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Juggernaut

Bike trailers for bairns

So, Spring is slowly coming to Scotland, and my wee boy is old enough to start experiencing the wonders of travelling by bike. And the wife and I are hoping to get away for a bike tour in Europe this summer (this may turn out to be excessivly optimistic of course, as many of our post-natal plans have proved to be). So does anyone have any experience or advice about bike trailers they can pass on?

The ones that have caught my eye are the CX1 and Cougar1 from Chariot...
http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/sport_deluxe.shtml
http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/sport1.shtml

Ok, they aren't cheap, but whilst the wee boy gets nothing but hand-me-down clothes and toys, I'm happy to splash some cash on his bike kit...

And of course, Dad needs some new toys too. My old Dawes tourer has had 10 years of hard work and nears retiremement. One thing I'm looking for in a replacement is mechanical disk brakes. Does anyone have any opinion on using these for touring? The one thing I hated on my old Dawes was the cantilever brakes - impossible to get right, squealed like stuck pigs, wear out quickly, not much stopping power, and chewing through my rims in no time. So are mechanical disk brakes the solution? Many people appear to hate them, but that is mostly in comparison to hydralic disk brakes (which aren't an option for me). The frame I had in mind for the job is from Salsa...

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya/vaya_orange_frame_build/

Any advice appreciated!

J
SlowRower

Re: Bike trailers for bairns

Juggernaut wrote:
...this may turn out to be excessivly optimistic of course, as many of our post-natal plans have proved to be...


Ain't that the truth! Still, if you don't try, it won't happen. About 1 in 10 of our mad-cap schemes involving Elder Little Rower came to fruition. When Younger Little Rower arrived we just gave up and waited for them to get older. Smile

When my pair were young, the three of us spent many a happy hour tootling round locally with the kids in a trailer. The main thing we found after a few trials was to get one with a hard bottom and don't try and get a cheap one, as they exude unsafeness! (Doesn't look like you are, though.) The hard bottom made access and moving around inside much easier when they were toddlers. Senile as I am these days, I can't remember the brand we had. It was the same as they have at Center Parcs if that help. Blue and yellow.

We never tried a touring holiday with it, but we never considered it, as even pre children it struck us as too much like hard work! One thing to be aware of is that they are reverse Tardis like. They don't look big on the road, but can be a b*gger to get into a car, even with the back seats down. Not much room for luggage or passengers, so a local tour might be forced on you.

The only real downside on the road is that the kids tend to fall asleep really easily in the trailer, so if you're touring, you might end up with a nocturnal baby.

Out of interest, what's your issue with hydraulic disk brakes?
Juggernaut

Thanks for the advice SlowRower - I'll make sure to get one with a hard bottom.

I think the Chariot trailers collapse down, so hopefully they will fit in the car ok (and I drive an estate). Our tour plan is to drive to Newcastle, get the ferry to Amsterdam, and tour around the Netherlands. Whilst I would prefer a few hills for variation, I've never been to the Netherlands, so we might as well have a flat tour for starters.

My issue with hydraulic disk brakes is mainly snobbery - I'm a roady thru-and-thru and like my road bars, shifters, etc. My understanding is that cable-pull disk brakes are compatible with these, but for hydraulic brakes I'd need to use MTB brake levers and shifters (and hence flat bars). It wouldn't kill me, I know, but...
SlowRower

J,

Hydraulic disk brakes are the way forward. I can't recommend them highly enough.

I'm sure I read that they can now by used in Cyclocross, so one would imagine that some cross bikes will be available with them soon. Do your standards allow a cross bike? The handlebars are the right shape, at least!
Juggernaut

Yeah, a cross-bike would certainly be acceptable. But aren't the disk brakes on cross bikes not the wire-pull variety? I'm not sure if anyone has a road-style brake-level (with integrated gear changing) that supports hydraulics - there does seem to be talk of them coming out, and when they do that'll do me nicely.

I've seen those wire-to-hydraulic conversion things, but they look pretty clunky...
SlowRower

Juggernaut wrote:
But aren't the disk brakes on cross bikes not the wire-pull variety?


Yes - I realised that when I hit "Submit".  Embarassed

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