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Bike trailers AIBU/PFB?

(42 Posts)
Discopanda Sun 26-Jul-15 23:23:31

I think they're very, very unsafe and don't want DD1 taken out for a ride in one by a family member (one of those fabric ones that attaches to the back of a bike) because a- they're below the eye line of motorists b-pavements around here are too narrow for it to be used on and there are no cycle paths c- it's from the market and been left out in the rain for months so questionable quality anyway d- people where I live drive like absolute wankers! e- they seem to be extremely difficult to maneuver (I actually saw family member struggling to turn their bike with it attached). WIBU to say my 3 year old can't be taken out in it because I'm not comfortable or am I being PFB?

Discopanda Sun 26-Jul-15 23:24:57

Forgot to add- family member doesn't believe in cycle helmets and regularly takes DN on the back of the bike without one.

BikeRunSki Sun 26-Jul-15 23:28:21

I 've used one quite happily with both DC, although primarily on Sustrans type routes, but also on proper roads. We had a big red flag to warn motorists. They are no that difficult to manoeuvre. Awkward, but not difficult, and easy on a bike.

You know your child, your family member and your local roads. Turn down the offer all you wish.

BikeRunSki Sun 26-Jul-15 23:29:33

I would not allow a chi if mind on a bike/trailer/baby seat without a helmet though. End of.

TigerFeat Sun 26-Jul-15 23:34:17


I've used one on cycle paths and Centerparcs etc. They're great for that but I would never use one in traffic as I think they're not visible enough and, as you say, there are just too many dickheads on the roads.

Discopanda Sun 26-Jul-15 23:40:21

TigerFeat we don't have any cycle paths, it would be on the road

redexpat Mon 27-Jul-15 00:33:10

I use one, but not in the uk, roads are wide, good road surface, very careful drivers and helmets to be worn by all under 10s by law. I wouldnt use one in yoour situation!

chocolatedonut Mon 27-Jul-15 01:11:39

Fair enough in center parcs but not definitely not on the road. I wouldn't hesitate in saying absolutely no way!

JellyTipisthebest Mon 27-Jul-15 07:37:48

If they are on a correct type bike that turns ect and maintained they are safer than the type that go on the back of the bike. A child on the back of a bike can lean and make you fall off. A child in a trainer can not. you can also fall off the bike and the child would be fine. I always found people used to give me more space, they could see the flag our was yellow. I also had the kids wear helmets. I would not of let my child go on a seat on the back of a bike.

Duckdeamon Mon 27-Jul-15 07:44:15

Your small child, your (and their father's) decision. The family member's views aren't relevant and you don't need to justify it if your decision is no.

littlejohnnydory Mon 27-Jul-15 11:35:04

PFB except for the helmet issue. My four dc have all been in one from about 7 months old. Much safer than a bike seat. I feel more nervous about travelling by car.

littlejohnnydory Mon 27-Jul-15 11:36:40

I wouldn't allow a bike seat and if anybody took my child in a trailer without a helmet it would be the last time they looked after them.

howabout Mon 27-Jul-15 11:41:18


Fine for cycle routes and parks not for main roads.

We live next to the arterial road to the city. I had to bite my tongue very hard not to say something to a neighbour using a bike and trailer to cycle with DC to school. Does not help much if the driver behind can see you if there is a rush hour RTA as these trailers have so little protection. I would not let my DC cycle, even with a helmet, on this road at all though.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 27-Jul-15 11:42:08

YANBU about the quality of the trailer, and the helmet issue. YABU about trailers in general - they may be low but they are unusual so drivers register them more. They also have five point seatbelts and roll cages. If hit by a car far safer than in a child seat.

museumum Mon 27-Jul-15 11:47:07

They're far more protective than you think. Good harness and a good roll cage under the fabric. Much safer in an accident than a seat.
BUT I don't use mine in town as I find them awkward to manoeuvre on our narrow roads and I think ds would find it unpleasant down at that level. We use ours off-road only and use a pannier rack seat in town.
And ours is high quality and safety rated, I wouldn't be so sure about one from a market - is it a known brand name?

TheRealAmyLee Mon 27-Jul-15 11:48:48

Personally I wouldn't use them unless it was not on a road for all the reasons you mentioned. I also think the fact the bike rider CAN'T see the kid makes me nervous as well.

Boosiehs Mon 27-Jul-15 11:56:05

No way jose.

May be coloured by the fact I live in London.

I might feel slightly less averse to the front trailer thing. But NO WAY to the ones at the back. Enough cyclists are killed on the roads without adding a small child in a low-down trailer to the statistics./

ProcrastinatorGeneral Mon 27-Jul-15 14:57:42

In those circumstances no. They can be great, I know a few folks who have great times with them. I wouldn't use one where I live as its a major ring road near us as well as being near two massive estates so the traffic is constant and varied enough to make me uncomfortable trying to cycle safely with a trailer.

I did judge badly the acquaintance I had who couldn't be arsed to wait for her youngest to reach the minimum age requirement for her particular trailer. She bought a cheap second hand car seat from a Facebook selling site, trimmed the sides so it would fit in the trailer, belted it in and used it with her child from about 12 weeks. The other child in the trailer was squashed too. She got very defensive when she was told she was being an idiot by fellow cyclists. Apparently it's ok though because she cycles really carefully and can't be expected not to cycle until her baby is one.

Ilovecrapcrafts Mon 27-Jul-15 15:03:10

I don't understand these on open roads at all. As a driver they are very difficult to see. Imagine a bus or something clipping it? It makes me cringe thinking about it

Bejeena Mon 27-Jul-15 15:06:35

Helmet in the trailer? You wouldn't put a child in a car seat in car with a helmet on would you? Helmets are not needed for children travelling in trailers and belted in correctly.

yabu unreasonable about trailers in general but I think you are just misinformed. Of course you have to be able to trust the person transporting the child though

Nanny0gg Mon 27-Jul-15 15:13:35

Please explain to me how they are safe?

Roads are dangerous enough round where I live for cars, let alone small children in a trailer behind a bike.

I live in the country, but we still have innumerable lorries driving about to business parks and there to all parts of the country.

Why would you risk it?

You wouldn't put a child in a car seat in car with a helmet on would you? Helmets are not needed for children travelling in trailers and belted in correctly.

Cars are considerably more substantial and less likely to be crushed, surely?

Nanny0gg Mon 27-Jul-15 15:14:08

OP - be as PFB as you like in this situation!

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 27-Jul-15 15:24:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buttercup27 Mon 27-Jul-15 15:26:03

Of course they need to wear helmets ! Not only for added safety but it instills from a very young age that you always wear a helmet when riding a bike!
I use my trailer loads with 2dc but live very close to a cycle path and only use these routes.
It makes me cross when I see people using trailers with the front screen open. It's so dangerous as it's easy for a stone to be flicked up into dcs faces by the back tyre.
Op in the circumstances you describe yanbu!

Mistigri Mon 27-Jul-15 15:27:08

I'm not sure that helmets are likely to provide any substantial protection for a child strapped into a trailer - a crush injury is massively more likely than a head injury (although for the sake of good habits I would probably use one anyway).

I've used both bike seats and trailers and neither seems especially satisfactory to me especially in traffic.

I completely understand why you would want to say no in this situation especially if the trailer has an uncertain provenance.

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