Mountain Biking with Kids? Get a Trailer Bike.

Makes mountain biking with kids easier
We debated for a long time over getting a trailer bike. Would we like it? Is it a pain to pull? Does it do well on single track? And most importantly, will Ari like it?

Ari is, how should I say this… cautious? Ok, basically he’s afraid of everything but bugs. He won’t go anywhere near a climbing harness (yet) and up until last week wouldn’t set foot in a water vessel. BUT he has shown an interest in biking. He learned to ride pretty quick and seemed to really enjoy single track on his balance bike. So maybe?

Then our friends posted this video of their daughter (Ari’s age) riding a trail with her Dad. It was all over. We had to have one.

And now I can tell you all the reasons we love OUR trailer bike:

  • Yes! It does great off road and maneuvers fine. You don’t really even have to think much about compensating for the extra length.
  • It’s so much easier to pull than I thought. That extra little power horse (i.e. 4 year old) in the back sure makes a difference. Of course he pedals harder on the downhill than the uphill, but we’re working on that.
  • You can actually hook a bike trailer to the wheel of the trailer bike. You look like the bike version of a winnebago pulling a smart car, and people laugh when they drive by, but sometimes I’m that desperate to take a ride.
  • We plan to do a bike packing trip this summer, so a trailer bike is going to be essential.
  • If Joe and I had to pick a sport we loved doing together mountain biking would top the list. This contraption allows us to still do that to some degree.
  • I really feel like the trailer bike is teaching Ari skills he’ll need to know when he’s ready to fledge out on a mountain bike of his own. The feel of the trail, maneuvering, leaning into turns, holding on tight, the joy of hauling down a hill, etc.

Seriously. These things are awesome.

Also, I noticed in my REI catalog that May 20-30, 2011 the Novara Afterburner is on sale. You can save yourself $49! Ours is an older Trek, we found used on Craigslist, but I’ve heard good things about the Afterburner. I would suggest looking around on your local classifieds first, you could get a pretty sweet deal; which makes the trailer bike that much more awesome!

If you have a trailer bike leave a comment and letting us know what YOU love (or don’t love) about YOUR third wheel.

11 Comments so far

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  1. Brian

    I had no idea you guys bought a trailer bike! That’s great! We have loved ours from day one. It’s great for trail (smooth and non technical) and for riding longer distances with traffic. I do wish the Afterburner had some gears for her on the back. Myelle has learned to help on the hills and a couple more gears would be nice for her to keep her pedals spinning. Glad to hear you like yours!

    • Brian – Yep, and as you can tell me love it. I didn’t know they made a trailer bike with gears? I was thinking it might be a good idea to put a shock system on there. Someone should come out with a souped up mountain bike version of the trail-a-bike. Of course, not sure any of us could afford that version anyway…

  2. You didn’t answer one question: would it carry me? I’ve still got some mountain bike learning to do… perhaps you in the front, me on the little bike? ;)

  3. Joe

    I like the video you linked to. It’s so funny that she is making noises all the way down, I like to do that sometimes too on bumpy trails ;) I especially like when she says “I love my new trailer bike.”

  4. […] pretty content being a shuttle bunny. I’d drop Ari and Joe off at the top of a trailhead with their Mt.Bike set-up, then find a place to park along the trail, pull out my chair, and then Isaac and I would throw […]

  5. […] children going to ride? Trailer, sidecar, handle bar seat, child saddle, rear seat, cargo box, trail-a-bike, family tandem, or triple are all wonderful options for a S24O. Use what you have, borrow or rent […]

  6. […] bikes. Our trail-a-bike has been perfect for this. You can bike with your kids and stay within talking […]

  7. […] even hook the chariot up to the back of the trail-a-bike for longer excursions to the park. People laugh at our bike train, but hey, it works […]

  8. […] pretty content being a shuttle bunny. I’d drop Ari and Joe off at the top of a trailhead with their Mt.Bike set-up, then find a place to park along the trail, pull out my chair, and then Isaac and I would throw […]

  9. […] 7)  Practicing our biking skills… and maybe hooking up the old trailer bike. […]


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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