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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb143 View Post
    Last summer on a group outing over forest service roads that included some rough sections, a friend (Friend 1) rode behind my Chariot CX setup and another friend's (Friend 2) Burley setup. Friend 1 commented that the difference in suspension and bounce effect on kiddos was dramatic when observed from behind. The Burley kids got bounced all over the place. (Think covered wagon vs Humvee). That experience cemented her decision to get a Chariot for her own kiddos.

    One of the things I like about the Chariot leaf spring suspension (same principle as used on cars) is that it is easily adjustable, without tools, for optimum cush for different weight ranges or different surface conditions (smooth road vs bumpy dirt). Just as my wife and I need different suspension settings on our FS bikes (she is tiny and I'm...medium), so does a trailer with two 40 lb kids vs one 20 lb kiddo. Easy cheesy.
    Do you know if Friend 2's Burley was one of the newer ones that has the elastomer suspension? I've been reading lots of threads on Burley vs. Chariot, but many of them seem to be talking about the older Burley's, which didn't have suspension, jog/stroll/ski options, etc. I'm really wondering how the latest Burley's compare.

    It also seems like the suspension adds quite a bit of weight? I have a 2007 d'Lite right now (last year before they added suspension to the d'Lite), debating whether I want to upgrade to a newer d'Lite or a Chariot Cougar 2, or just stick with my current d'Lite. I think the pre-2008 d'Lites were about 20 lbs and the 2008+ d'Lites and the Cougar are about 28 lbs. I had a Trek trailer prior to the d'Lite and it was suuuuuuuuuuuper heavy and it drove me nuts. Am I going to feel the same way about the newer d'Lites and Cougar? We ride almost exclusively on roads, maybe on occasion we'll go out on a gravel trail, so does the suspension make enough of a difference to justify the extra weight?

    Thanks And I'll toss in a little contribution to this great thread for folks like me who are in the market for used trailers: Burley has an excellent pictoral guide to their different models throughout the years. There are some pretty big differences in features, so it's helpful to be able to look at a craigslist picture and figure out which features that particular trailer has. http://www.burley.com/shop/wpimages/...ghtheyears.pdf

  2. #102
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    Anyone else think Thule as totally lost their minds since acquiring Chariot in regards to pricing? I like the conversion process between elements better from the Chariots than others have, and the slight price premium was always acceptable for that feature. Now though, the Cougar 2 has a $120 price premium over the Burley D'lite, and the Thule comes with the stroller kit, while the Burley comes with the bike arm. Seems Thule is working hard to sell their competition's products.

  3. #103
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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts re offroad capabilities.

    I took my daughter out last night for the first time in an InStep equivalent trailer along a relatively smooth gravel path. Just a few initial observations:
    - Even on a smooth gravel path, my daughter told me it was rough
    - You have to be really conscious of the width of the trailer
    - The trailer follows a very different line from the bike while cornering

    No doubt the ride comfort is improved greatly in the higher end models such as Burley and Chariot, but the extra width and line while cornering I assume would be similar across all brands. Do people find these two particular issues to be a problem in off-road use? i.e. what is the biggest limiting factor for using the trailers off-road, ride comfort, or ability to fit/navigate on a trail?

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty Steed View Post
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts re offroad capabilities.

    I took my daughter out last night for the first time in an InStep equivalent trailer along a relatively smooth gravel path. Just a few initial observations:
    - Even on a smooth gravel path, my daughter told me it was rough
    - You have to be really conscious of the width of the trailer
    - The trailer follows a very different line from the bike while cornering

    No doubt the ride comfort is improved greatly in the higher end models such as Burley and Chariot, but the extra width and line while cornering I assume would be similar across all brands. Do people find these two particular issues to be a problem in off-road use? i.e. what is the biggest limiting factor for using the trailers off-road, ride comfort, or ability to fit/navigate on a trail?
    I would say width/navigation and the weight! Our Chariot is great, but it is heavy.

