186 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2009
Price: for what you get Great
Size: Best there is including expensive competitors but still cramped for two. Wheel guards make this thing pretty wide.
Quality: It seems in accordance with price.
Ease of use: uses snaps and velcro. Opening and closing the passenger and luggage compartments is could be improved by using buckles instead of snaps. the older models clips were easier to use than the snap.
Comfort: My kids say they like it but still would like more room. Seat is hardly a seat. It is a sling. Has cup holders they like.
Attach to bike: Easy note: - DOES NOT fit all bikes (needs half inch radius clearance around the nut on the rear wheel opposite the chain to attach the coulper)
Ease to walk with: Very good
Jogging: Passable with or without the 3rd wheel. I do not often use it to run b/c I have a koolstop double jogger.
This is my 3rd bike trailer. It is my second from in step.
Durability: My last instep was used when I got it. I loaded 2 kids, library books and groceries in it 10+ miles per week for 2 years. When its frame broke I searched through hundreds of reviews from $70-$300 trailers. This one has now been in service for over a year. I have beat the daylights out of it and it keeps going.
I got this (NEW) because it claimed to be larger and lighter than in-step's entry level and other brand's trailers. I also liked the ability to unhook it and walk/run with it.
Size: Compared to the Quick and EZ:
It is larger in the luggage area, shoulder area (25 inches vs. 20 inches.) and foot well width is 22" vs. 20" (foot reach is the same 12" from front of seat to cross bar at toes). height is equal.
The BIG problem is that my skinny 4.5 year old and 2.5 year old girls wanted more room at the hips. The Q&EZ and Rocket are the same at 20". The sling seat in the new one actually causes the kids to slide to the center. This seat provides less support than our old trailer. The new EZ's prob have the new poorly designed seats too.
I checked widths of pretty much everything out there ON LINE but was not able to physically check them out for widths and fit for my kids. This appeared to be the widest (along with the schwinn Mark II).
weightwise - I haven't put the old one a a scale but they feel about the same. The new one is larger but made of Aluminum rather than steel. Al+ also won't rust.
The difference between this and the step down is front wheel and push bar addition.
The difference between this and the next step up is the type of front wheel. I already have a quality jogger from Koolstop so I opted for the flip down small swivel front wheel. I did try running with it. It works fine as a jogger. Basically the front wheel doesn't interfere because it can easily be floated over the ground with light pressure on the handle bar. If you are a serious runner, even the Schwinn mark III is going to leave you wanting something better. Save the money on the not so useful harder to store and use large front wheel.
Be sure to check schwinn trailers as well - they are both made by pacific cycles - schwinn has a better warrantee and I think they look nicer and would rather sport the schwinn name. If you see one on sale for the same price get it - if price is more go with the instep.
Burley's, BOB, Chariots and everything else is WAYYYY overpriced. Even if you use you trailer a WHOLE lot (unless money is not an issue for you) there is no reason to pay the kind of money they want.
Difficult to pull? I have read many other reviews stating this are hard to pull up hill. That is true but it is true of EVERY trailer. Blame Newton and Einstein or God himself. If you attach a 29 pound trailer, throw in 60 pounds of kids, a 5 pound bag and several books Gravity will work against you. Others say on a flat surface you can't feel it. Again - an object in motion tends to remain in motion. This stroller's axles seem well constructed and roll freely. Tire tread typ and width are pretty standard on trailers. So how easy it is depends on your fitness level, the weight your are pulling, laws of motion and gravity.
On even ground I ride between 12-15 mph and typically take 2 to 5 mile rides with it. I am a competitive triathlete.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2007
I have 2 children, ages 2 and 4 and they fit well inside this trailer. They have space for their shoulders, heads and legs as well as a space for waterbottles, etc. We especially like the hitch. It actually hooks around the bike instead of just needing to be tightened around a bar, so there is no chance of it coming loose and falling off. We had a lots of problems with this in our previous bike trailer. It doesn't have lots of frills, but we use it at least a few times a week and have loved it. We also have 2 jogging strollers from Instep and they are great. I trained for a whole year for a marathon while pushing 2 kids in it and it's still going strong! Instep is a good quality brand with great prices.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2012
Just came today and was pretty easy to assemble out of the box, took me about 45 minutes even though I'm not mechanically inclined. After the tires were pumped and I had attached it to the bike (which is a Trek MTB 800 with a quick release back tire - was super easy to attach the coupler to the bike) we took it for a spin.
- Sturdy frame
- Relatively easy to assemble
- Great foot space and overall space inside
- Great additional space in back of the child's seating area to stow groceries, picnic stuff or whatever you want to transport
- Easy pull but you'll definitely need a bike with gearing to help with hills. I don't feel any weight when I'm riding flat but when I hit hills, I know I'm towing. And I teach Spin and cycle outdoors so I'm not really an average bike Mom, and I still felt it. Prepare yourself there, but it's great for the body so it's a good challenge as long as you have that ease of gear to turn up or down. Without gear I wouldn't be a very happy lady on any real hills.
