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The 10 Best Bike Trailers  Nov 2018

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1
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Your Guide To Buying a Bike Trailer

By Yehudah Posnick

    There are lots of reasons to use a bicycle over using a car: a bicycle is more environmentally-friendly, more maneuverable, and of course, less expensive. But what if you want to take your children with you, or luggage? That's where a bicycle trailer can come in handy. Bicycle trailers hitch up to the back or the side of a bicycle. If you want to take your children along with you, then you'll want a trailer that is easy to attach, but also safe and comfortable for the children. If your major concern is carrying luggage or cargo, you'll look for something that is lightweight, but also secures the cargo so it won't get damaged. Here is a guide to some of the best bicycle trailers on the market. 

    A way to distinguish bicycle trailers is by what you are interested in transporting with you: whether you want to take a child or pet along, or just cargo. Here is a brief summary of the working method of each type:

    • Single-wheel or double-wheel trailer: If your major consideration is speed and getting places fast, you probably would prefer a single-wheel model bike trailer. They tend to move more easily with the bike around turns, and weigh less. But, if you're interested in conveying heavy loads, you might want a double-wheel trailer. The double-wheel trailer is typically more sturdy, for heavier loads.
    • Type of cargo: Some bicycle trailers are specially made for big, but lightweight loads. For example, some are made for carrying a canoe or hang glider. These things take up space, but are fairly light. On the other hand, you might want to convey heavy things. Then you'll look for a trailer that is itself light, but can carry a big payload. You'll also look to see that the cargo is protected from the elements—rain, wind, splashing mud.
    • Type of passengers: Some trailers only accommodate one child, whereas others can easily allow for two. If you want to take your children along with you, take into consideration that you'll have limitations due to their weight—normally the payload is up to 110 lbs ( = 50 kg). Also, you will want to allow room for the kids to wear a safety helmet, and at the same time sit comfortably in the trailer. Some trailers provide a footrest for the children's legs as well.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Safety: The safety of the trailer is a big consideration: You want to be able to secure your children in the trailer. The trailer should have a roll cage to protect the children in case of an accident. Another added plus is if the trailer is made from reflective material, for added visibility at night.
    • Comfort: The comfort of the ride is also a factor: parents prefer pneumatic (inflatable) wheels over solid plastic or rubber, because the ride tends to be smoother. Also, the bigger the diameter of the wheel, the better the trailer adapts to bumps and potholes along the way. You also don't want the trailer to tilt too much when you make a sharp turn—look for a trailer with a low center of gravity. If you're taking along children, you'll want padding to soften their ride. Some parents say that the trailer that they bought is so comfortable, the children fall asleep while riding along!

    • Ease of assembly: Some trailers are universal--they can hook up to almost any bicycle with ease. That's a useful feature. Some trailers fold up so you can pack it into the trunk of your car. That's good if you want to take it on a trip.

    • Durable materials: You want the trailer to be lightweight, but also durable. A plastic cover might not protect well against bad weather—you'll want to consider something tough, like canvas. Then again, some trailers are constructed so well, the plastic is almost as durable as a canvas cover. It'll protect against pebbles that might hit the cover while traveling. 

    • Bicycle trailer that converts into a jogging stroller: The major companies that manufacture bicycle trailers also manufacture jogging strollers. Many times the trailer even converts into a stroller! If you're interested in taking your children along with you, it's always handy to be able to park your bike somewhere and continue strolling or jogging with your child.

    • Added accessories: Bicycle trailers designed for taking children will also have added accessories for keeping the children protected from sun, wind, rain, and insects. Look for trailers that offer these attachable parts.

    • Large windows/windshield: If you are taking your children along, they'll want a view as they're travelling along. The windows in some trailers have UV protection as well, to keep the kids from getting sunburned.

    Pacific Cycle, Inc.-- Pacific Cycle is an American company founded in 1977 specializing in outdoor recreation products. Their headquarters is located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a parent company of other big-name biking and bike accessory companies that have merged with it over the years, such as Schwinn, Mongoose and KidTrax.

    InStep-- InStep is an American company based in Olney, Illinois, specializing in bicycle trailers, joggers, and pedal cars. The company was purchased by Pacific Cycle in 2003.

    Allen SportsAllen Sports was started in 1967 in Lincoln, Massachusetts by Dick Allen, a former aerospace engineer who worked on the Apollo mission. He employed his engineering know-how in making folding bicycles, bicycle carriers, bicycle trailers/joggers, and other bicycle accessories. Presently the Allen company has warehouses and factories in the USA and abroad.

    Burley Design-- Burley Design is a company producing outdoor family products, founded in 1978 in Eugene, Oregon. They have a wide selection of bicycle trailers for transporting children, cargo and pets, as well as unique ergonomically-designed bicycles and jogging strollers.


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