Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332

    A New Way to Get Kids Uphill

    For most of this summer, I would either hike my daughter's bike up and she would ride down the hills or I would have her sit in the Ibert chair and strap her bike to my back and then she would ride down. Or I would have her ride her trailer bike, and I would strap the bike and then ride down behind her with the empty trailer bike. All of those methods kind of suck, and it wasn't teaching her much about biking. So I thought of something that I have seen adventure bikers do, and fashioned a towing system out of flexi PVC, surgical tubing, some aluminum bracketry and some hose clamps. And voila, now she bikes right behind me and is doing way better than she was with her trailer bike. There was only one fall when we first started doing this (I think she wasn't paying attention and she slid her front wheel). You just have to make very small incremental steps, and get used to how different it feels when she is right behind you and having problems and getting decently far behind.

    But as you can see, she gets to work on everything now while she is riding up, instead of just pedaling on a trailer bike. She has to regulate her speed with her brakes and her pedaling so she doesn't get too far from me, and doesn't hit my rear tire also. Then she has to pick her lines on the turns and around rocks. The surgical tubing is so stretchy, that she can be up to 20 feet behind me.

    This is kind of an older video, and now she is doing great picking her lines in rocky sections. Probably not the safest way in the world to get her up, but she loves it, and hasn't ridden her trailer bike in a month. We set our record and rode about 20 miles yesterday.

    Here is a video of it in action.

    Addz Cranking Up Some Singletrack Climbs - YouTube

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    97
    Dude, you deserve a beer for that one. That is one excellent idea.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    23
    Great idea and implementation. Great way to take your kids out on the more challenging trails.

    Darn good way to get some extra work out for you too.

    Any close up shots of the setup?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    93
    That's really great! My boys are able to get up the hills by themselves now but I really could have used this a few years ago.

    Kind regards,

    Clemens
    Last edited by Cinq; 08-15-2012 at 08:26 AM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,027
    I never thought of doing that for my daughter and son, but it's brilliant.

    FYI:
    They make a $20 bracket like yours that hangs off the back of your eat post
    with a d ring to clip a bungee rope and voila.

    This is the one I like that hangs off the rear axle:
    Amazon.com: Sunlite Bicycle Dog Leash: Sports & Outdoors

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by jamerson9 View Post
    Great idea and implementation. Great way to take your kids out on the more challenging trails.

    Darn good way to get some extra work out for you too.

    Any close up shots of the setup?

    Here is a video that has some good info on how to build it:

    How to Build an Adventure Racing Bike Tow on Vimeo

    Like I said before, if you are going to try it, please be careful, and take your time working up to harder trails. It is awesome when your kid finally gets the knack of it, but could be crash prone until they do. I have my daughter in knee and elbow pads anytime we do this, and luckily she has only crashed once.

    I should also say that I made my surgical tubing longer than his. It gives my daughter more time to put her foot down and get her balance back before she starts getting pulled fairly hard by the surgical tubing. So when she is riding down the downhills, I take the loop that would normally connect to her handlebars, and put it around my seatpost. I figure the longer the tubing stretches, the faster I can ride, because short tubing and fast riding won't give her anytime to react. Also make sure you teach them to yell slow down and stop. Slow down when she starts to get hung up, and stop when she is really hung up. It would be awesome to design some sort of feedback system with this, with some sort of audible alarm when she has become more than 15 feet away, etc. I just gave someone a $1,000 idea, now go out and make us hundreds.
    Last edited by BullSCit; 08-15-2012 at 05:57 AM.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by schristie11 View Post
    I never thought of doing that for my daughter and son, but it's brilliant.

    FYI:
    They make a $20 bracket like yours that hangs off the back of your eat post
    with a d ring to clip a bungee rope and voila.

