Learn How to Assemble & Use a Trailing 1/2 Bike
The Rocket Tag-A-Long, Trailing 1/2 Bike, is compatible for use with…
Adult bike – 26 to 29 inch wheels
For more information on whether a trailing 1/2 bike will work with your bike please read THIS GUIDE … coming soon
What you will need to assemble a Trailing 1/2 Bike:
6mm Allen Key
Open the Rocket Tag-A-Long Box and identify the following parts:
1/2 Bike Frame
Seat & seat post
Handlebars & Pedals
Seat post receiver
Preparing the 1/2 Bike Arm & Handlebars
Prepare the Arm
Extend the arm until the two sections meet flush. Insert the quick release at the base of the arm and tighten securely.
See below for detailed explanation on tightening & closing quick release skewers.
Attach the Handlebars
You will need to balance the bike upright by resting the extended arm on a chair or getting someone to hold it for you.
Using the 6mm Allen Key unscrew all 4 screws and remove the handlebar stem cover. Place the handlebar into the stem. Put the stem cover back in place and insert all four screws, tighten with your fingers.
You can now adjust the height of the handlebar, once you have your desired height, tighten all screws with the Allen Key, alternating as you go to ensure even tightening of clamp.
Attach handlebar pad and stem pad
Remove the cover from the foam of the handlebar pad. Slide the foam over the handlebar crossbar with the opening facing towards the ground. Wrap the cover around and secure.
Now wrap the stem with the head stem pad.
VIDEO Preparing the 1/2 Bike
Understanding Quick Release Skewers
A loose or open quick release skewer can result in a part not being correctly placed and therefore increases the likelihood of an accident.
To close, move the lever so that you can see “Close” on the outside of the lever. At the beginning of the closing movement and up to about the middle of the lever movement, the lever must move very easily.
During the second half of the movement, the force on the lever should increase significantly. Towards the end the lever should be difficult or very difficult to move.
Use the ball of the hand. In the end position the lever must be parallel to the wheel. It must not protrude. If the tightening lever can be turned, it is not secured correctly. You must open the lever then increase the tension by slightly turning the nut on the opposite end of the skewer.
Repeat the tightening procedure and check the correct tension again. When the lever cannot be turned, the quick release skewer has the correct tension.
Preparing the 1/2 Bike Pedals & Seat
Attaching the Pedals
Thread the RIGHT pedal CLOCKWISE into the right crank arm by hand (this is the side with the chain). Tighten using an adjustable wrench.
Thread the LEFT pedal ANTI-CLOCKWISE into the left crank arm by hand (this is the side without the chain). Tighten using an adjustable wrench.
Install the Seat
Open the quick release lever and loosen the seat clamp bolt. Slide the seat post into the seat post tube to a depth of at least 7cm. Your minimum insertion line must not be visible.
Adjust the seat to the desired height then straighten. Tighten the clamp and then close the quick release lever. Your seat should not be able to move. If it does your nut is not tight enough – refer to Quick Release section above.
VIDEO Preparing 1/2 Bike Pedals & Seat
Attaching the Coupler
Using 6mm Allen Key remove screws from coupler. Place this clamp onto the adult seat post as close to bottom edge as possible. Insert all four screws and tighten with fingers. Then tighten with 6mm Allen Key. Again alternate tightening to ensure even clamping pressure. The coupler should be secure and not move.
This coupler needs 5cm of clear space on the seat post as well as a further 5cm above this so you can close the lever on the quick release without the bottom of your seat getting in the way! See photo below…
Attach Tag-A-Long to Coupler
Slide the Tag-A-Long arm into coupler aligning holes. Thread the Quick Release bolt through the hole. Screw the nut with your fingers then close the quick release lever. The Tag-A-Long, coupler and adult bike should all be in a straight line.
Open the Quick Release lever and unscrew the nut. Remove the nut completely and slide the pin out. The Tag-A-Long arm will now slide away from the coupler.
VIDEO 1/2 Bike Coupler, Attachment, Detachment
Before your first ride
Test the feel of the 1/2 bike in a quiet place without a passenger. Only after you feel safe, take your child with you and practice away from road traffic. Your new tandem will possibly steer or brake differently to what you are used to with your solo bike. This is especially true if your child is older or heavier.
The adult should straddle the adult bike while the child climbs onto their seat.
Inspect all fastenings for loose nuts/bolts, broken or bent parts before every ride. Riding a bike causes vibration which will loosen things over time.
Check that all quick release skewers, bolts or safety pins are closed/tight. See above for detailed information on quick release skewers.
Brakes are a very important element when adding weight to your solo bike especially if you ride regularly down hill. Therefore your brakes need to be checked for wear more often than when riding solo. Whenever possible use both brakes to slow down your tandem, this keeps your bike as stable as possible. The Tag-A-Long does not have a brake.
Make it clear to the trailing rider that to be safe they must remain seated on their bike and not suddenly dismount – important in traffic.
Maximum weight of rider (child) is 34kg.
Not compatible with carbon seat posts.
Practice slowly at first and focus on clear communication techniques. Always communicate starting or stopping in a loud voice. Choose instructions that suit your family for starting – either ready, steady, GO or count 1, 2, 3 GO. The trailing rider can make this starting call so you know they are ready. Make sure the trailing child is aware of stopping or any slowing down.