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on October 3, 2005
This a terrific solution for getting your Jr. cyclist going. Coupled with the quick release training wheels that they also sell I have the perfect family ride solution. (really they should just sell the oversized nuts)

We live about 5 blocks from a nice bike trail, with two major street crossings. No problem. I hook my son up to the back of my bike (its all quick release) at the house, drag him over to the bike trail. Then disconnect the bar, flip the training wheels, stick the Trail Gator in my backpack and he his on his way. He rides for about 30 minutes and is pooped. No problem I hook him back up, and the family keeps going on our hour long ride.

Less to store than with one of those 1/2 bikes.

This is my second kid on this system. I can't say enough about it.
0Comment114 of 117 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 6, 2006
I bought this product due to the flexibility of being able to tow my kid, still having a full bike to ride once we reached our destination, and compact storing of tow bar when not in use.

The product concept is great and the implementation is OK for slow rides on level ground.

The weak point is the attachment to the child's bike. After checking and tightening the attachment bracket several times it rotated slightly on our first small downhill descent (when I appllied my brakes) resulting in a scraped knee for my daughter. I researched this further on the internet and found others with concerns about the attachment bracket(some contemplating welding it in place).

The attachment uses two steel brackets and U-bolts that mount around the headtube. The mounting will scratch the bikes paint when the proper torque is applied.

Great concept and if/until they improve the childs bike attachment bracket I would not use this product on rough terrain or down steep hills.

I returned the Trail Gator and bought a traditional one wheel trailer bike.
88 comments162 of 173 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 11, 2005
Puchased this last week and installed it relatively easly. Being a bit particular, I had a tough time getting the the kid's bike to trail straight behind the adults, and to stand straight upright. The first adjustment turned out to be a bit easier to accomplish then the second.

Seemed to work well, although I don't think I'd like to push the listed weight limit of 100lbs (didn't seem like it had a big margin). Very easiy and quick to hook-up the two bikes, but there are 2 things that you'll have to remember to do or you could have an injurred little rider (but the instructions do a fine job of warning you).

The kid's bike is supposed to have a front wheel ground-clearance of 3-5 inches, which means that if you're careful during the installation then you'll be able to adjust the adult seat height for different riders (for us it's the difference between my wife and me).

You'll pretty quickly learn the tricks, like turning the adult bike 90 degress to the kid's bike when you're parking them (which allows the adult kickstand to work). We had a 2 wheel trailer before, and this feels a bit different due to the kid moving around. If you've got a heavy kid and light adult it could take some getting used to. But, it is easier and lighter to pull this then the trailer, and the kid really does help with peddling (just make sure they don't try to peddle backward).

As an odd application, it occured to me that it would work well to transport an empty bike for somebody else to ride (i.e. how do you use your own bike to also pull an empty bike for somebody else to use at your destination). If you've got a frequent need for this, then it might work with even a full-sized bike. The installation effort wouldn't make it worthwhile for a short, single use, but it's an interesting idea.

Overall I think it's well made and a good purchase. It comes with a number of parts for fitting different bikes, and you can go to the manufacture's web page for a PDF instructions if you want to figure out in advance whether it'll work with your equipment. In terms of the equpment you get, it's a bit more expensive then the single-wheel tag-alongs, but the dollars out of pocket are considerably less, it's less equipment to store, your kid will get practice on their own bike, and it'll likely retain a good deal of its value for resale.
22 comments109 of 118 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 29, 2009
About six months ago, I was struggling with what to do about our family bike riding. My son was approaching the weight limit on the Co-Pilot taxi seat and I really wanted to get him his own bike, but knew that it would be a while until he could keep up with our neighborhood rides. I weighed the options of a tandem attachment like the WeeRide trailer, a regular tow behind trailer and the Trail Gator + bike. The WeeRide didn't seem like a good option because it is not very portable and only has one use and I have never really liked the idea of a tow behind trailer, plus my 3 year old son would soon outgrow that as well. So, I decided to go the Trail Gator + bike route.

I recently purchased the Trail Gator from Amazon and installed it on my son's Trek Jet 16 bike and I have to say that I am very impressed! I was a bit skeptical about this product given the wide array of reviews out there. It seems as though people either love it or hate it. Well, I absolutely love it. Installation was quick and easy (20 minutes or less) and once I started riding with my son, he did not want to stop. I actually had to him that Daddy was getting tired and he made me promise that we would go for another ride the next day.

After looking at various photos online, I was a bit concerned that the incline on the child's bike would be a struggle for a 3 year old to hang on and peddle, but it seems almost perfectly natural for my son. You can hardly tell that his front tire is suspended a few inches off the ground. I was also concerned after reading a few reviews that he would not be able to use his training wheels and the Trail Gator at the same time (he only started riding a few months ago and can't balance on his own yet). I had no problems whatsoever with his training wheels and turning and have since come to the conclusion that the insistence on removing training wheels is a ploy to get us to purchase the company's flip-up training wheels. Don't fall for this -- your child can still use their training wheels with the Trail Gator!

All in all, this is an excellent product that we will have fun with for years to come. Thanks to everyone for all the helpful reviews you posted! I would highly recommend this product to anyone in a similar situation!
11 comment86 of 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 22, 2008
Cannot say enough good about this product! Saw it on the towpath one day and it was the perfect answer for a kid who will transition through bikes.

We started with towing a 12" boys BMX style bike that my kid started on the year before. It worked very well. You have to make sure to align the bolts under the seat post and torque them well. First ride out these bolts shifted and the trailing bike started leaning severely. Before next ride I aligned and torqued them well and there have been no problems since.

