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Trailgator or not?

alibali65alibali65 Posts: 40
edited November 2008 in Family & kids cycling forum
I'm looking to buy an isla bike (cnoc 14)for our 3 year old this christmas and was also looking at getting a trailgotor so I can take her around the odd forest track or more :evil: .
Are they suitable for this or are there any other alternatives I could look at? All advice greatly received.

Posts

  • I'll be interested to see the responses to this, just got my 3 yr old her first proper bike for christmas and I can't see her being too happy in the trailer after that!
    GT Aggressor XCR
  • I used a trailgator a few years ago for some mild off-road stuff for my youngest son - its a great thing to have, but I would set your sights fairly low in terms of the 'gnarly-level' of trails you want to use - your bike may well be able to soak up the bumps, the roots, the rocks and the drops, but your daughter's bike will presumably not have suspension, will have little wheels, she will not be able to see the bumps coming as she will be trailing behind you, and her riding position will be less than ideal because the trailgator holds the front of the bike up in the air ... but so long as you keep it relatively mild, your daughter will love it! Probably worth getting an extra attachment, so that when she tires and wants to go to the cafe, your partner can take her away and you can go off and do your gnarly thing!
  • Cheers for that, wasn't thinking of anything too tough. How was the trailgator where it attached to the seat post was there any problems? For some reason it looks as with the front wheel of the childs bike off the ground there might be a bit of strain on the seat post?
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    From personal experience I'd avoid the trailgator. They're pretty heavy. My 4 year on has an Edingburgh Cycle Co-op tag along which works pretty well. Only £ 80, 20" rear wheel and the geometry isn't too upset as it's designed to be hitched to the seatpost of you bike.

    Been on some pretty bumpy offroad stuff (and hit 35mph on road with her on the back but don't tell the missus).
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

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  • We use a trailergator for our oldest. They're alright and you can happily take them on forest fire roads and vaguely 'single track' stuff so long as it not too bumpy or winding. The previous poster is very correct that they are on the heavy side and combined with my daughter and her 'cast iron' bike it can be hard work doing steep long hills - but hey I figure it's good exercise ...

    The good thing ( though I'm yet to experience this quite yet ...) is that you can detach the bike so your child can ride solo if it is safe to.
  • I got a trailgator for our holiday in France a few months ago for my son who is 4. The great thing about it was we could take his bike so if he could ride it if he wanted or get a tow if he was feeling lazy - it also saved me taking our tag-a-long bike in the car. Downside on trailgator is its heavy, and also you have the added weight of the kids bike.
  • Thanks for the replies, a couple more questions,

    People talk about the weight issue but is it less than the situation I have currently where my daughter is on a seat attached to the bike ie a lot of weight over the back wheel and a bit unstable.

    Also, maybe I'm being thick, but if you undo the trailgator to let your child cycle on their own where do you put it if your not near your car?

    Cheers
  • Thanks for the replies, a couple more questions,

    People talk about the weight issue but is it less than the situation I have currently where my daughter is on a seat attached to the bike ie a lot of weight over the back wheel and a bit unstable.

    Also, maybe I'm being thick, but if you undo the trailgator to let your child cycle on their own where do you put it if your not near your car?

    Cheers
  • Thanks for the replies, a couple more questions,

    People talk about the weight issue but is it less than the situation I have currently where my daughter is on a seat attached to the bike ie a lot of weight over the back wheel and a bit unstable.

    Also, maybe I'm being thick, but if you undo the trailgator to let your child cycle on their own where do you put it if your not near your car?

    Cheers
  • I'd avoid the Trailgator too. I used for for a while and it is handy and was generally OK but make sure everything is done up really tight. There are many connections and joints between the two bikes if if one is loose then the whole thing can twist sideways. For example if it's loose on your seatpost then if the child leans too much to one side the whole thing levers sideways and the child's bike is angled down towards the floor.
    I used it off-road once, the school run and day trips out (even used it in the club hill climb championships!) but after a while there were too many linkages and 'weak points' to keep the whole structure perfectly upright and secure.
    The tag-along feels much more solid but I now have a tandem with a child's rear end which is used on the school run every day.
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  • I accept the reservations expressed by others, but if you're looking for a flexible solution that allows you to tow your child, and give them the option to cycle by theirself when they want to, the trailgator is really your only option ... and really, its fine for its purpose.

    When not towing, there is a clip that attaches (I think - if memory services) to the skewer on the back wheel, that holds the end of the trailgator (the other end remaining attached to your seatpost)
  • pemseypemsey Posts: 107
    Trailgator does the job, but I'd be a bit wary of attaching it to something half decent - the clamp on the child's bike is a fairly crude steel plate with a couple of U bolts - lots of sharp edges etc to mash up the nice smooth tubes on a decent bike!
    I used it on my daughter's cheapo bike which had a steel frame but havn't dared try it on an aluminium frame - anyway she can keep up now!
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