Top critical review
16 people found this helpful
Not safe or secure, poor riding experience
on 13 July 2017
The problems are with the receiving unit which is mounted on the child's bike, and I think the mix of reviews maybe maps to how compatible the receiving bike is with the current design of mount, and how far people cycle with it.
The receiving mount must not move at all, *and* needs to stay perfectly vertical. Any movement either laterally or vertically means the receiving bike will lean or bump, and once it starts leaning or bumping you have a giant lever with a 20kg weight on the other end making it worse.
The effect is that the child's bike drifts out to one side, either into the traffic or onto the kerb and you get a distinctly heart stopping moment. This is seriously dangerous.
For us, I tightened the mount so much it actually cut into the bike frame (see pic).
We tried a 5 mile journey along cycle paths which had some tree-rooted parts. For about the first 2 miles everything seemed fine, but then our child thankfully noticed something was up when their bike drifted over the central dividing line and we nearly took out a pedestrian. This loosening got worse, and the rest of our journey became a series of shorter hops between stops to re-align and try to tighten everything.
So why do some people get on just fine with it compared to others such as ourselves? I suggest the following:
* They have a lighter than average child's bike (reduce the weight on the giant lever)?
* They do not travel far (less time to work loose, fewer bumps)?
* Their passenger doesn't wriggle or shift their weight?
* The headstock on the receiving bike has a flatter front, (not flatter sides)?
* Their receiving unit had less vertical play when connected?
Practically the actual experience further impacts the successful use of this tow bar:
* Its not great when the rear rider shifts their weight
* If your child is caught by surprise and leans suddenly, you end up in a hedge or a road
* If your child accidentally puts backward pressure on the pedals, you get a big jolt as the rear-pedal brake kicks in
Because of those things, you cannot cycle much faster than the child can cycle themselves.
I guess it all comes down to physics: Can you get the receiving mount to stay tight enough to resist 20kg on the end of a 1.5 metre pole?
The reviews seemed to have a marmite-like split: People either loved it or hated it, with little in-between.
Unfortunately we hate this (unlike actual marmite), and think this should not be sold in its current state.