    This is the one I like that hangs off the rear axle:
    Amazon.com: Sunlite Bicycle Dog Leash: Sports & Outdoors
    That system could be interesting. You would definitely want to change out the surgical tubing for the bungee cord, as bungees don't have enough stretch, and for my daughter, it gives her enough time to put her foot down and regain her balance, before it starts giving her a harder pull back to my bike. And I think it is better to pull from a higher point than a lower point. Just thinking about the physics of everything, it seems the higher you pull vertically, the more yaw stability (rotation about the fork) you have. Not sure, but it makes sense in my head. But the only part on my system that is having any problems is the aluminum angle bracket. It is fairly thin, and I put it in a vice and pounded a portion flat, so what part would pipe clamp to the seatpost, and the other half would pipe clamp to the flexi PVC, so there was a nice channel for both to interface.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    328
    That's a great idea. Do you ever jump out of the saddle and suddenly sprint full on? Slingshot her right on by you!!!!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by jyeager View Post
    That's a great idea. Do you ever jump out of the saddle and suddenly sprint full on? Slingshot her right on by you!!!!

    She actually does that herself now. She'll slam on her brakes on a flat / straight section, and then let go and go flying to my left or right. That is something else good about this, as she likes to be independent and ride on my side when we are riding double track, and she can do this with this system. But probably also why I am having problems with my aluminum bracket. If someone could create something that would rotate around the seatpost, that would be great.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,071
    Hey...I saw you on Round Valley the other day with your daughter behind you on the surgical tubing and a little one mounted on a child seat on the front....now my wife wants me to drag her up the hill on a rubber band! Nice job!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Hey...I saw you on Round Valley the other day with your daughter behind you on the surgical tubing and a little one mounted on a child seat on the front....now my wife wants me to drag her up the hill on a rubber band! Nice job!
    Nice, it is a good workout, and pretty much the only riding that I get to do to train for the Point to Point in a couple of week. Two days ago she rode Rambler down all the way to our house without touching her feet by herself for the first time, and has been doing that from the top of Nowhere Elks to the hospital for the past couple of weeks untethered.

    We ride RV 2 - 3 times a week, as we have singletrack right out of our backyard. Actually heading over to the Trailside bike park in a few minutes. Gotta love living in PC, especially when it is like it is today, cloudy and in the 70s.

    See you on the trails - Wil

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    65
    Great idea. Our 5 month old is growing fast and this looks like a great way to get her on her own two wheels in a few years.
    If it doesn't include a hike a bike, it isn't a ride.

  13. #13
    Fight the Kakistocracy!
    Reputation: veelz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    256
    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    If someone could create something that would rotate around the seatpost, that would be great.
    Have you ever seen the old Adam's Trail-a-bike attachments? A plastic bushing with a surrounding steel clamp. I can't make out how you made your mount, but might work.

    Scott
    veelz

    Gravity, not just a good idea, it's a law.
    The only one consistently and constantly applied, no exceptions.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,027

  15. #15
    Clyde on a mission!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    670
    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    It would be awesome to design some sort of feedback system with this, with some sort of audible alarm when she has become more than 15 feet away, etc.
    That's already implemented, when she gets too far back the cord breaks and you get a huge slap on the ass to remind you something is amiss..

    Cool idea.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: griffter18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    381
    I spotted this on another thread and I initially thought great idea for longer steeper sections to give the little one a lift.
    The concern I would have though is:
    1. Tow snapping at the seatpost and snapping back towards the child
    2. Large plastic tube at eye height to the child

    There are now some commercial devices that are similar to a retractable lead attached to seatpost.

    Have any other users any good or bad experiences they could share?
    MTB: Stumpy, Enduro, Hotrock, Commencal Supreme
    ROAD: Jamis Zenith, Pinarello Dogma

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Some good points, but I don't think they are anything to be concerned with.

    We have had several snapping (maybe 5 total) of the surgical tubing portion of the system, including one tonight. It has never come close to hurting my daughter. Since it is connected to the stem, it always hits the stem / handlebars, and dissipates all of it's energy then. Pretty much everytime it has snapped is when she gets scared on rockier, more technical uphills, and puts on her brakes and doesn't tell me to stop.

