Child friendly bike trailer recommendations to replace a car

We are expecting our first child in November and as we are carless (and would ideally remain so) we are starting to look at other transport options. There seems to be lots of different advice on what age babies need to be to go in a bike trailer, as well as lots of different options.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a bike trailer with the following features:

- Used from as young an age as possible
- Running buggy option
- Can be used as a stroller after cycling to town, for example

Ideally, it would also be good 'value', but I understand the above costs money and we would rather get the right solution, even if it does cost a bit more.

Also interested in hearing anyone else's experience of newborns and cycling as transport.


  • siddy1972
    siddy1972 Posts: 180
    edited September 2020
    We had a Croozer Kid for 2 (it was a double as we have two kids). They loved it in there. They aren’t cheap, but resale is really good if you take care of it.
    Came with a jogger wheel plus stroller conversion.
    If I remember right, you needed to get a hammock for small babies- and I’m pretty sure there was a minimum age, maybe 6 months or so, because of neck strength of tiny ones. You should double check though, it’s a few years ago...
    Chariot are also meant to be awesome, but they’re even more expensive.
    Hope that helps.
  • We got a burley d-lite 2 child trailer. Very good deal on it made it cheaper than a single child seat one. Plenty of room to carry favourite, oversized penguin too. It even had its own seat. Great for junior to fall asleep against.

    It can come with front, stroller wheels which fold up but stay attached I believe. We never got that extra. We also never used the baby seat extra. Aiui it's an extra padding that fits into the 5 point harness rather than a hammock. As such it really offers little extra crash protection I reckon which is why the brand puts 6 or 9 month limit on it. We only used it about the time he also sat in his hamax siesta seat.

    I rate highly our burley but I think the chariot / croozer ones have a slightly higher rep these days because they're sleeker looking and you look great jogging with them. Lifestyle statement thing going on with these two brands I think. Burley is a simple workhorse compared to them. I believe leisure places like centre parks hire out burley club trailers. I guess they have their reasons for choosing burley.

    Age? I'd stick with advice of sitting up due to the neck strength. Burley had 9 months I think. We put son in earlier than recommended by brand by a few months but after sitting up and stronger neck muscles.

    I hope this helps.
  • john80
    john80 Posts: 2,965
    We had a basic burley bee and i thought the design and build was very good compared to cheaper steel variants. This was not one of tge multipurpose ones you can use as a stroller. Unless it is flat where you live keep the weight down.
  • D-lite was lighter I think. Not as easy to use as a stroller as a good, purpose made stroller or pram but the few times I wheeled it around with junior in (without front wheel I might add so balanced on rear wheels) it was certainly light enough to be acceptable as a stroller.

    I think if you have the money and space I purpose designed stroller is still better than a cycle trailer so ideal is both as unique uses. Of course the op hasn't a car so can't do that as easily as car users can.

    There's an American site that compares everything cycle and child related. It has reviewed such trailers and the OP should seek it out. A very good review site even though American. A lot isn't available here but what is has a very good review and going over. The lady who set it up has a very good review style. Imho it's the dcrainmaker site for kids cycling stuff in some ways.
  • The other option is to consider a cargo bike, although I appreciate this will considerably increase cost, from around £1,000 for pedal powered to £5,000 for a top of the range electric one.

    The reason I say so is that you can get proper maxi-cosi adapters so you can put it in from newborn in a car seat.

    Once mine was about 6m old I put him on a Weeride bike seat, where he sits in front of me. He's 2 now and has started grabbing the handlebars!
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
    Thanks for the replies so far. We do have a normal stroller, the reason for having the functionality was that if we go into town (or elsewhere) by bike we won't have any means of taking a regular stroller with us so using the trailer might be a way round that, also means you don't need to lock it up.

    We have thought about cargo bikes but there are currently several issues stopping us. One is the cost, which is big. Another is space, we can't get a cargo bike in to our back garden so we don't really have anywhere we could easily keep it. Lastly, we both cycle to work and back every day, in future for nursery picks ups etc... I can well see one of us dropping them off and another picking them up which may be problematic if we only have one cargo bike. My commute is also 10 miles each way, so would rather not have to ride a cargo bike the whole way, whereas I may be able to lock a trailer up somewhere near the nursery for my partner to use on the way home, for example.

