid CHF 610 for. It comes with the stroller and jogger kit as well as 2 hitch attachments. I found the build quality to be excellent for the price. It doesn't have suspension other than that provided by the tyres and the seats so only smooth forest tracks are comfortable for passanger. You get a lot for the money but as Yokine says, the Chariot models are more comfortable if you can justify spending CHF1000+

BTW, if you want to get fit, then hauling a 10kg trailer with 10kg baby and 5kg of baby "accessories" up a 500m climb will sort you out pretty quickly.
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:55
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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BTW, if you want to get fit, then hauling a 10kg trailer with 10kg baby and 5kg of baby "accessories" up a 500m climb will sort you out pretty quickly.
That is Frau Yokine's job

As anyone who has met her will attest, she'll still likely be one of the fastest to the top.
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:56
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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I havent seen the Leggero in the flesh, but be careful to compare apples to apples. The model you mentioned doesn't have suspension or multiple uses (bike trailer, stroller, jogger etc) like the CHF900+ models. Still it looks a good price for what it is, though I find it hard to believe it is Swiss made at that price!

We ended up buying one of the expensive ones for the suspension and that we are using it as the stroller for our newborn, plus we are car-less bike nuts
I did have a look at one and could compare it with a Chariot last weekend at the Family Expo in Winterthur. It looked well made.

I'm not bothered about the extras as we already have a stroller etc. so it really would just be for cycling.

Having suspension is a valid point. Do you think this is important on gravel paths?

It's really just for cycling and this will enable us to go cycle-camping and/or hostelling as well as jaunts around the lake.

I did check again and that price does not include hitch brackets etc so that would probably take it up a bit.

I found a few limited reviews on the web and non of them were bad but when someone reivews something, I like to know a bit about them and I trust the views of keen cyclists much more than others.
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Old 09.06.2009, 16:34
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

You'll be alright on gravel paths around the lake and smooth forest tracks (although I would say that the child should be at least 6 months old before riding on anything other than the smoothest road).

I'd also strongly recommend the stroller kit so that you can detach from the bike and wheel the child around if you go shopping or to a restaurant or around a campsite.

The older Leggaros were quite basic and particularly ugly but that new model looks like a big step forward for the brand. I assume it also has enough luggage space and pockets for toys, bottles etc.
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Old 09.06.2009, 16:50
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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The older Leggaros were quite basic and particularly ugly but that new model looks like a big step forward for the brand. I assume it also has enough luggage space and pockets for toys, bottles etc.
They used an outside design-agency for the design.

It has loads of space behind the seats for luggage.
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Old 09.06.2009, 17:07
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

I recommend a Burley trailer. My neighbour used one for years with 2 kids up a steep hill. She still uses it now they are grown up for shopping. The Encore model is only 10.4kgs. The people that I know that own Burley ones seem to use them a lot! The ones with the Charriot seem to never use it.
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Old 09.06.2009, 17:18
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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I recommend a Burley trailer. My neighbour used one for years with 2 kids up a steep hill. She still uses it now they are grown up for shopping. The Encore model is only 10.4kgs.

They are light (But they do cost more).

Decisions, decisions....
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The people that I know that own Burley ones seem to use them a lot! The ones with the Charriot seem to never use it.
Although it may be that they wouldn't have used any trailer much.

(There are lots of bikes in our shared bike garage but only ours get used and it doesn't mean the others are bad bikes).
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Old 09.06.2009, 17:24
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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Although it may be that they wouldn't have used any trailer much.

(There are lots of bikes in our shared bike garage but only ours get used and it doesn't mean the others are bad bikes).
Some friends complained that the charriot was too heavy, even on the flat.
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Old 09.06.2009, 17:33
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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I recommend a Burley trailer. My neighbour used one for years with 2 kids up a steep hill. She still uses it now they are grown up for shopping. The Encore model is only 10.4kgs. The people that I know that own Burley ones seem to use them a lot! The ones with the Charriot seem to never use it.
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Some friends complained that the charriot was too heavy, even on the flat.
That's a very valid point. Although Charriot do do models down to 10.2Kg.

I suppose the weight of the child is equally important. And the fitness of the driver!

We have a MacPac back pack child carrier and it's heavier than most. But it's brilliant.
We recommended it to some friends who asked but they really struggle with it. There's nothing wrong with the carrier. It's them. They don't have the strength. (I don't either but if there's a challenge involved...)
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Old 11.06.2009, 01:08
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

I highly recommend the follow me tandem. It's versatile as you can attach a child's bike to the adult bike (e.g. if on roads, or child is tired) and easily detaches so child can cycle independently.
http://www.followme-tandem.com/
As to other trailers; we've just bought a leggero Max (attaches to bike and can be used as shopping trolley)

http://www.leggero.ch/product_info.p...ed48dc371ab67e

and my hubby is test cycling it tomorrow - will let you know about the results, and whther we had to get the first aid kit out! The Leggero's are made in Romanshorn, Thurgau by, as far as I know, disabled persons, and other special needs.
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Old 11.06.2009, 11:18
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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I highly recommend the follow me tandem. It's versatile as you can attach a child's bike to the adult bike (e.g. if on roads, or child is tired) and easily detaches so child can cycle independently.
http://www.followme-tandem.com/

.
I really like that idea.

Our eldest son loves the independence of his own bike but it would be really good to hitch him up to my bike to give him help on hills or when he needs a rest. (We normally get off and walk).

How does it feel on corners?
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Old 14.06.2009, 22:48
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

Hi
Feels absolutely fine on corners. Really the only difference to cycling on your own is getting used to the pulling/balance thing, and of course the added weight (i.e. your child's weight, his/her bike and the trailer) it does mean you're pulling/moving a lot more weight than usual.Great for the leg muscles My daughter heard "come on, pedal!" quite a lot
We found the tandem fantastic, and wish we could have used it for longer, but unfortunately our daughter's new bike didn't fit, as the wheel diameter was too large - so now she's hearing "come on, slowcoach" instead
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Old 15.06.2009, 00:26
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

today we were out with Kid#3 (3 months) in the Bike trailer (chariot), Kid#2 (3yrs) on the Follow-me (he can ride, but doesnt yet have the endurance) and Kid#1 (5 yrs) riding alone. I must say it is nice having a life again
There are lots of cycle paths here, and all types of trailers & cycle additives and preservatives are seen here. As far as you wallet may carry you
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Old 15.06.2009, 11:35
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Re: Cycling with kids -- trail-a-bikes and trailer bikes

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My daughter heard "come on, pedal!" quite a lot We found the tandem fantastic, and wish we could have used it for longer, but unfortunately our daughter's new bike didn't fit, as the wheel diameter was too large - so now she's hearing "come on, slowcoach" instead
Enjoy the 'I'm superior' bit while you can. It probably won't be long before it'll be the youngsters on their bikes calling 'come on, slowcoaches' to you. And the same may well go for hiking, swimming and skiing. Been there, done that!

Last edited by Longbyt; 15.06.2009 at 13:19. Reason: spelling
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