Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Getting the trail-a-bike

My 5 year is starting to get too big for the bike trailer, but is still not quite big enough for most tandems. So, we're finally seriously looking at trail-a-bikes. Looks like the Burley rack-mounted one is out of the picture, so we are left with just seat-mounted ones. And now the big debate. I've seen a few primary models.

In-Step: After a horrible experience with their other products, we've vowed not to touch them again.
Schwin: Also look like a fairly low-end trail-a-bike
Adams: Pretty much the standard trail-a-bike. Most bike shops seem to carry the basic model.
Chariot: We love our Chariot trailer. The Catch'em does seem nice, but all the features do seem like overkill.
Novara: I saw the REI brand one when I went to look at the Adams. It was brand new, and none of the staff seemed to know much about it. The quick release clamping mechanism did seem like a plus.

Of course deciding on the bike is only part of the problem... I also have to figure out how to get it on my bike. The seatpost is a suspension post with not enough clearance for most trail-a-bikes. So, I'll need a new post. Unfortunately, its a 30.9 Specialized post, which seems to be rather hard to come by. One shop did have the post in stock, along with the Adams trail-a-bike... But their cost was $30 more than REI... Should I support the local shop and get it all at once? Or just do the piecemeal approach? And that is assuming a I go with the Adams. I also need to check out racks and fenders. It did look like the trail-a-bike could clear my rack, though the panniers are a question. And then there is that Electra tandem...

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