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TRAIL-GATOR CHILD BIKE TOW BAR
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- Tow Bar converts an ordinary child's bike into a safe, towable bike trailer
- Once bar is installed, child's bike can be attached or disconnected anytime, without tools
- For children with a maximum weight of 70.5 pounds
- Adult must weigh at least twice that of the child rider
- Fits 12- to 20-inch tire size children's bikes
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|Item Dimensions||2.2 x 6.77 x 25.59 inches|
|Item Weight||6 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||6.83 pounds|
The Trail-Gator tow bar converts an ordinary child's bike into a safe, towable trailer bike. When the child's bike is connected, the front wheel is lifted off the ground and a stabilizing bar prevents the handlebars from turning, so the adult is in control of steering. Children can choose to coast or pedal while they are being towed, making the ride much easier for them.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Couple things to point out:
(1) Directions recommend using a steel seat post. I think that's for obvious reasons. I have high end bikes and the bike I planned on using this with has a carbon post. Luckily I have and old alloy post I put on while using this and I think it should be fine. It's also nice to have this extra post/seat combo so that it allows me to leave the bracket to the one post for when I plan on taking the kid along. It's much easier to swap post vs installing/removing the bracket which would take some time.
(2) This bar puts the kids bike on a fairly steep angle. Especially on 12" wheeled bike. But my boy did fine with it.
(3) Some reviews point out about the bracket being a problem (slipping and/or scratching the bike). Simple fix. I had an old tire that I cut and put on the kids head tube and wrapped it with electrical tape. Then mounted the bracket. Solves both issues assuming you install the nuts with adequate torque. I could believe that if you using on rugged terrain it might slip under some cases. But IMO this is not designed for rugged off road use. I saw where some people recommended using an old tube for what I used a tire for. But I think the bracket would just cut through the tube and be pointless.
Bottom line: For the average user I think this is a great product if installed correctly and maybe a little modifications. We (myself & 3yr old boy) took it for a 2.5 mile spin around the neighborhood and it worked like a charm. We stayed on the blacktop streets and grassy yards. IMO it's a pretty neat setup and a great alternative to a trail-a-bike. Solely because it gives the little one an option to ride on his or her own and if he/she tires out you can pull them home. If you plan on taking you little one on some singletrack in the woods you might want to check out the trail-a-bike's.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The setup was tricky and the instructions were difficult, but all that would have been fine if it was a good product.Read more