  5. #105
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    Just went for our first ride with my 1 year old in our Chariot. She loved it, except for hitting some big sidewalk sections which were very rough, and I didn't slow down enough. She got over it pretty quickly, and arrived back home with a smile on her face.
    It was kind of windy, so pulling against the wind was like dragging parachute. This is the case with any trailer though. The spring suspension seemed to dampen a lot of the sidewalk cracks, and minor bumps. Much smoother ride than the old Schwinn we had with the first two girls.
    Not sure I'd pay tge premium over a Schwinn, or cheaper trailer, but I got a screaming deal on ours off Craigslist, and am sure I'll be able to sell it and get my money back once she's done with it.

  6. #106
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    Just pulled the trigger on a Chariot Cougar. Should ride nicely around town and on the dirt and fire roads around here (socal). Hope the little one likes it!

  7. #107
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    Hi,

    My wife and I have an 11 month year old baby. We are quire keen cyclists and used to go out together a lot - but at the moment the only opportunity is to go out separately, while the other person does child care.

    We are looking at trailers/seats for kids. I have researched the different mtb forums and can probably sum up my current view as:

    Child Seats:

    Cheapest option
    Requires helmet
    can't decide between front/middle mounted and rear mounted
    popular models in the UK look to be Hamax/Weeride
    Easy to engage with parents/nature etc.

    Child trailers:

    Seems expensive option, but some people have said they sell on for a decent price - quick look on ebay seems to support this.
    More stable
    Ability to carry extra stuff (not sure if this an advantage or disadvantage...)
    Safer? Not sure if helmet is required/recommended though.
    Storage more of an issue (we have no outside storage or garage), although some models do fold
    Popular models seem to be either much cheaper budget, or very expensive ones from Chariot/Thule, Crooze etc.
    Less engagement with the surroundings (inside a cover of some sort)

    Are there any other recommended brand options I should consider? We would like to be be able to ride off road (within reason) and I note some of the more expensive trailer models come with suspension.

    I travel a bit and if possible it would be great to get a model from the US - the prices in the UK/EU seem horrendous for trailers, trailers are almost 2/3 price in the US. This may not be possible, but Thule Chariot Cougar 1 models are going for around 749 (well in excess of $1,000 US)...

    Also, do kids need a helmet in a trailer? I always wear one, as does the other half, but I am not sure a helmet would be useful or not for someone enclosed in a trailer?

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by gribble View Post
    Hi,

    My wife and I have an 11 month year old baby......
    I regularly use both a seat and trailer at the same time. My kids are 2.5 yr and 15 mos. My older son rides in the seat, younger son rides in the trailer. Both started in the trailer at 6 months (car seat strapped into trailer,) I moved my older to the seat at about 13 months. I have an iBert seat and older Burly D'Lite trailer that predates Burly's newer advances in suspension. Some thoughts:

    Seats:
    - Front mounted tend to be much more stable than rear mount because you are maintaining a similar center of gravity as without a child.
    - My son absolutely loves being up front and truly involved with the bike ride.
    - Many rear mounts are not set up to mount to mountain bikes. I've tried on a all three of my bikes and could not make it work.
    - Weight limit for an iBert is 36lb.

    Trailers:
    - Helmets are recommended unless the child is in a car seat. #1 it teaches them from day one that helmets are obligatory, #2 if you accidentally clip a curb and roll your trailer, the side of their head could smash the pavement.
    - When I go on vacation, trying to find room to pack the trailer is always a problem.
    - My Burly trailer is definitely a rougher ride than the seat. I take it on gravel/dirt roads and double tracks, but it's important to be careful of potholes, roots, etc, age of the kid obviously makes a difference in how cautious I am as well.
    - If you're planning to do a lot of dirt roads, think about whether or not the child is not choking down dust

    If I just had one child, there's no question for me that I prefer the seat. If I'm only taking one boy I take the iBert, and I'll usually work in some smooth singletrack that's simply not possible with the trailer (width issue more than anything.) My wife usually stays home because bike rides are a chance to give her a break from the kids, so I need the trailer for the second child. But I plan to get a second iBert for when all four of us go together.

  9. #109
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    So I'm in the same boat as everyone else here.

    11 month old boy and this will be his first summer of riding with me, so I'm looking at trailers. Buddy at work suggested the InStep but I just can't bring myself to cheap out like that. So I'm looking at the Chariot (Thule, whatever) Cougar 2, and the Burley D'Lite.

