Bobike/weeride and tag along on my bike - am I mad?

(40 Posts)
zimzam Fri 25-Jul-08 15:18:50

Hi. This is my first time so please be gentle!
I have 4.4 dd starting reception in September and a 2.3 ds. I'd like to avoid the car for the school run so have been considering:
1) Nihola/Kangaroo - think they're great but v. v. pricey.
2) Tricycle with seats - not too keen to have them behind me especially ds on his own after dropping off dd.
3) Getting a bike for me and attaching both kids front and back - I'm not an experienced cyclist and wonder if I'd be too unstable.

DD is just ok on her own bike but with stabilisers. Its a 15-20 min walk to school and then I need to take ds another 15mins to nursery on 3 days.

Any advice/opinions? Tx.

Yorky Fri 25-Jul-08 15:55:38

My FIL loved the tagalong for halfSIL and my DH and DS love the weeride, I don't know how heavy the combination would make the bike, do you know anyone you could borrow from to try?

I know someone who has a weeride, a tagalong and a seat on the back of her bike lol

I think that if you're not experienced it could take a while to get used to, and it would be quite heavy, which is something to take into consideration.

I LOVE the tricycle with seats, and again, happen to know someone who had one that she used regularly with her 4 yr old twins and loved it.

bizarrely I also know someone with a nihola (I am NOT a weirdy bike freak btw lol) who loves it, but as you say, they are very expensive. she tried the nihola and the kangeroo, and despite lkiking the look of the latter ended up going with the nihola because it was easier to ride. think that one depends on what your journey is like, friend said she's not sure she'd want to do any hills on it

what about one of the trailers you can attach to the back?

zimzam Fri 25-Jul-08 16:57:00

Unfortunately I don't know anyone I could borrow from.

I'm wondering if there are tag alongs which are quick and easy to detach and then I could do that at the school and ride off with just the little one on the front. Then when I go alone to pick up dd from school we can walk home leisurely or reattach the tag along.

Do you know if its easy to push a bike along with ds in his seat and so walk alongside dd? Not much of hill to speak of.

Yorky Fri 25-Jul-08 17:08:31

Although school doesn't start for another month so won't dd be ok with a bit more practice on her stabilisers so she can ride to school and you only have the youngest on with you?

Takver Fri 25-Jul-08 17:12:05

I think most tagalongs are quick and easy to detach - we used to do exactly what you suggest & leave tagalong at school.
Its really common to have a front mounted childseat and then a tagalong on the back, and shouldn't be any problem since you don't have big hills. Remember that your dd will be pedalling, so it won't be you doing all the work.
A friend of mine who works in a bike shop says that the tagalongs that attach to a pannier rack (islabikes, burley & some others) are much more stable and safer than ones that attach to the seatpost.
I use an islabikes one and find it fantastic, I also used to have a phillips double tagalong which did attach to the seatpost and it was definitely a lot more wobbly - but then of course it was much longer and heavier.
And yes, its perfectly easy to push bike with child in seat (depending on how heavy child is - I made dd walk up our big hill once she got to about 3.5).

Takver Fri 25-Jul-08 17:15:35

Yorky, I think the advantage of the tagalong is control & speed - it would have taken us all day to get to school with dd on her own bike when she was 4, also I would have worried a lot about the traffic around school, so many people come by car, in a hurry etc.

zimzam Fri 25-Jul-08 18:35:42

Yes Yorky, Takver is right about it taking too long with dd on her bike. Maybe next year she'll (and me) be more confident and able and we can try this then. Thankfully we can go most of the way through a park which is nice and avoids traffic.

Takver, just thinking, are the tag alongs we're talking about the single wheel things or those pulling along the child's own bike? Which is better?

Takver Fri 25-Jul-08 19:42:07

I've only used one of the single wheel ones that attaches to my bike. Never tried one of the trailgator bars, although I'd quite like to try one out now that dd is mostly on her own bike as sometimes she gets tired & could do with a hand.

alardi Fri 25-Jul-08 19:47:07

Tricycle with double backseat, you do not want to rely on a 4yo to get to school on time under her own stream, not on a daily basis in all weathers, anyway. Good one will let you strap them in well so you don't have to worry about the 2yo ds on his own.

Takver Sat 26-Jul-08 08:58:39

I think they're a bit pricey though - also you have to have the trike all the time, rather than dumping the tagalong at school & continuing with just child seat.
Another thing to think about is somewhere to put panniers - its not so good cycling with a rucksack if you're also dealing with the extra weight of children, and some of the tagalongs won't fit a pannier rack too. We always seem to have silly amounts of stuff to take with gym kit, lunches et al.

