Forum home Family & kids cycling forum

bike assist options

Ok so little one is doing great. Mostly fine riding on his peddle bike but ocasional assistance needed starting off.
So far I have ran with him to assist with the hills but he is now getting faster and I want him to be more independant so looking for something for bailing out ...
So towing
options seem to be
follow me looks great but is expensive the trail angle looks to be a cross between the 2.
So any experiences ?
how much of a faf or should I just use some bungies ?


  • natrixnatrix Posts: 1,111
    I've used a trail gator successfully in the past, looks similar to the trail angel. You sometimes see them being used incorrectly though, they need to be done up to the stated torque settings.

    A bungy sounds a bit dodgy, can you push him with one hand on his back as you ride alongside? Works OK for short distances.
    ~~~~~~Sustrans - Join the Movement~~~~~~
  • Some luggage straps seem fine..Ive seen it being used quite a bit. however we always did the push from behind.
    YMMV ... depending what your hills are like.

    In my experience the assist part can quickly become Dad (or Mom) doing 100% of the effort.. when most of the time 10% is enough to make the difference, helps them on that hill and develops their strength/fitness for next time (so you only need 9.5%) :D
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Trailgator (not the angel in your link) - it's fine, but the towed bike has a tendancy to lean to one side.
    Followmetandem - I think TangledMetal on here has/had one - seems to be the Rolls Royce of bike towing
    The TrailAngel does look a bit better - but the seat post mount means there's a lot of bar that can twist - so I suspect it'll still lean to one side.

    For short assists I've just ridden alongside my niece with a hand on her back up a long drag - worked ok-ish - although we did come a cropper when our paths crossed - can't use that method for my son yet as he doesn't hold a straight enough course.
  • Our hills are rather big :( I do like the look of the followme but the cost is tear jerking and not too many second hand.
    I take the point totally about effort. I guess Ill have to practice with gentall assists.
  • natrixnatrix Posts: 1,111
    Slowbike wrote:
    Trailgator (not the angel in your link) - it's fine, but the towed bike has a tendancy to lean to one side.

    The trailgator needs to be properly installed with the bolts torqued up correctly to overcome the tendency to lean.
    ~~~~~~Sustrans - Join the Movement~~~~~~
  • What age are they ?
    Normal YMMV stuff but until they are 5ish then what is possible in terms of a family ride is quite restricted.
    From 5ish on though my experience is they can come on incredibly quickly.

    I only have the one which makes it easier... as I don't have younger brother or sister.
    What I have found is "the big hill" they pushed up a month earlier VERY quickly becomes one you assist and one they can ride up and 6 months can be a completely different kid cycling wise.

    By the time they are 7-8 a "big climb" can be 2000' of ascent vs 100' when he was 5.
    About 3 months ago we climbed Penhydd at Afan twice back to back. (Which counts as a big climb for us) and Y Wal the next day.
    I find it hard to rationalise that with the 5-6 yr old who was pushing up and getting assist on much much smaller hills
    We were also riding down stuff that would be near impossible with a tow-along... and part of the motivation for the climb is going down after?

    We didn't use any pull along but based on guesswork I don't think we would have progressed in the same way?
  • Thats really interesting.
    The little one is 3.5 so on a small cnoc.
    In the summer he rides back from nursey most days and has been on peddles for ~8 months
    hre happyily gets down blue routes (e.g. coed y brenin) but getting back up the lng drag is a bit to much for him to walk / peddle
    Up until now I have ran with him cycling and thats good but I feel that its stopping him getting really confident peddling plus he is now getting a lot faster so running with him and pushing up the hills is getting too much like hard work.
    We als ohave quite a few point to point routes that can be done high to low that if I could tow could become out and backs.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    natrix wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Trailgator (not the angel in your link) - it's fine, but the towed bike has a tendancy to lean to one side.

    The trailgator needs to be properly installed with the bolts torqued up correctly to overcome the tendency to lean.

    I don't normally shy away from tensioning bolts - although till now I've lacked a suitable torque gauge...
    I'm going to try one this weekend (hopefully) in a bid to get Little Slowbike to pedal without looking at them (at the moment we've taken his pedals off because he won't pedal enough to get going - and without going he can't pedal) - we have one (from cousins) so no harm trying.

    When we used it (for a cousin) in the summer it did lean over - not a huge amount - but enough for it to be a lean - I can't see how it can't - it's a narrow fixing point at both ends with tollerances to allow a user to fit/remove the device... it's never going to be upright.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Trailgator worked ok -ish ... 5 miles and we had little slowbike pedaling too.

    the bit that didn't really work was down to the towing bike choice - I used the IslaBienn 20 .. so LSB's front wheel was barely off the ground.... and I know they say shorter cranks are better - but the Bienn's really short cranks are ... well - just too short, especially on the little hill!

    But - we still had the "lean" - I don't think, with the easy of fitting, removing and stowing the tow bar, single points of fixing on the tow bike and on the towed bike - that it's possible to eliminate the lean.
    We're now seriously considering the Followme - it'll give us so many more options to get out and about.
  • ok so trying an angel that i got from the bay.
    Will report on how well it works. So far looks fine but stowing the arms when not in use is really dumb. They have changed the design but i can't find a way to get these parts.
  • nice one thanks for the post
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Followme is good and solid -and LittleSB loves it - he cried when we had to turn back from yesterdays short excursion in the wind and rain ....
  • Trail gator is very good but needs to be fitted correctly to stop it slipping and leaning as already mentioned. I would say the best bit is it can be stowed neatly enough to still ride trails!
Sign In or Register to comment.