    And the flex pipe ends at about the axle of my rear wheel. So there would be no real way to hit it. The current setup has the system on the back of my son's trailer bike, and she hits hit rear wheel with her front wheel several times each ride. But she would have to get ejected off her bike to actually hit the plastic tube.

    Today she rode up the big rocky hill behind our house for the first time without dabbing (putting her foot down). It was a huge moment for us, as it is pretty steep and has a lot of 6-8" rocks that she has to steer her 16" wheeled bike around. Most adults in our bike obsessed town walk this stretch, and she killed it. Like I said before, this might be for most kids, but it sure is a great way to have your kid be able to ride bigger and better trails.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    40
    There is a guy out at Duthie hill in Washington who uses a retractable dog leash mounted under his seat to help his son up steeper climbs. Right now my daughter and I use the "Turbo Boost" method that's were dad rides behind her and when she starts struggling on a climb and yells turbo boost I jump off my bike and push her in the middle of her back to the top of the hill or as long as she is still pedaling it seems to work but man is it hard on the dad

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,241
    Ive used a strap for years. Ive used it mountain biking and road biking.

    The retractable dog leash is the best idea IMO.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    Not sure if all retractable dog leashes are the same, but the ones I have don't have any give. Either you are pulling them 100% or they are biking themselves. The beauty of the surgical tubing is that as she gets bigger and stronger she rides closer to me, making so she is getting less help from me. And she knows this, and her goal now is to stay as close to me as possible. I'll make a new video on where she is at now, because she can climb up some pretty tough parts of the trail now, including switchbacks, which really doesn't help her too much because of the change of angle.

    Like I said before, definitely not for every kid out there, but works well for my daughter. My 2 year 8 month son is starting to ride singletrack now without training wheels, and I'll try him on this system on the streets around house soon. He already can ride with this system on his strider like bike, so it shouldn't be too big of a learning step for him.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    That's awesome! I too created something very similar since we live in a town with very steep hills, and hated how she would get frustrated and didn't want to bike anymore. What I did instead was take exercise resistances rubber bands:
    Amazon.com: SPRI ES501R Xertube Resistance Band (Red, Medium): Sports & Outdoors
    tie a 5 foot or so rope to it, and simple tie one end to my bike seat post, and then to the bikes frame. In addition, I can simple keep the band/rope in the bag and tie up as needed.

    I have actual gone for bike rides with my 2 year old in a single chariot and then tie the tow system to the back of the chariot to the 5 year old on the steep hills. A double trailer. It is quite a spectacle to see, but works great!

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    332
    I like the look of the resistance band, as the one problem I have had is the surgical tubing tearing. The one think about the surgical tubing is that it really elongates. Not sure how long the resistance bands will stretch, but I think the surgical tubing gives her a little more chance to put her feet down and get balanced if she had a problem than this. I would love to find something in-between the surgical tubing and something like this.

    Talking about spectacles, the best I have done is my 1 year old nephew on an Ibert mounted to my steerer tube, my 2 year old on a trailer bike attached to me and my daughter on the surgical tubing behind the trailer bike. The trails we rode like that aren't technical, but they have some good climbs in them. But I just shifted to a lower gear and it wasn't too bad. A great way to get kids outside.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4
    The resistance band has plenty of stretch, and I have seen her have the ability to put her foot down, but no concern of it rocketing her up. And as far as it breaking, not a concern at all. I have seen people in the 200# use them looped around their knees and up to a bar to help them do pull ups.

    My biggest concern was her going too fast, and then having the tow rope on the ground, and creating the chance of her riding over it. Of the 20+ times using it, this has not been an issue at all, and she is fully aware to control her speed to keep the tension in the rope.

    Yeah, you got me beat for a spectacle.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    29
    Tried this with my kid on Sunday - surgical tubing and flexi-PVC. Worked wonders. He enjoyed railing down the single-track and dad got a good threshold workout too! Thanks!

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    40
    I used to ride with my little one on a tag along with the dog leash holder for my lab behind her . We dubbed it the crazy train.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •