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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    1 year old and bike trailer?

    My youngest son turns 1 year old next week. I have a Trek bike trailer that holds one up to 100lbs so I was hoping to use that with my 1 year old very soon. I thought I had seen a lot of discussions about how to protect/make a 1 year old comfortable/safe riding in a bike trailer. I was wondering what others have done and what recommendations you all might have. I am looking to use this on paved roads and was looking at the Angeles bike helmet if I can get him to keep one on. What do others do? Any photos of what you did would be helpful too. Thanks for your help/advice!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EBasil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    --ride with the front window down: this will keep road grit and etc.. from being spit into his face through the mesh.

    --if your trailer has a sling seat, great! If not, then give him something thick and padded to absorb road vibration

    --air-down the trailer tires a little for the street, a lot for off-road.

    --have fun.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ECOdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    This is what I did for my 1.5 year old and it's working pretty well.
    At about 1 year old, I started easing him into it with short easy rides and try to keep it fun/enjoyable. They really get jostled back there (even on asphalt) so you gotta be sure they have strong head and neck control and that your kid is ready, not just that he has hit some guideline somewhere.

    My kid's head isn't huge so I ended up with two helmets. The Giro ran big but the Lazer? was better. Plus the lazer didn't have the big bulge which cocked his head forward until he grew a bit taller. I put some rolled up towels/shirt to give him some height in the seat too. Really, for my son the helmet (and hats in general) is the worst part. We can usually go about 45min to 1 hour before he rips it off his head.

    As he got older, I always make sure I have some favorite snacks and sippy cups on hand. I've only had the guts to do a long (for him) ~1.5 h ride on fireroad once back in March. He hit his saturation point with the helmet and whole bit about 3/4 into the ride and it was like racing a time bomb back to the car. For now I'm keeping it to neighborhood rides and daycare commuting--where I'm no more than 10 - 15 min from the house. But we can generally do 45 min - 1 hour rides pretty easily now. I figure easing him into it now so he enjoys it more will pay off big in the next couple years and I can go farther.

    Once of his first (and still) heavily used words is "Bike!" And now he saying "Dadda bike!"

  4. #4
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    i'm pretty 14 month old can hang in the chariot for 3+ hours (i give out before he does...)....he sleeps on the longer climbs...and starts singing on the longer descents....

    i make sure he has his sippy cup...snack-pack of cheerios....and a toy....

    and definitely make sure he's dressed for the temps.....

    pic posted before of an offroad day recently....i now close the front...or he gets pretty dirty:
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  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theMeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    If you think his neck is strong enough, go for it. I did with my daughter at 1. The only suspension is the tires, he won't even have his legs as you will, so keep the tires low. Althou she rarely fell asleep in the car, anything more than 20 min and she fall asleep in the trailer. Always great to wake her up at a cool destination.
    Round and round we go

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Thanks everyone! I'll lower the wheel pressure and put some extra padding below and around him and then do some really short rides as tests. I'm not planning on anything major. mainly I want to be able to take him around the campground we're going to and the neighborhood for family fun-type rides. Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Birdman aka JMJ
    Reputation: Birdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    I had our first daughter in the Chariot (older unsuspended model) at about 12 months. I fabricated a 2" thick foam spacer so that it supported her back and cleared her helmet (so the helmet would not be pushed forward. Recently got some high volume 20" tires to soften the ride a bit.

    Road rides only until she was 2, then on to the LOCT on my SC Superlight.

    A few more months and daughter #2 will get to go in the Chariot!


  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Broccoli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    My kids refused to ride in a trailer. Son was riding in iBert from 10 months old, and would not take anything else. 11 months in this picture: iBert

    That is to say 1 year old should be more then old enough for a trailer - easier to keep head up with a helmet.

  9. #9
    live 2 ride, ride 2 live
    Reputation: chrisatmtbtips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi MWMTB, half of my list has already been said, but there are a few new comfort/safety points in there that I hope will help. I tow my two girls in a BabyJogger Switchback. They love it. This photo is E at 5 1/2 months old, riding with her big sister back in Aug 2008. I towed; mummy supervised on her mtb.

    1. start with short rides and keep it enjoyable. Never get upset with them - might want to pack your patience pills! As soon as they get cranky stop and out - you can't argue with the logic of a 12 month old! And they have memories like elephants...
    2. comfy helmet and clothes
    3. extra padding (2" thick foam spacer) behind back so that head isn't cocked forward because of the thickness of the helmet at the back
    4. food, drink, toys
    5. you don't want to pinch their neck in the helmet clip - hurts them like hell, you feel terrible for about two hours and they start hating the helmet, like, FOREVER. So, put the helmet on before you put them in and take it off after you take them out. Messing with the helmet with them in the seat can be difficult because you most likely won't be able to tilt their head back to get at the clip without pinching them at least once.
    6. once they start looking sleepy, stop and nudge their bum to one side of the seat so that when they do fall asleep, their head is more likely to rest to the other side/corner of seat/wall instead of forward.
    7. familiarise them with the trailer outside of ride times. Make up some fun games with the trailer that have nothing to do with riding so that they learn that 'trailer' means 'fun'. Park it in the house and feed them in it sometimes, or read a story to them in it. Help them find a toy that's 'hiding' in the seat, etc
    8. pack a cot sheet or towel, and a couple of pegs to use as a makeshift lower/ additional sunshade if you need to combat the afternoon sun.
    9. low pressures so they're not shaken to bits.
    10. trailer flag
    11. I'm guessing your bike doesn't have a stand so take a short occy strap/bungy cord (clip it on your bike somewhere handy) and use it to strap your seatpost to a tree/fence when you're parked so that your bike stays securely upright.

    My girls have a good 'relationship' with our trailer. I accidentally rolled them in it once - going around a corner too fast - and, well, their Mum and I didn't visibly panic at all. We just calmly upright the trailer (they were hanging up-side down) and checked they were o.k. Of course we were very concerned and I felt terrible - we were going berserk on the inside - but just goes to show how kids learn from your reactions. We kept riding. And rode again the next day, no probs, albiet slower around corners...

    Have you heard of a 'Weeride'? They're awesome too - for shorter rides. Great view for the kids and a well balanced passenger/good bike control for you.

    This is Mum and E in the weeride at 14 months:

    Have fun.
    Happy birthday to your Son.



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