- Good turning radius. This has been a real issue with some of the other brands but I found turning in any direction very easy and effective. It takes relatively sharp turns with grace as well. (I know.. I'm not supposed to be doing that but I wanted to test what I could and could not do with it)
- Smooth ride for my daughter
- Children don't have access to the backseat storage area, like with some other brands
- I think the clear windows are a pro, not a con (there's no sunroof lighting so they're not being beat down on. She enjoys looking out of the windows and seeing what's going on, if she's getting warm I simply roll up the entire front of the carrier and let the cool air in and she's fine. The clear windows were a plus in my book.
- Good netting to keep out bugs while still letting in air.
- Aluminum frame extends across the outside of each wheel, protecting it.
- If you bite the dust, your child carrier doesn't. There's a swivel motion that keeps the child carrier upright in the event that the bike falls on it's side - the same swivel that makes turning a snap for the Rocket
- The tires aren't "true", they have some wobble in them. But then again, so do the tires on my MTB - you can tell by watching something static, near the wheels as they spin and you'll notice if there's any kind of warping or bending happening in the wheel as it makes it's revolution. I could see a small wobble on both the trailer wheels while I was riding us around. The tires were put in correct and were as tight as is safe to have them. It's just the way it's built but I'm not worried about it much.
- I'm concerned about the longevity (based on some other comments) of the material the carrier is made with. I plan on using this almost daily - perhaps 30+ miles per week with my daughter. I'd like it to last at least 2 years. If you're planning on using it for leisurely rides, not more than 10 miles / week, I don't think this is a concern for you. It'll last. I plan on transitioning to cycling exclusively when the weather permits so this is a consideration for me. I think the button snap engineering could have been better using a simple zip up / down style, I think the life of the fabric would be longer with that design.
- The carrier absolutely did NOT fit through my front door (which is a normal sized door). We had to tilt it on it's side to get it through, it's pretty darn wide. Plan on garage storing it or detaching it before you bring it in your house and plan for the awkward movement of tilting it through most doors. (which hopefully shouldn't be that many)
- From reading many other reviews, the carrier doesn't attach to Giants or GT's as their framing is different. So basically, if you have a higher-end bike that isn't a Schwinn (who makes the InStep) then you might want to call the manufacturer to verify first, whether or not the coupler piece will in fact attach to your bike.
- Many other reviewers talked about the 'saggy' seat. The seat is made of nylon, there is support underneath through a series of clips that tighten, but it doesn't provide a TON of support - it's almost like a sling seat. This wasn't any issue for my daughter - she was perfectly happy in the seat. (she's 3, about 40lbs and is pretty tall) I think this might be a potential issue if you're towing 2 kids bc I've read that the kids tend to slide / slope downward into each other. I also read a super easy fix to this is to roll up 2 beach towels, stack them, then place in between the kids, as a sort of console. So in short, the "saggy seat" is more like a flexible sling which probably helps with a more comfortable / airy ride. It wasn't really a con for us.
Things to keep in mind -
- Don't over tighten anything - I think this will keep the fabric lasting longer and overstretching less
- Remember to loosen everything up if you're folding the trailer flat for transport or storage - I suspect this might be a reason why some trailers' outer fabric is tearing or stretching too much. The directions say to make sure everything gets loosened before you fold it flat, likely for this very reason.
- Be HYPER AWARE of the fact that your width just got doubled on each side. This is not easy to remember, so go super slow to begin with until the width is like second nature to you. Especially be aware of this on sidewalks and while you're doing any kind of passing
- Go to Walmart and purchase "tool-free" small square blinking lights to attach to the back of your child's trailer in the event that you ever get stuck coming home as dusk or during the evening. We got ones that were $9, a snap to assemble and could blink or simply stay on.
- Get a loud-ass horn to let people and traffic know you're there. We bought an amazingly obnoxious horn that hurts my ears - it was $4 at Wally and is nothing more than a squeak toy on crack.
- You'll def want that rear view mirror to see what's coming up behind you and also to see your child, without having to crane your head backwards
- Use a bike with decent gearing if you're in a hilly area - you'll likely need it if you're towing anything over 25 pounds (which I think the carrier alone weighs)
- If more than one person may be sharing towing duties - you might want to purchase an extra "coupler" so that you can quickly attach the trailer to what bikes you want without having to mess with taking the wheel off and reassembling it. (which isn't tough, but if you're out on the path with your spouse and you want a break, it'd be nice to swap really easily - this extra coupler makes that happen. It's $10 and eligible for Prime)
(the "coupler" is the piece of metal that stays on your bike to make attaching and detaching the trailer really fast and easy)
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2008
This trailer does not attach to all bikes. Upon receipt of the product, I assembled the trailer and attempted to take it for a spin. I was extremely frustrated when I found that the trailer would not attach to my GT Avalanche 3.0. I contacted the manufacturer and they told me to return the product as there is no attachment that would fix the problem. My bike does not have an abnormal frame and I was shocked to learn that the trailer would not work. Unless you have a bike frame with a very WIDE and FLAT area where the quick release mechanism attaches to the bike, I would suggest staying away from this product. I am now looking for a trailer that will attach to the actual frame and NOT to the quick release mechanism.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2007
I ordered this last month, got it and put it together pretty easily. Did not get a chance to use it though until this past weekend (a month later).
