Learn How to Attach & Use a Bike Tow Frame

The Follow Me – Bike Tow Frame – is used to tow a child on their own trailing bike.  It is compatible for use with…

A lead bike – adult bike – 26 to 28 inch wheels

A trailing bike – kids bike – 12 to 20 inch wheels

 

 

For more information on whether a bike tow frame will work with your bike please read THIS GUIDE 

FollowMe Tandem. Hook up & go. goride

What you will need to attach a Bike Tow Frame

Adjustable Spanner

Tin cutters

 

Tape measure/Ruler

Permanent marker/tape

 

Adjustable Spanner. Bike Tool. goRide

Open the Follow Me Tandem Box and identify the following parts:

Follow Me Tandem frame

Special quick release skewer comes attached to the frame

Black thumb screws & safety pins

Hook up belt & carabiner

Receiving clamp, velcro tape, perforated strips

Kids bike spindle extensions

The Adults Bike

Prepare the Adult Bike Rear Wheel

Replace the standard quick release skewer with the special quick release skewer by undoing the standard skewer and completely removing it.  Insert the special skewer and firmly tighten.

See below for detailed explanation on tightening & closing quick release skewers.

The lever must be parallel to the frame and not touching the frame.  The wheel must be in the middle i.e the distance between the rim and the frame must be the same on both sides.

PARTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR BIKES WITH WHEEL NUTS OR HUB GEARS – CONTACT goRide

Adult rear wheel prep. Bike Tow Frame - Follow Me Tandem. goRide
Attach the Bike Tow Frame

Attach the strut to the yoke.

Secure the security pin.  Make sure the circlip is tightly closed.  If not, turn the pin 180 degrees and close again.

Mount the Follow Me bike frame on the installed rear wheel quick release skewers.  Screw in the black thumb screws and tighten.  Insert the safety pin by pushing the straight part of the pin through the hole, making sure the pin finds the perfect fit in the notch of the quick release.

Regularly check the tightness of the quick release skewers and the thumb screws.

Thread the strap through your seat rails and back through the clip.  The strap will need to be adjusted to the correct length and any extra strap needs to be safely wrapped up out of the way. Your bike is now ready to position the tow frame.  Release the security pin and allow the frame to pivot up so the carabiner can be attached to the strut.

NOTE:  You can attach the strap to the rear of a bike carrier rather than your seat.  Simply wrap the length of the strap around the carrier until it is safely positioned. 

VIDEO Bike Tow Frame – Prepare Adult Bike

Follow Me Tandem - Adult Bike - goRide

The Tow Frame can attach to either your seat or a rear carrier

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.

The Kids Bike

Prepare the Kids Bike front wheel

Completely remove the wheel nuts leaving the washers in place.  Screw on the correct size spindle extensions.  These extensions now function as wheel nuts so need to be tightened using a spanner ensuring the wheel is in the middle.

Check the tightness of these spindle extensions regularly – before every ride

PARTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR KIDS BIKES WITH QUICK RELEASE SKEWERS – CONTACT goRide

Kids bike with spindle extensions & receiving clamp for Follow Me Tandem.goRide
Attach the Receiving Clamp to the down tube

Place the velcro strap 15cm above the pedals being careful not to catch any cables.

Position the clamp under the down tube and wrap the strip around the down tube to test the length of the strip (remove the rectangle block beforehand).  Cut the strip with tin cutters 15mm above the bottom edge of clamp.

Screw the rectangle block back onto the strip at the end then thread the block end down through the hole securing lightly with the nut.  The position of the whole clamp will have to be adjusted so only firmly tighten when you have the final position.

VIDEO Bike Tow Frame – Preparing Kids Bike

Receiving clamp being installed. Follow Me Tandem.goRide

Kids bike – receiving clamp on down tube

Adjusting the Tow Frame to fit the wheel size of the kids bike  

Release the struct from the carabiner then allow the strut to pivot down and attach it to the stub.  Remove safety pin and secure strut making sure the spring is closed.

Place frame arm on the ground and loosen black nuts.

Roll child’s bike up to wheel stop then move the tow frame until it touches the child’s bike at the spindle extensions.  Mark the frame at this point – waterproof pen or tape.

Loosen both bolts that fix the clamping plate.  Slide the clamping plate to the mark that you just made on the frame.  Align the centre of the hole in the clamping plate with the mark.  Tighten the plate.

Set both sides to the same position – use a ruler or measuring tape for accuracy.

Adjusting Tow Frame - Follow Me Tandem to fit kids bike.goRide

VIDEO Bike Tow Frame – Adjust to the child’s bike

Receiver clamp positioning – trouble shooting

The best position of the child’s bike is when the front wheel is 6-8cm off the ground.  If this is not the case, no problem, move the clamp on the down tube until the correct position is reached.

When you have found the correct position firmly tighten the 2 nuts of the clamp.

In some cases the kids down tube will be an unusual shape, oval, conical, curved.  If you are having trouble getting a good grip with the metal strip of the clamp, remove the velcro strap and use rubber tubing – ideally from an old bicycle inner tube.

Check the tightness of the receiving clamp and safety lock regularly – before every ride

Frame arm positioning – trouble shooting

If you can not find a good position for the clamp that gets the child’s wheel 6-8cm off the ground you can mount the arm upside down.

To turn the arm, loosen the black nuts, pull the arm completely out, turn it over 180 degrees and slide it back in.  Firmly tighten the black nuts.

Tow frame mounted with arm in normal position - 12 inch kids bike. goRide

Tow frame mounted with arm in normal position – 12 inch kids bike

Tow frame arm upside down mounting. Kids 20 inch bike. goRide

Tow frame mounted with arm upside down – 20 inch kids bike

Connecting the Adult Bike to the Kids Bike using the Tow Frame

Release the struct from the carabiner and wind up the loose end under your seat and attach the carabiner to the saddle rails.  Now allow the strut to pivot down and attach it to the stub.  Remove safety pin and secure strut making sure the spring is closed.

Place frame arm on the ground and loosen black nuts.

Lift the tow frame off the ground and roll in the front wheel of the child’s bike.  Place the spindle extensions into the openings in the clamping plates.

Open the safety lock on the underneath surface of the receiving clamp attached to the child’s bike down tube.  Make sure the black nuts on the frame arm are loosened.  Lift the arm and place it in the receiving clamp.

Tighten the two black nuts on the frame arm, then close the safety lock on the receiving clamp.

VIDEO Bike Tow Frame – Attaching to Use

bike tow frame connects two bikes
Before your first ride

Test the feel of the bike tow frame 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 the child’s bike is relatively large and your child is therefore older and heavier.

Safety

Inspect the tow frame and clamp receiver 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 tow frame is designed to be used when two bikes are following each other.  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.

Kids with rear pedal brakes will still be able to engage their brakes while you are riding.

Maximum weight load (bike+child+any extra load) is 45kg

Communication

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.

Find out more, make your Towing solution a success…

…so you and your family can SMILE when you goRide