If you and your spouse love to ride bikes, you may be frustrated with the new rhythms of parenthood. Riding bikes may now mean walking behind your child for five or six blocks, or taking a solitary ride while your wife watches the kids. Your little baby is too big for the baby bike seat, and still too small to bike independently in traffic or around obstacles.
Once the child learns to ride a bike, after about four or five, you do have other options. One is a tandem bike. However, their high cost, $400 for a cheap one, makes this a major purchase. Another option is a tagalong bike or trailer bike. This bike is basically a child's size bike that has no front tire but that connects to the back of your bike with a steel or alloy bar.
There are numerous choices for these on the market. Most weigh between 25 and 30 pounds and include all the hardware for attaching to your bike. They come in an array of colors and few have some added extras. All come with a safety flag. Most come with padded handlebars. Only one comes with a shifter that allows a child to learn to modulate pedaling with difficulty. The benefit here is that the ride is less wobbly when your little cherub isn't standing up on the pedals moving from his weight from right to left as he struggles with you up a hill.
For our money, we found the WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer to be the best choice of the lot. It's the cheapest of the ones we found on-line but doesn't weigh significantly more than the most expensive bikes. It comes with all the bells and whistles of the other bikes, including one the others don't have: a front splash guard to protect dad's backside from rocks, water, and mud.
If money is not a factor, then it would be the top of the line Adams Original Shifter 7, which is light and has a 7-gear mechanism.
Make sure to buy a helmet for both you and your child. Many people review these bikes favorably on-line but some suggest an increased risk of erratic driving especially with younger kids.
- Paul Banas
Founder / Editor