    My question is this. I found a 2011 Cougar 2 on CL for $425 with the bike attachment. Seems like a decent deal vs. a new one at $750 + tax + bike attachment, but is it a better deal than a brand new $600 Burley D'Lite that already HAS the bike attachment?

    We're not big on hand-me-downs, and haven't purchased anything used for our kiddo yet, and I'm not sure I want to start now. Thoughts?

  10. #110
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    Best thing to do is to check out the trailers in person. Just like buying a bike. Be sure the hitch works with your bike. Personally, I think buying a trailer used in good condition is fine, especially if you intend to sell it when your kid grows out of it. If you insist on new, that's fine. They can be found on sale. REI puts the Chariot on sale from time to time, but it's also included when they do members' 20% off deal.
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  11. #111
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    Check out the trailer in person. Chances are it was taken care of. The chariot is such a great trailer, I would buy one used with the hitch before a new burley.
    Quote Originally Posted by rattmobbins View Post
    So I'm in the same boat as everyone else here.

    11 month old boy and this will be his first summer of riding with me, so I'm looking at trailers. Buddy at work suggested the InStep but I just can't bring myself to cheap out like that. So I'm looking at the Chariot (Thule, whatever) Cougar 2, and the Burley D'Lite.

    My question is this. I found a 2011 Cougar 2 on CL for $425 with the bike attachment. Seems like a decent deal vs. a new one at $750 + tax + bike attachment, but is it a better deal than a brand new $600 Burley D'Lite that already HAS the bike attachment?

    We're not big on hand-me-downs, and haven't purchased anything used for our kiddo yet, and I'm not sure I want to start now. Thoughts?

  12. #112
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    Buy used, take care of it, and sell for about the same when you're done with it.
    I have a Chariot, and it gets plenty of use, and holds up great.
    I ought to be able to sell it for what I paid a year ago once we're done with it.

    Also, you can find the baby slings, etc cheaper used, and they generally are in good shape since the babys outgrow them so fast.
    I've been thru the baby sling, and the supporter, and sold both for the same, or more than what I got them for.

  13. #113
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    I don't think any of the trailers would be deemed "off-road" capable. Maybe gravel roads, and dirt roads. Our Chariot has the leaf spring, and it dampens sidewallk cracks, and small rocks and potholes, but bigger bumps still jar the kid quite a bit.

  14. #114
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    Ended up with the Chariot. 2011 Cougar 2 in good shape (with the bike attachment) and I talked the guy down to $375. Score!

  15. #115
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    Hi, rattmobins! I am in the exact same boat as you...I am considering a new Burley D'Lite or a used Chariot Cougar 2 that I found on Craigslist. I have a very large 7 month old and will eventually have baby #2, and I am willing to make an investment...then again, I don't want to pay for something I don't need...and I am overall confused as to whether I should go with the used, less expensive Cougar 2 or pay not that much more for a new D'Lite. Any insight you are willing to share would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!!

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni View Post
    Hi, rattmobins! I am in the exact same boat as you...I am considering a new Burley D'Lite or a used Chariot Cougar 2 that I found on Craigslist. I have a very large 7 month old and will eventually have baby #2, and I am willing to make an investment...then again, I don't want to pay for something I don't need...and I am overall confused as to whether I should go with the used, less expensive Cougar 2 or pay not that much more for a new D'Lite. Any insight you are willing to share would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!!
    I assume that given you're talking about a brand new Burley D'Lite, it has the adjustable coil suspension, unlike my older Burley D'Lite which has a rigid frame. FWIW, Burley is a new comer to offering suspension on their trailers, while Chariot has been doing it for a very long time. In most others ways the two trailers are pretty similar. My personal opinion would be that if the used Chariot is newish, in great shape, and with the needed attachments, to go with it. Can always try to talk the seller down a few $$$'s

  17. #117
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    I would not hesitate to buy a used Chariot. We take care of ours, but use it a lot, and it still works and looks great. It is holding up very well. I have pulled it thru dirt construction zones, over gravel paths. and thru grass prairies. Use it with the bike attachment, the jogging attachment, and the strolling wheels. Definately getting my moneys worth out of it.
    I have no doubt we will be able to sell it for what we paid for it in a couple years. (We bought it used also, however it was barely used)

  18. #118
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    Everything else: Schwinn Trailblazer Double

    Hey guys, I'm brand new here and found this forum while trying to figure out if any one else was having the same trouble I have had with the Schwinn Trailblazer Double which we received as a present for our then one-year-old. Not sure if it's my particular setup (Specialized Rockhopper) but this trailer has been very uncomfortable for my daughter. The seat is inclined (forward-leaning) meaning she is always sliding out of it. I have tried to adjust it in every way imaginable but to no avail. The back support on this model is also very high so the back of her helmet pushing against it forces her head in a downward position. Has anyone else had issues with this trailer? She is two years old now and the back support is still too high!

