"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Beyond the Bike Trailer: Tag-alongs

We've posted previously on Family Bike Ride: The Gear.  In a comment to our recent post on Bike Trailers, Erin asks:

Does anyone have any suggestions about what to do when your kids are just too heavy for the trailer but the oldest isn't old enough to bike along with you on his own? I really want to continue biking and I have a great double trailer, but I just can't realistically zoom around town with the 70+ lbs. of kid and add groceries, library books, etc. Any experience with a tag-along and a trailer?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Try a tandem bike!

I'm curious about a tandem - would you need a custom tandem to meet the child's height/needs? I have seen a parent-child tandem, but it seemed like it'd be a big investment to have one made to fit us. I'd love to hear more about parent-child tandems.

We bought a used "trail bike" (also called a tandem bike) a few years ago that attaches to the back of a bike and we LOVE it!

Our daughter was 5 at the time and so excited to "help" dad peddle his bike. We've done the Spring Water corridor to downtown a number of times with no problem.

I think they cost about $125 new at Target / Dick's / GI Joes and sell for $85 used. It's a great investment.

We have a Burley tandem. You don't have to get it customized, at all. You just get the "kid stoker" attachement, which enables you set the back pedals at kid height. My husband takes our 7yo on the tandem, and they used to hook up the bike trailer behind that, for the little guy. Now that he's 4, my younger son rides a tagalong hitched to the tandem. It works out great for all three of them.

There's a store out by (Gateway, I think?) that specializes in tandems, and that's where we got ours.

How about an XtraCycle?

Or a Bakfiet?

This family-owned store will be opening soon...


My brother got the tagalong for his son many years ago & they used it often, especially in Sunriver. Sometimes my nephew would just ride along looking at the scenery, and other times, he'd pedal & they'd overtake the rest of us! They loved it & we're hoping to snag it when DD is old enough.

My husband is a cyclist & he's also looking into a Burley when she's too young to pedal but old enough to sit by herself in the Burley. Friends had that & used it everywhere -- even to the grocery store (but their son would eat the groceries on the way home!!)

Yes, we did the adult pulling the trail-a-bike pulling the Burley trailer (the train) for a while, and it works, but it was a little much for our commute to school. It really depends on how far you are biking and how many hills or busy streets you encounter on your ride. Stopping suddenly can be tricky, especially if the trail-a-bike is empty.

We ended up buying a Bike Friday Family tandem, and we love it! There is a child stoker kit that you can buy that provides a smaller seat, handlebar extenders, and attachments (crank shorteners) for the pedals that make it possible for a child as small as 36" tall to pedal. All this can be removed and someone up to 6'2" can also ride in the rear. Bike Friday's have 20" wheels (like a bmx bike) so it is lower to the ground and our 5 year old can climb on and off herself. Sometimes we pull our 2 year old in the trailer with it, and other times he rides on a rear rack Topeak bike seat. The Bike Friday wasn't cheap, but certainly cheaper the having a second car in our family, or even just the cost in gas for 9 years of commuting from our NE Portland house to our SE Portland K-8 school (make that 13 with 2 kids)!
Check out this Eugene based company here:
We thought the tandems with the stoker attachments that raise the pedals up to the kid who rides at adult seat height looked too top heavy for our comfort, though we never rode one.

I've been eyeing the Extracycle. It seems like a great multifunctional option. Great for carrying lots of gear. The kid rides, but does not do any pedaling, FYI. I've also seen where parents have a Bobike bike seat on the frame for a younger child, and the older can ride behind on the platform.

As far as the trail-a-bike, tagalong, piccolo options go, I've heard the Adams (trail-a-bike) start to shake some after the kids get very big, we could already feel it with a 40 pound kid. The Burley Piccolo is supposed to be the best, but with the restructuring of Burley I'm not sure if they are making them anymore. They are also the most expensive, I believe.

Happy shopping!

We got our tag-a-long for our four year old. He loves it. Dad takes the two year old in the bike seat and I take the four year old with the tag-a-long, (He trusts Mama more than Dada). All from REI. We have great bike rides. Most people I know have no trouble with a tag-a-long and a trailer. There is a father who wrote a book about going cross country in that setup with his two kids. Can you imagine? I have trouble finding time for a shower.