There were only two minor drawbacks... the first is that since you can trail a kid's coaster bike, they can hit the brakes. The first few rides my kid kept on braking (sometimes by mistake, sometimes in maintaining balance, sometimes for fun). That's just part of the learning curve and there is little braking now from behind. It's the trade-off you get for the flexibility of trailing a regular bike.

Second drawback was that an 11-mile ride whipped my 5-year old. A 12" bike means a lot more peddling compared to the adult rider! That's not the fault of the product though.

But the product earns it's 5-stars for flexibility... we decided to upgrade the 5-year old to a 16" bike that fits better now. It is much easier being trailed (less peddling with bigger wheels) and the bigger frame to match a taller kid helped to make balancing easier. It took me very little time to unbolt the connection from the 12" bike and put it on the 16" bike.

You do have to be careful to make sure that bikes have the right architecture to be trailed. Some of the boys BMX style bikes have frames that don't allow the u-bolt to be connected. One Spiderman bike I saw had welded metal filling the frame space (so you could see a graphic of Spiderman looking at the bike from the side). You can't get a u-bolt around the frame with this.

As long as you can get a U-bolt around the frame under the handle-bar connection (where the top tube and diagonal tubes meet) you're good to go! This is helping my kid learn balance and feel more part of the family rides.

Awesome product that is well-designed, well-made and gives you great flexibility with a young rider! I usually get at least one comment per ride from someone who thinks the Trail Gator is such a clever idea.
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0Comment37 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 21, 2009
I read the 27 reviews ont he Amazon site before purchasing...some great some not so good. Just like what I find on most reviews. I bought it for my daughter's 12" disney bike made by Huffy. The trail-gator works fine at least the model I got June 2009. There was no loose bolt connecting the frame as reviewers Shoelson on 3/35/08 and Fernandez 5/25/08 said. Perhaps they had an earlier version. That part is a pin with a U shaped latch for quick removal. Its so tight I have more of a fear of not getting it through the hole. However, the comment by Michael Rothermich on 6/16/08 was more concerning. There is a vertical bolt next to my seat (It is factory set). If the lock nut falls loose, I would recommend buying a 2.5" long bolt 1/4" diameter with 2 lock nuts(home depot would have this for around $1. I would find it almost impossible for 2 lock nuts back-to-back falling off. This is much easier than drilling a hole through the nut and bolt as Rothermich recommended (you find that technology used in aircraft assembly). As for building it, it took me 2 hours. I use to build my own bikes, and have a good set of tools: The nuts were metric mainly 13mm. and to make it simple I recommend a DEEP socket set (10 pieces for)$10 at home depot/lowes. With this, socket set you can make the connections tight (no torque wrench need, though I do have one). AS for instructions, the pictures are on the back , and the words in the middle. Lots of flipping back and forth until I decided to cut out the pages I needed.
If you are not mechanically strong, get someone to help. I like the product so far after 1 week. I did not get the flip up training wheels since there was several bad reviews. I just used the one with my daughters bike, and moved the training wheels int the highest position. (it comes with a disney pouch) which I put a wrench in it so I can adjust the training wheels on the fly.
0Comment32 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 6, 2009
Very nice. Great idea. As long as your child is stable enough to physically stay on their own bike, you can use this. If you're riding on the street, or a rail-trail, (or up a big hill!), the child's bike can be attached. Note: if the child doesn't have their own balance yet, the adult will have to provide additional balance. When you arrive at a park area, you can quickly disconnect (no tools) and let your child ride around on their own. Installation was not difficult. I recommend putting a rag under the clamps to keep from scratching the bikes. The child's bike gets a bracket mounted to the front of the frame beneath the handlebars. The adult's bike has a bracket that attaches to the seat post. This could potentially interfere with adjusting your seat height, but shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't ride with the seat all the way down. Also, as your child grows and needs a larger bike, you can just move the bracket onto the new bike. When attached, the child's front wheel will be a few inches off the ground, and handlebars locked (although there is still a little play in them). I recommend removing (or flipping up) any training wheels while the child is riding attached to the adult's bike. Overall, a very good versatile invention.
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on June 8, 2005
This is the way to go! To me, it didn't make sense to buy a whole separate trailer bike while my son already had a really nice bike. Besides, a separate trailer bike would take up room in the garage. This unit is ideal! And people comment on it wherever we ride (That's so cool they say). It's great that you can disconnect so easily and let the child ride on his/her own once you get away from traffic. I have raved to the point that ALL my friends with kids have purchased one. They love theirs too.
0Comment36 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2008
Found it easy to install and have used it several times on short rides and a couple 10 mile rides with great success and enjoyment by all. Last trip suddenly felt my son swinging wildly side to side (and initially thought he was playing around) only to discover the vertical bolt closest to my seat had worked its way loose and the nylon style lock nut had fallen off. The retaining metal bracket was bent but no one was hurt. I was able to bend it back to shape, buy a replacement lock washer and drilled a small diameter whole through the bolt and nut, securing them together with a cotter pin. All of the other bolts seem well secured and I'm pretty sure I tightened it down well, but am not taking chances again.
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on July 31, 2009
This is a great product. My child can keep up with me and then I flip the training wheels back down and disconnect her bike when we get where we are going. I have taken this down the Virginia Creeper trail. It is a 17 mile long old railroad bed that isn't paved, it gets pretty bumpy. This thing never missed a beat on the trip. Nothing loosened up either. I have also taken this on mountain trails with roots and rocks all over and my little girl stays upright and happy going thru there. Don't skimp on the install, do a good job and this thing will pay you back with flawless performance. This is way better then one of those tag-alongs with one wheel. Where do you put it in the garage? It is huge and more expensive. I totally recommend this to all of our friends with kids. It really can handle off road stuff. I went slow at first because of some of the bad reviews but now I just fly thru the trails, up hill, down hill, whatever!
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