    My current dilemma I guess is if a trailer doesn't make them mobile at any younger age than a bike seat would (i.e. they need equal neck strength for both) then a bike seat would be a much cheaper and easier option.
  • I see the issue. It's a tricky one. I think for 6 or so months you are a bit stuck.

    It is possible that from 3 or 4 months you are ok in the harness thing in a trailer (a friend of mine did with theirs for running and cycling from 3m) but obviously it's up to you as a parent how stringently you stick to the product recommendations.

    On the bike seat - just be aware (it varies from child to child) that if you have a front mounted one, your child may HATE having the wind blasting in it's face as you ride along- so either take it slow / avoid headwinds or you can buy perspex windshields. It's a reflex thing that they eventually grow out of.
  • Check out Reiss and Muller cargo bikes. They've got some nice two wheeled cargo bikes that look good. Not much longer than a large road bike really. I think they're the brand which keeps winning the cargo bike world championships. Or a Danish brand I think. One of the managers/ owners is a decent road racer and he enters to show off the cargo bikes.
  • P.s congratulations on the new arrival
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
    Thanks :)

    I emailed AlpineTrek which seem to have a huge range of them asking which are suitable for a newborn and they replied saying the Croozer's are ok for cycling from 4 weeks! Much younger than all the rest. I don't actually know if Croozer's baby sling provides any more support or it's just that they are more comfortable saying it's ok. Either way, it looks good and might do everything we want need to a strong contender at the moment.
  • elbowloh
    elbowloh Posts: 7,078
    Following this closely. We won't be replacing the car, but we already have a 17 month old, with child number 2 due end of Feb, so looking for a 2 seater.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Two recommendations from me; initially I used a Wee Ride so my daughter could sit in front of me between my arms when riding. This gave her added protection, ensured if we were hit from behind, she wouldn't bear the full impact and allowed me to both talk to her and make sure she was safe.

    Once she was able to start riding, we bought a follow me tandem. This is a much better option than the usual arm extensions you see with the child perilously leaning to one side as the arm weakens. The Follow me tandem connects to the front wheel of the child's bike lifting it around 4" off the ground. They can pedal or freewheel at will and their bike is perfectly balanced.

    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Cargobike
    Cargobike Posts: 748
    Unsurprisingly, I'd be looking at a cargobike, most likely a front-loader e.g a Larry vs Harry Bullitt, or an Urban Arrow, so that your child is visible in front of you all the time.

    Trailers are obviously cheaper, but drivers will far too often not see the trailer even when it's right in front of them, even if they've noticed the cyclist.

    When I first started cycle couriering at the turn of the century we used trailers, but had loads of problems with drivers clipping them as they failed to notice what was behind the rider. Fine for a box of papers, for instance, but I'm not sure how it would reflect if it was a child.

    Of course the big problem with cargobikes is storage. My personal one lives in the hallway when I'm at my home, rather than the missus' and having it's own two footed stand, rather than one that makes a bike lean over, has a relatively small footprint.

    Oh, they are also relatively expensive to buy, but there are obviously HP and lease options widely available if required.
  • I agree with the weeride option but it's too soon.

    I suggested cargo bike but it was a no.

    As for the follow me - you can now get amazing tandems and tridems which are set up for one adult and a number of children (pedalling or in baby seats)
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211

    As for the follow me - you can now get amazing tandems and tridems which are set up for one adult and a number of children (pedalling or in baby seats)

    The benefit of the Follow me tandem, is you only need to use it where it is safer to have the child joined to you. Elsewhere, you can simply unclamp the front wheel of the child's bike and let them free ride with you.

    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
    Well as the baby isn't even born yet, and fingers crossed that all goes well, it will be a couple of years before they're on a bike. I'll bear it in mind for when that comes round though