When I bike solo with my two sons, I hook up the trail-a-bike to my bike, and the Chariot to trail-a-bike. It's lighter than pulling the trailer. It's easy to get used to, but the caravan is quite long. My son *loves* pulling his brother along!

By the summertime, both of our girls will be ready for the trail-a-bike / tag-along. (Our current situation is the train: bike + trail-abike + trailer.) I recently heard about a double trail-a-bike. Has anyone heard of such a thing here in the US? Here is one in the UK:

Thanks so much everyone for your ideas. I am going to check out the Bike Friday web site - thanks Liz! Also good to hear that others have done the train thing. Thanks again!

I am finding that the tag along that I have for my six year old is not working. The tag along twists my bike post until my seat completley turns side ways. I have tighten the seat post and the tag along and have had others tighten it. Any suggestions Of what might be causing this?

We have a couple of Adams tag-alongs. There are different plastic shaft inserts that came with it to accommodate different post widths. Could you try a fatter width of the insert? If you don't have them, I think you can get them at a retailer that sells the Adams tag-alongs.

Thank you Olivia for your response. I have a schwinn runabout. Are you saying that the seat post is not fat enough? I am not sure I understand what you mean by insert. I really want this to work. I think I will take it to a retailer and see what they can do. It is nice to beable to go with some idea of what is gong on.

I have a double trail a bike for sale, in great condition. Has never been left outside. I used for 3 years with my sons.
Will sell for $500, plus shipping to your address.

paula, has anyone contacted you about this yet? i am interested. please let me know more details, thanks. lauren (holdenkilbane@yahoo.com)

Paula, where did you get your double trail a bike. I have been looking for awhile now and can not locate one.

I am also looking for a double tag along trailer. where did you get it? Julie

We got our double trail-a-bike off of Craigslist for $200 about a year ago. It looks like the MSRP for a new one is $500. Here's the link: http://www.trail-a-bike.com/product/trail-a-bikes/original-tandem/

We use a Weehoo, it is amazing. We had a tag a long and I felt like my son was not safe we had a close call with a car and no more for me. We then got the Burley but Ethan just sat there he was not having any fun, or getting any exercise. We have had our Weehoo for almost a month and take it out almost every day. Ethan gets a thrill out of being able to move the bike and I feel safe and good about him getting a work out:) Anyone want to buy my Burley???

Where did you get the Weehoo?

yeah where did you get the weehoo? i havent been able to find it

Olivia - I too bought a Scwinn Runabout and even with the different sized couplers, it's very unsteady and I can only go about 1 block and my arms feel like they are going to fall off from trying to balance. It has soured me to the tag alongs but I see so many other people with them that I want to try another brand. How do you like the Adams Trail-A-Bike?

I have not tried it yet, but I understand the Burley Picolo is much less unwieldly. I think the Burley is more compact than the other types of tag-alongs/trail-a-bikes, so it is easier to manage. I find the Tag-Along fine. I takes getting used to, but so does riding our Xtracycle or pulling the trailer. I am used to it. When the kids get a bit bigger, say over 6yrs old, it gets more unstable. They say the parent up front should be at least twice the weight of the child(ren) they haul. Something to keep in mind if you come across a double tag-along.

i have not tried it but i will

love this site

Thank you for your response. Olivia I have a schwinn runabout. Are you saying that the seat post is not fat enough? I'm not sure I understand what it means to insert. I really hope this work. I think I will take it to the retailer to see if they can do. It is a very happy beable to some of the concept of development.

Hermosa Beach All parts and components are blacked out,giving it a very cool,toughb and mellow look.

We use the Trail Gator for my almost 5 year old daughter. I like that it's smaller and easy to store when not in use. I simply attach her bike to mine for longer rides, or traffic areas. Then unhook her when she wants to ride independently. Wow that tandem/double trail a bike looks amazing. I hate pulling the bike trailor and struggle to find a safe way to haul both kids by myself.

The comments to this entry are closed.