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesaa View Post
    Hey guys, I'm brand new here and found this forum while trying to figure out if any one else was having the same trouble I have had with the Schwinn Trailblazer Double which we received as a present for our then one-year-old. Not sure if it's my particular setup (Specialized Rockhopper) but this trailer has been very uncomfortable for my daughter. The seat is inclined (forward-leaning) meaning she is always sliding out of it. I have tried to adjust it in every way imaginable but to no avail. The back support on this model is also very high so the back of her helmet pushing against it forces her head in a downward position. Has anyone else had issues with this trailer? She is two years old now and the back support is still too high!
    Unfortunately, Schwinn - a once great American bicycle company - is now synonymous with crappy bicycle-shaped objects and equally crappy bicycle accessory shaped-objects. I suppose its too late to take the trailer back to the store? If I were you, I'd get rid of it. Maybe you can sell it to someone looking for a cheap cargo trailer. Or you could use it as a cheap cargo trailer yourself. But for hauling your most precious cargo - kids - you want a good trailer like Burley, Chariot, or equally well made brand. Or look into a seat; a lot of people like the iBert-style front seat arrangements.
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  20. #120
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    First, congrats on getting the kid out and "biking." it is a big activity in mu family, and i like to see others out as well.

    Yeah, those look great in the store, but are very bare-bones. Not much in the comfort area. I liken it to a Yugo. We had a cheap-o RhodeGear for a while. The Boy never wore a helmet because the "seat" was really a sling and the helmet would be forced forward. Very uncomfortable. We used it a lot, and I decided to get a nicer one.

    I looked around, and although they are pricey, I found the chariot is the best around. the hitch is easy to use and solid and works with nearly every bike. The suspension helps easy the ride for the kid. The harness is padded and easy to use. The seat has a space for helmet clearance if you have them wear a helmet.

    While it is expensive, I know we got our money's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesaa View Post
    Hey guys, I'm brand new here and found this forum while trying to figure out if any one else was having the same trouble I have had with the Schwinn Trailblazer Double which we received as a present for our then one-year-old. Not sure if it's my particular setup (Specialized Rockhopper) but this trailer has been very uncomfortable for my daughter. The seat is inclined (forward-leaning) meaning she is always sliding out of it. I have tried to adjust it in every way imaginable but to no avail. The back support on this model is also very high so the back of her helmet pushing against it forces her head in a downward position. Has anyone else had issues with this trailer? She is two years old now and the back support is still too high!

  21. #121
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    Wow, thanks for your prompt replies! I will keep my eyes out for a Chariot or comparable model, hoping they will go on sale for Labor Day! Meanwhile there are some Burly Bee trailers on Craigslist nearby (lots of them, actually!) so I may go try some of them out.

  22. #122
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    I have a baby sling, bivy, and supporter for the Chariot. I thought I'd sold them already, but just found them stashed up on top of my bike gear cabinet. they are on Ebay under my username spokes-n-stuff.
    If anyone here wants them, I'll pull them off Ebay.

  23. #123
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    I can't speak to any of the other brands, but I have been using a Chariot Cougar 1 and then a Cougar 2 for the past 4 and a half years. Tons of miles on both and no complaints, they are great.

  24. #124
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    Is anyone with a chariot able to verify whether the ezi hitch can fit under standard qr skewer. I've got a clamp on hitch and it clips my heel so looking to just get the part that slips under the qr, along with the pin to restore some clearance. the clamp is also liable to twist, even with grip tape on the stays, so could start rubbing the discs. I knew I should have left my vee's on the tow/commuter bike!

    Cheers
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  25. #125
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    Ours came with an extended length skewer. I don't think it would fit under a standard one. It's is pretty thick metal.

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