Trikes are heavy.

I use a weeride and a tagalong - one that fits on my seat post. It works fine - we travel further than you do, I think, it's about a 20-minute ride.

If you go this way, as your bigger child gets faster on her bike (and loses the stabilisers, they really slow kids down!), you can ride alongside her, if the route is child-cycling-friendly ...

Oh, you do need to get more practiced cycling - I'd use the time between now and school starting to get practice - first of all on your own, then with one child on the bike, then with two, iyswim.

Find out if you have a local cycling group - they might have other parents who could let you try various combinations, maybe unladen first if you're not experienced. Local bike shops should be able to tell you if there's a suitable local group. Agree with NotQuiteCockney - get practising!

busymum1 Mon 28-Jul-08 22:52:59

got trailer takes 1 or 2 children folds small to lock to school railings wheels can quick release if space limited

zimzam Tue 29-Jul-08 09:58:51

Thanks every one. I think I'll go buy myself a bike and practise with a weeride.

I hear the weeride has a max weight of 15kg (or was it 18kg?) but what about height? Don't the LO's knees start touching the handlebars after a certain length?

Any good tips on how to buy a bike for me?

DS2 is over 15kg (think limit is 40lbs, whatever that is in kg), but it seems ok. His knees are a bit of a problem, he complains about the handlebars bumping them if I make a tight turn.

zimzam Wed 30-Jul-08 09:40:07

Spoke with the local bike shop man yesterday and he thinks it may all be a bit wobbly since dd hasn't learned to balance on a bike yet.
So I went home and started thinking about tandems! Anyone seen the Onderwater Tandem where the child(ren) sits on the front? see this.
I assume the rigidity of the whole bike makes it more stable than with a tag along/trailgator. And when dd rides her own bike, ds can upgrade to the front seat.
Reality check required perhaps hmm...

overthemill Wed 30-Jul-08 09:42:03

we had a tagalong for my dh's bike and it was fab!! realy improved dd's ability to understand roadsafety and they went everywhere together until she was big enough to ride alongside on her own bike

was expensive so if anyone is thinking of it i'd suggest getting one second hand

zimzam Wed 30-Jul-08 09:49:00

which makes of tag along do you recommend (other than islabikes and burley, tx Takver)? I'd like one that detaches easily and quickly to leave it at the school.

vacaloca Wed 30-Jul-08 09:52:03

How about DD on a scooter? It's amazing how much further DD1 was willing to go once we got her a scooter and now it's me trying to catch up with her rather than the other way round. It also did wonders for her balance and she has now learned to ride her bike in one afternoon, having hardly used it with stabilisers before. We are assuming this is due to the fact that she already learned to balance and turn the handlebars on the scooter. You could then just push your bike with DS on it. A much cheaper option than all the others, especially when she might start being quite confident on her bike in just a few months.

zimzam Wed 30-Jul-08 09:57:59

Vacaloca, yes I had thought of that option too but figure if ds sees dd scooting along, he will want to do the same (tho not quite as able obviously) and I'll be stuck trying to control him and the bike while supervising dd! Not a pleasant scenario on the school run! could try it for just the park bit...

Ive just strated using a trailer (£90 from Halfords) and its fab...i was duboius and was originally going to go for a bike seat at teh front and one at the back but thte bike shop i went to for advice said this is not ideal as the front mounted seats are only really good whern they are smaller and not as they get big...my 2.5 yr old ds was too big for front.

The trailer is fab...easy to ride with, plus space for bags in the bag... my boys love being in it too...plus in wet weather they stay dry.

Just read thte last bit of your message....yes you can push bike easily with one in a seat (i have one day where my 2 are at different nurseries so on those days i have ds2 in a sling and walk the bike with ds1 sat in seat or walking next to me, then cycle once ds2 dropped off). However as you are holding the bike you arent able to run after walking one if needs be so i would say it depends on how sensible your eldest is plus how busy roadds are etc.

Could you have a bike with back bike seat for your youngest then you push the bike to school with the eldest just sat on your saddle, then cycle to your 2nd destination? I see people doing this on school run.

overthemill Wed 30-Jul-08 10:20:31

not 100% ceratin which make it was
i think it may have been trailgator
try this link

here
to see what kinds there are

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