Let us help you to answer all those questions you have about Bike Trailers.

Supporting you to get the right towing option for your family… so you can smile when you ride.

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What is a Bike Trailer?

A Bike Trailer is towed or pulled by an adult bike.  It carries one or two children depending on the size (single or double seat).  It is a very low stable towing method that can completely enclose your child/children protecting them from the weather or air flow.

Why choose a Bike Trailer?

The advantages of choosing to tow a child or children seated in a bike trailer is the ability to transport in this way from a young age (from 1yr).  Trailers give you lots of extra space for carrying more than just your child.  Extra pockets and the large enclosed, protected internal space. This will broaden your options and allow your family to use the trailer for more than recreation or pleasure.  Bike trailers are a great alternative to transport by car through traffic and around town. 

With trailer options for different types of riding, bike trailers are often the obvious choice for off road touring or multi day bike holidays with a family.

How old does my child have to be to ride in a Bike Trailer?

To be towed in a bike trailer it is New Zealand law that, when on the road, your child must be wearing a helmet. Bike trailers are therefore suitable from around 1 years of age through to 4 yrs (double) or 5-6 yrs (single). If your child can sit independently they may be ready for short periods of time in a bike trailer.  The smallest helmets on the market require a head circumference of 45cm to fit safely.
Note: Multi Use bike trailers have stroller or walking kits allowing you to use the trailer in this way from a very young age.  Infant slings are sold separately for this purpose.

What riding ability does the lead rider need to have?

As the rider of the lead bike you need to be capable of taking on the extra work and load that towing a child requires.  It is better to deal with weight by using a bike that has a good gear range.  Do you have the fitness/strength required? Due to its stability a Bike Trailer has minimal effect on balance.  Learn more at Riding Safely with a Bike Trailer.

How does the size of a Bike Trailer effect where I want to ride?

Bike Trailers may be stable but they are wide, they have two wheels compared to your bikes one.  This needs to be thought about when you are towing them as they are significantly wider than your bike.  You will need more distance to pass parked cars, certain bike trails or bike paths will be too narrow for you to safely pull a trailer along.  Learn more at Riding Safely with a Bike Trailer.

What riding environments and frequency of use is a Bike Trailer best suited too?

Bike Trailers are suited to a wide variety of environments… traffic, bike paths and due to its stability it can be used on easy, wide off road trails, tracks, cycleways.  Bike Trailers have different features and functions that match to differing terrain.  Most trailers will be well designed to roll well and be easy to tow.  Add to this lightweight materials used, suspension, additional padding for your child… you will be able to find a trailer that is the perfect match for where you think you will use it.  Trailers are very well suited to regular daily use either as a commuting family, touring family or daily exercising family.

Where does it attach? Is my bike compatible?

Bike trailer: Attachment at rear wheel hub of adult bike. Learn more at Will a Bike Trailer Fit my bike?

It is compatible with most wheel hubs and bikes, though some systems will require purchasing an additional axel adaptor e.g. through axels, internal gear hubs.  The Multi Use range of trailers offer differing axel adaptors please view your options at this page… Thule Bike Trailer Alternative Adaptors

Will there be a anything permanently attached to the bike?

Yes… a Bike Trailer requires an adaptor to be mounted at the rear wheel hub for hitching or joining your bike to the trailer.  This very small attachment will be permanently attached to the adult bike. The Bike Trailer can be easily unhitched when not required so using your bike independently is simple and the adaptor will not interfere with your riding.

Can different family members and bikes be used to do the towing or be towed?

It can be great to have the flexibility to quickly change your trailer from one bike to another.  This allows different family members and bikes to be used.

Bike Trailer: You can purchase an additional Axel Mount and Quick Release to install in a second bike.  The trailer can then be quickly removed and attached to this bike.  Please note that this second bike must have the same rear axel for this to work… if it is different you can purchase from the range of alternative axel options that Thule provide

What about E-Bikes and using a Bike Trailer?

It can be a great option to use an E-Bike for towing if your E-Bike is compatible for use with a Bike Trailer (see above).  It will remove any of the barriers around the capability of the lead rider.  One of the challenges especially as your child grows is the weight you will be towing.  This can affect your ability to tow for very long or to maintain good balance and therefore a steady, straight riding line. An E-Bike gives you added power and the ability to cover greater distances.

As always be aware of your safety… E-Bikes give you the ability to travel at a much faster speed than you would achieve under your own power.  What does this mean when towing a child?  While it might not be an issue while going up a hill, what does it mean on the flat or braking when coming down a hill?  If this is how you will tow your child we recommend you spend longer in the practice/safe environment when you first get set up, going over balance, cornering at a greater speed and stopping distances.

LEARN MORE AT:  Towing Kids & Electric Bikes

 

How do you store a Bike Trailer when it is not in use?

A bike trailer has been well designed for quick removal from the adult bike, at home it can remain on your bike or be unhitched.  Trailers are large and require space for storage.  They have a large turning circle and do not manouver well in small spaces.  Bike trailers collapse or fold down to be transported or stored.

Multi Use trailers have storage pockets for the varying kits that can be attached to them (bike, stroll, jog, ski).  These kits can be carried while not in use.  So arriving by bike trailer at a destination and removing the bike trailer arm to convert the trailer into a stroller is a simple process.

Will I be able to assemble and attach a Bike Trailer?

Bike trailers come fully assembled.  You will have to learn folding systems and where to attach the bike arm but once set up it is a surprisingly easy system to use.  We can successfully set up Bike Trailers so we are confident you can to.

LEARN MORE AT:  Attaching a Bike Trailer coming soon…

Can I use it to ride with multiple children?

Having the ability to ride with two children is one of the most obvious benefits of a double bike trailer.  The weight of even small kids when attached to your bike can be challenging even for experienced riders.  Being able to pull two children along with a low and stable connection is manageable for most people.

Can the adult rider ride safely with the added challenge of weight and how this will effect balance?  Think about your fitness & strength and the places you want to ride.  A bike with a good gear range or an E-Bike will help enormously with your enjoyment of riding with two children.

What do I need to know to ride safely with my child the first time and for regular riding?

There are some simple things to do and check to keep both you and your child safe when riding with a Bike Trailer – for the first time and as it becomes a regular activity for you and your family. Use our resources to help support your enjoyment of riding with a Bike Trailer.

LEARN MORE AT:  Riding Safely with a Bike Trailer

Want to understand more about all the options for using a BikeTrailer see… Bike Trailer – Buying Guide

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