There was plenty of room to stow a small cooler and a few necessities behind the seat, plus lots of room for my daughter (22 mos).
She is getting used to riding in it, but I am sure she will love it in the long run.
It's light as a feather, easy to put togther and very well made.
One note: I need to buy a mirror, so I can see what's going on behind me now.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
We just bought brand new Giant hybrid bikes (FCR3). I was REALLLLLY excited about getting this trailer, after reading all the fantastic reviews. Unfortunately, when we bought it, it was missing the very important little piece that helps it connect with the bicycle. So, I called the company and requested that they send the missing part. No problems there. They were nice, and sent the part right away. HOWEVER, I just received the part in the mail and went out to the garage to install the connector. No such luck. Although all the parts are there, the fork around my wheel will simply not allow that part to be screwed in. I'm probably not explaining this well, but if you look at where the screw goes into the fork/wheel, that's where the connector has to go. Part of the fork on mine sticks out, making it impossible for the connector to work.
I give it 2 stars for 2 reasons: It was missing a piece to begin with, and it doesn't work with all bikes. Other than that, the trailer is fine. It folds up pretty easily and is lightweight. Just be sure to save the box and packing materials, so you can figure out if it will work with your bicycle first. Let's hope I'll be able to return this without the box..YIKES!!!!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
I've had this trailer for about a year now. I may not use it the way that everyone will - I live in a city, have no car, and so this is the primary way I get my daughter around (to daycare, the store, etc.). For someone who uses it casually, it may be perfect - but mine has not stood up to the wear-and-tear of everyday use.
The good: the frame is sturdy and the wheels seem to have good bearings and are large enough to make pulling it as easy as pulling a kid+trailer is going to be. For the first few months, everything held up fine, and I was pretty happy with it.
The bad: As I said, it hasn't stood up to wear and tear of normal use (probably about 10 miles/week, around the city). The frame is still fine and seems to be well-made, but the cover and other fabric parts are wearing out. One internal pocket ripped in the first week when I was putting a milk cup in it. Then, the flag punched through the bottom of its pocket (I didn't force it through - I started hearing scraping as it fell through while I was biking). Now, about half the snaps have ripped through, the fabric over the side "ribs" of the frame has worn through and is patched with duct tape, and the fabric of the front screen is so stretched that it keeps pulling inward and drooping over frame (causing gaps at the sides, which are not fun in the increasingly cold weather).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2009
I considered returning this product for the same reason that other reviewers have mentioned, the seat. It is pretty bad but I think it bothers my husband and me more than it bothers my son. Actually, my son does not seem to mind it at all. So I will start with the negatives: 1-The seat is good for one child but will likely not be for two as it does slope towards the center. 2-The straps are hard to clip and unclip and the strap in the crotch area is thin so it can potentially ride up and cause some discomfort down there 3-The cuppling mechanism is difficult to separate so moving it from one bike to another is not a snap unless you have STRONG hands and I don't like having to ride my husband's bike as a result. 4-My son has to sit up to keep the bike helmet on as there is no recess for the helmet to rest in. The positives: 1-It is inexpensive yet it serves it's purpose which is to provide my child with a safe ride. 2-It rides very smoothly. 3- There is a lot of storage space, a cup holder and a little pocket were I put my keys and cell phone. 4- The bug screen is so nice since it still allows the wonderful breeze in. They also have the rain protector which we are yet to use but glad to have.
Conclusion: The reason I decided to keep this product is that I saw a Burley at the park the other day that was way more expensive than mine and it had the same type of seats! The only thing better was the straps but I am going to fix that myself for MUCH less money. They sell cushions for car seat straps so you can buy those for this purpose. The strap that holds up the crotch area is scary so I am going to put my middle school sewing class skills to the test and widen it so that it won't dig in. My son is 10 months old and is in diapers so I have time to fix that. I read that some babies had a hard time sitting up in it. I can see that being the case if your baby cannot sit up or is just starting to sit up. This is NOT the product for you yet. It's like the people that push their newborns around in umbrella strollers, there is time for everything and a seat without propper support is not for a baby that can't sit up.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2007
Cheap Price. (comparatively)
Quick release spoke larger wheels.
No brake to lock the trailer wheels.
Attatchment to bike requires installation of a receiver under the bikes rear wheel quick release. This can be left on the bike.
I would buy it again. Cant come close to the quality for the price anywhere else I looked.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2008
I researched and compared various bike trailers before deciding to buy this trailer. I bought this as a Christmas present to my husband who is a big time mountain biker. He is VERY picky about his bike so I was worried that he might not like the trailer I picked out b/c it wasn't the most expensive (compared to Burley, etc.) He now says he would have picked out the same trailer. It is perfect for our needs. In stroller mode, it almost drives itself - so SMOOTH. My 1 year old and 3 year old fit comfortably in the trailer and both have pockets for drinks/snacks. Plus, the trailer has a roomy back pocket for other things you might want to bring along. My 3 year old doesn't like to sit in "strollers" anymore but he loves riding in this "trailer." All in all this trailer ROCKS!