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beencan (manchester)

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Bumper Explorer Solo Trailer
Bumper Explorer Solo Trailer

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but room for imporvement, 7 Jun. 2010
I bought this trailer last week and have had it out with the little one a couple of times. Overall we're both happy with it but it's not getting the five stars I would have liked to rate it. There are a few minor niggles which could so easily have been improved.
Firstly, the trailer is recommended for children from 18 months old but the fitted harness is much too big for my toddler (18 months in a couple of weeks). The shoulder straps are too far apart and the crotch strap is far too long. When we had a trial run around the garden, my youngster ended up almost lying flat due to sliding forwards in the harness. The solution we came up with involved folding the crotch strap over on itself and running a stitch across it, reducing its length by a couple of inches. The shoulder straps are a bit trickier to sort. If the manufacturers had included an adjustable strap across the chest (like a rucksack) this would stop the shoulder straps sliding down the arms of the smaller passengers.
Secondly, as identified by another reviewer, there are two bolts on the frame one of which snags on the tyre. The tyres are smaller than advertised (not 20 inch diameter) and I suspect that this only became a problem when the wheel size was reduced. The solution is fairly staightforward, simply remove the bolts and replace them with the nut on the inside of the frame. A ring spanner and an allen key is all you need. Still annoying that Bumper couldn't have figured this one out before shipping.
Thirdly, the push bar attachment to convert the trailer to a buggy has afterthought written all over it. The minute you attach this to the frame it scratches the paint finish on the frame. Again, a simple neoprene insert in the connecting clamp would have protected the frame and also given a tighter fit.
Ok, that's the bad stuff. On the positive side we're generally happy with the trailer after my customising measures. It feels well balanced, the coupling to the bike is a piece of cake, it's easy to pull and steer, (one important thing to remember is to take sharp u-turns to the left as the coupling on the rear wheel axle is on the left) and it's easy to assemble and fold back up again. The small person appears to fully enjoy the ride, even over rough forest tracks, and spent most of the journey happily looking through some of her books and singing. We haven't encountered inclement weather yet so check out other reviews for rain protection etc.
There are many much more expensive trailers on the market (and a couple cheaper) but this is the first I have bought and really have no direct comparison I can make, however I think this trailer represents good value for money. The six hundred quid models were beyond our budget anyway and I wouldn't necessarily have paid more for a badge. We bought this purely for leisure purposes, ie weekends and days out in country parks, forests etc. It's not intended for daily commuting on public roads. (I'm not a believer in taking small children along the Queen's highways on bicycles - too many bad motorists, too many cars, too much pollution blah, blah)
Bumper, whoever you are, sort out the little snags, keep the build quality and the price and you'll have five star reviews. The bairn can't count to five yet but I'm sure she'd agree.

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