Whether it’s for hauling kids, groceries, pets, camping gear or lumber, bike trailers are a big hit nowadays and for good reasons. Why?
With a bike trailer, we get to experience a new level of independence that says we don’t need to rely on just automobiles anymore. Personally, I use my bike trailer as much as possible because my kids love it, I get an awesome workout, and I love the satisfaction of leaving the car behind.
With some imagination and courage, there is almost nothing that can’t be done with a bike trailer, and there are many people who are ditching their car altogether in favor of a good bike and trailer.
With more people living and working in and around urban areas, bike trailers just make sense when you want to avoid the hassle and expense of using a car. Nearly all bicycle trailers are incredibly easy to use (often with no special tools required), convenient (with foldable options), and safe.
A Word on Safety and Bicycle Trailers
When I first started using a bike trailer in New York City, I was naturally very concerned about safety. After all, with so many motorists, even the most avid cyclists can feel intimidated.
With this in mind, there are a few important safety rules that I highly recommend when it comes to operating a bike trailer safely — especially with children:
1. Kids should wear helmets.
Even though they may feel safe inside the metal frame of a bike trailer with a 5-point harness, children should still wear a helmet – just like mom or dad – because they’re still on the road.
2. Kids should be buckled up.
Often, it’s just a lot easier to place your child inside the carrier and forget about the extra steps of buckling up.
Don’t do it!
Most high quality bike trailers are configured to stay upright even if your bike falls over, but that doesn’t mean that the trailer can’t hit a large pothole or something similar and jostle your kids out of the trailer.
It’s better just to go through the extra 2 minutes to be on the safe side. The best bicycle trailers for kids are equipped with a 5-point harness for ultimate safety. Use them!
3. Bike trailers should have a flag.
Most bicycle trailers come with a flag attachment, but if it’s not provided, they’re easy and cheap enough to get as an add-on.
Think about it – even though bike trailers are becoming increasingly popular, they’re still a long way from mainstream, and most people just aren’t used to seeing a trailer attached to a bike.
A lot of other people just simply can’t see a trailer that is so low to the ground, so help them out by installing a flag.
Bike Trailers are not a new idea…
But what is new is that people want to feel the freedom of not having to rely on their cars. The range of options ranges widely for bicycle trailers, but here a few things to consider when making your first purchase:
How do you intend to use your bike trailer? Do you want to haul groceries or kids?
There are several trailers that can accommodate a range of cargo, but most child-centric trailers have specific specifications and limited room for cargo. That being said, I’ve hauled both of my girls plus a week’s worth of groceries in my bike trailer with no problem.
Most mainstream bike trailers are going to use less aggressive tread that is mostly suited for the road.
So long as your bike is equipped with the tires you need for your preferred terrain, this shouldn’t be a problem, but some users may want a bit more aggressive tread — or, if you plan to use your trailer extensively, you may have to eventually upgrade to a tougher trailer.
I’ve used several different bike trailers, but storage was always a big issues because we lived in apartments. However, if you live in a house with a big garage, this may not be as great of an issue.
Some of these trailers for cargo break down easily into a flat, storable solution, but others are a real fight to get it into a manageable position.
My first bike trailer was more for jogging than for hauling.
That is, for me it was a jogging stroller with a trailer option. But, my second trailer was much more a trailer with a stroller option.
This is going to make a difference in your decision. It’s very possible, that you’re going to want a trailer with options for both towing and pushing.