Sunday, September 6, 2009

bike trailer 101

Last weekend we had our first foray into bicycling with our child. Now this blog can be built on actual evidence, rather than "hearsay and conjecture," Lionel Hutz's favorite kinds of evidence. It was a total success, and I'd like to go over some of the nuts and bolts of the event, for anyone interested in recreating this experience.

First, the facts:

a. George is approximately six months old.
b. Our trailer is a Burley Bee
c. George's car seat is a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

George - excited as I am?

Many people want to know, "how old does your child have to be to ride in a trailer?" The Burley website says that a child should be strong enough to hold their head up unassisted. Most of the reading out there says that trailers are intended for children as young as 10-12 months. It's really a floating figure, and if you have any doubts you can always consult with your child's pediatrician... also stated by Burley.

Because our Bee is designed for children a little larger, we decided to look into securing his car seat into the trailer. I didn't know how, or if this would work, so we were a little curious about the outcome.

It turns out that the Bee is designed really smart, and totally allows for all kinds of alterations to how you use it. With little effort, I quickly realized that securing the chair would be as simple as securing his chair when we use it in other cars, without the base.

When we use George's seat in our car, we just click it into the base. But when in other cars (when we haven't brought the base), it sits on top of the seat, and then you bring the lap part of the seat belt over George's lap, and into the two little slots on each side the seat, designed to secure the strap (picture below).

Overhead view of the car seat secured in the trailer. Note how the nylon strap holds the infant car seat in place

We did the same sort of method with the car seat in the trailer. We used a ratchet type nylon belt to loop in between the frame and up and over the car seat. The results were surprisingly sturdy. This allows you to quickly tighten and loosen the strap, which is important when trying to put your child in the trailer, or take them out. With very little effort and ingenuity I was able to fasten George's car seat in the trailer that made me completely certain it wasn't going anywhere.

Doubling the nylon strap around the frame allowed us to cinch the child seat in the trailer VERY securely

I would imagine that this type of set up would work well for most Burley's and other child trailers where the inner roll cage/frame is exposed.

Now that we've got security down, I want to look into enhancing visibility of the trailer for both day time and night time use. I've emailed the guys at Bike Trailer Shop and I'll let you know what I find out.


david said...

do you have any research to support this lil? scores of personal experiences would suggest that there's little to substantiate this claim.

i guess it depends on the condition of the road you are riding on. most city streets, in decent condition provide a gentle, soothing ride.

ramco trailers said...
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